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To Embrace Hebrew Roots: Part VII

Kabbalah Connections

 

Please note: Research into the Hebrew Roots & Messianic movements constitutes research into Judaism as well as the occult. We fully respect each persons right to believe or utilize what resources they choose. We however, see a clear distinction in believing the Messiah has come versus utilizing resources which still await His coming. That is how and why we must evaluate all to Christ and the New Testament as well as the Tenach. We do not wish to edit or criticize Judaism, but recognize it as distinct from our Christian beliefs, just as many in Judaism also see a distinction and separateness from our beliefs, and we jointly have mutual respect for our differences and each other. 

 

Deuteronomy 29:29:

"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law forever."

 

Sages and Scholars

Describing, "On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah", by Gershom Scholem, Arthur Green, Professor of Jewish Thought, Brandeis University states the basic elements of Kabbalah:

"In the Zohar and other writings of the Kabbalah, Jewish mystics developed concepts and symbols to help them penetrate secrets of the cosmos that cannot be understood through reason or intellect… Gershom Scholem, the pioneer of the modern study of Jewish mysticism explains the basic concepts of the Kabbalah: the mystical "form of the imageless God"; good and evil; the Tsaddik or righteous soul; the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God; gilgul, the transmigration of souls; and tselem, the concept of the astral body…. " 1.

Another Review of this book identifies and elaborates among the essential elements of Jewish mysticism the feminine goddess Shekhinah, reincarnation and astral travel:

"[On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah] … is Gershom Scholem's introduction to the essential terms of Jewish mysticism. His chapter on Shekhinah--the kabbalist symbol of the female element of the godhead--helps explain why Kabbalah has a growing following among women. His chapter on Gilgul, or reincarnation, is fascinating for its description of how a spiritual phenomenon is formed, following the process from revelation to writing to teaching. And his final chapter on Tselem, or the astral body, will make you think twice about laughing at Shirley MacLaine. The astral body, according to Kabbalah, is the spiritual nature of each human being--the image of God described in Genesis 1. Scholem quotes pages of medieval rabbis' fantastic discoveries of their astral bodies…" 2.

All Sages GO to Heaven

1 John 4:12a: "No man hath seen God at any time…"

Of the various famous Rabbis that took part of the development of the Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash, we see the names," Hillel and Shammai; Rabbi Akiba [Akiva]; Judah Ha-Nasi; Rashi; Maimonides ; Baal Shem Tov." 3.

If one investigate even two of these sages, one finds some very important information. Moses Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, usually referred to in Hebrew by the acronym "RaMBa"M, Rambam) is well known and respected. In fact, many of the quotes regarding Christ and Christians in these articles are from his writings.

"He wrote the first definitive compilation of Jewish law since Talmudic times, the Mishneh Torah, but for the student of Kabbalah it is the Guide for the Perplexed, Moreh Nebuchim, which is of most important." 4.

According to Gershom Scholem, Maimonides is referenced by all Kabbalists. Warning about the caution which should be exercised in embracing mysticism, Maimonides wrote in his Mishnah Torah:

"The less educated the candidate for mystical illumination, the less he knew of theology, the greater was the danger of a conflict with authority. Quite regardless of their specific content, all manuals of mysticism written from the standpoint of traditional authority illustrate this point. The Jewish authorities, for example, tried to avoid conflicts by restricting the right to engage in mystical practice and speculation to fully trained Talmudic scholars. All Kabbalistic manuals quote Maimonides' warning: 'No one is worthy to enter Paradise [realm of mysticism] who has not first taken his fill of meat and bread,'1 i.e., the common fare of sober Rabbinical learning " 5.

John 5:37: "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape."

As mentioned previously, Zos Imos explains the student's transition from Talmudic "haggadah" to the very potent mystical experiences which spread like the revival "fire" throughout the Diaspora, leading to development of the full Kabbalah. Mr. Imos states that an adept named R. Akiva, regularly practiced the "ascent" of the soul" in perfect peace.

"…The study of these mysterious visions and symbols, according to the Talmudic *haggadah* or commentary on the 'tellings' or narratives of the Tanak (sacred scriptures), tells of the descent of this same 'fire' on the expositor of the prophetic scrolls when in a holy state of contemplation. In contrast, such meditation could lead to an 'ascent' (in imitation of Elijah) which could lead astray the unprepared, but could, as in the case of R. Akiva, lead to ascent and descent in 'perfect peace' (Scholem, 1991)." 6.

From "Sages and Scholars" we read of the development of the Mishnah in which Rabbi Akiva [R. Akiba or Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph] also played so important a role. The Mishnah is cited extensively as a source of doctrine in Peter Michas' book, The Rod of the Almond Tree. The Mishnah is also recommended as necessary for study by Avi ben Moredechai, who declares it to be part of the "oral Talmud" of Jesus. R. Akiva believed that Bar Kokhba was the Messiah, not Jesus Christ.

"Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph (50-135 C.E.) A poor, semi-literate shepherd, Akiba became one of Judaism's greatest scholars. He developed the exegetical method of the Talmud" Mishnah, linking each traditional practice to a basis in the biblical text, and systematized the material that later became the Mishnah."

"Rabbi Akiba was active in the Bar Kokhba rebellion against Rome, 132-135 C.E.. He believed that Bar Kokhba was the Moshiach (messiah), though some other rabbis openly ridiculed him for that belief ." 7.

Scholars present manuscript evidence of the preeminence of Jewish sorcery contained in various Kabbalistic writings. Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph (2nd century) was not only a leading figure in the development of the Talmud "Mishnah" but also a leader of early Jewish mysticism and development of the Kabbalah.

 "…In addition, a number of longer magical handbooks have been passed down in their own MS tradition. These include Sepher HaRazim (the Book of Mysteries), Harba deMosheh (the Sword of Moses), and Havdala deR. Akiva (The Havdalah of R. Akiva). Only one of these (Sepher HaRazim) is available in a convenient English translation (by Michael A. Morgan), …some scholars feel that the original editor of the Hebrew text, Mordechai Margaliot, exercised an unduly heavy editorial hand…" 8.

Although rather in-depth, an Online lecture by J. Davila, called "Ancient Magic" reveals much information regarding Jewish Magic.

"It is worth noting in passing the extraordinarily conservative streak in some of the Jewish magical literature…One of the Hebrew texts from the Cairo Geniza …has a passage that is almost a direct translation of a Greek incantation for ascent of the uterus also found in the Greek Magical Papyri… The Havdalah de R.Akiva contains Aramaic material… has close parallels with the much earlier Babylonian magic bowls and material…that seems to echo the Watchers myth in the Enoch literature…" 9.

"… There is an ever growing corpus of Jewish magical texts, extending now back to the turn of the era with the publication of a number such documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls. These include …a Hebrew physiognomic and astrological text…with themes related to physiognomic and Merkavah traditions… an Aramaic "brontologion," a genre of omen that predicts the future by interpreting thunder…"Songs of the Sage," songs for protection against demons…Aramaic apotropaic incantation anticipating much found in the Babylonian incantation bowls… and some exorcism incantations…" 10.

Colin Low expands on the Merkabah mystics and their practices.

"The earliest documents (~100 - ~1000 A.D.) associated with Kabbalah describe the attempts of 'Merkabah' mystics to penetrate the seven halls (Hekaloth) of creation and reach the Merkabah (throne-chariot) of God. These mystics used the familiar methods of shamanism (fasting, repetitious chanting, prayer, posture) to induce trance states in which they literally fought their way past terrible seals and guards to reach an ecstatic state in which they 'saw God'." 11.

John 6:46: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father."

"Ancient Magic" also discloses the contents of Jewish magical treatises encompassing astrology, palm reading and the ascension of adepts to the "throne of God".

" [There are]… little-studied Jewish literature from late antiquity and the Middle Ages on astrology, physiognomy and chiromancy, and mystical theurgy. A Hebrew document called Baraita deMazzalot (the Baraita of the Constellations) is a comprehensive astrological treatise along the lines of hellenistic astrology but with a Jewish theological slant. A number of texts purport to be able to evaluate personal character and destiny on the basis of palm reading and observation of facial appearance and other bodily traits. Some of these also draw on astrology. Connected with these on some level are the early mystical tractates known as the Hekhalot literature (Merkavah mysticism) that claim to give instructions on how to ascend through the seven celestial palaces to view the throne of God (the Merkavah) and sing with the angelic choir or, conversely, to compel angels to descend from heaven to teach the mystic esoteric secrets of Torah…"16. (bold emphasis is mine) 12.

The Hekhalot or Merkavah mysticism mentioned above involves the summoning of "angels" to receive wisdom. The Merkabah mystics are believed to become deified during this process.

"…Hekhalot texts do tend to summon angels (never God, I believe) in a very premptory way, and they ask for various types of esoteric wisdom and theurgic power. It seems clear also that the Merkavah mystics were deified (turned to angelic creatures of fire) before the throne of God, at least for the duration of the heavenly journey. Enoch received this deification permanently when he was transformed into the angel Metatron in 3 Enoch. But perhaps not too much should be made of this either, since deification rites are also known from the pagan magical papyri …" 13.

A perusal of Kabbalist material reveals variations and contradictions of the necessary "angels names" that play such an important role in their rituals and for the "safe ascent of the soul".

The ascent that the mystics described is believed to take place in stages or ladders through the Tree of Life (with the Sefirot) and as indicated by John Ferguson in "An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions."

"According to Plotinus (205-270 AD), "there are stages in the soul's ladder of ascent. The first includes purification, the freeing of the soul from the body, and the practice of the cardinal virtues. In the second the soul rises above sense-perception to Nous through contemplation. A third and higher stage, already ineffable, leads to union with Nous. Finally there is the climax of the whole ascent in mystical and ecstatic union with the One." 14.

What scripture is it that discusses human beings becoming deities? There is only One that has ascended to heaven. However, we know that Lucifer has always wished and will claim to 'be God". That is also the goal of New Age occultists.

Colossians 2:18:

"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind"

A quote of an ancient sage, from one of Gershom Scholems books, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah, provides this insight on studying the Kabbalah, meditation and "the ascent":

 "When I wished to find knowledge of the secrets of Creation, I came upon a dark vault within the depths of the earth, filled with blowing winds.... Then there appeared to me in my sleep a shape of most wondrous beauty [giving me instructions on how to conduct myself in order to attain knowledge of the highest things]. I then said to him: "Who are you?" And he answered: "I am your perfected nature." 15.

1 Timothy 6:16: "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Part VI of this series, referenced Peter Michas' statement that he received his education in the Hebrew Roots of Christianity through the Chabad-Lubavich. Dr. Eliezer Segal of the University of Calgary describes Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidism as a Kabbalist movement. The doctrines of the Lubavitch Movement are derived from the Kabbalah. The acronym for Chabad even contains the names of three sefirot--chokmah, binah and Da'at:

"The name 'Chabad' is a Hebrew acronym for the expression 'Chokmah,' 'Binah" and 'Da'at' -- Wisdom, Intelligence and Knowledge. These Kabbalistic terms are central to the distinctive intellectual theology of the movement... The name Lubavitch refers to a town in Lithuania that was the centre of the movement for a brief period during the nineteenth century...Chabad Hasidism continued to be a major force among Russian and Lithuanian Jews from its inception..." http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/363_Transp/Orthodoxy/Chabad.html

The Encyclopedia of Religion states that the Lubavitch Hasidic system of Kabbalah is among those taught in traditional Jewish institutions:

"The dominant brand of Qabbalah in the modern Qabbalistic Yeshivot (traditional Jewish academies) is the Lurianic system. It is studied according to the interpretations offered by Mosheh Hayyim Luzzatto, by Eliyyahu ben Shelomoh Aalman, by Habad, the Lubavitch Hasidic Movement and by the Sefardic Qabbalists of the Beit El Academy in Jerusalem." 16.

A notation in Part V mentioned the name of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, who is known as the foremost disseminator of Kabbalah in North America. Rabbi Kaplan translated into English the "Torah Anthology", a commentary on the Torah which is upheld by Peter Michas as being highly accurate and one of the best. 17.

Rabbi Yaakov Culi, who according to Peter Michas, was "one of the greatest Sephardic sages of his time" originally wrote "The Torah Anthology". The term "Sephardic sage" means that Rabbi Culi was involved in Jewish Mysticism, aka the Kabbalah. Peter Michas wrote in his book, The Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan:

"[The Torah Anthology] is considered to be one of the best commentaries ever written on the Torah--in any language--and is a veritable encyclopedia of Jewish knowledge. In 1967, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan began an English translation…The Biblical translations in the Torah Anthology are highly accurate. There is also a high degree of accuracy concerning Hebrew historical events, but there is also a great deal of legend material. Many rabbis believe that the legend material contains a great deal of accurate information. The authors of this book doubt the overall accuracy of much of the legend material but realize that it does contain certain accurate elements of truth which must be critically ascertained in the course of research and study." 18.

Michael Sidlofsky explains Aryeh Kaplans principal role in mainstreaming Jewish mysticism through translation and teaching of the Kabbalah.

"…A more traditional American Orthodox rabbi, Aryeh Kaplan, spent the seventies and early eighties reconstructing the forgotten Jewish meditative tradition by researching long-neglected kabbalistic texts, many only extant in manuscript. He boldly disregarded the centuries-old rabbinic ban on the dissemination of kabbalistic practices among those under forty and unschooled in Bible and Talmud--a result of the Shabbetai Tzvi tragedy--by teaching Jewish meditation classes and publishing practical manuals and source readers on the subject. Thanks largely to Kaplan's efforts, many Orthodox rabbis and lay people have taught and written about Kabbalah, recognizing its appeal to non-practicing Jews searching for spiritual guidance." 19.

From the Kabbalah in English web site, which helps one understand what writings are necessary to learn Kabbalah, we find this enlightening information about the esteemed Aryeh Kaplan, whose many insights are presented by Peter Michas to develop Biblical understanding.

"…Having acquired, in at least minimal form, the traditional "bellyfull of Talmud", the student can now turn to works that are actually Kabbalistic.

"The first core work is the Sefer Yetzirah. The only edition to be considered is that of Aryeh Kaplan, published by Weiser. Besides containing the Hebrew text, and separate translations of all the main recensions of this work, it contains Kaplan's comments and explanations, in which Kaplan, speaking as a traditional Kabbalist, explains the Sefer Yetzirah in terms of what is now traditional Kabbalistic doctrine: and in doing so manages to explain the traditional doctrine of Kabbalah, as well as give details of esoteric practice not usually found in printed form."

"…Similar to this, but not confined to Lubavitch teaching, is the work of Aryeh Kaplan. Besides his editions of the Sefer Yetzirah and the Bahir, and his anthology of excerpts from major Kabbalists published as Meditation and Kabbalah, there may also be mentioned his works on meditation, Jewish Meditation and Meditation and the Bible, which examine meditation in the light of current Jewish practices and in the light of Biblical texts and the classical (often Kabbalistic) commentaries on those texts. He also wrote a series of short books expounding various portions of Jewish ritual practice, often in the light of Kabbalah." 20. http://remus.rutgers.edu/~woj/arcana/index.html

Peter Michas has used extensively various works of Aryeh Kaplan for his doctrine, as well as the Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash. Mr. Michas and Robert Vander Maten reference Kaplan's works throughout their book "The Rod of the Almond Tree". Indeed, the entire thesis of the book is built upon Kaplan's mythos that a branch from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was passed through generations of the Jews via the Patriarchs to David who planted it on the Mount of Olives. With no Scriptural support whatsoever, the authors continue this fable until the rod (which all this time possessed magical powers because it was engraved with the Ineffable Name, YHWH), becomes the cross of Christ. After that, it becomes a relic which will be returned by Elijah the prophet to validate the true Messiah who will take his place upon the Throne (Mercy Seat) at the Temple in Jerusalem. Peter Michas also seems to have derived his views on "The Role of Women", from Kaplan's Torah Anthology and The Living Torah, found at www.ezl.com/~peterm/WOMEN.HTML .

2 Timothy 4:3-4:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Aryeh Kaplan's Kabbalistic books are his trademark and area of expertise. A list of these may be found at www.judaica.com/Kaplan/index.html . A very significant work called, "The Real Messiah?" was written by Kaplan as a Jewish response to the "missionary challenge." A review of this book found on Amazon.com and dated August 1997 provides these critical insights.

The Real Messiah? By Aryeh Kaplan

"Review: An invaluable resource for anyone who has been "witnessed" to…
While this book is written for real Jews in order to help them keep their friends and family members away from the cults of Jews for Jesus and "messianic" Judaism, it is also filled with some of the most hilarious anti-Christian tracts ever written. Particularly important is the response of Rambam [Maimonides] (12th century rabbi and important scholar) to potential converters that got him kicked out of Europe, and which still resonates today since Christians have yet to come up with any new reasons for converting, and a chapter entitled "behold the man" (sic?) in which the christian dogma of Christ as perfect man and utter fulfiller of the Torah (which is enigmatic at best) is placed next to some of the lesser known Bible passages to prove that not only was Christ not the Messiah but he was a lousy hypocritical human being had he really existed. After this I was inspired to look up Bible passages including his inciting his followers to murder in Luke 19:27, to find that Christ actually broke ALL TEN COMMANDMENTS. Way to go Jesus. If anyone is bothering you, trying to get you to come to their bible study, trying to prove that you need Jesus, buy them this book. You'll be glad you did." 21.

We know from Scripture "that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." (Romans 11:25) From a Christian perspective, this book is a total contradiction to the New Testament and especially the divinity and person of Jesus Christ. Despite much inaccurate legendary material, Peter Michas, references The Torah Anthology because it "contains certain accurate elements of truth." Presumably the "non-legendary" material is used as a basis upon which to construct the fables and doctrine of Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan.

1 John 4:1- 3:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

1 Timothy 6:3-5:

" If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

Worrying Connections

Galatians 1:6-10:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

As one peruses the lists of Messengers of Messiah, its affiliates, connections and adherents to those organizations, it becomes apparent which are in agreement, following and upholding the teachings of Peter Michas and others leading the Hebrew Roots movement. These adherents range from so-called Discernment ministries to James Trimm of the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism and Avi ben Mordechai--and his brother, Uri Marcus -- and the Kabbalah, to British Israel teachings, and to Yair Davidy and the "Lost Tribes." These also connect with Larry Rowland who promotes Project Genesis, which is linked to many "countermissionary" organizations whose stated goals are to bring people out of Christianity or the "church". Many of the organizations and their leadership publicly denounce Jesus Christ. Then there are the many groups connected to Bridges for Peace and many other "reconciliation" organizations. One can only hope that many involved are very well-intentioned.

We have been assured that Uri Marcus and his brother, Avi ben Mordechai, are not working together. However, there is evidence to the contrary. On Lambert Dolphin's web site we find an essay by Uri Marcus, updated November 1998. http://www.ldolphin.org/xmas.html

"Messiahmas? On the Birth Date of Jesus of Nazareth by Uri Marcus"

Towards the end of the article, we read the following insightful information regarding where Uri Marcus acquired the doctrine and teachings within the article.

"Adapted from various sources, including my brother's book "Signs In the
Heavens" (by Avi Ben-Mordechai), available from him by calling 1-800-880-2656.
Revised November 19, 1998."
Uri Marcus
The Nehemiah Trustees Covenant
Fund P.O. Box 44840
Haifa, 31447 Israel

For More on Avi ben Mordechai see: Avi ben Mordechai & Millennium 7000

It is established that Peter Michas, Uri Marcus and Larry Rowland are united in their mission. Uri Marcus promotes his brother, Avi ben Mordechais Kabbalistic teachings, incorporating them into his doctrine. Larry Rowland of Messengers of Truth, supports and participates in the teaching of Messengers of Messiah as indicated on his "Great Places to Visit on the Web" as well as sending many emails to Peter Michas who posts his doctrine.

Regarding Messengers of Messiah, Larry Rowland states this:

"To join the best Hebraic Bible study on the world-wide-web today check out Messengers of Messiah International Ministries and Pastor Peter A. Michas." 22

Of more interest is his link and affirmation of Moriel USA. He states this:

"Moriel is the ministry name of UK - based evangelist and teacher, Jacob Prasch. Jacob Prasch and Moriel are Christ-centered, doctrinally sound and warmly deserving of your time and effort." 23.

Messengers of Messiah web site specifically linked to Moriel USA. Pastor Peter Michas of Messengers of Messiah had a very close public, personal and like-minded working relationship with Ann Rogers of Moriel. In fact, they constantly affirmed one another's doctrine and teachings, often deferring to the other to publicly provide a particular doctrinal insight.

Ann Rogers is {was} the head of the American branch of Moriel---that is-- Jacob Prasch's Moriel, which many deny as having any association with Messengers of Messiah. It has been loudly and consistently proclaimed that Jacob Prasch is not affiliated with other Hebrew Roots groups. On the Moriel website we find the page for Recommended Ministries, http://users.sgi.net/~moriel/u-frends.html , which has the following endorsement:

"Moriel and Jacob Prasch are pleased to endorse the following ministries, among others, as Christ-centered, doctrinally sound, and warmly deserving of your prayers and support."

On that list, underlined and hot linked, which many in the list are not--is Messengers of Messiah. Perhaps, this is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Just perhaps, each are affiliated, as proclaimed clearly by these facts.

Editor's note: Numerous pages of Jacob Prasch's Moriel website have been removed subsequent to this expose, including the preceding page linking Moriel Ministries to Peter Michas' Messengers of Messiah. However, Moriel Ministries Australia displays links to Messengers of Messiah, Larry Rowland's Messengers of Truth and Uri Marcus' Nehemiah Trust Fund.] http://www.ozemail.com.au/~moriel/links.htm

Some questions must be answered. On the one hand, if they are affiliates, why would they publicly deny their obvious connections, while on the other hand through their teachings and endorsements, show they agree, and are walking the same path?

Jacob Prasch has publicly denounced association with other Hebrew Roots groups but, written of his belief in the teachings of the Midrash, and the Talmud. He strongly believes that we cannot gain understanding of the Scriptures without the wisdom of the ancients, meaning the sages. "The Talmud tells us there are multiple interpretations…" and "It takes the wisdom of the ancients to really understand these things…not the wisdom of the 16th century, but the wisdom of the first century." 24.

In order to understand what is being said, we must bear in mind the very traditional distinction between the 'written Torah' and the 'oral Torah'. Gershom Scholem explains in "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism" that the Midrash and all Rabbinic writings are the writings of the sages:

"…According to the esoteric usage of the Talmudic sources, the written Torah is the text of the Pentateuch. The oral Torah is the sum total of everything that has been said by scholars and sages in explanation of this written corpus, by the talmudic commentators on the Law and all others who have interpreted text. The oral Torah is the tradition of the Congregation of Israel, it performs the necessary role of completing the written Torah and making it more concrete." 25.

The "wisdom of the ancients" are the same sages to whom Peter Michas, Jacob Prasch, Avi ben Mordechai and other Hebrew Roots leaders turn to for their doctrine.

Amos 3:3:

"Can two walk together except they be agreed?"

Matthew 7:20-23:

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Contending for the Faith

 2 Corinthians 11:13-15:

"For such are false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

A man of God welcomes the chance to have his ministry evaluated to prove whether it is truly of God. The Scripture supporting that was presented in Part 1. Scripture is clear in that we are not to uphold or justify another person's sin.

What Scripture permits leaders or their adherents to react to an evaluation of their teachings with contempt, ridicule, hatred, anger, animosity, malice, scorn, false witness, name calling and the list goes on?

Galatians 5:22-26:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."

Colossians 3:8-10:

"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."

Ephesians 4:29:

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Proverbs 28:4

"They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them."

Peter Michas has publicly threatened other ministries and this writer with litigation over these articles if we did not "recant" publicly and post such statements on our websites. 26. We were told that we would be charged with "hate crimes" and violating Federal and International laws and investigated by the FBI. Pastor Michas rallied his students (Ha Talmidim) to support this proposed legal action with accusations that we were "hate-filled anti-Semites", "nazis", ("This nazi propaganda is from hell and that's where it needs to go back") "remember the holocaust," "white supremacists," "KKK", "zealots," "idiots" and so on. Other leaders such as Jacob Prasch have added to the list of epithets by which we were reviled. 27.

Peter Michas of Messengers of Messiah and many others have maintained that none of the Hebrew Roots ministries are interconnected. However, the threat of litigation was issued on behalf of, " all the different branches of Messengers of Messiah and several ministries under us."

True believers know that someone who is a Christian would not take another to court because such action would be in disobedience of God's command:

1Corinthians 6:1:

"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

It appears the legal action was dropped when the other ministries disavowed any association with us and removed material critical of Hebrew Roots from their websites. 28.

1 Corinthians 6:7-10:

"Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

To understand fully this verse we looked to "The Senior Dictionary" for definitions of "revile" and "extortion":

--revile means: " to call bad names, abuse with words;"

--an extortioner: "is someone who obtains money, a promise, etc., by using threats, force, fraud, or illegal use of authority" 29.

To read the material in this series of reports and hold hatred towards the Jewish people would be the reaction of one who does not know Jesus Christ and the word of God. To accuse a Christian of anti-Semitism, also shows an inability to understand the love God gives Christians for believers and non-believers alike. In other words, to assume that a Christian who exposes or discusses the Jewish views of Christ or Kabbalah must also hate Jews is to misunderstand our purpose, which is to contend for the faith of Jesus Christ. A true Christian does not hate Jews or any other race of people.

We wish to reiterate that this series on the Hebrew Roots respects the distinction between true Torah Judaism as confirmed by the writings of traditional Jews. On saying that, it should be recognized that many Kabbalistic ideas have been added to prayerbooks, beliefs and rituals, which Jews may not realize. Obviously, Jewish people who have little knowledge of the Kabbalisitc material would take strong issue with some of the spiritual and moral teachings of the sages, as do Christians.

We have absolutely no problem with studying Jewish culture, history and beliefs. Understanding what such words as 'espoused' means in Jewish custom merely adds helpful information. However, we are not less Spiritual, or disadvantaged if we do not study those things. However, recognizing that certain belief systems are in conflict with the gospel of Jesus Christ is crucial to our spiritual welfare and discernment.

John 14:23-24

"Jesus answered and said unto him. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."

James 2:8:

"If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:"

Biblically we are never to make false claims against another. Biblically we are to factually verify information. For example, determining if there is any validity that particular individuals are anti-Semites, KKK, Nazis or White Supremacists before publicly and maliciously proclaiming or insinuating that. When one discovers hard facts to the contrary, we know much sin would have been avoided by having adhered to the Word of God. Jesus said that a person is justified or condemned by their own words and actions. 30

Scripture tells us Proverbs 25:18:

"A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow."

Proverbs 19:9:

"A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape."

1 Thessalonians 4:8-9:

"He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."

Each person is free to agree or to disagree with the promoted writings and doctrine of these sages. However, each should be able to make that decision with ALL information included.

Matthew 12:33:

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit."

Luke 6:43:

"For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

Various "discernment ministries" uphold many of the Hebrew Roots leadership and promote them. Some of these ministries have said that because they themselves have not done the research that what is being presented in this series is falsified or an "attack" on particular people. These "Discernment ministries" have failed to exercise their claimed discernment to look carefully at the contents of the promoted Talmud, Mishnah or Midrash and related works -- and the writers/sages of those documents.

Are we to receive our information and Biblical understanding, from only certain ministries and if they do not wish to be bothered dealing with these issues, but rather support them---no one else should?

1 Corinthians 2:5:

" That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

Many have issued statements to the effect that it is wrong for this writer and any others to pursue research in this area. However, Scripture states that we are to weigh carefully what these leaders publicly proclaim and that we are to reprove error.

Ephesians 5:11:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."

James 1:5:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

1 Corinthians 2:12-14:

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Are we to put men and ministries on a pedestal and blindly follow? Some, by their statements are saying, Yes.

Jeremiah 17:5:

"Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."

Psalm 40:4:

"Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."

The information in this series of articles is from documented and published public material. Why, then, are so many ministries publicly declaring their allegiance to Hebrew Roots ministries, while at the same time removing all HRM articles from their many web sites? 

Why are web sites of Hebrew Roots ministries removing quoted articles from their web sites or changing the content? What reason could there be for removal of documentation, if there is nothing to "hide"?

Are believers being told by those actions to not think and evaluate for themselves?

Avi ben Mordechai, who teaches the Kabbalah, alongside the New Testament, has affirmed that the information presented in these reports regarding the Talmud and Kabbalah ---to be true. In an email dated February 9, Avi ben Mordechai stated:

"Blessings from Avi"Date: February 9, 1999 5:23 PM

"…I'm always blessed when HaShem uses people like you to help so many others learn so many new things about Torat HaSod, Talmud, and other wonderful Jewish writings.

Keep up the good work."

2 John 7-11:

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-christ. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

If the Judaic resources being used to determine "truth" also reject or deny the New Testament and the deity of Jesus Christ--why would any "Christian" recommend it as an authoritative source for understanding the Word of God? Is failure to embrace and uphold the doctrines of the Hebrew Roots ministries, now to be considered a crime against humanity and the Jewish people, as has been publicly declared by some?

Does Scripture uphold this thinking?

1 Corinthians 3:23:

"And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."

Can Christians hold to dual thinking on the Word of God and Christ--and remain obedient to Christ?

James 1:8:

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

 Matthew 6:22-24:

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

2 Corinthians 6:14:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

Since the doctrines of Judaism and Christianity are very clearly separate and distinct -- on all foundational issues -- it would be impossible to embrace both, therefore, each must make a choice. That is, the acceptance of the Old Testament and more importantly for this discussion, the Oral teachings of the sages, and rejection of Jesus Christ and the New Testament, or, the belief and adherence to the written word of God in the New and Old Testament--and salvation through Jesus Christ. To adhere to the Christian beliefs of the New Testament and Jesus Christ, is not anti-Semitism or Nazi hate propaganda---it is a choice to believe that Jesus is truly God and to follow Him.

Romans 1:16-17:

"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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."

1 Corinthians 3:11:

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

James 4:7-8:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."

Joshua 24:15:

" And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."

 

Next Section: 

To Embrace Hebrew Roots VIII: 

Literal Kabbalah: Gematria & Numerology

 All Scripture from the Authorized King James Version

  Footnotes

  1. Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah;Reviews Amazon.com ;Schocken Books; ISBN: 0805210814
  2. Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah;Schocken Books; ISBN: 0805210814; Reviews: Amazon.com; Michael J. Gross
  3. Sages and Scholars; http://baptist1.com/judaism/sages.htm
  4. The Kabbalah in English; http://remus.rutgers.edu/~woj/arcana/index.html
  5. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilkhoth Yesode ha-Torah, IV, 13.;as Cited in Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 26
  6. Zos Imos, Jewish Mystical Traditions;1995; http://140.190.128.190/merton/zos/jewish.html
  7. Sages and Scholars; http://baptist1.com/judaism/sages.htm
  8. J.Davila; Ancient Magic, Part III, Jewish Magic;( www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/magic.html)]
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Colin Low, "cabalah.cln" ; http://marlowe.wimsey.com/rshand/streams/thera/canaan.html
  12. J.Davila; Ancient Magic, Part III, Jewish Magic;( www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/magic.html)]
  13. Ibid.
  14. John Ferguson in,"An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions.;http://marlowe.wimsey.com/rshand/streams/thera/canaan.html
  15. Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah; Schocken Books; ISBN: 0805210814 ; Reviews: Amazon.com; Michael J. Gross
  16. The Encyclopedia of Religion;
  17. Peter Michas, p. 37, Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan, WinePress Pub., 1997
  18. Ibid. p.37
  19. Michael Sidlofsky, Kabbalah-A Brief History; www.shamash.org/kavannah/kabbalah.html
  20. The Kabbalah in English; http://remus.rutgers.edu/~woj/arcana/index.html
  21. Review of: "The Real Messiah?" by Aryeh Kaplan; Mesorah Pub. Ltd. 1976; ISBN 1879016117; Amazon.com; August, 1997.
  22. Larry Rowland, Messengers of Truth; "Great Places to Visit on the Web"; www.geocities.com/~larry_rowland/Links/tablelnk.html
  23. Ibid.
  24. Jacob Prasch, Explaining the Midrash and other articles, referenced in Part 5; www.cw.co.za/moriel/midrash.html
  25. Gershom Scholem ; "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism" ; op.cit, p.47.
  26. Email, "From: peterm <peterm@messengers-of-messiah.org>; "Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 2:47 PM; Subject: Fwd: You will be contacted ";
    [Ha-Talmidim] Response from ED; February 4,1999, 11:43 A.M. ; "Ed's commitment and denial of association to us…
  27. Email, "From: peterm <peterm@messengers-of-messiah.org>; "Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 2:47 PM; Subject: Fwd: You will be contacted ";
    [Ha-Talmidim] Response from ED; February 4,1999, 11:43 A.M. ; "Ed's commitment and denial of association to us…;[Ha-Talmidim] Crazy Thinking! , February 5, 11:29 A.M…Peter...resolved the main problem that was promoting the controversial hate material, going to drop everything else…"our" agenda perverted and dangerous.." [Ha-Talmidim] This is currently posted on Eds website; February 5, 1999, 9:25 P.M. …Ed's public declaration was required by Peter Michas in order for law suit to be stopped---as was publicly sent to Peter Michas email list in [Ha-Talmidim] Response from Ed; February 4, 1999; [Ha-Talmidim] I want to thank all of you; Feb.4…KKK reference,FBI; [Ha-Talmidim] [Ha-Talmidim] Important Request!!!!!!; February 3, 1999, 2:01 P.M.; Peter …refererences to anti-semite hate…requesting a Jewish attorney, Fed. Hate crimes, breaking of International laws and FCC internet crimes. [Ha-Talmidim} Something about me you need to know! Feb. 2; "This nazi propaganda…; [Ha-Talmidim] Re: Hebrew Roots, Jan 27, ..mentality of religious zealots; idiots; [Ha-Talmidim] Ignorance must be bliss!!!!!!!; Feb 9, .."hate-filled anti-semites..ugly agenda, blind and ignorant."' And so on. Email from Jacob Prasch; February 21, 1999 2:02 AM; TO: Richard Engstrom; Tim & Barb Aho; Vicky Dillan; Subject: Aho, ho, ho... Title: "A Brief Response to the Slander of Barbara Aho and Victoria Dillan By James Jacob Prasch; other emails from various adherents and leadership.
  28. [Ha-Talmidim] This is currently posted on Eds website; February 5, 1999, 9:25 P.M.…Ed's public declaration was required by Peter Michas in order for law suit to be stopped---as was publicly sent to Peter Michas email list in [Ha-Talmidim] Response from Ed; February 4, 1999; 11:43 A.M. ; "Ed's commitment" and denial of association to us…Peter states that we have been on Ed's email list spreading hate, lies and anti-semitism for over a year.---false--was not on Eds list since spring of 1998--and have never posted anything regarding Hebrew Roots or Jews to that list or elsewhere.
  29. The Senior Dictionary, W. J. Gage, Toronto
  30. [Ha-Talmidim} Something about me you need to know!; February 2, 1999, 6:00; Peter …trying to equate this series with the holocaust attitudes--called Nazi propaganda--"This Nazi propaganda is from hell and that is where it needs to go back." [Ha- Talmidim] I want to thank all of you; February 4, 1999, 11:09; Peter …references KKK attitudes; FBI, etc. [Ha-Talmidim] Getting Close? February 4, 1999; 1:52, Peter shares correspondence to remember the war, etc…..

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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