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The Rising Crisis between the United States and Iran - Amos Yadlin -
After a year in which Iran opted for "strategic patience," in the hope that European nations would compensate for the United States sanctions, it now seeks to present a price tag for the US measures against it, and has thus embarked on a response comprising action in three realms: nuclear, military, and oil exports from the Gulf. In the current circumstances, Iran and the United States are demanding conditions that would make a resumption of negotiations difficult, although both sides apparently understand that dialogue may ultimately be the less dangerous option for them. The latest developments embody the potential for escalation and miscalculation that is liable to affect Israel's security, and therefore the security cabinet should convene to craft an appropriate policy for the near, medium, and long terms.
May 2019 marks the end of a difficult year for Iran, which saw the United States withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the JCPOA, and the imposition of American sanctions. The sanctions, which have hit primarily the oil and financial sectors, have inflicted severe damage on the Iranian economy. Furthermore, Iran's attempt to entrench and build up an advanced military capability against Israel in Syria appears to have failed.
After a year in which Iran opted for "strategic patience," in the hope that European nations would compensate for American sanctions and that President Donald Trump will stand little chance of reelection in 2020, the US administration has succeeded in ramping up the sanctions and applying pressure beyond Tehran's expectations. Over the last month, Iran has experienced intensification of the US policy of "maximum pressure": waivers that President Trump had granted China, India, Japan, and other countries, whereby these countries were able to import oil from Iran, were canceled; sanctions were imposed on the export of iron, steel, aluminum, and copper products from Iran; and in the nuclear realm, the United States revoked two waivers that had allowed Iran to abide by its JCPOA obligation to export excess enriched uranium and heavy water that it produces. The American designation of the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization was meant to denigrate the Iranian economy and raise the stakes of doing business with shadowy elements of the Iranian economy, from potential fines to the threat of prison time. The regime in Iran has thus concluded that it must devise a new strategy - or at least, update its strategy - to one that is more proactive, albeit measured and cautious.
Iran now seeks to present a price tag for the US measures against it, and has thus embarked on a response comprising action in three realms. Regarding the nuclear realm, Iran is trying to compel European nations to formulate and implement the promised mechanism to provide compensation for the sanctions. In the military realm, Iran seeks to exact a price from the United States (and Israel) with the goal of creating deterrence and preserving national pride. Finally, when it comes to energy supply, Iran has threatened Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that if it is unable to export oil, they too will be unable to do so.
The Nuclear Realm
Iran has three levels of action at hand in the nuclear realm (in ascending order of risk): a. undermining the JCPOA through minor breaches, inter alia by increasing the scope of uranium enrichment or boosting the level of enrichment; b. leaving the agreement and resuming broad nuclear activity, while installing tens of thousands of centrifuges in Natanz, renewing activity at the Arak reactor, and annulling Iran's acceptance of the IAEA Additional Protocol; c. withdrawing from the NPT, which would clear the way to the development of a nuclear bomb.
As an initial step, Iran has opted for the limited move of not removing the enriched material above the 300 kg limit imposed by the JCPOA, and is threatening a more significant breach in 60 days. Iran has not withdrawn from the agreement, because according to its calculations, overall the JCPOA remains beneficial for Iran's nuclear and regional aspirations. To Tehran's surprise, this limited move has not won European or Russian support and has even received some backlash, and thus demonstrates that nuclear escalation by Iran risks causing it to lose the diplomatic and political (as well as limited economic) support it enjoys from these countries in the face of United States policy.
The Military Realm
Likewise in the military realm, Iran has a range of possible actions at its disposal: attacking American soldiers in Syria or Iraq, and launching low signature attacks via proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip against American interests or allies (including Israel). In the 1980s, Iran used Hezbollah to attack the US Marines and the US Embassy in Beirut, killing hundreds. In addition, the Pentagon has determined that Iran was responsible for the death of over 500 US troops in Iraq during the US occupation following the 2003 invasion, via its support and training of anti-American Shiite militias there.
Thus far, an intelligence alert was received regarding an attempt to attack US troops in Iraq, which explained the abrupt change in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's travel itinerary last week - from Germany to Iraq. Iran is also presumably preparing actions against Israel from Syria, Iraq, or perhaps even Lebanon.
Oil Exports and Freedom of Shipping
In the realm of oil exports and freedom of shipping, Iran has threatened to strike at the freedom of shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. It is capable of fomenting action by Yemen's Houthis against shipping in the Red Sea and the production of oil on the Arab side of the Gulf, by missiles, drones, or sabotage, including through cyber methods (as with proxy terrorism, here too there would be a low signature and difficulty regarding public attribution).
Indeed, the United States published a warning to the Gulf states relating to their commercial shipping interests regarding a plot to attack oil tankers in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. On May 12, the intelligence warning was actualized. Reports emerged from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia of an attack on four merchant ships and oil tankers. The attack, which Saudi Arabia labeled "sabotage," occurred in the Gulf of Oman, near the United Arab Emirates, as the tankers prepared to enter Persian Gulf waters. According to Riyadh, the two Saudi tankers sustained significant damage, though they were not carrying oil at the time so no spill ensued; one tanker was preparing to load oil bound for the United States. No one has claimed responsibility, but the intent was apparent: a low signature action by Iran that hints at its capabilities.
The United States has not been passive in the face of Iran's threats. Last week, in a highly publicized move, military forces were dispatched to the Middle East, including the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers capable of carrying nuclear weaponry, and a Patriot battery. These are not the expeditionary forces that would befit a broad-based campaign, but certainly they constitute a message that there will be a response - perhaps surgical - to any Iranian escalation.
In the current circumstances, the two sides are demanding conditions that would make a resumption of negotiations difficult. The United States seems to be insisting on the 12 demands that Pompeo made of Iran, while Iran is demanding an American apology and return to the nuclear agreement as a precondition for negotiations. With that said, both sides apparently understand that dialogue may ultimately be a less dangerous option for them than a military clash.
Nonetheless, the rhetoric among Iran's military leadership has been highly aggressive. Discussing the escalation, and specifically the deployment of the Lincoln near Iranian shores, a Revolutionary Guards commander said that if the United States makes a move, Iran will "hit them on the head," and added that the American presence in the Middle East, which previously constituted a serious threat, was now - in Iran's view - an opportunity. By contrast, President Hassan Rouhani, in a speech delivered on May 11, claimed that the situation in Iran is more difficult than what confronted the Islamic Republic during the Iran-Iraq War. It is possible that this statement was meant to prepare public opinion for the unpleasant options before the Islamic Republic, somewhat analogous to a 1988 speech by then-Supreme Leader Khomeini about the need to "drink from the poisoned chalice" when signing a peace agreement with Saddam Hussein to end the eight-year war with Iraq. The calculations that prompted Khomeini to assess that continued fighting would endanger the regime's very survival may parallel Khamenei's current assessment of negotiations with the US in order to avoid further dangerous escalation.
For its part, the Trump administration is likewise not eager for conflict, sending a message that the United States has been acting defensively and in response to warnings it received. Indeed, Washington's messages have assumed a new tone. In contrast to the aggressive messages relayed by Secretary Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, President Trump made a point of emphasizing his interest in preventing harm to Iran by holding a dialogue with its leadership. In the course of two days, Trump noted more than three times that he "would like to see them [Iran] call me...What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down. We can make a deal, a fair deal...I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy...They should call, [and] if they do, we're open to talk to them. We have no secrets. And they can be very, very strong financially, they have great potential. Very much like North Korea." In parallel, it was reported that the White House relayed to Switzerland (which represents US interests in Iran) a telephone number for Iran to reach Trump directly. These statements by Trump may also point to a preference by the President to focus exclusively on the nuclear issue in a dialogue with Iran.
Significance for Israel
In the near term it seems the Israeli government would not bemoan a collapse of the JCPOA that might result from US pressure, Iranian breaches, and responses of the other parties to the agreement. It is important for Israel that any future Democratic administration in the United States not return to the JCPOA during the deal's later years, when the agreement is more problematic, as this is a period in which Iran would receive international legitimacy to build a full scale nuclear program.
Any military clash between Iran and the United States - be it in the Gulf, Iraq, or Syria, or a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz - would not have a direct impact on Israel, but there would be indirect repercussions. The odds of Iran leaving Israel out of such a fight, should it emerge, are slim.
Therefore, Israeli policy would do well to include the following components:
In the immediate term: Intelligence vigilance and military readiness are required in order to foil Iranian military action, whether direct or indirect, against Israel on any front where there is an Iranian presence. An agreed joint strategy with the United States for responding to Iranian military action is also in order. Israel should reevaluate and update the "campaign between wars" that it has waged to thwart Iranian entrenchment in Syria, so that it adjusts to the changes in Iranian policy.
In the medium term: Given the possibility that the United States and Iran will ultimately return to negotiations, Israel must reach understandings with the United States about what needs to be fixed in the nuclear agreement - mainly regarding the extension of the sunset clauses (as the agreement's expiration date nears), improved monitoring of the Iranian nuclear facilities, the military dimensions of the nuclear program, Iran's ballistic missile program, and Iran's efforts to destabilize and dominate the region. Israel's positions on these issues will likely earn support from the Gulf states, creating an opportunity to strengthen relations with these states in the political and other spheres.
In the long term: Israel must prepare for the possibility that Iran will choose the path of escalation and renew nuclear activity with the goal of accumulating uranium enriched to 20 percent, which would shorten the time needed to produce fissile material, and even prepare for the possibility of an Iranian withdrawal from the NPT. Israel should also consider the possibility that the United States will not take effective action to stop the Iranian nuclear program (as, after all, the Trump administration is not keen on further military engagements in the Middle East). Therefore, Israel must update its force buildup plans to enable it to cope with a potential Iranian nuclear breakout alone. This would be a sweeping budgetary and operational challenge. Indeed, the IDF's multi-year "Gideon" plan, drafted under the former Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, assumed at least a 10-year deferral for preparations of a response to the Iranian nuclear program. Yet the developments seen in this context over the last year, and especially the last month, demand a significant updating of the plan and allocation of supplementary resources to the defense establishment.
In conclusion, the combination of the maximum pressure campaign by the United States against Iran, Iran's decision to depart from its "strategic patience," and America's determination to respond to any attempt to harm US troops and interests in the Middle East embody the potential for escalation and miscalculation that is liable to affect Israel's security. The security cabinet should therefore convene to craft an appropriate policy for the near, medium, and long terms.
The Incurable Curiosity of the Cosmos: Vol. I - By Pete Garcia -
Many of you might remember the "blood moon" craze that swept through all the eschatological circles several years ago (2012-2015). If you don't remember, or weren't a prophecy watcher back then, there was a series (tetrad) of four blood moons which fell upon the Jewish feast dates of Passover and Tabernacles. To be honest, I didn't think much of it back then, and still don't today. Neither do I think I ever wrote about them, and if I did, I was not promoting it I can assure you. Nevertheless, from what I hear, a couple fellas sure were able to sell a lot of books because of it.
The next major craze that came through was the Revelation-12 movement (2015-2017). This new one seemed to find its fulfillment/alignment on or about September 23rd, 2017. This was largely centered on the literal fulfillment of the symbolic imagery spoken of in Revelation 12:1-2. Although I did write about this, it was not a wholesale endorsement. I was angrier at the various discernment police teams running around throwing cold water on everyone prematurely and indiscriminately, than I was the groups and individuals who were actually talking about this. For one, none of the serious persons and groups who were actually talking about Revelation 12 were saying the Rapture was going to happen that day. Nor were they even sure something would happen that day. They were doing what a lot of us are prone to do, which is, speculating on possibilities, and just being excited about the possibility that something could happen. Can't really fault people for being excited about the Bible and the return of Christ.
On the other hand, perhaps there was some significance to the "blood moon tetrad" and the Revelation 12 thingy...and we don't fully understand, or cannot see all the connections yet. For the record, I am not dismissing discernment ministries for throwing caution out there. All I was saying then, is the same thing that I am saying now, which is what the late, great Chuck Missler use to say by quote: He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him (Prov. 18:13).
Nevertheless, for those of us interested in all things prophecy, we are usually the same type of Christians who want to piece together as much as the last day's events as possible, because God has stirred our hearts to want to understand the times in which we live because we long for the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But one of the most important things it seems we all missed (or at least I did) during all this time regarding the eclipses, blood moons, and Rev 12 hype, was in fact, the biggest sign of all, the moon itself; literally speaking, the moon should not exist!
[For all the ultra-conservative discernment ministries out there who are quick to pounce on anyone who even dares mention outer space, this next section is for you]
The Moon Enigma
Although we see it every night, most people do not give much thought about the moon...but perhaps they should. It is one of the biggest enigmas mankind has ever known. Below are a list of quotes from (to my knowledge) non-Christians, but undoubtedly qualified experts in their respective fields who have also pondered about our moon's existence, composition, and behavior. Quotes and citations collected from Source-
Isaac Asimov, American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University and Science Fiction writer. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time.
"We cannot help but come to the conclusion that the Moon by rights ought not to be there. The fact that it is, is one of the strokes of luck almost too good to accept... Small planets, such as Earth, with weak gravitational fields, might well lack satellites... In general then, when a planet does have satellites, those satellites are much smaller than the planet itself. Therefore, even if the Earth has a satellite, there would be every reason to suspect... that at best it would be a tiny world, perhaps 30 miles in diameter. But that is not so. Earth not only has a satellite, but it is a giant satellite, 2160 miles in diameter. How is it then, that tiny Earth has one? Amazing."
"The Moon, which has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, is basically a freak of nature"
Irwin Shapiro, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
"The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error - the Moon doesn't exist.'
"The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties are none of them could be considered remotely watertight."
Christopher Knight, Alan Butler
From book: Who Built the Moon?
The Moon has astonishing synchronicity with the Sun. When the Sun is at its lowest and weakest in mid-winter, the Moon is at its highest and brightest, and the reverse occurs in mid-summer. Both set at the same point on the horizon at the equinoxes and at the opposite point at the solstices. What are the chances that the Moon would naturally find an orbit so perfect that it would cover the Sun at an eclipse and appear from Earth to be the same size? What are chances that the alignments would be so perfect at the equinoxes and solstices?
Mikhail Vasin, Alexander Shcherbakov, Societ Academy of Sciences, 1970.
"Is the moon a creation of an alien intelligence?"
Dr Harold Urey, Nobel Prize for Chemistry
"I'm terribly puzzled by the rocks from the Moon and in particular of their titanium content."
Dr S Ross Taylor, Geochemist of lunar chemical analysis
Said the problem was that Maria plains the size of Texas had to be covered with melted rock containing fluid titanium. He said you would not expect titanium ever to be hot enough to do that, even on Earth, and no one has ever suggested that the Moon was hotter than the Earth.
"What could distribute titanium in this way? Highly advanced technology developed and operated by entities that are immensely more technologically advance than humans."
Ken Johnson, Supervisor of the Data and Photo Control department during the Apollo missions
Moon rocks have been found to contain processed metals, including brass and mica, and the elements Uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 that have never been found to occur naturally.
Dr. Gordon MacDonald, NASA
"it would seem that the Moon is more like a hollow than a homogenous sphere'. He surmised that the data must have been wrong - but it wasn't."
Dr. Sean C Solomon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"The Lunar Orbiter experiments had vastly improved knowledge of the Moon's gravitational field and indicated the frightening possibility that the Moon might be hollow."
Lon Hood, University of Arizona
"We knew that the Moon's core was small, but we didn't know it was this small... This really does add weight to the idea that the Moon's origin is unique, unlike any other terrestrial body."
The Apollo 12 mission to the Moon in November 1969 set up seismometers and then intentionally crashed the Lunar Module causing an impact equivalent to one ton of TNT. The shockwaves built up for eight minutes, and NASA scientists said the Moon 'rang like a bell.
Maurice Ewing, American geophysicist and oceanographer
"As for the meaning of it, I'd rather not make an interpretation right now, but it is as though someone had struck a bell, say, in the belfry of the a church a single blow and found that the reverberation from it continued for 30 minutes."
Ken Johnson, Supervisor of the Data and Photo Control department during the Apollo missions
"The Moon not only rang like a bell, but the whole Moon wobbled in such a precise way that it was almost as though it had gigantic hydraulic damper struts inside it."
Dr. Ross Taylor, NASA
He said: "This was one of those extraordinary things. When you had the impact of these things on the moon, unlike a terrestrial earthquake, which dies away quickly, the shock waves continued to reverberate around the moon for a period of an hour or more, and this is attributed to the extremely dry nature of the lunar rock.
Dr. D L Anderson, Professor of geophysics and director of the seismological laboratory,
California Institute of Technology
"The Moon is made inside out and that its inner and outer compositions should be the other way around."
Dr. Robin Brett, NASA Scientist
"It seems much easier to explain the nonexistence of the moon than its existence."
The numerous convex Moon craters- shaped out, rather than in (from impacting meteors)
Charles A. Wood, of the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University, wrote in a 1978 paper that these convex craters were likely created by lava. He said the lava seeped up through fractures to the surface.
The Moon stabilizes the earth's axis
NASA- "The moon stabilizes Earth's wobble, which has led to more stable climate,"
NASA (Dr. Eric Christian and Beth Barbier)
"[The moon adds] drag to the Earth's rotation in the form of tides, both oceanic and internal. This added drag tends to stabilize the rotation. It is also gradually slowing down the rotation of the Earth, which gradually lengthens Earth days."
Size and Distance
The same numbers come up in looking at measurements related to the moon, sun, and Earth. The diameter of the sun is about 400 times the diameter of the moon; the moon is also about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the diameter of the Earth; the distance between the Earth and the sun is about 108 times the diameter of the sun.
Moon diameter: 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers)
Sun diameter: 864,000 miles (1,391,000 kilometers)
Earth diameter: 7,900 miles (12,756 kilometers)
Distance from moon to Earth: 225,700 miles (360,000 kilometers)
Mean distance from sun to Earth (it is sometimes closer, sometimes further): 92,900,000 miles (149,600,000 kilometers)
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; Gen 1:14
From a Christian perspective, we understand that the universe did not come about by accident. We understand that according to Scripture, history, the laws of nature, and the presence of creation itself, that a Creator must be necessary. So part of these secular scientist's problem, is that they start their paradigm from a position that all this must have happened unintentionally, thus, the moon's existence is as Isaac Asimov once said, a stroke of good luck. We know that the Moon exists because a Creator purposefully put it there.
So, having lived through the blood moon phase and the Rev12 sign phase, and gotten the t-shirt and bumper sticker to prove it, what do we make of the moon? From an eschatological perspective, one might wonder that significance the Moon does play in Bible prophecy. What does Scripture say?
The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. Joel 2:31
The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. Acts 2:20
[Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances] I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. Revelation 6:12
Knowing what we know now, that the moon is NOT made of green cheese and is dry and quite possibly hollow, how can the Moon be turned to blood? Scientifically, we know that the sky is not really blue, but appears that way because of the way the light particles hitting and interacting with the air and dust makes the waves of light appear to our eyes. Similarly, the moon will appear to be the color of blood, due to the obscurations in the atmosphere caused by the events happening on the earth. If we look at the passages above, and take them in reverse order, we see that what this portends too either geologic and volcanic activity, or some type of nuclear exchange that can cause that level of atmospheric obscuration. This will cause the sun to appear darkened, and the moon to appear a blood-red color. Understanding that the Day of the Lord speaks to both the general time frame, and to a specific day will help us clarify how these three passages work in concert sequentially. In order-
Revelation 6:12 is speaking to the timeframe, but explains the why (the great earthquake) the sun is darkened and the moon is discolored
Acts 2:20 is a paraphrase of Joel 2:31, which both speaks to THE Day of the Lord (note its referred to as 'great and awesome') which means it's not being used in the general time frame, but to the actual day of the Second Coming at Armageddon.
So understanding that, we will turn in the next volume to the topic of how Satan will use the cosmos to bring on great deception in the last days deception.
This was a very interesting news program from AinG.
Ambopteryx fossil changes story about evolution of flight; Colorful stick bugs found in Madagascar; Man breaks women's weightlifting records; Adults identify as mermaids; Chemical & biomolecular engineers develop fabric inspired by cephalopod skin; Taste cells respond to odor molecules; Arizona naturalists studying bird chemistry think "internal control" is a key feature of evolution . . . and more during today's episode of Answers News, broadcast live from the Creation Museum.
Such a dangerous cult, I have never heard of it before....Looking forward to reading more articles on this.
Praying also for Ronda at this time with her illness.
Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement (Part 1) - By Ronda Lane -
Editor's note from Cynthia Nuara: Ronda will not be able to finish her 4-part series titled "Betrayed: Few Knew it Happened" of which parts one and two are currently posted on the Rapture Ready website. She is terminally ill and would like prayer for relief from pain and for God's will to be done. She will be writing a letter to you all on this site as she is able. Ronda is ready to go Home to be with the Lord when He calls. She will be free from the pain she has endured for years from MS, thoracic spinal syrinx (technical term: syringomyelia), and other health issues, and from her recent diagnosis of stage 4 cancer.
Ronda shows such attention for detail in her writing. As her (and my) dear friend Alice Childs says, "She doesn't just take in the entire forest and the individual trees, but chews on the bark and leaves."
Here is an article she wrote on the Hebrew Roots movement which was originally to be submitted after finishing her 4-part series:
Have you heard about the heretical "Hebrew Roots" movement? It may sound innocuous or even like a "good thing." But it's a cult. Flee from it! Let's take a look at many of the horrible errors which show that the Hebrew Roots movement is both heretical and blasphemous. Beware the false gospel they regurgitate as well.
Here's a short list, and the article will detail each of these errors:
#1. Hebrew Roots movement denies the name of Jesus!
#2. Hebrew Roots movement throws out huge portions of scripture (and twists other scripture).
#3. Hebrew Roots movement tries to put us back under the law (commandments and ordinances of Israel).
#4. Hebrew Roots movement denies Gentiles can be saved! (*Note: A Gentile is anyone not born a Jew).
#5. Hebrew Roots movement uses non-biblical writings and places this above scripture.
#6. Hebrew Roots movement has made themselves a FALSE "god" and has replaced Jesus as merely the successor of Moses!
#7. Hebrew Roots movement falsely claims that only "Rabbis and Priests" can understand scripture.
#8. Hebrew Roots movement falsely claims that the Jews are not the Jews! They claim OTHER people groups are supposedly Jews.
As I started writing this article, I realized even just touching briefly on all the errors, heresy, and even blasphemy of the Hebrew Roots movement could take hundreds of pages! I will try to be as brief as possible, but it's very important that we understand the Hebrew Roots movement IS a cult, gives a FALSE GOSPEL, perverts and throws out a huge portion of God's word, and even goes so far as to attempt to annul Jesus' perfect finished work on the cross/resurrection.
Before we get into the details of the Hebrew Roots movement, I'd like to ask you if you've ever played the game called "Whack-a-mole"? When one mole gets squashed, another one immediately pops up!
Much like the silly "Whack-a-mole" game today, we are seeing cults, false doctrine, heresy, and blasphemy popping up one right after the other. They are ALL of the devil, and it's nothing new... the devil has been trying his evil best to corrupt God's word from day one. Just like the moles popping up left and right in the game, the devil keeps popping up into society and even in churches with so many errors and falsehoods!
The difference is that the Bible is NOT a game! God's word is something we should take literally, reverently, and with much respect! God is HOLY; His word is HOLY... we are mere humans and we have NO RIGHT to go messing with His word!
There IS a cure for the "whack-a-mole" cults and false doctrines. KNOW THE BIBLE. How can you do that? Do what the Lord told us to do... STUDY like a workman!
2 Tim. 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (KJV).
Some other Bible versions water this verse down... But God's word makes it clear that God expects us to STUDY (not just read), and it requires hard work (like a workman). It also requires "rightly dividing" God's word as well so we can see to whom each part of scripture is speaking and what dispensation (time period) it is referencing. Honestly, this is no EASY task... but He does require it of each of us.
We can go to church every time the doors are open, but if we are not in God's word, studying it out ourselves daily (like a Berean - Acts 17:10-11), then we could be carried away by EVERY WIND OF FALSE DOCTRINE (Eph. 4:14).
Sadly, this is why many believers often don't recognize a cult when one pops onto the scene. If we spent more time in God's word, we'd easily recognize how these cults attempt to twist scripture.
We have seen many of these false teachings trying to be brought in by those who come in to Christian groups NOT to fellowship, NOT to learn, but intentionally to spread the devil's lies and dangerous cult nonsense! The Hebrew Roots movement is just one of many cults which we want to warn you about. But it is indeed a very dangerous cult with a false gospel.
Let's now look at why the Hebrew Roots movement is so wrong and so dangerous:
ERROR #1: Hebrew Roots cult denies the name of Jesus and blasphemes the deity of Christ.
They claim Jesus is not Christ's name. The Hebrew Roots movement calls Jesus by the Hebrew name "Yehoshua" and some say "Yeshua." As for the name "Yehoshua," the horrible part is that it means "Moses' successor." They believe Christ simply takes Moses' place, and do not believe He went to the cross, died for our sins, and rose the third day (the gospel in 1 Cor.15:1-4). It's blasphemy.
As for the name "Yeshua," this IS certainly an acceptable Hebrew name for Christ. Yet several Hebrew names also could be translated the same. The name "Yeshua" is a translation of the name given which means "Jehovah saves." Joshua also has the same meaning, as do a number of Hebrew names.
If you are a Hebrew-speaking person, it's perfectly fine to call Christ "Yeshua." That IS Jesus' name in Hebrew (or at least the closest translation of the Greek name given during that time).
My intent is NOT to deride anyone who uses the name "Yeshua" for Christ. My intent IS to show that when the Hebrew Roots movement uses either the name of "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua," they aren't referring to Christ, but instead they have made up a FALSE CHRIST who never went to the cross (in their twisted false gospel).
This is trending towards (or the inception of) the false religion that will be prevalent during the tribulation (the church won't be here for that), as we see in the following scripture (among others):
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt.24:24).
That scripture is speaking to Israel during the tribulation. But even prior to the tribulation, the birth pains ("beginning of sorrows") are noted in Matthew 24:4-8. While the remainder of that chapter is speaking to, for, and about Israel during the tribulation, verses 4-8 are speaking both to the church AND to Israel, as we are both present on this earth prior to the rapture.
These birth pain indications noted in verses 4-8 are in full swing right now, escalating daily. This is but one of them:
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matt.24:4-5).
This is exactly what the Hebrew Roots cult is attempting to do. Replace our true Risen Savior with their false version of a mere 'Moses do-over,' so to speak. Sadly, they are gaining new converts to their false religion daily. But this is to be expected in these perilous last days.
Jesus is the English translation of the Greek word for Christ. Our true risen Savior! We English-speaking people call Him Jesus. Other languages (of course) translate His name into their own language. This is perfectly acceptable. However, the Hebrew Roots cult demands people call their version of a false Messiah "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua" (in their minds, meaning "Moses' successor, not Christ).
They have no authority to call Christ by another name since there are other names which mean the same thing. They also have no authority to claim only one name for Christ which was NOT given in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in GREEK. The Greek transliteration of the word for Jesus is "Iesou" (if they really wanted to get technical about the name). The English translation of that name is "Jesus." BUT the Hebrew Roots movement has falsely renamed Christ! They claim his name to be "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua," and this is how they arrived at it:
Word Origin from: YHVH and Yasha ("God delivers," one translation added to the other word meaning to form one word). They've taken both names and combined them, so it not only means "Jehovah saves," but INSTEAD (to them) it means "Moses' successor." Did you see that? (To them) Christ is ONLY "Moses' successor." VERY dangerous ground here!
They do NOT believe that Christ is the only begotten Son of God. What does scripture have to say about that?
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22).
"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 John 4:3).
"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 antichrist" (2 John 1:7).
Clearly, the Hebrew Roots movement has the spirit of antichrist behind it. The devil himself spurring on a false gospel in these perilous last days. And sadly, many are falling prey to this end-time cult.
According to their erroneous theory, only those of the Hebrew roots movement who call upon the name of "Yehoshua" (or their version of "Yeshua") will be saved. They believe him to be only Moses' successor, and so they negate the cross entirely! Along with their other erroneous beliefs such as keeping commandments, etc. We will discuss that shortly.
So, when you ask them (someone in the Hebrew Roots cult) if ANYONE was saved prior to the Hebrew Roots movement inception, they will either not answer, or say that everyone during the last 2,000 years who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior is doomed! This is just the first of their numerous, heretical, and even blasphemous errors.
PLEASE keep this in mind when someone tries to tell you that you must call Jesus by the name of "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua." Jesus IS the English translation of the Greek word "Iesou." Our risen Christ. And again, "Yeshua" IS indeed a proper translation for Christ in the Hebrew language. But the Hebrew Roots cult does NOT mean Christ when they say either "Yehoshua" or "Yeshua."
What does the Bible say?
Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Acts 15:11 "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."
Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
The bottom line on the renaming and blaspheming of the name of Christ that the Hebrew Roots cult demands is this: While, if a person speaks Hebrew, this is perfectly acceptable to call Christ "Yeshua" if they so desire; however, it is NOT acceptable to demand that other folks must do the same (nor to demand the use of the word "Yehoshua"). We are English-speaking people. The name for Christ in English is "Jesus."
There is plenty of scripture to show that, for the English-speaking person, believing on the name of Jesus alone for salvation is the faith that saves us, and has saved countless English-speaking people throughout the age of grace/church age. Calling on and believing on the name of JESUS saves!
The Hebrew Roots cult would say that anyone who called on the name of Jesus was NOT saved! See how very dangerous this cult is? It's the exact OPPOSITE of the truth!
The Hebrew roots movement mistakenly claims that the New Testament was written in Hebrew. We know this to be false. History proves that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, but that the New Testament was written in Greek. However, the Hebrew Roots movement has an agenda here. They falsely claim that the New Testament was written in Hebrew because they then attempt to sneak in false writings of latter years (after Christ) which are occultic and even mystical. (The Bible warns of these things very severely.) Yet, we know from factual evidence that Greek was the New Testament language and also was the international language spoken and written at the time of Christ.
We can also see why they want to make this false assertion... to cast doubt on the name of Jesus! Once you see their motives, you realize how demonically inspired their cult is. If their erroneous belief were true, then no one has been saved for the last 2,000 years (supposedly) until the Hebrew Roots movement came out.
That is one of the most outrageous and false claims of the Hebrew Roots movement. There are MANY more errors with that cult.
ERROR #2: Throwing out massive amounts of scripture.
Next, they focus on only a few verses (taken out of context) in the New Testament, and then they THROW OUT 99% of the rest of the New Testament. They even falsely claim that Paul's epistles are not true (omitting HUGE portions of vital scripture).
The reason they attempt this horrific tossing out of scripture is so that they can deny MANY parts of scripture that do not fit with their false theory and their false gospel!
Paul wrote 13 epistles of the New Testament (Romans thru Philemon). That is a HUGE amount of scripture the Hebrew Roots movement attempts to throw out or twist! All so they can push their false teachings.
This is much like (but even worse than) the cults of Mormonism and Jehovah's witnesses. Both of those cultish groups ADD to scripture (as does the Hebrew Roots movement). All 3 of those cults have fabricated their "own Bible" (a fake one). But even worse, the Hebrew Roots movement TAKES AWAY from actual scripture. They have not heeded God's words of warning. God gives mankind a VERY SEVERE WARNING not to tamper with His word (Rev. 22:18-19).
ERROR #3: Trying to drag the church back under the law.
The Hebrew Roots movement disregards the truth of Christ's FINISHED WORK on the cross/resurrection. But just as dangerous and false a teaching of the Hebrew Roots movement is that they believe (erroneously) that they have to follow the Old Testament commandments. Let's take a look at what God's word has to say about this:
Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
So, what does the Hebrew Roots cult do with that clear and concise scripture? They simply throw it out! They reject and refuse to hear God's word.
In the Old Testament, God gave commandments which Israel was to obey. He knew it was impossible for mankind to completely follow the commandments because ALL have sinned (Rom. 3:23). We see in God's word that Jesus is the END of the LAW (commandments) (Rom.10:4). If we try to justify ourselves by works and law, we make Christ's finished work on the cross/resurrection to no avail! And to be sure, we cannot 'save ourselves.' Only Christ saves. Not our own works.
This issue alone would take quite a lot of discussion to fully cover; but in brief, the Hebrew Roots movement believes the following:
They attempt to place us back under the dietary restrictions of the OT law.
They attempt to place us under the MOSAIC law (law of Moses).
They attempt to place us under the mandate to observe feasts and traditions.
They attempt to place us under the customs and traditions of MANKIND as well.
They attempt to place us under all the LAW, when Christ is the END of the law!
There are many more errors with the Hebrew Roots cult movement as well. What does God's word say about dragging the church back under the law?
Acts chapter 10 gives the account of Peter. Having been raised and steeped in the Mosaic law, he had always eaten only those things the Jewish people considered to be "clean" (as was the Old Testament law). God gave Peter a dream, and showed him 3 times that HE had cleansed what was formerly thought of as "unclean." Since the cross, no longer are we required to eat of the dietary restrictions of the Old Testament law. God answered Peter and said "...What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common (impure)" (in Acts 10:15).
Paul also had much to say about this as well. He was irate with Peter for his mistake of trying to force Gentiles to keep the Jewish laws. Here is how Paul "called Peter out" about his grievous error:
Galatians 2:14 "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"
Paul was righteously upset that Peter was trying to Judaize the Gentiles rather than teach the truth of the gospel.
Here is more of Paul's answer to Peter in how we are now justified by FAITH and NOT WORKS.
Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
In the Old Testament, Israel was required to sacrifice innocent/blemish-free animals to cover their sins because they could not keep the commandments (no one can; we ALL have sinned, Rom 3:23). Christ came and HIS perfect finished work on the cross/resurrection did MUCH MORE than merely COVER our sins... it totally WASHED AWAY OUR SINS. The Hebrew Roots movement is a total mockery of what Christ did on the cross!
The book of Hebrews is a thorough study in the differences between law and grace. It's another discussion which would take pages and pages of information to fully discuss. So, in brief, we need to understand that Jesus paid the "ONCE FOR ALL" sacrifice of His perfect, sinless self, shedding His own innocent blood.
Heb. 10:10 "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
No longer are we required to sacrifice animals for covering of sin... because Jesus was the PERFECT sacrifice. Not just a million times superior to animal blood, but not even comparable. Jesus alone is the only propitiation acceptable to God.
Heb. 10:4 "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."
We see there that animal sacrifice only covered the sins of the people, and it did not TAKE AWAY the sins (as did Christ's finished work on the cross).
Hebrew Roots also attempts to say we must keep the feasts. They go so far as to demand that we keep the Passover. What does God's word have to say about that?
Christ IS our Passover! 1 Corinthians 5:7 "... For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
No longer does ANYONE need the blood of animals to merely COVER sins, as was done in the Old Testament. Jesus IS our passover sacrifice. A ONCE and FOR ALL perfect passover sacrifice. No further sacrifice needed. Again, His precious blood shed for our sins didn't just cover them; it washes our sins completely away!
The Hebrew Roots Movement implies that Jesus' perfect work on the cross/resurrection was un-needed. THAT IS blasphemous!
The Hebrew roots cult tries to drag people back under the law - not just in dietary restrictions, but in keeping of the feasts, keeping the commandments, and so many other ERRORS.
The important thing to note: We are NOT under LAW but under GRACE. We no longer are required to keep any of the dietary laws either.
One of the reasons the Hebrew Roots movement wants to THROW OUT all of Pauls' epistles is because they prove beyond a doubt that Christ is the END of the law! (Rom. 10:4).
We need to recognize that since the cross we are NOT required to keep ANY of the feasts, customs, or the Mosaic or Levitical law. Jesus paid it ALL for us! That is not to say it's in any way wrong to observe the feasts, should we so desire to (see: Colossians 2:16-17 and Hebrews 10:1). But by no means must we!
There is MUCH more scripture dealing with this, but if we stayed on just this one issue, we would never get to the rest of the Hebrew Roots errors.