Hebraic Roots Movement - Part III
The most subtle, yet frightening issue of the Hebraic Roots Movement (HRM) is its attraction to Jewish mysticism. The lure they are using to attract Christians and newly converted Jews is sentimentally toward Israel and everything Jewish. Because Jewish and liberal Christian communities agree that the Bible canon can be perpetually interpreted they will accept a variety of interpretations as inspired.
The process of deception always leads one to look at self instead of God. The extra-biblical writings associated with HRM such as the Midrash and Talmud focus on the reader and his personal struggle to reach an acceptable moral application of the text. The reader becomes drawn to use his inner struggles and personal experience to interpret Scripture and, thereby, becomes susceptible to others defining Scripture by experience. Personal reflection replaces biblical text while mystical insight is given to unsuspecting believers.
The HRM has different levels and depths of belief. Similar to the Word of Faith teachers, HRM teachers embrace different aspects of their movement for their own benefit. For example, there’s a well-known ministry that has committed itself to being a friend of Israel. The efforts of Christians United For Israel are limited to political support and good deeds toward Jews. Evangelization of Jews is prohibited. In another popular ministry, the emphasis is on esoteric explanations of the Bible with Talmudic comprehension. Only the teacher has this deep insight.
The HRM tries to define God through seeking a deeper meaning of creation. This prominent concept is derived from the Cabala (Kabbala) and its teachings of Jewish mysticism, which have gained acceptability and has aroused the curiosity of Hollywood stars. Cabala’s roots can be found in Hellenistic (Greek) astral mysticism. Adherents, through meditation and the use of magic formulas, journey through and beyond the seven astral spheres; “the astral world takes on the form projected by man’s consciousness.”
According to the Zohar, the preeminent book of Cabala from which Rabbis are said to have developed from the Talmud, as documented in Webster’s Secret Societies and also in the Jewish Encyclopedia, the “Mysteries of Wisdom” were imparted to Adam while he was still in the garden of Eden, in the form of a book delivered by the angel, Razael. From Adam, the book passed on to Seth, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham, with Moses receiving it for the first time on Mount Sinai. Then it was passed to the seventy elders, to David, Solomon, Ezra, Nehemiah, and then to the rabbis of the early Christian era, etc. It was viewed as only oral tradition until it was written down by the disciples of Simon ben Jochai.
The story of Simon ben Jochai is found in the Talmud. He and his son concealed themselves in a cave for twelve years and were sitting in sand up to their necks as they meditated on the sacred laws. Tradition says they were frequently visited by Elijah. The secrets were then written by Simon ben Jochai’s son, Eliezer, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba.
New Age Teaching
According to the Zohar, God is the unknowable and immutable En Sof (Infinite). The Ten Sefirot (realms or planes) are the symbols of the inner life and processes of the Godhead in Zoharic theosophy; these are the foundations to the New Age movement as well—many paths to God. They are also believed to be the archetypes for everything in the world of creation, “understanding their workings can illuminate the inner workings of the cosmos and history.” Are you beginning to see the philosophical connections to the Word of Faith and New Age teachings and Jewish and Roman Catholic mysticism? It is also a big part of Islamic mysticism—Sufism.
Is there some hidden mystical or esoteric knowledge that is yet to be discovered that may be the catalyst to uniting all faiths? Is there something outside of historic Christianity and Judaism that could bring them into common ground with Islam?
Yes! To those who are deceived. And this is where the danger of the HRM and liberal Christianity is heading. Matthew 24:24 says, “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.”
For example, according to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi will find lost portions of the Old Testament and New Testament. Some believe he may even find the ark of the covenant, and through these finds, he will argue with Christians and Jews, and win some over to Islam.
According to one Islamic scholar, Ka’b al-Ahbar, “He will be called Mahdi because he will guide to something hidden and will bring out Torah and gospel from a town called Antioch.” Another Muslim scholar says, “He will bring out volumes of the Torah to refute the Jews. At the hand of the Mahdi, the ark of the covenant will be brought forth from the lake of Tiberius and taken and placed in Jerusalem.” Other Muslim scholars mention the new inspired findings will come out of Syria. Is it possible that HRM adherents and liberal Christians may be susceptible to a future “new” discovery?
Test The Spirits
Although Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun,” mysticism has a unique uniting factor that can quietly deceive through similar experiences attained by devotees of all faiths.
The simple test for a false prophet is to apply I 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.”
The incarnation of our Lord was for the purpose of Him coming to the world to be Savior. He accomplished this through His death on the cross, alone! It is exclusively His redemption, and we can only participate by believing. Islam does not believe. Judaism does not believe. The Roman Catholic church does not believe because it adds their tradition, which makes the Word of God of none effect. Liberal Christianity no longer exclusively believes in the finished work of the cross. What do you believe? How you answer this question will determine your eternal destination.