The Building of the Tabernacle

Building the Tabernacle in the wilderness was a major undertaking and required items that were willfully donated for the project.  Exodus 35:30-35 tells us there were two men chosen who were filled with the Spirit of God and gifted with skills to carry out their assignment of making the Tabernacle, its furnishings, incense, anointing oil, and priestly clothing.  The first was Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  The second man was Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.  These two designed the tabernacle according to the pattern given to them and led other artisans to complete the project.  The tabernacle was finally set up at the close of the book of Exodus on the first day of the first month.  All of the furnishings were put in their proper place and everything was anointed in order to consecrate them.  In addition, Aaron and his sons were consecrated for 7 days so they could begin their priestly service.  Everyone rejoiced when the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

Many years later, Solomon had a temple built for the Lord.  He used the plans that were given to him by his father, David.  Three groups of people worked on this project:  Solomon’s men, Hiram’s men (King of Tyre), and the Gebalites.  It is interesting to note that Huram was Hiram’s master craftsman.  Huram was the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan and his father was a man of Tyre (2 Chron 2:13-14).  This temple was also filled with the cloud of the Lord’s glorious presence (2 Chron. 5:13).

After the Babylonian captivity, people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin returned and began the task of rebuilding the temple.  The Samaritans wanted to help them build the temple claiming they worshiped the same God since the time of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria.  The Jews refused saying King Cyrus only commanded them to build the temple (Ezra 4).   The temple was eventually completed after a period of opposition and was dedicated to the Lord with joy.  This temple was eventually defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes IV and was later cleansed and rededicated.  Since that time, the Feast of Dedication also known as Hanukkah has been celebrated annually to remember this event (John 10:22).  This same temple was renovated and expanded by King Herod, an Idumean (Edomite).

Since Jesus death and resurrection, believers in Christ have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Believers work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to build this temple by putting to death the deeds of the old man so the new man can obey the guidelines for this temple (God’s commandments) by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Because the bodies of individual believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit, they must be careful not to defile their bodies through sexual immorality.  The Spirit also gives each individual believer spiritual gifts to build up the corporate body of Christ (1 Cor. 3:9-15).  God expects believers to use these gifts to bring honor and glory to Him.

At some point in the future, the Jews will build another temple using the plans of Ezekiel.  Many items and furnishings have already been made in preparation for it.  Some people believe that descendants of the tribe of Dan will join the Jews in constructing the temple and that the Anti-Christ will be a descendant of the tribe of Dan.  Some believe this descendant will be of Greco-Roman descent from Europe or the United States while others believe he will be of Syrian-Grecian descent from the Middle East.   It is too early to say who will be the Anti-Christ or exactly who will be involved in the construction of the temple at this point.  One thing is sure.  The Anti-Christ will defile the Most Holy Place one day by setting up an abomination of desolation and declaring himself to be God but we can be sure his end has already been predetermined.  In addition, this temple will be cleansed and rededicated because the rightful heir to the throne, Jesus Christ is coming at the appointed time. 

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Holy Anointing Oil and Incense

In Exodus 30, the Lord commanded Moses to make holy anointing oil and incense for the Tabernacle.  Hopefully, we’ll learn more about the significance of these two substances that Moses was commanded to make.

The anointing oil was made by blending it together as a perfumer would do.  It consisted of 500 shekels of myrrh, 250 shekels of aromatic cinnamon, 250 shekels of aromatic cane, 500 shekels of cassia, and a hin of olive oil.  We are somewhat familiar with the names of most of these substances; however, there is some discrepancy over the correct identification of aromatic cane.  Some think it is cannabis (same in Greek and English) but the Greek Septuagint uses the Greek word “kalamos” or calamus.  Wikipedia suggests this is due to an ancient misunderstanding and that it really is cannabis[1] but Jewish Encyclopedia indicates it is calamus.[2]  I guess we’ll have to make our own judgment here.

According to Exodus 30:25-33, “It shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony; 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense; 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 29 You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy.  30 And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests. 31 “And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people.'”  NKJV

Because of the prohibition in verse 33, some Christians believe the holy anointing oil should not be used at all.  Other believers in Christ are of the opinion that it is acceptable to use this particular recipe for consecration, healing, and however else the Lord may lead since God’s people are part of a royal priesthood.   Both groups agree that it is definitely not to be used by non-believers or in a casual manner. 

The prohibition in verse 33 shows us that this anointing oil is very holy.  Initially, it was used to consecrate objects in the Tabernacle as well as the priests.  Later, it was also used to anoint prophets and kings.  This makes sense considering Jesus the Anointed One is our Prophet, Priest, and King.  

Since Messiah means “Anointed One,” the holy anointing oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit who descended upon Jesus after His baptism and gave Him power and authority.  Since the Holy Spirit has been poured out on God’s people, I think it further confirms the idea that the anointing oil is only suitable for appropriate use by His people.

We know the virgin olive oil for the menorah represents the Holy Spirit as it compares to the fuel necessary to shine the light of Christ.  The additional spices in the anointing oil make it more special than plain virgin olive oil.  Just as essential oils derived from various plants contain powerful healing properties, these spices combined with the olive oil most likely parallel the healing power of the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus was baptized and came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Luke 9:35)  In a similar manner, when a person is anointed with the holy anointing oil, it represents the seal of the Holy Spirit which shows our relationship to Him.  (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

I think we should also associate the anointing oil with joy, gladness, and righteousness because Psalm 45:7 says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”  NKJV

The Lord also commanded Moses to make a most holy incense to be burned on the golden altar.  Exodus 30:7-10 explains, “Aaron shall burn on it [golden altar] sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. 8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You shall not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. 10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

Exodus 30:34-36 describes the holy incense:  “And the Lord said to Moses: “Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. 35 You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy.”  NKJV 

There was a later tradition that added 7 – 9 other ingredients to the four mentioned above.  These were myrrh, cassia, flower of nard, saffron, kostus, cinnamon, cinnamon bark, Jordan amber, and a secret unknown ingredient which was necessary to make the incense rise straight up when it was offered twice daily. [3]  This obviously prevented the unauthorized production of the holy incense.

The Scriptures tell us the incense is not to be made in order to smell it.  It is not for personal use, it is holy for the Lord.  I believe the odor of the holy incense is the actual fragrance of the Lord because its smoke rose straight up into the air just like the pillar of cloud which was a visible sign of His presence as He led the multitude in the wilderness.

Lately, I’ve been praying about the holy anointing oil and the holy incense because I wanted the Lord to reveal their significance to me.  Normally, we compare the prayers of the saints to the incense but I suspect it also represents Jesus who lives to intercede for His people (Heb. 7:25). 

I recently asked the Lord to come to me and to allow me to smell the incense of His presence.  I found this to be an interesting and awesome experience.  It’s kind of a sweet smell similar to baby powder and to the anointing oil sold in American Christian bookstores.  It’s a unique fragrance.  Perhaps the Lord will allow you to smell it too if you ask Him.  It may take a minute or two but wait for it.  Be sure to inhale deeply through your nose for several minutes so you don’t miss out.  Let me know what happens and what you think.

As I reflected on this odor, the Lord pointed out to me that believers have a fragrance too.  Second Corinthians 2:15-17 explains, “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?”  NKJV

What is it that causes this fragrance?  It’s Christ.  Perhaps it’s His righteousness that has been imputed to us.  It could be that as we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice by living righteously, holy and acceptable to the Lord, we are bringing an offering of incense to the Lord.  This is how we fellowship and worship with Him today.

Amazingly, some of the spices of the incense and anointing oil are in the garden that the Beloved used to describe the Shulamite (the Bride) in Song of Solomon 4:12-15:  “A garden enclosed Is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, A fountain sealed.  13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits, Fragrant henna with spikenard, 14 Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, With all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, With all the chief spices — 15 A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon.”  NKJV

There’s only one person who could cultivate such a beautiful garden–Jesus, the Water of Life and the Light of the World.

Clothing of God’s People

In Exodus 28, the Lord commanded Moses to make clothing for the High Priest and the Levitical priests.  The garments were made for glory and beauty and they compared to garments of royalty. 

The children of Israel who were not of the priestly tribe did not wear these vestments.  They were commanded to make and wear tassels [tzitziyot (plural), tzitzit (singular)] on the corners of their clothing (Numbers 15:37-39).  A single blue thread was to be put in each tassel.  This was a reminder to keep all of God’s commandments instead of following the desires of their eyes and heart.  God gave them this reminder because He desires his people to be a kingdom of priests and holy nation unto God.

Ordinary priests wore 4 vestments: an undergarment for modesty, a tunic made of a box-like knit, a sash, and a turban.  These items represent the clothing of the bride of Christ who is arrayed in fine linen which is the righteous acts of the saints.  These clothes were for dignity and honor.

The High Priest had 8 vestments: an undergarment for modesty, an inner tunic made of a box-like knit, a sleeveless outer robe that was open on the sides, an ephod with a sash-like belt woven into it, a breastplate of judgment, a turban, and a head plate engraved with “Holy (Set Apart) to the Lord.”  This clothing represents the holiness and royalty of Jesus, our High Priest. 

The High Priest’s inner tunic was white and his outer robe was entirely blue.  This can symbolize Jesus who was righteous and anointed by the Holy Spirit. 

The bottom of the blue robe had bells alternating with pomegranates made of blue, purple, and scarlet colors.  The bells obviously announced the presence of the High Priest.  In a way, they represent God’s people who are to warn people of His coming and to share the gospel.  As I pondered the possibly meaning of the pomegranates, the Lord reminded me that as long as believers abide in Him, they bear much fruit.  Believers must cling to Him and sit at His feet in order to learn the mysteries He desires to reveal to them.  It is then that believers can go forth each day, obey His word, and bring forth fruit that is pleasing to Him. 

The High Priest’s breastplate and ephod (ritual vest) was made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen.  Each shoulder of the ephod had a stone mounted in gold that was engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel – six on one shoulder (for the House of Ephraim) and the remaining six (for the House of Judah) on the other one.  These stones would be seen by the Lord and cause Him to remember His people.  

As the Lord looked down on the High Priest, He could see the stones representing the two houses that comprise all of Israel on the shoulders of the High Priest.  After Solomon, the kingdom was divided but the house of Ephraim and the house of Judah will be fully reunited in Israel in the future because they are close to His heart.

The breastplate had four rows of three stones mounted in gold settings, each one engraved with a different name of a tribe of Israel.  The correct identity of some of these stones is questionable and their names have been translated in different ways among various English versions of the Bible. 

The breastplate was designed as a double layer to create a pocket for the Urim and Thumim which were used for consulting the Lord.  With the Urim and Thumim in their place, the breastplate was positioned over the chest of the High Priest.  Rings attached to the breastplate were bound to the rings on the ephod with a blue cord to keep it in place. 

Many believe the Urim and Thumim were cast as lots to determine God’s will but it has also been said that when the High Priest consulted the Lord about a matter, they would cause the engraved consonant letters on the stones of the breastplate to light up and the High Priest determined God’s answer by correctly arranging the letters which lit up.

The Urim and Thumim were lost long ago but believers have the Holy Spirit in their hearts to give counsel when needed.

As I reflected on the clothing of God’s people, I have asked the Lord why there were three categories of His people:  a High Priest, Levitical priests, and the rest of God’s people.  Obviously, the High Priest represents Jesus but there are two other classes of people.  I suppose this represents the degree of closeness God has with the saints or the degree to which His people are set apart to serve Him.  For example:

  • Jesus’ closest disciples (Peter, James, and John) versus the rest of the disciples. 
  • Torah observant believers (both Jew and Gentile) versus believers who only observe the New Testament. 
  • Those who are anointed for special tasks and/or leadership positions versus ordinary believers.

Since the Lord will be returning soon, there’s another thing we must consider.  The blue color of the High Priest’s clothing is not present in the clothing of the harlot, Babylon the Great.  In Revelation 17, the wealthy harlot, Babylon the Great is clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls.  Since this color is absent in the clothing of  the harlot, Babylon the Great, I believe that it indicates the harlot has no regard for the commands of God and that she follows the desires of her eyes and heart.  In addition, as a result of her unwillingness to obey the commands of God, she is defiled and not holy.  We are not to seek after her kind of wealth nor her law-less lifestyle.  We are to be pure and blameless for Jesus.

No one is 100% sure of who or what Babylon the Great is or will be, although several ideas have been presented by prophecy scholars and various Christian denominations.  All agree that Babylon the Great has political, economic, and religious characteristics.  The primary beliefs are that Babylon the Great and/or the Beast represents the former Roman Empire; it is politically and economically the New World Order, and religiously and sometimes politically the Roman Catholic Church.  The main reason for considering the Roman Catholic Church is due to the colors worn by church officials and because of the pagan forms that parallel the ancient mystery Babylon religions.  Who knows?  It may be something totally different such as the power wielded by international bankers and/or secret societies who desire a one-world religion and complete control over world politics and the economy. 

At this point in time, we need to consider Babylon the Great to be where ever we are spiritually.  We must ask ourselves whether or not we are serving the Lord in righteousness.  We must also ask ourselves if we have been worshiping the Lord using pagan forms because God has forbidden this (Deut. 12:4, 31). 

Face it, we need the constant reminder of tzitiyot to avoid Torah-lessness and to keep us focused on the Lord. 

We must come out of our spiritual Babylon and reject lawlessness so that the Lord doesn’t ever say to us, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”

Was Jesus Black or White?

Today, we have an unusual post compared to what I normally write.  I was recently asked to visit a web site directed at black Christians in order to get my response because its contents were causing problems in a racially mixed church.  Basically, this page is using racism as a platform to convince black Christians to believe the Messiah was physically black instead of white and to accuse white Christians of teaching doctrinal errors to black Christians.  I believe this site contains a mixture of truth and error.  Today, I will try to address several things including racial prejudice, the correct name of God and His Son, and Jesus’ skin color so there will be another viewpoint for truth seekers to access.

First, it is improper to use the history of African American slavery in America as a divisive weapon in the church to draw people to a distorted version of their Hebraic roots.  The Messiah would never have encouraged this practice because He always desired unity among His people and for His people to love one another.  This is our first clue something is wrong on this site.

The rightful identity of man is not found in one’s ethnicity, the country of his ancestors, the country where he was born or lives, nor his DNA.  Man’s identity should be dependent on his relationship with Christ.  Every black man is not at the bottom of all societies nor is he the most hated of all men. 

It is true there are some people who are prejudiced against people with certain skin colors but there are many who are not.  To assume everyone hates you or responds to you in a certain way because of your skin color is accepting a lie from Satan himself.  Individuals who are being treated poorly should realize it’s more likely due to some other underlying reason.  Prejudice against an entire group of people doesn’t result only from skin color but also from observing repeated negative behavior from that people group.  Those experiencing prejudice have a choice –lament it, aggressively fight it, reinforce it, or calmly disprove it.  I think it’s best to treat others as you want to be treated and to forgive offenses as necessary. 

If anyone is hated more than anyone in the world just because they exist, it is the Jews who are of various skin tones.  This statement is not racist, it’s a very unfortunate fact that truly breaks my heart.  The hatred of Israel’s enemies for the Jews and a desire for their land will eventually bring about Christ’s return.

The web site in question tries to convince African Americans that white Americans deceived them concerning their true identity, the name of God and His Son, and various other doctrines of the Christian church.  It is foolish and divisive to make a claim that white Christians are purposely deceiving black Christians because every ethnicity of Christian believers throughout the world has been misled by various teachings to some extent. 

Many Christian believers of various ethnicities worldwide have embraced doctrines that came from Constantine, other church leaders, denominational conventions, missionaries, Biblical scholars, and laymen.  There is no doubt that the original Messianic congregation was syncretized with paganism since the time of Constantine.  We should be grateful white Europeans involved in the Reformation attempted to break free from much error.  Unfortunately, they failed to fully reject everything that was false.  If you investigate their writings, you may be surprised to find that anti-Semitism played a role in this.  Do I blame them for an incomplete Reformation?  Certainly not!  What they did accomplish cost them their lives.  Am I disappointed to know how they felt about the Jews?  Definitely!

Although I was disillusioned to find out I had been taught many errors in my early Christian life, I must carefully make sure I don’t embrace something as bad if not worse now and in the future.  Everyone, no matter what their ethnicity is must take the time to read the Word of God, research the culture of the Hebrews, and understand the Scripture’s continuity in order to properly interpret it.  At the same time, everyone who does so must be prepared for intense opposition as they seek to reverse doctrinal error and share truth.  We must accept the fact that sometimes we have to agree to disagree and leave it at that while praying the Holy Spirit reveals truth.

Having said all of this, let’s look at the names of Jesus and Jehovah.

Anyone who looks at a Greek Interlinear Bible will see Jesus Christ is English for Iesous Christos. The Hebrew equivalent is Yeshua HaMashiyach or Yeshua the Messiah.  Every country/language spells and pronounces Jesus Christ or Yeshua HaMashiyach differently but the name is always based on the original Greek or Hebrew & Aramaic text.  People normally use the name of the Father or Son as it is written in their heart language and this is certainly acceptable.

The Hebrew name Joshua (Yod, Hey, Vav, Shin, Ayin) comes from YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) and yasha (Yod, Shin, Ayin) which means “to free or deliver.”  The Aramaic name Yeshua (Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin) means “he will save.”  Both Joshua and Yeshua are considered to be equivalent names.  Name differences among different languages should be expected.  Note the following equivalent names:

  • Yochanon (Hebrew) and Ivan (Ukrainian) is John (English).
  • Julia is Yulia in Eastern Europe.
  • James is Ya’akov (Hebrew).
  • Paul (Greek) is Shaul in Hebrew. The Greeks called him Paul, the Jews called him Shaul (Acts 13:9), and you probably guessed that Shaul is Saul in English.

Jehovah is really a term used for the Hebrew letters: YHWH or YHVH.  Since the Vav can be either a V or a W, YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) can be written as Yahweh or Yahveh.  This is not unusual considering Germans pronounce w as v.  Normally, YHVH is translated LORD (Name) as opposed to Lord (Title) in the Bible.  Some Bibles even substitute Adonai which means Lord for YHVH to avoid misusing it.

The correct pronunciation of the name of God was lost with the Jews many years ago.  Vowel pointings were not written for YHVH in the Torah because that might make it possible to use the sacred name vainly.  Even though the Greek equivalent term kurios can be applied to Baal, Jesus is still the kurios kurioon (Lord of lords).  The Greek word kurios is seen twice in a row in this phrase.  The difference in spelling the second time is due to it being used in the genitive case.

So what should God’s name be called? 

Exodus 3:14 says, “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” [“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh”= I am/will be what I am/will be.]  And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM [Ehyeh = Aleph, Hey, Yod, Hey] has sent me to you.'” 

As verse 15 continues, God explained that He was the LORD God of (YHVH Elohey) Abraham, Isaac, and JacobElohey means “God of” and is a construct of Elohim.  We can also call God by the many other names in the Bible that describe His character.

The writer of the web page directed at black Christians also discussed the use of Yah as God’s real name.  Yah (Yod, Hey) is simply a contracted form of Yahveh (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey).  It doesn’t matter if your version of the Bible translated it as Jah or Yah.  In European countries, J is pronounced as a Y, hence Yulia for Julia.  Someone is trying to make a big deal out of nothing by saying you must use one spelling over another.  Also, any time the word “God” is used in the New Testament, it is translated from the Greek word theos and should not be translated Yah as this writer suggests.

Yah is specifically used in Exodus 15:2, 17:16; Song of Solomon 8:6, Isaiah 12:2, 26:4, 38:11; and 14 times in the Psalms; it is not used anywhere else in the Old Testament! YHWH is!  We don’t know why Yah is sometimes used and we can’t say that it is specifically God’s real name or a casual nickname.  It could’ve been used as a substitution to avoid misusing the name of God.  If you don’t feel comfortable using the circumlocutions mentioned so far for the name of God, you can always use “Father.”

This writer also says that Christianity is not from the Bible and that it is a false religion.  We are about to get into more semantics on this issue.  What people need to know is whether or not they are “a true son of Abraham.”  Initially, Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews were initially considered to be a Jewish sect and not a new religion.  Disciples of Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch.  These disciples still obeyed the law of God because both Jesus and Paul taught the law was not abolished and kept it themselves (Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; Acts 21:21, 24).  The primary difference between Messianic Jews and other Jews was that Messianic Jews had put their faith in Jesus, the promised Jewish Messiah.  In a way, this was the crowning of their Jewish faith.  In Acts 11:26, we can see they were probably called Christians or disciples of Christ because they were giving or teaching divine messages about Christ to the people.   This was the purest form of Christianity.  Many years after this, Christianity became syncretized with paganism so in this sense, it is no longer pure.  Our goal should be to return to how it was in the book of Acts.     

As Gentiles put their trust in Christ, they were grafted into the olive tree of Israel by grace through faith in Christ (Rom. 11).  In this way, they became “sons of Abraham.”  This should be no surprise because Jesus said another flock would become one flock with Israel (John 10:16).  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile believers.  All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:12).  The writer in question thinks that because the people of the Old Testament did not know or see Jesus personally, they didn’t experience salvation.  That’s not exactly true because the types and shadows of the Old Testament pointed directly to Jesus.  Many saints of that era looked anxiously for Him and put their faith in He who was to come just as we put our faith in Christ today without ever having seen Him.  They also showed their love for God by obeying His commandments.  These Old Testament saints were true sons of Abraham and were similar to Zacchaeus to whom Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)    Paul made it clear in Galatians 3:7 that only those who are of faith are true sons of Abraham whether they are Jew or Gentile.  What we need to understand is that not all people who call themselves Christians today are true sons of Abraham. 

Another false doctrine in the church today is called Replacement Theology.  This belief teaches that the Gentile church replaced Israel as God’s chosen people.  The Old Testament has always taught that Israel was God’s chosen people.  That has not changed.  Paul explained that the Jews have been grafted out of the olive tree of Israel due to unbelief but that they will be grafted back in once the fullness of the Gentiles has been reached.  The name of the tree never changed.  The tree is still Israel.  True sons of Abraham, whether they are Jew or Gentile have been chosen and called into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

As mentioned earlier, this writer is teaching that the ancient Israelites were a black people and that there is no proof that the lighter-skinned European Ashkeknazi Jews are related to the Biblical children of Israel.  This is not true because DNA shows their genetic ancestry.  In fact, Jews can be of a variety of skin tones.

Consider this.  If Abraham was originally a Semite and originally from Iraq, it seems the appearance of the Jews would have been similar to those in the Middle East.  Since Jacob married Syrian women, Leah and Rachel were Middle Eastern.  By the time the mixed multitude came out of Egypt, many of the people were probably still Hebrew while a few may have mixed with the Egyptians.  Looking at Jesus’ genealogy, we can see that Middle Eastern foreigners such as Rahab (from Jericho) and Ruth (Moabitess) were part of His bloodline.  Normally, when foreigners were introduced into the bloodline, they were mentioned.  You’d have to do a full examination of Jesus’ bloodline to determine how mixed He was but in the end, it doesn’t matter how light or dark skinned He was.  He still gave His life so we could have eternal life.

I don’t know why the subject of Jesus’ skin color matters so much to some people but let’s continue our discussion.  For the sake of our readers in Europe, let me say that most African Americans are probably of mixed DNA (African, European, and/or American Indian) — each of which can affect skin color.  Throughout the continent of Africa, the skin tone of each people group varies from tribe to tribe and country to country.  African Americans don’t know which country in Africa or which tribe their descendants were from either.  I find it interesting that American missionaries to Africa who are well traveled return to America and often can tell which African country or tribe African American descendants most likely came from just by looking at their predominating facial features (bone structure and skin color).  Of course, the same can be said of other people groups around the world as well. 

Genetically speaking, it is possible to have dark colored skin and yet have more than 50% of your DNA be of European descent and/or Native American Indian.  It may be better to overlook skin color and say Jews are not defined so much by their obvious history of mixed ethnicity but by religious culture and conversion to their religious faith.   

Those interested in this topic really need to look at the dispersion of the nations which show that dark-skinned people were originally descendants of Ham, white people (Caucasians) and those of Central Asia were originally descended from Japheth, and the Jews and others from the Middle East were descended from Shem.  To think the world is divided into people who are either black and white is narrow-minded because there are thousands of ethnic groups throughout the world that fall somewhere in between. 

A very enlightening web page concerning DNA, the dispersion of Noah’s descendants, and how skin color varies among those of mixed peoples is found at www.soundchristian.com/man.  This site has pictures of families with different colored twins that you simply must see.  This phenomenon is not unusual in mixed peoples.

The writer of the web site in question also pointed out that the history of African Americans shows they experienced the curses of the law as described in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.  This may be true but other people groups have also suffered the curses of the law too.  This is particularly true of those in Eastern Europe under Communism.  As it is, the curses of the law are currently falling on all Americans.  What is clear is that when God’s people do not show their love for God by obeying His commandments, they experience the curses of the law and non-believers suffer too.  Since Jesus died in our place, the only curse believers don’t experience is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.

Revelation 7:9 says there will be a great multitude standing before the throne and before the Lamb from every nation, tribe, and language.  With that in mind it is hard to believe this web page in question claims Christianity is filled with white supremacy and other statements that are derogatory about white Christians.  Only God knows the hearts and motives of His people.  We must be careful when we judge a person’s fruit so that we don’t make wrong assumptions about the heart. 

This writer also said that there was no one in the Bible who was a Lord and Personal Savior.  This is false because the New Testament refers to Jesus as Lord and Savior several times:

1 Tim 1:1 says, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,”

Titus 1:4 addresses Titus, “a true son in our common faith:  Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”

2 Peter 1:11 tells us, “for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 2:20 states, “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.”

2 Peter 3:17-18 says:  “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.”

This site also mentioned parallels and Hebraisms.  We must understand that even though the history of African Americans parallels that of the Jews and even though Hebraisms exist in Africa, this should be expected among all people.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”  Those Americans who study the Bible thematically have seen Biblical patterns in world history especially the history of the U.S. Presidents. 

Hebraisms have not only existed among African Americans.  Missionaries have also noted Hebraisms in other parts of the world such as India.  This is probably because the northern tribes had been dispersed among the nations.  The Jewish Virtual Library has an interesting page with information about the Hebraisms and various colored Jews of India.  See http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/indians.html  

As we close our post today, I encourage everyone no matter what race they are to question new ideas and compare them to Scripture before being led away into something false and divisive.  May God bless those who seek and embrace truth.