Another review of this book elaborates on Scholem's coverage of the feminine goddess Shekhinah, reincarnation and astral travel, specifically the medieval sages discovery of out-of-body experiences:
OF SAGES AND SCHOLARS
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God:
but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,
that we may do all the words of this law forever. Deut. 29:29
Describing Gershom Scholem's "On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah" Arthur Green, Professor of Jewish Thought at Brandeis University identifies the basic elements of Kabbalah:In the Zohar and other writings of the Kabbalah, Jewish mystics developed concepts and symbols to help them penetrate secrets of the cosmos that cannot be understood through reason or intellect… Gershom Scholem, the pioneer of the modern study of Jewish mysticism explains the basic concepts of the Kabbalah: the mystical "form of the imageless God"; good and evil; the Tsaddik or righteous soul; the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God; gilgul, the transmigration of souls; and tselem, the concept of the astral body…. 1.
[On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah] … is Gershom Scholem's introduction to the essential terms of Jewish mysticism. His chapter on Shekhinah--the kabbalist symbol of the female element of the godhead--helps explain why Kabbalah has a growing following among women. His chapter on Gilgul, or reincarnation, is fascinating for its description of how a spiritual phenomenon is formed, following the process from revelation to writing to teaching. And his final chapter on Tselem, or the astral body, will make you think twice about laughing at Shirley MacLaine. The astral body, according to Kabbalah, is the spiritual nature of each human being--the image of God described in Genesis 1. Scholem quotes pages of medieval rabbis' fantastic discoveries of their astral bodies… 2.
Of the various famous Rabbis who took part of the development of the Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash are noted, "Hillel and Shammai; Rabbi Akiba [Akiva]; Judah Ha-Nasi; Rashi; Maimonides ; Baal Shem Tov." 3.
Of these, research on Maimonides and Rabbi Akiba yielded some very significant information. Moses Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, referred to in Hebrew by the acronym "RaMBa"M, Rambam) is well known and respected in Judaism. In fact, many of the statements regarding Christ and Christians in these articles are from his writings.
He wrote the first definitive compilation of Jewish law since Talmudic times, the Mishneh Torah, but for the student of Kabbalah it is the Guide for the Perplexed, Moreh Nebuchim, which is of most important. 4.According to Gershom Scholem, Maimonides is referenced by all Kabbalists. Warning of the caution which should be exercised by those embracing mysticism, Maimonides wrote in his Mishnah Torah:
The less educated the candidate for mystical illumination, the less he knew of theology, the greater was the danger of a conflict with authority. Quite regardless of their specific content, all manuals of mysticism written from the standpoint of traditional authority illustrate this point. The Jewish authorities, for example, tried to avoid conflicts by restricting the right to engage in mystical practice and speculation to fully trained Talmudic scholars. All Kabbalistic manuals quote Maimonides' warning: 'No one is worthy to enter Paradise [realm of mysticism] who has not first taken his fill of meat and bread,'1 i.e., the common fare of sober Rabbinical learning 5.As mentioned previously, Zos Imos explained the student's transition from Talmudic "haggadah" to the very potent mystical experiences which spread like the revival "fire" throughout the Diaspora, leading to development of the full Kabbalah. Mr. Imos states that an adept named R. Akiva, regularly practiced the "ascent" of the soul".
…The study of these mysterious visions and symbols, according to the Talmudic *haggadah* or commentary on the 'tellings' or narratives of the Tanak (sacred scriptures), tells of the descent of this same 'fire' on the expositor of the prophetic scrolls when in a holy state of contemplation. In contrast, such meditation could lead to an 'ascent' (in imitation of Elijah) which could lead astray the unprepared, but could, as in the case of R. Akiva, lead to ascent and descent in 'perfect peace' (Scholem, 1991). 6.From "Sages and Scholars" we read of the development of the Mishnah in which Rabbi Akiva [R. Akiba or Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph] also played so important a role. The Mishnah is cited extensively as a source of doctrine in Peter Michas' book, The Rod of the Almond Tree in God's Master Plan. The Mishnah is also recommended as necessary for study by Avi ben Moredechai, who declares it to be part of the "oral Talmud" of Jesus. R. Akiva believed that Bar Kokhba was the Messiah, not Jesus Christ.
Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph (50-135 C.E.) A poor, semi-literate shepherd, Akiba became one of Judaism's greatest scholars. He developed the exegetical method of the Talmud "Mishnah", linking each traditional practice to a basis in the biblical text, and systematized the material that later became the Mishnah.
Rabbi Akiba was active in the Bar Kokhba rebellion against Rome, 132-135 C.E.. He believed that Bar Kokhba was the Moshiach (messiah), though some other rabbis openly ridiculed him for that belief. 7.Scholars present manuscript evidence of the prominence of Jewish sorcery in various Kabbalistic writings. Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph (2nd century) was not only a leading figure in the development of the Talmud "Mishnah" but also a leader of early Jewish mysticism and development of the Kabbalah.
…In addition, a number of longer magical handbooks have been passed down in their own MS tradition. These include Sepher HaRazim (the Book of Mysteries), Harba deMosheh (the Sword of Moses), and Havdala deR. Akiva (The Havdalah of R. Akiva). Only one of these (Sepher HaRazim) is available in a convenient English translation (by Michael A. Morgan), … some scholars feel that the original editor of the Hebrew text, Mordechai Margaliot, exercised an unduly heavy editorial hand… 8.Although rather in-depth, an Online lecture by J. Davila, called "Ancient Magic" reveals much information regarding Jewish Magic.
It is worth noting in passing the extraordinarily conservative streak in some of the Jewish magical literature…One of the Hebrew texts from the Cairo Geniza …has a passage that is almost a direct translation of a Greek incantation for ascent of the uterus also found in the Greek Magical Papyri… The Havdalah deR.Akiva contains Aramaic material… has close parallels with the much earlier Babylonian magic bowls and material… that seems to echo the Watchers myth in the Enoch literature… 9.
… There is an ever growing corpus of Jewish magical texts, extending now back to the turn of the era with the publication of a number such documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls. These include …a Hebrew physiognomic and astrological text…with themes related to physiognomic and Merkavah traditions… an Aramaic "brontologion," a genre of omen that predicts the future by interpreting thunder…"Songs of the Sage," songs for protection against demons…Aramaic apotropaic incantation anticipating much found in the Babylonian incantation bowls… and some exorcism incantations… 10.Colin Low expands on the Merkabah mystics and their shamanistic practices.
The earliest documents (~100 - ~1000 A.D.) associated with Kabbalah describe the attempts of 'Merkabah' mystics to penetrate the seven halls (Hekaloth) of creation and reach the Merkabah (throne-chariot) of God. These mystics used the familiar methods of shamanism (fasting, repetitious chanting, prayer, posture) to induce trance states in which they literally fought their way past terrible seals and guards to reach an ecstatic state in which they 'saw God'. 11."Ancient Magic" also discloses the contents of obscure Jewish magical treatises encompassing astrology, palm reading and the ascension of adepts to the "throne of God".
[There are]… little-studied Jewish literature from late antiquity and the Middle Ages on astrology, physiognomy and chiromancy, and mystical theurgy. A Hebrew document called Baraita deMazzalot (the Baraita of the Constellations) is a comprehensive astrological treatise along the lines of hellenistic astrology but with a Jewish theological slant. A number of texts purport to be able to evaluate personal character and destiny on the basis of palm reading and observation of facial appearance and other bodily traits. Some of these also draw on astrology. Connected with these on some level are the early mystical tractates known as the Hekhalot literature (Merkavah mysticism) that claim to give instructions on how to ascend through the seven celestial palaces to view the throne of God (the Merkavah) and sing with the angelic choir or, conversely, to compel angels to descend from heaven to teach the mystic esoteric secrets of Torah…16. (bold emphasis is mine) 12.The Hekhalot or Merkavah mysticism mentioned above involves the summoning of "angels" to receive wisdom. The Merkabah mystics are believed to become deified during this process.
…Hekhalot texts do tend to summon angels (never God, I believe) in a very preemptory way, and they ask for various types of esoteric wisdom and theurgic power. It seems clear also that the Merkavah mystics were deified (turned to angelic creatures of fire) before the throne of God, at least for the duration of the heavenly journey. Enoch received this deification permanently when he was transformed into the angel Metatron in 3 Enoch. But perhaps not too much should be made of this either, since deification rites are also known from the pagan magical papyri … 13.A perusal of Kabbalist material reveals variations and contradictions of the necessary "angels names" that play such an important role in their rituals and for the "safe ascent of the soul". The ascent that the mystics described is believed to take place in stages or ladders through the Tree of Life (with the Sefirot) and as indicated by John Ferguson in An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions.
According to Plotinus (205-270 AD), 'there are stages in the soul's ladder of ascent. The first includes purification, the freeing of the soul from the body, and the practice of the cardinal virtues. In the second the soul rises above sense-perception to Nous through contemplation. A third and higher stage, already ineffable, leads to union with Nous. Finally there is the climax of the whole ascent in mystical and ecstatic union with the One. 14.
Gershom Scholem's On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah provides this insight regarding studying the Kabbalah, meditation and "the ascent":
When I wished to find knowledge of the secrets of Creation, I came upon a dark vault within the depths of the earth, filled with blowing winds.... Then there appeared to me in my sleep a shape of most wondrous beauty [giving me instructions on how to conduct myself in order to attain knowledge of the highest things]. I then said to him: "Who are you?" And he answered: "I am your perfected nature. 15.
Scripture warns that mystical intercourse with angelic beings will result in spiritual death: "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind." Colossians 2:18
Part VI of this series documented
Peter Michas' statement that he received his education in the Hebrew Roots
of Christianity through the Chabad-Lubavitch organization.
Eliezer Segal of the University of Calgary describes Chabad-Lubavitch
Hasidism as a Kabbalist movement. The doctrines of the Lubavitch Movement
are derived from the Kabbalah. In fact, the term "Chabad" is an acronym
for two of the sefirot, Chokmah and Binah, in conjunction (Da'at):
…Similar to this, but not confined
to Lubavitch teaching, is the work of Aryeh Kaplan. Besides his editions
of the Sefer Yetzirah and the Bahir, and his anthology of excerpts from
major Kabbalists published as Meditation and Kabbalah, there may also
be mentioned his works on meditation, Jewish Meditation and Meditation
and the Bible, which examine meditation in the light of current Jewish
practices and in the light of Biblical texts and the classical (often Kabbalistic)
commentaries on those texts. He also wrote a series of short books expounding
various portions of Jewish ritual practice, often in the light of Kabbalah.
20. While this book is written
for real Jews in order to help them keep their friends and family members
away from the cults of Jews for Jesus and "messianic" Judaism, it is also
filled with some of the most hilarious anti-Christian tracts ever
written. Particularly important is the response of Rambam [Maimonides]
(12th century rabbi and important scholar) to potential converters that
got him kicked out of Europe, and which still resonates today since Christians
have yet to come up with any new reasons for converting, and a chapter
entitled "behold the man" (sic?) in which the christian dogma of Christ
as perfect man and utter fulfiller of the Torah (which is enigmatic at
best) is placed next to some of the lesser known Bible passages to prove
that not only was Christ not the Messiah but he was a lousy hypocritical
human being had he really existed. After this I was inspired to look up
Bible passages including his inciting his followers to murder in Luke 19:27,
to find that Christ actually broke ALL TEN COMMANDMENTS. Way to go Jesus.
If anyone is bothering you, trying to get you to come to their bible study,
trying to prove that you need Jesus, buy them this book. You'll be glad
you did." 21.
The name 'Chabad'
is a Hebrew acronym for the expression 'Chokmah,' 'Binah" and 'Da'at' --
Wisdom, Intelligence and Knowledge. These Kabbalistic terms are central
to the distinctive intellectual theology of the movement... The name Lubavitch
refers to a town in Lithuania that was the centre of the movement for a
brief period during the nineteenth century... Chabad Hasidism continued
to be a major force among Russian and Lithuanian Jews from its inception...
The Encyclopedia of Religion states
that the Lubavitch Hasidic system of Kabbalah is among those taught in
traditional Jewish institutions:
The dominant brand
of Qabbalah in the modern Qabbalistic Yeshivot (traditional Jewish academies)
is the Lurianic system. It is studied according to the interpretations
offered by Mosheh Hayyim Luzzatto, by Eliyyahu ben Shelomoh Aalman, by
Habad, the Lubavitch Hasidic Movement and by the Sefardic Qabbalists of
the Beit El Academy in Jerusalem. 16.
A notation in Part V mentioned
the name of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, who is known as the foremost disseminator
of Kabbalah in North America. Rabbi Kaplan translated into English the
"Torah Anthology", a commentary on the Torah which is promoted by Peter Michas
as being highly accurate and one of the best. 17.
Rabbi Yaakov Culi, who according
to Peter Michas, was "one of the greatest Sephardic sages of his time"
originally wrote "The Torah Anthology". The term "Sephardic sage" means
that Rabbi Culi was involved in Jewish Mysticism, aka the Kabbalah. Peter
Michas wrote in his book, The
Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan:
[The Torah Anthology]
is considered to be one of the best commentaries ever written on the Torah--in
any language--and is a veritable encyclopedia of Jewish knowledge. In 1967,
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan began an English translation…The Biblical translations
in the Torah Anthology are highly accurate. There is also a high degree
of accuracy concerning Hebrew historical events, but there is also a great
deal of legend material. Many rabbis believe that the legend material contains
a great deal of accurate information. The authors of this book doubt the
overall accuracy of much of the legend material but realize that it does
contain certain accurate elements of truth which must be critically ascertained
in the course of research and study. 18.
Michael Sidlofsky explains Aryeh
Kaplan's principal role in mainstreaming Jewish mysticism through
translation and teaching of the Kabbalah.
…A more traditional
American Orthodox rabbi, Aryeh Kaplan, spent the seventies and early eighties
reconstructing the forgotten Jewish meditative tradition by researching
long-neglected kabbalistic texts, many only extant in manuscript. He boldly
disregarded the centuries-old rabbinic ban on the dissemination of kabbalistic
practices among those under forty and unschooled in Bible and Talmud--a
result of the Shabbetai Tzvi tragedy--by teaching Jewish meditation classes
and publishing practical manuals and source readers on the subject. Thanks
largely to Kaplan's efforts, many Orthodox rabbis and lay people have taught
and written about Kabbalah, recognizing its appeal to non-practicing Jews
searching for spiritual guidance. 19.
Kabbalah in English web
site, which helps one understand what writings are necessary to learn Kabbalah,
we find this enlightening information about the esteemed Aryeh Kaplan,
whose many insights are presented by Peter Michas to develop Biblical understanding.
in at least minimal form, the traditional 'bellyfull of Talmud', the student
can now turn to works that are actually Kabbalistic.
The first core work
is the Sefer Yetzirah. The only edition to be considered is that of Aryeh
Kaplan, published by Weiser. Besides containing the Hebrew text, and separate
translations of all the main recensions of this work, it contains Kaplan's
comments and explanations, in which Kaplan, speaking as a traditional
Kabbalist, explains the Sefer Yetzirah in terms of what is now traditional
Kabbalistic doctrine: and in doing so manages to explain the traditional
doctrine of Kabbalah, as well as give details of esoteric practice not
usually found in printed form.
Peter Michas has used extensively
the works of Aryeh Kaplan for his doctrine, along with the Talmud, Mishnah
and Midrash. Pastor Michas and Robert Vander Maten reference Kaplan's works
throughout their book The Rod of
the Almond Tree in God's Master Plan.
Indeed, the entire thesis of the book is built upon Kaplan's mythos that
a branch from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was passed through
generations of Israelites to David who planted it on the Mount of Olives.
With no credible Scriptural
support whatsoever, the authors continue this fable until the rod (which
possessed magical powers because it was engraved with the Ineffable Name,
YHWH), becomes the cross of Christ. Subsequently, it became a relic which
will be returned by Elijah the prophet to validate the true Messiah who
will take his place upon the Throne (Mercy Seat) at the rebuilt Temple
in Jerusalem. Peter Michas also seems to have derived his views on
Role of Women, from Kaplan's Torah
Anthology and The Living Torah.
For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own
lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and
they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto
The Kabbalistic books of Aryeh
Kaplan are his trademark and area of expertise.
A very significant work called, "The Real Messiah?" was written by Kaplan
as a Jewish response to the "missionary challenge." A review of this book
found on Amazon.com and dated August 1997 provides these critical insights
to the mindset of Rabbi Kaplan.
The Real Messiah?
By Aryeh Kaplan
Review: An invaluable
resource for anyone who has been "witnessed" to…
We know from Scripture "that blindness
in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come
in." (Romans 11:25) From a Christian perspective, this book is a contradiction
to the New Testament and especially the divinity and person of Jesus Christ.
Despite much inaccurate legendary material, Peter Michas, references Kaplan's
Torah Anthology because it "contains certain accurate elements of truth."
This legendary material was used as a basis upon which to construct the
thesis of Michas' Rod of an Almond
Tree in God's Master Plan.
1 John 4:1-
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
1 Timothy 6:3-5
If any man
teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of
our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of
words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse
disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing
that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
…Similar to this, but not confined to Lubavitch teaching, is the work of Aryeh Kaplan. Besides his editions of the Sefer Yetzirah and the Bahir, and his anthology of excerpts from major Kabbalists published as Meditation and Kabbalah, there may also be mentioned his works on meditation, Jewish Meditation and Meditation and the Bible, which examine meditation in the light of current Jewish practices and in the light of Biblical texts and the classical (often Kabbalistic) commentaries on those texts. He also wrote a series of short books expounding various portions of Jewish ritual practice, often in the light of Kabbalah. 20.
While this book is written for real Jews in order to help them keep their friends and family members away from the cults of Jews for Jesus and "messianic" Judaism, it is also filled with some of the most hilarious anti-Christian tracts ever written. Particularly important is the response of Rambam [Maimonides] (12th century rabbi and important scholar) to potential converters that got him kicked out of Europe, and which still resonates today since Christians have yet to come up with any new reasons for converting, and a chapter entitled "behold the man" (sic?) in which the christian dogma of Christ as perfect man and utter fulfiller of the Torah (which is enigmatic at best) is placed next to some of the lesser known Bible passages to prove that not only was Christ not the Messiah but he was a lousy hypocritical human being had he really existed. After this I was inspired to look up Bible passages including his inciting his followers to murder in Luke 19:27, to find that Christ actually broke ALL TEN COMMANDMENTS. Way to go Jesus. If anyone is bothering you, trying to get you to come to their bible study, trying to prove that you need Jesus, buy them this book. You'll be glad you did." 21.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.As one peruses the lists of Messengers of Messiah, its affiliates, connections and adherents to those organizations, it becomes apparent which organizations are in agreement with the teachings of Peter Michas and other Hebrew Roots leaders. These range from so-called Discernment ministries to James Trimm of the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism, Avi ben Mordechai and his brother, Uri Marcus - to British Israel teachers, such as Yair Davidy and the "Lost Tribes." These also connect with Larry Rowland who promotes Project Genesis, which is linked to many "countermissionary" organizations whose stated goals are to bring people out of Christianity and out of the "church". Many of these organizations and their leadership publicly denounce Jesus Christ. Then there are the many groups connected to Bridges for Peace and other "reconciliation" organizations.
Uri Marcus avers that he
and his brother, Avi ben Mordechai, do not work together, calling such
statements "baseless and false." However, on the web site of
Dolphin is posted an essay by Uri Marcus,
updated November 1998.
Of further interest is Larry Rowland's
link and affirmation of Moriel USA. Mr. Rowland states: "Moriel is the ministry
name of UK-based evangelist and teacher, Jacob Prasch. Jacob Prasch and
Moriel are Christ-centered, doctrinally sound and warmly deserving of your
time and effort." 23.
Some questions must be answered.
On the one hand, why would these leaders publicly deny their obvious connections,
and on the other hand through their teachings and endorsements, reveal their
agreement and common objectives?
Jacob Prasch has publicly renounced
association with other Hebrew Roots groups but expressed his belief in
the teachings of the Midrash, and the Talmud. He strongly believes that
we cannot gain understanding of the Scriptures without the "wisdom of the
ancients" (meaning the sages) He stated: "The Talmud tells us there are
multiple interpretations… It takes the wisdom of the ancients to really
understand these things…not the wisdom of the 16th century, but the wisdom
of the first century." 24.
To understand this statement,
we must bear in mind the distinction between the 'written Torah' and the
'oral Torah'. Gershom Scholem explains in "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism"
that the Midrash and all Rabbinic writings are the writings of the sages:
"Messiahmas? On the
Birth Date of Jesus of Nazareth by Uri Marcus"
Towards the conclusion of the article is some useful information as to
the resource from which Uri Marcus obtained the teaching found in the article.
Adapted from various
sources, including my brother's book "Signs In the Heavens" (by Avi Ben-Mordechai),
available from him by calling 1-800-880-2656.
It is established that Peter Michas,
Uri Marcus and Larry Rowland are united in their mission. Uri Marcus promotes
the Kabbalistic teachings of his brother, Avi ben Mordechai, by incorporating them
into his articles. Larry Rowland of Messengers of Truth, supports and participates
in the teaching of Messengers of Messiah as indicated on his "Great Places
to Visit on the Web," as well as the many emails to Peter Michas who publishes
his false doctrine. Regarding Messengers of Messiah,
Larry Rowland states: "To join the best Hebraic Bible study on the world-wide-web
today check out Messengers of Messiah International Ministries and Pastor
Peter A. Michas" 22.
Revised November 19, 1998."
The Nehemiah Trustees Covenant
Fund P.O. Box 44840
Haifa, 31447 Israel
"Moriel and Jacob
Prasch are pleased to endorse the following ministries, among others, as
Christ-centered, doctrinally sound, and warmly deserving of your prayers
Directly linked is Messengers
[Editor's note: Numerous pages
of Jacob Prasch's Moriel website have been removed subsequent to this expose,
including the preceding page linking Moriel Ministries to Peter Michas'
Messengers of Messiah. However
Ministries Australia displays links to
Messengers of Messiah, Larry Rowland's Messengers of Truth and Uri Marcus'
Nehemiah Trust Fund.]
…According to the
esoteric usage of the Talmudic sources, the written Torah is the text of
the Pentateuch. The oral Torah is the sum total of everything that
has been said by scholars and sages in explanation of this written
corpus, by the talmudic commentators on the Law and all others who have
interpreted text. The oral Torah is the tradition of the Congregation of
Israel, it performs the necessary role of completing the written Torah
and making it more concrete. 25.
The "wisdom of the ancients" refers to
the teachings of the sages to whom Peter Michas, Jacob Prasch, Avi ben Mordechai and
other Hebrew Roots leaders turn to for their doctrine.
Can two walk together except they be agreed?
their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord,
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess
unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt. 7:20-23
Of further interest is Larry Rowland's link and affirmation of Moriel USA. Mr. Rowland states: "Moriel is the ministry name of UK-based evangelist and teacher, Jacob Prasch. Jacob Prasch and Moriel are Christ-centered, doctrinally sound and warmly deserving of your time and effort." 23.Messengers of Messiah web site specifically links to Moriel USA and is closely connected with Ann Rogers of Moriel Ministries. Ann Rogers is the head of the American branch of Moriel, that is, Jacob Prasch's Moriel, which many deny as having any association with Messengers of Messiah. It has been consistently claimed that Jacob Prasch is not affiliated with other Hebrew Roots groups. On the Moriel website is found the following endorsement:
Some questions must be answered. On the one hand, why would these leaders publicly deny their obvious connections, and on the other hand through their teachings and endorsements, reveal their agreement and common objectives?
Jacob Prasch has publicly renounced association with other Hebrew Roots groups but expressed his belief in the teachings of the Midrash, and the Talmud. He strongly believes that we cannot gain understanding of the Scriptures without the "wisdom of the ancients" (meaning the sages) He stated: "The Talmud tells us there are multiple interpretations… It takes the wisdom of the ancients to really understand these things…not the wisdom of the 16th century, but the wisdom of the first century." 24.
To understand this statement, we must bear in mind the distinction between the 'written Torah' and the 'oral Torah'. Gershom Scholem explains in "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism" that the Midrash and all Rabbinic writings are the writings of the sages:
For such are false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2 Cor. 11:13-15A true servant of God welcomes those who evaluate his ministry to prove whether it is truly Scriptural. Biblical support for this principle was presented in Part 1. Nowhere does Scripture permit leaders or their adherents to react to an evaluation of their teachings with contempt, ridicule, hatred, anger, animosity, malice, scorn, false witness and name calling.
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Col. 3:8-10
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Eph. 4:29Peter Michas publicly threatened certain discernment ministries, the Watch Unto Prayer ministry and this writer with legal action for publishing these articles if we did not "recant" and post such retractions on our websites. 26. We were informed that we would be charged with "hate crimes" and violating Federal and International laws and would be investigated by the FBI. Pastor Michas rallied his students (Ha Talmidim) to support this legal action with accusations that we were "hate-filled anti-Semites", "nazis", ("This nazi propaganda is from hell and that's where it needs to go back") "remember the holocaust," "white supremacists," "KKK", "zealots," "idiots" and so on. Other leaders such as Jacob Prasch have added to the list of epithets by which we were reviled. 27.
Peter Michas of Messengers of Messiah and others have maintained that none of the Hebrew Roots ministries are interconnected. However, the threat of litigation was issued on behalf of, "all the different branches of Messengers of Messiah and several ministries under us." However, a true Christian would not take another to court in disobedience of God's command:
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 1 Corinthians 6:1The proposed legal action was dropped when the other ministries disavowed any association with us and removed material critical of Hebrew Roots Movement from their websites. 28.
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6:7-10
revile: "to call bad names, abuse with words;"
extortioner: "someone who obtains money, a promise, etc., by using threats, force, fraud, or illegal use of authority" 29.To read into the material in this series of reports hatred towards the Jewish people would be the reaction of one who does not know Jesus Christ and the Word of God. To accuse a Christian of anti-Semitism also shows an inability to understand the love God gives Christians for believers and non-believers alike. In other words, to assume that a Christian who exposes or discusses the Jewish views of Christ or Kabbalah and how this heresy is infiltrating Christianity, is to misunderstand our purpose, which is to contend for the faith of Jesus Christ. A true Christian does not hate Jews or any other race of people.
We wish to reiterate that this Hebrew Roots series respects the distinction between Kabbalah and true Torah Judaism. On saying that, it must be recognized that many Kabbalistic ideas have been added to Jewish prayer books, beliefs and rituals, an intrusion which most Jews may not realize. Obviously, Jewish people who have little knowledge of Kabbalah would take strong issue with certain spiritual and moral teachings of the sages, as do Christians.
We have no argument with studying Jewish culture, history and beliefs. Understanding what words such as 'espoused' mean in Jewish custom merely adds helpful information. However, Christians are not spiritually disadvantaged if they do not study Jewish culture. Recognizing that occult belief systems are in conflict with the gospel of Jesus Christ is, however, crucial to spiritual well being and discernment.
Christians are not at liberty to bear false witness, but must verify with evidence any accusation. Charges of anti-Semitism, KKK, Nazis or White Supremacist leanings against Watch Unto Prayer is bearing false witness. Jesus said that a person will be justified or condemned by his/her own words and actions. 30
A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. Proverbs 19:9
Avi ben Mordechai, who teaches the Kabbalah alongside the New Testament, has been so kind as to affirm that the information presented in these reports regarding the Talmud and Kabbalah - is true. In an email dated February 9, Mr. Mordechai stated:
"Blessings from Avi" Date: February 9, 1999 5:23 PM
"…I'm always blessed when HaShem uses people like you to help so many others learn so many new things about Torat HaSod, Talmud, and other wonderful Jewish writings. Keep up the good work."
Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts
of the Kabbalah; Reviews Amazon.com; Schocken Books; ISBN:
2. Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah;Schocken Books; ISBN: 0805210814; Reviews: Amazon.com; Michael J. Gross
3. Sages and Scholars;
4. The Kabbalah in English; http://remus.rutgers.edu/~woj/arcana/index.html
5. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilkhoth Yesode ha-Torah, IV, 13.;as Cited in Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 26
6. Zos Imos, Jewish Mystical Traditions;1995; http://18.104.22.168/merton/zos/jewish.html
7. Sages and Scholars; http://baptist1.com/judaism/sages.htm
8. J.Davila; Ancient Magic, Part III, Jewish Magic;( www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/magic.html)]
11. Colin Low, "cabalah.cln" ; http://marlowe.wimsey.com/rshand/streams/thera/canaan.html
12. J.Davila; Ancient Magic, Part III, Jewish Magic;( www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/magic.html)]
14. John Ferguson in,"An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions.;http://marlowe.wimsey.com/rshand/streams/thera/canaan.html
15. Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts of the Kabbalah; Schocken Books; ISBN: 0805210814 ; Reviews:Amazon.com; Michael J. Gross
16. The Encyclopedia of Religion;
17. Peter Michas, p. 37, Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan, WinePress Pub., 1997
18. Ibid. p.37
19. Michael Sidlofsky, Kabbalah-A Brief History; www.shamash.org/kavannah/kabbalah.html
20. The Kabbalah in English; http://remus.rutgers.edu/~woj/arcana/index.html
21. Review of: "The Real Messiah?" by Aryeh Kaplan; Mesorah Pub. Ltd. 1976; ISBN 1879016117; Amazon.com; August, 1997.
22. Larry Rowland, Messengers of Truth; "Great Places to Visit on the Web"; www.geocities.com/~larry_rowland/Links/tablelnk.html
24. Jacob Prasch, Explaining the Midrash and other articles, referenced in Part 5; www.cw.co.za/moriel/midrash.html
25. Gershom Scholem ; "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism" ; op.cit, p.47.
26. Email, "From: peterm <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 2:47 PM; Subject: Fwd: You will be contacted "; [Ha-Talmidim] Response from Ed; February 4,1999, 11:43 A.M. ; "Ed's commitment and denial of association to us…
27. Email, "From: peterm <email@example.com>; "Date: Wednesday, February 03, 1999 2:47 PM; Subject: Fwd: You will be contacted "; [Ha-Talmidim] Response from Ed; February 4,1999, 11:43 A.M. ; "Ed's commitment and denial of association to us…;[Ha-Talmidim] Crazy Thinking! , February 5, 11:29 A.M…Peter...resolved the main problem that was promoting the controversial hate material, going to drop everything else…"our" agenda perverted and dangerous.." [Ha-Talmidim] Currently posted on Eds website; February 5, 1999, 9:25 P.M. …Public declaration was required by Peter Michas in order for law suit to be stopped---as was publicly sent to Peter Michas email list in [Ha-Talmidim] Response from Ed; February 4, 1999; [Ha-Talmidim] I want to thank all of you; Feb.4…KKK reference,FBI; [Ha-Talmidim] [Ha-Talmidim] Important Request!!!!!!; February 3, 1999, 2:01 P.M.; Peter …refererences to anti-semite hate…requesting a Jewish attorney, Fed. Hate crimes, breaking of International laws and FCC internet crimes. [Ha-Talmidim} Something about me you need to know! Feb. 2; "This nazi propaganda…; [Ha-Talmidim] Re: Hebrew Roots, Jan 27, ..mentality of religious zealots; idiots; [Ha-Talmidim] Ignorance must be bliss!!!!!!!; Feb 9, .."hate-filled anti-semites..ugly agenda, blind and ignorant."' And so on. Email from Jacob Prasch; February 21, 1999 2:02 AM; TO: Richard Engstrom; Tim & Barb Aho; Vicky Dillan; Title: "A Brief Response to the Slander of Barbara Aho and Victoria Dillan By James Jacob Prasch; other emails from various adherents and leadership.
28. [Ha-Talmidim] This is currently posted on Eds website; February 5, 1999, 9:25 P.M.…Ed's public declaration was required by Peter Michas in order for law suit to be stopped---as was publicly sent to Peter Michas email list in [Ha-Talmidim] Response from Ed; February 4, 1999; 11:43 A.M.; "Ed's commitment" and denial of association to us…Peter states that we have been on Ed's email list spreading hate, lies and anti-semitism for over a year.---false-- was not on Eds list since spring of 1998--and have never posted anything regarding Hebrew Roots or Jews to that list or elsewhere. [Ha-Talmidim] Statement from Tricia Tillen, February 5, 1999, 6:27 PM, "Dear Peter, People have been sending me various bits of information lately regarding this whole terrible Aho thing. I am only "involved" in so far as, to my great annoyance, these people have been using my website, and Andy Gould's material thereupon, to support their allegations. They did this without my permission, and they misued the information in my opinion to make it sound malicious and even anti-Semitic..."
29. The Senior Dictionary, W. J. Gage, Toronto
30. [Ha-Talmidim} Something about me you need to know!; February 2, 1999, 6:00; Peter …trying to equate this series with the holocaust attitudes--called Nazi propaganda--"This Nazi propaganda is from hell and that is where it needs to go back." [Ha- Talmidim] I want to thank all of you; February 4, 1999, 11:09; Peter …references KKK attitudes; FBI, etc. [Ha-Talmidim] Getting Close? February 4, 1999; 1:52, Peter shares correspondence to remember the war, etc…..
Gershom Scholem; On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts
of the Kabbalah; Reviews Amazon.com; Schocken Books; ISBN: