Question:

Hello Mr. Hamilton,

I want to ask you some questions that I need some insight on. A friend of mine is a Black Hebrew Israelite. They are very interesting people. First thing, They have a big deal with the "J" and the Lord's name. I explain that God has many names, but they argue that and Jesus name isn't Jesus, it's Yahshua. Despite transliteration, they feel Hebrew or the root is the only way; again, despite the New Testament was written in Greek. As much as I quote scripture and show proof, it doesn't sink in.

Second, I'm African American. They have this theory with the twelve tribes of Israel that were the chosen along with other cultures and race of color. I told her I go to a church full of white people. I have relatives who are white, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, etc. I explained, even if I didn't, I couldn't be a part of the twelve tribes of Israel. For one I'm not circumcised, I'm married, and I'm not a virgin. The twelve tribes in Revelation were the opposite. They are saying that Caucasians brought this so-called religion here.

Third, they are saying that worship isn't on the first day of the week. Not because of the Sabbath but because the Bible never said to worship on Sunday or the first day. They claim that the Scripture that states we gathered together on the first day of the week, break bread and Paul preached had nothing to do with worship, but the sabbath was the day for that. They kept mentioning about the Day of Pentecost corresponding with the day of worship. Talking about this was in the day of unleavened bread. They don't want to believe that a lot of those laws were there for the Israelites only.

Fourth, they quote the scripture from I Corinthians 16:1-2 saying that there is no collection or giving on the first day, but we are to lay by him and "store." They saying "store" is save. They are asking why do we give on the first day if you want me to store? That's what they're saying. Also, they quoted a scripture from Malachi about tithing saying that is still relevant.

Last, ordaining. Who has the right to do this today?

With these questions, can you give me answers so I can respond correctly? I know I'm giving truthful, direct answers, but I would like some more input for you.


Answer:

While you try with everyone, some people are not going to be convinced because they aren't after truth. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Regarding Jesus' name, see: Which is the better way to pronounce Jesus' name: Yahsua or Yeshua? and Can you help me with some arguments from a Messianic Jew?

Regarding the twelve tribes in Revelation, see: The Seven Seals under "Interlude." But what needs to be really emphasized is that Christianity is made up of all nations.

"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it" (Isaiah 2:2).

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

Where Christ broke down the barriers, this group wants to erect new ones based on earthly, physical traits, such as skin color. "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation" (Ephesians 2:11-14).

Regarding the day of worship, it is odd that they argue from the day of Pentecost since Pentecost is 50 days after the Feast of Unleaven Bread. The Feast of Unleaven Bread is a week long feast that always ends on a Sabbath, thus Pentecost is always on the first day of the week. See: Could you tell me more about the day of Pentecost?

It appears that they try to define away what is worship in order to avoid the obvious conclusion that New Testament worship takes place on the first day of the week. Remember what Paul said, "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself" (I Timothy 6:3-5). Just because someone claims that Acts 20:7ff isn't talking about a worship service doesn't make it so. The same goes for I Corinthians 16:1-2 regarding the collection.

Speaking which, it is interesting they are arguing about the meaning of a Greek word when they pretend the New Testament was written in Hebrew -- though they don't have the Hebrew text. See: The Church Treasury. What they are trying to do is change a verse that talks of a collective action by the church and pretend it is an individual action, but this fails because the purpose of the treasury (the store of funds) is prevent a delay in gathering when Paul arrives, "that there be no collections when I come" (I Corinthians 16:2). Their definition would have cause a collection to take place when Paul arrived -- the opposite of what he wanted.

In regards to ordination: The idea of ordination is to choose or appoint a man for an office, such as Titus appointing (or ordaining) elders (Titus 1:5). Denominations use ordination papers to state that a man is approved by the denomination to preach their doctrine. However, the true church's only headquarters is in heaven. Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23) and it is Christ who has authorized or appointed the duty of an evangelist (Ephesians 4:11).

Still, the question remains, does it take the designation of another man to make a fellow a preacher? The answer is "no." No one is mentioned in the New Testament as being selected for the role. (This is in contrast to elders and deacons who were appointed to their duties.) Since ministers generally serve a local congregation, that congregation has the right to accept or reject a man as a preacher, just as they have the right to accept or reject any member. Support for a preacher comes from the local congregation (I Corinthians 9). If a congregation feels a preacher is not doing his duty in upholding the gospel, they can withdraw both their fellowship and support (II John 9-11; Galatians 1:6-10). A preacher is treated no differently than any other member, except that his living is gained from the support given to him by those he teaches.