Author Archives: Joseph A Butta Jr.

FROM BEING AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN TO BECOMING A BIBLE BELIEVING AND PRACTICING CHRISTIAN

By:

Mike Tsottles Special guest presenter and  beloved brother in Jesus our Lord

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

If I say that I had awakened or that I had learned, and that I came to an understanding on my own; these would all be false and misleading statements. I may not have been able to say this when I first ‘gave my life over to Jesus’, but now I can unequivocally state the following:

He – the One, True and Living God in all His love had awakened me, He had taught me and He gave me the understanding I needed to begin to realize; that His love for us and His promises toward us are so very much more than what I was taught within the Orthodox faith.

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Black Hebrew Israelites: Are Their Claims True?

By:

Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

Who are the Black Hebrew Israelites? Within the past year I have had encounters with two adherents to this faith. Both boldly proclaim they have the truth and that Christianity as understood by most is a satanic deception.  For informational purposes I’d like to shed some light on this subject to disclose the group’s origins and beliefs.

Church of the Living God, the Pillar Ground of Truth for All Nations founded by F. S. Cherry in 1886 in Tennessee. Cherry’s flock incorporated many Jewish practices and prohibitions along with some Christian traditions.

Church of God and Saints of Christ founded in Kansas by William Crowdy in 1896. Both claimed that they had revelations in which they believed that God told them that African Americans are descendants of the ancient Hebrews. During the ensuing decades, many more Black Hebrew congregations were established, and some of them had no connection to the Christian Church. In Harlem alone, at least eight such groups were founded from 1919 to 1931.

Commandment Keepers were founded in New York by Wentworth Arthur Matthew in 1919 who was influenced by Marcus Garvey who used Biblical Jews in exile as a metaphor for Black Folks in North America. They are noted for their adherence to traditional Judaism. Mr. Matthew taught that all genuine Jews are Black. Other groups include The Law Keepers, House of Judah, and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem.

 African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem were established in 1966 in Chicago by Ben-Ammi Ben-Israel. These Black Hebrews believe the descendants of American slaves and the indigenous peoples of the Americas make up the 12 tribes of Israel. That belief sprang from a vision that Ben Ammi says he had in 1966 when he was a Chicago foundry worker named Ben Carter. In a dream the Archangel Gabriel told him that many African Americans were descendants of the tribe of Judah. Adherents reject black Africans, who are usually seen as “traitors” who sold their black brethren into slavery. In 1986, Ben Israel and his aide, Prince Asiel Ben Israel were convicted of trafficking stolen passports and securities and forging checks and saving bonds.

Nation of Yahweh established In the 1980s other by Yahweh Ben Yahweh aka Hulon Mitchell, Jr. (1935-2007). This sect is an offshoot of African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. Some of its members were accused of conspiring to commit RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization) violations. Yahweh was sentenced to serving an eighteen-year sentence for another crime.

RESPONSE: Similar to the beginnings of Islam and Mormonism there were angelic visitations with the founders of the BHI’s claiming that the original Israelites were black and the current Jews are usurpers. This necessitated them to ignore the suffering of the descendents of modern day Israel and those that escaped Europe and the Islamic world and focus on themselves as the truly chosen and favored among all people.

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ROME AND THE JEWISH RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP…SIN IS THE PROBLEM

By:

Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

Even after the unexpected conquest by the Romans and their establishment of the brutal Herodian monarchy, arguably the greatest distress was yet to come.  In the PAST, God warned His people through a prophet or sent a great judge or king to lead them out of the danger.  We do not have a direct Biblical account of the early years of the Roman occupation. What we know about that difficult period is based upon secular histories, archaeological evidence, and parenthetical comments in the Brit Hadashah [New Testament].  However, we still need to ask if God sent a prophet, judge, or leader to the Jews to lead them out of this dangerous time between 37 B.C. [when Herod was established as a tributary king under Rome] and the destruction of the second Jewish Temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

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ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HASMONEAN DYNASTY…SIN IS THE PROBLEM

By:

Joe Butta &  Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

From 333-323 B.C. Alexander’s Hellenistic [Greco-Macedonian] empire rose to defeat Persia [Daniel 8:1]. Alexander died young and four of his generals assumed leadership and divided his empire.  One of these founded what became known as the Seleucid dynasty. In 170 B.C. one of Seleucids, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, conquered Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple [Dan 8:11]. He wanted to impose Hellenistic paganism [including worship of himself] and eradicate Judaism as a challenge to his absolute authority. Antiochus gained support from many Jews, especially in the lowlands, but resistance gradually grew, especially in the more remote villages in the Judean hills.  From 166-160 B.C. a Levitical priest named Matathias and his son, Judah, known as Makkabee [Hammer] rose up to defeat Antiochus and save Judaism.  In doing so, Judah Makkabee established the Hasmonean dynasty.

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THE EXILES AND PROMISE OF PROPHETS…SIN IS THE PROBLEM

By:

Joe Butta & Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

The Prophets Daniel, Ezekiel and Obadiah were all sent to the exiles in Babylon but a Persian King Cyrus was sent to defeat the Babylonians and permit the Jewish exiles to return to the Promised Land. During these years the Jewish exiles did learn from the past.  They stopped worshiping foreign gods.  God used several of the Persian Shah-en-Shah’s [King of kings], starting with Cyrus, paused under Xerxes I [Ahasuerus], renewed under Darius and Artaxerxes I, to provide protection to the Jewish people and encouragement for them to return to the Promised Land, rebuild Jerusalem, and re-build and restore worship to God Almighty in His Temple.  This was a fulfillment of God’s promises through the prophets that the exile would extend roughly seventy years, and that during that time, the Jewish people were to submit to their new rulers [first the oppressive Babylonians, and then the more tolerant Persians and Medes], serving them loyally, sowing crops and building homes.  During that time they would learn to set aside their idolatries and recommit themselves to the LORD Almighty, the God of the Patriarchs, the God who spoke to them through the smoking cloud over Sinai.

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The Kings of Israel and Judah…Sin is the Problem

By

Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

The Israelites then demanded their own human king [NOT the LORD] to be “like the nations around us.” God through the prophet Samuel anointed Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.  Saul got off to a good start, but as he aged, His sinful pride and disobedience led to his losing his anointing, the defeat of Israel, the loss of the Ark of the Covenant, and the demise of his family. God through Samuel anointed David long before the final destruction of the House of Saul.  God pushed young David through a series of trials and tests to prepare him to be the next king.  He, too, began well, but in the later years of his reign he sinned greatly. The prophet Nathan was sent to confront David, and David repented, though he and his family paid a heavy price for his sins for the rest of his reign and into Solomon’s.   The LORD appeared twice to Solomon, who like his two predecessors began well but became prideful and wayward later in his reign.  Solomon chose to take many wives and concubines, allowing them to bring their pagan idols into the royal estates, and condoning their worship, leading to growing corruption throughout the kingdom.  This angered God who punished Solomon by telling him that the kingdom would be divided and most of it taken away from his heirs, but that he would retain Judah and Jerusalem for his father David’s sake.  This came to pass when Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king and chose to ignore his father’s advisors’ sound advice, alienating the northern tribes who revolted under Jeroboam.

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Genesis – Judges… Sin is the Problem

By

Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

In the Jewish scriptures known as Tenakh or Old Covenant one theme is constant throughout.  There will be problems brought about by the consequences of sin.  Knowing that sinful man could not remedy the situation the LORD God often sent someone to warn, admonish or save the people. After 1000 years of Biblical history people were so evil the Lord sent Noah to save what he could of humankind. Eight were saved. After another 1000 years the Lord sent Abraham to begin fulfilling his design for our salvation. During this time the Lord sent Melchizedek to remind Abraham that there was One who was greater.

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