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The Commonwealth of Deceit
They call themselves the "Twelve Tribes, The Commonwealth of Israel." This began with a man named Gene Spriggs (www.twelvetribes.org/whoweare/ourbeginnings1.html). In a matter of approximately thirty years this movement grew to be "communities being raised up in twelve geographical areas" (www.twelvetribes.org/whoweare/ourbeginnings6.html). They view the different communities in which they live as the twelve tribes of Israel. The Northeast USA communities are called Yehudah (Judah); the Midwest USA, Manasseh; the Southeast USA, Benyamin (Benjamin); the Western USA, Yoceph (Joseph); Canada, Gad; Brazil, Naphtali; Argentina, Issachar; United Kingdom, Zebulun; Spain, Shimon (Simeon); France, Ruben (Reuben); Germany, Levi; and Australia, Asher (www.twelvetribes.com/whereweare/).
This breakdown of communities with the different names of the tribes of Israel is, of course, found nowhere in the word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6), but this is just part of their deception.
I. They Attack The Gospel
A. They Attack The Cross of Christ
In their article, The Passion of The Christ, The Rest of The Story, Twelve Tribes write,
But what many people don't realize is that it was not enough for Yahshua, the Messiah, to suffer only on the cross, but He also had to go into death in order to save us from death. When the guilt of our sins was placed upon Him on the cross, His Father in heaven turned His face from Him and He died. His human spirit and soul descended into death for three days and three nights. Death is an actual place where His soul suffered the agonies of death for us until He paid the full wages of our sin. Only then could He rise from the dead. (www.twelvetribes.com/pdf/freepapers/the-passion-revised.pdf, p. 3, emphasis in original; hard copies of all documentation on file)
These words are a direct attack on the cross of Christ. When they write, "it was not enough for Yahshua, the Messiah, to suffer only on the cross," Twelve Tribes are calling the gospel a lie (Romans 5:9) and the following words of God not true.
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
It is Christ's death on the cross that has brought peace and forgiveness of sins. Twelves Tribes say that "was not enough." Speaking of the sufferings of Christ in this same article they write,
But the stripes and blood alone didn't deal with the sin of the whole world. (ibid., p. 12)
So, even though Scripture says, "by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24), and "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7), Twelve Tribes say that "didn't deal with the sin." Who's lying? Twelve Tribes are lying (Titus 1:2). Because God says,
Conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:17-19; see also Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:13-14; 10:19; 13:12; Revelation 1:5)
Men are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. His blood is enough, and His blood did deal with the sin of the whole world (1 John 2:2/Romans 3:25).
But Twelve Tribes do not think so. In this same article they write,
For it was not through the act of dying on the cross alone that He would make atonement for the sins of the whole world, but through His suffering in death on our behalf. What He suffered in those three days and three nights was the incomprehensible agony of death. (ibid., p. 14-15)
Twelve Tribes believe Jesus suffered for three days after He died. In this same article they write,
His corporal suffering lasted around twelve hours, but His deepest agony in death lasted some seventy-two hours. (ibid., p. 10)
On the cross Christ said to the redeemed thief next to Him,
Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. (Luke 23:43; see also 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 2:7)
Twelve Tribes make Christ out to be a liar, because, according to them, Christ was in torment that day. In this same article they write,
He even experienced what every murderer, liar, homosexual, filthy and unjust person would experience in death for eternity. He experienced total agony.
What will all who love and practice lying experience after dying, the first death, and the judgment? There will be a horrendous second death. Yahshua [Jesus] experienced that also. (ibid., p. 10)
Twelve Tribes believe Christ went to hell and suffered in the lake of fire for "some seventy-two hours," as they write in this same article,
After accomplishing His work in death and in the lake of fire, the Son of God went through another spiritual and physical phenomenon. He - the essence of Him - was re-united with His physical body. (ibid., p. 12-13, bold added)
So, besides belittling the physical suffering of Christ on the cross and his shed blood calling it "not enough," they add to the word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6) and claim Christ was suffering in hell for three days, when, in truth, He actually was in Paradise.
To make matters even worse, they teach, if Christ had not suffered in hell for three days, there would be no salvation whatsoever. In this same article they write,
When Messiah died, His spirit and soul left His body and descended into death. He was undergoing the "baptism" He had told His disciples about in Luke 12:50, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is My distress until it is accomplished!" This baptism was nothing short of His immersion into death. For it was not through the act of dying on the cross alone that He would make atonement for the sins of the whole world, but through His suffering in death on our behalf. What He suffered in those three days and three nights was the incomprehensible agony of death. (ibid., p. 14-15)
A little later,
And death, most certainly, is not a pleasant place to go. It is a conscious experience in a place of torment. (ibid., p. 15)
And a little later,
Apart from Him paying in death for our sins, God could not righteously forgive us, and we could not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (ibid., p. 18)
Twelve Tribes give their own idea on what the "suffering of death" (Hebrews 2:9) means. Scripture tells us what the "suffering of death" refers to in regards to Christ. It is the death of the cross.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8)
Twelve Tribes attempt to support this false doctrine with a perversion of Acts 2:24 (ibid., p. 3). Speaking of Christ Acts 2:24 says,
whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
The "pains of death," according to Twelve Tribes, equals the pains of hell (as in Luke 16:23, ibid., p. 9). But this is nowhere supported in Scripture. Every time this phrase is used, it refers to the pain of physical death, not suffering in hell after physical death (see Psalm 18:4; 73:4; 116:3), and in this case (Acts 2:24) it speaks of the hold death had on Christ's physical body, which, was impossible to keep, as it says.
In their error, they also reference Acts 2:27 (ibid., p. 9) which says,
For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
In Acts 2:31 Peter comments on this quote from Psalm 16:10 stating,
he [David], foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
These verses in Acts are speaking, as Peter says, of the resurrection of Christ. They say nothing of Christ suffering anything in Hades (or hell).
Being left in Hades is the fate of the ungodly (e.g. Luke 16:23f). Both David (Psalm 16:10) and Christ did not get this fate. They were not left in Hades as the ungodly are. It does not mean either one of them were there in torment for a short time, because it simply does not say that.
Furthermore, Scripture says that Christ's suffering for us was in the flesh (1 Peter 4:1). He,
Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree. (1 Peter 2:24)
Christ suffered once (Hebrews 7:27; 9:27-28; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18), and when was this "once" completed? When He said while yet on the cross,
"It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30).
B. They Deny the Utter Sinfulness of Man
In their article entitled "How can I believe in a God who throws good people into hell just because they aren't Christians?" Twelve Tribes writes,
Since Adam fell, every man has been born with an inclination to sin - a selfish bent - but not an inclination to silence his conscience. It is normal to value your conscience, not to despise it. (www.twelvetribes.com/publications/how-can-i-believe.html, bold added)
First of all, Scripture never teaches what is in bold above anywhere in all of holy writ (Proverbs 30:5-6). Secondly, Twelve Tribes contradict themselves in the same sentence. To silence the conscience is to sin (Romans 2:14-15; 14:22-23), and if "every man has been born with an inclination to sin," then every man has most certainly been born with "an inclination to silence his conscience" (e.g. Ephesians 4:17-19).
Moreover, it is good to value your conscience (e.g. 1 Timothy 1:5). Therefore, if it was normal to value your conscience, then there would not only be some who do good, but doing good would be normal. But God says, "There is none who does good, no, not one" (Romans 3:12).
Twelve Tribes also write in this same article,
Every human being is born into the category of the Righteous, because each one is created in the image of the Creator (Genesis 9:6; Ecclesiastes 7:29) with an inborn, instinctive knowledge of Him. (ibid.)
It is true all men know about God, but this just makes them without excuse and guilty before Him (Romans 1:18-20). Moreover, it is a lie to say, "Every human being is born into the category of the Righteous," because God says,
The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3)
Twelve Tribes references Ecclesiastes 7:29:
Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
God did make man (Hebrew literally, "the Adam") upright (Genesis 2:16-17), but how quickly have they sought out many schemes (Ecclesiastes 7:29)? It is "as soon as they are born, speaking lies" (Psalm 58:3). All men have been made sinners because of Adam (Romans 5:12, 19), and apart from the salvation of God (e.g. Luke 1:15; 44), are born wicked, not righteous (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Ephesians 2:1-3).
In this same article Twelve Tribes argue further against the gospel when they write,
Of course, some will argue that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is quite true. All have sinned, but not all have sinned to the degree that merits eternal punishment. The Bible is very specific about the kind of people who are worthy of the Lake of Fire. Examples are cowards, murderers, sorcerers, fornicators, adulterers, sodomites, idolaters, thieves, swindlers, drunkards, those obsessed with greed, and those who love and practice lying (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Revelation 21:8; 22:15). (ibid.)
Twelve Tribes denies Paul's gospel in which he writes,
For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:9-18)
Here Paul reveals the wicked heart of "all." They are not righteous. They do no good. They are all liars ("they have practiced deceit"). They are all murderers ("Their feet are swift to shed blood"), etc.. All men have most certainly "sinned to the degree that merits eternal punishment," because every single man has in him a grotesquely wicked evil heart. As it is written,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9)
Moreover, all it takes to be worthy of eternal punishment is a one time unjust statement in anger to your brother, "You fool!" and you are "in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:22). It does not take much to be worthy of eternal punishment before God. That's why Scripture says,
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6)
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned - in these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. (Isaiah 64:5).
Everyone needs to be saved, right down to the last man. But, Twelve Tribes think not.
C. They Teach a Gospel of Works
1. Works of Good Deeds
Speaking of the "category of the Righteous" (those who live according to their conscience), Twelve Tribes write,
1. They are justified by their works, while disciples are saved by grace through faith (1 John 4:20; Hebrews 6:10); (www.twelvetribes.com/publications/how-can-i-believe.html)
These contrasting words make it very clear Twelve Tribes do not believe salvation is by grace through faith for all of mankind. They create a category of people who escape eternal doom via their works, but this speaks directly against the gospel of God. As it is written,
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:19)
This is said immediately after Romans 3:10-18 that declares all the world guilty. Then Paul goes on saying,
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)
This is written in the context of even the law of the conscience (Romans 2:14-15). Therefore, by the deeds of the law (even the one written on the conscience) no flesh will be justified in His sight. Paul goes on,
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24)
Twelve Tribes say, "They are justified by their works, while disciples are saved by grace through faith." Paul says, "For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace." Twelve Tribes are clearly lying.
Man's works, apart from God's grace through faith, is disgusting to God (Isaiah 64:6). Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Even if a man simply plows his field, if it is not in faith, it is sin (Proverbs 21:4). Therefore, no one will be "justified by their works" if they are not "by grace through faith" (Ephesians 2:8-10).
2. Works of The Law
In their article entitled, "A Brand New Culture" they write,
We work and talk and sing and dance and eat together every day - except that we don't work on the Sabbath. (www.twelvetribes.com/whoweare/ourculture.html)
In their "Social Issues FAQ" under the question "Are you anti-Semitic?" Twelve Tribes write,
It is amazing that anyone would consider us anti-Semitic, when we honor the Sabbath, follow the dietary guidelines in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and have approximately the same proportion of Jews in our Communities as in the general population.
Strangely enough, while some call us anti-Semitic, others call us Judaizers. They say we mix Judaism with the New Testament faith because we believe that our Master Yahshua did not abolish the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17). (www.twelvetribes.com/faq/social.html)
Indeed, Christ did not abolish the law, but rather, He fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 10:1-14), and this does not mean we are therefore under the law of Moses (Galatians 5:18). It means,
Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)
Christ declared all foods clean (Mark 7:18-19). Those who declare any food unclean speak directly against Christ and follow demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3; Hebrews 13:9). Christ also declares the freedom to esteem every day alike (Romans 14:5), because those who trust in Him keep the Sabbath every day (Hebrews 4:4-10). [Click here for more on the Sabbath or on the law.]
D. They Explicitly Teach There is Eternal Life Without Faith in Christ
In their article entitled "Our Beliefs" under the question "What do you mean by saying there are Three Eternal Destinies?" Twelve Tribes write,
Those in the second category, known as the righteous, choose to listen to their consciences. They usually do what they know is right, and when they sometimes fail, they are full of remorse and struggle to make up for their errors. These righteous people will also be raised from the dead and judged according to their deeds. They will be awarded a second, unending life. They will populate earth, and then the universe, with nation upon nation of undying human beings. (www.twelvetribes.com/faq/beliefs.html)
Twelve Tribes believes these "righteous" obtain eternal ("unending") life. Amazingly, according to Twelve Tribes, these "righteous" people do not believe in Christ. They write in this same article,
Why do you say there are righteous people who don't believe in Christ? Doesn't the Bible say, "There is none righteous, no, not one"?
In comparison with the righteousness of the Eternal God, there is no one who measures up. However, God makes a distinction between those people who daily live to do what is right according to their consciences and those who give their consciences little or no heed. He calls the first group righteous and has a place prepared for them in eternity (Matthew 25:34-40). Those who refuse to do what they know to be right are what He calls wicked and they too have a place prepared for them in eternity (Matthew 25:41-46).
People the Bible calls righteous because of their deeds include Abel (1 John 3:12), Noah (Genesis 6:9; 7:1), Lot (1 Peter 2:7-8), Job (Job 1:1,8), and Cornelius (Acts 10:22,34,35). None of these men were of the "seed of Abraham," or made the sin offerings required by the Law of Moses, or had entered the New Covenant by the blood of Messiah.
This is the entire question and answer. Clearly, they believe these "righteous" "don't believe in Christ," which is oxymoronic. For there is no righteousness, no goodness, apart from God (Psalm 16:2), and there is no life, no eternal life, apart from the Son of God, Jesus Christ. As it is written,
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)
Jesus Christ is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24). Everyone who believes not in Christ, does not believe in wisdom, and is therefore a fool (Proverbs 1:7, 22), is therefore evil (Proverbs 10:23; 13:19), and the fool says in his heart, "There is no God" (Psalm 14:1). This is the state of all who do not believe in Christ. As it is written,
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one. (Psalm 53:1-3)
This is why Acts 4:12 says "we must be saved." Jesus said,
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:53-54)
There is no life apart from Christ, who is Life (John 14:6).
All of the people listed in the twelve tribes quote above are called righteous because of their faith in Christ, because there is no righteousness apart from faith in Christ. As it is written,
without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
"Him" is Christ, God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14). Abel believed in Him (Hebrews 11:4). Noah believed in Him (Hebrews 11:7). Lot believed in Him (Genesis 19:14). Job believed in Him (Job 19:25-27). Cornelius believed in Him (Acts 10:22 "fears God"). There is indeed no eternal life for those who do not believe in Christ (Revelation 21:8 "unbelieving"). But, Twelve Tribes calls this a "'man-made' doctrine." In their free paper entitled, "The THREE ETERNAL DESTINIES of MAN" they write,
It has been a stumbling block to many people that no matter what kind of person you are, no matter what good you have done or how sincere or conscientious you may be, if you don't believe in Jesus, you are automatically doomed to hell, or a place of torment." This "man-made" doctrine has repulsed thousands upon thousands of people from the "supposed" God of the Bible for almost two thousand years. (www.twelvetribes.com/pdf/freepapers/3ED7.pdf, p. 2)
II. They Promote a False god
A. A god That Is Not A God of Wrath or Predestination
What Twelve Tribes call "the 'supposed' God of the Bible" is the God of the Bible, and it is quite evident they know not Him, and believe in a false god. In "The THREE ETERNAL DESTINIES of MAN" they write,
It [this article] will confirm that the God of Creation is not a God of wrath and damnation, but on the contrary, a God who loves beyond our greatest imagination, whose whole intent is for the absolute good of His highest creation - MAN. (p. 2)
Man is never called His highest creation. Man is actually noted as lower than the angels (Psalm 8:4-5). God is indeed love (1 John 4:8) and truly does desire all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), but He is also truly "a God of wrath and damnation." Moses wrote,
For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:7-12)
God is angry (wrathful) every day (Psalm 7:11; Romans 1:18), and He damns the majority of mankind to hell (Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 9:11-23). But Twelve Tribes reject this as well.
In "The THREE ETERNAL DESTINIES of MAN" they write,
God, the Creator, does not decide for you, as though it were a matter of fate. No! You choose your own eternal destiny by the moral standards you live by - either good or evil. (p. 3)
It is ultimately up to you to decide what your eternal destiny will be. The Creator will not interfere with our decisions. (ibid., p. 21)
This is both a gospel of works (contrary to Romans 9:11-23) and the promotion of a false god. The real God says,
"I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. (Romans 9:16-18; see also 11:36)
The eternal destiny of all mankind has been set from the beginning, as it is written,
I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure." (Isaiah 46:10; Acts 15:18)
Those who have been destined to be saved, were destined for eternal life "before time began" (2 Timothy 1:9), and those destined to be damned were created for that very purpose (Psalm 92:5-7; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:21-22). As it is written,
Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed? (Lamentations 3:37-38)
Yes it is! And it is either eternal woe or eternal well-being that men will know (e.g. Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8; 22:14-15).
B. A god Who Needs Human Beings
In their free paper entitled, "The Litmus Test" they have an article entitled, "God Actually Needs Human Beings." On page 9 they write,
Of course, God does not need human beings in order to exist. He existed long before there were any. Yet He was not satisfied. There was something missing for Him. He is spirit, but He wants to be expressed in the material realm. He wants friends.
Nowhere does the Bible teach God was not satisfied or something was missing. This is the doctrine of men (Matthew 15:8-9; see also Isaiah 40:15-17). Twelve Tribes continues,
In the beginning of the Bible, after God made man, it says that then He rested. That rest suggests a satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from getting what you desire, often what you have longed and waited a long time for. The Creator longed for a compatible creature.
Scripture describes that "rest" as God ceasing from His works of creating (Hebrews 4:10). It never describes it as Twelve Tribes does. They add to His word, and they are and will be found liars (Proverbs 30:5-6).
III. They Attack The Bible
In the publication entitled, "Our Beliefs" under the question, "How is a person saved?" they write,
There is no scriptural basis for anyone to get saved by reading a tract, or even the Bible. (www.twelvetribes.com/faq/beliefs.html)
This is a lie. James wrote,
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
Receiving the word (i.e. the Bible) is able to save the soul, and this can be done by reading it. Deuteronomy 17:19 illustrates this. God gave these instructions for the king of Israel:
Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes. (Deuteronomy 17:18-19; see also Revelation 1:3)
The king is to read the law (i.e. the Scriptures) that "he may learn to fear the Lord." In other words, that he may learn to be saved. Fearing God equals salvation (Psalm 115:13; Proverbs 8:13; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Revelation 14:6-7).
But, Twelve Tribes contend that reading the Bible is not enough.
A real, live, flesh-and-blood preacher must proclaim the message, . . . (ibid.)
They argue out of Romans 10:15-17 that the message must be brought by a man sent by God. They say,
This is the road to salvation, pure and simple: a man, sent by God, not interested in his own glory, proclaims the very words of Messiah, explaining what He requires of those who wish to follow Him. The hearer accepts the message, puts his entire trust in the One whose words were preached to him, and calls upon Him for salvation. (ibid.)
It is true that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17), but it is not true that the message must come via a man. Romans 10:15-17 says no such thing. Moreover, Romans 10 continues in the very next verse and says,
But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." (Romans 10:18)
Speaking in the context of the gospel, the word of God, Paul says, "Yes" they have heard. And how? Through the preaching of the heavens (Psalm 19:1-4). Paul's quote, "Their sound has gone out . . ." is a reference to Psalm 19:4 (LXX) in which the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).
John 1:9 says Christ is the light and He gives Himself (light) to every man who comes into the world. Proverbs describes how Christ (wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:24) cries out to men (Proverbs 1:20-23; 8:1-5; 9:3-6). So, whether it be a preacher who was sent (Romans 10:14-17), or the preacher of the skies (Psalm 19:1-4), or the preacher in the gates (Proverbs 8:3), the only way anyone can be saved, live forever, is by the grace of God via the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:1-10; Revelation 21:8 "unbelieving"). The problem is, at least in regards to the preacher in creation (Psalm 19), Romans 1:18-21 reveals men know the truth, but turn away from Him.
This is why there are no "righteous" people who do not believe in Christ. Everyone knows about Christ (God, wisdom), but they turn from Him, and only those whose hearts have been quickened by the Spirit of God are righteous (John 3:3-6; Romans 3:21-24; 9:18).
Twelve Tribes unbelief in the word of God is further revealed in their December 1999 free paper entitled, "The Last Day" (hard copy on file) where on page 4 they write on a time line,
God creates the heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1) 17 billion to 4.5 billion years ago.
This is against the revelation of God. When one calculates the 1656 years of genealogies up to the flood (Genesis 5:3-32; 7:11), the 582 years of genealogies from the flood to the time Jacob came into Egypt (Genesis 9:28-29: 11:10-26; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9), the 430 years Israel spent in Egypt (Exodus 12:40), the 480 years from the Exodus to Solomon (1 Kings 6:1), the 427 years of the kings (1 Kings 6:1; 2 Chronicles 9:30-36:11), the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity (2 Chronicles 36:20-23; Jeremiah 25), and the prophesied 483 years of Daniel to the time of Christ (Daniel 9:25), it becomes evident that the heavens and the earth had only been in existence for approximately 4128 lunar years by the time Christ came. So, where is the "17 billion to 4.5 billion"? But, that's not all.
Twelve Tribes have fallen for the "Gap Theory." Between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 they write on this same time line on pages four and six,
The archangel Lucifer's rebellion (Lucifer becomes the satan, the evil one who leads the world astray)
The satan is cast down to Earth and destroys it.
The Earth becomes formless and void (Genesis 1:2). during the thousands of years prior to 4000 BC
In six days God recreates the Earth (2 Peter 3:5). around 4000 BC
Neither Genesis nor any other passage in Scripture records this fantasy (Proverbs 30:5-6). There are no "thousands of years" between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. There is no record of Satan rebelling in any time frame between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. The first heavenly rebellion recorded in Scripture is recorded in Ezekiel 28:12-15, and there the cherub is described in his perfect state, before he rebels, in the garden of Eden, which was not made until sometime during those six days or later (Genesis 2:8).
Furthermore, in Genesis 1:5 He calls it "the first day." Genesis 1:1-5 records the beginning of time, not the continuation of time or, as Twelve Tribes puts it, the recreation of the earth. God declares that He made the heavens and the earth in six days (Genesis 1:1-2:1; Exodus 20:11). Twelve Tribes make God out to be a liar.
V. Eschatological Folly
In their article entitled "The Last Day" in which the "Last Day" is a reference to the coming of Christ Twelve Tribes proclaim,
Our Master Yahshua cannot come back because many of the prophecies of the Bible are not yet fulfilled. (www.twelvetribes.com/publications/last-day.html)
A little later they write,
You may wonder why we are writing an article to tell you the Last Day is still a long way off. (ibid.)
In the next paragraph they write,
The Last Day is still a long way off and this fact is part of the good news. (ibid.)
And in the next paragraph,
Now, while He is still a long way off, you have the opportunity to meet His terms of peace. (ibid.)
Twelve Tribes make it quite clear they believe the coming of Christ is "a long way off." Besides this being the same kind of words the evil servant in Matthew 24:48 spoke (see also Luke 12:45-46), they directly write against the words of John who said, "the time is near" (Revelation 1:3).
Jesus said no one knows when He will come (Mark 13:33-37), and He will come at "an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:44; Luke 12:40). He was warning both believers and unbelievers alike (Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:37; Luke 12:22).
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