The Unbiblical Teachings of the Black Hebrew Israelite Movement
Antisemitism is on the rise, and some recent antisemitic comments in the news stem from Black Hebrew Israelite (BHI) ideology. This belief system falsely claims all African-Americans are the true Israelites and modern Jewish people are imposters. In part one of this series, we discussed the history of this movement and refuted its major tenet—Jewish people are not the real descendants of the biblical Israelites. In part two, we will discuss three more unbiblical tenets of BHI ideology:
(1) Salvation comes through keeping the Law of Moses.
(2) In the future, the Jewish people and white nations will serve as slaves to the Black Hebrew Israelites.
(3) Jesus is the Messiah but not God.
According to BHI theology, salvation comes through keeping the Law of Moses. Some groups believe only Israelites must keep the law for salvation and Gentiles are saved by grace apart from the law, while others hold that Gentiles can never be saved. Both these views are contrary to Scripture, which proclaims salvation is open to all but can never be earned through keeping the Law (Romans 3:20).
Scripture makes clear everyone sins, and no one can keep the law perfectly (Psalm 14:3, 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:6; Rom 7:14–15, 18; Galatians 3:10–11). Good deeds cannot save us (Isaiah 64:5), and God requires a blood sacrifice to atone for sin (Leviticus 17:11). The Law’s purpose was to point us to our need for Jesus (Galatians 3:24), who provided the final atoning sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:6), and only faith in His death and resurrection can save us (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Black Hebrew Israelite adherents tend to focus on sociologically beneficial commandments, including Sabbath observance, festival observance, and wearing a kippah. However, they fail to realize Scripture pronounces curses upon those who do not keep all the commandments: “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15, emphasis added).
Since it is impossible to observe all the commandments and thus righteousness cannot come through Law observance (Galatians 3:21), Israel’s only way of escape from the curses pronounced in Deuteronomy 28 is to trust in her Messiah, the one who took her curses upon Himself:
For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10–14)
BHI adherents, in attempting to justify themselves before God by keeping the Law, are pursuing an impossible feat and disobeying God by seeking righteousness through the Law instead of through the Messiah, Jesus, whom He sent.
Some Black Hebrew Israelites teach, in God’s eternal Kingdom, Jewish people and white nations will serve as slaves to the Black Hebrew Israelites. One Black Israelite, General Mayakaahla Ka, stated, “Every white person who doesn’t get killed by Christ when he returns is going into slavery!”
This picture is in stark contrast to the one Scripture paints. The apostle John, when describing the vision God gave him of the coming Kingdom, wrote: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9–10, emphasis added).
Believers from every nation, tribe, and language will dwell in God’s kingdom. Messiah came to break down the barrier between Jewish people and Gentiles so both could be part of God’s family:
Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. (Ephesians 2:12–16)
In seeking to exclude whole nations and peoples from heaven, BHI adherents reveal they are propelled by hate rather than by the love of God. Scripture makes clear God loves the entire world and desires all to come to repentance (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). In addition, Jesus told His disciples to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, emphasis added).
Black Hebrew Israelites also deny the Trinity and the deity of Jesus, essential doctrines of the Christian/Messianic Jewish faith. Some claim Jesus was the Messiah; others claim He was simply a prophet. Scripture declares Jesus was not just a prophet but also the divine Messiah, God incarnate (in the flesh).
In the Hebrew Scriptures, Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would be called “Mighty God” (Isa 9:6) and “Immanuel” (7:14), which means “God is with us.” Micah prophesied He would be from “from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).
In the New Testament, the apostle John wrote “the Word was God” and “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14). Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58) and claimed to have existed in glory with the Father before the world existed (John 17:5, 24). The apostle Paul wrote, in Jesus, “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9) and “all things have been created through Him [Jesus] and for Him” (Col 1:16–17). Hebrews 1:1 says the world was made through Jesus. Many more verses could be cited. In addition, Jesus performed actions only God can do, like forgiving sins and accepting worship. He also gave Himself many titles the Hebrew Scriptures apply to God, and He possesses the incommunicable attributes of God, including immutability (Hebrews 1:10–12, 13:8), eternality (Micah 5:2; John 1:1–3, 8:58, 17:5; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:2), omnipotence (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:8; Isaiah 9:6), omnipresence (Matthew 18:20, 28:20; Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 3:11), and omniscience (John 2:23–25, 13:29, 16:30, 21:17).
At Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem, we uphold the biblical teachings of salvation by grace through faith, the gospel as good news to all people—Jewish and Gentile alike, and the deity of Jesus the Messiah. We believe modern-day Jewish people are the physical descendants of the biblical Israelites, whom God loves and to whom He will fulfill His covenantal promises.
by Jennifer Miles
 Fritz Chery, “Black Hebrew Israelites Exposed,” Bible Reasons, October 17, 2022, https://biblereasons.com/black-hebrew-israelites-exposed.
 Mikel Del Rosario and Vocab Malone, “Religions: Engaging with Black Hebrew Israelites,” Dallas Theological Seminary, February 1, 2022, educational video, https://youtu.be/dntZmXwXd5Q.
 Del Rosario and Malone, “Religions: Engaging with Black Hebrew Israelites.”
 Chery, “Black Hebrew Israelites Exposed.”
 See also John 1:18, 5:18, 10:30, 20:28; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:6; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 1:8, 17–18 (in light of Isaiah 44:6, 48:12–16).
 Pertaining to the forgiveness of sins, see Matthew 9:5–8; Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21; and Colossians 3:13. Pertaining to Jesus’ receiving worship, see Matthew 2:11, 8:2, 9:18, 28:9, 28:17; John 9:38, 20:28; Hebrews 1:6; and Revelation 5:11–14.
 Jesus called Himself “I am” (John 8:58, 18:5–6; see also Exodus 3:14). Jesus called Himself “the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:17, 2:8, 22:13; see also Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, 48:12). Jesus is called the “Light” (John 1:4–9; cf. 1 John. 1:5; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 60:19–20). Jesus is called the “Bridegroom” (Mark 2:19; Matthew 25:1–13; Revelation 21:2; see also Hosea 2:16; Isaiah 62:5). Jesus is called “Redeemer” (Titus 2:13; Galatians 3:13; Revelation 5:9; see also Hosea 13:14; Psalm 130:7). Jesus is called “Shepherd” (John 10:11, 16; 1 Peter 2:25; Hebrews 13:20; see also Psalm 23:1; Ezekiel 34:15). Jesus is called “Savior” (2 Peter 1:1, 11, etc.; see also Isaiah 43:3; Ezekiel 34:22). Jesus is called “Judge” (2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:10; see also Joel 3:12).
 God’s incommunicable attributes are characteristics unique to God. For instance, only He is all-knowing.