***DISCLAIMER***The following is far from an exhaustive post. Instead, it makes a best effort to sufficiently answer the question.
Recently, someone told me about her son’s being deceived by (what she called) a false teacher. This false teacher (who I will actually demonstrate to be a fraud more than anything) is actually the engine behind the website known as BrotherOfYeshua.com. Because this post focuses on a particular person, I placed this article under the “profile” umbrella. While it is not as lengthy as my typical “profile” post, it is (in my opinion) informational enough to give one a good idea about BrotherOfYeshua.com.
This post’s language is more of a “dialogue” feel. In my response, I give this person some pointers about how to witness to her son. As a result, I have left my original response to her, for the most part, unedited. Any commentary I offer is bolded in parenthesis.
I want to provide for you some important methods to consider when talking to your son about an organization, false teacher, fraud, charlatan or the like.
The first thing you want to do is pray. Only the Holy Spirit can open another’s mind regarding an organization, false teacher or otherwise. If I may ask, is your son saved? If he is not, please understand that he does not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). As a result, prayer represents your first and best thing you should do.
If your son is saved, a second important thing to do exists. You will want to ask your son some questions regarding this organization.
(In her response to me [not posted], she told me her son is not saved. Nevertheless, asking these questions or similar questions would be important to help the deceived one wrestle with the conflicts between the false teacher’s teachings and the truth.)
I noticed that you took some quotes verbatim from the organization at the following website:
When having a conversation with your son about the organization, you will want to emphasize asking questions instead of making statements. Furthermore, you will want to cite the organization’s claims in context followed by Scriptures that refute their claims.
In looking at BrotherOfYeshua.com, I solely consider the “who am I” section. If I can demonstrate that the engine behind this organization is a fraud, I really do not care to know what comes forth from it.
The following comes from the “Who Am I” section (I have posted the screenshot followed by the paragraph in block quotes:
At the beginning of our Common Era, I lived as Jacob who you call James. At that time I was known as the brother of Yeshua/Jesus, and I was the first and primary leader of the New Covenant Movement known as TheWay (The Way). If you call yourself a Christian, then I am the first leader of your church — and I was taught the essence of TheWay by Yeshua himself. If you are a Jew, then I can explain to you how Yeshua was not only a Jew among Jews, but the very embodiment of the Torah and Judaism. In this present time the flock of believers have become spiritually disenfranchised by manmade doctrines that rob the people of their indwelling spiritual essence. And as the people in churches and synagogues pray and beseech our Heavenly Father for guidance, mercy and spiritual insight, the Lord has heard you prayers and your petitions for greater knowledge and understanding. So to answer your prayers, I re-entered physical life in order to teach you how to become the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus — for it is written: “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matt 12:50 NKJ). And while you may not initially believe that you too can be a brother or sister of Yeshua, I have been sent to tell you that it is a great and glorious truth that becomes the reality of all genuine and faithful servants of the Lord.
The goal in listing the paragraph is not to refute it word for word. Instead, I highlight a few sentences that have Scriptural rebuttal as I briefly demonstrate that BrotherOfYeshua.com is a fraud.
First, this person states he lived as Jacob (whom people call James). While he does not state that he died, he claims he re-entered physical life (which requires at least one death) to teach people “how to become the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus.” Hebrews 9:27 states that all men are appointed to die once and then face judgment. Your conversation can go something like this:
“The leader of BrotherOfYeshua.com states he re-entered physical life to teach people ‘how to become the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus.’ Hebrews 9:27 states that all men are appointed to die once and then face judgment. How do you reconcile this?”
The goal here is to let God’s Word do the work. By using Scripture and asking questions (as opposed to making statements, which can be taken as Bible-bashing or the like), you’re making the person try to reconcile the difference. While the conversation will still be uncomfortable, this is a much less threatening manner.
(Because the questioner’s son is unsaved, this person may want to employ different questions when beginning this scenario. After all, those who are not saved cannot understand the things of God [1 Corinthians 2:14]. As a result, it may be better to lead with a question focused more on logic/reasoning before asking someone to reconcile a conflict with Scripture. The conversation could go like this:
“The leader of BrotherOfYeshua.com states he re-entered physical life to teach people ‘how to become the Brother of Yeshua/Jesus.’ What happens when you die? Do you think it is possible to re-enter physical life after death?”
If the person does believe such a thing (i.e., in reincarnation), you can then tell the person about what Hebrews 9:27 states and then ask the person how to reconcile his/her belief with the Scripture.
I state all the above to say that if you’re witnessing to an unsaved deceived person, you may need to ask more questions before immediately getting to the Scriptures. By asking the questions, you’re still making the person do the work in reconciling his/her beliefs with truth).
Here’s a second example.
Jacob/James claims he is the first leader of the church. He also claims he was the “first and primary leader of the New Covenant Movement known as The Way.” However, there is no Scripture anywhere that supports such a thing. Your conversation in this regard can go as follows:
“The leader behind the organization claims he is the first leader of the church. Furthermore, he states he was the ‘first and primary leader of the New Covenant Movement known as The Way.’ Can you show me in Scripture where it teaches this? Also, did the Apostles teach this in the early church?”
Once again, asking the questions will make your son dig through God’s Word to try to reconcile the clear differences.
(If witnessing to an unsaved person, you can still ask the person to look in the Scriptures to see if Jacob/James was indeed the first leader of the church. You can also ask how this person knows if what Jacob/James is saying is true).
Based on the above sentences I noted, it is clear that BrotherOfYeshua.com is a fraud. Nobody re-enters physical life after death (Hebrews 9:27). Furthermore, adding to God’s Word (as the leader has done, whatever his name is) shows him to be a liar (Proverbs 30:6; Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Revelation 22:18). No Christian should trust BrotherofYeshua.com as a reliable source. Instead, Christians should call for the leader of BrotherOfYeshua.com (whether his name be Jacob or James) to repent of his lies.
I hope you find this information helpful. Please find comfort in the fact that God’s all-powerful, all-true Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 4:12, 13:8; John 10:35). May God give you the wisdom as you witness to your son regarding BrotherofYeshua.com.
A FINAL WORD (Not included in my response to the person)
While some may wonder how a person can be deceived by a website such as BrotherOfYeshua.com, the reality is that deception is sadly spreading far and wide today. We are most definitely in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-4:8), especially when such false teachers as Brian Houston, John Gray, Levi Lusko, Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, Samuel Rodriguez and Joyce Meyer (among others) teach for shameful gain what they ought not to teach (Titus 1:10-11). Scripture calls for believers to examine everything carefully, holding fast to that which is good, testing the spirits to see if they are of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; see also Jude 3 and Acts 17:11). May we continue to do the work of Bereans as we witness to those who are being deceived. Furthermore, may we help those who are witnessing to a deceived one.
I mentioned much about the practice of praying, asking questions and letting God’s Word do the work. Those helpful practices come from a good video I watched from Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio. One can view it below. The entire video is worth watching.