|We are asked often why don’t you use the Apocrypha in your teaching at The Church of Israel. Our answer is simple.
The Apocryphal books were produced in an era when there were no inspired documents given by God. Malachi (about the 5th century BC) concludes with his narrative in the Old Testament by urging Israel: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances.” He then projects four centuries into the future and prophesied: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:4-5). This spoke of the preaching of John the Baptist (Prior to Jesus’s death BC/AD Matthew 11:14; Luke 1:17). The implication of Malachi’s prophecy is that no more prophets would arise from God until the coming of John. This would exclude additional books from that time until the Apostles.
There is an abundance of evidence that proves how none of these books were ever received into the canon (that which conforms to “rule”) of the Hebrew Old Testament. Even though these books appear in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament—known as LXX), that is not necessarily a reliable criterion.
One reason the Jews did not accept the Apocrypha is because they recognized that an exact succession of their own prophetic line ended around the fourth century B.C. The Apocrypha was written after this point, therefore making it an unauthorized addition.
Many of our Old Testament Hebrews that believe in the Apocrypha also have a high acceptance of Josephus’s writings. Josephus comments and confirms this a well:
“It is true, our history has been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but has not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there has not been an exact succession of prophets since that time.” ” (Against Apion 1.8).
Not only does Josephus give us the exact number of books and their divisions, but here also he gives us a timeline. The timeline shows that stating that those books were written after the time of Artaxerxes did not carry the same authority as the canonical books because the exact succession of prophets had ceased. In other words, the Apocryphal books were not inspired and therefore not canonical.
He further says that no one “has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or to make any change in them” (Against Apion 1.8).
Jesus Christ and his inspired New Testament penmen quoted from, or alluded to, the writings and events of the Old Testament profusely. An example of this is found in 2 Peter 1:19-21
“19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Do any of the Apochryphal books ever mention that the writers were ever inspired or moved by the Holy Ghost?
And yet, significantly, not once is any of these Apocryphal books quoted or even explicitly referred to by the Lord, or by any New Testament writer. What about the Book of Enoch? For Enoch it only states in the Book of Jude that he prophesied of the coming of the Lord, not that he wrote it down. What about the Book of Jasher? We can only state that it was written but only mentioned as support of events that occurred prior to the writings of the Apocrypha.
It must be observed that the Apocryphal books, unlike the canonical books of the Old Testament, make no direct claims of being inspired of God. Not once is there a, “thus says the Lord,” or language like, “the word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . .”
“For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, which are justly believed to be divine; and of them, five belong to Moses, which contain his law, and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death…the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life.” (Against Apion 1.8).
Not that I give Josephus full creditability, we can extract some facts from his writings. The listing of the Hebrew Bible at only 22 books not only tells us that the Jews knew which books belonged in the Bible but also that it necessarily excluded the added books of the Apocrypha. Many of the books read verbatim with the Old Testament, however, they then go off into uninspired writings.
Condones the use of magic/witchcraft:
Tobit 6:5-7, "Then the angel said to him: Take out the entrails of this fish, and lay up his heart, and his gall, and his liver for thee: for these are necessary for useful medicines. 6 And when he had done so, he roasted the flesh thereof, and they took it with them in the way: the rest they salted as much as might serve them, till they came to Rages the city of the Medes. 7 Then Tobias asked the angel, and said to him: I beseech thee, brother Azarias, tell me what remedies are these things good for, which thou hast bid me keep of the fish? 8 And the angel, answering, said to him: If thou put a little piece of its heart upon coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all kind of devils, either from man or from woman, so that they come no more to them."
We know that the Bible speaks against the use of witchcraft by specifically stating not to seek after those that have familiar spirits or seeking after witches and wizards. In the event that one does, that person shall be put to death by stoning because such things are an abomination to the Lord. The following Bible scriptures speak specifically to magic and those that participate in those abominable acts against the Lord’s will.
Exodus 22:18 “ Thou shall not suffer a witch to live’.
Leviticus 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 20:6 “ And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits and after wizards, to go whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. “
Leviticus 18: 9-12 “9When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
This is very straightforward. Practicing magic and witchcraft is an abomination to the Lord
Teaches that forgiveness of sins is by alms:
Tobit 4:11, "For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness."
Tobit 12:9, "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting."
2 Maccabbees 12:43, "And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection."
If you read the Bible, you know that the only way to be forgiven for sin is to repent and be forgiven through the blood of Jesus. The following Bible scriptures confirm this and dispel forgiveness of sins by alms because you cannot find it in the Bible. Jesus even tells us that the only way to be forgiven for sins is through him.
Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Acts 2:38 “ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 3:19“ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood is no remission of sin”
This is pretty straightforward as well. The only way to have sins forgiven is through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Changing people from mortal to immortal before the resurrection:
2 Esdras 2
I Esdras saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. 43 And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. 44 So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? 45 He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. 46 Then said I unto the angel, What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? 47 So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord.
We know that the Bible teaches us that no one will receive their immortal or incorruptible crown or reward of eternal life until the last trumpet sounds. The following Bible scriptures show us when the dead in Christ, which are corruptible, will be changed to incorruptible.
1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Corinthians 15:53 “ For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immorality. “
1 Corinthians 15:54 “ So when this corruptible shave have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 Peter 1:4 “ To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:23 “ Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Adam created without a soul
2 Esdras 3
4 O Lord, who bearest rule, thou spakest at the beginning, when thou didst plant the earth, and that thyself alone, and commandedst the people, 5 And gavest a body unto Adam without soul, which was the workmanship of thine hands, and didst breathe into him the breath of life, and he was made living before thee.
We know that the Bible teaches that man was made from the dust of the ground and became a living soul when the breath of life was breathed into man’s body.
Genesis 2:7 “ An the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breadth of life; and man became a living soul.”
So if the man was a living soul after the Lord entered the breath of life through his nostrils, we know that man was a dead soul before that which basically means that the soul is the body. Another Bible scriptures that shows how the soul is the body is when in John the Baptist was beheaded in prison and when John the Revelator saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God because they did not worship the beast, image, or received the mark on their foreheads.
Matthew 14:10 “ And he sent, and beheaded John in prison.
Revelation 20:4 “ And I saw the thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”.
The Apocrypha contains a great variety of historical, geographical, chronological, and moral errors. A critical study of the Apocrypha’s contents clearly reveals that it could not be the product of the Spirit of God. The following examples are ample evidence of this:
(1) The Apocrypha teaches the erroneous doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul, suggesting that the kind of body one now has is determined by the character of his soul in a previous life: “Now I was a goodly child, and a good soul fell to my lot; Nay rather, being good, I came into a body undefiled” (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20).
(2) The Apocrypha teaches that prayer may be made for the dead: “Wherefore he made the propitiation for them that had died, that they might be released from their sins” (2 Maccabees 12:45).
The Roman Catholics cite this passage to find support for their dogma of praying for the dead to be released from purgatory. We know according to scripture when the resurrection of the dead will occur and that there is no purgatory.
(3) The Apocrypha teaches that the Abomination of Desolation has already been placed long before Jesus warned us about his coming (Matthew 24:15)
54 Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; ” (1 Maccabees 1:54).
These, along with various other considerations, lead only to the conclusion that the Apocrypha cannot be included in the volume of sacred Scriptures. Our God is omnipotent and if he would let a man take his word from his people then he would not warn us not to add or take from what he said.
Bro Marlon and the Elders of The Church of Israel