Joseph Farah Puffs “Hebrew Roots” Teacher Michael Rood

From WND:

If you’re not familiar with [Michael] Rood’s amazingly insightful teachings of Hebrew roots, there’s plenty more that will “blow you away,” says WND founder Joseph Farah.  Rood has earned a reputation as the “Messianic Matador,” who waves his tattered red cape in the face of the religious “bull” of his generation. His television series, “Prepare for A Rood Awakening from Israel,” has been heralded as the most energetic exposition of scriptural truth to come out of Israel in over a millennium.

In particular, Farah is enthusing over a new video:

Seldom has there been such an overwhelming response to a video offered in the WND Superstore.

And that’s understandable.

This one presents stunning visual evidence of Egyptian chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea – archaeological finds that support the biblical account of the miracle parting described by Moses in the book of Exodus.

In fact, there’s nothing new here – the “stunning visual evidence” appears to consist of interpretations previously made by the late pseudo-archaeologist Ron Wyatt, whose purported discoveries of ancient relics rival Indiana Jones and the mother of Constantine combined: the list includes the Ark of the Covenant; Noah’s Ark, house and grave; pre-flood wood without tree rings; sulphur balls from Sodom and Gomorrrah; and even a sample of Jesus’ blood (which contained 23 chromosomes from Mary and one from God). Wyatt’s legacy is today primarily embodied by Richard Rives, who is a regular WND pundit.

But what of Rood’s “amazingly insightful teachings of Hebrew roots”? Members of the “Hebrew Roots” movement appropriate Jewish rituals and cultural forms – members believe that this brings them into alignment with Biblical teaching, and they are often scathing about the “paganism” of mainstream Christianity; for instance, Rood claims that the Good Friday is in reality “the day that the Philistines sacrificed to Dagon, the Philistine fish god,” and that this explains the Catholic practice of eating fish rather than meat on this day. Protestants don’t get off lightly, either, though: according to a purported quote on critical websites, Rood claims to have escaped the “Baptist cult”.

However, Rood seems to be a particularly divisive figure within the movement; in 2007 he was involved in a dispute with the former administrator of his ministry, which led to an arbitration finding against him and legal action. More generally, conservative Christians have complained about his behaviour and his teachings, and allege past links to a non-Trinitarian  group called The Way International.

Rood’s website certainly appears overheated:

Michael Rood, a former U.S. Marine, has declared war on every self-serving, man-made religious system on the planet. In his 1995 live seminars, “From Here to Eternity – the Book of The Revelation exposes the New World Order Michael began revealing the many tentacled monstrosity of “Mystery Babylon” that had buried itself inside every religious system on the planet. On March 4, 1996, he commenced his final assault on fossilized “Churchianity” when he presented the groundbreaking 20-hour seminar, “The Prophetic Fulfillment of the Feasts of the LORD” which exhorted the spiritually wilting Christian world to graft back into the Hebrew roots of their faith – while exposing the man-made traditions of modern Phariseeism.  Then, in 2001, Michael hit the television airwaves with “A Rood Awakening from Israel,” which enunciated “the original faith once delivered unto the Saints” and took believers to the next level in their spiritual walk – being filled with the Holy Spirit and walking in obedience to the Torah.  

The immediate accolades from Christian leaders around the globe were soon followed by Mystery Babylon’s full-scale retaliation.  In a concerted effort to protect its sheeple from the truth, manufactured lies were fed to ignorant false witnesses manning the long-range guns of the Internet. In the safety of anonymity and often across international borders where libel and slander go unpunished, the hordes of hell (falsely attired as sincere Christians) continue to fire barrages of deceitful propaganda upon innocent believers who are earnestly searching for truth. 

According to his book The Mystery of Iniquity (as quoted in The Silence Is Broken! God Hooks Ezekiel’s Gog & Magog), Rood also looks forward to Israel nuking Damascus:

 When the Islamic terrorists step over the line, the nation of Israel will come down with the equivalent of millions of tons of TNT… The inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem will stand up against the aggression and incinerate their enemies round about. Damascus will become a ruinous heap of radioactive rubble.

Rood also promotes an “Astronomically and Agriculturally Corrected Biblical Calendar”:

The western Gentile Christian world has forsaken God’s calendar. Instead, it has adopted a pagan reckoning of time in which every day of the week and month of the year is named after a pagan god or fallen angel.

Thus the scholarly realisation that to understand Jesus and the New Testament properly one ought to know about the First Century Jewish context is transformed into the idea that the supposed recovery of mystical secrets from the Jewish tradition somehow provides special esoteric insight into spiritual reality.

Rood’s close associates include Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Gordon is of Orthodox Jewish background, but now identifies as a Karaite (and as a “former Pharisee”); he has a “Masters Degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Archaeology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem” and has worked academically on the Dead Sea Scrolls. His association with Rood appears to be controversial on both sides; a Karaite petition complains

about the ever growing reaction on part of Christians who, due to the activities of Messianic teachers like Michael Rood, various Hebrew-roots preachers and our own Karaite Jew Nehemia Gordon, develop misunderstandings regarding the Israelite God, religion and people in the form of a new religion called, Messianic Karaism.

Some of Rood’s critics, meanwhile, complain that he is working with “a non-Christian, non-Messianic Jew who rejects Jesus”.

Nehemia is the author of The Hebrew Yeshua vs the Greek Jesus, which extols the virtues of a medieval Hebrew translation of the Gospel of Matthew over the Greek New Testament text, which is regarded as corrupt. The book comes with an introduction by Rood and a preface by Avi Ben Mordechai; I came across Ben Mordechai in 2009, when another Hebrew Roots enthusiast, Jim Barfield, claimed that Ben Mordechai had endorsed his (undisclosed) theory about how the Copper Scroll could be used to find lost treasure from the Jerusalem Temple (ludicrous archaeological claims seem to be endemic to the movement).

Keith Johnson, meanwhile, was quoted in the press earlier this year after a Hebrew Roots teacher named Ralph Messer wrapped Eddie Long in a Torah scroll after giving an eccentric phallic interpretation of the scroll’s significance. Johnson accused Messer of “exploiting African-Americans and making a mockery of the Hebrew roots of the faith”, and of allegedly charging a friend for Hebrew lessons that never materialised.