Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Israelite Cult of Peru

La Iglesia Israelita del Nuevo Pacto Universal (The Israelite Church of the Universal New Covenant) started in Peru and is growing rapidly throughout South America. As you read through the doctrine of this bizarre cult, you will see similarities with other cults such as the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, and various others. This is one of the most bizarre cults in South America.

The Israelite cult started in the jungles of Junin. Perú as a break off of the Seventh Day Adventist church when the founder, Ezequiel Ataucusi Gamonal, received a revelation from God to restore the alliance with man.  They are not of Jewish descent, but Peruvian

The Isrealitas believe that when the Catholic church abandoned the truth, the true church has been dead and in darkness until 1955 when Ezequiel received his revelation. They believe that the church is only alive in their movement. 

Ezekiel claimed to be the patron saint through his predecessors Moses and Jesus. He declared that Peru was the “chosen nation”, and the place where the New Jerusalem would descend to at the end of the world. According to Isrealita beliefs, the Incas were not pagans, but prophets of God. 

Ezekiel is referred to as the Messiah and boasts of the titles “My Lord”, “The Man”, “The Pastor of pastors”, “The Son of Man”, “The Only Begotten of God”, “Israel”, “The New Inca”, and “The New Moses”. Ezekiel claimed to be the reincarnation of Christ and is called the Christ of the West, while Jesus is called the Christ of the East. Ezekiel even claimed to be above Jesus by being the fleshly form of the Holy Spirit. 

According to the followers, there are four generations of judgment. The first generation was with Noah and the flood; the second generation was with Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah; the third generation is the Isralitias today. This generation will last 2000 years and after the years are ended there will be seven years of punishment. In the 1990's the Peruvian Israelitas believed the end of the 2000 years were coming to an end. 

The Israelitas hoped that Ezekiel would put on the famous red tunic and begin to preach. Ezekiel predicted that at the end of the third generation, he would put on the red tunic and preach for 1260 days. At the end of these days he would be crucified by the Catholic church. The antichrist would rise to power soon after his death. Ezekiel's body would remain unburied for three days and then the Holy Spirit would come to carry him away. 

The Israelita beliefs were shaken when Ezekiel died in the year 2000 from a heart attack. The Israelitas made some changes to their doctrine and appointed Ezekiel's son, Ezequiel Jonás Ataucusi Molina, (I will call him Jonás from this point on) to take his place. Ezequiel is buried in Lima today and his grave is a special place of pilgrimage for the Israelitas. Today, the Israelitas pray to to the dead Ezekiel to provide their needs and they believe that his son Jonás is omnipresent and forgives sins.

Since the time of Ezekiel's death and the succession of Jonás, it is believed that Jonás will fulfill the role of Ezekiel at the end of the third generation. After he is carried away by the Spirit, Jesus Christ will supposedly descend from Heaven with countless angels with chariots of fire to rescue the true Israelitas, who will be all gathered in a specific place. White clouds will descend from the chariots to determine the thoughts of the people. Only those who think of only God will be taken in the chariots to Canaan, the promised land, for 1000 years.

The life in Canaan will be different. There will be no commerce, marriage, or procreation during the thousand years. Everyone will speak Arabic. Everyone will be like angels and never age. They spend their time farming and no one can enter the land. The wicked generation that cannot enter Canaan will be vampires. The Israelitas that never made the cut to enter Canaan are counseled to flee for the jungle during the thousand years and build their own “promised land” to escape judgment. 

At the end of the thousand years the chariots of fire return and take the Isrealitas to other planets.

The Israelite cult bases their beliefs on the Bible, but this “special” interpretation can only be made know to the person by the Holy Spirit when they first believe.

Other Strange beliefs
  • God is Peruvian.
  • God took on the form of various Inca kings over time and eventually became Ezekiel.
  • The ten commandments of the Incas are hidden in Machu Picchu and have not yet been discovered.
  • Peru is holy ground.
  • Ezekiel is the vicar of the Holy Spirit and infallible.
  • The world would be destroyed in the year 2000 with exception to the Amazon jungle. Obviously this did not happen but the Israelitas claim it did happen, but you must see it spiritually.
  • Ezekiel would be the president of Peru. Of course, this did not happen either. The Israelitas claim it did happen, but you must see it spiritually.
  • Ezekiel would die and then raise from the dead three days later. Never happened. the Israelitas claim it did happen, but you must see it spiritually.
  • Ezekiel will return to the earth again in 2000 years and take his followers with him in mototaxis.
  • The Israelitas evangelize throughout Peru and South America by preaching in plazas dressed in sack cloth and always with a beard.
This may seem like a joke, but hundreds of thousands of people are being deceived into following this cult. It may not be surprising today, but even some “evangelicals” are calling this cult a branch of Protestantism. The Israelita cult is advancing rapidly through South America by targeting uneducated and isolated people in the jungles and mountains. I have seen the Israelitas preaching in the plazas of small towns outside of Cusco, and I know people who are part of the cult. 

Please pray that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ will demolish the strongholds of the devil in Peru.

Monday, July 28, 2014

18 Exhortations to the Church

The word "one another" comes up in exhortations in the New Testament.   Here are 18 exhortations to the Church to encourage us to function the way the Body of Christ was intended to function.
  1. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10).
  2. Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16).
  3. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).
  4. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 11:13).
  5. ...through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
  6. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).
  7. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
  8. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  9. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
  10. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16).
  11. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)
  12. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9)
  13. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)
  14. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7)
  15. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another (Galatians 5:26).
  16. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices (Colossians 3:9).
  17. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers (James 4:11).
  18. Do not grumble against one another, brothers (James 5:9).

Friday, July 25, 2014

HeartCry Conference in Lima

Eddie, Me, Joe, Luke
We had the great privilege of being invited to the HeartCry Missionary Society pastors conference in Lima this week.  Joe Martinez and I flew to Lima on Monday to join pastors from all around Peru and Argentina.  We had such sweet fellowship with old and new friends.  We also heard great preaching from some of the pastors and from the main conference speaker, Sugel Michelen.  Sugel is an outstanding preacher from the Dominican Republic.  Upon trying to enter Peru he discovered that the visa laws had changed, and he was unable to enter the country.  He was still able to teach at the conference through Skype. 
Joe, Esteban, Me, Nicolas
We met some great brothers in Christ, as well as many new contacts throughout Peru.  More opportunities presented themselves for us to expand out work as well.   Although we met very godly brothers in Christ, we met to of the most Christ-like people I have met.  Nicolas Serrano, a HeartCry missionary in Argentina, and his friend Esteban Toloza both pastor a church in Argentina called Iglesia Familia de la Gracia (Grace Family Church).  These two men are truly men whom the world is not worthy.  They both preached during the conference and we were so encouraged as well as challenged.  Nico and Esteban reflected Christ in everything they did from preaching to conversation.  Please check out the work they are doing in Argentina and pray for these dear brothers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ashaninka People Hear the Bible in Their Native Language

The above video is of our trip to the jungle when we gave the village of Chembo a proclaimer.  The proclaimer is an audio Bible in their native language of Ashaninca.  It can be charged by electricity, solar, or by winding a crank.  Many of the people can't read or write, and the people who do read, don't do it very much.  Hearing the Bible in their native language made them understand so much better.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Joy of Peruvian Immigrations?!

I thought would write a post about what we frequently must deal with in Peru, concerning visas.  Just to stay living in Peru it takes a lot of paper work.  I won't even begin to tell you the six month process of obtaining a resident visa in Peru.  I will just explain our current situation so you will have an idea of what most missionaries go through on a regular basis.
After obtaining our visas, we must now pay two types of taxes each year.  This can be a long process.  When we tried to pay the Prorroga tax for our kids this year, we were told that Peru changed the law.  They made a new rule stating that if you are married to a Peruvian and have children, you must show the children's birth certificates each year.  When they wrote the law, they messed up, and now it states that all people with resident visas must show a birth certificate for their children.  The copy of the birth certificate cannot be more than a year old as well.  This set us in action to perform the following steps.
  1. Buy and order new copies of birth certificates from the States for our three kids.
  2. Send the new birth certificates to the Secretary of State in the State of each birth certificate.
  3. The Secretary of State apostilles (certifies) each birth certificate and sends it to my parents.
  4. We wait until someone is coming to Peru to ensure our expensive and important documents arrive securely. 
  5. Documents arrive in Cusco.  We find out they need to be translated to Spanish by an official government translator.  We search all over Cusco and find there are none.
  6. We send the birth certificates to a friend in Lima who stands in line for a long time and gets our documents translated for us.  We pay lots of money and he sends them back to Cusco.
  7. Next we must print out another form, fill in the information, and get it notarized.
  8. We fill out another form, make many copies of passports and Peruvian visas, deposit money in the bank, and then wait in line for hours.
  9. We then find out our oldest son's passport is expired and we can't pay his visa, nor can he leave the country until he gets a new passport.
  10. I call the Embassy in Lima and they explain the process.  We must get his birth certificate, take pictures, make an appointment at the Embassy in Lima, and then fly to Lima to start the process.
  11. Once they accept all our documents, we have to wait 15 days and then fly back to Lima to pick up the new passport in person.
  12. We then have to make another appointment at Immigrations in Lima so we can get the resident stamp that is in the expired passport transferred to the new passport. 
  13. Once this step is done, we fly back to Cusco to start the visa tax process over. 
We must do all of this before October when we go to the States or Chase will not be coming with us.  The funny thing about Peruvian law is it always changes.  Just when you get the process figured out, they change or make a new rule. 
This is just one of the many things that take up so much of our time and energy living in Peru.  All we can do is trust in God, move forward, and laugh.