The House of Yahweh – What is it?

The House of Yahweh is a cult, established in 1980, after a group split from the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). They focus on keeping the law of the Old Testament to achieve justification. Like Mormons, House of Yahweh believes in polygamy and the spiritual superiority of elders. Like Jehovah's Witnesses, they emphasize rule-keeping and apocalyptic destruction.

Headquartered in Eula, Texas, the movement began when J.G. Hawkins visited Israel and declared "Yahweh" to be the only name that God recognized for Himself. That was in 1974. Hawkins changed his name to Yaaqob and his younger brother Bill changed his name to Yisrayl. Together the brothers said they were the two witnesses described in Revelation 11 and they were to prepare the world for Jesus' return. They call Him Yahshua.

Of course, the Bible says that the two witnesses will destroy their enemies through fire that comes from their mouths, that they will prophesy for 1,260 days, and have the power to stop the rain and turn water into blood. Neither one of the Hawkins brothers did any of that, plus J.G. Hawkins (Yaaqob) died in 1991.

Yisrayl Hawkins continues to lead the House of Yahweh, declaring that he is a prophet in the end times and will save the world from destruction, but that only those who follow him will survive. Leaders teach strict adherence to the Torah, "Yahweh's 613 laws," and Jewish feasts and festivals as the means to obtain salvation. This includes the Saturday Sabbath. House of Yahweh also declares that traditional Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas are pagan.

The House of Yahweh, as compared to the Bible, is not Christian.

First, God Himself uses many names in the Bible, not just Yahweh. He is identified as El-Shaddai (Exodus 6:3), I AM (Exodus 3:14), and Elohim (Ezekiel 34:31). In Psalm 91:1–2, the psalmist uses five different names for the Lord. Moses called Him "God of gods and Lord of lords" (Deuteronomy 10:17).

House of Yahweh teaches that God had a wife named Lucifer who became Satan when she rebelled. Clearly this is not a biblical teaching.

Also, leaders teach that Jesus was not divine, though the Bible clearly states that Jesus is God (John 1:1; 5:58; 10:30; 14:9; Philippians 2:6–7; 1 John 2:22–23).

Of course, to get around biblical teaching, the House of Yahweh has produced its own Bible translation. Yisreyl, with no training in translations or biblical history, took it upon himself to add or delete words from the Bible to fit his own theology.

And, as many false prophets do, Hawkins (Yisreyl) has failed to accurately predict the end of the world. His predictions that October 14, 2000 would be when Jesus returned and that nuclear war would begin on June 12, 2008 both failed to prove accurate. God has warned people for centuries that there would be false prophets (Jeremiah 29:8-9; 1 John 4:1–3); the Hawkins brothers are among them.

Also, the House of Yahweh demonstrates a works-based theology as opposed to the biblically accurate grace-based theology (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8–9; John 3:15–18).

If the biblical evidence wasn't enough to disqualify the House of Yahweh, there is also Hawkins' legal troubles, including investigations into sexual misconduct, polygamy, and child-labor.

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