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Doomsday faith groups

Part 1 of 3 parts
1967 to 1999: The House of Yahweh®
faith group, located in Abilene, TX:

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Note:

At least two individuals in this group have died due to lack of professional medical attention. However, this group has not resulted in a major loss of life comparable to the dozens or hundreds who have died in other high demand faith groups, like the Branch Davidians and The People's Temple of Jim Jones. Members appear to be physically free to leave the group at any time.

The House of Yahweh appears to be a high risk group, with the potential of developing into a destructive cult at some time in the future. It could then pose an extreme danger to its members. There have been a number of negative media reports on this group, including a Newsweek magazine article in 1997-APR, a mention on the "This Morning" TV program for 1997-AUG-28, an interview of their leader on Hard Copy, mind control episodes on A&E television and Dr. Phil, etc.

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1967: The first House of Yahweh, located in Odessa, western Texas:

The House of Yahweh was organized by Jacob Hawkins. He was an American who had gone to Israel in 1967 to work on a kibbutz. While there, he heard of a recent archaeological discovery of a 1st century building that had "House of Yahweh" (in Hebrew) inscribed over its entrance. He believed that this was the name of a group specially selected in ancient times by God. He returned to the U.S. and built a religious sanctuary in Odessa TX with that name.

Members of his group worshipped Yahweh (Elohim) and Yeshua, (Jesus) His son. They were Sabbatarians; that is, they hold religious services on Saturday. They celebrated the main Jewish festivals (Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles). They rejected, with considerable justification, celebrations at Christmas, Easter, and Halloween as Pagan inventions. They believed that Yeshua was born in the spring time, during the birthing season, when the shepherds are out watching their flock at night. They taught that Yeshua's shed blood on the cross cleanses believers from sin, but only if they also have adhered to the 10 commandments from the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament).

Members tithed 10% of their earnings. The group's leadership is by 12 disciples and 70 elders. They published a periodical: The Prophetic Watchman. They didn't keep membership records or release information on the total numbers of members. However, in 1980, they reported having congregations in the US, Israel, India, South Africa, West Africa, Burma, Australian and Belgium.

Following the death of Jacob, the group disbanded.

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1980: The second House of Yahweh, in Abilene, central Texas:

Jacob's brother Yisrayl was originally part of the Odessa group. But he left in 1980 to form a second House of Yahweh in Abilene TX. The brothers had disagreed over the proper name for God. Yisrayl became the High Priest of the new group and is assisted by elders, and male and female deacons. They celebrate the various Jewish feast days specified in Leviticus 23. They also celebrate two additional feasts: "Yahshua's Memorial" and "Last Great Day". They have a periodical called The Prophetic Word.

In 1987, they reported seven congregations served by 35 ministers. They had about 100 followers living at their Texas headquarters.

Their web site can be viewed at http://yahweh.com/ The web site includes:

  • The last six months of their monthly magazines "The Prophetic Word and "The Quartet in Prophecy."

  • Links to weekly sermons by Yisrayl Hawkins,

  • Their translation of the Bible called "The Book of Yahweh."

  • etc.

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Beliefs taught by the surviving House of Yahweh:

Some of their beliefs are:

  • Satan is a female who is the former wife of Yahweh. She rebelled and was expelled from Heaven. She has indirectly controlled of all of the world's governments and religions by appointing all political and religious leaders.

  • The terms "God" and "Lord" actually refer to the minority of disobedient angels who were expelled from Heaven with Satan.

  • Catholicism and Protestantism are evil faith groups, symbolized by the two horns of the beast mentioned in Revelation 13:11.

  • The 2012-JUL issue of their magazine, The Prophetic Word (PW) stated that:

    "Sorceries and witchcraft are practiced mostly by Catholics and Christians, but it’s even more widespread than that. All religions today, except The House of Yahweh located in Abilene, Texas, are involved in sorceries and witchcraft in many ways." 1

  • Yahshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) and Yahweh (God) are two separate beings. The Trinity does not exist. 2

  • Yahshua Messiah did not exist from the creation of the world; he was conceived late in the 1st century BCE, and did not exist before that time.

  • Yisrayl Hawkins and his late brother Jacob are the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:3.

  • Holding religious services on Sunday and observing the traditional Christian holidays harms believers. They are given the "mark of the Beast" as mentioned in Revelation 13:15-18 and other verses in that biblical book.

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Beliefs by outside observers about the House of Yahweh:

There have been a series of largely unconfirmed allegations about:

  • Extreme psychological control over the membership of the Abilene group. Members are told what to wear, what to read, and what to listen to or watch.

  • A collection of weapons by the leaders.

  • An article in the Abilene Reporter-News stated that:

    "Four men tied to the militant, anti-government Posse Comitatus of Wisconsin are elders or guards in the House of Yahweh." 3

    The latter are a anti-government, anti-semitic, racist group of survivalists.

  • Polygyny exists within the group. This is the most common form of polygamy involving the marriage of one man with more than one woman.

  • Members of the House of Yahweh believe that their group will play a major role in the War of Armageddon at the time of the end of the world as we know it.

  • Miryam Martin, a member of the House of Yahweh who left in the year 2000 said:

    "It's definitely a cult that follows mind-control techniques. So many people's lives have been destroyed by what's been going on over there." 4

  • Some ex-members claim that leader Yisrayl Hawkins has at least two dozen wives. This is denied by existing members. However, state records show that he did father two babies during 2007 to women aged 19 and 22. 4

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1998 & 1999: Prophecies of the House of Yahweh:

The group places major emphasis on an end-of-the-world scenario which they once believed would start on 1998-OCT. That didn't happen.

Subsequently, they issued a second prophecy, published in 1999-SEP. It was linked to the 7 year Middle East peace plan which was signed on 1993-SEP-13. They expected that when "the seven year peace plan...starts again in the fall of 2000," the world will experience "the worst time of trouble ever." According to Isaiah 24, God will make the earth a wasteland and will scatter its inhabitants. The land will be utterly emptied and plundered. They predicted that by mid-2001, 80% of the world's population would have been killed as a result of nuclear war. No rain will fall for 1,260 days! This is exactly 42 months according to ancient Hebrew calculations and about about three and a half years according to our the Gregorian calendar. This interval is mentioned in the Books of Daniel and Revelation as either 1,260 days or "time, and times, and half a time." Fortunately, this end of the world prophecy failed as well.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Witchcraft & Sorceries: More than you could ever imagine," The Prophetic Word, 2013-JUL, at: http://yahweh.com/
  2. Philip Arnn, "House of Yahweh," Watchman Fellowship Profile, at: http://www.watchman.org/yahpro.htm
  3. Richard Horn & Loretta Fulton, "House of Yahweh has ties to Anti-government group Posse Comitatus", Article: Abilene Reporter-News, 1996-MAY-05
  4. "House Of Yahweh: A Darker Sect Than FLDS," CBS News, 2008-MAY-13, at: http://www.cbsnews.com/
  5. "House of Yahweh: History," at: http://people.virginia.edu/

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Copyright © 1999 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2016-FEB-05
Author: B.A. Robinson
 

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