Archive for 2014

November 2, 2014 Post-Halloween Reflections

MenorahTo Followers of Christ: 

Job 24:13 ““There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths.”

I guess if it’s okay for my Christian friends to post their dark and evil Halloween pictures on Facebook and other places, it must be okay for me to wonder why they took part in the holiday at all.  It just doesn’t compute in ‘my renewed mind’  how one can say they believe in the resurrection of the dead because Jesus rose from the dead and then dress like dead people, zombies, skeletons.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

It makes no sense to me that anyone would want to redeem this wicked, lawless, holiday for Christ.  I just can’t wrap my brain around how anyone who claims to be a Christian would justify honoring a holiday that Jesus would never have taken part in or even condoned because of its darkness.  Jesus called us ‘out of the darkness into His glorious light.’ 

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

I  am reminded of the Scripture in James 2:13, “You believe that “God is one”? Good for you! The demons believe it too — the thought makes them shudder with fear!” I think, “Wow, Christians don’t even shudder at the thought of demons, they play with them and dress like them.  They must have forgotten that Jesus cast demons OUT of people who knew what it was like to be possessed.

Mark 1:39 “So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.”

God used Halloween many years ago to set me free from demonic things in my life by showing me demons hanging on people who were ‘harmlessly’ dressed up and unknowingly partying with their possessor on Halloween.  It was the most eye-opening moment in my life and changed its course drastically.    Unfortunately, being given the gift of discerning spirits isn’t one of the more tolerated gifts in the Body of Christ because everyone who is supposed to be set apart, and holy to the Lord has embraced the world and rationalized their behavior with the world.  

James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

Whether or not a Christian realizes it, they will stand before God one day and give an account of their lives.  They will have to explain to the King of Kings, The Lord of Hosts (the military commander of the heavenly realms) why they celebrated a holiday that mocked God as the Creator of Life, His Son who died to bring them Life, and the Spirit of God that gives them Life.   

Romans 14:10 “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”

Kirk Cameron.  He is nothing but a man who has embraced the world, the things of the world and then teaches others to do so with arrogance and ignorance.  He has become a spokesman for idolatry and is far removed from the will and purpose of God. He doesn’t know the Scriptures; he twists them as the adversary did in the wilderness with Jesus.  More importantly, He doesn’t know the God of the Bible except in how he has divined Him to be with some ‘feel good about yourself message.’  I can honestly say, “I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes on judgement day.”  (And by the way, Kirk, there ARE those who do not eat food sacrificed to idols, including Paul who you so dangerously take out of historical, cultural and Biblical context.  Peter warns about people like you.2 Peter 3:16 “Indeed, he (Paul) speaks about these things in all his letters. They contain some things that are hard to understand, things which the uninstructed and unstable distort, to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”)

My friend, Patricia,  posted a Scripture today from Revelation 22:11-12 and it seems appropriate regarding my concluding thoughts on Halloween. 

“Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly; whoever is filthy, let him go on being made filthy. “Also, whoever is righteous, let him go on doing what is righteous; and whoever is holy, let him go on being made holy.” “Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done.”

I pray for those Christians I know personally who embrace death and its trappings through Halloween because the burden on my soul and spirit becomes so great during this time of year, exhausting, draining because I literally can see the evil.   Each year my prayer list gets longer because there is a great falling away, apostasy among those who didn’t take part in darkness just a few years ago – just like Jesus prophesied would happen.  This year my prayers included an entire local church.   I hope that someday each person that I prayed for comes to understand the darkness that they have embraced and understand how the Light of the World  shines in the darkness and calls them out.  Jesus is coming soon.  

“…Each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire — the fire will test the quality of each one’s work.  If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward;  if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).  

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries

The ‘yom’ of Sabbath

Genesis 1:5 “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.”

Genesis 1:8 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.”

Genesis 1:13 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.”

Genesis 1:19 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.”

Genesis 1:23 “So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.”

Genesis 1:31 “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.”

Each of the first six days of creation, included Day (light) and Night (darkness) and were part of one day beginning with evening.

Day

The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is yom. It is the period of daylight that contrasts nighttime.  In regards to creation, each yom was a 24-hour period that began in the evening at sunset and went through the morning (boker) until the next sunset (erev).  The original Sabbath yom did not have a time limitation, another nuance to the Hebrew word. The created Sabbath yom was never supposed to end.  Adam and Eve were to live in Gan Eden for all eternity; however, when sin entered the world through disobedience, the eternal Sabbath yom ended for them and their descendants.  It became a weekly Sabbath yom.

Light

The Hebrew word for ‘light’ is or and is first seen in Genesis 1:3.  It does not mean ‘day’ but is the opposite of darkness.

Night

The Hebrew word for ‘night’ is laila. It is the period of time that is dark.  During Biblical times, the laila was divided into three watches – sunset to 10 p.m., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., 2 a.m. to sunrise. 

Darkness

The Hebrew word for ‘darkness’ is choshek and means darkness and obscurity.  The or was separated from the choshek.

Evening

The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is erev.  This word represents the time of day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun and was used in Genesis 1:5 on the first day of creation. Erev can also mean night and therefore, there was night and then there was day.  This is significant because darkness always comes before light whether it’s the first day of creation or that we, as sinners walk in darkness until we are called into the light of salvation. 

Morning

The Hebrew word for ‘morning’  or ‘daybreak’ is boker. It does not mean the period of time before noon, but that point in time which night is changing to day or the rising of the sun.  When it is used as the antonym for night, boker means  the entire period of daylight.

The Seventh Day

Genesis 2:2-3 “On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.”

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.”

One of the ten commandments was to ‘remember’ the Sabbath yom – the eternal yom with a weekly yom.  The weekly yom of Sabbath became part of the seven-day cycle of the week with each yom beginning with evening (erev) and ending with morning (boker) as the days were created.

The importance of remembering the Sabbath yom was not so much about looking back to what was lost, but looking forward to the restoration of all things that would come at the end of time through the seed of the woman.  In other words, remembering the weekly Sabbath yom is a vision of the restoration of life Gan Eden which is found in Revelation 21 with the re-newed heavens and earth.

Evening to Evening, Sunset to Sunset

Matzah

In Exodus 12:18, the command to eat matzah went from the erev of the fourteenth day to the erev of the twenty-first day and lasted seven days.  Each yom was counted from evening to evening or sunset to sunset.

Exodus 12:18 “From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah.”

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement.  In Leviticus 23, the Sabbath yom is described.  The rest of the Sabbath is from evening until the following evening.  Since this holy day is called a yom, this is an excellent example of how God defines a Sabbath yom. 

Leviticus 23:32 “It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”

Nehemiah had the gates of Jerusalem closed for the Shabbat.  When the sun began to set, the gates closed until after the Sabbath.  No loads were brought into the city during the nighttime hours or the daytime hours.

Nehemiah 13:19 “So when the gates of Yerushalayim began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat.”

Yeshua’s Resurrection

In the gospels, it becomes clear when the Sabbath begins or ends.  In Matthew the ‘day was dawning’ or boker.  In Mark, ‘just after sunrise” or boker.  Both of these verses show that Sabbath was over and sunrise was coming.  In Luke and John, the ‘first day of the week’, ‘very early’ it was still dark.  This shows that the yom begins not in the morning or at daylight, but in evening (erev) when darkness falls.

Matthew 28:1 “After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave.”

Mark 16:2 “Very early the next day, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb.”

Luke 24:1 “…but the next day, while it was still very early, they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb….”

John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam from Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”

Sabbath Eternity

Revelation 22:5 “Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.”

In eternity, the restored Sabbath yom, laila will no longer exist nor will the or of a lamp or the sun because of the light of Yahweh.  Yet, the 24-hour Sabbath yom will still be celebrated along with a new moon Rosh Chodesh.   How will that be done?  Only God knows.  Until then, from sunset to sunset, God gave the weekly Sabbath yom to give us a vision of what is to come.  The light of the countenance of YHVH will make these days of Sabbath-keeping seem like darkness and we will enter an eternal light of Sabbath. 

Isaiah 66:22-23 ““For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. “Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai.” 

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries and Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew and Greek Words

Rejoicing in the Torah

“Tell the people of Israel, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to the LORD … on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to the LORD; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work” (Leviticus 23:34-36).

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted seven days with an added day at  its conclusion called Shemini Atzeret or the ‘eighth day assembly’.   Simchat Torah, Hebrew words meaning ‘Rejoicing in the Torah’ is celebrated as part of this assembly. 

Rolling Torah Scroll

Rolling Torah Scroll

Simchat Torah is a joyful celebration with dancing and flags which surpasses even the ‘season of our joy‘ in the entire Feast of Tabernacles.  On this day, the yearly cycle of reading the Torah concludes. The scroll is rolled from the end of Deuteronomy back to the beginning of Genesis in order to start a new yearly cycle of studying God’s teachings and instructions.

In synagogues the Torah scroll is removed from the ark and given to a group in the congregation to hold.  Then it is marched around or hakafot while people touch and kiss the cherished Scriptures.   Once the Torah is returned to the ark, everyone dances in circles.  Children wave flags and hand out candy.  This hakafot is done seven times as the scroll is handed to other groups until everyone has taken part in the celebration.

The Eighth Day

The number eight holds the the Biblical vision for ‘new beginnings’.  Dedication ceremonies for the Temple, the anointing oil and the Altar  lasted eight days.  Jewish baby boys were, and still are,  circumcised and named on the eighth day in a ceremony called a brit milah

A brit milah is the Hebrew terminology for ‘covenant of cutting’ or circumcision.   Circumcision was the covenant sign, a symbol of a blood sacrifice,  given to Abraham as God’s promise to make him the father of many nations.   Abraham believed God and trusted in the promise of a son, an heir. 

Because of Abraham’s faith, a brit milah, was always to be in unity with the circumcision of the heart.  When God told the Israelites to ‘circumcise the foreskin of their hearts,’ He was directing them back to Abraham, the father of their faith to whom circumcision was given.   He was also alluding back to the Garden of Eden and the hope in the coming Seed of woman who would become the blood sacrifice for sin.

From the details given in the first two chapters of Luke, we can reason that Yeshua was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  This means that on the eighth day, the Shemini Atzeret, while he was being circumcised in the Temple of Jerusalem, the Jewish people were dancing and celebrating the Torah.  As Israel and the priests were rejoicing in the Torah that held all the prophecies of their coming redemption, the Living Torah, a little baby was being given the name salvation in their very presence.  What a brit milah Yeshua had with his entire family of Jewish and Israeli brothers and sisters!

“On the eighth day, when it was time for his b’rit-milah, he was given the name Yeshua, which is what the angel had called him before his conception” (Luke 2:21).

In the modern spoken Hebrew language, milah also means ‘word’.   Thus a brit milah can also mean “the cutting of the Word‘, ‘circumcision of the Word’, or ‘covenant of the Word’.   Who is the Word of God?  Who became the covenant of the Word?  Yeshua!

With a brit milah every Jewish baby boy enters a covenant with the the Word and ultimately Yeshua in the flesh.    Though circumcision of the flesh is commanded for Israel and vitally important to the covenant made with Abraham, it is  even more important that one enters into the covenant of the Word by faith and receive a  circumcised heart.  Without  faith it is impossible to please God; without a circumcised heart, it is impossible to obey God.

Years ago I remember a Messianic pastor saying that the circumcision of a baby boy was not so much for the baby as the father who gives the child to be circumcised and witnesses the event.   It is at the moment when the beloved son’s foreskin of his flesh is ‘cut’,  that the father is ‘cut to the heart‘ and remembers the promises given to Abraham and his descendants.   It this the sign of the covenant in the flesh, the brit milah, that is a reminder of the promised Seed, salvation that would come from Israel and the Jewish people.

“A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

Simchat Torah

Loving God’s Word

Simchat Torah is the joyful celebration of the Torah, the written covenant God gave to Israel so they would be a light to the nations.  On the eighth day when everyone in Israel was celebrating  the Word of God, Yeshua had his brit milah and entered into the covenant of the Word.  As his Father watched, He remembered His covenant with Abraham.   One cycle of Torah ended and another began.  The Word had become flesh and was ‘cut’.  Yeshua became the Living Torah, the covenant of the Word that would bring the circumcision of the heart to Israel and the nations.

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries (Chapter from Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive that has more teachings on how to celebrate the Feasts of the LORD in your home or with others.)

Blessing on Taking the Lulav

The Lulav: Willow, Palm, Myrtle and Citron (Etrog)

The Lulav: Willow, Palm, Myrtle and Citron (Etrog)

This is the  meditation for the lulav and etrog from the Sidur.  My husband and I were astounded and blessed at the same time.

“May it be Your will, LORD my God and God of my fathers, that through the fruit of the citron tree, the palm frond, the myrtle branches and willows of the brook, the letters of Your unique name draw close to one another and become united in my hand.  Make it known I am called by Your name, so that [evil] will fear to come close to me.  When I wave them, may a rich flow of blessings flow from the supreme Sour of wisdom to the place of the Tabernacle and the site of the House of our God.  May the command of these four species be considerd by You as iif I had fulfilled it in all its details and roots, as well as the 613 commandments dependent on it, for it is my intention to unify the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Divine Presence, in reverance and love, to unify the name Yod-Hey with Vav Heh, in perfect unity in the name of all Israel, Amen.  Blessed is the LORD forever, Amen and Amen. (Ps. 89).”

Blessed are You LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has made us holy through His commandments, and has commanded us about taking the lulav.

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has given us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this season.

© Koren Siddur

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