Archive for 2015

The Western Wall of Partition

“For he [Yeshua]  himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,  by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace …” (Ephesians 2:14-15).

Many Christians believe that the ‘dividing wall’ that Yeshua destroyed is the Torah, the instructions of God found in the first five books of the Bible.   The Torah is NOT, nor ever was, the ‘barrier wall’  destroyed by Messiah.  “Setting aside in his flesh the law’,  he destroyed the regulations that separated men and women, Jew and gentile, and slave and free from worshipping the God of Abraham together in Spirit and in Truth as proscribed by the Torah.

Dividing Walls of 'Hostility"

Dividing Walls of ‘Hostility” at the Kotel

The Western Wall area (the Kotel) still has dividing walls today.  There is an ‘outer court’ barrier between those who are just visiting as tourists (in the foreground) and an ‘inner court’  barrier between men and women (down the center).   And according to some manmade regulations,  reading a Torah scroll by women is still forbidden.  

When I was at the Western Wall on the Sabbath, I wondered why the men were dancing in circles and praising God with loud voices, but the women were not.  I asked some young women who were studying at a yeshiva (school for religious study)  in Jerusalem.  I was told that ‘only men dance’.  I  asked why they  could not praise God through the dance. Were they not joyful too?  It was the Sabbath after all!  They didn’t know the answer.

Fifteen minutes later these same women had a circle within a circle within a circle of 50-60 women dancing while singing the Psalms from their prayer books.  I joined one circle with a Swedish woman and we listened to these women’s voices beautifully harmonize the Psalms in Hebrew.  Together as women, Jew and non-Jew, we worshipped  just like the men (and my husband was dancing with them).  This is the ‘one new man’ for which Messiah gave his life.  This is the unity of worship the God of Israel desires between His chosen people and the nations.  This will be the testimony of Messiah for the world.

We visited the Kotel multiple times during our visit.   We noticed that most Christian tourists, who most likely believe the ‘dividing wall’ was destroyed by Messiah, actually stay behind the ‘outer court’ barrier rather than approach the Wall to pray with and for the literal brothers and sisters of Yeshua, the lost sheep of the House of Israel.   By remaining behind the barrier (and taking photos), these believers effectively still believe a barrier exists and lose the opportunity as the nations to make Israel envious for their own Messiah.   I will never forget my Sabbath experience dancing at the Western Wall because through discussing dancing with those young women, I also had the opportunity to talk to them about Yeshua, the very reason they should be joyous on the Shabbat at the Western Wall.   Their salvation has come!

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua” (Galatians 3:28).    

©December 2015 Tent Stake Ministries Book Nosh

A Wiccan’s View of the Occult

A few weeks ago a friend was reading a website on Occult Holidays and Sabbats.  Curiously, she asked me what I thought about the article and how much of it was fact and how much was not.  Since I am not in the occult, I couldn’t answer her question apart from what I have researched over the years in searching for truth – not only Biblical Truth, but also the truth about other religious practices in the world.  So, I turned to a friend who is a Wiccan.  She willingly shared what she knew and offered to answer any more questions that I may have had.  Her response to the article:

“Satanism is kind of its own entity and I cannot  answer those questions [in the article] for you. In the Craft (Wicca/Witchcraft) there is no Satan in our belief system. We have a lord of the Underworld, but nothing as dark and vile as the Christian Satan. We have “dark gods”, but they are not dark in the same context.  In the Craft we do not sacrifice humans or animals. We may sacrifice herbs and flowers, but never humans or animals. I have also never heard of the Illuminati sacrificing people.   

In the Craft, we worship a multitude of Gods and Goddesses at one time. We remember certain Pantheons based on who “called” to us.  I pray to a total of 11 Gods and Goddesses NIGHTLY.   They are Gods older than the bible.

While we do celebrate a ‘wheel of the year’ and the next Sabbat is Yule which does indeed fall on Dec. 21,  I cannot help you with the Satan side of things because we, as witches,  have to deal with the rule of three which basically says what you put out into the universe (be it love or hate, good intentions or evil) will come back to you threefold in your lifetime and possibly carry over into a multitude of lifetimes (we believe in reincarnation). The symbols mentioned do have deep connections in the Craft especially the star, but again it was around before the bible. The star represents the Five elements of Life (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit).

Santa has many tales and legends. The most popular being that he was formerly a bishop of the Catholic church. The colors Green and Red are pretty important: Green represents Earth and Red represents heart and love. Elves are extremely popular in legends.  In some, they are naughty little folk who like to mess with you and your things and in others they represent help and happiness like if and elf visits you, it’s a good thing!  The Number 13 represents – a number.  Sorry to disappoint you.  But in the Craft, it literally is just a number. Same with 666. They are just numbers that inspire fear in some and novelty in others.  Maybe to true Satanists, it does represent something greater, but to me they are just numbers. I wish I could answer your above question, but I hope I did explain a little more [regarding the Craft].  If you ever have questions, please ask! I do not mind sharing what I have learned and continue to learn.”

My comments regarding her response.

First.  Satan is a deceiver, the master deceiver and has a plethora of followers through false religious systems worldwide.  Some claim to follow the Creator of the Universe and are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing; others are clear they do not have anything to do with the Creator and worship other gods and the creation.   The first commandment is that we are not to follow other gods, but only have YHVH Elohim as our first and only God.

Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”  Yeshua makes it pretty clear that we are either for God, YHVH, or we are not.

Joshua 24:15 “If it seems bad to you to serve YHVH, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household, we will serve YHVH!”  Joshua says that we all have a choice – to serve the God of Israel, YHVH, or other gods.

Second.  My friend mentions that there are gods and goddesses that are older than the Bible.  These are nothing more, nothing less than those fallen angels who desire to be worshipped.  For people who have studied pre-bible history, they are aware there are other mystical stories not found within the context of the Bible.  One example would be Lilith, Adam’s first wife.  Though we are not given any information about this created being in Scripture, we are given the history of what happened in the heavenly realm before Satan was kicked out with 1/3 of the angelic beings and therefore, pre-Bible history may be quite accurate, but not include details necessary for our walk of faith.

She speaks of the ‘god of the underworld’ which comes from Greek thought and is known as Hades. When the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek, the word Hades was replaced with Sh’ol, meaning ‘underworld’, but more specifically translated into the words ‘grave’, ‘pit’, or ‘hell.’   It is not in reference to an actual burial site, but a place that ‘swallows the dead’ and ‘always hungers for more.’

Isaiah 5:14 Therefore Sh’ol has enlarged itself and opened its limitless jaws — and down go their nobles and masses, along with their noise and revels.”

Proverbs 30:15-16 Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough!” — Sh’ol and a barren womb; the earth, never satisfied with water;  and fire, which never says, “Enough!”

Yeshua speaks about Hades or Sh’ol  several times in the gospels.  Most specifically he holds the keys to ‘death and Hades’ and therefore he is above all other gods and goddesses in the ‘underworld.’  At the end of time, at the final judgment, death and Hades will be thrown into the eternal lake of fire.

Matthew 11:23 “And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.”

Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

Revelation 1:18 “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” 

Revelation 6:8 “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

Revelation 20:13 “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.” 

Revelation 20:14 “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” 

Third.  Please note the references to the Christ Mass: the red and green colors, the Yule [Yuletide] of December 21 being a Wiccan Sabbat (aka winter solstice), and the five-pointed star (pentagon/pentagram) that is commonly put on top of a tree that is cut down and brought into the home and decorated with silver and gold (Jeremiah 10:1-4). The pentagram is the five-pointed Satanic symbol used in Satanism and occult practices.  As for the number 666, it has become associated with the Mark of the Beast in Revelation, but it may have a very different interpretation than an actual number which is why it is meaningless to this woman and is used to deceive those looking for a tattoo or something else.

Finally, fear is considered a spirit in Scripture and when it comes to the ‘underworld’ and it’s darkness, we should not have the spirit of fear when confronted with it, but expose it.     We should always embrace the Truth of God’s Word and the Light it brings to our paths even shedding light onto the dark paths that others choose to follow as light.  Satan has always worn a mask and will continue to masquerade as an angel of light until he has the whole world worshipping him.    We have been called out of his darkness into the glorious light of Messiah who is the light,  and that should always be our focus whenever we are challenged with ‘darkness’ and ‘other gods’.

“But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out ofdarkness into his wonderful light” (2 Peter 2:9).

©2015 Tentstake Ministries

Until Next Feast of Dedication

The Light to the Nations

The Light to the Nations

“It is not enough that you are merely my servant to raise up the tribes of Ya‘akov (Jacob)  and restore the offspring of Isra’el. I will also make you a light to the nations, so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

In order to be a light to the nations that would bring salvation to the world, the Jewish people had to stand against assimilating into the idol worship being forced upon them by the Syrians. They could not allow the culture and customs of a different religious system to infiltrate and destroy their Biblical heritage within the Torah and the promises of God to their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When it did, they fought against it with their lives.

“When you enter the land Adonai your God is giving you, you are not to learn how to follow the abominable practices of those nations” (Deuteronomy 18:9).

Each of us as believers in the Messiah of Israel need to be a light in the darkness of this world. We cannot assimilate into any culture or embrace customs that are contrary to Biblical truth. Since 300 CE,  the assimilation of pagan practices into the pure faith of the prophets and apostles has slowly taken place. This mixing of the holy and the profane has created a lukewarm faith; a faith that doesn’t bring the hope of salvation to the world, but an ideology that not only the world rejects, but Messiah will vomit out of his mouth.   Because we are unwilling to use the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation,  for an outline of holiness in our lives, a great deception has taken place and a lawless gospel has taken root.  The ‘man of lawlessness’ has been set free to set up his final ‘abomination of desolation’ in a temple in Jerusalem.

“Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition), who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Amplified Bible).

"Your word is a light to my path and a lamp to my feet" (Psalm 119:105).

“Your word is a light to my path and a lamp to my feet” (Psalm 119:105).

Each of us must be willing to acknowledge the contamination that has entered our hearts and minds and take the necessary steps to cleanse and purify our spiritual temples from that contamination, whether physical or spiritual.  We must search for the idols on the altars of our lives and remove them, even if it is painful and contrary to everything we have ever known.  Each of us must wholeheartedly embrace a Biblical faith that includes an obedient life to the commandments of God that shows we love Yeshua, the Light of the World.

“Therefore the LORD says, “‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean. Then I myself will receive you. In fact, I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.’ says Adonai, the LORD of Hosts”.  Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1).

Until the next Feast of Dedication,  “Pay careful attention to how you conduct your life — live wisely, not unwisely.  Make the most of every opportunity, use your time well, for these are evil days” (Ephesians 5:15-16). 

©2015 Tentstake Ministries

Hanukkah vs. Christmas, the Alternative?

For many Biblical reasons, our family stopped celebrating Christmas many years ago.  Our relatives didn’t understand our reasons, but accepted the decision as best they could.  One side still sent Christmas presents that we reminded our children to accept with gratefulness because ‘every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).   The other side began wrapping Christmas gifts in Hanukkah paper.  Though that was their way of respecting our decision, Hanukkah is not a Jewish substitute, replacement or alternative to Christmas.  Hanukkah and Christmas have two very different historic backgrounds and have nothing in common with one another.

The roots and traditions of Christmas can be found in the Roman celebration of Saturnalia on which the Catholic church sprinkled holy water,  incorporated the birth of a non-Jewish Jesus, and created the Christ Mass (which ironically means ‘death sacrifice’).   Those who embrace Christmas believing it as Jesus’ birthday  are doing nothing more than acknowledging catholicism as the roots of their faith (even if they are protestants who reject everything catholic).   In fact, all of Christiandom and secular society for this one day of the year become catholic in their celebration and promote the idolatrous Saturnalia with a holiday of stars, greenery, and gift giving.  

The events surrounding Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication (John 10:22), are found in the Apocrypha and are rooted in Jewish history during the time of Alexander the Great when he wanted to Hellenize the world.  It was during this time that the Emperor Hadrian changed the name of Judea to the Greek/Latin Palestine in order to expedite the destruction of the nation and people of Israel.  Alexander’s cohort Antiochus Epiphanes (means ‘antichrist manifest’) went about ‘Palestine’  forcing the Jewish people to renounce their faith in the God of Israel or die.  He sought to destroy the people and the lineage through whom the Messiah would come. They were not allowed to circumcise their children, celebrate Passover or any of God’s other holy days or offer sacrifices in the Temple.  As Antiochus’ armies entered Jerusalem, they desecrated the Most Holy Place in the Temple with pig’s blood.  This is the same Temple that today Muslim world leaders claim never existed; the same place where an Islamic mosque stands.   

Our family is not nor ever was catholic thus we do not take part in the Christ Mass.   Our children were raised to understand the historical roots of Christmas and have never felt as if were missing something.   Instead, they were taught about Hanukkah and the anti-semitism of the Greek/Roman world, the same anti-semitism that still exists today in much of the church due to its catholic heritage along with the growing ideology of hatred for Israel in the much-tolerated religion of Islam. 

As they are all grown and have their own lives, each still remembers the Maccabees and their fight to free the Jews from being Hellenized with paganism.   They light their menorahs for eight days to remember the re-dedication of the Temple Altar back to Yahweh.  Each night with the candle light they look forward to the day when the Messiah Yeshua returns, sets His feet on the Mount of Olives, enters the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem and the Temple area.  On that day he will cleanse a newly-built  Temple from the coming ‘abomination of desolation’ (Matthew 24:15-26, 2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will restore Jerusalem and the nation of Israel to the eternal glory that is promised in the Holy Scriptures.  

Hanukkah is not a Jewish alternative to Christmas.  Changing the wrapping paper on a present or saying “Happy Hanukkah” rather than “Merry Christmas” changes nothing about the deeply rooted differences.  One is a celebration with unBiblical roots and decorated to entice the world into idolatry; the other is a memorial to those who fought against anti-semitism in order to protect the Temple in Jerusalem and to stand against the destruction of  their faith in the God of Israel.   Unlike the Roman catholic-based Christmas, Hanukkah is a reminder from a century before the birth of Messiah that nothing and no one, especially a modern ‘antiochus’ can destroy the Lion of the Tribe of Judah through whom the redemption of the world will come.

“You people don’t know what you are worshipping; we worship what we do know, because salvation comes from the Jews” (John 4:22).

©2015 Tent Stake Ministries

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