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 destroyed by Yeshua. ‘Setting aside in his flesh the law’,  he destroyed the man-made regulations that separated men and women, Jew and gentile, and slave and free from worshiping the God of Israel in Spirit and in Truth.

Dividing Walls of 'Hostility"
Dividing Walls of ‘Hostility” at the Kotel

The Kotel or the Western Wall area 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 man-made regulations,  reading a Torah scroll by women is still forbidden.  

When I was at the Western Wall on the Shabbat, 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 Shabbat 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 gentile, we worshiped  just like the men (my husband was dancing with them).  This is the ‘one new man’ for which Yeshua gave his life.  This is the unity of worship the God of Israel desires between His chosen people and the nations.  Someday, when the gentiles come to their fullness of their calling, this will be the testimony of Yeshua for the world.

We visited The Kotel multiple times during our visit.   We noticed that most Christian tourists, those who most likely believe the ‘dividing wall’ was destroyed by Yeshua, actually stay behind the ‘outer court’ barrier rather than approach the Western Wall to pray with the brothers and sisters of Yeshua. By remaining behind the barrier (and taking photos), these Christians still believe a barrier exists and lose the opportunity to make Israel envious for their own Messiah.   I will never forget my Shabbat dancing at the Western Wall. While 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!

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

A Wiccan’s View of the Occult

“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 Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Is Hanukkah the alternative Christmas?

For numerous 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 our children accepted 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 historical, spiritual 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. They incorporated the birth of a non-Jewish Jesus and created the Christ Mass (which ironically means ‘death sacrifice’).   Those who embrace Christmas believing it is Jesus’ birthday  are doing nothing more than acknowledging catholicism as the root of their faith, even if they are protestants who claim to reject everything catholic.   In fact, all of Christianity and secular society for this one day of the year become catholic in their celebrations and promote the idolatrous Saturnalia with a holiday of stars, wreaths, greenery, and gift giving.  

“Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter …” (John 10:22)

The events surrounding Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication, are found in the Apocrypha. It is rooted in Jewish history during the time when Alexander the Great wanted to Hellenize the world.  At the same time, the Emperor Hadrian changed the name of Judea to the Greek Palestine in order to expedite the destruction of the nation and people of Israel.

Alexander’s cohort, Antiochus Epiphanes meaning ‘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. 

The Jewish people 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 Muslim world leaders claim never existed; the same place where an Islamic mosque stand today.   

Our family is not nor ever was catholic so we do not celebrate Christmas by taking part in the Christ Mass.   Our children were raised to understand the historically pagan roots of Christmas and have never felt as if they were missing some great holiday.

After we read that the prophet Jeremiah warned God’s people about cutting down a tree and bringing it into the house, we stopped cutting down a Christmas tree and decorating it with all its lights, ornaments, and angels. We stopped following the customs of the church like Advent calendars and candle wreaths.

Instead, we taught our children about Hanukkah and the anti-semitism of the Greek/Roman world, the same anti-semitism that exists in the church because of its catholic-rooted heritage. We taught our children the anti-semitism and hatred of Israel in the growing ideology of the much-tolerated religion of Islam.  We taught our children that obeying the commands of God are more important than the traditions of men and the culture in which we live.

Our children are grown and have their own lives, but 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 Adonai.  Each night with the candle light they remember the prophecies for when Yeshua returns and sets His feet on the Mount of Olives. He will enter the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem and will cleanse a newly-built Temple from the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Matthew 24:15-26, 2 Thessalonians 2:4). Yeshua will restore Jerusalem and the nation of Israel to the Millennial glory promised in the 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 differences between the two. One is a celebration with pagan roots and decorated to entice the world into idolatry; the other is a memorial to those who fought against anti-semitism and stood against the destruction of  their faith in the God of Isra’el and His Torah. Unlike the Christmas holiday, Hanukkah is a reminder from a century before the birth of Yeshua that no one, especially a modern antiochus can remove the Torah that comes out of Zion, and the Word of Adonai that comes from Jerusalem; including the Vatican or the pope (Michah 4:2).

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing,  all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Nations – Hebrew: Goyim

“As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4).

גויים

Goyim or goy in Hebrew means ‘name of a people or nations.’ Goy is used 561 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and refers to peoples and nations generally in a context of geographical or governmental identity.  They have a unique origin and language.  Only twice is goy used with the idea of pagan and seven times it is [mis]translated as ‘gentile’.

Though goyim or ‘gentile’ can mean ‘pagan,’ its specific meaning must be determined through context.  Abraham did not become the ‘father of many pagans’ nor should every gentile be considered pagan. Abraham became the ‘father’ of many geographical peoples with many different origins, languages, and governmental identities: the goyim [nations]. Though those living in the nations may have had a pagan belief system, many within those systems recognize Abraham as their ‘father of  faith.’ These are the goyim promised to ‘the father of many nations.’ 

“The children fought with each other inside her so much that she said, “If it’s going to be like this, why go on living?” So she went to inquire of Adonai, who answered her, “There are two nations [goyim]  in your womb. From birth they will be two rival peoples. One of these peoples will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger” (Genesis 25:22-23). 

The Hebrew word for two ‘nations’ is goyim.  Two goyim fight in Rebecca’s womb –– not two pagans or two gentiles.  Two nations.  From these two nations came the Edomites from Esau and the Israelites from Jacob. The two nations would war regarding over being the ‘seed’ promised to Abraham.

Obedience to God’s commands would lead to the goyim to recognize Isra’el as a wise and understanding goy with an Elohim who is nothing like the pagan gods within the goyim (Deuteronomy 4:32).

Jeremiah tells Isra’el not to learn the ‘ways of the nations’ (Jeremiah 10:2).   The ‘ways of the nations’ he refers to are definitely not God’s ways and could be considered pagan: holding to religious beliefs contrary to the ways of God. This does not make the nation itself pagan, but their customs and religious practices.

Hebrew Word Pictures

ג Gimel – A Camel means ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

י Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for goyim: lift up the binding the finished work, the finished work of chaos.

“But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles [ethnos] might come to the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 16:26). 

Ethnos is used for ‘a nation or people’ in the Greek.

This verse is also evidence the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham regarding all nations.  Note that the word ethnos is (mis)translated ‘gentiles’ rather than ‘nations.’ 

The word paganin both in the Hebrew and Greek is a completely different word than goy.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.