Archive for 2015

1492, Columbus and the Jew

1000509261001_1951472476001_BIO-Mini-Bio-Christopher-Columbus-SFWhat really happened in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue?  Was it to come to America and ‘take whatever he could?’  Or was there some greater purpose behind his finding a ‘new land’ that was not in the continental U.S.?  Could  anti-semitic attitudes be behind all the misconceptions and deceptions behind celebrating Columbus day?

The following are quotes from two different sources, The Other 1492 by  Norman H. Finkelstein and Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, by Edward Kirtzler.

“Within three months there must not remain in my kingdom a single Jew.” King Ferdinand of Spain

“In the spring of 1492, within a three-week period, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued two seemingly unrelated but fateful decrees.  In the first, issued on March 31, 1492, the royal couple ordered all Jews to leave Spanish soil within four months; they could take nothing of value with them.  The second edict, on April 17, bestowed the exalted title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea upon a persistent Genoese sailor, Christopher Columbus, and directed him to undertake an expedition in search of a new route to the rich Indies.

“Throughout Spain, Jewish families were busily winding up their affairs, saying tearful good-byes, and making plans for their departures.  The plight of the Jews affected nearly every Spanish village: no one could ignore the upheaval.  Even Columbus, whose thoughts were now intently focused on his upcoming voyage, began the diary of his momentous journey by noting what was happening to the Jews.   …There are some scholars who suggest that Columbus himself may have had Jewish roots.  Whether this is true or not, there is no doubt that Columbus knew many Jews and that his celebrated voyage was made possible by their contributions and efforts.  The noted Astronomer Abraham Zacuto designed the astronomical charts that assured Columbus a safe voyage.  Important Jewish mapmakers, like the Crecas brothers, were much sought after by other explorers of the time.  Among the ships’ crews were at least three Jews including Luis de Torres, the interpreter.  He became the first European to set foot upon the soil of the New World because of his knowledge of Hebrew and Arabic, languages Columbus thought the natives of the Indies would probably speak.

“Support at the royal court for Columbus and his plan had come from two  important Jewish advisers to the king and queen, Luis de Santagel and Don Isaac Abravanel.  Santangel, the royal treasurer, was a Marrano – that is, a baptized Jew who in public behaved like a Christian, but inwardly considered himself still a Jew” (Marranos, the Spanish word for pigs, was the contemptuous term given these “New Christians” by the established Catholics, and the name has endured). 

“There were many like Santengel in Spain: Jews whose families over the years had been forced to renounce their own faith and accept Catholicism.  Many New Christians advanced quickly in professions not previously open to them as Jews.  By 1492 many of the descendants had reached the highest positions available in government, business and even the Church.  It was said that there was hardly an aristocratic family in all of Spain – including the king’s – that did not have at least a little Jewish blood flowing in its veins” (Finkelstein, p. 1-2).

“In the last decades of the fifteenth century, there began what came to be called the Holy Terror.  Queen Isabella vowed she would root out all heretics from her kingdom once the Catholic reconquest of Spain from the Moors [Muslims] was complete.  Meanwhile, she would begin by ferreting out heretics in Seville,  a city known for Jews pretending to be Christians.  Her means was the auto-da-fé (act of faith), the church’s idea of Judgment Day on earth, with a Grand Inquisitor playing God” (Kritzler, p. 3).

Both Santangel and Abravanel saw beyond the immediate benefits to the monarchy of a successful voyage by Columbus.  They realized the tremendous implications the settlement of a new land had for the increasingly harassed Jews of Spain.  … They offered to finance the voyage themselves ….  Their lengthy behind-the-scenes maneuvering finally paid off when the monarchs granted Columbus permission and funds to sail” (Finkelstein, p. 3).

“On August 1, 1492, when Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, ethnic cleansing was the order of the city: 100,000 Jews left Spain, expelled as mandated by the Royal Edict of Expulsion of Jews.  Those who remained behind, or crossed the border to Portugal, converted to Catholicism.  The more adventurous went on to the New World” (Kirtzler, p. 1). 

“…On the very day Columbus set sail, Spain’s monarchs banished her Jews to purify and thereby unite their nation.  Jews settled everywhere they were permitted and, disguised as Portuguese New Christians, where they weren’t.  …They thought themselves safe, but the white-hooded Inquisitors soon followed.  In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of New Word conversos were arrested, tortured, and tried.  Found guilty, they saw their wealth confiscated, and they were first flogged, then imprisoned, strangled, burned or condemned either to work in the salt mines of Venezuela or to row galley ships across the Pacific, a sentence from which none returned. 

“Inquisitors were thorough in their questioning of heretics, and the trial transcripts offer an intimate look into the condemned Judaizers’ secret lives.  During the day, they went about as exemplary Catholics, attended Mass, went to confession and had their children baptized.  But on certain nights they met secretly in one another’s homes, reverted to Hebrew names, and read from the Torah.   History would come to call these secret Jews, Marranos, meaning pigs.  Though this term has generally lost its pejorative meaning, I prefer to call them what they called themselves in the sanctity of their homes: Jews” (Kirtzler, p. 3-4).

“On the morning of March 31, 1492, Columbus was in his room in Santa Fe overlooking the main square when the sound of trumpets brought him to his balcony.  Below, the town crier, flanked by mounted guards, read the expulsion order of the Inquisition: Jews had four months to leave. …It is thought that Columbus himself was a descendant of Spanish Jews, the Colón family, who had converted and moved to Genoa a century before on the heels of the Massacre of 1391.  Whatever his genealogy, he was in sympathy with the People of the Book, and they with him. In his early years, in Portugal and Spain, he lived in a largely Jewish and New Christian world of navigators, cartographer, astronomers, and mathematicians.  While others looked askance at this wandering sailor and laughed at his dream, Iberian Jews and conversos assisted Columbus in developing his Enterprise of the Indies.  In their learned circles, they dealt with a round world.  [Catholic] Church geography did not apply to them” (Kirtzler, p. 15-16).

On April 17, Columbus agreed to the Capitulations of Santa Fe, which limited his rights to lifetime rule.  Two weeks later, this ruling was reversed, and Columbus was granted hereditary rule.  …Columbus would sail with his right to rule  [given by royal Spanish edict] any new lands he discovered, to be “enjoyed forever by his heirs and successors” (Kirtzler, p. 17).

“From the time that Santangel financed Columbus’s Enterprise of the Indies and persuaded the royal couple to grant the explorer’s family hereditary rights to any new land he might discover, Columbus sailed with a hidden agenda: Along with his stated goal of gaining the riches of the East, it was hoped he would acquire a new land where Sephardim [Sephard is the Hebrew name for Spain; Sephardim are Spanish Jews] could live free from the terrors of the Inquisition.  … For more than a century his heirs kept Jamaica off-limits to the hooded Inquisitors.

After Columbus returned from his successful first voyage, he made three more trips across the Western Sea.  He never reached Asia, and he didn’t live long enough to fulfill his pledge to Santangel and the court Jews to provide a homeland for converted Jews.  But it would be kept by his family in the ‘new land’ the Crown did bequeath to Columbus’s descendants, the island of Jamaica” (Kirtzler, p. 18). 

“Despite the fact that no practicing Jews were left in Spain, Columbus’ second voyage was financed by Jewish funds that had been confiscated by royal decree before the Expulsion.  Columbus died in 1506, just a year after Luis de Santangel, the man who made the first voyage possible” (Finkelstein, pg. 58). 

It is our fervent wish that you treat the Jewish Nation on a basis of equality with all other residents …” Directors of the Dutch West India Company to the Supreme Council in Recife, 1646” (Finkelstein, p. 58).

“The first openly Jewish settlement in the New World was in Brazil.  In 1624, the Dutch captured Brazil’s capital, Bahia, from Portugal with an invasion force that included “several dozen declared Jews.”  The invaders were assisted by local conversos who had gotten word than an Inquisition office was to be established in their province, where two hundred of them were living as counterfeit Christians” (Kirtzler, p. 7).

“What made the Expulsion from Spain so devastating was that Spanish culture, tradition, and civilization were so much a part of the lives of the Sephardim.  They carried this heritage with them into exile” (Finkelstein, p. 45).

“The Expulsion from Spain in 1492 was but one of many tragedies to befall the Jewish people.  Yet the memory of that disaster scarred the Jewish mind forever.  In spite of the sadness and personal anguish of that event, one direct positive outcome was the the eventual establishment of the first thriving Jewish community in the United States” (Finkelstein, p. 89.)

For those who celebrate Passover with the ‘If only … it would have been enough ….’

“If Luis de Santangel and Don Isaac Abravanel had not bee influential members of Ferdinand and Isabella’s court.

“If Spain had not expelled the Jews from its territory.

“If religious bigotry had not forced the conversion of Jews.

“If the Portuguese had not claimed Brazil.

“If the Dutch had not welcomed the Jews to Recife.

“If the Portuguese had not reconquered Brazil. 

‘If the Valk had made a successful journey to Holland in 1654. 

“If the twenty-three Jews had given in to Governor Stuyvesant’s bigotry and left New Amsterdam [New York].

“And, finally, if Columbus had not made it possible for Jews and Marranos to find an “escape hatch” to the New World.

“The year 1492 was an eventful one.  For the Spaniards, it signified joy – the unification of their country under Catholic rule.  For Columbus, it signified – his discovery of the New World.  For the Jews, it signified disaster – expulsion from a land they had called home for centuries. 

“At the time no one could realize how the three seemingly unrelated events of 1492 would dramatically become important chapters of the same story.

“Later Jewish immigrants to America were no less thankful to Columbus than were the original refugees from Recife.  The title of a popular Yiddish song sums up the gratitude felt by the generations of American Jews: Leben Zoll Columbus! – Long Live Columbus” (Finkelstein, pg. 91-93).

These are documented historical facts: Columbus did not sail to North America.  For  several generations, through the right given him by the King and Queen of Spain, he ‘owned’ modern-day Jamaica until his descendants gave it back to the Jamaicans.  Columbus, whether or not he had Jewish roots, had a heart for the Jewish people and their plight during the Spanish Inquisitions.  It was his desire to find a place for them to live in peace as Jews and not as Marrano pigs or forced catholics.  Many Latinos and Latino culture in Central and South America have definitive Jewish roots and many Jews have lived as counterfeit catholics without realizing their complete heritage and history.  After reading these two books, my view of Christopher Columbus did a 180 degree turn as did my understanding of the anti-semitism once again gathering around degrading and denouncing a man whose courage and stand with God’s Chosen People had a profound affect on Jews worldwide especially American Jewry.  Today, the Jews have a homeland called Israel where they are free to practice their faith in peace. We all need to make sure they do not lose it to new Inquisitions and Intifadas rather than stand against those who did what they could to preserve Jewish lives and Biblical culture.

For the complete picture, read The Other 1492 by  Norman H. Finkelstein and Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, by Edward Kirtzler.

Mythological Realities

When my daughter was in ninth grade, I required that she write a ‘term paper’.  She wanted to write it on the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and compare them to what the Bible says.  This was the result.

Mythological Realities

May 20,2004

Today there is a lot of discussion about God, the existence of God, and even other gods.  The Ten Commandments which are commonly recognized by other world religions speak of other gods.  The Third Commandment specifically says, “I am YHVH your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, you shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2,3).  It is important for all people, who desire to be delivered from slavery to other gods to know who this God is and who are all the other gods that should not be worshipped or idolized.

In the account of the Exodus, when the Israelites or Hebrews were delivered from Egyptian slavery, God reveals His Name to Moses.  In the Tanakh or Hebrew Original Testament, the Scripture reads, “And God said to Moses, “Eyeh-Asher-Ehyeh” followed by a footnote state that the meaning of the Hebrew is “I AM” or “I Will Be.”  The name YHVH (traditionally written in Scripture as ‘the LORD’ is associsted with the root hayah ‘to be’.   In The Living Bible Paraphrased there is also a footnote with Exodus 3:14 that reads, “Properly the name should be pronounced ‘Yahweh’ as it is spelled in many modern versions.”  The name Yahweh when dissected into its Hebrew root letters of Yod Hey Vav Hey – יהוה – gives an ancient picture of God.  The Yod is a picture of a closed hand signifying a finished work.  The Hey means ‘behold.’  The Vav is a picture of a nail or something that binds or joins together.  Thus, YHVH or Yahweh means “Behold the finished work of the nails, behold”.

Yahweh’s name is important.  Throughout the Scriptures, He reminds His people of the holiness of His Name and the blessing of His Name.  For example in Leviticus 22:32, Yahweh says: “Do not profane my holy name….  I am Yahweh who makes you holy.”  This means more than just not swearing with His name.  It means to who contempt or disregard for God.  In Numbers 6:22-27, His Name, through Aaron becomes a blessing on the Israelites: “Yahweh bless you and keep you; Yahweh make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; Yahweh turn is face toward you and give you peace.  So they will put My Name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Yahweh has a personality.  He is kind and compassionate and slow to anger.  He is faithful, loving, and forgiving of wickedness, rebellion and sin.  He is merciful, yet eventually, when provoked gets angry and pours out his wrath like fire (Genesis 34:6,7, Ezekiel 5:13, Nahum 1:6). 

He is also jealous.  In fact, His Name is Jealous.  After telling the Israelites to break down their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles, He says: “Do not worship any other god, for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous is a jealous god” (Exodus 34:13,14).  In Hebrew, the word jealous is “quana” – קנא.  The Hebrew word picture for jealousy suggests ‘what is final and last is the strength of His actions.”  For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 5:9).

Yahweh desires to be worshipped apart from idols.  “You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or earth beneath, or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Deuteronomy 5:7,8).  Yahweh desires a specific day of honor.  In Exodus 28:8, the Four Commandment reminds His People: “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”  This day was the seventh day according to the creation account and other Scriptures found throughout the Bible.  Yahweh had Moses build a Tabernacle with holy itmes such as the Ark of the Covenant which was full of the glory of Yahweh (Exodus 25-30), 1 Samuel 5:1-12).  This Ark was eventually put into the Temple which Solomon Built to honor Yahweh (1 Kings 6:1-18). 

Multiple Greek mythology readers have noted similar moral events between the Greek gods and goddesses and people in the Bible.  For example, the Pandora myth and Eve of the Bible have interesting moral similarities though the accounts differ.”

Hephaestus, the blacksmith god, was ordered by Zeus to make a figure out of clay and water in the image of an immortal goddess.  To Pandora were given gifts from the gods to make her irresistible to men.  Hephaestus gave Pandora the ability to talk like mortals.  Athena dressed her in the finest linen.  Then Zeus breathed into her life.  Hermes, however, put perfidy into Pandora’s heart and lies into her mouth.  When the virgin goddess was complete, she was given the name Pandora, which in the Greek means all gifts.

There are different stories telling about how Pandora got a jar. One version tells that Pandora, after being on earth for a few days, received a jar from Mercury, a messenger of Jupiter, who leaves the jar in her safe keeping.  Another version tells us that Pandora was given a jar or box said to be forged out of the earth by Zeus, who carefully instructed her to take good care of it, but not to open the lid.  Pandora was then escorted to earth by Hermes.  The contents of the jar, unknown to Pandora, was full of the worst of every kind of evil and sickness which the god’s had made.  It as sad that as wonderful as the gifts Pandora had been given, so was the evil so dreadful. 

Epimetheus, a foolish man, stole the ability of fire from the gods.  Thus he was known to the Greeks as the Theft of Fire.  He had been warned by his brother Prometheus not to accept gifts from Zeus.  However, when he saw Pandora he told his brother, “Look at her beauty and gentle spirit.  Surely you don’t think that she can bring us evil?”  Epimetheus then took Pandora to his house.  A few days later Epimetheus helps Mercury bring the mystery jar into his house where he places it in the far corner.  Pandora, who seems to instantly forget the instructions of Mercury, attempts to peek into the jar before Mercury has even left Epimetheus’ house.  Epimetheus becomes angry at Pandor for trying to disobey Mercury’s instructions so quickly.  He tells Pandora to come out of the house and take a walk with him so she is not tempted again.  Pandora refuses his offer; Epimetheus, being a foolish man, lets her have her way and leaves her alone with the jar.

Pandora watches her ‘husband’ leave as if to conceal her next oeffot to look in the jar.  Once Epimetheus is out of sigh, Pandora turns and walks towards the jar.  In some version, the contents of the jar calls to Pandora to free them.  Pandora, who had been given the gift of mercy, wants to help whatever it is that is calling her.  Pandora lifts the lid of the jar that lets out all the evils in the shapes of little creatures or moths.  Pandora, in a fright, shuts the lid.  The creatures she has frred roam the whole earth stinging mankind with sorrow, crime, disease, anger, and corruption.  The whole earth cries out in pain and anguish.

Pandora, in distress for what she had done begins to weep bitterly.  Then a voice from inside the jar calls agin to Pandora for freedom.  Pandora, being cautious, doesn’t listen to the voice.  After awhile Pandora decides to open the lid again, for what could be worse than what she had already liberated?  Slowly Pandora opens the jar only to find hope, shaped like a small gem, in the bottom of the jar.  Some versions say that hope was caught in the lid when Pandora closed it the first time.  Hope then leaves Pandora and fliest across the whole earth putting hope into every man.  The myth of Pandora ends here with nothing recorded about her life after her encounter with the jar.  It still remains unknown where she is in the Underworld.

The Biblical account of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, shows the importance of obeying no matter how tempting disobedience can be.  Yahweh looks upon all that He has created and sees that there is no one to take care of the Garden of Eden.  The word ‘eden’ is often translated as ‘delight’ or by the Persian word ‘paradise’.  Yahweh forms ‘the man’ Adam from the dust of the ground.  In Hebrew, Adam means ‘red earth.’  Yahweh breathes life into Adam’s nostrils and then puts him in the Garden (Genesis 2:5,7,15).  The location of the Garden has been thought by many to be on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers at their junction with the Pishon and Gihon Rivers.  Yahweh tells Adam that he can eat from any tree in the Garden except from Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The penalty for eating its fruit is death (Genesis 2:16). 

After being given the rules of Paradise, Yahweh brings all the animals that He had created to Adam so that they could be named.  At this point Yahweh realizes that it is not good for Adam to be alone in the garden (Genesis 2:18).  Yahweh searches through all his creation, but cannot find a suitable helpmate for Adam (Genesis 2:18-20). 

Yahweh causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep.  While Adam sleeps Yahweh takes a sing rib bone from Adam’s chest and fashions a woman (helpmate) for Adam (Genesis 2:21,22).  It was never recorded whether or not Yahweh breathed life into the woman, but since Adam already had the breath of life in him, she surely received it through his flesh.  This made them ‘echad’ or ‘one flesh (Matthew 19:4,5). 

There is a modern-day maxim that speaks of the creation of woman from the rib of man and their relationship together: “She (Eve) was not made from his (Adam) head to top him; nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him; but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected; and near his heart to be loved.”

After Adam wakes, Yahweh brings the woman to Adam who says, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh Genesis 2:22,23).  Adam most likely told the woman about the one law Yahweh gave them as she repeats it to the serpent (Genesis 3:2,3).

The woman had radiating beauty because she was made by a flawless God.  “Grace was all in her steps, heaven in her eyes, in every dignity and love.”  The creation of the woman brought to culmination all of Yahweh’s creation: “Heavens’ best, last gift.”  Yahweh blesses the man and woman and gives them charge over all the animals and plants of the earth.  The woman’s one and only task was to be a companion and helper for Adam.  Adam and his wife felt no shame even though they were naked (Genesis 2:18).

The woman, while walking in the Garden, comes across the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  She is deceived by the crafty and sly Prince of Darkness who appears as a gentleman.  She willfully disobeys the one command of Yahweh by eating of the tree’s fruit.  She gives some to Adam who fails to stand firm against his wife and obey Yahweh (Genesis 3:6).  After eating the fruit Adam and the woman’s eyes are open to the realization that they are naked (Genesis 3:7).  They make clothes from fig leaves and hide from God in shame (Genesis 3:11).

When the events are revealed to Yahweh, He punishes all the involved ‘guilty’ parties: the man, the woman and the serpent.  The punishment of the serpent was that he would have to crawl on his belly (Genesis 3:14).  As Solomon says in Proverbs 19:9: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out likes will perish.”  The punishment for the woman was the increase of pain in childbirth (Genesis 3:16).  Adam’s curse was that of the ground from which he was made.  He would work the ground by the sweat of his brow to make it produce (Genesis 3:17-19).  For the final punishment, the man and the woman were kicked out of Paradise.  An angel was posted at the entrance with a flaming sword to keep everyone out (Genesis 3:23).

Adam and the woman have three sons: Cain, Abel, and Seth.  Cain kills his brother cause the first human death – the result of disobeying Yahweh’s law.  Adam and his wife populate the earth with many other sons and daughters (Genesis 4:1,25).  The woman whose name is Eve becomes the mother of all living beings (Genesis 3:20).  She is the ‘mother’ of both the Hebrew, Israelite, Jewish lineage whose religion is born through the Biblical accounts and the Greek pagan lineage whose mythological characters resemble Bible personages.

The Underworld was an important part of ancient Greek religion.  To some Greeks it was a place to look forward to.  The Underworld set a standard by which to live. The Underworld is divided up into many places that have several different gods and goddesses ruling over them. 

Cronus was the god of the harvest.  Rhea was the goddess of fertility and the earth and called the ‘mother’ of all the first Olympians.  Rhea Bore Cronus six children: Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, Hestia, and Zeus.  Cronus, fearful that his children would grow up and overtake him in power, ate all of his children except for Zeus who hadn’t yet been born.  When the time came for Rhea to have Zeus, she went to a cave on a mountain.  Once Zeus was born, Cronus asks for the child so that he could eat it.  Rhea, fooling him in his poor sight, gave him a stone instead.  When Cronus fell asleep one night, Rhea gave him an herb that cause him to regurgitate his children.  After Cronus’ death, Hades received the land of the Underworld as his inheritance.

Hades (who is also known as Pluto) is the god of terror and mystery.  Another word for terror is fear.  Hades’ name means ‘to see’.  Hades, or the mystery of death, is invisible to man, and comes upon him without warning.  The Bible tells us that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power thus we should never fear Hades or death (2 Timothy 1:7).

Hades’ wife was the goddess Persephone.  She had a very gracious and merciful personality.  Peresphone’s name comes from two Greek words: Perse and phone. Perse in ancient Greek means ‘to show’ which indicates light.  Phone means ‘to destroy’.  Thus, Persephone’s name means ‘she that destroys the light.’ 

The Hebrew word for light is ‘or’ –  אר. The word ‘or’ in Hebrew suggests the unity or oneness of the godhead which is that of the Father, Son and the Spirit. Yeshua, according to the Bible is the ‘true light’ and when we walk with him we do not walk in darkness (John 8:12).  Thus the worship of the goddess Persephone is nothing more than worshipping a goddess whose sole goal is to destroy the light, the unity of Yahweh and Yeshua.

Hecate is the goddess of the moon (and witches) and finds more favor in the eys of Hades than Persephone.  Hecate is known as the divinity of the Underworld.  She is described as having three bodies and three heads: a lion, a dog, and a mare.   Hecat’es name in Greek also means light which suggests there is a battle between she and Persephone.  In 2 Kings 23:5: “He (Josiah) did away with the pagan priests appointed by the King of Judah, those who burn incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to all the constellations and to all the starry hosts.”  By burning incense to the moon (goddess), these priests were most likely honoring Hecate.  Hecate is also probably the goddess spoken of in 1 Corinthians 11:15 “who masquerades as an angel of light.”  Though the verse says Satan, it is possible that it is actually a reference to Hecate.  Paul, who had been to Athens, the center of the Greek religion, was aware of all of the idolatry which would have included Hecate and her dark evil (Acts 17:16). 

Hecate was also the goddess of enchantments and charms or witchcraft.  Yahweh warns His people Israel about false gods like Hecate through David and Ezekiel.  In Psalm 58:3-5 David says, “That will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter might be.”  Ezekiel 13:18: “Woe to the women that sew magic charms on their wrists.”  These are allusions to Hecate and brings to mind everyone today who wears charm bracelets on their wrists.  They are unaware that they are taking part in following Hecate and doing wickedness in the eyes of Yahweh.

Hecate is the head goddess of the demons.  She sends tem to the earth to torment man also known as demon possession.  Yeshua healed many demon-possessed people.  Two specifically stand out.  The first one, found in Matthew 15:22: “My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”  Torment drips from this passage.  The word ‘torment’ means ‘a state of great bodily or mental suffering, or to throw into commotion or disorder.’  James 3:16 tells us that in every evil practice there is disorder.  First Corinthians 14:33 also states that Yahweh isn’t a God of disorder, but of peace. 

The second account of a demon-possessed person is in Matthew 8:28-24: “Two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him [Yeshua].”  Hecate was known to appear at night and haunt places like crossroads, tombs, and crime scenes with her black magic.  It was a Greek custom that on the even of a full moon, offerings would be left before images of Hecate at crossroads in hopes to appease her and keep her from haunting them.  These men who were possessed by demons were hiding in the tombs.  This is the clearest picture in the Bible of a connection between Hecate and demon possession.

Hades’ ausiliaries are Thanatoes, Hypnos, the Keres, and the Erinnyes.  These gods carry out the job of walking through the earth.  The son of night, Thanatos, walks through the earth with his sword to find loyal subjects for Hades.  Thanatos is pictured in Greek art in a black shroud with dark wings.

Hypnos, whose name in Greek means ‘sleep’, has power over all the gods.  He is able to put a god or a human to sleep wit the fanning of his dark wings.  He has also been known to use a magic wand.

The word ‘hypnosis’ comes from Hypnos’ name. According to the dictionary ‘hypnosis’ means ‘a condition in which a person has little will of his own and acts according to the suggestions of the person who brought about the condition.’  Hypnosis began as an Eastern healing method used to take a person back in time to repair a bad memory that was causing pain.  Scientists have started to use hypnosis as evidence for evolutin by asking a hypnotized person to remember when they were, for example, a fish.  The hypnotized person will fall on the floor and move like a fish.  It has also been prove that 20% of those under hypnosis will say they are from another planet.  Today, anyone can rent a video to teach self-hypnosis.Whether or not they realize it, everyone involved in hypnosis is dealing with satanic power and the worship of the god Hypnos.

The Keres were known as the dogs of Hades.  They were flying creatures that wore bright red robes and had white teeth that contradicted the rest of their appearance.  Their job was to finish off those who were dying or those who were under Hypno’s magic.  They would go up to the dying person, and with a mournful cry, inflict the blow of death.  Then they would begin digging at the dead person’s flesh with their sharp claws so that they could drink the warm blood.  The Keres, after having their fill of blood, would carry the person down to the land of the shadows. 

The Erinnyes, who really are the goddesses Tisiphone, Megara, and Alecto, are called ‘the children of the eternal light’ or ‘the daughters of the earth and shadow.’  These two phrases seem to contradict each other since eternal light implies a forever lasting bright light, fill of celebration and life whereas the world ‘shadow’ implies darkness, death, and evil.  Yeshua says, “A house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25).

The Erinnyes have hair of serpents and carry torches and whips.  Their job is to torture guilty people on the earth as well as those who were sent to Tartarus in the Underworld.  On occasion they are also referred to as the dogs of Hades.

The Underworld was known to the Greeks as a place of justice or where everyone got what they deserved.  During the time when the earth was still thought of as flat, the Greeks believed they lived on the top part that faced the sun.  The Underworld was considered to be on the other side of the earth facing away from the sun. Around 342 B.C. the Greek philosopher Aristotle discovered that the earth was round and that all sides of it saw the sun.  From that discovery the Greeks moved the location of the Underworld to Pluto.  Pluto, the farthest planet from the sun, is the darkest and coldest planet.

When a Greek person died, they were buried with a gold coin in their mouth.  The gold coin was used by the dead person to pay their way across the great ocean.  After crossing the ocean, the person entered a place where black poplar and willow tress produced no fruit  To enter into the Underworld the person had to pass through the gate of Hades which was guarded by a dog with fifty heads.  This gate is spoken of by Yeshua in Matthew 16:18: “I will build by church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Just outside the gate there was the beginning of five rivers: the Acheron, the Cocytus, the Phlegethon, the Lethe, and the Styx.  These rivers ran to the place where those who were unrighteous were forever tormented.

The Underworld is divided into five places: the Erebus, the Elysian Fields, the Asphodel Fields, the Islands of the Blessed, and the Tartarus.  Erebus is the castle of the Underworld.  Little is known about this place since only Hades and Persephone are allowed to go there.  It is thought of as a place of many pleasures and treasures.

The Elysian Fields were reserved for the children of the gods – who are lucky enough, like the heroes of the earth, to keep a colorful mortal appearance while others in the Underworld receive a ghostly appearance.  Later the Olympians were allowed to enter the Elysian Fields.  Here it snows and rains eternally.  there is always a cool breeze that blows happiness and refreshment.  Those who are in the Elysian Fields can hunt, play instruments, or do whatever they find pleasurable.

The Asphodel Fields are reserved fro the heroes of old.  Hercules, Orion, and Bellerophon are just a few of the heroes allowed to enjoy this place.  Here a hero can enjoy doing whatever they did while still on earth.  Once a day human blood pours down on them.  when they drink the blood, it makes them feel alive or mortal again. 

The Islands of the Blessed are for the average righteous person.  The Islands are considered the place of retirement.  This place is comparable to what the Catholics call Purgatory.

Tartarus has three walls and one large gate made of bronze.  This place is for those who committed crimes against the gods.  If a person is sent here, they are eternally tortured by hunger, thirst, and heat that is unbearable.  This sounds like Matthew 13:50: “And they [the angels] will throw the wicked people into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  It also sounds like the place Yahweh calls the ‘abyss’ in Revelation 9:2: “When he opened ty Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace.  The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.”

To determine where a person spends eternity, they stand trial before Hades and his three top men: Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthys.  Aeacus, when he was on earh, was known for his love of justice.  He was named by the gods Aeacus or judge because of his ability to be fair.  Whe he died, Hades honored him by giving him the key of the Underworld.”  This same key is spoken of in Revelation 1:18: “And I [Yeshua] hold the key to death and Hades.”  This verse tells us that Yeshua will be the final one to have this key and eventually the Underworld and its gods and goddessess will submit to his authority. 

The cult of Hades was closely connected to the cult of his sister Demeter, whose daughter was Peresphone.  Demeter took on the role of her mother, Rhea, and became the earth goddess.  She also took over some of her father’s (Cronos) role by becoming the goddess of the corn, wheat, and barley harvest. 

Demeter cult worshippers would meet in her temples called Megara.  These Megara were located in forests where the trees would form a perfect circle.  The cults of Demeter and Hades required a sacrifice of a black ewe or ram.  The Bible clearly states in Exodus 12:5 that the Israelites were to take a lamb without defect.  Choosing a lamb for a sacrifice to the Underwordl gods was considered detestable to Yahweh according to Proverbs 21:27: “The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable!”  Hades, being another god and part of Satan’s domain, would have asked for the sacrifice of black or defected lambs and goats completely contrary to Yahweh’s commands. 

Satan was kicked out of heaven before Adam and Eve were created.  It is believed that Satan was an archangel of Yahweh in heaven.  Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you have fallen from heaven O Morning Star [Lucifer], son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth you who once laid low the nations!  You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.  But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.”

In the Isaiah passage, Lucifer wanted to rise above the throne of god, the highest point in heaven (and soon the highest point in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount), but because of his pride, he was thrown out of heaven.  Lucifer lost the privilege of being in the presence and light of God’s throne and became God’s adversary and desires to control the hearts and souls of mankind.  In Hebrew, HaSatan means ‘the Adversary’ and this fallen angel is not only God’s adversary, but ours as well.

Revelation 4:2-6 speaks of God’s heavenly throne and the One who sits on it: “There before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.  the one who sat on it has the appearance of jasper and carnelian.  A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.  Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones where the twenty-four elders sat …. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder.  Before the throne seven lamps were blazing, these are the seven spirits.  Also before the throne was what looked like a sea of glass clear as crystal.”

In Hebrew, ‘heaven’ is hashamayim and means ‘waters’.  Heaven in the Bible is also called the New Jerusalem.  John, a disciple of Yeshua, was shown all of these revelations while he was on the island of Patmos.  This was the first and only time that Yahweh had shown a man all that was to happen in the end times.  After seeing all the punishments that are going to come to to the earth, God shows John the new heaven and the new earth – because the first heaven ad earth passed away and there was no longer any sea.  John sees the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a beautiful bride dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:1,2).

A more explicit description of the New Jerusalem is found in Revelation 22: “An angel showed me the Holy City Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very percious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.  The New Jerusalem was laaid out like a 1400 mile cube.  The walls were made of jasper and the city and its streets were made of pure gold like transparent glass.  It had 12 foundations decorated with every kind of precious stone and on each of them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb [Yeshua].  The walls were 200 feet thick.  The city had 12 gates with angels at the gates.  On the gates were written the names of the 12 Tribes of Israel.  There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three on the west.  Each gate was made of one large, single pearl.”  Nothing impure will ever enter the New Jerusalem nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  The city’s gates will never be shut for there will be no night there.

“I [John] did not see a temple in the city because Yahwe and the Lamb [Yeshua] are its Temple.  The city doesn’t have the sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of Yahweh gives it light, and the Lamb its lamp.  The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it….  The glory and the honor of the nations will be brought into it” (Revelation 22:22).  The New Jerusalem doesn’t need a temple because our bodies are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16). 

Hell is known in Hebrew as Gei-Hinnom – גי–הינומ.  This place consists of a lake of burning sulfur, a lake of fire, and a place called the Abyss.  the Abyss is a place for holding Satan until his time of judgment (Revelation 20:3).  The Abyss has a lock with a key and this key is the same key held by Aecus in Greek mythology.  Yeshua will eventually gain ownership of this key and will give it to an angel who opens the abyss (Revelation 1:18, 20:1). 

Yahweh will judge all people – living and dead.  His justice is found in Revelation 20:12-15: “Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they ahd done as recorded in the books.  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Finally, the fate of the devil, the Adversary, his false prophets and all of the false gods and goddessess takes place.  The devil who had deceived all the nations of the world will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur.  The sea will give up its dead and Hades will give up its dead.  Then death and Hades will also be thrown into the lake of fire, a second death.  There they will be tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:10).

An account found in Luke 16 reveals how close, yet how far heaven and the worship of the One true God is from hell and following after false gods.  The account involves two men – a rich man who was clothed in purple and lived in luxury and Lazarus, a beggar who was covered with sores and sat outside the rich man’s gate longing to eat the crumbs from the rich man’s table. When both men die, Lazarus was carried by angels to Abraham’s side while the rich man was taken to hell where he was in torment.  From his torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.  The rich man called to Abraham, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”  Abraham replied, “Between you and us a great chasm has been fixed so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”

Yahweh exists.  Gods and goddesses exist along with with their symbols and desire to be worshipped.  The proof of these realities are found in charm bracelets, the cultural desire to glorify death and darkness (Halloween), the evils that have been unleashed in the world through sin’s death and destruction, and the rising use of hypnosis to name a few.  Serving these gods whether in ignorance or knowledge bring slavery, deception and ultimately eternal death.  Yahweh wrote the Third Commandment: “I am YHVH your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, you have have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2-3).  He knew and understood the powers of the gods of the Underworld for they were the created beings who fell with Satan.  He also knows and planned for their destruction and those who follow them.  Accepting Yahweh and serving Him above all other gods brings freedom from slavery, truth out of deception and eternal life in the New Jerusalem. 

Bibliography

American Heritage Student Thesaurus; Printed in the USA, 1999

Barnher, Clarence and Robert; The World Book Dictionary, Chicago, 1990

Berger, Dan, www.madsci.org., MadSci Network, 1995-2001

Goodrick, Edward W.; The NIV Exhaustive Concordance, Zondervan Publishing House, 1990

Graves, Robert, Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Paul Hamlyn: New York, 1959.

Graves, Robert, The Greek Myths: Volumes I and II, Paul Hamlyn: New York, 1957.

Halley, Henry H., Halleys’ Bible Handbook: Twenty-fourth Printing, Zondervan Publishing House: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1965.

Higgs, Liz Curtis; Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn From Them; Colorado Springs, CO, 1999.

Hunt, Dave; the Seduction of Christianity; Eleventh Printing, Harvest House Publishers: Oregon, 1987.

JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, (The Traditional Hebrew Text and the New JPS Translation-Second Edition), The Jewish Publication Society: Philadelphia, 1999.

Living Bible Paraphrased, Thirtieth Printing, Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton, Illinois, October 1973.

Milton, John; Paradise Lost, Eighth Printing, 1961.

Parker, Mertha Morris, Golden Book Encyclopedia, Book 10, Western Printing and Lithographing Company: New York, Third Printing, 1960.

Petty, Jo, Apples of Gold, C.R. Gibson Company: Norwalk, Connecticut, 1962.

Pinsent, John; Greek Mythology, Paul Hamlyn: New York 1969.

Rosetti, Dante Gabriel; www.lhs,rcs.k12.tn.us/teachers/ catheyfr/dandorasbox.htm;1869

Seekins, Dr. Frank T.; Hebrew Word Pictures, Living Word Pictures Inc,. Phoenix, Arizona, 2002

Shakespeare, William; King Lear; Washington Square Press Book

Stern, David H.; Complete Jewish Bible; Jewish New Testament Publications Inc.; Clarksville, Maryland, 1998.

Stories of the Greeks, Warner, Rex, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; New York, 1967

Thompson Chain Refernce Bible; New International Version, The B.B. Kirkbride Bible Company, Inc.; Indianapolis, Indiana, 1990.

Velde, Frances Vander, Women of the Bible; 1985.

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World Book Encyclopedia, Scoot Fetzer Com.: Chicago, USA, 1992.

www.pandoras-box.org

©2004 Josi Almanrode, Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

A Sweet New Year – Apples and Honey

One of the traditions for the Jewish New Year,  Rosh Hashanah, is to eat apples and honey.  I looked up these two foods in the Bible to see if they had prophetic allusions to the Feast of Trumpets and the coming ‘Day of Adonai.’

“For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye —  I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.  Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me” (Zechariah 2:8-9).

The Apple.   Adonai says that whoever touches Israel touches ‘the apple of His eye.’ The ‘apple of the eye’ is the pupil of the eye signifying that God is always focused on His chosen people, their safety, and well-being. 

“Protect me like the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalms 17:8).

Individuals are also protected by Adonai as the ‘apple of His eye’.  Being hidden in the ‘shadow of His wings’ is a reference to the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant whose wings cover His mercy seat.  Being in the ‘shadow of His wings’ symbolizes divine protection especially when there are wars, famines, and pestilences (Psalm 91).

“The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb. Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11).

Honey.  When a Jewish child begins learning Torah in Hebrew school, there is a tradition to place a little honey on the letters of the alef-bet for them to taste.  This teaches the child to understand Torah as ‘sweet to the taste’ making the commandments desirable for living life.  There is great reward in the obeying the commandments and, like honey that never spoils, the rulings of Adonai are righteous and eternal.

Eating apples and honey for a ‘sweet new year’ on Rosh Hashanah is Biblically appropriate for celebrating the ‘head of the year.’  Those who hear the shofar at Yom Teruah and join Israel become the ‘apple of Adonai’s eye,’ understanding the sweetness of His promises in Torah of a coming King to rule and reign from Jerusalem.

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

Peace – Hebrew: Shalom

שלום

Shalom in Hebrew specifically means ‘peace. The word ‘shalom’ is found in the Complete Jewish Bible 96 times. Shalom is rooted in wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity, and implying permanence. This is why shalom is used as a greeting in Isra’el: “May you be filled with a complete and perfect peace and be full of well-being.”

“Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom. [May Adonai lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]’ (Numbers 6:26).

This ‘shalom’ was spoken to put God’s Name on His people through the blessing of Aaron. The entire blessing is found in Numbers 6:24-26.

“Therefore say, ‘I am giving him [Phineas] my covenant of shalom, making a covenant with him and his descendants after him that the office of cohen will be theirs forever’ (Numbers 25:12-13).

God made an eternal covenant of ‘shalom’ with Phineas who was a priest. This covenant promised a perpetual priesthood because of Phineas’ faithfulness to God.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation [Yeshua] and saying to Tziyon, “Your God is King!” (Isaiah 52:7).

The ultimate good news of ‘shalom’ is proclaiming to those in Tziyon (Zion) that ‘Our God is King,’ ‘Our God is Sovereign,’ ‘Our God is in Control’ when everything seems chaotic. This ‘shalom’ announces that Yeshua is our God, our King.

“Pray for shalom in Yerushalayim; may those who love you prosper. May shalom be within your ramparts, prosperity in your palaces” (Psalm 122:6-7)

This Psalm says we are to pray for the shalom’ of Jerusalem.  Praying for ‘shalom’ in Jerusalem is a way of expressing love for the city of our God, and for the Prince of ‘Shalom’ to fill the city with his ‘shalom.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Shalom – שלום

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘to urge forward.’

י Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

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

The Hebrew Word Picture for shalom: consume and destroy and urge the binding of chaos.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo‘etz El Gibbor Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace] ” (Isaiah 9:4-5). 

Isaiah prophesied about a coming Sar haShalom, a Prince of Peace. The Prince of Peace would bring God’s ‘shalom’ into the world ‘binding the leader who causes chaos.’ Yeshua is the Sar haShalom. He battled the ‘one who causes chaos’ and came out victorious both in the wilderness and on the cross. As the commander of Adonai’s Army, Yeshua will return and utterly destroy the ‘one who causes chaos’ forever.’

“My servant David will be king over them, and all of them will have one shepherd … I will make a covenant of shalom with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give to them, increase their numbers, and set my sanctuary among them forever” (Ezekiel 37:24-26). 

Ezekiel prophesied about an everlasting covenant of ‘shalom’ when David would be an eternal ‘king’ and live in Jerusalem, God’s sanctuary.

“When you enter someone’s household, say, ‘Shalom aleikhem!’ (Matthew 10:12)

“In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom aleikhem!” (John 20:19).

Shalom aleikhem means ‘shalom upon you.’ The response is to return the ‘shalom’ by saying Aleikhem shalom or ‘upon you shalom.’ This is what Yeshua told his disciples as he sent them out to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Shalom aleikhem was the greeting he spoke when he appeared to his disciples after his resurrection.

“What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened” (John 14:27).

Yeshua’s ‘shalom’ is different from the concept of ‘world peace.’  His ‘shalom’ begins in the heart and soul of each person. With the Holy Spirit, we have power of ‘shalom’ to defeat the ‘one who causes chaos.’ We can overcome the fear that chaos brings in our personal lives and also in the world around us.  

“For God [Elohim] is not a God of unruliness but of shalom” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

This verse is a reminder that where there is ‘chaos,’ God is not present. Sha’ul specifically tells this to those in Corinth who were using the gift of tongues in an out-of-control manner.

“The way of shalom they do not know, their goings-about obey no law, they make devious paths for themselves; no one treading them will ever know shalom(Isaiah 59:8).

“For from the least to the greatest of them, all are greedy for gains; prophets and cohanim [priests] alike, they all practice fraud — they dress the wound of my people, but only superficially, saying, ‘There is perfect shalom,’ when there is no shalom” (Jeremiah 6:13-14).

“My hand will be against the prophets who have futile visions and produce false divinations; they will not be allowed into the council of my people, or be written in the register of the house of Israel, or enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Adonai Elohim. They deserve this, because they have led my people astray by saying there is peace when there is no peace” (Ezekiel 13:9-10). 

There is a shalom that humanity desires, but it is external and superficial because it does not include the Sar haShalom. It is a false deceptive peace that leads people away from God and and toward the ‘father of lies:’ the ‘one who causes the chaos’ (John 8:44).   Those who preach ‘shalom’ while leading people astray through fraud and devious paths will never find ‘shalom.’ Instead, they will reap judgment.

“You will keep in perfect shalom those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3). 

“Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4:7).

Adonai’s ‘shalom’ is ‘perfect.’ Adonai’s ‘shalom’ eclipses human understanding because it is a ‘shalom’ that touches the soul. Adonai’s ‘shalom’ protects every heart and mind from the present ‘chaos.’ Those who remain united with Yeshua, the Sar haShalom, will know enduring ‘shalom.’

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