Archive for 2015

Nations – Hebrew: Goyim

גוים or גוי

Goyim or goy in Hebrew means ‘name of a people or nation’

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

Abram’s name was changed to Abraham meaning ‘father of many nations.’  Though ‘gentile’ may mean ‘pagan,’ it must be determined by context.  Abraham did not become the ‘father of pagans’ nor should all gentiles be considered pagans.  

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’.

With this understanding in mind, 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 a pagan belief system, many within those systems would recognize Abraham as ‘the father of  faith’ in the coming redemption for the world.   When they did and do, they were and 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). 

Here again, the Hebrew word for ‘nations’ is goyim.  Two goyim fight in Rebecca’s womb – not two pagans or two gentiles.  Two nations.  These two nations grew from Esau (the Edomites) and Jacob (Israelites).

“Therefore, observe them; and follow them; for then all peoples [goyim] will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘This great nation [goy] is surely a wise and understanding people” (Deuteronomy 4:32). 

Obedience to God’s commands would lead to the goyim to recognize Israel as a wise and understanding people with a God who is nothing like the pagan gods within goyim.  

““Do not learn the ways of the nations [goyim] or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations [goyim] are terrified by them” (Jeremiah 10:2). 

Jeremiah tells Israel not to learn the ways of the nations.  Of course, the ways of the nations are not God’s ways and could be considered pagan or holding to religious beliefs different from the ways of God.  This does not make the nations pagan, but their practices.

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

“… 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). 

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

Pagan, both in the Hebrew and Greek,  is a completely different word than goy.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries

Marriage

When I wrote the word, marriage, I heard the priest’s voice from “Princess Bride.”  Marrwigde is what bwings us togedeter today.  It’s not an easy covenant, it’s not always an easy road, but marriage should always try to keep us togedter today.

My husband, John and I (Julie) have been married 31 years; neither of us ever married before.    We have had some tough times to be sure, but we promised something to each other on our wedding day (at the advice of my dad):  Never go to bed angry.  We have lived true to that advice all of these years … talking everything out so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in our relationship.  Forgiveness is a huge concept in marriage whether one is a believer or not.  It is commanded by Yeshua to his disciples.   It is the first step in realizing our own part in every disagreement and the second step to bringing restoration. 

Did we bring junk into our marriage? Of course.  We’re human and we were unbelieving sinners!  But we never focused on our pasts or blamed the junk for our problems.   In some cases we hit the issues head on.  For example, many years ago an old girlfriend of my husband’s stayed with us for two days and, we attended her brother’s wedding.  More recently, I met an old girlfriend of my husband’s on a trip to Arizona.  My husband went to a Denver  football game with me to watch a former boyfriend from college play on the Seattle team.  Sometimes we just have to know who we are in Messiah and know who we are in the marriage relationship and go with the flow.  All of these awkward situations brought healing rather than driving a wedge between us.  We sin against God and against each other enough times that to allow past junk to fester and destroy our marriage is pointless. 

What I see and hear in marriage relationships no one takes personal responsibility.  Husbands and wives  blame each other and previous relationships (marriages) for their problems.   When we are born again into God’s Kingdom, the past is in the past and should not be thrown into anyone’s face or be the cause for judging our spouse.  That’s the work of the devil.  Period.

Of course our past affects who we are, but if we’re born again, we’re new creations and the old has passed away.  That is how I like to live in my marriage relationship and I appreciate that my husband does too.  And, yes, we do sometimes talk about our pasts and have regrets or even huge moments of laughter at our own stupidity.

I remember being married only a few weeks and my husband confessed something from his past that was pretty shocking to me.  I remember stopping while we were walking and asking, “Are you born again?”  He responded, “Yes.”  I asked, “Have you asked forgiveness?”  He responded, “Yes.”  At that point the discussion was over.  The event has never come up again and this is the first time in 31 years that I’ve even acknowledged it happened.

I also feel that many times a husband, but mostly wives since that’s my world as a woman, want to be the Holy Spirit (Ruach) in their spouse’s life.  That is not the job of a spouse.  If you don’t like something figure out if it’s just personal judgement or spiritual.  Then let it go!  If your spouse is sinning, present it to God as a sin and then allow the Ruach to deal with it.  It’s called faith and trust in God to bring us to His perfection.  If your husband is not a believer, then women are commanded to live such pure and holy lives that their husbands are convicted.  Pure and holy doesn’t mean being the Spirit, but allowing the Spirit to live, rule and convict your life.

I had a friend years ago who was pregnant with her third child.  Her husband wanted her to have an abortion.  He was not a believer.  She didn’t know what to do as their first child was born out of wedlock and they married when the child was 7 months old.  They had been through this before.  God brought a opportunity in her life to leave for three days on a little boat trip.  She went.  When she came back, her husband apologized and is now pro-life.  That little girl is his special child.  This friend had faith that God would work while she was gone.  He did.

If you are both believers (and even if you’re not), I believe God joins people together – for better or worse (and it amazes me what people think is worse as I would be divorced numerous times over by now if I had those same standards) and no one is to divide them – no one, not a friend, a child, a pastor or a parent.  Especially a parent.

Parents have no place in a marriage.  This is why the woman leaves her home and a man leaves his mother.  Torah says that for the first year the married couple is to be ‘left alone’ in order to begin their own home – leave and cleave are the buzz words.   When my son got married, we did just that.  We only visited them or them us when they initiated it.  They needed to start their own life together without interference from us.  My husband and I had no interference as my family lived on the east coast of the U.S. and his lived on the west coast.  We lived in the middle of the country and neither family ever interfered with us because of distance.

We agreed on early is that we would never ever use the D (divorce) word.  That just opens doors for the enemy to take hold of one of our sins and as is human sinful nature and pride would run after its obvious course.  It is a sign of wanting to give up rather than to press on toward an upward higher calling in life. 

I was a staunch feminist when I met my husband. In college I had a book bag that said, “A woman’s place is in the House and the Senate.”  I was all for equal rights and everything that went with it.  However, today I am so far removed from that thought process for two reasons.  First, it is rooted in the Jezebel spirit and and creates a woman’s ruling household including the congregation of the Messiah.  If a woman wants a leading man, then let him lead!   Second, according to Scripture we’re only equal in terms of sin, redemption and forgiveness.  There is a line of authority and I am asked to submit to my husband as I would to the Lord – like the holy women in the past.   For me it has been a journey of learning how to do both simultaneously.  Like a father is the essence of how we feel about God as a Father; a husband and how we treat him is the essence of how we feel about God as our Husband.

I was blessed to have parents who were Christians,  loving and married until death parted them after only 21 years of marriage (my father remarried and has been married 36 years).  My grandparents were Mennonite and plain people and that is how I was raised.  My husband’s parents divorced when he was 18 and he purposed in his heart that he would never take that path before he ever met me or the Lord.  My husband and I were both blessed that we did not come from manipulative homes where there was alcohol, drugs, or control freak, overbearing moms or dads; consequently, we are not controlling and overbearing to one another or  our children.

We have trust in our marriage.  This doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been stretched a time or two even to the point of breaking, but if one doesn’t trust their spouse, then what is there?  Remember YHVH divorced Israel for their faithlessness!  Faithfulness is everything.  I do not care to know my husband’s passwords to his computer or phone except in the event he dies,  nor do I stalk him on Facebook because he has his own life and I have mine and we trust each other.   This trust comes not only from early years when we both did foolish things with other men and women and found ourselves in dangerous situations, but trust is how we have chosen to ground our marriage.  

Several months ago we listened to a teaching on marriage for young people.  My husband said, “We did it all wrong.”  Yes, we did.  We lived together, one a believer; the other not.  We didn’t understand anything about the purity of the marriage bed, protecting our hearts and minds, or even the spiritual warfare that is strong and steady against the marriage covenant.   It’s not how you began the race that matters, but how you finish it.  Forgive, press on, and pray your hearts out for your spouses.  Have faith that God will work in His perfect timing.  There are still things that bug me about my husband as I’m sure there are things that bug him about me.  BUT, we have overcome a lot and will continue to do so because that’s what marriage is about.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries

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 by a Ninth Grader

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

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www.pandoras-box.org

©2004 Josi Almanrode@Tent Stake Ministries

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