Archive for the ‘Other ‘gods and godesses’’ Category

A Wiccan’s View of the Occult

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

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

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

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

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

My comments regarding her response.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©2015 Tentstake Ministries

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

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.

Webster’s American Family Dictionary, First Edition, Random House: Hew York, 1998.

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

www.pandoras-box.org

©2004 Josi Almanrode@Tent Stake Ministries

Mammon – god of wealth, materialism

“No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and mammon.”

This deity is found in the New Testament in Matthew 6:19-21.  He is the god of material wealth and greed and is sometimes included in the seven princes of hell along with Lucifer (pride), Beelzebub (envy), and Satan (wrath).   

From the Greek, mamona, mammon means ‘riches’; from the Hebrew mmon, it means wealth, possessions, and money.  It also has the underlying meaning of ‘that in which one trusts.’  In the Scriptures, mammon is personified as a false god representing excessive materialism or greed.   During the Middle Ages, mammon was the god of gluttony, riches, and injustice.

 

Yoga and “other gods”

Today I read an excellent article by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird about yoga and its relationship to Hinduism.  He is a very courageous man to step out and reveal the hidden agenda of yoga.

For years I have had similar beliefs and explained to my children, family and friends who consider yoga a wonderful exercise program that it’s roots are in demonic practices.  Of course, everyone rolls their eyes at me and considers me a nut case.

Like the man who wrote this article, I have the ‘unfortunate’ gift of discerning spirits.  Those of us in the Body of Messiah who have been given this gift have an ignored voice because of the great deception not only in the world, but also in the church.   No one wants to be told what they are doing has ‘spiritual roots’ let alone ‘evil spiritual roots’. Heck, they don’t even want to hear about things with Biblically holy roots!

The world only accepts spirituality and spiritual awareness apart from Bible.  The church believes that either nothing is inherently wrong because of Jesus or we can take unholy things and transform to be holy to God.   Because the Rev. Dr. Hird writes exactly what I have believed over the years,  I am going to share a few thoughts from his article.  If you are considering yoga classes or have already taken part in them, reading the entire article will be more informative than my personal observations.   All quotes come from the article written by Rev. Dr. Hird.

“We naively think that we can arrogantly detach anything from its heritage, and snatch its alleged benefits without any downside.”

This is the problem with Christianity today.  No one believes the roots or heritage of a practice has any influence on what they ‘think’ they are doing.  Because Sha’ul (Paul) said that ‘idols’ have no influence on us, it is deceptively believed we can embrace ‘other gods’ with no consequences.   However, Sha’ul also said, “If the root is holy, then so are the branches” (Romans 11:16).    This means that if the root is unholy and has its heritage in ‘other gods,’ then every branch that has emerged from that root is also unholy.

Though the Scriptures outline ‘appointed times’ to worship and honor yod-hey-vav-hey,  Christians are ignorant of their Biblical heritage.  They embrace holidays like Easter and Christmas that have unholy roots and honor other gods, holidays with activities the Bible warns against.   Well-meaning Christians claim they have detached the false gods from these holidays and put God into them.  They forget Yahweh’s first commandment is to have ‘no other gods.’   Just because Yeshua died on the cross and disarmed the powers and principalities, doesn’t mean that those powers and principalities don’t continue to exist.  They will until they are thrown into the lake of fire at the final judgment.

“Yoga is the Hindu word for salvation.”

This statement shocked me when I read it. Yoga is the Hindu word for salvation!  Every time the word yoga is spoken, the Hindu word for ‘salvation’ is announced.  Wow!  Selah.  Pause and reflect on this!  Yoga is the Hindu word for salvation.  How many Christians know the Hebrew word for salvation written in their Bibles?  How many Christians know the given Hebrew name of their Savior is Yeshua and means ‘salvation’?  Most don’t know and most likely don’t care as they go to their Hindu ‘salvation’ classes as faithfully as Sunday school.  In Exodus 23:13, God says the names of ‘other gods’ are not even supposed to be  on our lips.  Joshua is told never to invoke or swear by the names of other gods (Joshua 23:7).

“Yoga is the very heart of Hinduism.  Without yoga, there is no Hinduism.  Without Hinduism, there is no yoga.”

This is the fullness of a false religion with a salvation message that is expressed in an outward work disguised as  exercise.   As one practices yoga, they are actually validating Hinduism in their lives.  Being that yoga is the heart of Hinduism, what is happening to the heart of the individual who practices yoga?

From my experience with numerous Christians, if  I say I celebrate the Sabbath and don’t eat pork because I love God and want to obey His commandments,  I am called a legalist or told I have denied the work Yeshua did on the cross.  It doesn’t matter if I quote from John 14:15, “If you love me (Yeshua), you will obey my commandments,” or James 2:18, ‘Faith without works is dead’, I am the lost one who has stumbled into the bottomless pit of the Galatian error.   Yet, the person who goes to the rec center and takes Hindu ‘work out your salvation’ classes is just exercising!

“The term ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yug’, which means to yoke.  Few people in community centre yoga classes ask what they are yoking themselves to.  Yogic practice is designed to yoke or bring psychic union with Brahman, the highest of the Hindu deities.”

When I read this statement, I immediately thought of Yeshua’s yoke being light and not a burden (Matthew 11:28-30). In rabbinical thought, a ‘yoke’ is following the teachings of a certain rabbi.  In the case of the Jewish Rabbi Yeshua,  his ‘yoke’ is the Torah or the instructions of Yahweh, his Father.   If yoga is the heart of Hinduism and comes from a word meaning ‘yoke,’ to what are those doing yoga yoking themselves?  Most Christians would never ever consider ‘yoking’ themselves to Torah because that would be legalism, but yoking themselves to Hinduism through exercise is okay.   They really aren’t consciously trying to have a psychic union with Brahman, the highest of Hindu deities, which is no different than celebrating Ishar or Saturnalia!

I love when people say, “Well, God looks at my heart.”  Yes, He does, and that should be more frightening than comforting.   He knows exactly what’s in your heart.  He knows how you feel about His Torah.  He knows about your arrogance over His chosen people.  He knows about how ignorant you are about Yeshua’s ‘easy yoke.’

“Unlike Christian prayer and meditation on God’s Word, the purpose of Eastern yogic meditational practices is to ‘kill the mind’.

Through the Beatles infatuation with eastern religious practices, yoga infiltrated the western world.  Because Americans have the right to ‘freedom of religion,’  this religious practice has  flourished.  Love is not sacrificial as God’s love, but an ‘all you need is humanistic love’ that feels good.   ‘Imagine there is no heaven or God’  is still the enlightened one’s mantra for some manmade utopia that sin-infested people will never be able to attain.  Our post-modern world tolerates religious cultures and beliefs to such an extent there is no purity of any religion.  The merging of all religions into one lump of spiritual awareness has ‘killed the mind’ of the masses rather than ‘renewed the mind’ through the real Spirit of life Romans 12:2).  There is little to no connection to a Creator because they, themselves have become gods and create their own spiritual universe with each individual at its center.  This is more than polytheism, it is self-worship and idolatry at its pinnacle.

“While yogic philosophy is polytheistic, it is also monistic, in the sense that it holds that, through yoga, we become the universe and/or god.”

My brother was born again into God’s Kingdom quite a few years ago.  My brother’s faith walk was nothing short of amazing.  The Scriptures he knew as a child came to life and the Spirit gave him immediate understanding.  He felt his heart become circumcised and joy bubbled out of a new light in his eyes and countenance.  He made restitution for numerous things from years before and enjoyed restoration of many broken friendships.  His girlfriend immediately ended their relationship because she had an occult bent and wanted nothing to do with a ‘Jesus freak.’   Then, he met another woman.

He was excited about her because she was ‘spiritual’ like he was.  Unfortunately, her spirituality was embedded in Hinduism as she was a yoga instructor.  Because my brother was still a baby believer and he didn’t want me to judge another of his girlfriends (every time I was right), he not only continued dating this woman, but he began to take part in yoga practices.  He bought a mat, learned the many positions. Though he claimed it helped residual pain from a horrific car accident years earlier, it was really changing his life – his spiritual walk.

Slowly, his demeanor changed.  The light in his eyes wasn’t as bright and a different ‘spirit’ began guiding him that caused confusion in his soul and mind.  Though he really liked this woman because of her ‘spirituality,’ she kept him at an uncomfortable distance. She intentionally used words with double meanings (semantics is definitely important) and secrecy to make her spirituality seem to be like his, but enough different that he needed to keep striving for more ‘light and peace.’   Though my brother could not see it, he slowly fell into a deception that still remains with him today.  It will remain with him until he discerns the ‘spirits’ around her and took hold of him are not the same as the Spirit that was given to him by Yeshua.  The ‘light and peace’ from the Spirit of Elohim is now hidden under a bushel barrel.

“With yoga and Hinduism, nothing is what it seems.  This is why it has been described as the embrace that smothers. Trying to separate the so-called physical from the spiritual in yoga is like attempting to remove arsenic from a bowl of sugar.  Yoga has always been shrouded in illusion and secrecy, and can intentionally look like whatever you want it to in the short term.”

Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic practice or ritual.  Divination is condemned by God in Leviticus 19:26.  King Saul, when he disobeyed God’s command to destroy the Amalekites,  was told by the prophet Samuel that his rebellion was like the sin of divination and his arrogance like idolatry.  His rejection of the word of God and his disobedience made him lose his kingship over Isra’el (1 Samuel 15:23). Rejecting God’s Word is the same as idolatry and divination.  As believers, we should flee from these things rather than try to rationalize our disobedience.   We can lose the Kingdom just because we want to embrace our yoga-salvation exercises.

“Yoga is an ancient form of divination…. The Bible does not encourage us to see how close to the line we can get before we fall in, but rather to flee idolatry.”  

Soon after we were married, my husband and I attended a conference with Dave Hunt, the author of  “The Seduction of Christianity.”  During that conference he spoke about the mantras given to those involved in Transcendental Meditation.  He said there were only 7 or 10 because they are literally the names of Hindu gods.  Inductees were told not  to share their mantra with anyone else –  because they would  find out that 1 in 7 had their same mantra.  He said once you had your mantra, you would perform this ceremony with a white table cloth and an apple.  While he was speaking about all of this, my husband leans over and whispers in my ear, “I did all of this.”

I responded, “What?”

He repeated, “I did all of this.”

When we returned home, I asked him what he was talking about.  He had, at one time, become involved in TM.  He received his mantra and offered his sacrificial apple on the white-table clothed altar.  He had no idea his mantra was a ‘god,’  but he did forget it and had to get another.  The yogi-dude was angry with him for forgetting.  I asked him if he remembered the name of the ‘god.’  He did though he did not say the name because we both realized he had embraced a false god.  My husband repented from ever taking part in this religious practice with its deceptive practices and other gods.

“Transcendental Meditation, a form of Mantra yoga, initiated countless westerners with Sanskrit puja rituals that were never explained to them, but still had a significant impact on their core identity.

Yeshua’s atonement for sin is the cornerstone of faith from Genesis through Revelation.   Through his life, death and resurrection, we receive fullness of life now and into eternity.  Anyone who does not trust in Yeshua’s atonement for their sin, does not receive the fullness of their faith – forgiveness and a restored relationship with their Creator.

However, an individual does not have to openly worship a false god for it to impact their lives.  This is the power of Astarte (Easter), Tammuz (Christmas trees), Samhain (Halloween) in the lives of Christians.   These ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’ have  impacted their spiritual lives and hearts so much they will argue to the millionth power to defend their practices.  My husband came to the reality of the impact of Hinduism on his life and identity; my brother needs to come to the same place.  All of those who actively participate in yoga or its exercises also need to realize the subtle ways the Adversary uses to draw them into false religious practices in order to glorify himself.

“Unlike Judaism, Christianity and Islam, one does not have to believe in  or worship something to be impacted by Hinduism.”  

What Christians tend to forget is that we are commanded and warned against idolatry and ‘other gods’.  Those commandments and warnings through the Torah, the Prophets and the Apostles are still in force until Elohim establishes his eternal throne in the New Jerusalem and there is a new heaven and a new earth.  When we defile ourselves with false gods, we pay a huge price in our relationship with our Father.

“When you offer your gifts … you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will not let you inquire of me” (Ezekiel 20:31).

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

©2013 Tentstake Ministries

 

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