Posts Tagged ‘false gods’

The LORD’s Passover – Pesach

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD — a lasting ordinance” (Exodus 12:14).

Blood on the doorpost and lintel

The LORD’s Passover is the first annual Feast of the LORD.  It is the   memorial to the extraordinary account of God’s judgment on Egypt’s gods and Israel’s miraculous deliverance from a life of slavery.   The Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, began Israel’s physical redemption as God’s holy nation and they were to  remember their salvation from death to life in the ‘appointed time’ called Passover. 

Hebrew Word Pictures

Passover or Pesach – פסח

Peh פ – A Mouth means ‘to speak, pour out’

Samech ס –  A Prop means ‘to support and protect’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘inner chamber’

The Hebrew word picture for pesach: “To pour out protection in the inner chamber.”

For hundreds of years the descendants of Jacob were enslaved in Egypt building Pharaoh great cities.  They were oppressed with hard labor from digging clay to making bricks and all kinds of field work.  They were shown no mercy by their overseers.  In spite of the  oppression, their population increased.  Pharaoh commanded the midwives to kill all baby boys as they were born, but because they feared God, they let the boys live.  Pharaoh then ordered that all baby boys be thrown into the Nile River. 

One infant boy from a Levite family was placed in a papyrus basket and floated in the Nile river.  He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter who named him Moses or Moshe which means ‘pulled out of the water.’ She located his mother and paid her to nurse him.  When he was old enough, he left his mother and went to live in Pharaoh’s house as a prince of Egypt.

As an adult, Moshe struggled with what he saw happening to his people, the Hebrew people.   In a moment of anger, he killed a man.  When word of it spread to Pharaoh, he feared for his life and ran to the land of Midian on the northwest Arabian peninsula.  He became a shepherd and married Tzipporah, the daughter of a Midian priest.    They had two sons named Gershom and Elieazer.   

God heard the cries of the children of Israel.  He saw their bondage and their misery.  Through a burning bush, He called Moshe to become their deliverer.  He told Moshe to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let His people go.  Even so, God warned Moshe that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart until he understood through the death of his firstborn son that Israel is the firstborn son of God.  Armed with a staff in his hand and the name of God – the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the “I Am that I Am”- Moses started out for Egypt.  During his journey, Moshe met Aaron and they returned to confront Pharaoh together.

Egypt was culture of death.   Their gods and goddesses glorified death.   Their Pharaohs were immortalized in grand pyramid tombs filled with symbols of death.   Their book for immortalizing those who passed on was called the “Book of the Dead.”   So God gave them what they worshipped and honored the most – death.

Through Moshe, God judged each of the gods of Egypt with plagues: water to blood, frogs, gnats or lice, flies, cattle disease, boils, hailstones, locusts, and darkness.   The people of Egypt suffered.  The land of Egypt suffered.  Even with the loss of livestock and crops, Pharaoh would not relent and set his slaves free.  Then, God’s  ‘appointed time’ of deliverance arrived.

“Moshe said [to Pharaoh], “Here is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go out into Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl at the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. There will be a horrendous wailing throughout all the land of Egypt — there has never been another like it, and there never will be again. But not even a dog’s growl will be heard against any of the people of Israel, neither against people nor against animals. In this way you will realize that the LORD distinguishes between Egyptians and Israel. All your servants will come down to me, prostrate themselves before me and say, “Get out! — you and all the people who follow you!” and after that, I will go out!’ ” And he went out from Pharaoh in the heat of anger” (Exodus 11:4-8).

Preparations Begin

“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household” (Exodus 12:1-3).

Though the children of Israel experienced the first three plagues against Egypt, God separated them from the rest.  In order to protect His people from the death of the firstborn, He had them bring a lamb or goat into their home for four days.  It had to be an animal without defect, a first-year male, and enough to feed each household. 

“Take care of them [the goat or lamb] until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.  Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs”(Exodus 12:-6-7).

After caring for their animals for four days, the Israelites were to slaughter them at twilight, after sunset, when the sun is below the horizon and a soft glowing light emanates from the sky.  They were to put some of the animal’s blood on the sides and tops of the door frames where they were going to eat the meal.

In the Hebrew alphabet, the eighth letter is chet חand represents the number 8 and ‘new beginnings.‘   The word ‘life’ or chaim also comes from chet and means ‘life.’  The manner in which the blood was placed around the door sides and top formed the letter chet for a new beginning of life.

ח

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Exodus 12:12-13).

As the Israelites remained in their homes, the blood on their doorposts would be a sign for God, the Destroyer.  When He saw the sign of the blood, He would ‘pass over’ the firstborn sons who were in the home protected by blood while allowing the firstborn of Egypt to die.   

“This is how you are to eat it [the meal]: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover” (Exodus 12:11).

The Passover meal consisted of roasted lamb, bread without leaven, and bitter herbs.  The Israelites were not to break the bones of the lamb or take any of the meal outside of their homes.  They were to eat it in haste.

“At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.  Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead” (Exodus 12:29-30).

Lasting Ordinance

“And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:27). 

Passover was to be celebrated forever throughout all the generations of the Israelites no matter where they lived.  There were also specific regulations regarding the Passover.  No foreigner, slave or traveler was to eat the meal unless they were circumcised.  Once circumcised,  they would be considered a citizen of Israel and could take part in the meal.   The meal was always to be eaten in the house and no meat was to be taken outside.  The bones of the Passover lamb were never to be broken.

In Joshua chapter 5, there is the account of the Israelites celebrating Passover in Gilgal after taking flint knives and circumcising all the men who had come out of the wilderness.  In 2 Kings 23, Josiah destroys all the high places and idols in Israel and the nation celebrates Passover in Jerusalem for the first time since the days of the Judges.  In Ezra chapter 6, when the Israelites returned from captivity, all who renounced the pagan practices of the nations celebrated the Passover.  Ezekiel 45 speaks about Passover being celebrated in the Millennial Kingdom by putting blood on the door-frames of the Temple, on the four corners of the Altar’s ledge and on the supports of the gate of the Inner Courtyard.   

The ‘appointed time’ of Messiah

“He [Yeshua] replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My ‘appointed time’ is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house’” (Matthew 26:18).

The ‘appointed time’ of Passover was celebrated by Yeshua with his disciples.  Using two cups of wine and unleavened bread from the traditional Passover memorial called a seder, he began to renew the marriage covenant given to Israel at Mount Sinai (Luke 22).   However, in order to institute the new covenant, there had to be the shedding of blood.  His blood. 

Another cup of wine, a third cup, was also poured at a traditional seder to remember the plague judgments on Egypt with the final one being the death of the firstborn.   Yeshua didn’t mention this cup of wine at his seder probably because he knew the plague of  death was coming for him as the Lamb of God.  Even though he prayed earnestly for his Father to allow the cup of death to ‘pass over’ him, he knew he had to go forth with his Father’s plan.  There would be no lamb’s blood on the doorposts of any house to protect his life.  His blood was going to be poured out. 

“They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn …” (Numbers 8:16).

Isaac, the beloved firstborn son of Abraham, had experienced the ‘passover’ when the blood of a ram saved him from death.  This ‘binding of Isaac’ became the vision of redemption for God’s people.  When God allowed the firstborn the sons of Israel to live through the plague of death with the substitute sacrifice, He again revealed His plan of salvation through a lamb.   When Yeshua hung on the cross, he cried out, “It is finished.”  With those words he died. The beginning of the salvation of Israel and the world began with the substitute sacrifice of the Lamb of God. 

“For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival …” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

If you are interested in celebrating the Passover, use our Passover Haggadah Booklet.

©2000 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

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