Posts Tagged ‘pagan’

Pagan – Hebrew Words

כמר

Komer in Hebrew is the word for ‘pagan’ and means ‘idolatrous.

“He did away with the pagan [idolatrous] priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts” (2 Kings 23:5). 

זכרון

Zikkaron is another Hebrew word for ‘pagan’ and means ‘memorial.’

“Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan [memorial] symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies” (Isaiah 57:8). 

“The enemy laid hands on all her treasures; she saw pagan nations enter her sanctuary— those you had forbidden to enter your assembly” (Lamentations 1:10). 

In this verse there is only the word goy or nations.  There is no separate reference to pagan which suggests that the translators added it to differentiate from Isaiah 56:6-7 when foreigners from all nations [goyim] will come to worship God on His holy mountain.  Whatever the reason, the nations entering the sanctuary had been forbidden to enter.  Lamentations is about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.  During the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, the goyim, the Greeks, entered the sanctuary and defiled it with pig’s blood.  Thus their actions were pagan, but they were will goyim.  

טמא

Tame is another Hebrew word for ‘pagan’ and means ‘unclean.’

“‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan [unclean] country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land” (Amos 7:17). 

Greek Words for Pagan

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan [nation] or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). 

The Greek word for pagan in this verse is ethnikos with comes from ethnos and means ‘nations’.  It is mistranslated numerous times as ‘pagan’ and ‘gentile’ and not its intended meaning of ‘nations.’  Those who refuse discipline in the Body of Messiah are to be treated as one would treat an outsider, one of the ‘nations.’

“For the pagan [nations of the] world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them” (Luke 12:30). 

The Greek word for pagan in this verse is ethnos and means ‘nations.’ Again, there is no specific word for pagan in this verse.  

“Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry” (1 Corinthians 10:7). 

The Greek word for pagan here is paizo and means ‘indulge in pagan revelry.’   It is only used once this way in all of Scripture.   Nations, unclean, memorial and idolatrous have been substituted with the word ‘pagan’ and even ‘gentile’ creating a mistranslation of the Scriptures and ultimately a division within the Body of Messiah. 

“But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles [ethnos], how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!  I am talking to you Gentiles [ethnos]. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles [ethnos], I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people [Isra’el]  to envy and save some of them” (Romans 11:12-14). 

The  mistranslation of the words goy and ethnos into ‘pagan’ and ‘gentile’ in this passage creates an identity crisis in the Body of Messiah.  Those of the nations, the goyim, though they may be living among ‘pagans’ are not always ‘pagan’ and learning the ‘ways of the nations’.   They are living in the nations because of the foresight of God who knew His people would be dispersed among the ‘nations’.   Those of the goyim or ethnos who have put their faith in Yeshua have the responsibility to make Isra’el envious for their Messiah.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries

Halloween – All Hallow’s Eve

Autumn brings cooler weather, multi-colored leaves and the harvest of corn, gourds and pumpkins.  In the midst of the pumpkins and puffy clouds, excitement begins to arise from the oncoming celebration of Halloween.   Every year that excitement is intertwined with the fear and anxiety of child abductions, poisoned candy, and destruction of public property.  Every year this celebration of darkness continues to grow in grandeur  with more and more super Halloween venues, stores and haunted houses, while people  nationwide shake their heads and wonder what is happening to our world.

The celebration of All Hallows Eve is not in the Bible because the Word of God is explicit about activities done in darkness.  Halloween celebrations take place mostly at night and center on spiritually dark things.     Decorations glorify death and fear:  spiders, witches, skeletons and black cats.     Children dress up in costumes that honor death and horror: ghosts, witches, devils, skeletons, vampires and zombies.   Of course, there are other  costumes to soften or mask the dark side: Cinderella, Little Bo Peep, Spiderman, Jack Sparrow and whatever is popular with Disney and the media.    Teenagers, bored with masquerading,  show their real character as mobsters by destroying public and private property.

“In the beginning, God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light”

(Genesis 1:1-2).

Before light, there was darkness and empty space.  When God spoke,  light came into this world and the Light of the World was God and was with God. 

“In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  …In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it….  “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 1:15, 3:19).

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I AM the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life…. “While I am in the world, I AM the light of the world…. “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46).

Jesus calls himself the Light of the world and there is no darkness in him.  He came into the world to destroy the works of darkness and the spiritual powers and principalities associated with it.  Because  people love darkness more than light, they do not understand the light nor do they come near the light.

Unfortunately, the world has contaminated the minds and hearts of many believers accordingly.   Rather than being transformed by the renewing of their minds, they play with the fruitless deeds of  darkness rather than expose it for what it is.   We should be praising God for calling us out of darkness into His glorious light  not paying tribute to the darkness (1 Peter 2:9, 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1). 

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15).

For several decades  Christ’s victory over death has been diluted with an infatuation of death that Christians have blurred the line between their gift of eternal life and a celebration of death.   They have traded their precious redemption through the blood of the Son of God for a celebration that brings no profit to their present life or future heavenly rewards (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:8-12). 

“Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (having to separate themselves?)”

(1 Peter 5:7-9).

Scripture never indicates that Jesus honored any holiday with pagan foundations.  Because he obeyed the commands of his Father,  he didn’t go out in the spiritual darkness of October 31 to shine or be a light. He didn’t hand out gospel tracts nor did he tell his disciples to do so.  His life of obedience to his Father was his testimony; ours must be too.

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve”

(2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

As the Son of God, Jesus did not imitate evil nor should we.  He didn’t pretend or  masquerade to be something that he wasn’t.  That is Satan’s method of operation and should not be ours. 

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 10:10-14).

Many who claim to follow Christ have become lukewarm, mixing the holy and the profane no longer having the the maturity to discern good from evil.  They cannot see that witchcraft with all of its gnarly fingers has grasped children and young adults in their homes, schools and towns.  They are blind to demons and evil spirits presented in television programs and movies.  Just consider that zombies are walking dead people who are given homage by those who claim to have eternal life.

“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.  Anyone who does what is good is from God.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).

A recent popular mantra in Christendom has been “What Would Jesus Do?”  This is the exact question to be asked regarding any unBiblical holiday, but especially about Halloween.  What WOULD Jesus Do?  Would he try to redeem something rooted in the abominable ways of the nations back to his Father or would he call it for what it is and not participate in pagan ways?  The institutional church has been more than willing to teach that everything Jewish is ‘evil’ or wrong, but legitimate evil practices at Halloween are not.  Churches create ‘alternatives’ keeping their disobedience disguised allowing them to keep one foot in the world and one foot … in the world.   

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers and will continue to do so until Christ’s return.  The god of this world is also being allowed to deceive believers who want to do what is ‘right in their own eyes‘ and live unaccountable lives.  A great deception happens to believers when they claim to have the Light, but still embrace the darkness in ways that they see as fun or harmless.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

For those who truly have asked Jesus to be their Savior, it’s imperative to allow Him to be Lord as well.  Though it may be a challenge and even difficult to step out and stay out of the darkness,  each of us have a responsibility to ourself, our children and our testimony to the world around us about Jesus’ salvation and redemption from eternal death and spiritual darkness.  We each have a responsibility and an accountability to God. 

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

If you call on the Light of the World for your salvation and have repented from a sin-filled life, then you have to choose between being a friend of God or a friend of the world.  When you choose to be God’s friend, you will receive  spiritual eyes and be set free from human traditions rooted in darkness and the demonic spiritual forces of this world.  Both are  incorporated into the celebration Halloween.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2: 8-10).

There will  always be those who mock at the idea of not taking part in Halloween festivities.  For doubters, research All Hallows Eve and Samhain using an encyclopedia or browse the internet.   Talk to a law enforcement official in your local town and find out about witchcraft activities during Halloween.   Read the newspaper and note all the crime and death that takes place during Halloween.  Near Denver, Colorado, a shed was found with the bones of many human remains along with articles of witchcraft following Halloween. This is the information age.  If you want information, it’s readily available.

No longer will you shake your head in wonderment at the growing evil in the world, but you will know the truth and you will be set free to understand whose holiday this really is.  You will begin to  walk in the wisdom of God’s Word and will not only know what Jesus did, but more importantly you will know what Jesus did NOT do.  He did not celebrate any pagan holidays inclusive of Halloween; he suffered death on a cross, and then rose from the dead, victorious over death and spiritual powers and authorities in high places. 

That’s what Jesus did.  What will you do?

For a children’s booklet explaining Halloween, “Take off your mask, Celebrate Life!”

©2009 Tentstake Ministries, chapter from Journey with Jeremiah on amazon.com