The Blessed Hope

  • And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning– lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
    (Mark 13:3-37 ESV)
  • For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
    (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) spoke in many parables and idioms. A is a short tale that illustrates universal truth, one of the simplest of narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences. Though the meaning of a parable is often not explicitly stated, the meaning is not usually intended be hidden or secret but on the contrary quite straightforward and obvious. An Idiom is a word combinations that has at least two meanings: a literal meaning and a figurative meaning.

When Yeshua told His disciples, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come,” He was speaking a well known Jewish idiom.

The phrase “no one knows the day or hour” is a Hebrew idiom for the Rosh Chodesh (New Moon Festival), which ushers in the Feast of  Trumpets and the fall feasts of  God (YHWH). Many times God has the new moon tarry over Jerusalem for one, two or more days, before coming into its young crescent sighting for the announcing of the New Moon Festival (John 14:3). Therefore we wait and watch for the “day and hour” of His return. When that Last Trump blows, the Bride trims her lamp and goes out to meet her Bridegroom for the start of their wedding. (Matthew 25:1-13).

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will likely occur at the Feast of Trumpets. Now if we only knew the day of hour, we’d all be in good shape. Don’t be a foolish virgin, keep your lamp filled with oil and your wick trimmed lest you be caught unawares.

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The Dangers of Divination

  • When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.
    (Deuteronomy 18:9–14 ESV)

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines divination as “the practice of determining the hidden significance or cause of events, sometimes foretelling the future, by various natural, psychological, and other techniques. Found in all civilizations, both ancient and modern, it is encountered most frequently in contemporary mass society in the form of horoscopesastrologycrystal gazingtarot cards, and the Ouija board.”

Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge by supernatural (some would say psychic) means. The literal meaning of the word is “to let the divine realm manifest.” Cultures all throughout history have engaged in countless methods to predict the future, to gain knowledge and wisdom, and to communicate with realms beyond the physical in order to gain perspective on the here and now. Modern day psychics, holy people and diviners of all types still use ancient and even modern divination techniques to glimpse the unseen realms. They all work in different ways to convey information between the dimensions, but what they all have in common is that they are merely tools in much the same way a telephone is a tool to transmit communication between people in remote locations.
(Continuum: Types of Divination You Should Know About)

Tarot card reading is one of the most popular and commonly used divining tools to this day and falls into a category of divination called cartomancy (divining through cards). With its history in medieval Europe, tarot cards were originally a card game that evolved into a system of divination. It works by reflecting the energy of the person consulting the cards. A question is asked (it shouldn’t be a yes or no question) and the reader lays the cards down in a particular pattern (and there are many depending on the type of reading).
(Continuum: Tarot Cards

What cards come up in what position, and whether or not they are right side up determines how it will be interpreted. A good reader skilled in the tarot will understand the subtler nuances in the symbology of the images. For example, the Death card does not necessarily portend that someone is going to die, but will often signal something more along the lines of personal transformation.
(Continuum: Tarot Cards)

There are several types of astrology. The most well known are Western astrology and Chinese astrology.  The word “astrology” is derived from the Greek words “astron” (meaning star) and “logos” (to study).  Astrology is the study of the position of the stars and other celestial bodies at any given moment in time and their relationship to and influence on human lives. Most people are familiar with astrology in the form of daily horoscopes, but there is actually far more to the study of astrology than that.
(Continuum: Astrology)

The beginning point of any personal astrological reading is the natal chart. It diagrams where all the most relevant celestial bodies were at the time of your birth. Your sun sign may be the dominant energy in your life, but the placement of the moon and all the stars and planets also describe significant energy patterns that can influence the characteristics of the sun sign. This is why it’s important to have a natal chart done if you are going to have an astrology reading, and any good astrologer will tell you that.
(Continuum: Astrology)

Also known as chiromancy, the art of reading hands is one of the most ancient forms of divination. There are debates as to whether or not palmistry is a fortune telling method of divination. While it is more of a technique for personality assessment, there are elements by which palm readers can predict the future. Contrary to popular opinion, palmistry involves more than just studying the lines of palm. A palm reader also looks at things like fingernails, hair growth, and color and texture of the skin.
(Continuuum: Palmistry)

Classical palmistry has its roots in ancient Greece. The dominant hand will convey a certain set of meanings while the non-dominant hand will convey another, and it depends on what school of palmistry one has been taught. Some of the most common elements of a palm reading are looking at the life line, the heart line and the head line, which are the three most dominant lines in the palm.
(Continuuum: Palmistry)

The Ouija board also known as a spirit board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words “yes,, “no,” “hello” (occasionally), and “goodbye,” along with various symbols and graphics. It is a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc., which markets and distributes the Ouija Board as part of its line of board games. It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) or movable indicator to indicate the spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. Participants place their fingers on the planchette and it is moved about the board to spell out words. It has become a trademark that is often used generically to refer to any talking board.

Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond on July 1, 1890, the Ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I.

Mainstream religions and some occultists have associated use of the Ouija board with the threat of demonic possession and some have cautioned their followers not to use Ouija boards.

While Ouija believers feel the paranormal or supernatural is responsible for Ouija’s action, it is parsimoniously explained by unconscious movements of those controlling the pointer, a psychophysiological phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect. Despite being repeatedly debunked by the efforts of the scientific community and denounced as a tool of Satan by conservative Christians, Ouija remains popular among many people.

Scrying (also called seeing or peeping) is a magic practice that involves seeing things psychically in a medium, usually for purposes of obtaining spiritual visions and less often for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The most common media used are reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from Godspirits, the psychic mind, the devil, or the subconscious.

In his First Epistle to Timothy, Paul the Apostle wrote. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1 KJV).

We are living in the latter times. New Age doctrines and spiritualism are being repackaged and brought into the church, with many church bookstores actually selling some of these materials

Exposing the Occult may be one of the finest websites available to those who are struggling with any of these or other issues.

Light Inside The Darkness

  • In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights–the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night–and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
    (Genesis 1:1-19 ESV)

According to Scripture, God “created the heavens and the earth” on Day One of Creation Week (Genesis 1:1). Initially all was dark, until God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Days Two and Three saw the oceans, firmament (atmosphere), continents, and plants created and formed, as the earth was being progressively prepared for man’s habitation. It was on Day Four that God created the sun, moon, and stars, proclaiming, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven” (Genesis 1:14), one purpose of which was “to give light upon the earth” (Genesis 1:15).

The light in Genesis 1:3 was directional, coming from a particular source. The earth was evidently rotating underneath it, causing alternating periods of light and dark. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (Genesis 1:5).

Skeptics have long ridiculed the science of biblical creation over this point. How could there be light bathing the earth before the sun was created? Obviously the Bible must be in error. But as always, this apparent error drives us to look more closely at the relevant data, both scientific and biblical.

Actually there are many sources of light, not just the sun. There are also many types of light, not just visible light. Short-wave light includes ultraviolet light, X-rays, and others. Long-wave light includes infrared light, radio waves, etc. Light is produced by friction, by fire, by numerous chemical reactions, as well as the nuclear reactions of atomic fission and fusion, which is what we think is occurring in the sun. God had at His fingertips many options to accomplish His purposes. Light does not automatically require the sun.

Dr. Henry Morris made an interesting point about this passage when he said that because God is light, dwelling in light (1 Timothy 6:16), He did not have to create light. But God did create darkness (Isaiah 45:7) “as the initial state of the unformed and uninhabited earth (Genesis 1:2).” He created the primeval darkness to form a division between day and night.

  • I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time–he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
    (1 Timothy 6:13-16 ESV)
  • I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.
    (Isaiah 45:7 ESV)
  • The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
    (Genesis 1:2 ESV)

Furthermore, we have important data given by the Hebrew words used in the creation account. When God created “light” in verse 3, the word used connotes the presence of light only, while the word used for “lights” on Day Four is best translated “light bearers,” or permanent light sources. Their purpose was not only to give light, but to serve as timekeepers for man once he was created. According to the best stellar creation theory now available, light from stars created anywhere in the universe on Day Four would reach earth in two earth days, and would be useful to Adam on Day Six.

The Holy Bible tells us that no sun or moon is necessary to produce light because God Himself is light. Saint John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5 ESV) and “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5 ESV).

The Book of Revelation tells us of a new heaven and a new earth. It says. “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there” (Revelation 21:23-25 ESV).

  • Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed– on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
    (Revelation 21:1-27 ESV)

This all presents a problem for those who hold to the theory of Day-age creationism, a type of old Earth creationism. Day-age creationism is an interpretation of the creation accounts in Genesis. It holds that the six days referred to in the Genesis account of creation are not ordinary 24-hour days, but are much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years). The Genesis account is then reconciled with the age of the Earth. Proponents of the day-age theory can be found among both theistic evolutionists, who accept the scientific consensus on evolution, and progressive creationists, who reject it. The theories are said to be built on the understanding that the Hebrew word “yom” is used to refer to a time period, with a beginning and an end and not necessarily that of a 24-hour day.

Genesis 1:12 tells us that “the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.” This was Day Three of the Creation Week. However, Genesis then tells us that the sun, moon and stars were created on Day Four of the Creation Week (Genesis 1:14-19).

Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis and cannot wait in darkness for thousands or millions of years. If the days were long periods of time as demanded by critics of a literal Creation Week, plants could not survive.

Keep in mind that the Creation Week was a uniquely miraculous time, and we are justified in speculating that miraculous events may have been taking place outside of today’s natural laws. How much better and more satisfying it is to accept Scripture as it stands. It doesn’t need to be fully understood and explained by modern scientific thought; it just needs to be believed and obeyed.

The Fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
(Genesis 2:15-17 ESV)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
(Genesis 3:1-7 ESV)

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever–” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
(Genesis 3:8-24 ESV)

In his First Epistle to Timothy, Paul the Apostle wrote, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Timothy 2:11-14 ESV).

Paul the Apostle was telling Timothy that the serpent beguiled Eve. Adam was not beguiled by the serpent. He absolutely saw through the subtlety of the serpent and chose to follow Eve into sin because of his love for her.. He was willing to give up everything, his walk with God (YHWH) and even risk death to keep Eve as part of his life (for better or for worse),

In Jewish tradition, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the eating of its fruit represents the beginning of the mixture of good and evil together.Before that time, the two were separate, and evil had only a nebulous existence in potentia. While free choice (apparently) did exist before eating the fruit, evil existed as an entity separate from the human psyche, and it was not in human nature to desire it. Eating and internalizing the forbidden fruit changed this and thus was born the yeitzer hara, the Evil Inclination.

Rashi notes that the first sin came about because Eve added an additional clause to the Divine command:

“Neither shall you touch it.” [By saying this, Eve] added to the command, and thereby came to detract [from it]. This is as it is written [Proverbs 30:6], “Do not add to His Words.”
In the 

Talmud

, several opinions are proposed as to the identity of the fruit:
  • Rabbi Meir says that the fruit was a grape, made into wine. The Zohar explains similarly that Noah attempted (but failed) to rectify the sin of Adam by using grape wine for holy purposes. The midrash states that the fruit was grape, or squeezed grapes (perhaps again alluding to wine).
  • Rabbi Nechemia says that the fruit was a fig, as it was from fig leaves that God made garments for Adam and Eve upon expelling them from the Garden: “By that with which they were made low were they rectified.”
  • On the other hand, Rabbi Yehuda proposes that the fruit was wheat, because “a babe does not know to call its mother and father until it tastes the taste of grain.” On this, Tosafot there explains, “And this is called the Tree of Knowledge.”

In Christian theology, the tree of knowledge is a forbidden tree yielding fruit that when eaten, came forth original sin and subsequently, the Fall of Man in Genesis 2-3.

In CatholicismAugustine of Hippo taught that the tree should be understood both symbolically and as a real tree – similarly to Jerusalem being both a real city and a figure of Heavenly Jerusalem. Augustine underlined that the fruits of that tree were not evil by themselves, because everything that God created was good (Genesis 1:12). It was disobedience of Adam and Eve, who had been told by God not to eat of the tree (Genesis 2:17), that was obnoxious and caused disorder in the creation, thus humanity inherited sin and guilt from Adam and Eve’s sin.

In Western Christian art, the fruit of the tree is commonly depicted as the apple, which originated in central Asia. This depiction may have originated as a Latin pun: by eating the malum (apple), Eve contracted mālum (evil). or simply because of religious artists’ poetic licence.

Satan’s motive operandi is deceit, being the father of all lies. He didn’t tempt Eve to eat from the Tree of Life, as that would have led to eternal life. Instead he chose to tempt her with the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. The Tree of Good of Evil was a double-edged sword as indicated by it’s name. Not only would consuming this fruit open one’s eyes to morality and end innocense, the consumption of the fruit of this tree would also release our inner demons, the evil that each carry inside of us. Lies, disobedience, rape, murder, homosexuality, etc. all became part of our nature.

Satan’s careful planning and cunning deception coupled with Eve’s willingness to listen and then cooperate with this deception was a disaster for mankind. “Eve took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate” (Genesis. 3:6). Satan did not take the fruit and put it in Eve’s mouth. He can tempt but he cannot force. Adam and Eve were totally responsible for their actions.

  • So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
    (Genesis 3:6 ESV)
  • But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
    (James 1:14-15 ESV)

Eternal Security: Perseverance of the Saints

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
(John 10:27-30 ESV)

Perseverance of the Saints, as well as the corollary—though distinct—doctrine known as “Once Saved, Always Saved”, is a Calvinist teaching that asserts that once persons are truly “born of God”, or “regenerated” nothing in heaven or earth “shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God.”

  •  
  • For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

Sometimes this position is held in conjunction with Reformed Christian Confessions of Faith in traditional Calvinist doctrine which argues that all men are “dead in trespasses and sins”, and thus, apart from being ressurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life none choose salvation of their own accord.

Calvinists maintain that God (YHWH) selected certain individuals before the world began and then draws them to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. They believe that when Jesus said, “No man can come unto Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him”, that Jesus was saying that men had to be drawn to Him by God before they would believe. Calvinists have long taught that when the apostle Paul wrote, “God hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), that it the passage is meant be understood that God actually choses believers in Christ before the world was founded. According to Calvinism, God begins a good work in some and then continues it. They attempt to prove this with the text from the book of Phillipians where the apostle Paul writes, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
    (Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV)

There also are many non-Calvinists who also maintain that once a person is saved they can never be lost. This Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist doctrine is found predominantly in “free will” Baptist theology, but chalso other Protestant chures of the evangelical tradition.

The doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is distinct from the doctrine of Assurance which describes how a person may first be sure that they have obtained salvation and an inheritance in the promises of the Holy Bible including eternal life. The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches on Perseverance of the Saints and on Assurance of Grace and Salvation.

  • “The very gospel comes under attack when the eternal security of the believer is questioned.”
    (Charles Stanley)

Paul the Apostle, in his Epistle to the Galatians, wrote, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4:30 ESV)

In his Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul the Apostle wrote, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
(Hebrews 6:4-6 ESV)

Certainly, this passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews seems to indicate that a believer can lose his salvation.

Todd Steandberg wrote, I think the most flagrant problem with the doctrine of eternal security is the notion that people can confess to be a Christians, and yet live a life so depraved that the devil himself would refuse to associate with them. Those who promote eternal security never mention the fact that people openly abuse the sin option. I remember one prime example.One day I was talking with a gentleman about prophecy, and from the start I was aware of the fact he was smoking, which usually doesn’t bother me. However, when he begin using profanity, that did bother me. I thought it would be a good idea to ask him whether he believed that Christians could miss out on the rapture. He, of course, didn’t think it was possible for believers to fall away, causing them to miss the rapture. As the conversation progressed, or better said digressed, he continued to chain smoke, curse repeatedly, and refer to certain racial groups by using inappropriate terms. He had little knowledge of the Bible, but he did know all the once-saved-always-saved Scriptures by heart. I quoted several responsibility Scriptures to him, but he refused to ponder one them. It was like talking to a member of some mind-control cult. Somehow, we got to talking about his smoking habit, and he gave me an explanation that I just could not believe. This guy, with a straight face. explained to me that because he’s a child of God, whatever he did was God’s will being done.He pointed to the cigarette he was smoking and said, “I’m smoking this because God wants me to, and when He wants me to stop, He’ll tell me.” I should have asked him, “How could it be the Lord’s will that Christians should cheat on their spouses or abuse their children?” I’ve heard this demonic theory before, but I never thought I’d meet anyone who believed it. Well, after several hours of listening to his “it God’s will” reasoning and after realizing I was getting nowhere, I decided I had enough. I bluntly told him, “That cigarette you have in your hand is your god, and until you make Jesus Christ number one in your life, you will never see the Kingdom of God.” His reaction amazed me. He cursed God’s name, saying, “There is no [expletive] way He is going to leave one of His own behind.” It really wasn’t the cursing that amazed me; what amazed me was that fact he had no idea that the Bible and his beliefs were so contradictory to the Bible.

Most theologians that hp;d to the doctrine of eternal security  are leading many believers astray. In effect they are granting believers a “license to sin” through the under the grace of the atonement of  Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach).

Paul the Apostle wrote, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Philippians 2:12-16 ESV).

Personally, there is too much at stake to play roulette with my eternal soul, I have my own salvation to work out with much fear and trembling. Paul the Apostle said, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 ESV).

It is my conclusion that “once saved, always saved:” is another false doctrine and tradition. A Christian can certainly become a serial killer. The only question remaining is, was he a Christian to begin with, or did he turn his back on and reject his faith?

The Queen of Heaven

The Queen of Heaven is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Christians mainly of the Roman Catholic Church, and also, to some extent, in Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodoxy, to whom the title is a (disputed) consequence of the First Council of Ephesus in the fifth century, in which the Virgin Mary was proclaimed “theotokos“, a title rendered in Latin as Mater Dei, in English as “Mother of God“.

The Catholic teaching on this subject is expressed in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Pius XII. It states that Mary is called Queen of Heaven because her son, Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach), is the king of Israel and heavenly king of the universe. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not share the Catholic dogma, but themselves have a rich liturgical history in honor of Mary.

The title Queen of Heaven has long been a Catholic tradition, included in prayers and devotional literature, and seen in Western art in the subject of the Coronation of the Virgin, from the High Middle Ages, long before it was given a formal definition status by the Church.

According to Catholic doctrine, Mary was assumed into heaven and is with Jesus Christ, her divine Son and is represented in Book of Revelation 12 as the woman clothed with the sun who gives birth to Christ. Mary should be called Queen, not only because of her Divine Motherhood of Jesus Christ, her only Son, but also because God the Father has willed her to have an exceptional role in the work of the eternal salvation of humanity. The papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, argues that as Christ, because he redeemed humankind, is its Lord and king by a special title, so the Blessed Virgin Mary is Queen, on account of the unique manner in which she assisted in the redemption of humanity by giving of her own substance, by freely offering him by her singular desire and petition for, and active interest in, human salvation.

Ad Caeli Reginam states, “The main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her Divine Motherhood. So with complete justice St. John Damascene could write: “When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature. Mary was chosen as Mother of Christ in order that she might become a partner in the redemption of the human race.”

Jeremiah the Prophet wrote, “Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger” (Jeremiah 7:17-18 ESV).

Likewise, Jeremiah the Prophet also wrote, “Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?” Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: “As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them? Did it not come into his mind? The LORD could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey the voice of the LORD or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.” Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, “Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!” (Jeremiah 44:15-25 ESV).

Clearly, the Queen of Heaven existed log before the Virgin Mary or the birth of the Messiah. This title referred to Ishtar (pronounced Easter), an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess also called Ashtoreth and Astarte by various other groups. She was thought to be the wife of the Baal, also known as Molech. The motivation of women to worship Ashtoreth stemmed from her reputation as a fertility goddess, and, as the bearing of children was greatly desired among women of that era, worship of this “Queen of Heaven” was rampant among pagan civilizations. Sadly, it became popular among the Israelites as well. The title Queen of Heaven was a title given to a number of other ancient sky goddesses in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, in particular AnatIsisInnana, and Hera. Elsewhere, Nordic Frigg also bore this title. In Greco-Roman times Hera, and her Roman aspect Juno bore this title. Forms and content of worship varied.

Jesus publicly rebuked a woman who blessed the Virgin Mary, “As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:27-28 ESV).

There is no Queen of Heaven. There has never been a Queen of Heaven. There is most certainly a King of Heaven, the Lord of Hosts, Jehovah. He alone rules in heaven. He does not share His rule or His throne or His authority with anyone. The idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the Queen of Heaven has no scriptural basis whatsoever, stemming instead from proclamations of priests and popes of the Roman Catholic Church. While Mary was certainly a godly young woman greatly blessed in that she was chosen to bear the Savior of the world, she was not in any way divine, nor was she sinless, nor is she to be worshiped, revered, venerated, or prayed to in any way.

Defining God

For the purpose of this article, we are going to use the definition of God (YHWH) contained in the Holy Bible. As such, God is the Creator of the universe (matter, energy, space, and time), along with other principalities and beings whose primary existence is outside this universe. However, God did not just create the universe and leave it to its own fate as deists proclaim. God is the personal being who walked and talked with Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in the Garden of Eden. God is also Savior of mankind, coming to Earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth  (Yeshua HaMashiach) to provide the ultimate example of holiness and the ultimate sacrifice for humanity’s evilness, in order to restore our personal relationship with Him. According to Christianity, God is the self-existent One, having no need of being created, since He has existed forever and is the cause of all things, including the dimension of time, to which He is not subject.. Likewise, God is not subject to the physical creation, but is spiritual in nature, residing in the spiritual dimensions of heaven. God’s power over the physical creation is absolute, such that He can manipulate matter, energy, space, and time at will. For this reason, God is said to be all powerful—able to accomplish any possible task He wills to do. Along with being all powerful, God is also all knowing—having knowledge of all things that are possible to be known, including the entire history of the universe—past, present, and future. Because God is all powerful (omnipotent) and all knowing (omniscient), He is also able to be present at all places at all times (omnipresent). God is also all loving—according to the Bible, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). The love of God prompted Him to create human beings in His image, in order to share His love with us. The Christian scriptures say that we can fulfill the entire law of God by loving Him and loving our fellow human beings (Matthew 22:37-40). God is absolutely holy—without any moral or character defect. In fact, the Bible says that God is incapable of doing any evil, despite being all powerful. God is unchangeable. In other words, He does not change any of His attributes or character at any time. Despite humanity’s tendency to change its definition of morality, God’s moral character does not evolve with the times, but remains constant.

The Scriptures tell us that God has many different names. The following article lists many of these names.

I have recently received a email from a reader who wants to know if God is tangible, among other things. Saint John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
(John 1:1-3 ESV)

In his Epistle to the Colossians, Paul the Apostle wrote. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
(Colossians 1:15-17 ESV)

In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul the Apsotle write, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
(Romans 1:17-25 ESV)

This article will also address why I refer to the Old Testament as the Tanakh, the Five Books of Moses as the Torah, the New Testament as the B’rit Chadashah, Jesus Christ as Yeshua HaMashiach, God as YHWH or Yahweh, and the Holy Spirit as the Ruach HaKodesh.

In this day and age, Universalists and the Interfaith Movement claim that all people worship the same god and that all paths lead to heaven. This is simply not true, there can only be one truth. Anything else is a contradiction.

In his First Epistle to Timothy, Paul the Apostle wrote, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”
(1 Timothy 2:5-6 ESV)

In his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul the Apostle wrote. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV)

Saint John wrote, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
(1 John 5:7 KJV)

Hopefully, this article will answer all the questions that were posed by the individual who sent me a message. May God bless you and keep you always. Shalom!

The Salt and Light of the World

The Salt and the Light of the World is a phrase Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) used to describe himself and his disciples in the New Testament (B’rit Chadashah).

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 ESV)

Jesus again claims to be Light of the World in the Gospel of John during the miracle of healing the blind at birth.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
(John 9:5 ESV)

This episode leads into another passage of Scripture from the Gospel of John where Jesus metaphorically explains that he came to this world, so that the blind may see.

Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
(John 9:39 ESV)

In the Christological context, the use of the title Light of the World is similar to the Bread of Life title in the Gospel of John. These assertions build on the Christological themes in the Gospel of John where Jesus claims to possess life just as the Father does and provide it to those who follow him. The term “Life of the World” is applied in the same sense by Jesus to himself.

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
(John 5:26 ESV)

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
(John 6:35 ESV)

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
(John 6:51 ESV)

This application of “light compared with darkness” also appears in the First Epistle of John which applies it to God and states:“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(1 John 1:5 ESV)

Jesus also used that term to refer to his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:13-16 ESV)

In the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas (Gnostic) a similar phrase appears:

There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness.

No Religious Test

The No Religious Test Clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article VI, Paragraph 3, and states that:”The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

A variety of Test Acts were instituted in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their main purpose was to exclude anyone not a member of the Church of England from holding government office, notably Catholics and Dissenters (Protestants). Government officials were required to swear oaths, such as the Oath of Supremacy, that the Monarch of England was the head of the Church and that they possessed no other foreign loyalties, such as to the Pope. Later acts required officials to disavow transubstantiation and the veneration of saints.

Many colonists of the Thirteen Colonies had left England in part to gain a measure of religious freedom. With the royal government’s religious favoritism fresh in their memory, the Founders sought to prevent the return of the Test Acts by adding this clause to the Constitution.

Recently, Willard Mitt Romney has received the nomination from the Republican Party as our candidate for the President of the United States of America.

Robert Jeffress, the evangelical pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, said Mitt Romney is not a Christian and Mormonism is a cult, after introducing Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit Friday.

Whether one believes that Mormonism is a cult and that Mormons are not Christians, this is a moot point under the United States Constitution, Article VI, Paragraph 3.

I describe myself as a Messianic Jew. However, you can rest assured that I will vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Davis Ryan come election day. There are many pastors urging Evangelical Christians to not vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. This is very foolish. A vote for Barack Hussein Obama II and Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr. is a vote against Christian and Jewish fundamentals. A vote for a third-party candidate or abstaining from voting is also a vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

This is far from the first time a presidential candidate has been forced to defend his religion. John F. Kennedy was scrutinized for being a Roman Catholic. In 1960 he made the following speech.

Neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test, even by indirection. For if they disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.

Contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President.

I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.

I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views — in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.

But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith; nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election.

If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that I’d tried my best and was fairly judged.

But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser, in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t vote for a candidate based on their religious beliefs. Don’t mistake that freedom for approval.  It is one thing to have the right to reject a candidate for their religious beliefs, it is another thing to do so.  It is sometimes helpful to focus not on the beliefs themselves, but the implications they have for how that person will govern.  How is a creationist likely to look upon federal spending on science, for example?  How about education? Beware those who would use the Constitution to protect themselves, while ignoring the provisions that protect you, the voter.  The Constitution is, afterall, an enormous compromise between competing interests.  Candidates who ignore portions of that compromise are a risk to the future of this country.

I would suggest that Christians look at all the candidates and examine their positions before making any decision. I would not suggest to anyone not to vote for a candidate because he was Mormon.

I would also look at a candidate’s stances on the issues more than anything else. I have heard a couple of so-called evangelical Christians say that they are pro-choice when it comes to abortion. I cannot understand for the life of me how an evangelical could have that stance, and I could not vote for that person.

Politics According to the Bible

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America said, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.” Truer words have never been spoken.

The truth is that religion and politics, as well as religion and government, cannot be separated. Look at the verse that makes up the foundation of Biblical principles of government. Isaiah the Prophet said, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”
(Isaiah 33:22 KJV)

A judge represents the Judicial Branch of our government, a lawgiver represents the Legislative Branch of our government and a president (king) represents the Executive Branch of out government. Not only are these three branches part of the federal government, but state governments and municipalities follow the same established pattern and form of government.

The separation of powers of government, more commonly known as the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) we take very much for granted, but where did the principles of the separation of powers originate?  They originated in the Holy Bible.

The United States does not have a Democracy as a type of government. Since it’s birth in 1776, our nation has held a Constitutional Republic as a form of government, adopted in 1788 by our Founding Fathers with the signing of the proposed Constitution.  The Constitution was ratified with the last state (Rhode Island) signing in May 29, 1790.  While our government has a democratic style (citizens of voting age can choose their leaders except those appointed by elected officials, and occasionally vote on issues), it is important to recognize that the law of our land is a written agreement, administered by elected officials.  The rules of conduct outlined in the constitution cannot be ignored, even if the majority of the citizens feel otherwise.  It is also important to understand that our Founding Fathers developed a written form of civil government because of the example another form of written government, the Holy Bible.

Jedidiah Morse once said, “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present form of government, and all blessings that flow from them, must fall with them.”

John Eidsmoe, the author of Christianity and the Constitution. said “The source most often cited by the Founding Fathers was the Bible, which accounted for 34% of all citations…” (The next 65% were cited from men, writings that cited the Bible).

“The Constitution of the United States,” declared the skeptical historian H.G.Wells, “…is indubitably Christian. Because the overwhelming majority of the creators of the Constitution were practicing Christians who derived their political philosophy from the Bible and other Christian sources, it should come as no surprise that they enshrined numerous Biblical principals in the Constitution.”

Because of their acknowledgment of the eternal God of the Bible, the source of all authority and to whom all people owe allegiance, in all places at all times, and because of an understanding of the nature of fallen man, the Fathers our nation recognized the importance of having a written ‘covenant’ that would bind both the citizens and those whom would be chosen to lead the citizens, to conduct their lives in agreement with the covenant of God.

Self Government

A.W. Tozer said, “Most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely. They want Him to save them, keep them happy, and take them to Heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct and service.

Gary DeMar said, “The first principle of any government system is self government.  The individual must always be aware that God stands above him or her in authority, power, and holiness; therefore, when others do not stand over the individual to view their actions, he or she is always aware that God does. The first principle of any government system is self government.  The individual must always be aware that God stands above him or her in authority, power, and holiness; therefore, when others do not stand over the individual to view their actions, he or she is always aware that God does.The motivation of self government, the desire to do right in the sight of God without fear of external punishment, must begin in the heart.  A self governed individual is one who has been born again, where the heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh.No nation can hope to survive without self governed men and women who seek to follow the laws of their Lord.  A nation without self governed individuals will seek to establish a regressive civil government in order to keep undisciplined people in check.”

Family Government

The family is the first governing institution and stands at the beginning of creation as the foundational institution for the ordering (governing) of society.  Self government is developed within the family.

The results of poor family government affects the entire society.  The children, becoming corrupt members of society, will incur the wrath of God for their civil deeds, and the nation as a whole will suffer.

Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
(1 Samuel 2:22-23 KJV)

Family government is the training ground for leaders. It is the place where a person gets experience on a small but ever increasing scale by applying Biblical principles to life’s situations.

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(Matthew 25:21 KJV)

Church Government

The churches of our Lord Jesus Christ have governing authority because the institution of the church was instituted by Him. Jesus states that the institution is His.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
(Matthew 16:18-19 KJV)

The extent of the churches authority is no greater than what the Bible states.  One duty of churches is to keep themselves pure of sinful behavior and doctrinal error; and to make offenders realize their need of repentance.  Churches have the authority to discipline unrepentant members.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
(Matthew 18:15-20 KJV)

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
(1 Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV)

Civil Government

All rulers and citizens must be aware that the establishment of authority and power among rulers and nations is the result of God’s sovereign decree, according to His pleasure. God has established civil government to be an avenger who brings God’s wrath upon those who practice evil.

Paul the Apostle said, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (Romans 13:1-2 KJV)

“The Constitution of the United States says nothing about separation of church and state.  That phrase does appear in the Soviet and French Constitutions. Nothing in our history indicates that the government should be independent of moral value or that religious people shouldn’t take an active role in our government. The first official act of the U.S. Congress was to select a chaplain. The second act was to authorize the purchase of 20,000 Bibles to give to the Indians.”
(USA Today: 2-16-1988)

Additional duties of civil government are the well ordering of society and the maintaining of peace so that Christians are free to worship God, unhindered by force hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Primary Purpose of Civil Government

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
(Genesis 9:6 KJV)

This is the Biblical basis of capital punishment. God requires that man, through civil government, take the life of any who commit capital crimes, biblically defined.  This action is not the right of the individual, only the government when something is taken that can not be given back.

Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
(Leviticus 19:36 KJV)

This is the Biblical bases for civil government having responsibility for oversight of coinage of money and protecting the integrity of the financial system.  Keeping businesses and ndividuals accountable.

Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
(Acts 5:26-29 KJV)

This verse speaks of the requirement of citizens to submit to civil authorities, but not unconditionally. Christians should always obey what God says to do, and then if need be pay the price of following the Lord.  When civil authorities over-step their proper sphere of responsibility, their commands must be ignored.

Care of the Poor

But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
(1 Timothy 5:4-8 KJV)

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
(Leviticus 19:9-10 KJV)

Care of the poor and handicapped is a personal, family, and church responsibility. There is no Biblical basis for transferring this responsibility to civil authorities.

William Booth walked among walked among the poor, hungry, sick, and lonely people of London, England.  The people were crammed into crumbling buildings that were full of rats. They had no jobs.  There was no one to help them. Worst of all, there was no one to tell them that Jesus cared.  They did not know Jesus died to be their Savior and lives again to be their Lord. William Booth told his wife, ‘I have given myself to work for God among those sick souls.’  The work that began at that time is today known as The Salvation Army.”

Education

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7 KJV)

Parents have the ultimate authority over children and this includes the realm of education; therefore, neither does government have the power to provide education nor do individuals have the right to education.  Government does not have a Biblical authority to provide education, according to the Scriptures, and individuals do not have an enforceable entitlement of education.

A Biblical worldview will recognize the limitations of government as well as of civil rights and will look first to the institution of the family and the church as the foundations for education, or secondarily to schools formed voluntarily by parents to better utilize the gifts of particular individuals. Only the family and/or the church are capable of providing the God-Centered education required by Scripture. Scripture speaks in terms of obligations and not in terms of  rights, particularly not a to government provided and government funded education.

2012 Presidential Election

Jesus Christ said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(Matthew 7:15-20 KJV)

What are the fruits of the Democratic Party? Can a Christian actually vote for a candidate who is a Democrat? Anyone who votes for a Democrat knowing what issues they support have some serious soul searching to undertake. It may just be that their faith is also invalid.

Homosexuals, Gay Marriage and the Holy Bible

The Holy Bible refers to homosexuality several times, and has historically been interpreted as condemning the practice. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, however, the extent to which the Bible mentions the subject and whether or not it is condemned, has become the subject of debate among certain political activist groups and homosexuals alike (the homosexual agenda).

The Book of Leviticus has two prohibitions against homosexuality which form an integral part of the Holiness code, contain the following verses: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22 ESV) and “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them” (Leviticus 20:13 ESV). The two verses have historically been interpreted by Jews and Christians as blanket prohibitions against homosexual acts.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis does not explicitly identify homosexuality as the sin for which Sodom was destroyed, but the passage has historically been interpreted within Judaism and Christianity as a punishment for homosexuality due to the statement that the men of Sodom wished to rape the angels sent to retrieve Lot. In fact, this interpretation became so prevalent that the name Sodom became the basis of the word sodomy, still a legal synonym for homosexual and non-procreative sexual acts, particularly anal sex.

The Prophet Ezekiel specifies the sins that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for which include arrogance, apathy towards the poor, and “detestable things.” Ezekiel said, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.
(Ezekiel 16:49-50 ESV)

The account of the friendship between David and Jonathan in the Books of Samuel, has been interpreted by traditional and mainstream Christians as a relationship of platonic love, but has been interpreted by some liberal authors (John Boswell and David M. Halperin) as being of a sexual nature.The story of Ruth and Naomi is also occasionally interpreted in this way (Rachel Havrelock).

Saint Jude said, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
(Jude 1:7 KJV)

The homosexual agenda often claims that lesbians and lesbian acts are not condemned by the Holy Bible. Paul the Apostle clearly stated, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
(Romans 1:26-27 KJV)

In the Book of Deuteronomy it is written, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV). In his First Epistle to Corinthians, Paul the Apostle stated, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)

Effeminacy describes traits in a human male, that are more often associated with traditional feminine nature, behaviour, mannerisms, style or gender roles rather than masculine nature, behaviour, mannerisms, style or roles. The passages of Scripture in Deuteronomy and Corinthians clearly prohibit cross-dressing (transvestism and homosexuality).

The new attack on Christianity and the Holy Bible is that since Jesus never mentions homosexuality nor does He specifically condemn it, homosexuality must be legitimate in Jesus’ eyes.

Did Jesus ever say anything in the four Gospels that would condemn the homosexual lifestyle or homosexual marriage? As it turns out, He did. As a matter of fact, He spoke very clearly and directly about the issue.

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
(Matthew 19:3-6 KJV)

Here Jesus upholds creation, male and female sexual relationships (in marriage), male and female marriage, procreation as a part of male and female marriage, and the sanctity of male and female marriage and sexual relationships. His answer is a blanket ignoring (thus condemnation as perversion) of anything outside God’s standard for sexuality and marriage. This truth cannot be legitimately explained away.

For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
(John 5:46-47 KJV)

Jesus gets even more direct concerning the issue of homosexuality. He says that unless one holds to the writings of Moses (the Torah), one cannot fully know or understand truth or Jesus Himself. In the first five books of the Holy Bible we read of the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah and the blanket condemnation of homosexuality as perversion So much for throwing out the Old Testament (Tanakh) to legitimize homosexuality.

The Biblical Covenants

Covenants contained in the Scriptures are of primary importance to the interpreter of the Word and to the student of Eschatology. God (YHWH)’s eschatological program is determined and prescribed by these covenants and one’s eschatological system is determined and limited by the interpretation of them. These covenants must be studied diligently as the basis of Biblical Eschatology.It must be observed at the very outset of this study that the Biblical Covenants are quite different from the theological covenants posited by the Covenant theologian. He sees the ages of history as the development of a covenant made between God and sinners, by which God would save, through the value of the death of Christ, all who come to Him by faith”. ‘While there is much in the position of the Covenant theologian that is in agreement with Scripture, Covenant theology is woefully inadequate to explain the Scriptures eschatologically, for it ignores the great field of the Biblical covenants which determine the whole eschatological program.”
(Dwight Pentecost)

The major Biblical Covenants of the Holy Bible are mostly between God and Israel. This study, then, is not occupied with the covenants contained in Reformed Theology, but rather with the determinative covenants set forth in the Scriptures.
(Things to Come by Dwight Pentecost)

The covenants of God contained in Scripture fall into two classes, those that are conditional and those that are unconditional.  A conditional covenant is one in which God’s action is in response to some action on the part of those to whom the covenant is addressed.  A conditional covenant guarantees that God will do Him part with absolute certainty when the human requirements are met, but if man fails, God is not obligated to fulfill His covenant.

An unconditional covenant, while it may include certain human contingencies, is a declaration of the certain purpose of God, and the promises of an unconditional covenant is distinguished from a conditional covenant by the fact that its ultimate fulfillment is promised by God and depends upon God’s power and sovereignty.

An unconditional covenant, while it may include certain human contingencies, is a declaration of the certain purpose of God, and the promises of an unconditional covenant is distinguished from a conditional covenant by the fact that its ultimate fulfillment is promised by God and depends upon God’s power and sovereignty.

There are eight biblical covenants given in the Bible.  They are: Edenic (Genesis. 2:16); Adamic (Genesis. 3:15; Noahic (Genesis 9:16); Abrahamic (Genesu 12:2); Mosaic (Exodus 19:5); Palestinian (Deuteronomy.30:3); Davidic (2 Samuel. 7:16); and New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34).  Six are unconditional and two are conditional.  In our study we will determine which are conditional and which are unconditional.

Although covenants in the Ancient Near East could have parity between parties (such as agreements between Hittites and Egyptians), covenants in the Torah were generally one-sided. However, covenants can either be conditional or unconditional in the Torah. Some appear to have the form of a Suzerainty treaty where there are clear stipulation to be upheld by both parties involved, but other covenants do not have stipulations and represent a divine charter or gift. As an example see the Abrahamic Covenant below that can involve both conditional and unconditional covenants.

The Edenic Covenant

The Edenic Covenant, a test of obedience, was the first covenant that God made with man.  It is the first of the general or universal covenants

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:26-31 ESV)

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
(Genesis 2:15-17 ESV)

The Adamic Covenant

The Adamic Covenant was made with man after the fall. This is the covenant in which God declares to man what his lot in life will be because of his sin.  There is no appeal allowed, nor is any human responsibility involved.

The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
(Genesis 3:14-19 ESV)

Throughout history, we are told that the serpent beguiled Eve and deceived her into eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Paul the Apostle said, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Timothy 2:11-14 ESV). Clearly Eve was deceived and Adam choose to participate in her transgression because of his love for her. The serpent never deceived Adam.

The serpent which was used of Satan was cursed for his actions. The Genesis natative says, The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:15).

Although the disobedience had brought a curse upon themselves and all future generation, God promised them a redeemer. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15 ESV). This is both the first prophecy in Scripture and it refers to the Virgin Birth of the coming Messiah  (women have no seed).

Due to sin, mankind will henceforth earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. “And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:17-19 ESV).

Furthmore, mankind’s life will be one of sorrow and ultimate death. “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19 ESV). Paul the Apostle said, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
(Ephesians 2:4-7 ESV)

The Noahic Covenant

The Noahic Covenant the promise that God made to Noah and his descendants after the flood which destroyed the world. The Noahic Covenant has several distinguishing features. First, it is an unconditional covenant. Second, it was made to Noah and all his descendents as well as “every living creature” and the earth in general  Third, it was sealed with a sign, the rainbow.

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
(Genesis 8:21-22 ESV)

And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it.” Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.” The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.)
(Genesis 9:7-18 ESV)

This covenant, while repeating some of the features of the Adamic covenant, introduced a new principle of human government as a means to curb sin.  It revealed God’s purpose for the race subsequent to Noah.

The normal order of nature was reaffirmed. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22 ESV) and “The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered” (Genesis 9:2 ESV).

Mankind (and animals) were no longer vegetarian. God gave us permission to eat their flesh. “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Genesis 9:3-4 ESV).

God told Noah that mankind would have dominion over manking (human govenment). “And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:5-6 ESV) and “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

The Abrahamic Covenant

The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the great revelations of God concerning future history, and in it, profound promises were given.  It is the first theocratic covenant (pertaining to the rule of God).

God told Abram to do three things: 1) To get out of his city and country; 2) To separate himself from his family; and 3) To go to a land that He would show him. There were four promises that God made to Abram: 1) He would become the father of a great nation; 2) He would be blessed and his name would be great; 3) God would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him; and 4) All the families of the earth would be blessed in him.

The Mosaic Covenant

The Mosaic Covenant was given through Moses for the children of Israel.  It was a conditional covenant and embodied the principle that if Israel was obedient, God would bless them, but if Israel were disobedient, God would course and discipline them.  The Mosaic covenant was also temporary and would terminate at the cross of Christ. It is the second theocratic covenant.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
(Exodus 19:5-8 ESV)

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
(Exodus 20:1-17 ESV)

The Palestinian Covenant

The Palestinian Covenant was both a conditional and an unconditional covenant regarding Israel’s final possession of the land. Ownership of the land is unconditional. It is the third theocratic covenant.

GotQuestions: What is the Palestinian Covenant?

This covenant came after the Mosaic Covenant and after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the generation that had refused to enter the Promised Land had passed away. God made this covenant with Israel while they were in Moab waiting to go into the Promised Land, and the covenant would serve this new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God.

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The LORD will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. “But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. “The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. The LORD will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish. And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. The LORD will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed. “The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And your dead body shall be food for all birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away. The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed. The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind, and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her. You shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not enjoy its fruit. Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat any of it. Your donkey shall be seized before your face, but shall not be restored to you. Your sheep shall be given to your enemies, but there shall be no one to help you. Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and fail with longing for them all day long, but you shall be helpless. A nation that you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually, so that you are driven mad by the sights that your eyes see. The LORD will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. “The LORD will bring you and your king whom you set over you to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone. And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the LORD will lead you away. You shall carry much seed into the field and shall gather in little, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them. You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. You shall father sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours, for they shall go into captivity. The cricket shall possess all your trees and the fruit of your ground. The sojourner who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you. They shall be a sign and a wonder against you and your offspring forever. Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young. It shall eat the offspring of your cattle and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed; it also shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your herds or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish. “They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you. And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you. The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, and to the last of the children whom he has left, so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because he has nothing else left, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns. The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, to her son and to her daughter, her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns. “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the LORD your God, then the LORD will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the LORD will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God. And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. “And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the LORD will give you there a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and at evening you shall say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the dread that your heart shall feel, and the sights that your eyes shall see. And the LORD will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.”
(Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ESV)

The Davidic Covenant

The Davidic covenant was an unconditional covenant in which God promised David an unending royal lineage, a throne, and a Kingdom, all of them forever. It is the fourth theocratic covenant.

“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.'”
(2 Samuel 7:12-16 ESV)

Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”‘ Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall waste them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.'” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
(1 Chronicles 17:1-15 ESV)

The New Covenant

The New Covenant prophesied in the Old Testament was partially fulfilled in the Church (a mystery – Acts 15:6-16Ephesians 3:1-7), but will have a final fulfillment in the millennial kingdom.  This is an unconditional covenant and is the fifth theocratic convent.

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it.”
(Acts 15:6-16 ESV)

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles– assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.
(Ephesians 3:1-7 ESV)

The new covenant guarantees all that God proposes to do for men will be on the grounds of the shed blood of His Son. will save, preserve, and present in heaven, conformed to His Son, all who have believed and received Christ and the future salvation of Israel is promised under the unconditional new covenant.

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 11:1-3 ESV)

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”– so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
(Galatians 3:13-29 ESV)

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6 ESV)

And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
(Romans 11:26-27 ESV)

I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
(Ezekiel 20:37 ESV)

In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”
(Zechariah 13:8-9 ESV)

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”
(Zechariah 12:10 ESV)

The Scientific Search for the Name of Jesus

Yahshua is an argued transliteration of the original Hebrew or Aramaic name of Jesus commonly used by individuals in the Sacred Name Movement.

The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) is a movement within the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Christianity, propagated by Clarence Orvil Dodd, that claims to seek to conform Christianity to its “Hebrew Roots” in practice, belief and worship. The best known distinction of the SNM is its advocacy of the use of the “sacred name” Yahweh (יַהְוֶה), the reconstructed proper name of the God of Israel, and the use of the original Hebrew name of Jesus, often transcribed as Yahshua. SNM believers also generally keep many of the Old Testament Laws and ceremonies such as the Seventh-day SabbathTorah festivals and keeping kosher food laws.

The Sacred Name Movement has few adherents which include The Assembly of YahwehYahweh’s Restoration Ministry, Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day, Yahweh’s Assembly in MessiahAssemblies of YahwehYahweh’s Frystown Assembly, and The Biblical Foundations Academy.

The English spelling Yahshua originates at least as early as 1950 in  The New Testament of our Messiah and Saviour Yahshua, The Word of Yahweh and The Sacred Name King James Bible. The form Yahshua is used in some Sacred Name Bibles.

These Bibles include The New Testament of our Messiah and Saviour Yahshua, The Holy Name Bible, The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition, The Book of Yahweh: The Holy Scriptures, The Sacred Scriptures, The Family of Yah Edition, The Word of Yahweh, The Hebraic Roots Bible, The Restoration Study Bible, and The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible.

The following versions are those where either “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” is usually limited to use in the Old Testament. Unlike other Sacred Name Bibles, these are usually published by general publishers. These Bibles include Young’s Literal Translation, The American Standard Version. Rotherham’s Emphasized BibleThe Bible In Basic EnglishThe Amplified BibleThe New World TranslationThe Jerusalem Bible, The Anchor Bible, The New Jerusalem Bible, The New English Bible, The Living BibleThe New Living TranslationThe Holman Christian Standard Bible, and The World English Bible.

The spelling Yahshua (יהשע) is not found in Hebrew texts. The Hebrew Bible uses Yehoshua (יהושע), and later Aramaic form Yeshua (ישוע), for Joshua, which means “Yah is Salvation.” Christians, historians, and linguists outside the Sacred Name Movement for the most part reject the term Yahshua (יהשע) in favor of Yeshua (ישוע) as the original pronunciation. Tal Ilan’s Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (2002), notes Yehoshua (יהושע), and the later Aramaic form Yeshua among many names containing Yah derived from YHWH.

An additional variant Yahshuah (Hebrew: יהשוה‎) is found in Christian texts. Like Yahshua this variant is not found in the Hebrew Bible. Another variant, Yesu, occurs in polemical rabbinical texts, connected with Jesus in the Talmud and is the modern Israeli secular spelling of Jesus. The spelling is not applied to other Yeshuas and Yehoshuas.

The transcription of Hebrew-alphabet Yehoshua (יהושע) as Latin-alphabet “Yahshua” is first documented during the early days of the Sacred Name Movement in the 1930s, perhaps developed by leaders such as Angelo B. Traina and C.O. Dodd.

Those who follow Sacred Name teachings (such as the Assemblies of Yahweh) believe that it is an aid to salvation to use the correct pronunciation. Unfortunately, this is worked based savation and cannot provide salvation to anyone.

  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

“Yahshua” supporters teach that since the Messiah will “come in his Father’s Name” (John 5:43), then he must have the name of Yahweh, or at least the abbreviated form (Yah) in his spoken name. Another popular contraction is Yah’shua with the apostrophe serving as a division to emphasise the “Yah” aspect of the name and the Hebrew shua (salvation), found in the Natural Israelite Bible.

Critics say that in their labor to get the pronunciation “Yahshua” out of יהושע, they are ignoring Hebrew linguistics that do not allow the ‘waw’ to be silent, so “Yahshua” is a questioned translation. Furthermore, it is argued by some that this pronunciation is not attested in antiquity, unlike the pronunciation “Yehoshua.”

The first group to use Yahshuah: as a name for Jesus were Renaissance Occultists. In the second half of the 16th century, when knowledge of Biblical Hebrew first began to spread among a significant number of Christians, certain esoterically minded or occultistic circles came up with the idea of deriving the Hebrew name of Jesus by adding the Hebrew letter shin ש into the middle of the Tetragrammaton divine name “yod-he-waw-he” (יהוה) to produce the form “yod-he-shin-waw-he” (יהשוה). Aleister Crowley used both the names Yahshuah and Yahshua through his occult writings, divinations and conjurings.

You are free to pray to and worship who you want. I will continue to pray to God (YHWH) through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Yeshua, Yehoshua). The names Yahshuah and Yahshua have no devine meaning to me and certainly never will.

American Paganism: The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom and the embodiment of liberty, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States. a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.

In 238 B.C., before the Second Punic War, having long been a Roman deity along with other personified virtues, Libertas assumed goddess status. Tiberius Gracchus ordered the construction of her first temple on Aventine Hill; census tables were stored inside the temple’s atrium. A subsequent temple was built (58-57 B.C.) on Palatine Hill, another of the Seven hills of Rome, by Publius Clodius Pulcher. By building and consecrating the temple on the former house of then-exiled Cicero, Clodius ensured that the land was legally uninhabitable. Upon his return, Cicero successfully argued that the consecration was invalid and thus managed to reclaim the land and destroy the temple. In 46 B.C., the Roman Senate voted to build and dedicate a shrine to Libertas in recognition of Julius Caesar, but no temple was built; instead, a small statue of the goddess stood in the Roman Forum.

Libertas, along with other Roman goddesses, has served as the inspiration for many modern-day symbols, including the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in the United States of America. According to the National Park Service, the Statue’s Roman robe is the main feature that invokes Libertas and the symbol of Liberty from which the Statue derives its name.

In addition, money throughout history has born the name or image of Libertas. Libertas was pictured on Galba’s “Freedom of the People” coins during his short reign after the death of Nero. The University of North Carolina records two instances of private banks in its state depicting Libertas on their banknotes; Libertas is depicted on the 5, 10 and 20 Rappen denomination coins of Switzerland.

Denarius (42 BC) issued by Cassius Longinus and Lentulus Spinther, depicting the crowned head of Libertas, with a sacrificial jug and lituus on the reverse. Libertas is depicted on coins from several countries, such as the centime coins of the Swiss franc depicted below.

There are several plaques and dedicatory tablets on or near the Statue of Liberty. A plaque on the copper just under the figure in front declares that it is a colossal statue representing Liberty, designed by Bartholdi and built by the Paris firm of Gaget, Gauthier et Cie (Cie is the French abbreviation analogous to Co.). A presentation tablet, also bearing Bartholdi’s name, declares the statue to be a gift from the people of the Republic of France that honors “the Alliance of the two Nations in achieving the Independence of the United States of America and attests their abiding friendship.” There is a tablet placed by the New York committee that commemorates the fundraising done to build the pedestal. The cornerstone also bears a plaque placed by the Freemasons. Among the Romans the cap of felt was the emblem of liberty. When a slave obtained his freedom he had his head shaved, and wore instead of his hair an undyed pileus. Hence the phrase ‘servos ad pileum vocare’ is a summons to liberty, by which slaves were frequently called upon to take up arms with a promise of liberty. The figure of Liberty on some of the coins of Antoninus Pius, struck A.D. 145, holds this cap in the right hand.

Libertas was also recognized in ancient Rome by the rod (vindicta or festuca), used ceremonially in the act of ‘Manumissio Vindicta,’ Latin for “Freedom by the Rod”:

  • The master brought his slave before the magistratus, and stated the grounds (causa) of the intended manumission. The lictor of the magistratus laid a rod (festuca) on the head of the slave, accompanied with certain formal words, in which he declared that he was a free man ex Jure Quiritium, that is, “vindicavit in libertatem.” The master in the meantime held the slave, and after he had pronounced the words “hunc hominem liberum volo,” he turned him round (momento turbinis exit Marcus Dama, Persius, Sat. V.78) and let him go (emisit e manu, or misit manu, Plaut. Capt. II.3.48), whence the general name of the act of manumission. The magistratus then declared him to be free.

Columbia Pictures, named in 1924, uses a version of the personified Columbia as its logo.

The fictional characters Columbia of the United States of America and Marianne of France, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and many other characters and concepts of the modern age were created as, and are seen, as embodiments of Libertas.

The design, posture and dimensions of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor are based on what the Colossus was thought by engineers in the late 19th century to have looked like.

The Colossus of Rhodes depicted in 1880.

The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 B.C. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 B.C. Before its destruction in 226 B.C.—due to an earthquake—the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (107 ft) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.

There is a famous reference to the Colossus in the sonnet “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, written in 1883 and inscribed on a plaque located inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887) was an American poet born in New York City. She is best known for “The New Colossus“, a sonnet written in 1883; its lines appear on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty placed in 1903.

  • Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from and to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name other of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.”Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
    (The New Colossus)

The sonnet was written for and donated to an auction, conducted by the “Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty” to raise funds to build the pedestal. Lazarus’ close friend Rose Hawthorne Lathrop was inspired by “The New Colossus” to found the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne.

Mary Louise wrote: “Towering in Upper New York Bay, Liberty Enlightening the World or the Statue of Liberty, proudly raises the flaming “Torch of Enlightenment” or “Torch of Illuminism” over America. Many observers praise her as a universal symbol of liberty and unity, extending hope and freedom throughout the world with her torch of “freedom” shining brightly across the harbor, welcoming millions of immigrants into the land of opportunity. To others,she is a constant reminder of a Brotherhood symbol and the Masonic doctrines that has such a stranglehold on our nation and the world, their symbolism embedded and entrenched in every facet of society. Since she is one of the largest and most recognized statues in the world, it is important to be aware of the less familiar aspects of what she actually symbolizes and represents. Many Americans are living under a great delusion, forming beliefs and opinions based on premises stemming from occult lore, so it is worthwhile to revisit significant subjects from different perspectives.”

Marcy Heidish said, “The Statue of Liberty seems always to have belonged to the citizens of the United States. More intimately than any other symbol, she tells us who we are – and who we ought to be. In her face, we recognize our best traits: courage, compassion, wisdom, hope. In her stance, we recognize our best selves: kind, confident, unbiased, strong. Alone, surrounded by water, she personifies the ideal of individualism. Arm raised, aglow, she epitomizes the belief in progress for all who seek it. A lighthouse, she says what beacons have always said: safe journey, land ho, welcome home. Lady Liberty was inspired by Egyptian monuments and French paintings, by Roman goddesses and the Colossus of Rhodes. She is Minerva and Madonna, Mother Nature and Mother Earth. Like the people of the United States, she is an amalgam; like most of us, she came from somewhere else. Now she seems to rise not just for recent immigrants but for everyone who has ever come to the United States.”

Minerva was the name of a deity invoked during Aleister Crowley‘s occultic rituals. Minerva was the virgin goddess of poetrymedicinewisdomcommerceweavingcrafts, and magick. Mother Nature (Mother Earth) is referred to as Ishtar (Easter)” which is the name of the Babylonian “Mother of Harlots,” and her image stands as the sun-goddess “Lady Liberty” in New York Harbor.  This Colossus statue even has the “tower” headpiece, as seen worn by Artemis.  The Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) calls her Asherah (which is a pagan god with origins in Babylon and Egypt.

The Torah says “When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?–that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32 ESV).

Jeremiah the Prophet wrote, “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.'”
(Jeremiah 18:6-11 ESV)

King Solomon wrote, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

The Torah states that we are to , “These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.
(Deuteronomy 12:1-4 ESV)

Scripture commandments clearly tell us to destroy the places where pagans and curls worship. I think I will just sit here and read my Bible. Saint Timothy wrote, You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful– for he cannot deny himself. Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
(2 Timothy 2:1-26 ESV)

The largest and clearest prohibition cinverning statues was given by God (YHWH) in the Book of Deuteronimy when he said, “And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(Exodus 20:1-6 ESV)

Our minds need to be centered on the blessed hope of Salvation and the Second Coming od Yeshua HaMashiach. Life is to short to quarrel with everyone for any reason. Shalom!

Jesus, Mary and the Holy Ghost

Idolatry is the worship of an idol (a physical object such as a cult image) as a deity, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honor and regard to created forms other than God (YHWH). Idolatry is anything we put before God. The Apostle Paul wrote: “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:5-7 KJV).

An idol is a material object, representing a deity, to which religious worship is directed. It is also controversially and pejoratively used by some Protestants to describe the Orthodox Christian practice of worshiping through the use of icons, a charge which Orthodox Christians reject. In a similarly controversial sense, it is also used by some Protestants to pejoratively describe various Catholic worship practices such as scapulars and the veneration of statues and flat images of the Virgin Mary and saints, which Catholics do not consider to be idolatry.

Veneration is practiced by groups such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Catholic Church. In some Christian denominations, veneration is shown outwardly by respectfully bowing or making the sign of the cross before a saint’s icon, relics, or statue. Veneration amounts to the heresy of idolatry as there is no real distinction between veneration and worship. The practice of veneration distracts a believer’s soul from its true objective, the worship of Almighty God. The Roman Catholic church teaches there is a difference between idolatry and veneration.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God. An essential difference exists between idolatry and the veneration of images practiced in the Catholic Church, viz., that while the idolater credits the image he reverences with Divinity or Divine powers, the Catholic knows “that in images there is no divinity or virtue on account of which they are to be worshiped, that no petitions can be addressed to them, and that no trust is to be placed in them.”” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Idolatry)

The Hebrew word for worship is shachah (שָׁחָה). Shachah means to bow down or prostrate oneself before superior in homage, before God in worship, before false gods, and before angels.

Bishop Robert H. Brom claims that idolatry is condemned by the Catholic Church,  that there is no prohibition against the making of statues or images of various creatures for religious purposes in Scripture, that a Catholic may kneel in front of a statue while praying, and that the religious use of states and images is acceptable because God commanded us to make them. This is open disregard of Scriptures as they are twisted to benefit their positions.

Matt Slick at the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry did a wonderful article that examines and cross references Roman Catholicism and the Scripture passages in the Holy Bible.

In the Book of Exodus, the Ten Commandments say: “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:2-6 KJV).

In the Book of Leviticus it says: “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 26:1 KJV). Throughout many Christian churches, especially in Catholicism, there are various statues and images of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach), Mary, and the saints. In those churches, people very often bow down to statues, sometimes in prayer.

In the Second Book of Chronicles there is an account of Manasseh, a king of Israel, and the error he committed which led the Children of Israel into sin. It says: “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses. So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken” (2 Chronicles 33:1-10 KJV).

The Prophet Ezekiel wrote: “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?” (Ezekiel 14:3 KJV). The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “Veneration of Mary is accomplished in the heart. “The Blessed Virgin, as manifesting in a sublimer manner than any other creature the goodness of God,deserves from us a higher recognition and deeper veneration than any other of the saints; and this peculiar cultus due to herbecause of her unique position in the Divine economy, is designated in theology hyperdulia, that is dulia in an eminent degree” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Adoration).

Catholics view Mary and the saints as “intercessors” before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more “direct access” to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical. The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 ESV). Also in his Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paulwrote, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV). We don’t need an intercessor to approach God for us if we approach Him through Jesus Christ.

In his Epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (Ephesians 4:17-19 ESV). “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:28-32 ESV). “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:3-5 ESV).

Clearly, the Bible prohibits making images of Almighty God, among other things. These objects are may not be intended for idolatry with everyone who makes or owns one. The concern is that we are making something that may lead someone astray and or make them stumble. The Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14 KJV). Likewise, Saint John wrote, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21 ESV). Religious art is nothing more to me than more than a drawing of a man, woman or bird. I would prefer to be accused of anconism than idolatry.

Holy Yoga

Yoga is commonly known as a generic term for a physicalmental, and spiritual discipline originating in ancient India and found in HinduismBuddhismJainism and Sikhism. Specifically, Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools in Hindu Philosophy. Yoga aims to use meditation to attain spiritual insight and tranquility.

Currently the unbiblical practice of Christian Yoga (Holy Yoga) has infilitrated much of our society. Sadly, many professing Christians in the church are too undiscerning to know any better. Even Hindu’s recognize that “Christian Yoga is still Hindu.”

Holy Yoga, which often quotes Acts 17:28, says its purpose is to honor God (YHWH) through movement and exercise.

  • “‘In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.”’
    (Acts 17:28 ESV)

One of the instructors, Brooke Maline, said: “Holy yoga is the practice of connecting our entire body – body, mind and spirit – with God; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “There is often a misunderstanding that yoga is a religion, it is not. Yoga is a spiritual discipline, much like prayer, fasting and meditation. Yoga has the capacity to enhance our faith. Holy Yoga is truly a unique form of worship.”

Yoga, once considered by the western world to be a Hindu spiritual practice for attaining of occult enlightenment (Self-Realization), has now been thoroughly integrated into the western world—and into compromised churches. Yoga is an eastern occult practice which is based on the Hindu religion and rooted in paganism. As such it is also based on either panentheism or pantheism.

Many church congregations and Christians are buying into yoga through various “Christian Yoga” ministries. These various “ministries” have names such as Christian Yoga Exercise, Stretched Out In Worship, Yahweh Yoga, Holy Yoga, Body Prayer, Christ-Centered Yoga, Son Light Yoga, New Day Yoga, Yoga From a Christian Perspective, Bringing the
Light of Christ to the Practice of Yoga, Trinity Yoga, Yoga for all of Humanity, Yoga Devotion, Prayer of the Breath and Body, Grounded in Yoga, Be Still Yoga, and many others.

The Children of Israel were warned about doing this very thing before they entered the Promised Land. It is written, “When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?–that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32 ESV).

  • “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 KJV).

The Holy Bible makes it very clear that as God’s people we are not to adopt pagan practices and honor or serve God with them. In his first epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul said, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty”” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV).

I could go on for hours references different Scriptures to reinforce the positions in this article. However, that would be unnecessary. These positions have been presented and reinforced with enough passages of Scripture to stand any test or objections. The first work of the Ruach Ha’kodesh (Holy Spirit) is the conviction of sin. If we are temples of the Spirit, His presence, His name in us will convict us of sin. (John 16:7-11)

There are many alternatives to yoga available for exercise in our society . One similar alternative is PraiseMoves. Satan’s modus operandi is deception, counterfeiting and corrupting that which is good. If yoga is holy, why not Ouija or Tarot? Always remember to test all things and hold fast to those things that are good.

The Hollow Earth

The Hollow Earth Theory proposes that the planet earth is either entirely hollow or otherwise contains a substantial interior space. The hypothesis has been shown to be wrong by observational evidence. The scientific community has dismissed the notion since at least the late 18th century.

The concept of a hollow earth still recurs in folklore and as the premise for subterranean fiction, a subgenre of adventure fiction. It is also featured in some present-day pseudoscientific and conspiracy theories. The concept of a subterranean land inside the earth is popular in mythologyfolklore and legends in ancient times.

The earliest known writings about a hollow earth can be traced back to Mesopotamia and the Babylonian and Sumerian Mystery Religions that developed after the flood narrative in the Book of Genesis.

In my experience, much of mythology is based upon distorted facts of real historical events. So with a connection to ancient Babylon and the possibility of a Euhemerism as a basis for these theories, the theory of a hollow earth warrants further examination.

Miners excavating a new tunnel for the Industrias Peñoles mining company located in Naica, Mexico discovered a cave connected to the Naica Mine 300 metres (980 ft) below the surface. The Cave of the Crystals contains giant selenite crystals, some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 12 m (39 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight. A group of scientists known as the Naica Project have been heavily involved in researching these caverns.

It is a known fact that we have more detailed maps of our moon and the planet mars than we have of our own oceans. Water covers approximately seventy-one percent of the surface of our planet. At the equator, the earth’s circumference is 24,901 miles. It is slightly smaller between the north and south poles at 24,859 miles. The earth’s diameter at the poles is 7,899 miles while it is 7,926 miles at the equator.

The Sakhalm-I Project, the Al Shaheen Oil Fileld, and the Kola Superdeep Borehole are the sites of the deepest holes ever drilled into the earth. It is more than fair to say we know little more than speculation about the center of our planet.

The Book of Enoch, which predates the New Testament (B’rit Chadashah), is a treasure house of knowledge and wisdom concerning many topics that make some people very uncomfortable. It is far from an “inspired” book, however, it is quoted in the Holy Bible and is canonized in Ethiopia. Many of the writings in the Book of Enoch were well known during the Second Temple Period before Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) walked on the earth. In section I of the book, chapters 17 to 36, Enoch is granted the unique privelege of observing and recording the secrets of the inner earth and heaven. He saw that the inner earth contained both heavenly and hellish regions, and that any place can become a heaven or a hell depending on the spirits who inhabit it.

In the Holy Bible, the prophet Amos wrote, “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down” (Amos 9:2 KJV).

There are actually three terms in the Holy Bible that may allude to a hollow earth, at least in part. They are HadesGehennaHellTartarus, and Sheol. Most believers are familiar with the term hell, as it is used throughout the Holy Bible. Most modern translations of the Holy Bible replace all or many of the other four terms with hell. This is unfortunate as many people do not use a good lexicon, dictionary, multiple versions, or original language manuscripts  when studying the Holy Bible. Sometimes hell is the wrong term for various reasons (follow the above links for the all five terms for additional information regarding this).

Yeshua said, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40 ESV).

When writing to the church in Ephesus the Apostle Paul said, “Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Ephesians 4:9-10 KJV).

The Apostle Peter wrote, “…God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [G5020], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…” (2 Peter 2:4 KJV)

The lexicon results above clearly state that Tartarus is the  the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews.

In the Book of Numbers it says, “And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the LORD.” And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly” (Numbers 16:28-33 ESV).

In the Gospel of Luke we read, “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void. “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house– for I have five brothers–so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.””
(Luke 16:14-31 ESV)

Mythology, folklore, paganism, and the Holy Bible all allude to a hollow earth in some capacity. Many (if not all) myths are based on distorted facts of real historical events. It is a known fact that the earth has many underground chambers and caves. It is safe to assume that the underworld is also located in the earth. It is also probably fair to theorize that Hades (hell) is within the earth. These “assumptions” are more than prudent for anyone who believes the Holy Bible literally (word for word).

The Bronze Serpent

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
(Numbers 21:4-9 ESV)

The Tanakh (Old Testament) was revealed to us by God (YHWH) and often was written as a shadow of a new and better things to come (typology) which would be provided by the B’rit Chadashah.(New Testament). Any true scholar of Scripture would concur to this fact.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). Unfortunately, many believers never have read the Tanakh and consequently have no foundation for understanding the B’rit Chadashah. They often discount the Tanakh as the “Old Testament” and reject many of its teachings with the attitude that the B’rit Chadashah has replaced the Tanakh and somehow has made it obsolete. Approximately thirty-three percent of the prophecies in the Tanakh have not been fulfilled yet, so how can it be old? Approximately eighty-five percent of the B’rit Chadashah is quoted from the Tanakh, so how can it be new? The Bible is a book of eight covenants and every Word is alive and relevant for yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

The passage about the Children of Israel and the Bronze Serpent (Nehushtan) in the Book of Numbers is symbolic of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14 KJV).

In the third chapter of the Gospel of John, we find Yeshua having a conversation with a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He was someone who knew the Tanakh very well and it was obvious to him that there was something special about Yeshua. Unfortunately, he didn’t know enough to be able to see Yeshua as the Messiah. This was not due to some deficiency in Yeshua. It was because there was a deficiency in Nicodemus’ understanding of who the Messiah was supposed to be and what he was supposed to accomplish. So Yeshua gave him an example he should have been able to understand.

  • Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
    (John 3:10-15 KJV)

The Children of Israel were complaining about the manna (food descending from heaven) was because it was not a perfect food. It met their needs, but it did not meet the human desire for variety. Purely spiritual food may have lacked a certain earthiness, and this may well have been at the core of the complaint. So when the Children of Israel complained about manna, God reminded them that the things that are purely from the earth (like serpents) are not good in themselves either.

Snakes are the creature least able to elevate themselves. As a result of the serpent deceiving Eve in the Garden of Eden, the serpent is the animal that was brought the lowest. Unlike kosher animals, serpents make full contact with the earth. Venomous snakes remind us that lots of natural (earthly) things are in fact very bad for our health. Humans are the only ‘animals’ on the planet that walk fully upright. This is also a shadow of what we need to try to accomplish during our lives, to ascend to heaven.

If we see a snake elevating on a pole, we perceive a fortiori argument. If a snake can ascend, then surely we can as well. We realize that if we try to aspire to greater heights, then God will be willing to play an active role in our lives, and change the natural progression of things. God is willing to meddle with nature, but we must first understand that our relationship with God does not come about because we are in harmony with the earth, but because we are striving for a relationship with Him.

The Bronze Serpent had no healing properties whatsoever. It did nothing to save the Children of Israel that had been bitten in the wilderness by venomous serpents. It was an object of faith. By looking at the Bronze Serpent that Moses made and lifted up on pole, the Children of Israel acted on their faith in God’s instructions that were revealed to Moses.

  • Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
    (Hebrews 11:1-3 ESV)

This emblem (a brozne serpent raised on a pole) is distinctive in that Yeshua the Messiah personally applied it to Himself. The more you examine it, the stranger it appears. Brass was the Levitical symbol of judgment and brass was the metal that was associated with fire (as the brazen altar, etc.). The serpent was symbolic of sin, introduced in the Garden of Eden. This is a strange emblem, indeed, for the Savior of mankind. The deadly serpent is transformed into an emblem of healing and life, just as the death that came in the Garden of Eden was defeated by the gift of eternal life offered through Yeshua’s atonement on the cross.

There is only one way we can assure that we will satisfy our goal of ascending to heaven. That way, the one and only way, is through faith in Yeshua the Messiah.

  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
    (John 3:16-21 ESV)
  • Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
    (John 14:6-7 KJV)

The Apostle Paul wrote, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:9-11 KJV).

Have you completely trusted in Yeshua and in nothing else for the forgiveness of your sins?  Are you relying on Yeshua and Him alone for your righteousness, for your safety, your forgiveness, or are you putting even the smallest bit of your works before God as part of the reason you are to be saved?  If you are relying in anyway on your efforts, then you are in great danger of damnation, if you’re redeemed at all.  Righteousness before God does not come by your efforts, but through the sacrifice of Yeshua. If you could get to earn eternal life through righteousness, then there was no need for Yeshua to die on the cross and make atonement for our sins (Galatians 2:21)..

The Synagogue of Satan

The “Synagogue of Satan” is a term that occurs twice in the Holy Bible. It occurs only in the Book of Revelation which is believed to have been written by the Apostle John. John was the brother of the Apostle James (Mark 3:17). To John belongs the distinction of being the disciple whom Jesus loved. (Mark 5:37).

The Book of Revelation is the last book of the New Testament (B’rit Chadashah). John informs us that his testimony given in the Book of Revelation is the record of two prophetic visions given to him by Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) while he slept.

The term “Synagogue of Satan” has been misused throughout history by those with political, racial, and religious agenda who twist and pervert the Scriptures to support their erroneous false doctrines or viewpoints. In recent years even Billy Graham and Richard Nixon have been scrutinized for use of the term in 1973 during a recorded conversation.

Historically, the term has been used in classic antisemitic literature such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an antisemitic hoax purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the United States in the 1920s.

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party publicized The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as if it were a valid document, although it was exposed as fraudulent. After the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, it ordered the text to be studied in German classrooms. The historian Norman Cohn suggested that Hitler used the publication as his primary justification for initiating the Holocaust, a “warrant for genocide”.

In religion, the term “Synagogue of Satan” has been used throughout Catholicism, the Christian Identity Movement, and the Church of Israel. Eric Rudolph is a product of the latter two groups.. The term is often used in the Serpent Seed Doctrine, a false doctrine that teaches that the “Original Sin” was an act of sexual intercourse between Adam and Eve and, prior to that act, Eve was sexually seduced by the serpent and committed sexual intercourse with the serpent; further, that Cain was conceived by the act with the serpent and Abel by the act with Adam. The Serpent Seed Doctrine also teaches that the Jewish people are the descendants of Cain and thus of Satan.

The term “Synagogue of Satan” has been used to criticize the modern State of Israel, going as far as making claims that the Jewish people are not really Jewish people, but Khazars who have adopted the Babylonian Talmud and the Kabbalah to steal the land whose rightful owners (the Jewish people) are still in exile.

Sadly, many Christians today espouse these antisemitic ideas which were rely heavily on replacement theology, a false doctrine that teaches that Christendom and the Christian Church as being the inheritor of the promises made to the biblical Israelites and proselytes.

Before further examination of this often misunderstood and misused passage we need to read the text from the Book of Revelation.

  • And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
    (Revelation 2:8-11 KJV)
  • And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
    (Revelation 3:7-13 KJV)

In these passages of Scripture Jesus Christ is addressing the church in Smyrna and the church in Philadelphia. The word synagogue comes from a Greek word meaning “assembly of men” or “congregation,” and it was used much like the English word “church.” The “Synagogue of Satan” is an assembly or congregation made up of the individuals who “say they are Jews, and are not.” The word “Jew” is used here in a spiritual sense.

The Apostle Paul defines a “spiritual Jew” in his Epistle to the Romans. Paul wrote, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28-29 KJV). In this case, it is not one’s physical race that counts, but his spiritual condition.

  • For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    (Galatians 3:27-29 KJV)
  • Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
    (Romans 4:16-17 KJV)

Those in the “Synagogue of Satan” say they are spiritual Jews. In other words, they pretend to be real Christians, but they are not. This false church was already developing in the days of the Apostle John, masquerading as God’s true church. It had congregations in the cities of Smyrna and Philadelphia in Asia Minor even at that early time.

Currently the “Synagogue of Satan” can be defined as any false religion that follows unbiblical doctrines, pagan religions (all of which have roots in ancient Babylon) and any religion in the Corpus Christianum that requires faith plus works to obtain salvation. For example, these religions may include the Bahá’í Faith, Islam, WiccaMormonism, Roman CatholicismScientology, BuddhismJehovah’s Witnesses, Hinduism, and many others. The “Synagogue of Satan” may also include those who adhere to the false doctrine of replacement theology.

Satan’s modus operandi is deception. In particular, he labors endlessly in counterfeiting the things of God.

  • For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV)

Jesus Christ said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20 KJV).

All believers should make sure that the church they attend and its ministers are following biblical doctrines and producing the fruit of righteousness. Otherwise, it may also be “Synagogue of Satan.”

The Handwriting is on the Wall

Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied. Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation. Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
(Daniel 5:1-31 KJV)

Belshazzar knew better than to commit the blasphemous mockery by using the Kiddush cups and Temple ornaments that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. Many times during  Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Almighty God humbled Nebuchadnezzar publicly. Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed several times that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was God and that there were none else. Nebuchadnezzar also happens to be the only heathen who wrote a chapter of the Jewish Tanakh.

Author and theologian Yehuda Thomas Radda notes that the King James Version states, “Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another” (Daniel 5:6 KJV). However, the original Aramaic literally reads, “The knots of his loins were released. and his knees knocked one against another”. Is this not a euphemistic description of the king’s becoming incontinent out of fear? A comical occurrence, especially when contrasted with Belshazzar’s previous pride, but cruel and low comedy nonetheless.

Isaiah prophesied that this very thing would happen. Isaiah names the Persian ruler Cyrus who would overthrow Babylon 100 years before there was even a Babylonian empire and 200 years before Cyrus would be even be born when he wrote, “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel” (Isaiah 44:28-45:3 KJV).

Cyrus and his armies took Babylon without a battle. They diverted waterways and entered through them, even some of the gates of the city of Babylon were left open. Many citizens did not even know that they were no longer “Babylonian” for several days.

Many people become confused between the use of the names of King Darius and King Cyrus in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Isaiah. If you are in this position please see this link to further clarify the text for you.

In Daniel 5:25 we see the words “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” which is interpreted by Daniel to mean numbered and finished, weighed in the balances and found lacking, and the kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. This is exactly where we stand right now in America. This nation has thumbed its nose in God’s face for the last time. We are watching an invasion of people groups from around the world sent by Satan to undermine the freedoms in this nation, the economy, the Christian heritage, the legal systems, national sovereignty, morality, free speech and sanity. Many of these people bring with them cultures and heartfelt religious belief systems that are anti-Christian and Antichrist.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:1-17 KJV). We are living in these times right now.

When Almighty God speaks it, it is accomplished completely according to His will. America has turned her back on God for far too long with gay marriage, abortion and many other abominations too numerous to list here. God has numbered our kingdom, He has also weighed our kingdom in the balances, and has found us wanting. For too long believers have set quietly by and said nothing (never opposing anything or using our right to vote). Unless we change, God will divide our kingdom as he did so to Babylon.

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Amenhotep II: Pharaoh of the Exodus

Statue of Amenhotep II at the Egyptian Museum (Turin)

The Bible nowhere mentions the name of the pharaoh of the Exodus, but Bible students have always been curious as to who he was. No doubt, some Christians will be wary of trying to discover something the Bible has not clearly revealed; but in studying this question one can come away with his faith increased in the Bible as the unerring word of God. Although the Bible does not specifically name the pharaoh of the Exodus, enough data is supplied for us to be relatively sure who he was.

Admittedly, there are two schools of thought concerning the date of the Exodus, the early date and late date theories. Proponents of the late date theory (1290 B.C.) are clearly in the majority, but they reject clear Biblical statements with reference to the date of the Exodus. Therefore their arguments in favor of a particular pharaoh will not be considered in this article.

The Book of First Kings states, “And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD” (1 Kings 6:1 KJV).

This statement in Kings along with Egyptian and other secular records make it fairly straightforward to determine who was Pharaoh of Egypt and at approximately what time the Exodus occurred.

Before proceeding, the exact date of the Exodus must be established. The central text for this crucial historical event, (1 Kings 6:1), connects the Exodus to later Israelite history by noting that Solomon began constructing the Temple in the 480th year after the Exodus, signifying an elapsed time of 479+ years. All but the minimalists agree that the counting of the 479+ years should begin with May of 967 or 966 BC, depending on whether one accepts Young’s or Thiele’s version of Solomon’s regnal dates. Thus the 479+ years began either in 1446 or 1445 BC, either of which can be substantiated by the Biblical text and harmonized with the conclusions drawn from the present work.

A compelling argument for choosing 1446 BC is that the Jubilee cycles agree with this date exactly, yet are completely independent of the 479+ years of 1 Kings 6:1. The Jubilee dates are precise only if the priests began counting years when they entered the land in 1406 BC (Leviticus 25:2–10). The Talmud lists 17 cycles from Israel’s entry into Canaan until the last Jubilee in 574 BC, which is 14 years after Jerusalem’s destruction by using the Tishri calendar, a statement also found in chapter 11 of The Seder ‘Olam, which predates the Talmud. Consequently, 1446 BC is preferred over 1445 BC.

Wikipedia has a decent summary of all the plagues that Moses smote Egypt with under God’s authority (Plagues of Egypt).

And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
(Exodus 11:1-10 KJV)

The tenth plague upon Egypt specified that the firstborn of all classes of people, from pharaoh who sat on the throne to the lowest slave girl behind the millstone, along with the firstborn among the livestock, would all die at the hands of the Death Angel (Exodus 11:5). Being that the throne was included in this edict, one might expect that pharaoh himself—if he actually was the firstborn son of his father, which was the normal protocol for succession under Egypt’s dynastic rule—would have died during this last and most terrible plague (Exodus 12:29–30). However, since the exodus-pharaoh obviously lived through the final plague, he could not have been “the king’s eldest son,” a title the Egyptians liberally used of pharaoh’s eldest son, who stood in line behind his father as the heir apparent to the Egyptian throne. Therefore, in order for Amenhotep II to qualify as a legitimate candidate for the exodus-pharaoh, he could not have been “the king’s eldest son.”

Amenhotep II indeed would have survived the tenth plague, because he was not the firstborn son of Thutmose III. In the words of Redford, the idea that Amenhotep II was the eldest son of Thutmose III “does not seem possible in the light of our present knowledge.” Toward the middle of Thutmose III’s reign, in Year 24, the heir to the throne was not Amenhotep II, but Amenemhet, who was called “the king’s eldest son.” There is little doubt that he was the older half-brother of Amenhotep II who died before he could assume the throne. In an inscription from the Karnak Festival Hall that dates to Year 24, Amenemhet was being appointed to an administrative position in the temple of Amun, Appointing the king’s eldest son Amenemhet as overseer of cattle.” Since Amenemhet probably was no longer a child when the inscription was composed, he would have been born fairly early in the coregency of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut. Therefore, Amenhotep II would not have died during the tenth plague, as the record bears out that he was not the firstborn son of Thutmose III.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. This day came ye out in the month Abib. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’S. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
(Exodus 13:1-22 KJV)

From most historical sources, it would appear that Amenhotep II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. His father was probably Thutmose III, and it appears that Amenemhet was Thutmoses III’s firstborn son who died at the hand of the Angel of Death (Malach HaMavet). It also appears that Thutmose IV, son of Amenhotep II, was not the legitimate successor to the throne.

Although the Christian community historically has accepted that the exodus-pharaoh died in the Red Sea when his army drowned, there is no such statement to this effect in Exodus, the only first-hand source for the event, or anywhere else in Scripture. One of the most important principles that a theologian (Doug Petrovich ThM MA) was taught during his seminary studies is this: “Say everything the text says; say no more, and say no less!” Saying more than what is written in the text is known as eisegesis, or reading into the text what the interpreter presupposes it to say. Eisegesis must be avoided here. What does the text actually say about the fate of this pharaoh? Moses only states that the Lord would “be honored through pharaoh” by the destruction of his army (Exodos 14:4), but throughout the entire narrative of Exodus, Moses never explicitly states that pharaoh died along with his army.

Those who advocate that Pharaoh died with his army in the Red Sea is in the Book of Psalms, which says, “He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left” (Psalms 106:9-11 KJV).

I much prefer to believe that Pharaoh Amenhotep II returned to his palace and temples knowing well that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob defeated him and his army without any intervention from mankind. I can assure you that  Pharaoh Amenhotep II died a believer.

Hatshepsut who was the daughter of Thutmose I was the Egyptian princess who drew Moses from the Nile and legally adopted him to be her son and put him in line to be pharaoh. When Moses fled from Thutmose III in 1486 B.C. for slaying an Egyptian this put an abrupt end to Hatshepsut’s co-regency. Hatshepsut died shortly after Moses’ departure. Some say that Thutmose III had a hand in this either directly or indirectly.

Thutmose III apparently did something that only occurred one additional time in the span of Egyptian history. The Egyptian people viewed their pharaohs as being a god in the flesh. The temple of Hatshepsut lies along the Nile in the Diro Valley , just across from Karnak , where one can see what remains of Hatshepsut’s figure. Thutmose III, who undoubtedly hated her, completely eradicated nearly all her monuments throughout Egypt. Only on one other occasion would Egyptian authorities eradicate the monuments of a previous pharaoh and erase his name wherever found. This raises the question of any record of Moses and his place in Egyptian history.

The renowned conqueror Thutmose III led 17 military campaigns into the Levant, but his son—in stark contrast—led only two or three. While many scholars have attempted to determine the exact number, there exists a virtual dearth of discussion about this sharp decline. Aharoni attributes it to an underlying diminishment of Egyptian power: “Already in the days of Amenhotep II, the son of Thutmose III, cracks began to appear in the structure of the Egyptian Empire.” Vandersleyen hints at the dissipation of Egypt’s might by the end of Amenhotep II’s reign: “It seems possible to consider this reign as unsuccessful, a time of decline: a few exploits abroad, a few preserved memorials, an almost complete absence of sources after the ninth year of the reign.” Yet the intervening years featured neither Egypt’s engagement/loss in war nor a significant change in the political climate. Der Manuelian writes, “Despite Thutmose III’s military success, Mitanni remained Egypt’s primary adversary in Dynasty 18, and there is no reason to doubt her continued aggressive policy in the reign of the young King Amenhotep II.”

A papyrus dating from the end of the Old Kingdom was found in the early 19th century in Egypt. It seems to be an eyewitness account of the events preceding the dissolution of the Old Kingdom. Its author, an Egyptian named Ipuwer, writes:

  • Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.
  • The river is blood.
  • That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin!
  • Trees are destroyed.
  • No fruit or herbs are found.
  • Forsooth, gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire.
  • Forsooth, grain has perished on every side.
  • The land is not light [dark].

This papyrus which supposedly dates from the Old Kingdom seems to discuss many of the plagues brought upon Egypt preceding the Exodus. Although science may date this as an Old Kingdom document, any researcher will discover that many Egyptologists cannot even agree on which date any particular pharaoh was on the throne, let alone when a papyrus document was created.

Much of this information has been taken directly out of the Holy Bible. Secular and historical information was extracted from the following sources.

  1. The Exodus and Ancient Egyptian Records
  2. The Exodus: True or False
  3. A Historical Timeline of the Bible
  4. Who Was The Pharaoh Of The Exodus?

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His Son’s Name

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? (Proverbs 30:4 KJV) The obvious answer to these rhetorical questions must center in God, the Creator of all things. But the fascinating revelation in this Old Testament passage is that God has a Son and that both have names. Many publications exist that contain detailed Scriptures concerning the name of Jesus Christ. Many have been compiled and categorized by The Blue Letter Bible. Likewise, Almighty God also has several names.  Many publications exist that contain detailed Scriptures concerning the name of Jesus Christ. Many have been compiled and categorized by The Blue Letter Bible.

It is cleat that Almighty God and Jesus Christ each have multiple names. The links provided above contain the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ. Do not take these names in vain, do not blaspheme using a Sacred Name. The consequences for doing such  a thing are severe. Interestingly enough, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV). Does this mean that if we seek salvation with “Yeshua” that our salvation is invalid? Of course not! Yeshua, or specifically Yehoshua was the Name o Jesus Christ. Jesus’ name had been translated into many languages, and sometimes during translation, words become changed, We obviously know who we are praying to an placing out faith and trust in at any time we pray to or through Jesus Christ, Yeshua, or Yehoshua. This name game that is being okaed by the Sacred Name Movement is nothing more than a stumblingblock placed in the path of new believers by Judaizers, who wanted to re-establish the full law (Talmud) and repeal the grace of salvation through out Lord Jesus Christ..

A Broken Heart Still Beats

A broken heart (sometimes referred to as heartbreak) is a common metaphor used to describe the intense emotional pain or suffering one feels after losing a loved one.

Heartbreak is usually associated with losing a family member or spouse, though losing a parent, child, pet, lover or close friend can all “break one’s heart”, and it is frequently experienced during grief and bereavement. The phrase refers to the physical pain one may feel in the chest as a result of the loss, although it also by extension includes the emotional trauma of loss even where it is not experienced as somatic pain.

King David wrote, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none” (Psalms 69:20 KJV).” In this Psalm, King David says that insults have broken his heart, not loss or pain. It is also popular belief that rejection, major or minor, can break an individual’s heart. This heartbreak can be greatly increased if rejected by a loved one or someone whom you respect.

The heart is the seat of the emotional and intellectual life. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 KJV), refers to the moral and spiritual as well as the physical life. Animals have simply a sentient heart without personal consciousness or reason. This is what is meant when it is said that a beast’s heart was given to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel Chapter 4).

King David wrote, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalms 147:3 KJV).

Bess Myerson once wrote that, “To fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” Especially if you are the one who wanted the relationship to last or are the survivors of the recently deceased. Mending a broken heart is never easy. There is no quick way to stop your heart from hurting so much.

Grief is a process to go through, not a destination in which to wallow. In a process, you keep putting one foot in front of the other, and each little step is part of your healing.

Isaiah wrote, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10 KJV).

When teaching in the synagogue, Yeshua read from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19 KJV).

Regardless of out suffering and persecution upon this earth, we need to remember that it is writtten, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:3-7 KJV).

I recently lost my father, and I hope some find this short article comforting or obtain some wisdom from it.. Life goes on, and we must as well. I cannot worry about tomorrow. It is written, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:25-34 KJV).

A Tribute to my Father

On the evening of April 3, 2012, my telephone rang. The Caller Identification showed that it was mother calling. My mother almost never calls that late. Immediately, I knew something was wrong with my father.

When I answered the phone, she was almost in tears and told me that my father had been admitted to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Seattle, Washington. She told me that his entire body was swollen with edema and that he was very weak, but able to walk into the hospital on his own accord, albeit with my mothers help.

The following morning his condition had not improved at all. In fact, he was weaker and could not sit without assistance. As to be expected at a time like this, my car wasn’t working, so plans were made to see him on the third day.

At the ending of my visitation, I told my father that I would see him tomorrow or the following day. The next evening, my mother called from the hospital and said that my father would like my brother and I to come by immediately to say goodbye. I was there within forty-five minutes.

My father was leaking interstitial fluid from his entire body from the edema. He apologized for something that had happened recently. I told him that I didn’t care about that, and all I wanted was my father. When this visitation was over, I told my mother as we walked to the car that we would never see him again, or at the very least, that he would never get out of his hospital bed. My feelings were held in check as mourning is inappropriate until we had experienced our almost inevitable loss. However, I swallowed several huge lumps down my throat.

From that day forward, I spent every possible moment with my father, which meant being at the hospital on a daily basis.

Several days later a panel of eight or nine doctors wanted to meet with us (always a bad sign in my experience). They discussed his medical conditions (heart failure with enlargement of the right ventricle and respiratory failure with hypoxia. My father had contracted tuberculosis in Korea and only had one lung as a result. At this point one of the doctors told us that he was suffering a terminal condition and that he would pass away within the next few days.

Homecoming: April 25, 2012

My mother and I decided to bring him home to die, according to his wishes. His living will stated that if his heart stopped, he wanted no intervention.On April 24, 2012, my wife, mother and myself had his room turned into a long-term care facility. On the moring of April, 25, 2012, any necessary medical equipment was delivered. My father arrived home by ambulance within an hour of our completed setup.

ResMed BPAP System

ResMed BPAP System

At this point he was dependent on BPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) to maintain oxygen saturation and assist him to breathe.

Providence Hospice was the managing nursing agency for consultations with me and to help with bath care, They also had a team of respiratory therapists to assist us with other problems.

My father was very happy to be home where he could rest and spend his final days with his family. He fought harder that I have seen a human fight during the last three months of his life. There were high points where one would wonder if he was going to recover and low points where I was afraid death was imminent.

May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012

During his second day home I led him through Holy Communion with two of his friends.

On May 15, 2012, we had an awesome day together. He was even able to sit in his recliner (with help) and watch a baseball game with my brother and I. Baseball was my dad’s favorite sport. Later on, he was able to watch most of the 2012 All-Star Game with me.

In late June and early July, things became very bad. He didn’t want to live in a bed unable to raise his head or arms. On three occasions he asked me to help him die with morphine. I cried and told him that God considers that murder and that I could not help him that way.

Custom Manufactured Cedar Casket

As things began to get worse, I began to make the necessary final arrangements. I arranged a funeral home (Marlatt Funeral Home) and I also called a carpenter at Evergreen Caskets and had a handmade solid cedar casket manufactured. Both organizations did an outstanding job, I would recommend their services to anyone.

During the early afternoon of July 16, 2012, a prayer team from Mark Driscoll‘s Mars Hill Church came to the house at my request to annoint my dad’s head with oil. We all then prayed for his suffering to end (either through complete healing or death, according to God’s will).

At 5’45 PM, my father took his last breath as I was holding his head and praying for him. I called the authorities ten minutes after I could no longer find any signs of life to ensure he was gone as he had requested. He explicitly asked that he not be revived if his heart ceased to function. I honored that request and will always feel good that I was present to do so.

There are pictures and stories of my father while he was sick that will never be shared. Enjoy this tale because I will release no more. The last several months have been bad images and memories, I care to remember who my father was before he was ill. When I was a child he was Superman, and through the years that never changed.

I still feel somewhat numb and dead inside, although things are improving. My doctor says this is normal and is the body’s way to  provide emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once from the pain of the loss. This phase of grief is expected to last weeks. I am told that as the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, I am told that it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs. Some people bargain with God when grieving, I didn’t go through that personally, but I sure begged for a few more years with my father (total selfishness). Anger is also a part of the grieving process. This is already very apparent to me in several situations with people who didn’t do something I feel they should have and with the doctor’s who said he was too weak for diuretics to combat the edema. Diuretics and steroids were employed only during his last few days in the hospital, my anger towards the doctors that made this decision is irrevocable. With better care I feel my father may still be here. The incompetence of certain physicians lead directly to my father’s death. Depression is an expected condition that my doctor tells me I will face within the next month or two, she said this is inevitable (and I thought I was depressed). I am told the final phase of the grieving process is acceptance. I don’t see how I can accept this, but obviously I have absolutely no choice.

There are lessons in life to be learned from all of our trials and tribulations. I am sure that I have only processed and came to grips with a few of them at this point. God is in complete control of everything, I had to learn that there was little I could do to help my father. We were given a magnificent gift that many people never get. We were able to spend three months together and finish any incomplete conversations. Many people receive a phone call or a public safety official at the door, God gave us the gift to prepare for this. Where would I be if this had occurred suddenly and unexpectedly? Only God knows. They say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and I suppose that this is true.

  • But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
    (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV)

My father was my fishing partner, my best friend, my hunting partner, etc. He was my everything. He is totally irreplaceable, and until I see him again I will never forget him and will always miss him. I don’t see a way out of this at this time, but there have been plenty of times that I have been fishing and couldn’t see the United States. Somehow, we always made it back to land. Hopefully my experience will give people hope to face the impossible or that which they fear. May God Bless you all. Shalom!

I could not get through this period in my life without Saint John, who wrote, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:1-4 ESV)

Tahoma National Cemetery with Honors (July 16, 2012)