Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Born from the Beginning

…if a man is not born from the beginning.
he is not able to see the Kingdom of Elohim.” (John 3:3)

The importance of being “born from the beginning” is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation; it is the single most important concept to humanity since Adam and Chawwah sinned in Gan Eden. Since “the fall,” YHWH has required that mankind return to him from a sinful state of thought, speech and action that is contrary to the Perfection of the Image of Elohim. The basic key of being spiritually born anew is found in Jeremiah 31:31-34 as it pertains to the Renewed Covenant, which is why this verse is very often quoted and referred to in Netzarim writings. When we respond to the Ruach haKodesh, our hearts become open to Torah and we are transformed into the Image of Elohim. What this means is, we allow each part of our lives to be sanctified and Set Apart unto YHWH who gave Torah (His Word) to establish and maintain an intimate and spiritual connection between Him and us, and to protect us from self destruction. All the forefathers of the Faith experienced intimate spiritual relationships with YHWH and the Word of YHWH, which means they were born from the beginning; they went from living according to the natural man to living in the spiritual, and they return to their spiritual beginning when man did not know sin.

No one is exempt from the need of being spiritually born anew. The Ruach haKodesh (Spirit of YHWH) prompts each one to return to a life that is pleasing to YHWH, which is healthy for us and our loved ones and beneficial for all people and for our planet. Many souls are driven by idealism, justice, responding to needs of others, or just plain survival after realizing they’ve been their own worst enemy. Those who have been spiritually born anew come from all levels of religion, intellect, sophistication, refinement, race, cults, witchcraft, sorcery and abomination known to man. There is no “new sin” under the sun; just volunteers for many variations of the same old stuff. Thankfully, YHWH is no respecter of persons. While others may be impressed at the level of reprobation you may have experienced, YHWH isn’t. Even if a person credits him or herself for choosing to be spiritually born anew, the point is that YHWH knows the needs of His people much more than they can understand. YHWH is the one who provides consciousness about the importance of Justice, Peace and Mercy, and we simply respond in agreement by turning to Him (repenting) and seeking His Kingdom.

Mankind is not capable enough to create global Justice and Peace; otherwise we would have already done so. While the majority of people want to see a better world, it’s impossible for man on his own to change his sinful predisposition. Mankind has corrupted itself and the Earth to such extreme measures that vain souls are now suggesting that they be financed to build another Tower of Babel (rebellion against YHWH) and go to live on other habitable planets. In reality the latest scam is to bring “higher intelligence” back to Earth, to enslave mankind into following a “one-world-government” that has no regard for YHWH or His Mashiyach (Revelation 13:8).

Uncomfortable though it may seem, the only way to be born from the beginning is to pray and wait until our prayers are heard. Of course, souls are born spiritually at all manner of time, place and circumstance; there is no universal formula. It is very helpful to be in fellowship with those who have been spiritually born in Mashiyach, but this is not a prerequisite. There must not be any religious strings attached to becoming “born again.” This is not of men but of the Spirit of YHWH. For instance, many religions expect allegiance to their theology and your financial support for helping you to become “born again” – when in reality the ONLY thing that matters is your relationship with YHWH and His Mashiyach.

Y’shua taught in Matthew 18:3, “unless you change and become like children, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” He was of course referring to the capacity of children to believe, trust and have faith without doubting; and once we learn to walk “in” Mashiyach, he teaches us the things we need to know, which is why the Word of YHWH is so vitally important. When a person is truly “born again” they enter into the Malchut (Kingdom) Elohim and can easily distinguish between religion and the things of the Kingdom of Elohim, because “… the Word of Elohim is living and all-efficient and sharper than a two-edged sword, and enters even to the severance of the soul and the spirit, and of the joints and the marrow and the bones, and judges the thoughts and reasoning’s of the heart: Neither is there any creature which is concealed from before him; but every thing  is naked and manifest before his eyes, to whom we are to give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Prayer means communicating with YHWH in the moment just as you are. Whether praying alone or with others, it is your connection to YHWH that is important. If you feel stressed, tense, uncomfortable or awkward, just imagine how Adam and Chawwah felt after they sinned! Since Adam and Chawwah, millions have been redeemed from their sin.

The Ruach can also take us by surprise. Some have experienced a new spiritual birth when they least expect it. Rav Shaul, for instance, was on his way to wreak havoc with the followers of Mashiyach when he was stopped in his tracks (Acts 9). YHWH spoke through the prophets to reveal that “today” while we are still drawing a breath, even right at this moment is the “right” time to surrender to YHWH and His Mashiyach. We need to remember, this is on HIS terms, not ours.

In reality, when we feel the need to repent of sin, this is evidence that the Ruach haKodesh is speaking to us and preparing us for the Kingdom of Elohim. The Kingdom of Elohim is spiritual, not worldly or carnal, which is why knowing YHWH is called a spiritual birth; it is new because we enter into a new experience in Him, a new birth. The external factors are not so relevant; however, they are used to try and test: How much do we really value the One who gave us life?

Mankind’s creative ways to cope with sin are not working because sin is destroying our earth and its inhabitants. YHWH has given mankind the means to mitigate the destruction, but rather than resist the demons, the majority of humanity (the fallen world) has made a pact with evil. Some pretend that YHWH is unknowable, or that the world was destined to be the way it is, but the fact of the matter is that YHWH Himself says the exact opposite. He says they shall know me, “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know YHWH: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says YHWH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). The purpose and reason that we have been given life is to know YHWH and serve Him. With life comes the individual responsibility of choice, and whether we accept it or not we each have exercised the power choice since there is no middle ground.

When a person is spiritually born, they have passed from (spiritual) death to life in Mashiyach and they belong to YHWH, not to institutions of men; their unity is in the Spirit with YHWH and they belong with His people. It’s impossible to both simultaneously break YHWH’s Commandments and maintain a spiritual connection with Heaven; all manner of unclean thoughts, speech and association with evil become burdensome to one who is born of the spirit. Walking in Faith is a distinct spiritual journey for every soul: “By faith Awraham, when he was called, obeyed and departed to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance: and he departed while he knew not where he was going. By faith he became a resident in the land that was promised him as in a foreign land; and abode in tents with Yitz’chak and Ya’akov, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for the city that has a foundation of which the builder and maker is Elohim” (Hebrews 11:8-10).

The biggest obstacle preventing you from returning to YHWH and being “born from the beginning” is you. No one lives or dies solely unto themselves; each of us is part of the “mystery” of the Kingdom of Heaven. People have mocked, scorned Mashiyach, some call him a mamzer (bastard); others have believed Mashiyach to be a fairy tale when in reality mankind has no other hope of Peace and Justice on this earth, outside of Mashiyach.

Monday, March 28, 2011


The Spirit of MASTER YHWH is upon me and because of this, He has anointed me to declare hope to the poor: And He has sent me to heal the brockenhearted and to preach release to the captives and sight to the blind. And to free those who are oppressed (by the power of) forgiveness. And to preach the acceptable year of Master YHWH.” (Luke4:18:19)

Y’shua Mashiyach is quoting Isaiah 61 in this verse and revealing his awesome power to bring about true deliverance. This also contains a very powerful revelation of who Mashiyach is. Here’s the passage:

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of YHWH, that he might be esteemed” (Isaiah 61:3).

Mashiyach brought forth beauty for ashes and replaced despair with hope. In this same chapter in Luke (verse 33) Y’shua is delivering a soul from an unclean spirit (demon), so that there is no mistaking his absolute power over the demonic. Millions of souls can and will testify to being delivered from oppression and torment by the power of Mashiyach. We can put our full and complete trust in Mashiyach Y’shua who epitomizes righteousness, goodness, fairness and wholeness with the greatest of love and compassion, and who brings great joy and comfort to our souls. Although we are able to experience tremendous peace and joy whenever we praise YHWH for what He has done through His Mashiyach, we are also called to be “trees of righteousness” which means that each one of us is responsible to co-labor in righteousness with Mashiyach.

Trees of righteousness refers to people of righteousness: “the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12), “And all the trees of the field shall know that I YHWH have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the try tree to flourish: I YHWH have spoken and have done it” (Ezekiel 17:24).

YHWH has planted His trees (souls) of righteousness all over the Earth. These are souls who are being formed in the Image of Elohim and who live according to righteousness rather than the pleasures of sin for a season. These souls are “trees of righteousness,” not spectators or vendors of righteousness, but a Kedoshim (Set Apart People) who practice and experience righteousness (the nature of Mashiyach) every day.

I will greatly rejoice in YHWH, my soul shall be joyful in my Elohim; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness as a kahan (priestly dress), and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). The imagery of Mashiyach being covered with a robe of righteousness as priestly dress also applies to all who are “priests of Elohim and of His Mashiyach” (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) who are the Bride of Mashiyach.

A “bride adorns herself with jewels” is a picture of the Kehillath (congregation) of Mashiyach who wears precious jewels that depict the fruits of her righteousness. Mashiyach is clearly establishing a “righteous bride” who is known by her righteousness. “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9). “Let us rejoice and exult, and give esteem to him: for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. And it was granted her to be clothed in fine linen, bright and clean: for fine linen is the righteousness of the Set Apart Believers” (Revelation 19:7-8).

This righteousness is set forth in Torah which is “deep extensive learning in righteousness.” “All Scripture that was written by the Spirit is profitable for instruction and for decisive refutation, and for correction, and for deep extensive learning in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Torah and Mashiyach are One Truth, and herein lies the basis of all deliverance; however, there are three basic perspectives of Torah observance:

Deliverance through Obedience

Obedience to the Word of YHWH is evidence of true deliverance. Mashiyach says that those who do not do the will of his Father will not partake of the Kingdom of Elohim (Matt 7:21). The judgment of all peoples and nations is according to the same Standard which is revealed in the Word of YHWH and that the Set Apart believers obey: “And the temple of Elohim in heaven was opened; and the aron (ark) of the Covenant was seen in his temple: and there were flashes of lightning and thunders, and voices and an earthquake, and great hail” (Rev 11:18). There is a clear and future judgment on the horizon. The aron of His Covenant contains all of the Ten Commandments that are to be “written upon the hearts” of YHWH’s people. Those who don’t have Torah written upon their hearts will not be able to excuse themselves by suggesting that “Jesus did it all for them” or that their Rabbi or Pastor promised them that they would be in heaven.

For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so YHWH Elohim will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” (Isaiah 61:11). YHWH says that He will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations; this is very clearly stated within the original Tanakh reference regarding the Renewed Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Therefore, it is clearly a great deception to think that a person is fully delivered from the clutches of the enemy while they continue to transgress against Torah. All sin is transgression of Torah (1 John 3:4); without Torah we wouldn’t know what constitutes sin (Romans 7:1-12).

There are plenty of indicators that point to the need for deliverance. The spiritual fruit within our souls, or lack thereof, is one good way in which to evaluate ourselves: “Love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Each of these attributes manifest themselves within those who walk after the Spirit of Mashiyach. Many view these attributes as being relative to their current situation in life; yet others compare and judge their spiritual and emotional status against the rest of the populace. Unfortunately, the most popular attitude is to define spiritual fruits according to religious and cultural tradition rather than the Word of YHWH. Regardless as to how accurate the personal assessment of our needs, deliverance is something that we all require over the course of our lives. No one is immune or exempt; even Mashiyach endured temptation and manifold trials.

Deliverance is won when a person turns away from carnal habits and actively pursues righteousness, and this is also a good definition of Faith; this is beyond just belief or intellectual acknowledgment of righteousness or the knowledge of good and evil. If this were not the case, then Adam and Chawwah (Eve) would never have been expelled from Gan Eden as their “knowledge” about the Tree of Life would have been sufficient to keep them in! Instead, it was their direct disobedience to YHWH, that changed their status. The fact remains that Adam and Chawwah’s story originates in the oldest part of the Tanakh, but their fall from esteem because of their disobedience remains very much a current problem today and for the Good News writers! (Romans 5:12-21, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45) So, if the earliest part of the Torah remains relevant, binding and in need of resolution for every current believer, how then can later parts of Torah become irrelevant? NO, it’s impossible, it can’t! The deliverance from sin that Adam and Chawwah experienced was through Mashiyach. Torah therefore details and elucidates elements of the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that were birthed in Mashiyach!

Faith then brings a progressive desire to live righteously, which is clearly by inspiration of the Ruach haKodesh, which in turn brings harmony between YHWH and His Creation. Furthermore, as anyone with the most basic Hebrew and Aramaic understanding knows, there is a direct linguistic and prophetic linkage in Genesis1 between “in the beginning/creation” (bereshit) and “covenant” (breet) and the verb for “to make” (bara) and “Son” (bar)!

Y’shua taught, “It is written that the Son of man does not live by bread alone, but by all the Words that proceed from the mouth of YHWH” (Matthew 4:4). It is obvious that mankind must live on this “bread” of the Word of YHWH (Deuteronomy 8:3). Y’shua declared that he as well as all of mankind are called and required to live by the “Words” of YHWH. This fact is also why Mashiyach was born in Beyt-Lechem (Bethlehem), or literally “the house of bread”!

The enemy attempts to micro-manage souls into doing his bidding; therefore, it is imperative to remember that Torah sets the Standard by which all flesh shall be judged. Torah observance protects us from becoming prey for the enemy. Although many religious people may claim that torah observance “doesn’t matter,” the evidence shows that lack of trust, faith and disloyalty towards the Word of YHWH is what is waging war against the Unity of the Body. Those who say it “doesn’t matter” are simply relying on their own religious traditions to carry them through. But Mashiyach says, “All who loosen, therefore, from one (of) these small commandments and teach thus to the sons of man, will be called little in the Kingdom of Heaven, but all who do and teach this will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds more than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:19-20).

Lies, Procrastination and Rebellion

We could examine a host of indicators, but lies, procrastination and rebellion are clearly normatives of the carnal flesh. It appears many souls will go through their entire life lying to themselves and others, procrastinating and rebelling against YHWH, while at the same time believing themselves to be “saved.” The problem is, all form of rebellion is protected by pride. The individual may think him or herself to be loving, generous and caring, but if they are ever confronted about lying, not keeping their word, or procrastination and rebellion against Mashiyach, they often indict the messenger instead of examining the status of their own souls. Y’shua said, “The spirit is ready but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Therefore when we recognize the need for change but realize we don’t have the power to do it on our own, we must realize we’re in immediate need of deliverance. Some people are wise enough to get on their knees right now and change, but most will lie to themselves and procrastinate. Y’shua said, “But if your eye should be evil, all your body will be darkness. If therefore, the light that is in you is dark, how much your darkness will be!” (Matthew 6:23). In other words, when deliverance is needed we often have no idea of the severity of the problem. If there is darkness then how much darkness? Often when a person begins to root out the darkness (hidden rebellion) they discover much more than they realized. Darkness is a constant; where there is no light there is immediate darkness. However, the good news is that darkness flees when light shines into hidden area of the soul.

A very simple and logical way to defeat darkness is to welcome the light and focus on the Truth – but what is Truth? Y’shua says, “Father sanctify them by Your Truth, for Your Word is Truth” (John 17:17). Y’shua also says that his word will judge all those who reject him (John 12:48). Mashiyach is the Standard; therefore, when the Spirit begins to convict us of sin (like lies, procrastination and rebellion) we can distinguish between the carnal man who is lazy to make change, and the spiritual man who has unlimited resources to change and become like Mashiyach. It is also very helpful to have others who are mighty in Scripture and full of discernment of the Ruach haKodesh to bear witness for our spiritual nature and against our carnal nature.

The Power of Belief

Each soul must believe that YHWH exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). This is a beautiful discipline and promise that Rav Shaul takes directly from Torah: “But if from thence you shall seek YHWH your Elohim, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the later days, if you turn to YHWH your Elohim, and shall be obedient unto his voice; For YHWH your Elohim is a merciful Elohim; He will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:29, 31). Seeking YHWH with all your heart and soul means to obey His Torah and put trust in Him alone. Notice that this promise extends into the “latter days” which are the days in which we are now living.

With Faith all things are possible, as Y’shua said: “…if you are able to believe anything is possible to be for him who believes” (Mark 9:23). “By faith Enoch was translated and did not taste death…” (Hebrews 11:5). Faith is the action of “entering in” to the Word of YHWH. “So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My Mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in that which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). The Word of YHWH Elohim “quickens the dead and calls those things which are not, as if they were” (Romans 4:17). Therefore, we must think, speak and pray according to the authority of the Word of YHWH, regardless of what “the world” might send our way; this is how “the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor are given hope” (Matthew 11:5). By faith we can see things according to YHWH’s assessment and then respond to the Word of YHWH with obedient expectation. This is evidence of true deliverance. We must never look at others for what only Mashiyach can provide, and not compare ourselves to others or expect things from others that belong to the hand of YHWH, “But when Y’shua heard, he said to them, The healthy are not in need of a doctor, rather those that are badly afflicted” (Matthew 9:12).

Friday, March 25, 2011


The Feasts of YHWH address all aspects of community, education, fellowship with YHWH and one another; they play an extremely essential role in preparing YHWH’s people for the return of Mashiyach. Within these set times of YHWH the perfection of Mashiyach is exercised through giving, sharing and experiencing the Kingdom of Elohim. Each of the Feasts holds spiritual and prophetic connections to the Divine that connect our spirits in ways far beyond the intellect. Elements of the Feasts in the natural world all point to the spiritual world. The Feasts of YHWH are signs between the Almighty YHWH and His people. YHWH created the Sun, Moon and Stars for Moedim (appointed times or feasts); they serve as YHWH’s timepieces set in the heavens to allow mankind to be in tune with the Kingdom of Elohim and learn of His will for our lives.

YHWH said to Mosheh, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘You are to observe my Shabbats (feast); for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am YHWH, who sets you apart for me. Therefore you are to keep my Shabbat, because it is set apart for you. Everyone who treats it as ordinary must be put to death; for whoever does any work on it is to be cut off from his people” (Exodus 31:12-14). YHWH set forth His Feasts for mankind to distinguish between ordinary time where mundane work is done, and Set Apart time that belongs unto YHWH. Each of YHWH’s Feasts have unique Shabbats which are Set Apart for rest and separation unto YHWH which enable the spiritual man to grow from faith to faith.

Succoth verses Christmas

Every original and authentic Feast of YHWH also has an opposing counterfeit “feast” that Christianity adopted from paganism. For example Succoth (Feast of Tabernacles) is the Feast on which Y’shua was born and circumcised; this Feast has many distinguishing components for all peoples of every nation on Earth. Succoth was prophesied to be observed by YHWH’s people from the time it was revealed, all the way through into the seventh millennium (See Zechariah 14:16). The counterfeit feast to Succoth is Christmas, which has its origins in “mystery” Babylon and pagan sun worship. Christmas was celebrated long before post-apostolic pagan church founders synchronized Mithras into Gentile Christianity and, although most Christians realize the impossibility of Y’shua’s being born on December 25th, it is strongly defended by false theology – and, of course, is one of the most popular counterfeit pseudo Christian feasts on Earth.

Rebellious and lawless feasting is devastating the moral fabric of society; and ranking at the top among these festivals of the fallen world are Christmas and New Years day. Parties are rife with drunkenness, gluttony and debauchery, unfortunately considered by the majority of society as “normal behavior.” The fruits of these anti-Mashiyach festivals are often loneliness, depression, anxiety and financial stress. In contrast, YHWH’s Set Times are abundant with righteousness and goodness along with a wholeness that elevates each soul that brings equality and deep spiritual connection with YHWH and His Mashiyach. It is sad that so many Christians have never sought to test YHWH’s Word to discover what it means to be a Kedoshim (Set Apart People) unto YHWH!

The household of Faith will never recognize Christmas in any fashion because it is anti-Mashiyach and was installed into Christianity by a pagan culture. The pagan feasts like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and worship on Sunday, originated with haSatan for the purpose of leading souls away from the Kingdome of Elohim. These same “feasts” and the pagan deities being commemorated were strongly opposed by YHWH through His prophets. Only a fool would think that what was once a wicked thing has become sanctified and good because of religious traditions.

The root of paganism and rebellion is to claim that man with his various “religions” has the ability to sanctify what YHWH calls evil. For instance, when the golden calf was made in the wilderness the Israelites dared to call it by the name of YHWH, and they built an altar to the golden calf in the Name of YHWH. These rebellious acts resulted in 3,000 deaths by the sword; and afterward, YHWH also sent a plague against them. One has to wonder, if YHWH hated paganism and rebellion in Moses’ time, why would He tolerate it today?

Christmas originated with the “rebirth” of the sex god, Tammuz; and therefore, it is no coincidence that a massive phallic symbol is promptly displayed at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, donated by Caligula, one of the most sexually reprobate and wicked emperors of Rome. The Feasts of YHWH, on the other hand, do not carry over any customs of the pagans; they are completely Set Apart unto YHWH according to His Righteousness.

Renewed Covenant Feasts

There are many insights in the original Aramaic Renewed Covenant verses that provide insights into the Feasts. For example Y’shua says: “About the day and about the hour no man knows, not even the Messengers of heaven, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). From a literal superficial reading to this says that no man can know the day or the hour of Mashiyach’s return, but from higher levels of PaRDeS Y’shua is, in fact, revealing a very popular day. “No man can know the day or the hour” is an idiomatic Jewish expression for observing a watch that leads up to a specific Feast day. Rav Shaul confirms this prophetic insight: “Suddenly, as in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar, when it shall sound; and the dead will arise, without corruption; and we shall be changed” (1 Cor 15: 52). The last shofar also addresses this same Feast and confirms what the ancients have known for thousands of years; however, the revelation of which year Mashiyach will return is also hidden below the surface of the text and revealed according to YHWH’s servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7).

The Feasts of YHWH are exceedingly broad and would take one or more publications to thoroughly address. The objective is simply to acknowledge that Y’shua, the Schlichim (apostles) and Talmidim (Disciples) observed the Feasts of YHWH according to their ancient appointed times, not counterfeits invented by Christo-Pagan post apostolic theologians. Not only are Y’shua and his followers zealous to observe YHWH’s Set Apart Feasts but, of course, they do so at the Temple in Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jewish population. The Feasts of YHWH, in short, are extremely powerful tools for helping to grow and sustain the spiritual man. Mashiyach Y’shua taught: “He who desires to do His will, can comprehend my teaching, if it is from Elohim, or if from my own will I speak” (Yochanan 7:17).

The key element of doing “His will” is to enter into life and experience His voice in our spirits. As we celebrate the Feasts we press into a Set Apart relationship with YHWH. His Appointed Times help guide the soul to greater consciousness of Mashiyach and his Government; they are awesome reminders of our Father’s love towards us and also reveal the vital importance of our love for one another. The Feasts present deliverance, redemption, acceptance into the beloved, separation from evil, victory over the fallen world and many more things. Rav Shaul taught that the Feasts of YHWH are to be guarded by the body of Mashiyach: “Let no (pagan) therefore judge you about food and drink, or about distinctions of festivals and new moons and Shabbats which were shadows of the things then future; but the body of Mashiyach” (Colossians 2:16-17). The fallen religious world judges those who set YHWH’s Feasts apart, while observing their own, man-made religious festivals. Believers must remember to keep Christianity or any “worldly” people from dictating how YHWH’s Feasts are to be observed.

“The people of Israel are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the people of Israel forever; for in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and rested” (Exodus 31:16-17). The Shabbat is a sign and seal between YHWH the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and each Believer. Those who call themselves Christians but reject the Shabbat of YHWH have adopted the traditions and feasts of post-apostolic Gentile theologians who changed times and laws according to anti-Mashiyach (see Daniel 7:25). Those who have the seal or “Mark of YHWH” (Genesis 4:15, Ezekiel 9:4, Ezekiel 9:6, John 6:27, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, 2 Timothy 2:19) are they who not only have the testimony of Mashiyach but have Torah written upon their hearts (Revelation 12:17 and 14:12). Rav Shaul himself stated: “…I must certainly keep the approaching feast at Urishlim. But, if it is Elohim’s will, I will come again to you” (Acts 18:21). And of course we read in a couple of chapters later that Rav Shaul is being called up to Jerusalem for the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) which is one of the pilgrim Feasts (see Acts 20:16).

Torah instructs: “Three times in a year shall all your males appear before YHWH your Elohim in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YHWH empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of YHWH your Elohim which He has given you” (Deut 16:16-17). These three Feasts are also known as pilgrim Feasts, which all the males of Israel were commanded to attend.

Whether the temple is standing in Jerusalem or not, the prophetic calendar continues to count the years, months and days to the return of Mashiyach. Within the Moedim (Appointed Times) everyone enters into YHWH’s prophetic calendar not only on an individual level but also as an entire community of people as a Kingdom unto Mashiyach. The world events happening today, as in every other generation, are within the timetable YHWH established before the foundation of the Earth began. The Feasts of YHWH serve to help His people view time through His eyes and to understand current events, and even their own individual personal experiences, according to the scope of His Word.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Feasts of YHWH have not come to an end anymore than time itself. When the sun, moon and stars are no more then the Feasts of YHWH will also be completed. These vitally important Feasts of YHWH help equip the Body of Mashiyach for the acharit hayamim (later days) but, unfortunately, they are being neglected by the vast majority of Christians who prefer man-made “feasts” that were synchronized with pagan feasts and adopted by modern commerce. It has become popular for many Christians to claim that they don’t celebrate Christmas day, but rather what “Jesus did for them.” Yet most continue to erect decorated Christmas trees and exchange gifts to make a “tribute” to Jesus – which is nothing more than stubborn rebellion that employs semantics to justify willful disobedience. None of the reborn pagan rituals and relativism against Y’shua will stand against the return of Mashiyach Ben Dawid.

These are they who, in their feastings, riot while polluting themselves, feeding themselves without fear; clouds without rain, moved about by the winds; trees who’s fruit has failed, and they are without fruit, twice dead, and uplifted from their root; raging waves of the sea which, by their foam, manifest their confusion; shooting stars for which is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. And of them also prophesied Enoch who was the seventh from Adam when he said: Behold, Master YHWH comes with myriads of His Set Apart Believers; to execute judgment upon all and to convict all the wicked because of all the deeds they have wickedly committed; and because of all the hard speeches which they, sinners without Elohim, have uttered. These are they who murmur and complain of everything while they walk according to their lusts; and their mouth speaks shocking things; and they flatter people for the sake of gain” (Yehuda 12-16).

Both Christians and Jewish religions have fashioned “feastings” according to religious tradition, and many speak evil against Torah-based Feasts and those who celebrate them.

The eternal Feasts of YHWH are prophesied to carry on into the seventh millennium and the world to come for all who are in Mashiyach. “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says YHWH.” (Isaiah 66:23). This is a specific reference to YHWH’s calendar based on the Moadim (appointed times). All counterfeit festivals will be coming to an end when Mashiyach returns, and those who turn their backs on YHWH’s Feasts will be cut off (Zechariah 14:18-19).

All who follow Mashiyach, whether Jews or Gentiles, are sojourners like Awraham and Dawid, and part of the commonwealth of Israel. “And when a sojourner shall dwell with you, and will keep the Passover to YHWH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One Torah shall be to him that is a native Israelite, and unto the sojourner that dwells among you” (Sh’mot/Exodus 12:48-49). YHWH’s Set Times are rehearsals within these “days of Mashiyach,” yet many who are returning to YHWH’s Feasts are finding themselves in a “wilderness experience” after being ostracized from churches and from their friends and family for choosing the Ancient Paths of Mashiyach. Clearly there is a small remnant of “Israelites” who would rather suffer with the infamy of Mashiyach than be flattered with the futility of religious fame.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Founders of the all Gentile Church

Many religious customs within the Christian churches are based on the council of “early post-apostolic writers,” like Ignatius, Marcion, and Tertullian. Regardless of how much a person may choose to agree or disagree with some of their conclusions, the fact of the matter is these men have shaped Christianity into what it is today. There are some very basic themes threaded throughout their writings and those of their contemporaries which provide insight about the spirit in which they wrote. One of the most common threads, as you are about to see, is that the Gentile church founders severely opposed Jewish culture and law, as do most Christian pastors today. Most church founders appear to have been utterly unable to distinguish between Rabbinical Tradition (halakha) and Torah observance as taught by Y’hoshua and the Shlichim. For the sake of brevity we’ll look at three of the most influential founders of what is now referred to as the “Christian” church.

Ignatius of Antioch 35-107 CE (AD)

Ignatius was considered as an “auditor” and “disciple” of John, although he never met John personally nor studied under him. Ignatius, in fact, pioneered the Greek-based Christian religion. He was very instrumental in the assimilation of paganism into early Christianity, as you will see, and he packaged Christianity for a Greco-Roman Hellenic culture. Ignatius saw Jewish followers of Y’hoshua as nothing but legalists and Judaizers. He despised the observance of Shabbat in favor of the Ishtar sunrise “Lord’s day” Sun-Day. Theologians claim that, “it is scarcely possible to exaggerate the importance of the Ignatian letters to modern Christian institutions.” Ignatius promoted the “infallibility of the church” and the “universal church.” If there ever was a hierarchy loving “Christian” politician with a Hellenistic autocratic mindset, it was Ignatius who taught that deacons, presbyters and bishops were a separate category of people infused with Jesus-like authority to be lords over people. He even gave himself the nickname Theophoros (the God-bearer). Ignatius taught that “without the bishop’s supervision, no baptism of love feasts are permitted” and he believed Mary to be the eternal virgin mother of God. Below are a few samples from his writings:

In his letter to the Magnesians Ignatius writes:

4:2 even as some persons have the bishop’s name on their lips, but in everything act apart from him.
4:3 Such men appear to me not to keep a good conscience, forasmuch as they do not assemble themselves together lawfully according to commandment. (i.e. the commandment of “the hierarchy”)

8:1 be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless.
8:2 For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism, we avow that we have not received grace: (Ignatius taught that grace was invented in the “New Testament” and wasn’t present in “Judaism”)

9:1 if then those who had walked in ancient practices attaining unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord’s day. (Y’hoshua kept the Seventh Day Shabbat according to his Father YHWH’s Commandment, as did Paul; so then which “Lord” would Ignatius be referring?)

10:5 therefore put away the vile leaven which hath waxed stale and sour, and betake yourselves to the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. (Evidently Ignatius was ignorant of the fact that “leaven” represents sin, so in reality he promoted a new sin under the label of “Jesus Christ
10:7 It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. (Ignatius projected his anti Torah image of “Jesus” upon the Jewish Mashiyach; he is a forefather of “replacement theology” and utterly incapable of discerning between Torah and religious traditions.)
10:8 For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity, wherein {every tongue} believed and {was gathered together} unto God. (Y’hoshua and his disciples were in fact a sect of Judaism; Ignatius was instrumental in fashioning a sect of Greek based “Christianity.”)

Ignatius to the Philadelphians:

6:1 But if any one propound Judaism unto you, hear him not:
6:2 for it is better to hear Christianity from a man who is circumcised than Judaism from one uncircumcised.
6:3 But if either the one or the other speak not concerning Jesus Christ, I look on them as tombstones and graves of the dead, whereon are inscribed only the names of men.
6:4 Shun ye therefore the wicked arts and plottings of the prince of this world, lest haply ye be crushed by his devices, and wax weak in your love. (To make such a statement Ignatius was obviously up against “uncircumcised” Gentiles who kept Torah and the circumcised Jews who followed Y’hoshua; both could potentially have been followers of the original Netzari Faith)

Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans:

6:9 because they allow not that the eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which flesh suffered for our sins, and which the Father of His goodness raised up. (Ignatius teaches that the eucharist and “flesh” of Jesus is “holy,” and cannot distinguish between the nephesh, neshama and Ruach haKodash; therefore, he maintains his pagan ideology and simply projects it onto Mashiyach.)

8:2 do ye all follow your bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles;
8:3 and to the deacons pay respect, as to God’s commandment.
8:4 Let no man do aught of things pertaining to the Church apart from the bishop.
8:5 Let that be held a valid eucharist which is under the bishop or one to whom he shall have committed it.
8:6 wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be;
8:7 even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church. (Ignatius is credited for being the first person to mention the “Catholic church,” but notice also how he twists “God’s commandment” to elevate the authority of his hierarchy)
8:8 It is not lawful apart from the bishop either to baptize or to hold a love-feast;
8:9 but whatsoever he shall approve, this is well-pleasing also to God; (Ignatius is one of the biggest heroes of Christo-Paganism because he installed veneration of the hierarchy of man. His followers wear labels such as Pope and Reverend which is high-handed blasphemy as these titles are exclusive to YHWH and his Mashiyach. Every religion has one form of Priesthood or another but, of course, those who are called of Mashiyach are given their authority through Mashiyach, and certainly not according to man’s hierarchy.)

Ignatius to Polycarp:

6:1 Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you.
6:2 I am devoted to those who are subject to the bishop, the presbyters, the deacons.

In this letter Ignatius gives directives to Polycarp who is in the historical record for passionately resisting the Ishtar (Easter) celebration of Gentile Christians. Polycarp made a special trip to Rome to exhort the Church to continue observing Pesach according to Torah! Polycarp and Ignatius appear to be in two very different camps, yet it seems Ignatius is on a letter writing campaign to make himself appear as an authority of the church and install himself as a key element (or perhaps was painted into this caricature by later Catholic theologians). Nevertheless, the writings of Ignatius are one of the earliest deficits to the original teachings of Mashiyach and Paul, regardless as to how his letter may have been manipulated to suit the founders of the Catholic Church. The fact of the matter is that church hierarchy, massive cathedrals, wickedness within church leadership and outright malice against the Torah had to start somewhere, and the evidence clearly points to such men at this time in history.

For those who postulate that the Catholic Church began in the Fourth Century, they’ve obviously not read “Ignatius” who appears to be the quintessential Catholic. Ignatius curried favor by his ostentatious copying of Paul’s style of speech and then morphing himself into the likeness of Paul’s authority within “the Church.” While claiming to be nobody special, Ignatius wrote great swelling letters to the early churches, clearly seaking political hierarchical authority. On this note we must always remember that among the early “post-apostolic founders” one can never assume anything to be true, because each and every account has been twisted, reinvented and rewritten by various theologians to suit their religious ideology. According to Catholic “perjurymen” who slandered and defamed the characters of honorable men of the Bible, Apostle Paul converted and became a Roman Catholic and Peter was the first Pope… As abominable and despicable as the idolatry loving Vatican is, it’s not too difficult to imagine what Peter and Paul would do if they walked into a modern day Catholic church and saw the images and idols covering the walls, or what manner of paganism the “post-apostolic” leaders have invented for themselves.

Marcion 110-160 AD
Marcion coined the terms “Old” and “New” Testament. The son of a bishop from Sinope (on the Black Sea), he was a wealthy ship-owner who made large and welcomed contributions to the Roman churches. For a while, he waited in the wings as a highly respected member of the Christian community; but finally “showed his true colors” during a hearing before Christian leadership in 144 CE (AD). Since the hearing ended with some of Marcion’s theories receiving the “thumbs down,” he aggressively went out on his own, propagating his new concepts of Christianity which rapidly took root throughout the Roman Empire. Using maligned teachings of Paul, who he believed to be the only Apostle who actually understood the teachings of Y’hoshua, Marcion set out to free the Christian church from “false Jewish doctrines.” By the end of the Second Century Marcion was challenging the mainstream Christian Churches and rapidly pushing them into the background with his own popular all-Gentile gospel.

In every city of significance Marcionites set up their own churches in defiance (competition with) of the “other Christians” and they flourished right into the Tenth Century. Even today Marcion’s theology, which taught that instruction within the Old and New Testaments could not be reconciled to each other, still plays a very distinguished role within most denominations of Christianity. Like most Christian leaders, Marcion was very ignorant of basic Torah principles. Here’s a sample of his teachings that heavily influenced Christian theology:

  1. Marcion taught: Moses’ form of the law was “eye for an eye,” but that Jesus reversed this. BUT: it is written in Torah; “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake” (Exodus 21:23-26). Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth means to render equivalent compensation toward the value of loss, even set the servant or maid free. Eye for an eye does NOT ever suggest physical punishment to avenge the loss; this is NOT what YHWH instructs nor was this ever practiced within the Israel of Elohim. In Marcion’s day Gentiles were an easy pray to his false teachings because, as today, most have very little or no torah consciousness to determine even basik halakha.
  2. Marcion taught: Elisha caused bears to devour the little children, but Jesus said, “let the little children come to me.” BUT: It is written in the Tanakh that Elisha cursed the mocking children in the name of YHWH and 42 children were torn apart by two she-bears. The number 42 represents disaster towards those who rebel against YHWH. There were 42,000 Ephraimites slain in Judges 12:6 and 42 relatives of Ahaziah were killed by Jehu in 2 Kings 10:14. According to Revelation 11:2, the Gentiles wreak havoc and do all manner of blasphemy for 42 months. The number 42 can also be remez (hint) that refers to pagan Gentiles forcing people to worship their Jesus god at pain of death. Elisha raised a child from the dead and showed great compassion for children; but Marcion, levied a wicked judgment against YHWH.
  3. Marcion taught that: Joshua (Yehoshua) stopped the sun in its path to continue a slaughter of the enemy, but Paul said, “don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.” BUT: Joshua would have no success in “stopping the sun” on his own strength. More people died when YHWH said hailstones down on them, then were slain by Joshua’s armies (Joshua 10:11-13). The hailstones in Joshua 10:11 also remind us of Sodom and Gomorrah, not a popular motif with Marcion and friends who lived in a culture where sodomy was a commonplace. Joshua (Yehoshua) son of Nun and Y’hoshua Mashiyach share the same Hebrew name; Joshua (Yehoshua) is a very powerful type of Mashiyach. YHWH instructed the Israelites to go to war and “destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves (statues)” so His people wouldn’t be tempted to sacrifice unto pagan gods or make molten images (see Sh’mot / Exodus 34:12-17). “And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he gives of his seed unto Molech (Baal), and kill him not: then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech (Baal), from among their people” (Vayikra/Leviticus 20:4-5). Petra, Jordan , retains the ruins of the places where pagans sacrificed the blood and live, beating hearts of their children to a sun deity. YHWH commanded that such wickedness be wiped off the face of the Earth for purposes of His ultimate justice. Those who disapprove of YHWH’s Judgments are both ignorant and rebellious towards the intent of YHWH’s Commandments and His Mashiyach.
  4. Marcion taught: The “Old Testament” permitted divorce and polygamy; but the “New Testament” denies both. BUT: It is written that Moshe permitted divorce because of hardness of heart, and most Christians are unaware of the process and/or consequences of seeking release from a marriage covenant. The John 8 fallacy of a woman caught in adultery was inserted into Christian Bibles as a theological proof text that there are no consequences for Christian adulterers. The levels of adultery within the Christian Churches was as uncontrollable in the early days of Gentile Churches as it is today; so the “post-apostolic” founders made it appear that adultery will be forgiven by “Jesus”. In terms of polygamy YHWH referes only to the kings and states in D’varim / Deuteronomy 17:17 that “you shall not multiply wives.
  5. Marcion taught: Moses enforced the Jewish Sabbath and Law, but Jesus freed believers from both. BUT: It is written in Torah that the Shabbat was given by YHWH at the Creation of the world for all eternity. The Tanakh (Isaiah 56, 58, 66) tells of Gentiles observing the Seventh Day Shabbat through the Light of Mashiyach! It is written in the Renewed Covenant that Mashiyach and all the Shlichim observed Shabbat and also brought Gentiles into synagogues on Shabbat to learn about the Kingdom of Elohim. Clearly it was the assimilation of pagan culture into Gentile Christianity that changed worship from Shabbat to Sunday. When Mashiyach proclaimed to be “master” of Shabbat, he was exercising his authority regarding the way Shabbat is to be observed, and he demonstrated this by his life! He did not “do away with Shabbat” – he, in fact, resurrected Shabbat from the clutches of dead religious traditions and magnified Shabbat (see Isaiah 42:21).
  6. Marcion taught: God commanded that no work be done on the Sabbath, yet he told the Israelites to carry the ark around Jericho seven times on the Sabbath. BUT: Scripture does not say that the seven days around Jericho began on the first day of the week (Sunday); therefore, one cannot assume that the seventh day at Jericho was a weekly Shabbat. The Israelites had just observed Pesach and therefore the seven-day cycle round Jericho may have started on the first day of Chag haMatzah. On the seventh day of this feast the Israelites defeated the armies of Pharaoh and celebrated the victory; on the seventh day of the same feast Jericho was defeated. YHWH gave the command to march and He pulled down the walls of Jericho. Marcion chose to judge YHWH’s authority and speak evil against the Most High Elohim.
  7. Marcion taught: Graven images were prohibited by the 10 Commandments, yet Moses was instructed to fashion a bronze serpent. BUT: the bronze serpent on the pole was the visible antidote to the venom of the snake. Those who looked to the bronze serpent were saved from certain death. Those who looked to the suffering servant on the pole are saved from the bit of the servant Satan. Marcion indicted YHWH for wrongdoing, regardless of that fact that the Israelites weren’t worshipping the bronze serpent; neither did Marcion respect the fact that YHWH’s Word is Sanctified by His Perfection which is revealed in Mashiyach.
  8. Marcion taught: The God of the Old Testament could not have been omniscient, otherwise he would not have asked, “Adam where are you?” (Genesis) BUT: It is written that YHWH is an all merciful and loving Father; therefore, He gave Adam and Chavvah a few moments to compose themselves before having to approach Him. They had fallen into transgression and were devastated and ashamed, as illustrated by their nakedness. But, with an apparent brazen hatred towards YHWH, Marcion and Christo-Paganism invented a false religious premise from which they fashioned their own god unto themselves whom they named Je-Zeus.
  9. Marcion taught: The God of the Old Testament was a ruthless God of vengeance, cruelty and wrath, but Jesus was full of grace and compassion. BUT: Y’hoshua is the Word or Mind of YHWH who became flesh and dwelled among us; these are ONE, yet Marcion taught that God existed in “persons.” Marcion’s theology divided the “Godhead” against itself, following a very common pagan mindset that the gods are at war with each other. The Gentile culture that birthed Marcion viewed the Hebrew (One God) based faith as old and passé. Marcion’s carnal perspective of YHWH left an indelible mark within Christianity that is commonplace to this very day.
  10. Marcion coined the terms Old and New Testament. BUT: It is written that YHWH would bring a Renewed Covenant to His people and therefore the onus was on His people to extend the invitation of the Kingdom of Elohim to the rest of the world. By replacing the word “Covenant” with “Testament” Marcion and othe pagan theologians wrestled Jeremiah 31:31-34 away from the foundational teachings of Y’hoshua and the Schlichim. Most Christians had no access to the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and would not know that Brit Chadashah means “Renewed Covenant” and that Mashiyach would come to write Torah upon the hearts of his followers. By replacing the word covenant with testament Marcion theologically divided Jesus and his followers away from YHWH the Father and turned him into a self sustained deity that opposed the “Old Testament.” Everyone who ever used the terms “Old and New Testament” can thank Marcion the heretic for implanting such contrary values against the Unified and Eternal Word of the Living Elohim.

Polycarp, who was mentioned earlier, referred to Marcion as “the firstborn of the devil.” But, Marcion’s judenrein (Jew-free) all-Gentile churches became very popular among early Gentile Christians, and one of the largest Christian denominations on Earth. Marcion was inventor and/or the major contributor to dispensationalism, supercessionism, and replacement theology – all of which are extremely popular among the vast majority of Christians today, preached in nearly every church.

Tertullian 155-230 CE (AD)

Tertullian was born into a mainstream Gentile pagan family, but became a devout Christo-pagan. Like Marcion he also found mainstream Christianity intolerable so he set out to make broad sweeping reform. According to Jerome, Tertullian was “distressed by the envy and laxity of the clergy of the Roman church” so he joined with the Montanists (also known as the Cataphrygian Heresy) founded by Montanus. Montanus was formerly following the pagan mother goddess of fertility named Cybele where he learned plenty of things to adapt into Christianity. One of Montanus’ “achievements” was to fall into a trance and prophecy under the influence of the “Holy Ghost,” insisting that his utterances were the voice of the “Holy Ghost.” Modern day “tongue-speaking” Pentecostal or Charismatic denominations apparently have very similar experiences to those of the church of Montanus. As Montanus’ theologies and influence advanced, he was joined by Priscilla and Maximilla, who abandoned their husbands to follow the call of his “prophetic” ministry.

Tertullian, though, while fumbling in all manner of paganism and spiritism also picked up an “anointing” of the “Holy Ghost” and through demonic inspiration, he compartmentalized the “Godhead” and coined the word “Trinity” which, of course, is one of the most cherished doctrines of the Christian Church today. The “persons of the Trinity” doctrine flourished in the hierarchy-based Christian religion, which also views itself as a pyramid structure. Tertullian wrote using puns, wit, sarcasm and a continual pounding of his opponents with invective and platitude; yet he was the architect of the pinnacle doctrine of Christianity, the “persons of the Trinity.” Tertullian theology is very akin to the likes of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz who were the original trinity of Babylon and he inserted the “persons” of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, making him extremely popular among pagan Gentile Christians.

In these “end times” it is imperative to understand that these three men are “pillars of the Church.” Their teachings have influenced every soul who have ever called themselves Christian in the last 1,800 years. These church founders who are venerated by Christendom displayed unfathomable resentment toward the original Netzari Jewish followers of Y’hoshua – not because they happened to be Jews who followed Y’hoshua, but because they “accepted Christ without ceasing to observe the old law.” Certainly there are exceptions, but still today the vast majority of Christianity maintains a very deep-seated, vitriolic anti-Semitism towards Jews and Torah which was planted within the Church by such men as these.

Lest anyone think that the times have changed regarding the “Christian” disdain for the authority of the inerrant Word of YHWH, here’s a quote from the head of the largest Christian institute on Earth:

“The fundamentalist approach is dangerous, for it is attractive to people who look to the Bible for ready answers to the problems of life. It can deceive these people, offering them interpretations that are pious but illusory, instead of telling them that the Bible does not necessarily contain an immediate answer to each and every problem. Without saying as much in so many words, fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide. It injects into life a false certitude, for it unwittingly confuses the divine substance of the biblical message with what are in fact its human limitations.” (Quoted from The Interpretation of the Bibles in the Church; Pontifical Biblical Commission, presented on March 18, 1994)

Contrary to the wickedness of religious men YHWH declares: …man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of YHWH does man live” (D’varim/Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4). Our Father in Heaven wants people to look to Him rather than “old time religion” or “the new science” that claims to have all the answers for humanity but is progressively destroying the Earth and setting forth greater and greater immorality.

…Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this Torah. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over Jordan to possess it” (D’varim/Deut 32:46, 47).

Christo-Paganism denotes the assimilation of paganism into Christianity, introduced into the world’s churches by the aforementioned, highly venerated post-apostolic founders of Gentile Christianity. Traditions like erecting images of Mary or Jesus, painting Easter eggs, going to church on Sunday, anti-Semitism, erecting and decorating Christmas trees or dressing up as Santa Claus all originated within paganism and are the exact opposite to the Kingdom of Elohim. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christians have willfully adopted these forms of paganism as part of their “Christian tradition.” These Church “founders” never met the original Shlichim, nor did they have YHWH’s instructions in righteousness written upon their hearts. In fact, these early Christian philosophers and opportunists had no more first-hand knowledge of Y’hoshua’s or Paul’s teachings than theologians today. But nowadays, by accessing the original Aramaic Writings, we can compare for ourselves the writings of the post-apostolic founders of the modern “Christian gospel” and see that it is very far removed from the original Netzari Faith.

Regardless of the rude, crude and hateful attacks against the Netzari Faith by a multitude of naysayers who are ignorant of the Scriptures, there is a growing number of Jews and Gentiles who are returning to YHWH and living the Faith of Y’hoshua haMashiyach that was once delivered to the righteous. Clearly there is a very stark difference between what the post-apostolic founders of the Gentile Church taught and what the original Shlichim (Sent Ones) of Mashiyach lived and taught, The Netzari movement in our day is a fulfillment of the following prophecy:

O YHWH, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things where there is no profit. Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is YHWH” (Jeremiah 16:19-21).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Easter or Pesach

In most Bibles the term paskha is understood to mean Passover; it occurs twenty-nine times in the Renewed Covenant Writings. There is good reason for this: It is the same exact word for Passover from the Greek, the Hebrew original being pesach. However in Acts 12:4 the King James Bible adds the word “Easter”: “intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people”. Most Bible scholars assume that the word “Easter” is derived from the Greek paskha but this is certainly not the case.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines paskha as: pas‘-khah Noun. Neuter Definition: the paschal sacrifice (which is accustomed to be offered for the people’s deliverance of old from Egypt) the paschal lamb, i.e. the lamb the Israelites were accustomed to slay and eat on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan (the first month of the year) in memory of the day on which their fathers, preparing to depart from Egypt, were bidden by God to slay and eat a lamp, and to sprinkle their door posts with its blood, that the destroying angel, seeing the blood, might pass over their dwellings; Christ crucified is likened to the slain paschal lamb the paschal supper the paschal feast, the feast of the Passover, extending from the 14th to the 20th day of the month Nisan. King James Word Usage – Total 29 – Passover 28, Easter 1.

Paskha is mentioned in: Matthew 26:2, 17-19; Mark 14:1, 12, 14, 16; Luke 2:41; Luke 22:1, 7-8, 11, 13, 15; John 2:13; John 2:23; John 4:45; John 6:4; John 11:55; John 12:1; John 13:1; John 18:28; John 18:39; John 19:14; Acts 12:4; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:28. Note that in John 19:14 that Pesach (Passover) is clearly being addressed. If “Easter” was being referred to as the “holiday” it could hardly pose a security threat for Herod. However, a Jewish festival that commemorates freedom from a foreign power obviously forced Rome to take extra measures to prevent riots and an uprising against them. This is also why Pilate offered to free one prisoner during Pesach to placate a potentially violent situation. The NIV renders paskha in Acts 12:4 as Passover. In fact, KJV stands alone in scholarly dishonesty by inserting Easter, as the root and usage of paskha/pesach is self evident.

Tracking the origins of Easter

Easter is an occasion that happens in the early Spring and is described in considerable detail within Scripture. It is not something that would have been foreign to people in the land of Israel during the First Century. It is an occasion replete with imagery relating to life, death and resurrection. Two of the most prestigious Christian Bible dictionaries define “Easter” as follows:

Easter [S]: Originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honor of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Hence the name came to be given to the festival of the Resurrection of Christ, which occurred at the time of the Passover. In the early English versions this word was frequently used as the translation of the Greek paskha (the Passover). When the Authorized Version (1611) was formed, the word “Passover” was used in all passages in which the word paskha occurred, except in Acts 12:4. In the Revised Version the proper word, “Passover,” is always used. (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

… intending after Easter – rather, ‘after the Passover’; that is, after the whole festival was over. (The word in our King James Version is an ecclesiastical term of late date, and ought not to have been employed here). (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jamiesson, Faucett and Brown), (Acts 12:4)

Easton’s Bible Dictionary states that Easter was the name of a Saxon goddess that was applied to the resurrection of Y’shua. The timing of pagan sacrifices were synchronized somewhat to Passover. Jamiesson, Faucett and Brown state that the King James translators should not have adopted the Easter reading in what is for them the “Authorized Version.” The Catholic position on this matter is as follows:

“The English term, according to the Venn. Bead (De tempo rum rationed, I, v), relates to Ester, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity, however, is otherwise unknown, even in the Eddo (Smock, Mythio., 362); Anglo-Saxon, Easton; Old High German, rostra, strata, stratum; German, Astern. April was called easter-monadh…”

“Because the use of eggs was forbidden during Lent, they were brought to the table on Easter Day, colored red to symbolize the Easter joy. This custom is found not only in the Latin but also in the Oriental Churches. “The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by Jesus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times. The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring. Easter eggs, the children are told, come from Rome with the bells which on Thursday go to Rome and return Saturday morning.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Catholic literature clearly states that some facets of it Easter celebrations were derived from paganism; however, most “reform” movements still follow their “mother church” by using the detestable name Easter and practicing fertility rites.

Tanakh makes reference to Easter

By transliterating the word Eostre/Ester into Hebrew, we arrive with the name and root word of Astarte/Ishtar, a pagan fertility goddess who is also known as Asherah and Ashtoreth in the Tanakh. Ashtoreth was a moon goddess. The moon was linked with fertility; Ashtoreth was Baal/Molech’s consort. From Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

Ashtoreth: the moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judges 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jeremiah 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:12). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Samuel 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel’s 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the “queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 44:25).

The variances between these goddess’ names in terms of pronunciation are directly related to the region and dialect of Israel, Canaan and Babylon, respectively. Easton’s Dictionary states:

“Asherah, and pl. Asherim in Revised Version, instead of “grove” and “groves” of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols (“groves”) are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Exodus 34:13; Judges 6:25; 2 Kings 23:6; 1 Kings 16:33, etc.). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone (2 Kings 21:7; “the graven image of Asherah,” RSV).

Brown, Drivers Briggs Hebrew Lexicon states: Ashera(h) = “groves (for idol worship)” a Babylonian (Astarte)-Canaanite goddess (of fortune and happiness), the supposed consort of Baal…sacred trees or poles set up near an altar.

The Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) makes reference to these pagan goddesses in numerous places: “And YHWH will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that He gave to their forefathers and scatter them beyond the River, because they provoked YHWH to anger by making Asherah poles… They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree” (1 Kings 14:15, 23).

Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:19).

When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them, the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property” (2 Chronicles 31:1).

By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like chalk stones crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing” (Isaiah 27:9).

I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles and demolish your cities” (Micah 5:14).

See also: Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 7:5, 12:3, 16:21; Judges 6:25, 26, 28, 30; 1 Kings 15:13, 16:33; 2 Kings 17:10, 16, 18:4, 21:3, 7, 23:4, 6, 7, 14, 15; 2 Chronicles 14:3, 15:16, 17:6, 19:3, 24:18, 33:3, 19; Isaiah 17:8.

Clearly there is an Easter festival mentioned in the Set Apart Scriptures and it is very clearly an abomination unto YHWH and His Mashiyach! Seeing also a consistent linkage of Asherah with poles, trees and groves, a very similar “feast” as mentioned in Tanakh that has been co-opted into another very well known Christian holiday:

Hear what YHWH says to you, O house of Israel. This is what YHWH says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” No one is like you, O YHWH; you are great, and Your Name is mighty in power. Who should not revere You, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphas. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple – all by skilled workers. But YHWH is the true Elohim; He is the living Elohim, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens’” (Jeremiah 10:1-11).

Asher/Astarte/Eostre/Ester derived her power from her male counterpart Baal who, not to be outdone, had a festival of his own under his other title Molech:

As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to YHWH his Elohim, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammorites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of YHWH; he did not follow YHWH completely, as David his father had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammorites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods” (1 Kings 11:4-8). Notice that Ashtoreth (another name for Asherah), is linked to her consort Baal, here alternatively named Molech.

Here is what YHWH caused to happen to that “old time religion”: “He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of YHWH and where women did weaving for Asherah. Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the shrines at the gates – at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which is on the left of the city gate. Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of YHWH in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests. He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech”(2 Kings 23:7-10). Notice that the pagan priests were associating their festivals with the unleavened bread of Passover season, just as they did with the European version of the same fertility goddess who gives Easter her name.

Christian carry-over

Christianity has transferred pagan rites and the very name of a pagan celebration into the Resurrection of the Mashiyach! To top off their celebrations most Christians dishonor the Jewish Mashiyach by putting a “traditional” Easter ham on their tables! This is a clear and defiant demonstration of disrespect toward Mashiyach Y’shua, yet Easter and its trappings is painted by the majority of Christians as acceptable behavior for Christians. Christ-ian means to be “Christ-like” but Easter and its pagan trappings are entirely against Mashiyach!

Renewed Covenant writings clearly warn against the same consort of Asherah and all form of paganism: “But Elohim turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon” (Acts 7:42-43).

I ask then: did Elohim reject His people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. Elohim did not reject His people, whom He foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah – how he appealed to Elohim against Israel: “Master YHWH, they have killed your prophets and torn down your alters; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was Elohim’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by favor” (Romans 11:1-5).

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitians. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and fight against them with the sword of my mouth… I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. But her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of foods sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her into a coffin, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds” (Revelation 2:14-16, 20-23).

Note that Balaam mentioned here is not the false god Baal, nor is this Jezebel woman the same as the nemesis of Elijah. However, these names being referenced in Revelation draw very clear and direct links to the Tanakh and are certainly not coincidental!

If any Christian reader should still believe it acceptable to co-opt practices of pagan origin to honor Mashiyach Y’shua, then Rav Shaul addresses such shameful indifference with these words: “Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to Elohim, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of YHWH and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the YHWH’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse YHWH’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:19-22)

The earliest record of Christians Easter is on connection with the visit of Polycarp (the bishop of Smyrna) to Anicetus (the bishop of Rome) in 154-155 AD for the purpose of maintaining Pesach observance. Polycarp was a disciple of John. He was known to have discourse with the original disciples of Mashiyach and he was a faithful follower of Mashiyach for eighty six years. Polycarp represented the ancient observance of Pesach through the night of the fourteenth of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish calendar), which is both the Torah and the Renewed Covenant Passover, regardless of what day of the week it might fall on our Gregorian calendars. Anicetus argued for a new calendar that would cause “Easter” to always fall on a Sunday. By changing the original date for Pesach, which Mashiyach and all his original disciples followed, the post-apostolic founders of the church used a syncretistic effort to bring paganism into the pews, which is clearly the work of the “anti Christ.”

Conclusion: What shall be done then?

All followers of Mashiyach must with full assurance mark and celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Mashiyach Y’shua which occurred on Pesach (Passover). If this feast seems “too Jewish” Christians would be well advised to consider whether they prefer to follow the Messiah who came through the tribe of Judah, or a Messiah who is a product of pagan culture. Rather than following dates and feasts that accommodate pagan culture, true Christians (Christ-like ones) are called to imitate Mashiyach who gave his life to raise up a Set Apart people.

John writes: “After this I saw another Messenger coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and Elohim has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself, in her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is Master YHWH, Elohim, who judges her” (Revelation 18:1-8).

All of us understand the metaphor behind, “Come out of her (Babylon) my people.” It refers to all false religious authorities and ideals, but most don’t realize that this passage is also very literal: “With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true favor of Elohim. Stand fast in it. She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark” (1 Peter 5:12-13).

Keefa (Peter) is writing from Babylon, where a group of ex-pagans have turned to Mashiyach and are gathered together in the Name of YHWH. One must remember that Babylon was home to the largest population of Jews who lived outside of Israel. Keefa and Mark, in fact, viewed their mission to the Babylonian assembly as so critical that it is very likely Keefa’s testimony took shape here, eventually becoming the Gospel According to Mark. This assembly would become part of the group that preserved the original Aramaic New Testament. Today we know them as the Church of the East (COE), but originally they were called as Assembly of the Nazarenes! This body of believers literally had to flee Babylon as it was rife with paganism. While some may criticize the COE understandably for adopting Western traditions, one fact is indisputable: These Aramaic Christians knew the truth regarding the origin of “Easter” and they ran from it as fast as they could! Instead, they marked the occasion of Y’shua’s great triumph by honoring it as Qyamteh D’Maran (Resurrection Day).

“Easter” is clearly the “sacred” female partner of two deities that are associated with murdering children; therefore, at a minimum the pagan name of Easter must die from the lips of every true Christian! There is, however, another level that takes the occasion of the Resurrection to a much purer place: Celebrating the Passover as Y’shua and his followers originally did, and as Rav Shaul and other Netzarim continued to do for decades afterwards, even to this day. Every true Believer should celebrate Passover according to the true Gospel that is from everlasting, which is the Word of YHWH, not the traditions of men!

Y’shua said, “Blessed are those who do His Commandments, for they shall be given the right to the Tree of Life and will be allowed to enter into the city” (Revelation 22:14).