Archive for March, 2016

Easter, the Celebration of the Fertility Goddess

Yikes!!  My guess is, if you are like me, you opened this post in one of two ways.  Really, seriously twirked that I would have the audacity to call the celebration of the resurrection of the Messiah a pagan holiday.  Or, grieved that yet another believer appears to have gone astray and desires to take others with her.

I assure you, neither is the case.  I just wanted to get your attention:-)  Now, put that smiley face aside, though, because what I do want to talk about is serious business.

Have you ever thought about where we get the term Easter?  I’ll be honest.  I never did.  Not once.  I remember learning where the term Christmas came from, or at least what it means.  I also knew that Santa Claus was not really part of it, but that there was a lot of symbology to the artifacts of Christmas (the tree, the candy cane, etc.).  I remember in my early 20s researching the history behind Halloween and choosing to not take part in it (and then waffling, taking part, and turning back from it when my children were younger).  Somewhere in the years since those discoveries I began to ask what in the world the Easter Bunny, colored eggs and hunts all had to do with the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus).  I reasoned, or perhaps was even told, that it had something to do with new life.  It still haunted me.  That explanation was just not good enough.

A year ago, I was working my way through an amazing study of Genesis taught from the Hebrew perspective.  Talk about eye opening!  It has changed my whole view of the Bible and my role as a Gentile Christian.  That aside, I was shocked to read that the name Easter was that of the wife/queen of the evil tyrant, Nimrod.  Say what?!  She was known eventually by many names including Semiramis, Ishtar, Isis, Cyblle, and Ashteroth (read a bit of God’s judgement on Judah in Jeremiah 7:18).  Nimrod (also called Ashur) deified himself. He became known as the creator god, the god of the sun, later to be called Ba’al, Marduk, and Molech, among others.  Semiramis, his wife, was also deified, being known as the mother of heaven, the goddess of the moon and of fertility.  After Nimrod died, Semiramis bore a son whom she called Tamuz.  He was said to be the reincarnation of Nimrod, a man-god, forming the last of a very unholy trinity.  These three became the basis of all false religions, what God called Mystery Babylon (Nimrod built Bavel, the original city of Babylon where a tower was built to the sky in defiance of God, and where God confused the languages of the people – Genesis 11).

These God-less gods were responsible for false worship, temple prostitutes, child sacrifices, and all number of heinous acts.  Associated with this goddess of fertility were the rabbit, as a symbol of fertility, and the egg.  It was said that a large egg came down from the sky and rested in the water.  Easter (Semiramis) was born from that egg in the spring time.  Thus the ritual springtime celebration of the pagan goddess, Easter.

How in the world did Easter come to be the name of the holiday of our Lord?  The explanation goes way back to the 2nd century AD.  It was a time of great persecution for the Jewish people.  Jerusalem had been destroyed and Rome built another city on top of the ruins.  The city was called Alia Capitolina.  Jews were forbidden to enter, as they were said to be detestable.  Anything Jewish was also forbidden, including any Jewish celebrations or feasts.  This was a problem for the early Christian church. They had continued to celebrate the Passover, as Yeshua had done, and included the commemoration of His death as the Passover sacrificial lamb.

Here we need a little basic information.  Way back in Exodus, God had commanded the Israelite people to celebrate the Passover, followed immediately by the Feast of Matzah (Unleavened Bread) in the first month, on the 14th day.  Passover was to be on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan.  Yeshua, as the sacrificial passover lamb, was crucified on Passover…did you know that?  (A topic for another day is the fulfillment of prophecy that took place on each of the God-assigned Hebrew feasts…except one that is yet to be fulfilled.)

Yeshua was crucified on the 14th of Nisan, a particular date, not a particular day of the week.  The apostolic church (the early church under the leadership of the apostles) continued to observe Passover, on Nisan 14, regardless of what day of the week it fell on, but including the Lord’s supper as instituted by Yeshua before His death (Luke 22).  For well over a century this was the only way Yeshua’s death was commemorated.

When Rome built Alia Capitolina over the ruins of Jerusalem and forbid anything Jewish from entering, the Church, rather than continue to follow God’s command to observe Passover when it was intended, chose to move the celebration to the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox, coincidentally right around the time of the pagan fertility celebration, Easter.  After a couple hundred years, and a decision in there somewhere to celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah as well, the watered down Passover, and Easter were blended and called Easter.  Easter became the celebration of the resurrection of the risen Messiah that incorporates the pagan symbol of the fertile bunny rabbit, and the supposed mystic birth of the false queen of heaven.  Makes my stomach turn.  What satisfaction and glee Satan must feel watching Yeshua’s church celebrating Him in this way.

This brings to mind the Church in Thyatira.  The 4th of 7 churches that John wrote to in Revelations.  This was the church that allowed Jezebel in her mix.  Jezebel was a symbol for idolatry,  sexual immorality, and sacrifices to idols.  The real Jezebel of the Old Testament worshipped Ba’al and killed God’s prophets…and she was the Queen of Israel!!  The church at Thyatira had allowed Jezebel to infiltrate their midst with idolatry and sexual immorality, and Yeshua had some tough words for them.

I have said it before, and I will continue to say it, because it is the mission God has given me:  it is time for the Church to return to its Hebrew roots, to the tree we were grafted into, not the one we replaced.  This Sunday, forget about Easter.  Focus your praise and worship on what Yeshua did for you, as you do every year, but do it on Resurrection Sunday.

There is Power in the Name…YESHUA

There’s Power in the Name…YESHUA

Recently I have been reading a book by Derek Frank called “Escaping the Great Deception.”  In it Frank chronicles the intentional changing of names and words in the Bible in order to remove the Jewishness of it and make it more Gentile.  Historical documents, which I won’t go into here, show that this stemmed from the anti-semitic attitudes of the 3rd and 4th century church who blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Christ and believed that the church had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people.  I encourage you to read the book, or visit the website for the accompanying documentary, “Let the Lion Roar” at www.letthelionroar.com to explore this for yourself.

After reading a particular statement in Frank’s book, I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit regarding the name of my savior.  I have been fleshing that conviction out since then.

The point of Frank’s statement was that Jesus’ true name is not really Jesus.  The name God told Mary and Joseph to call Him was Yeshua, which means “Yahweh saves.”  Matthew 1:21 – She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘ADONAI saves,’] because he will save his people from their sins. (CJB)

According to the glossary in the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), Yeshua is usually transliterated as “Jeshua” or “Jeshuah” in the Hebrew Old Testament.  The name Jesus comes from the Greek transliteration Iesous (pronounced yee-soos), meaning God saves which is the language of the New Testament.  But, of course, that wasn’t the original language of the New Testament either.  Hebrew was.  Jesus and his disciples did not speak, or write, Greek.  Their native tongue was Hebrew.  So the Bible we have today is a translation of a translation at best.  The books of the New Testament were translated from their original Hebrew into Greek, and from Greek to English or whatever other language.  That is a topic for another day.  However, it does make the point that Jesus’ real name is not Jesus.  His real name is Yeshua.  That is the name God gave Him.  That is the name Mary and Joseph called when they went searching form Him in Jerusalem and found Him in the temple.  It is the name His disciples knew Him by.  It is the name that was on the sign above the cross He hung on, “This is YESHUA the King of the Jews” – Matthew 27:37.  Yeshua is the name the angel used when comforting Mary at the tomb:  Matthew 28:5-6 – “Don’t be afraid.  I know you are looking for Yeshua, who was executed on the stake.  He is not here, because he has been raised–just as he said!”

Look at Philippians 2:9-11:  Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow–in heaven, on earth and under the earth–and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is ADONAI–to the glory of God the Father.

Other examples of the power in Yeshua’s name follow…it is a short selection from a much longer list.  (Capitalization added by me.)

Acts 4:11-12 – “This Yeshua is the stone rejected by you builders which has become the cornerstone.  There is salvation in no one else!  For there is not other NAME under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!”

John 14:13-14 – “In fact, whatever you ask for in MY NAME, I will do; so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me for something in MY NAME, I will do it.”

Acts 4:29-30 – “So now, Lord, take note of their threats; and enable your slaves to speak your message with boldness!  Stretch out your hand to heal and to do signs and miracles THROUGH THE NAME of your holy servant YESHUA!”

Mark 16:17-18 – “And these signs will accompany those who do trust:  IN MY NAME they will drive out demons, speak with new tongues, not be injured if they handle snakes or drink poison, and heal the sick by laying hands on them.”

If there is such power in the name of Yeshua, the name given to the Messiah by God Himself, what extent of that power are we denying ourselves by praying in the name of another language?  A transliteration of Yeshua I get.  We still have basically the same name, and certainly the same meaning.  But Jesus is not a transliteration.  It is a translation.  This is a big difference.  Think of the names of people of other languages whom you have met.  Maria or Juan from Central America.  My grandma’s name was Ida…German.  Is it just me, or do we seem to keep the names that are easy to pronounce, but change the ones that aren’t?  I have met people of Asian decent who change their names to something a foreign tongue can pronounce.  Yeshua is not that difficult.  Ye-shoo-a.  Not hard.

The names of mythical gods like Zues and Hermes haven’t changed.  Why Yeshua?  Goodness gracious, do we not still call Socrates Socrates and Plato Plato?  Yet Yeshua, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, we call by another name, Jesus.

“Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus.  There’s just something about that name.  Master.  Savior.  Jesus.  Let all heaven and earth proclaim.  Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there is something about that name.”  Except that is the wrong name!  The name of Jesus WILL pass away.  The name of Yeshua will be forever.  Revelations 1:17-18 – He placed his right hand upon me and said, “Don’t be afraid!  I am the First and the Last, the Living One.  I was dead, but look! — I am alive forever and ever!  And I hold the keys to Death and Sh’ol.”

The only reason to change the name of Yeshua is to reduce or eliminate the power in the name.  Who would benefit the most from this?  Only Satan, the great deceiver.  He has managed to deceive most of the world for nearly 2,000 years into not praying in the name of Yeshua; into not calling on the name of Yeshua for salvation, healing, casting out demons; and into not praising the name that deserves the praise – Yeshua.

There are 2 questions then.  If salvation is in the name of Yeshua, is anyone saved that has prayed in the name of Jesus?  And why does God seem to recognize prayers made in the name of Jesus?  I believe we who believe are still saved.  We called out to God.  We asked for forgiveness.  We repented.  We believe that He sent His Son to die for us and then to be raised to life again.  All the tenants are there.  And I have prayed all my life to God in Jesus’ name.  I have felt His presence in mighty ways.  I know He has acknowledged my prayers.  I feel His presence now as I write these words.  So why retrain our hearts, minds and mouths to say Yeshua then?  Because of the power in the ONE NAME that God gave under heaven.  If we have seen the power in using the translation of the name, imagine the power we will see in using THE name…YESHUA.  Let us make Satan flee in the name of YESHUA our Lord!!!!!  Amen.

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