The Myths of Christmas–Myth 1–The Three Wise-Men

Greetings Believers!

As Christmas fast approaches, the true believer in Messiah (or Christ) must begin to determine in their hearts, minds and souls, what exactly Christmas means to them. Today,  most Christians in the know understand that Christmas was not the day of birth for Jesus the Messiah. Indeed, even the Pope has come out and declared that the papacy has known for quite a long time that Christmas is not the day of the Savior’s birth, along with the debunking of several other traditions that have been taught to us for centuries regarding the greatest of the annual Christian Holidays. (Read articles on Pope Benedict’s book on the life of Jesus Christ.) Furthermore, a myriad of scholars and even many well-read Christians understand fully that Christmas as it has been taught to us over the centuries is filled with traditions, myths and outright lies. Yet churchianity has made absolutely no moves to correct these falsehoods and set the record straight. During this Christmas season, I will be posting a series of blogs that will examine and even challenge 7-common Christmas myths. The debunking of these 7-myths are not intended to “spit in the eyes” of the Christian Faith, nor belittle the believer who simply loves Jesus and believes with their whole heart that by his/her celebrating the day he/she will be honoring the Son of the Most High. No, the intent is simply to set the story straight in the minds of anyone who would seek to know the truth about their redeemer and Christmas; and maybe cause the one who is searching for truth to take a serious look at their faith and make informed decisions that will ultimately impact their walk with Messiah in the most profound and positive way.

Let’s dive headlong into the 7-Myths of Christmas–Myth #1–The Three Wise-Men.

3 kings bearing gifts

According to the Rood “Astronomically & Agriculturally Corrected Biblical Hebrew Calendar” and “The Chronological Gospels-The Life and Seventy Week Ministry of the Messiah,”  today in history, Chaldean Astronomers presented to the Son of the Almighty gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Now Christian tradition teaches that three-wise men trekked across the dessert with these gifts and presented them to the newly born King as he lay in swaddling clothes in a manger. Tradition also suggests that these were 3-kings from unknown kingdoms in Asia. But nowhere in the Bible are we told that these wise-men were actually kings who benevolently set out on a trek to bow before the King of Kings and present the baby-king these special gifts. Furthermore, the holy record does not necessarily suggest that these fellows came to the family in a manger on the evening of December 25th or thereabouts.

I recall quite vividly, as a young one in Baltimore Maryland in a Southern Baptist Church, learning and revering the Christmas story. The story was consistent in content and charm. Furthermore, television and various mediums supported the entire Christmas tradition and story, even to the point of commercializing each aspect of the event.

“We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we travel (traverse afar) so far; field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.”

Of course the concept of giving gifts on Christmas morn as a tradition has in great part  been built upon this simple but beautiful tale–three potentates humbling themselves to leave the thrones of their individual kingdoms, traverse a wide expanse of desert and through various cities (no doubt most of them impoverished), following a star that was positioned directly above the birthplace of the king of kings; and then bow before the great redeemer, presenting Him simple but royally deserving gifts  I believed the story lock-stock-barrel. Even though I read the story countless times from the pages of my Bible (which by the way never refers to these visitors in number being three or that they were kings) I believed the story as presented by the various mediums throughout the years. Interestingly, I never thought or conceived that the actual story would be in conflict with the traditional story that has been embraced by Christians for two-millennia. Furthermore, if the story was in conflict with the Biblical record of the event, would or should I care? Would it make any difference if there was a discrepancy in the two stories? Besides, (thinking this in my pea-brain if you will), the point was not so much accuracy and truth, but intent and reverence, right (aka Kirk Cameron’s attitude and stance on Christmas in his latest film “Saving Christmas”)? Of course! We are saved by grace! Truth and accuracy is irrelevant because it’s all about the beauty of the day and the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Advent.

But it wasn’t until about a decade ago that I finally came to a place in my life that I got THE point. And THE point has to do with my Faith and my perceptions about my Faith in Messiah. The Master said quite eloquently that:

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:24 KJV)

 

There it was. The whole concept of truth and worshiping the Almighty according to His truth; patterning our lives according to His truth and not leaning towards our own understanding (reference Prov. 3:5-7). I finally rationalized that if I’m willing to compromise understanding in the smaller things of the Faith for purposes of serving my own desires and preferences, it’s simply a hop-skip-jump away from compromising on the truths that are associated with my relationship with the Creator of the Universe and ultimately my eternal life. Quite frankly, the whole concept of building my Faith and a relationship with the Most High on a mound of lies became quite shameful to me and to realize that the Church condones building one’s faith on said mound of lies is obviously abominable to God as evident in how He dealt with Israel over her constant idolatry addiction. Thus, as the Master has said, the time has come for “the true worshipers to worship the Father in spirit and in truth…” (John 4:23) So let’s put things in to their proper perspective by seeing and understanding exactly what the Bible actually has to say about this most famous event:

First and foremost, this event is recorded only by Matthew and is found in the 2nd chapter of Matthew. The passage is as follows:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Mat 2:1-2 KJV)

A couple things: (1) nothing here is mention about there being three individuals coming to see the Messiah. No number is provided by Matthew. Thus we can assume that the number three was associated with the gifts that these prominent individuals brought with them for the Lord-gold, frankincense and myrrh. (2) These individuals were not identified as kings, but as “wise men.” (3) The wording in the KJV would lead us westerners to think that when these wise men had come to the region, Jesus had just been born–Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (Mat 2:1 KJV) But it must become abundantly clear that we must always study the Holy Writ from a Near East perspective, not from the perspective of the West. The rendering of “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king” is not a literal, word for word translation of the ancient text. The ancient text reads more akin to as follows: And Jesus having been born in Beth-Lehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, (Mat 2:1 YLT) Thus there is no precise time frame or date provided that would naturally lead the well-meaning Bible student to conclude that these wise men came to the region of Judea the night or day of the Messiah’s birth. For all intents and purposes, that time frame could be days or even months beyond the actual date of birth. All background indications are that the Savior was actually born well over a year before the arrival of these wise men. If this is indeed the case, then it would naturally stand to reason that Mary and Joseph had long abandoned the original place of the Messiah’s birth and likely had returned home, raising their son in accordance to Hebraic and Jewish traditions. The actual disparity as it relates to a December 25th date of birth for the Redeemer will be discussed in the next posting.

Back to the topic of the three-kings or more accurately the wise men: there are indeed some key elements to this story that should be examined before a final debunking of this Christmas myth is completed.

1. Who were these so-called wise men (now that we’ve excluded or rejected the belief of these gentlemen being kings)? Clearly the Holy Writ does not record the identities of these interesting fellows nor does the record document from whence they came. Thus, the well-meaning and well-read Bible student would have to speculate on these folks’ identity based upon the entirety of the Bible record. The only identifying bit of information that we have regarding these gentlemen is that they were “magi” (a Greek term used to describe or identify astronomers/astrologers/magicians/wise men) and according to Michael Rood’s Chronological Gospels, magi would have been common to Chaldea. Magi or Chaldean Astronomers were essentially magicians (thus the root word Magi); extremely intelligent; and well versed astronomers and astrologers. They were, as we can clearly tell from Daniel, key advisers to many of the Babylonian kings. Interestingly, Babylon has often mistakenly been viewed as synonymous to Chaldea. But the simple fact of the matter is that Chaldeans were a separate people residing originally in south eastern Mesopotamia. In fact, Abraham was originally a Chaldean, originating in Ur of the Chaldees. Thus, the common belief that Abraham was born a Hebrew is a Christian myth. Let’s continue: The link with Babylon, however, occurred when the Chaldeans ruled over Babylon for roughly half a century. Thus the Chaldean rulership over Babylon was as such: ~731 BCE, Ukinzer; then Merodach-Baladan; then in ~626 BCE, Nabopolassar; next were Nebuchadnezzar, Amel-Markuk, Nabonidus and finally Belshazzar (Dan. 5:30). If you want a more detailed understanding of the Chaldeans and the Babylonian connection, I would refer you to Wikipedia.

2. And what do we know of any relevance or influence the Chaldean dynasty would have had on  our Faith? Well, from the Biblical record we know that the Prophet Daniel, of royal Hebrew lineage, was a captive in Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1:1-4) and Daniel actually became one of the ruling class under the Chaldean Dynasty. Additionally, Daniel’s tenure extended through to Belshazzar (Dan. 5). As one of the Hebrew Royals taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, in order for Daniel to serve the throne competently, he would have been trained and indoctrinated in the Chaldean Magi arts and sciences. Ultimately, as we’ve mentioned, Daniel was promoted to a place of leadership in the Babylonian-Chaldean kingdom; thus he would have had unquestionable control over the court’s Magi-contingent. There is also indication that Daniel was well trained in Torah and Hebrew astrophysics in Jerusalem (reference Rood, Chronological Gospels). With his knowledge and understanding of the esoteric arts and sciences, it would stand to reason that Daniel would understand clearly many of the prophecies associated with the coming of the Messiah, including him being able to read the signs in the heavens. This coupled with Divine revelation from the Creator, Daniel had knowledge of things concerning Jesus the Messiah centuries in advance. Rood postulates (and I agree with his assessment) that Daniel was hand-picked of the Father to see and in many cases record many of the events related to the coming Messiah and the end-times. Additionally, being of the ruling-class in Babylon, Daniel would have been extremely wealthy and it would have been no stretch to conclude that the Father would have made provision in advance for Daniel to set aside funds to assist the earthly family of the Savior (i.e., the visit of the Magi and the gifts they presented to the Savior) in their hour of need. Rood writes: “The gifts of the astronomers would finance their journey (Jesus’ family) and allow them to get resettled in the land after their flight to Egypt. Luke records that Yoseph (Joseph) and Mirian (Mary) presented the poor man’s sacrifice when Yeshua (Jesus) was taken to the Temple on his fortieth day. This indicates that they were quite poor at the time and obviously not yet in possession of the treasure of the astronomers. These gifts may have also partially financed Yeshua’s ministry.”

3. Chronologically, the visit of the Magi did not occur on the date of birth of the Master. Although the Biblical text and all of the manger scenes strewn across the world have figures of the “3-Kings” bowing down before baby-Jesus in a barn with animals round-about that the visit occurred in the middle of the night when Jesus was born, the truth of the matter is that the Magi did not execute their visit until months after the birth of the Savior. There are a few problems associated with a Christmas night visit of the 3-Kings: (a) the distance and means of travel at the time (i.e., foot, camel, etc.) would have required a prolonged trek across the region from the East to the West (Matthew 2:1), assuming (although incorrectly assuming) that these Magi began their trek on or close to the birth of the Savior. It has become common knowledge, even in traditional Christianity, that Jesus was NOT born on December 25th, in the year 1 A.D. All indications, based upon many known historic elements associated with the birth story, that the Master was born sometime in the early fall of the year. Furthermore, without a full understanding of the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23), it is impossible to accurately determine the precise birth-date of the Savior. But for the sake of time, I will refer you to Rood’s Chronological Gospels, where he places the actual birthday of the Lord on the High Sabbath of the Feast of Sukkot in the year 3 BCE, which in that year, Sukkot occurred on September 26th. Again, there are many historical elements to the story that require the birthday of the Savior be at anytime other than a December 25th, 1 CE date. Furthermore, the star–according to astronomical records and mathematical extrapolation–that the Magi responded to did not appear until a full year later, precisely around October 13, 2 BCE. Given the distance that the Magi would have to travel and their means of travel, an arrival date to the home of Joseph and Mary could not have occurred for at least 2-full months–or December 19, 2 BCE. We must also remember that Herod upon learning of the birth of the Messiah from the Magi, consulted Jewish sages who would have been well-versed in the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Armed with the information he received from the Magi and his sages, it would have been rather easy for Herod to determine an approximate age for the young Messiah. Thus when the Magi were warned by the Almighty of Herod’s pending treachery against the child (Matthew 2:12), they avoided returning to Herod (as Herod had instructed in Matthew 2:7) and took an alternate route back–presumably–to Babylon. Thereafter, Herod commanded the execution of all children in Bethlehem, from 2-years of age (or 2-years of age and under), based upon the “time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.” (Reference Rood’s Chronological Gospels)

4. The Gospel record in no way provides us the number of Magi that made the trek across the wilderness to see the young Savior. So where did the legend of 3-kings come from? Well, likely from the 3-gifts that are sited in Matthew’s account: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Common human reasoning would conclude, without the employment of sound exegetical skills, that there were 3-gifts, thus there must be 3-persons bearing them. But it should also be reasoned that you don’t need 3-people to present 3-gifts. For all we know, there could have been 2, 3, 4 or a dozen Magi making this trek. We just don’t know and it would be foolish to speculate given what little we know about the actual story.

But what about the individuals being kings? Well, it seems that the gifts borne by the Magi would, in the ancient near east, be fitting gifts for royalty. These would have been very expensive items that would have been out of the financial reach of the common-folk, and thus the legend of there being 3-kings of orient (since they came from the East) came to be common traditional folklore and in many cases, doctrine of the Christian Faith.

There we have it. The myth surrounding the story of 3-Kings visiting the manger in the middle of the night on December 25, 1 AD, bearing gifts to the newborn baby Jesus laying in a manger, has been debunked. My question then becomes: if this one prominent Bible story as has come to be understood by Christians all over the world is filled with lies and falsehoods, what else in the Christian Faith is filled with lies and falsehoods? Hang on, the ride is going to get pretty bumpy from here on out. Just saying.

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Episode 50–The Oneness of God–A Salvation Issue?

  • Dt. 6 speaks to the oneness/uniqueness of Yehovah and the love the nation must have for Yehovah. This is the basis of the Hebrew Faith. This mitzvah is not only central to the Hebrew Faith but also the Faith once delivered. All indications are that it is this creed. that the Believer’s salvation and inclusion in to the Kingdom of Yehovah rests.
      • Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one (echad) LORD: (Deu 6:4 KJV) And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deu 6:5 KJV)
      • Deu 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
  • That love must be exhibited
    • Internally (i.e., the heart)
    • Externally (i.e., actions—one’s being)
    • With all we have available to us (i.e., our resources such as our talents)
  • Many have sought to explain this oneness or echad from the perspective of a trinity or a binary godhead. Certainly the way the English is written, especially here in the King James, could present some confusion and doubt into a monotheistic understanding of God and at the same time strongly suggest to those who would espouse a Jesus only religion (i.e., Jesus was the God of the Old Testament)that we have a substance-based (Greek=homoousia)understanding of God.
  • Yet our Faith—the Faith once delivered to the first-century Saints was largely based upon the Hebrew Faith that was delivered to the Children of Promise at Sinai. Thus Yehovah revealed Himself to the Children of Promise and gave them His Law (Exodus 19-26). And it has been from that time forward (baring the nation’s intermittent foray into idolatry)till today that she has held firmly and steadfastly to the understanding that Yehovah is not trinity nor a binary godhead as certain Christian sects contend—but is alone and has existed from the beginning and there is no other being that can ever be considered Yehovah or God.
  • All indications were that even during the time of Yeshua and the Apostles’ oversight of the first century Church, this understanding of Yehovah being the one and only one Creator and sustainer of the universe was held by Jew and converted Gentile alike. It was not until Greek and Babylonian mythology was infused into this understanding of the person of Jesus—through a misunderstanding/misinterpretation of John’s prolific description of Yeshua and a exhaltation of Jesus to god-status by men—that we find the homoousia doctrine replacing the Shema description or explanation of Yehovah in the Christian world
  • The Jewish Faith rejects Yeshua as Messiah in part because of Christianity’s exaltation of Yeshua to Creator, sustainer and God of this world who has existed from the beginning. Many in the Christian realm insist that this is the case because John the Apostle’s prolific writing is highly suggestive of Yeshua existing from the beginning and creating and sustaining the world. The irony in all this is that Yehovah’s revelation that He was the only one (echad) was clearly delivered to debunk and oppose the rest of the world’s belief (i.e., the nations other than Israel)in a multitude of gods. Yet Christianity has taken Yehovah’s purpose here and turned it upon its own head by using this passage to support a triune or binary godhead. No one can make this crazy stuff up. No wonder the Semitic peoples of the world remains blind to the Truth of the gospel and rejects the person of Yeshua as Messiah.
  • Throughout the gospel record, Yeshua speaks to the oneness of His Father; He prays to the Father; He commands that His followers worship the Father; He insists that He doesn’t know when the end will come but only His Father knows; He prays to His Father to find another way for salvation and spare Him the humiliation and agony of crucifixion. And there’s more. Yet Churchianity holds to a schizophrenic Savior who is really the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, yet doesn’t know that He is, yet suggests that He could be that same Creator, yet puts on that He is not capable of doing anything outside the will of His Father
  • Yeshua-Yehovah’s handpicked “man-of-the-hour” and “right-hand-man” (literally), certified the centrality of Yehovah as attested in Dt. 6:4,5:
    • Mat. 22:33-40-- 33 And when the multitude heard this , they were astonished at his doctrine.34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat 22:33-40 KJV)
  • Mk. 12:18-3418 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. 24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. 28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question(Mar 12:18-34 KJV) –hints that an understanding and obedience to this mitzvah is essential to one realizing or one entering the Kingdom of Yehovah (i.e., vs 34a)
  • Lk. 10:25-28 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luk 10:25-28 KJV)–certifies that salvation is achieved when one adheres to Dt. 6:4,5
  • How did we get ourselves in to such messes?
    • By our abandonment of Torah and the Hebraic Roots of the Faith
    • By remaining Biblically illiterate and permitting churchianity to indoctrinate us
  • This creed would be the central-identifying character of the nation
  • We as grafted-in Israelites can not separate ourselves from this creed. Doing so only negates our association and permanent connection to the physical and spiritual nation and our connection to the Creator

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INAYP-49-Truth and Christianity

What is Truth? What did Jesus mean when He told the Samaritan woman at the well the following: CJB  John 4:23 But the time is coming- indeed, it’s here now- when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him.
 (Joh 4:23 CJB) The King James Version reads as follows: KJV  John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
 (Joh 4:23 KJV)
 
225 ἀλήθεια aletheia {al-ay’-thi-a}
Meaning:  1) objectively 1a) what is true in any matter under consideration 1a1) truly, in truth, according to truth 1a2) of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly 1b) what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth 1b1) in the greatest latitude 1b2) the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention 1c) the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians 2) subjectively 2a) truth as a personal excellence 2a1) that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit
 
The context of this passage is that famous interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Sychar of Samaria. The only place this story is recorded in the Bible is in the Gospel of John. Michael Rood in his Chronological Gospels -The Life and Seventy Week Ministry of Messiah–comments that the Samaritans were gentiles who were placed in the region by Assyrian Emperor Shalmanezer. These people were planted there to replace the Israelites who had previously been dispersed to the 4-winds of the earth. A plague of lions in the land suggested to the emperor that these people may not be in sync with the “god” of that land and thus he brought in “government sponsored” priests who taught the people what Rood describes as “a politically correct version of Torah,” which documented as its 10th commandment, “Thou shalt worship on Mount Gerizim.” It should be mentioned that the priests the emperor imported were not of the Leviticial priesthood, thus they were not authorized by the Almighty to dispense Torah teaching. (This was recorded in II Kings 17:24-31.) Thus the Samaritan people were for all intents and purposes perpetrating a fraud–living lies–in the land of promise and to boot, they were being fed a religion of lies. The Hebrew population realized this and austricized the Samaritans, labelling them often as dogs, not just because they were brought in to the land to replace fellow Hebrews, but also because these people were practicing a false brand of the Hebrew Faith.
samaritan woman at the well
 
As the story goes, the Samaritan woman, through here exchange with Jesus, recognized that the Master was someone very special–she referred to Him as a prophet. She sought to take advantage of this opportunity by asking Jesus one of the Samaritan’s most challenging questions as it related to where they were to worship the Father–was it indeed on Mount Moreh-Yah or was it as the Samaritan Torah taught–on Mount Gerizim? It is to this critical question that Yeshua responded with the quote found in John 4: 23–“that they that worship [the Father] must worship Him in spirit and in “aletheia”–truth.
 
The concept of truth was the central theme in our fellowshipping with fellow believers this past weekend. We visited friends that we met in Rochester, N.Y. earlier this year.
 
We discussed quite extensively how lies have infiltrated Christianity and everday life and blinded the people of God to the truth, not only on matters pertaining to our Faith, but even as it pertains to how we perceive the world around us.
  1. 911 and the twin towers
  2. The Oklahoma City bombing
  3. Sandy Hook
  4. The Trinity
  5. The significance of Torah to the true Believer of Messiah
 
It’s not until we understand the truth in all its forms and applications that we can truly worship the Father. If we worship the Father based upon a system of lies and half-truths, then one must ask, are we truly worshipping the Father.
 
There is a popular belief among most Christians that it really doesn’t matter if we aren’t accurate or faithful in our worship and practice of the Faith, because God knows our heart. I was shown a film clip of Kirk Cameron, popular child actor of the 80’s who has adopted Christianity as his primary life’s work nowadays. Cameron, in this film clip, went to great lengths to discredit truth-seekers who held to the knowledge and understanding that Christmas is indeed a pagan holiday and should not be celebrated by believers as the birth of our Messiah. Cameron’s stance was that of (and I’m paraphrasing), “so what if Christmas is a pagan holiday? Christianity has taken the holiday and sanctified it by applying the focus of Christ to that day. Come on, don’t let those wet towels dampen your love of Christmas. Everyone loves Christmas. Come on, just celebrate the day and get over yourselves.” Cameron goes on to stress that it’s the intent behind Christmas today that must be understood. It’s a heart thing. God knows our heart and we need to get over feeling guilty of celebrating Christmas because of the knowledge of its pagan origin.
 
First off, indeed the Father does know and understand our hearts and He has revealed that the heart of man is desperately evil:
 
 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Mat 15:19 KJV)
 
 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9 KJV)
 
Indeed, there is no doubt that millions of self-professing Christians sincerely believe they are worshipping the Father truthfully and correctly. But commonsense must rule the day: you’re either living your spirit life correctly or incorrectly; you’re either right or wrong…when it comes to the Faith once delivered to the first century saints (and I’m NOT applying Christianity to this equation), the Master said that we MUST worship the Father in spirit and truth. There is to be no goofy attempt at living our life and worshipping God as we feel is best or that fits our comfort zones or our likings or how someone else dictates we should go about it. These believers (mostly traditional-orthodox Christians) who go about their lives in error, as did the Samaritans, are sincere in their efforts, but they are also sincerely wrong and sincerely mistaken about many things as it relates to their worship of the Father and their walk with the Master. Regardless, we are held accountable for understanding and living our Faith accurately which means, in accordance to the word of the Lord. Obedience must be the primary driving force behind our profession, properly joined to an unshakeable faith. And please don’t pull the “we have freedom in Christ” card that so many millions of Christians like to rest their collective spiritual hats upon (KJV  Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Gal 5:1 KJV)). That whole churchianity interpretation of “freedom in Christ” has become an abominable misinterpretation. Context, context, context! Scriptural soundbites will be the death (literally) of so many self-professing Christians. The context of this passage speaks to being in bondage, under the yoke of religion–within the context of those Judaizers who had come in to the Galatian assembly and attempted to foist upon the Galatian believers Judaism. One should read the entire passage here. Paul speaks passionately to the issue that was plaguing many of Paul’s followers and that had to do with the Orthodox Jewish believers in Messiah who were forcing Jewish Law and practices (not the Torah but Talmud) upon the new gentile converts to the Faith. Paul was addressing primarily the issue of adherence to Judaism first over faith in Jesus which seemed to fall second in importance. Many incorrectly ascertain that Paul was denouncing the Torah, but in reality Paul was denouncing Judaism and the insistance by the Jewish sect of the Faith that all converts must strictly adhere to Judaism first and foremost. Paul was informing all who would read or hear his message that anyone who would take up the mantle of the true Faith once delivered would not be subject to religion any longer. They were free from the burden of religion. We find very clear clues throughout the New Testament or renewed covenant that Judaism was a tremendous burden that was placed upon the people by the sages (primarily the Pharisees and the Sadducees) and the tenets of that religion were for all intents and purposes impossible to keep. The intent of the laws that would surround the Torah was to prevent the Jew from ever violating Torah. The intent, though seemingly well intended on the part of the sages, was actually a violation of the very Law that Judaism was designed to protect. Throughout Torah Yehovah clearly stated that His people were are not to  add or subtract anything from that which He had given to the nation in terms of His laws, commandments and ordinances. Thus Judaism, for all intents and purposes was a lie as was the religion being followed by the Samaritans. Lies upon more lies.
 
The same goes with us today. Christianity is a religion, weakly built upon the True Faith once delivered to the first century saints. History clearly shows that men took the pure Faith and added to it that which would make it into a religion. Religion serves to control men. And that is what the early “church fathers” constructed for themselves in the name of God–a religion that they claim is true and the key to eternal life. Add to that the world and its governments and everyday life and the less-informed of us is in a world of hurt. Sadly, the less-informed of us numbers in the majority. That majority insists that none of this is important because the Christian has given over their life to Jesus Christ and has therefore been gifted eternal life and eternal life is guaranteed regardless what happens from the time of praying the sinners’ prayer to the pre-tribulation rapture. And why do the vast majority of 2-billion self-professing Christians believe all that I just mentioned? Because someone in authority told them it was so and because of their limited and myopic understanding of John 3:16.
 
So truth as it stands in the Greek term aletheia stands in opposition to anything that is ficticious or false. Sadly, I’ve come to the shocking conclusion that much of everything that we as believers in Jesus Christ deal with on a daily basis, be it in everyday life or in the realm of Christianity, is built upon lies. The god of this world maintains a tremendous foothold on the whole of the world’s population (3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4:3-4 KJV)) However, there are a few, a very precious few in the world, who have been permitted to see and perceive what the world truly is while the rest of mankind goes along with narry a care or inkling that there’s a problem. I’m reminded of that very popular movie trilogy from the early 2000’s called “The Matrix” in which a small band of intrepid warriors became knowledgeable of the fact that the world around them was controlled by machines and that humans only existed to serve the machines. In order to get people to serve them, the machines provided humans with a faux world facade that appeared to the average Joe living their lives in the world as fine and dandy. The only way to defeat and expose the evil of that system was to convince one individual who went by the name of Neo, that he was the long prophecied Messiah, and it was Neo who would ultimately defeat the machines and lead the world back to truth and life. Of course the machines fought tenaciously against that band of rebels and their leader Neo, but it was destined for the truth to get out one way or the other. It’s like a concrete city: there can be concrete buildings and cities all around with no plant life anywhere in sight. But sooner or later, if proper care is not taken, sprigs of grass with find a crack somewhere in that concrete world and bear itself. Life and truth can not be contained forever.
 
What then do we do with the information that we gain from the revelations that the Holy Spirit has placed within us? Many of us will have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Many of us will do nothing with it because we fear being rediculed and rejected by the establishment–be it secular society or the church. But I fear that we will be judged accordingly if we simply collect the information that is provided to us by the Father and simply hide it under a bussel. No sir, no ma’am, we’ve been called out from the masses to expose the falsehoods and lies of the enemy. How we each accomplish that is really between us individually and the Father. His Holy Spirit will not only help us bypass the fear ( 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2Ti 1:7 KJV)), but also provide us with instruction and direction on how we are to accomplish His will for our lives and to further His purpose and plan for man on the earth.
 
You want to know how deep the rabbit-hole goes (so to speak), then seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, obey God’s Word, and open your heart and mind to receive His Truth. You will be blown away at the level of lies that has infused every level of the world’s life and existence. Furthermore, keep coming back to this website as we will ensure that you receive the truth that will help you in your walk with the Savior. Be most blessed fellow Saints.

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It’s Not As You Perceive, Episode 48–Halloween, Christianity and the Bible

In the West, this coming Friday–October 31st–will be Halloween. It is a time deemed primarily for children, although many adults take great pleasure in celebrating that night as well. As the day wanes and night settles in, millions of children will emerge from their homes, dressed as some of their favorite characters, going from house to house seeking after candies and other desirable treats. Parents and adults alike take great pleasure in the tradition by dressing up their homes in ghoulish and macabre themes, creating scary pranks and participating in festive social gatherings. The central themes of Halloween are death and the occult. Halloween’s origins can not fully be explained, but history strongly links the night to an ancient pagan-class of the Celtic peoples known as the Druids, common to Gaul, Ireland and Britain, as far back as the 3rd century B.C.E. A high holy day of the Druids as well as an agricultural-fall festival for many of the
All Souls Day
Gaelic peoples was Samhein [pronounced SAH-WIN]. Samhein was jammed packed with occultic and pagan traditions and beliefs. These occultic and pagan elements gripped the Gaelic peoples in fear and entrapped them in a demonic-religion. Yet seeing a great opportunity for increasing the number of adherents to the Romish Church of the 6th century, the papacy devised yet another plan to marry Christianity to a prominent pagan people and their religion. The Church triumphant compromised huge portions of the truth that was delivered to the first century saints by forcibly developing and standing up pious festivals that seemed to honor the triune Godhead and the ever growing body of dead saints, while appeasing those on the Church rolls who still held allegiance to some of their pagan ways of life. This pagan segment of the Universal Church were permitted to retain many, if not most, of their pagan traditions and practices, just as long as these traditions and practices were done to honor the Church’s dead saints. Thus, over the centuries, like Christmas and Easter, many of the central themes and traditions of the pagan–in this case the Druids and Samhein–were favorably accepted by the papacy and the Church body and became ceremoniously part of the Church’s holy days
All Saints Day
of All Souls Day and All Saints Day, ultimately being nicely wrapped in to All Hallows Eve or Halloween. Despite the Reformation of the 16th century C.E., the protestant Church could not fully shake off these pagan-based Church festivals which we’ve received today as beautifully packaged and seemingly harmless, fun, family-centered and even holy holidays. Sadly, the vast majority of Christian adherents in the world are either ignorant of the pagan-origins of popular holidays such as Halloween; they don’t care either way; or they believe that Christians should embrace such holidays as wonderful opportunities to enhance their Christian lives. Indeed, the lie has been spun by the enemy and millions have fallen in to the trap as it relates to the observance and celebration of Halloween. But how must truth seeking believers in Messiah fall out on the issue of Halloween?
halloweencity
 In this episode of It’s Not As You Perceive, I examine Halloween in light of what we know of its origin and history as well as I seek to answer this question by examining portions of the Scripture. Come. Let’s reason together on the topic of Halloween. This is It’s Not As You Perceive–Episode 48–Halloween, Christianity and the Bible.
What is Halloween

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwn, -ˈn, ˌhɑːl-/; a contraction of “All Hallows‘ Evening“),[6] also known as Allhalloween,[7] All Hallows’ Eve,[8] or All Saints’ Eve,[9] is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast ofAll Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide,[10] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints(hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.[11] Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.”[12]

According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals,[13][14] with possible paganroots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain.[8][15][16]

Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity.[35][36] Indeed, Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”.[37] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain“, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”.[35]
Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year.[41][42] … it was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) could more easily come into our world and were particularly active.[43][44] At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.
  • Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left for the Aos Sí.[47][48][49][50] The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes.[51] Places were set at the dinner table or by the fire to welcome them.[52] The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night or day of the year seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world.[53]
  •  Special bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, and were also used for divination.[40][41]
How did Halloween Become a Bedfellow to Christianity?
 
“My Catholic Faith” by Louis LaRavoire Morrow (My Mission House, 1963)
  • The pagan festival of the dead continued to be observed until the 6th c. when it was integrated slowly into Christian practice
  • Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) advised the Archbishop of Canterbury to retain the Druid sacrifices and celebrate them in honor of Christian saints
  • The Holy Roman Church introduced “All Saints’ Day” on May 13, 609 AD to commemorate all those saints and martyrs who had no special day of recognition. Then in the 8th c. the day was moved from May 13th to November 1st to counteract the pagan celebrations held on that same day.
    • “All Saints’ Day” falls on November 1st for the Roman Catholic Church and on this day “the Church honors the Angels and Saints in heaven”
      • commemoration of the Saints in heaven who have not been officially canonized by the Church and who are not commemorated during the year
    • Then in the 9th c. the Roman Church  began holding a Eucharist of reconciliation for those dead who had not been named among the saints
  • “All Souls’ Day” falls on November 2nd for the Roman Catholic Church and it is a day that “commemorates all the souls in purgatory”
    • masses and prayers are offered that the “souls in purgatory may be released
      • 10th c. “All Soul’s Day” was added to the Roman Catholic calendar for November 2nd (annually) for the souls still suffering in purgatory.
      • Thus, all souls day was celebrated by the visiting of cemeteries and setting out “soul cakes” (currant buns), wine, tobacco and gifts for the dead became a popular practice.
      • People would go from house to house begging for these soul cakes. The recipients would offer up prayers for the souls of the contributors’ dead relatives which became known as “souling”
    • All Souls’ Day was not included in the church calendar during the protestant reformation (although it was restored to the calendar in 1928)
    • All Souls’ Day is a day of prayer for the dead, particularly but not exclusively one’s relatives. In Western Christianity the annual celebration is now held on 2 November and is associated with All Saints’ Day (1 November) and its vigil, Hallowe’en (31 October).[2] In the liturgical books of the western Catholic Church (the Latin Church) it is called The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, and is celebrated annually on 2 November, even if this date falls on a Sunday.[3] In Anglicanism it is called Commemoration of All Faithful Departed and is an optional celebration.[4] In the Eastern Orthodox Church and the associated Eastern Catholic Churches, it is celebrated several times during the year and is not associated with the month of November. Beliefs and practices associated with All Souls’ Day vary widely among Christian churches and denominations.

      At the Reformation the celebration of All Souls’ Day was fused with All Saints’ Day in the Church of England, though it was renewed individually in certain churches in connection with the Catholic Revival of the 19th century. The observance was restored with the publication of the 1980 Alternative Service Book, and it features in Common Worship as a Lesser Festival called “Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)”.

      Among continental Protestants its tradition has been more tenaciously maintained. Even Luther’s influence was not sufficient to abolish its celebration in Saxony during his lifetime; and, though its ecclesiastical sanction soon lapsed even in the Lutheran Church, its memory survives strongly in popular custom. In the Methodist Churchsaints refer to all Christians and therefore, on All Saint’s Day, the Church Universal, as well as the deceased members of a local congregation are honoured and remembered.
  • October 31st is called “All Hallowed Eve” or “holy evening”
  • Druids developed and held to the concept of disembodied souls that roamed the earth having not gained entrance into heaven
  • Once again we see the glaring compromise of the Romish Church: the union of the Christian with the heathen festivals as the Church conquered its pagan rivals
    • “The inflexible Protestantism of the primitive missionaries…exchanged for the supple policy, the easy tolerance, the comprehensive charity of shred ecclesiastics, who clearly perceived that if Christianity [Catholicism] was to conquer the world it could do so only by relaxing the too rigid principles of its Founder, by widening a little the narrow gate which leads to salvation” (Sir James George Frazer–“The Golden Bough”)
  • Halloween or All Hallowed Even” was rejected by the English Puritans in America as a Catholic and pagan holiday. For 200-years the holiday never took hold in America; at least not until the Irish potato famine of the 1840s when 1000s of Irish immigrants migrated to America, bringing this pagan custom with them
    • Halloween has become a night of fun and festivities, different from it being a night of fearing wandering demons in its earlier make-up
    • Focus is on children
  • Celebration finds its significance in modern society as:
  1. Wicca and Satanist High Sabbath–it is described as their holiest day of the year and in many realms a serious celebration takes place on that day/night. Halloween represents or marks the end and beginning their occult year; the beginning of death and destruction typically associated with winter; the underworld unleashes its spirits and thus they are free to roam the earth; it is a time to call upon spirits. The Wiccans and Satanists find solid links with Samhein as they believe that the “veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest and communications with the spirit realm is much easier. Modern Wiccans have been known to assemble in circles and dance nude, calling upon spirits to visit their gathering. Satanists take it to another level. Satanists have been known to sacrifice small animals and large animals and even people in the name of Satan and all that is unholy
  2. Concentration on Darkness
  3. Focus on death
  4. Commercial and Festive Appeal–multi-billion dollar holiday industry
  5. Dabble in the Spirit Realm
  6. Demonic Influence
  7. Idolatry is Occultism
  8. Trick or treating is the modern equivalent of the ancient custom of people visiting their neighborhood homes on Halloween night to represent the dead in search of food. Those who give out the treat are as those in times past who attempted to appease Hecate and other nighttime demonic powers. Hecate was a goddess of the underworld
  9. the wearing of costumes, especially those of devils and other occult characters symbolize evil spirits seeking after mischief in the night as well as attempts at scaring away evil spirits in the night
  10. The creation of Jack-O-Lanterns with burning candles hearken back to a time when these objections/creations were carved and placed in front of and around homes in Gaelic territories for purposes of frightening away evil spirits
Views by Certain Christian Leaders and the Prevailing Christian Attitude Regarding Halloween
  • What does Scripture Say Regarding Observances Such as Halloween and What His Chosen Must Do?
  • Halloween is an occult holiday and in some realms even a holy day. Thus everything that is wicked, especially evil spiritual entities and concepts, are in essence objects of worship:
    • 14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; 16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. (Exo 34:14-17; cf. 20: 3, 5)
      • Yehovah prepares the Children of Promise for eventual conquest and habitation of the land. He warns them to become ensnared in any alliances or covenants with the peoples in these conquered lands; destroy their alters and idols; do not inquire as to their religion/gods; and do not erect any graven images of other elohims for Yehovah is a jealous God
      • Yehovah demands our strict attention as He is a jealous God who will recompense judgment upon those who cheat on Him with other religions and gods (Deu. 4: 24)
    •  15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.1 20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. (Deu 4:15-20 KJV)
      • what about our personal Horebs?
      • have you seen the trappings of the holiday?
      • Yehovah has brought us out of Egypt (Babylon) and taken us through the crucible of life’s wilderness for one purpose and that is to be a unique peoples, wholly acceptable to Him and to be a light to the world; kings and priests; different from the rest of the world’s nations
    •  19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.  20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. (Deu 8:19-20 KJV)
      • There are consequences when we dabble in such practices and traditions as Halloween
    • Deu 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
      • It is therefore Yehovah and Yehovah alone we must worship
    • 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (Mat 15:7-9 KJV)
      • When church leaders like Alan Ruydnick and Mary Fairchild teach that Halloween must be incorporated into a Believer’s life and evangelistic outreach efforts, they are making themselves the very focus of Yeshua’s discussion here
    •  23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:23-24 KJV)
  • A central theme of Halloween is death and Yehovah strictly forbid us to not place any concentrated focus or give credence to the dead:
    • I haven’t eaten any of this food when mourning, I haven’t put any of it aside when unclean, nor have I given any of it for the dead. I have listened to what ADONAI my God has said, and I have done everything you ordered me to do. (Deu 26:14 CJB)
      • Our Father is only interested in life and the propagation and salvation of life whenever possible
    •  5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? (Psa 6:5 KJV)
    •  10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecc 9:10 KJV)
  • Another central theme of Halloween is witches and again, Yehovah has condemn witches to die–case closed
    • Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exo 22:18 KJV)
    • Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
  • Yehovah was clear that we are not to adopt any pagan practices
    •  9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (Deu 18:9 KJV)
      • Some traditions and practices seem harmless and in many cases fun (Halloween), beautiful (Christmas) and majestic (Easter). Yet these all have pagan origin and regardless how innocent and how much the Church has over the years attempted to cover up the truth behind these holidays and traditions and paint over top of them a portrait of Christianity, those of us who know better but choose to participate are playing a fool’s game.
  • Halloween has been called a good, clean, wholesome, family centered holiday. Millions of Churches participate or give credence to the day, encouraging their members to celebrate this evil night. But Yehovah has warned us:
    • 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!1 (Isa 5:20 KJV)
  • Halloween is a time of darkness and fear. However, we serve a God of light
    •  5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1Jo 1:5-7 KJV)

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It’s Not As You Perceive 45-Jesus’ Earthly Family

Now the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) was drawing near. Yeshua’s brothers said to him, “Depart from here and go into Yehudaea that your other disciples also may see the works that you do. For there is no man that does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known openly. If you are really going to do this declare yourself to the world,” (For neither did His brothers believe in Him.)
Eisenman Book

How often have we been taught or have heard teachings or messages from Yehovah’s anointed (or for that matter non-anointed) teachers stipulating that Yeshua’s family did not believe Him to be the Messiah-especially Yeshua’s brothers. Time and time again, this passage, along with Mark 3:21 (And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”), are used to put forth a doctrine or belief system that contends Yeshua’s earthly family had serious reservations and doubts as to Yeshua’s Messiah-ship. But what if I were to tell you and show you that this doctrine and belief system is likely a great hoax, a tremendous falsehood, and possibly even a tool used by the enemy to put forth misleading information about Yeshua’s earthly support system? Would you have a change of heart on this issue? Or would tradition prevail over reason and true rational scholarship? You be the judge. But for what its worth, for this moment, consider what I have to tell you absent any denominationalism or traditions. Just maybe you will see Yeshua from an entirely different perspective and praise Yehovah for His amazing grace and truth.

This is a combined episode of Torah Living and It’s Not as you Perceive Tabor Bookand a special Feast of Tabernacle discussion–Yeshua’s/Jesus’ Earthly Family Dismissed.

I am writing and recording this episode while vacationing and celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in beautiful Aruba. While enjoying these Fall Feasts of the Lord (Yehovah), I came upon event 125 of Michael Rood’s Chronological Gospels which corresponded to the 11th Day of the 7th Month, 4027 from creation or Wednesday, October 1, 27 CE. The event is titled “Yeshua’s (Jesus’) family leaves for the Feast of Tabernacles, found in John 7. I hadn’t read this particular passage in quite some time, but upon reading it this time, I was struck by verses 4 and 5 which read: “For there is no man that does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known openly. If you are really going to do this, declare yourself to the world. (For neither did His brothers believe in Him.)

Now for years I’d heard that this particular passage documented, sadly speaking that is, that Yeshua’s family saw Him as an impostor or at the very least a “nut-case.” I recall that Mark 3:21 was often added to this equation, which reads: “And when His family heard it, they went out to seize Him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of His mind.'” I must admit, any casual reading of this passage would certainly suggest that Yeshua’s family had some serious issues with Him and His ministry. I fell into this mindset lock-stock-and-barrel and said to myself, what else could these passages mean if not that Yeshua’s family had issues with Him and they did not support His ministry? Furthermore, I’d never heard definitively that Yeshua even had any siblings. All I’d known for decades was that Yeshua had a mother by the name of Mary who conceived Him miraculously without the union of a male seed to her ovum or egg; that the conception was through the agency of the Holy Spirit/Ruach Kodesh. Additionally there was Joseph, who had been betrothed to Mary at the time of Mary’s miraculous conception. Yet Joseph was led by an angel to stay with Mary in spite of what would appear to anyone else on the planet as Mary having messed around and gotten herself pregnant  with another man’s baby outside of marriage. Beyond this couple and subsequently Yeshua, there was no one else in that immediate family, despite siblings being recorded in the Gospel record of Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3. Yet this reality, this fact, to my knowledge, has rarely been taught or expounded upon.

It wasn’t until I happened upon Robert Eisenman’s book, “James the Brother of Jesus” and James Tabor’s book, “The Jesus Dynasty” that this whole idea of Yeshua being without earthly family to emotionally and physically support Him was challenged. I learned, shockingly so, that indeed, Yeshua had both male and female siblings who supported Him in His ministry. In fact, James the Less or James son of Alphaeus (as recorded in some Gospel accounts), is today believed to be Yeshua’s brother whom Yeshua gave charge over the ministry after Yeshua’s resurrection. Not only that, Yeshua called James and another brother (granted these were half-brothers) Jude (or Judas–not Judas Iscariot) to be two of His inner circle of 12-disciples who would later go on to be Apostles and who would pen epistles under their respective names–reference 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. (Luk 6:13-16 KJV)  Don’t get thrown off regarding James being the son of Alphaeus–I’ll speak to “the son of Alphaeus” in just a bit. In addition, Yeshua seems to have had a sister by the name of Salome (reference Mark 15:40).

Upon coming across this information from two obvious non-believers in Messiah, I was floored. Not just floored, I was angry. I was angry that Churchianity seemed to go out of its way to teach that Yeshua/Jesus either had no siblings or the siblings He had did not think much of Him; that they doubted His Messiah-ship and even thought Him to be insane; this false doctrine and tradition is still today being taught in the Christian Church? Why? I have a good answer to that. But before I expound on the why, let me first say that I respect both Eisenman and Tabor. They are outstanding scholars in their own right. However, I must say that I do not accept the vast majority of the material that they’ve written in their respective books, specifically their negative commentaries on the miraculous conception and their seeming denials of Yeshua’s sonship to Yehovah/God. These gentlemen come from a pure scholarly perspective and they do not hold to any belief that Yeshua is The Messiah, the son of Yehovah. In fact, Tabor insinuates that Mary was impregnated by a Roman soldier (I believe that’s whom he asserts is Yeshua’s father) and he gives absolutely no credibility to Yehovah’s Ruach in the conception story. But I’m okay with that. Neither Eisenman nor Tabor pull any punches and they are both transparent in their assertions. So you know what you’re getting when you read their content. That being said, however, doesn’t mean that some of their content isn’t spot on in terms of truth. If one is to then take what these gentlemen put out in their books and contrast their content with the content of our Bibles, one will come to truth one way or another–assuming we bring no denominational or manmade traditional thinking influences to the discussion. So enough about Eisenman and Tabor for now.

So back to the why. Why has Churchianity gone to such great lengths to obscure the individuals in Yeshua’s earthly family? There are some very good reasons why and it all comes down to the mindset and perspectives of the early church fathers. The truth about Yeshua’s family was apparently well known for at least the first 3-centuries of the Church. By the 4th century a significant shift occurred in understanding of the Faith by Christian scholars and adherents. A few relevant events occurred during this period: (1) the Catholic Church by this time completely disavowed anything having to do with Judaism; (2) asceticism (that is viewing the carnal or material world as something to be shunned for that of the spiritual) began to take hold in various sectors of the Church; and (3) the doctrine of the immaculate conception and perpetual virginity of Mary took center-stage in the Faith, explaining away any chance that Yeshua had siblings and elevating Mary to a divine status in the Faith. Most would argue that this 3rd point is only relevant to the Catholic religion. But when one starts to peel away the layers of the onion which translates into the layers upon layers of lies that have been perpetrated upon the Body over the centuries, one can see very clearly that Catholicism’s influences remain in place even today in protestantism. I mean: the very fact that most Believers have no idea that Yeshua had siblings (again, half-siblings) should be indicative of this fact. Furthermore, the fact that most Believers have no inkling that the Apostles James and Jude were Yeshua’s brothers and held key roles in the first century Church and Jerusalem Council as referenced in Acts 15, is inexcusable when the information is readily out there for all to grab on to. Why does this matter? Well, maybe to most of us knowing the true disposition of Yeshua’s family towards Him and His ministry is not important or relevant to our faith and walk with Messiah. Indeed, our focus must be on our relationship with Messiah. I absolutely adhere and believe that with my whole heart. But, when we settle for the fodder that is taught to us by our church leaders without ever having the inclination to know or seek out the truth for ourselves, we are all then destined to or prone to accept whatever is put before us as long as it has some hint of ecclesiastical authority, so to speak. For me, knowing that Yeshua didn’t just rise from the dead, hang out with His disciples for 40-days, give a farewell speech on the Mount of Olives and then ascend to heaven to be with His Father without any organization to the Faith He Himself delivered to His chosen 11-disciples, tells me that this thing is serious enough and organized enough and it was not left to happenstance or some nebulous set of circumstances that we attribute to the work of the Ruach Kodesh. Indeed, the Ruach was key to the establishment of the true Faith once delivered. But there were plans within plans set in place by the Father before the foundation of time. Understanding just a small portion of this plan makes for me a much richer experience and closer walk with Messiah. Knowing the truth of the matter, so to speak, and not being blinded or fooled by the lies of the enemy is vital to every Believer. Understanding the truth of the whole matter of our Faith-especially matters related to our spiritual heritage-will be vital to our overcoming the tribulous (my word) times ahead.

So what about the issue of James being named as the son of Alphaeus? Well, certain scholars contend (and I happen to believe much of what they’ve uncovered in their research) that Joseph-the step-father to Yeshua and husband to Yeshua’s mother-likely died early on in Yeshua’s life. Assuming this was the case, Hebrew-Levirate Law provided for Mary/Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, to marry the eldest, unmarried brother of Joseph, have children by him, and thus carry on the lineage of Joseph. We know from various passages of the Gospels that Yeshua’s earthly parents were obedient to Torah and thus it would not be a stretch that if Joseph had passed away early on and during Miriam’s childbearing years Mary would have married one of Joseph’s brothers. The name Cleophas (also rendered Clopas in certain other translations) comes up in John 19:25 as being the husband of one of the women at the foot of the cross that held our Beloved Savior. The passage reads: These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. (Joh 19:25 ASV) The key areas of this verse I’d like to point your attention towards is “..standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” A casual reading of this verse would lead us to believe that there were 3-woman at the cross–(1) Mary, Yeshua’s mother; (2) Mary the wife of Clopas, the sister of, assuming it to be, Mary, Yeshua’s mother; and (3) Mary Magdalene. Thus we’d be led to believe there were 3-Marys at the foot of the cross. Question: what are the chances that there would be siblings in a Jewish home in the first century bearing the same name of Mary? Not likely. Could there be something in the structure or wording of this verse or, for that matter, could there have been some giggery pokery done in the translation? As uncomfortable as these suggestions might be, we must be seekers of truth first and not cemented to what is always staring us in the face. Bear in mind, there were agendas afoot in the centuries leading up to the final development and compilation of the canon or the books that would make up our Bible. We know from ancient copies of the Book of Matthew for instance, originally written in Hebrew, that some passages we read in our modern translations do not necessarily match certain ancient manuscripts of the same passages in questions. Thus, one must conclude that when reading and or studying scripture we should be cognizant of the translation and wary of parenthetical inserts to many biblical passages such as the passage cited in the introduction of this episode. Now before some of you get your self-righteous, “the Bible is the infallible Word of God”, panties in a bunch, I’m not saying we should throw out bibles into the trash heap. All I’m saying is that we must consider the Truth as related to how we got our bibles, especially in relation to the various religious agendas that existed in the early days of the creation of the Canon or books that make up our bibles. There are hundreds and even thousands of discrepancies that exist between extant (existing manuscripts), some of those differences are due to translational challenges while others include actual inserts and deletions of content. Thus the prudent student will always employ sound exegetical practices (including contextual application of each passage being studied) when studying the Bible along with a perpetual seeking of the Spirit to lead him or her to all truth.

But back to the issue of the 3 Marys. Let’s go over to a companion verse recording this event at the foot of the cross, found in Mark 15:40. This verse reads as follows: And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Mar 15:40 ASV) . Ah, we seem to have a conflict here: instead of 3-Marys at the foot of the cross as recorded in John’s account, Mark’s account records the presence of just 2-Marys–(1) Mary Magdalene and (2) Mary the mother of Jame the less, Joses and Salome (likely Yeshua’s sister). Does this disagreement between the two verses mean there is a discrepancy in the gospel records related to the true identities of the Mary’s at the foot of the cross? No, not necessarily. It goes back to how the translators of both books and the way the verses record or state the information. Mark’s account seems quite basic: Mary of Magdalene and Mary, whom we’ve concluded to be the mother of Yeshua as well as the mother of James, Joses and Salome. John’s account uses a lot of commas and “ands” to report the Marys. But if we were to read closely, we could very easily scale away an extra Mary if we keep in mind that translators were not interested in putting forth any information that would show that Yeshua had a supportive family, or for that matter, a flesh and blood family apart from Mary and Joseph. So in order to make things work in accordance to their way of thinking, unsavory or simply unknowing and misinformed translators could have very easily inserted in John’s account “…and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas…” Notice that “and his mother’s sister” was not clearly delineated, thus leading the casual reader to conclude that we’re talking about Mary, the mother of Yeshua. But then again, what are the chances that 2 Marys existed in one family as sisters? It just doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t meet the criteria of what we know to be common Jewish family practices. But then when we go back over to Mark’s account, Mary the mother of Yeshua is not even tied to Yeshua as His mother, but only mentioned as being the mother of James, Joses and Salome. Could this be another attempt to hide the fact that Mary, the mother of Yeshua, had other children besides Yeshua? Or maybe translators were once again confused by the writings of Mark and thus they defaulted to translating these things according to their own limited understanding of the situation at hand and basic Jewish culture and practices of the first century. But then, if we step back and look at things within the framework of the Hebrew roots of our Faith, we can fairly presume, that the Mary of Mark’s account, who was the mother of James, Joses and Salome, was indeed Yeshua’s mother. Then if we keep in mind that Joseph is nowhere mentioned in the Gospel account beyond the early childhood years of Yeshua and the immediate family’s return to Judea from Egypt after the death of Herod, we must concede to the likelihood that Mary, the mother of Yeshua, remarried and bore children by her new husband. Beyond the couple’s return to Judea after the death of Herod the biblical record is silent about Joseph. Even when the family goes up to Jerusalem for a feast as recorded in Luke 2, Joseph is not specifically mentioned, although I’m not so dogmatic in thinking that Joseph had passed away that early in Yeshua’s earthly life. But suffice to say, it is clear that Joseph leaves the scene at some point early in Yeshua’s life–either via premature death (most likely) or divorce (unlikely, knowing the caliber of man Joseph seems to have been according to the Holy writ).

Assuming Joseph died early on in Yeshua’s and Mary’s life, we know that in Jewish culture of that day, that it was not a desirable thing for a woman, especially still in her childbearing years, to remain unmarried, especially when Levirate Laws permitted or encouraged marriage to the deceased husband’s oldest living unmarried brother to carry on the lineage of the deceased brother. This then would presume that Joseph failed to father a child through Mary, the mother of Yeshua. Thus, could this Clopas or Cleophas as cited in the Mark and Johannine passages above, be one of Joseph’s brothers and thus the new husband to Mary, the mother of Yeshua? Furthermore, certain websites tie the name Alphaeus with Cleophas or Clopas, indicating that both names are of Aramaic origin and according to biblestudy.org, the letters “phas” that end the word Cleophas could be the same as the “phaeus” part of the name Alphaeus. Both endings sound phonetically alike.

debatingchristianity.com, a moderate anti-orthodox-traditional-christian website, interestingly states, “Mary remarried and bore James the younger of 3-biological sons, to Alphaeus/Cleophas, who had sired 2-sons to a previous marriage and they were Simeon and Jude, the 2-stepbrothers of Jesus, we must now ask the question, did Joseph, Mary’s first husband and father to young Joseph the 2nd son of Mary of whom we know so little die, or was he still alive at the time of the death of Jesus, Mary’s first born son?” The author of this article paints a very interesting scenario, but then, he/she also states that the woman who was caught in the act of adultery by the mob and rescued by Yeshua from certain death at the hands of said mob, was Mary, the mother of Yeshua. I imagine that you’d agree with me that this scenario was indeed a stretch and even bordering on heretical. But then, even the most heretical of the lot can have something good to add to any biblical discussion. In this case, the author of this article gives us good material in which to draw some conclusion as to the likely make-up of Yeshua’s earthly family and the successors to the True Faith once delivered to the first century saints by Yeshua Hamaschiach/Jesus Christ.

One thing before I close this discussion. I want to comment on the parenthetical statement found in verse 5 of John 7 which reads: “(For neither did His brothers believe in Him).” From this discussion, I believe I made a sufficient case in favor of Yeshua’s family’s support of not only Him as a person and His Messiah-ship, but also His ministry. That being the case, this parenthetical statement makes no sense. In fact, this parenthetical statement seems to contradict all that I’ve presented above and support a fractured family structure to our blessed Savior. We know without much debate that James and Jude were brothers of Yeshua and were 2 of His inner circle of 12. Furthermore, we know that Mary and likely Yeshua’s sister, Salome, was at the foot of the cross during the Master’s crucifixion. Lastly, the record shows that one of the primary things that Yeshua instructed  Mary of Magdalene to do as recorded in the Book of John: 17 “Stop holding onto me,” Yeshua said to her, “because I haven’t yet gone back to the Father. But go to my brothers, and tell them that I am going back to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

18 Miryam of Magdala went to the talmidim with the news that she had seen the Lord and that he had told her this. (Joh 20:17-18 CJB)

Now many will contend that the “…but go to my brothers…” is speaking about Yeshua’s disciples. This could be true. But knowing what we’ve just established about Yeshua’s siblings and family support of His ministry would rather suggest that Yeshua was telling Mary to go and inform His actual brothers, James and Jude, of His resurrection.

Oh, and regarding the Mark passage that seemingly records an incident whereby Yeshua’s family members attempt to seize Him from the midst of a group of followers citing that Yeshua was out if His mind? What if I were to tell you that Mark’s rendering of Yeshua being out of His mind is interpreted improperly by us in the west. Furthermore, taking this particular verse at face value without benefit of looking at the verse via the full context of the entire recorded passage would naturally lead one to a misunderstanding of that verse. As the context reveals, Yeshua had become so immersed in teaching the ever growing crowds that flocked to hear Him, He had actually begun to neglect His own well being, even to the point of not eating. Members of His family come on scene and become concerned about His well being and attempt to render care to the Master. This event actually had nothing to do with Yeshua’s family members seeing Him as a kook. Again, poor Biblical exegesis and subsequent teachings, doctrines and traditions have led many well meaning believers down a wrong path, away from Truth. This doesn’t only apply to modern teachers, but also to the myriad of scholars, translators and church fathers who have taken liberties with the Bible record. Today, we have unparalleled access to knowledge. There is no excuse for men to remain in bondage to false teachings. Yet many will, for whatever reason stick to what they’ve been taught in their Sunday houses of worship and never take the opportunity to dive deep and learn the truth for themselves, absent of denominationalism and tradition. Many hold to a mind set of “all I need is Jesus and Him crucified”, thus openly admitting that they are too lazy to learn for themselves the vast riches contained in the Word of God.

I contend that it is those of us who are constantly seeking Truth and who apply those truths to our lives and our walk with Messiah who shall triumph in the end and enter the Kingdom of God. When Yeshua taught, He taught in parables. Yeshua interpreted those parables only to those who sought after His direct interpretation. All the others-the vast majority-simply left without ever fully understanding what the Master meant by His parables. Others hung out, hoping to receive a meal, never caring about the spiritual food that Yeshua was providing. Where do we as individual Believers fall out in this equation?

Bottom line Saints: I’m not trying to perpetrate some new doctrine or teaching on the family of Jesus the Christ. My intentions here were to put forth to you information that I’ve come across and hope that you take that information and do your own studies on this issue. The bigger point here is to expose some of the lies and falsehoods that have been foisted upon Christianity for the last 2,000-years. I believe there has been a well-crafted agenda to hide from us the real Yeshua and put in His place a paganizedfictionized, watered-down version of the true Messiah. If we are not willing to face truth and kick to the curb lies, then our faith is for naught.

I hope and pray that this message has been an eye-opener for you as it was for me when I first came across this information some 3-years ago. I must say that I love having the opportunity to come before you with such important content that I trust will be a blessing to you and enhance your walk with Yeshua Messiah. Until next time, may you be most blessed fellow Saints in training. Shalom.

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