Saturday, December 24, 2005

Hanukah begins at Sundown Dec 25th

Shalom,

To Those celebrating the Feast of Dedication (Hanukah), Blessings and Shalom to you.

The Feast begins Dec 25th at Sundown, the Shamash candle & candle 1 are to be lit.

Remeber load the Hanakiah (9 candle menorah used for Hanukah) from right to left, but lite the candles from left to right.

Blessings

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Hanukah or Chanukah

Shalom,

A Messianic Believers we seek to pracitce as the Talmidim (Disciples) of Yeshua (Jesus) did in the early days after His resurection. As such, we celebrate Hanukah (Chanukah) not Christmas. This is for 2 primary reasons: 1. we believe there is sufficent evidence to show Yeshua was born on or about Sukkot (Sept - Oct) not December, and 2. Scripture commands many feasts to be held, and Yeshua Himself celebrate these Feasts so we celebrate the Feasts He celebrated. G-d never commanded man to celebrate Messiah's birth.

Having said that, Hanukah is not "Jewish Christmas" but a totally wonderful celebration of G-d's deliverence from the forces of evil and saving His people Israel!

Hanukah - The Feast of Dedication!
Bringing of Light, the festival of Hanukah is held in December. On each day of the festival a new candle is lit on the menorah, a nine branched candlestick. Candles are place into the menorah from right to left, with the center "Shamash" (servant) candle and the right most candle being used the first night. The candles are lit left to right, so the Shamash candle is lit first, then all other candles. It is tradition to light the candles before the festive meal each night.

History (compliments of Beth Adonai)
Hanukah or Chanukah means “dedication”, referring to the rededication of the Temple after a great Jewish military victory in 165 BCE This feast did not originate with Moses, nor is it even mandated in the Bible. It is found in the books of First and Second Macabees in the Apocrypha, the books written in the 400 year “silence” between the Tenach (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament). God was not silent in these years however. He was still at work fulfilling His promises and preserving His people. Furthermore, there are good Biblical reasons to celebrate this feast. The first is that Yeshua observed this holiday:



John 10:22-23 “Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter and Yeshua was in the Temple area walking in Solomon’s colonnade.”


Secondly, the events at Hanukkah were prophesied centuries before by Daniel:


Daniel 11:3-4 “Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.” The “mighty king” was Alexander the Great. Then Daniel goes on to describe another person who would succeed Alexander...


Daniel 11:21-28 “...a despicable person....and his heart will be set against the Holy Covenant...”


Daniel 11: 31 “His forces will desecrate the sanctuary and do away with the regular sacrifice, and they will set up the abomination of desolation.” This prophecy accurately describes Antioch IV who reigned 175 - 164 BCE. His reign was one of many throughout history that tried to wipe out the Jewish people. The survival, however, of the Jewish people is a firm testimony of God’s faithfulness...


Genesis 12:3

“...All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Yeshua, the Messiah of all mankind, would come through the Jewish bloodline.


Antiochus wanted everyone to be united under Greek Hellenism, thus he was not at all tolerant of the Jews.


Daniel 11:36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will. He shall exalt and magnify himself above all gods and speak blasphemies against the God of Gods.”



The king called himself “Antiochus Epiphanies” which means “visible god”. He made people bow down to his statues and if they didn’t comply.....the consequence was death! Social and political pressures caused some Jews to follow Antiochus and they actually bowed down to his statues (doesn’t sound Jewish to me).



Daniel 11:32 “...by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the Covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”



Many Jews took the easy way out and tried to “go Greek”. Others understood that assimilation and elimination of Jewish worship, sacrifices and traditions would be the destruction of Judaism itself...making God a liar! The Jewish people faced persecution. Antiochus’ heavily armed soldiers were sent out to force people to worship the king and make sacrifices (pigs) on the holy altar. This was the “abomination” that Daniel spoke of. The penalty for resistance was death. Antiochus’ actions foreshadowed Hitler’s axiom toward the Jews:



First: “You can’t live among us as Jews.”

Then: “You can’t live among us.”

Finally: “You can’t live.”


In 167 BCE soldiers came to Modin outside Jerusalem to force Greek worship on an influential Jewish family led by Matathias and his 5 sons. Matathias would not forsake his faith. He tore down the Greek altar and drove off the soldiers with the battle cry, “Whoever is for the Lord, follow me!” This was the beginning of the Jewish rebellion. The Jewish people knew they were up against great odds, but their banner was “Who among the mighty is like Thee, o God?” (“Mee Kamocha B’aleem Adonoi!”) The name for the Jewish heroes of Hanukkah comes from using the first letters of these Hebrew words to form “Macabee”. Matathias’ oldest son was nicknamed “Judah Macabee”....the hammer....because he fought so hard. The battle was difficult for untrained Jewish farmers against the well equipped Syrian soldiers.


Daniel 11:32 says: “...the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.”



The real miracle of Hanukkah is that a few, with God on their side, triumphed over a multitude of powerful enemies. Remember: “God’s people + God = VICTORY!


Zechariah 4:6 “...not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Haftorah reading for Hanukkah Shabbat)


On the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the date we celebrate Hanukkah, the Macabees won back Jerusalem and the Temple that had been desecrated by Antiochus. This date was also prophesied by



Daniel 8:13-14 “How long will it be until the daily sacrifice is restored again? How long until the desecration of the Temple is avenged and God’s people triumph?’ He replied: “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the Holy Place will be properly restored.” This is a great confirmation that God’s word is true: Historically accurate from the start of Antiochus’ persecution of the Jews in 171 BCE until the restoration of the Temple in 165 BCE......

6 years, 3 1/2 months = 2,300 days!!



How did the tradition of the 8 days and lighting 8 candles begin? When the victorious Macabees began cleaning up the Temple, they found only one small jar of oil for “ner tamid”...only enough for one day. They sent a messenger for more. Meanwhile, the small amount of oil burned miraculously for 8 days. Another explanation for the 8 day observance is that some Rabbis believe it was a delayed celebration of the fall feast of Sukkot, which also lasts for 8 days.



During the time of Yeshua (in John 10:22), people’s minds were focused on themes of deliverance and rededication, oil and light.



John 10: 27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.” Yeshua was promising His people deliverance from sin and death...not just for a season, but for eternity!



Earlier in John 8:12, Yeshua proclaims “I am the light of the world...he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” The people listening to Yeshua understood what He was saying...they knew what God had promised through the prophet:



Isaiah: (9:2) “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”



Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” (“Yeshua” in Hebrew means salvation.) Hanukkah is referred to as the “Festival of Lights” (Hag Haorim) and it was during this season that Yeshua described Himself as the” light of the world”.



A future Hanukkah is described in 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-8 where Paul writes about the second coming of the Lord:

1. Many will turn away from God (as some Jews did who followed Antiochus’ Hellenism).

2. The “son of perdition exalts himself above God” (as Antiochus Epiphanies did).

3. But the Lord will destroy him with the “brightness of His coming”... ( this victory we can all think of when we gaze at the lights of our Hanukkah menorah).

4. The Lord will usher in His millennial kingdom with the overthrow of the “lawless one” in a miraculous way. (A miracle to think about when we retell the Hanukkah story.)



The shamash or “servant” is the candle used to light the other candles of the Hanukkah menorah. Yeshua is our shamash...

.

Matthew 20:28 “...the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many...”

Other traditions:

1. Display your menorah in the window to show God’s miracle to the world.

2. So eat some latkes and donuts already! Oil (the symbol of the Ruach) is associated with the Hanukkah miracle. Fry the latkes in oil and don’t think about the calories....think about the miracle!

3. The draydel: The four Hebrew letters mean “a great miracle happened there”. (nes gadol haya sham) Children play a game with the draydel and each letter has an assigned value: nes (nothing), gadol (all), hayah (half), and sham (put in).

Monday, December 12, 2005

Origins of Christmas

Shalom,

To my Christian Borthers & Sisters who endeavor to celebrate the incarnation of the Word of G-d on earth, blessings an joy for a wonderful celebration. We seek only to challenge believers to remove pagan elements that have entered into certain celebrations & return to faith in G-d and His Messiah.

Origin of Christmas - The Tradition


For today's Believer, Messianic or Christian, Christmas has taken on a traditional meaning, the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. However, most of what we witness on December 25th each year has absolutely nothing to do with that blessed day (probably in late summer or early fall at the feast of Sukkot).



In fact, most of the customs and traditions of Christmas actually pre-date the birth of Yeshua (Jesus), and many of them are deceptive in their meaning and origin.



The Early Church


Christmas was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed, neither by the apostles nor in the early church. It was sufficient for the early Messianic believers that Yeshua, their Lord and Savior, had come in the flesh, the day and the time of His birth had no relevance to them, because Yeshua had returned to heaven. It was the risen, exalted Messiah (Christ) whom they looked to, not to a babe laid in a manger. Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus the Christ) is no longer the "Christ-child," but the exalted Lord of all.



Hislop, in The Two Babylons, noted the rejection of pagan traditions in the early church:

"...within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and...not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it the name of Christ." The Two Babylons, p 93

Vine, in The Collected Writings of W.E. Vine, noted:

"Christianization" of Pagan Customs, Symbols, and Terminology — Christianity had to undergo a transformation so that pagan Rome could "convert" without giving up its old beliefs and rituals. The actual effect was to paganize official Christianity. "'A compound religion had been manufactured, of which ... Christianity furnished the nomenclature, and Paganism the doctrines and rights.' The idolatry of the Roman world, though deposed from its ancient pre-eminence, had by no means been demolished. Instead of this, its pagan nakedness had been covered with the garb of a deformed Christianity" Volume 5. Glasgow, Scotland, 1986, pp.436-439

Where did Christmas Come from?
According to a Roman almanac, the Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Rome by AD 336. In the eastern part of the Roman Empire, however, a festival on January 6 commemorated the manifestation of God in both the birth and the baptism of Jesus, except in Jerusalem, where only the birth was celebrated. During the 4th century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted. In the Armenian Church, a Christmas on December 25 was never accepted; Christ's birth is celebrated on January 6. After Christmas was established in the East, the baptism of Jesus was celebrated on Epiphany, January 6. In the West, however, Epiphany was the day on which the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus was celebrated. Encyclopedia Britannica

In pagan Rome, 300 years after the resurrection of our Lord, there was a yearly feast celebrating the Roman god Saturn. This time of celebration was always situated around the December 17th - 23rd time frame, which was also called the Winter Solstice.

The pagan year is a period of days, months and times that revolve around the seasonal changes of the earth (winter, spring, summer and autumn). The Winter Solstice is a day or period of days in the winter when the days are shortest (light) and the nights longest (darkness prevails). This is usually a time in their festivities of drunkenness, revelry and debauchery (perversion).

The Pagan Romans called this celebration "The Feast of Saturnalia," in honor of their god Saturn. Notice how close the name and sound of SATAN and SATURN are. This festival was celebrated the from the 17th to the 23rd of December. It was a time of merrymaking, and on the last two days exchanging "gifts" from house to house in honor of Saturn.

"Saturnalia"—was the name of an ancient Roman festival given in honor of Saturn, the Roman harvest god. The festival began on Dec.17th and lasted for seven days. On the first day, public religious ceremonies honoring Saturn took place. On the second day, many families offered sacrifices of young pigs. The Saturnalia festival was a gay occasion. Schools closed and all public business stopped. Courts of law closed their doors, and no criminals could be punished. Families held their banquets and even slaves were free to attend the festival. The last days of the festival were spent visiting and exchanging presents. Some of the gifts were little clay images called "sigillaria", which means small images (idols) World Book Encyclopedia

Then on the 25th of December, they began the new Celebration of "The birthday of the unconquerable Sun" (Natalis Solis Invicti). The ancient pagans believed that the sun would die during the winter solstice and then rise again from death as the solstice ended and the days of light began to lengthen, with the sun climbing higher in the sky, regaining its dominance. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Persian/Iranian mystery god Mithras, the Sun of Righteousness, the god of light, the Grand Deliverer. The Sun God Mithras was a popular deity in the Old Roman Empire, whose cult penetrated the Roman world in the first century B.C.

"This festival has been commonly believed to have had only an astronomical character, referring simply to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. But there is indubitable evidence that the festival in question had a much higher influence than this--that it commemorated not merely the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but the birth-day of the grand Deliverer...the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity." Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship, Loizeaux Brothers, 1916, pp. 94, 97

Mithra was known as Horus in Egypt, Tammuz in Babylon and various appellations in other ancient mythologies:

"In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, ‘about the time of the winter solstice.’ The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves - Yule day - proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. ‘Yule’ is the Chaldee name for an ‘infant’ or ‘little child’ and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, ‘Yule-day,’ or the ‘Child’s day,’ and the night which preceded it, ‘Mother-night,’ long before they came into contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birth-day observed." The Two Babylons, pp. 93, 94

"Mother night", which today is called, "Christmas Eve", has nothing to do with Mary, the mother of our Lord, it was observed centuries before Jesus was born. Semiramis (Nimrod's wife) was the inspiration for "Mother night," and "Child's day" was the birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god.

Obviously Satan knew that Jesus would leave heaven and be born of a virgin to become the Saviour, and mediator between God and man, so he created a counterfeit Virgin and child, to confuse the people and take away their worship from God. The counterfeit Virgin was a beautiful witch named Semiramis.

Constantine used religion as a political tool, and started to introduce the Babylonian mystery religions in 313 A.D. which then established a foothold with the holding of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.

In 375 A.D., the Church of Rome under Pope Julius I merely announced that the birth date of Christ had been "discovered" to be December 25th, and was accepted as such by the "faithful." The festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras could now be celebrated as the birthday of Christ, even though the early church fathers, including Origen, stated for the record that it was blasphemous to celebrate this festival. Following the lead of Rome, the Church at Jerusalem commenced the celebration of Christmas, around 440 A.D.

As Messianic believers we should seek G-d's will in all we do. Adonai commanded that we abstain from idols, this includes practicing pagan traditions and calling them "Christian".

Both Christmas and Easter are pagan celebrations and are not the actual days they propose to celebrate. We celebrate the actual days of the birth (Sukkot) and resurrection of Yeshua (First Fruits), which were already G-d ordained Feasts of Israel.

Blessings in Messiah

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Yom Kippur & Rosh Hashanah Pictures

Shalom,

The pictures from Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur are now online.

Yom Teruah \ Rosh Hashanah

Yom Kippur

Blessings

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sukkot 2005 Pictures

Shalom,

The pictures from Sukkot & Simchat Torah have been posted, enjoy!

Sukkot 2005

Simchat Torah

Blessings

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Being G-d's Talmidim Part 3

Shalom!

The conclusion of the series "Being G-d's Talmidim (Disciple)" Part 3 has been posted in audio format.



Blessings

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

BeingG-d's Talmidim Part 2

Shalom,

Part 2 of being G-d's Talmidim(Disciple) has been posted on the Website in audio format.

Being G-d's Talmid Pt2

Blessings

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Being G-d's Talmid (Disciple)

G-d calls us to more than being believers, He calls us to be Talmidim (Disciples). That demands wrapping our life around Him, as opposed to putting Him in a little box we take out once a week.

What G-d wants is our Time, Talent, Treasure & Heart.

Click on the below link for the first of a series of teaching on Being G-d's Talmid.

Being G-d's Talmid Pt1

Friday, October 28, 2005

High Holy Days

Shalom,

We have just completed the High Holy Days. What a blessing. We are tired, but very tahnkful for this time. Pictures will be coming soon, and a link will be posted here.

Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah) - Feast of Trumpets! 94 attended. We also celebrated with Beth Adonai for the Day of services.

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) - 70+ attended. We also celebrated with Beth Adonai for the Day of services.

Sukkot - Feast of Tabernacles - 70+ attended.

SimChat Torah - Rejoicing in the Torah - 70+ attended. Dancing with the Torah! Time of Joy.

Blessings

Monday, October 10, 2005

Restoration - Returning Torah to the Disciples of Jesus

Shalom,

This Book, "Restoration - Returning Torah to the Disciples of Jesus" is in my opionion the Book of the Year!

From the author of Torah Club Volumes 4 & 5 comes the book you have been waiting for, a powerful introduction to Torah, presented in simple and easy to understand terms. Ideal for those who are new to the message of the restoration of God's law, or those who wish to share this message with their Christian brothers and sisters.

Biblical Christianity was originally a sect of Judaism that believed in Jesus and revered the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) as the core of her Scriptures. Restoration is a riveting argument for a return to that original, biblical expression of faith in Jesus.

Discover for yourself the profound beauty of Torah life, the celebration of the biblical Sabbath and the appreciation of God’s Holy Feast Days. Your eyes will be opened to another dimension of the faith that is beginning to re-emerge among Christians worldwide.

Lancaster answers common theological objections to the Torah, while demonstrating that Christians are already keeping more of God’s Law than they realize. This thought provoking, theological boat-rocker is a fun-to-read, inspiring journey into the world of the Bible."

For more information: href="http://www.bethhamashiach.com/bookstore_cbhm4.htm" Restoration - Restoring the Torah to the Disciples of Jesus

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Holocaust Rememberence

Shalom,

We have just posted a Holocaust rememberence on both Yeshua Ha'Mashiach Ministries& Congregation Beth Ha'Mashiach web sites. The pictures are graphic, but help us remember and "Never Forget"! This can never be allowed to happen again! Blessings.

The pictures are graphic, but help us remember and "Never Forget"! This can never be allowed to happen again!

Blessings

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Guest Passover

Shalom,

We had a wonderful Guest Seder Saturday night with 110 people attending. The food was great, and the Messianic Dance Team performed wonderfully to G-d's Glory.

2005 Passover Pictures will be posted shortly. A video will e edited and available.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this a successful outreach. 85 guests attended, with 25 Congregation members seving.

Blessings

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Passover 2005

Shalom,

We has a great family seder with 97 people attending. 93 were Congregation members or regulars and 4 were visitors.

Thanks to everyone for all their help. It was truly a family seder!

Blessings

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pagan Origins of Easter

Introduction

The Church has been celebrating Easter for almost 1700 years, but few in the church are aware of it's origins, and what / who it originally celebrated. We must ask ourselves if G-d is pleased with this celebration. Does it glorify Him and His Son, or does it honor a false god? Please prayerfully consider the following information before making your decision. Remember G-d did not spare Israel when they worshipped false gods. Are we somehow "better" than G-d's chosen people?

The name Easter was never used in the original text of Scripture for the resurrection of Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus The Christ). While many today try to disassociate this celebration from it's pagan roots by referring to it as "Resurrection Sunday", does this celebration have any place amongst Believers or any relevance to Messiah's resurrection?

Origin of Easter - Nimrod, Semiramis (Easter), and Tammuz (the "reborn" Nimrod)

"Easter", many scholars agree, has its root in ancient pagan religion. "Easter" derived from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. The name is actually much older - going back to Babel and it's infamous tower.

The grandson of Noach (Noah), Nimrod, formed the first post-flood kingdom. Jewish tradition indicates that Nimrod was a tyrant "who made all of the people rebellious against God." Nimrod ruled several major cities including Babel, Asshur, Nineveh and Calah (cities known through-out the ancient world for unimaginable perversion).

When Nimrod died, the Babylonian mystery religion continued. His wife Semiramis deified him as the Sun-god. He is known through out pagan religions as Baal, Baalim, Bel, and Molech. Semiramis later gave birth to an illegitimate son named Tammuz (later known in the Roman world as Mithras) , was claimed to be Nimrod "reborn."

Furthermore she claimed that her son was supernaturally conceived and that he was the promised seed, the 'savior' - promised by God. Nimrod was deified as the god of the sun and father of creation. Semiramis became the goddess of the moon and fertility.

In the Mystery cults, the 'savior' Tammuz \ Mithras , was worshipped in spring with pagan rites. According to legend, after Tammuz was killed by a wild boar, he went into the underworld. But through the weeping of his mother (for 40 days - lent) he was resurrected. Each year a spring festival was held to dramatically represent this supposed 'resurrection'.

Thus a false religion developed with sun and moon worship, priests, astrology, demonic worship, worship of stars associated with their gods, idolatry, mysterious rites, human sacrifice, and more.

The spread of Pagan religion

With the destruction on Babel, many people moved away from the area carrying their evil Sun-god based religion with them. They continued to worship the stars and practice all the other pagan rituals of their religion.
Babel was the origin of an idolatrous system that swept the world. The Bible often speaks of the Satanic religions which came from there. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus "witnessed the Mystery religion and its rites in numerous countries and mentions how Babylon was the primeval source from which ALL systems of idolatry flowed.

Many vile and idolatrous practices originated at Babel with Semiramis and Nimrod. Many names were used for this pagan god & goddess as people scattered from Babel. Names for the "Mother Goddess" included: "ISHTAR" (where we get "EASTER"), Eostre, Cebel, Astarte, Ostera, Eastre, Wife of Baal, Ashtaroth, and Queen of Heaven. She was frequently worshipped as the goddess of fertility - a "Mother Nature", goddess of spring, sexuality and birth. She was also worshipped as a mediator between god and man. Sexual orgies and temple prostitutes were often used in her worship and in attempting to gain her favor.

The response of G-d to Queen of Heaven & Tammuz worship as recorded in Scripture.

Can we find evidence of Ishtar (Easter) & Tammuz worship in Holy Scripture? Below are several quotes from the Tanakh (referred to as the "Old Testament" by most Christians), all are from the Complete Jewish Bible (a Messianic translation of the Scriptures maintaining their original Hebrew thought & names). These quotes show how G-d has turned from His people due to their engaging in pagan rituals.

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 7:16-20

16 ¶ “So you, (Yirmeyahu), don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry, pray or intercede on their behalf with me; because I won’t listen to you.
17 Don’t you see what they are doing in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim?
18 The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods!
19 Are they really provoking me, ”asks ADONAI, “or are they provoking themselves, to their own ruin?”
20 Therefore, here is what ADONAI ELOHIM says: “My anger and fury will be poured out on this place, on men, animals, trees in the fields and produce growing from the ground; and it will burn without being quenched.”

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 44:16-23

16 “As for the word you have just spoken to us in the name of ADONAI, we will not listen to you.
17 Instead, we will certainly continue to fulfill every word our mouths have spoken: we will offer incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our ancestors, our kings and our leaders, in the cities of Y’hudah and the streets of Yerushalayim. For then we had plenty of food; everything was fine, we didn’t experience anything unpleasant.
18 But since we stopped offering to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything, and we have been destroyed by sword and famine.”
19 (Then the wives added), “Are we the ones who offer incense to the queen of heaven? Do we pour out drink offerings to her? And did we make cakes marked with her image for her and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ consent?”
20 ¶ Then Yirmeyahu said to all the people –– to the men, the women, and all the people who had answered him back:
21 “The incense you offered in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim –– you, your ancestors, your kings, your leaders and the people of the land –– ADONAI kept remembering and taking note of this (insult),
22 until ADONAI could no longer bear it, so evil and so detestable were your deeds. This is why your land has become a wasteland, an object for astonishment and cursing, uninhabited, as it is today.
23 It is because you offered incense, sinned against ADONAI, didn’t listen to what ADONAI said, and didn’t live by his Torah, regulations and instructions that this disaster has befallen you, as it is today.”

Ezekiel 8:3-18

3 The form of a hand was put out, which took me by a lock of my hair; and a spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me, in these visions from God, to Yerushalayim, to the entrance of the inner (courtyard) gate that faces north. There stood the idol that (arouses God’s) jealousy and provokes (his) zealous indignation.
4 There before me was the glory of the God of Isra’el, as in the vision I had seen in the valley.
5 Then he said to me, “Human being, raise your eyes toward the north.” I raised my eyes toward the north and saw, north of the Altar Gate, this image that (arouses God’s) jealousy in the entryway.
6 He asked me, “Human being, do you see what they are doing, the horribly disgusting practices that the house of Isra’el is committing here, so that I must distance myself from my own sanctuary? But you will see even worse abominations.”
7 ¶ He brought me to the entrance of the courtyard; and when I looked, I saw a hole in the wall.
8 He said to me, “Human being, dig into the wall.” After digging in the wall, I saw a door.
9 “Go in, ”he said, “and see the wicked practices they are engaged in here.”
10 So I went in and looked, and there, carved on the walls all around, were every kind of reptile and repulsive animal, along with all the idols of the house of Isra’el.
11 Standing in front of them were seventy of the leading men of the house of Isra’el –– in the center stood Ya’azanyahu the son of Shafan. Each man had his incense–burner in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up.
12 Then he said to me, “Human being, did you see what the leaders of the house of Isra’el are doing in the dark, each one in the room of his own carved image, because they say, ‘ADONAI can’t see us; ADONAI has left the land.’?”
13 ¶ He also said to me, “You will see even worse abominations that they are doing.”
14 He brought me to the entrance of the north gate to ADONAI‘ s house; and there before me were women weeping for Tammuz.
15 “Human being, ”he asked me, “have you seen this? You will see practices even more disgusting than these.”
16 He brought me into the inner courtyard of ADONAI‘ s house; and there, at the entrance to the temple of ADONAI, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty–five men with their backs toward the temple of ADONAI and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east.
17 He asked me, “Human being, have you seen this? Does the house of Y’hudah consider it a casual matter that they commit the disgusting practices they are committing here, thus filling the land with violence, provoking me still more? Look! They are even putting the branch to their nose!
18 Therefore I will act in fury, my eye will not spare, I will have no pity. Even if they cry loudly right in my ears, I will not listen to them.”


The Ishtar (Easter) Egg & the Ishtar (Easter) Bunny

Where did the Ishtar Egg originate: 'The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians. They believed an egg of wondrous size fell from heaven into the Euphrates River'. From this marvelous egg the goddess Astarte (as also know as Semiramis or Ishtar, where we get the name Easter from), was supposed to have hatched. Thus the egg came to symbolize the goddess Easter.

The idea of the mystic egg spread from Babylon to many parts of the world. In Rome, the mystic egg preceded processions in honor of the Roman Mother goddess. The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. In Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals.

The egg was a symbol of fertility; Semiramis (Easter) was the goddess of Fertility. The Easter egg is a symbol of the pagan Mother goddess, and it even bears one of her names.

The rabbit is also a well known as a sexual symbol of fertility. Annual spring time fertility rituals are associated worship of the Mother Goddess and Tammuz, the reincarnation of Nimrod.

Why did the Church adopt Easter?

The original community of believers was predominately Jewish (as was the Messiah and the Apostles). These believers had a full understanding of Torah, the prophets and followed the G-d ordained Feasts and Shabbat. As the community of believers grew, the number of Gentiles increased much faster than Jews. These Gentile believers had little or no knowledge of the Torah, and the prophets. As time passed Greek (Hellenized) thought and mythology began to be incorporated into the church beliefs. The Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE (AD) left Jews as enemies of Rome, and the church moved swiftly to distance itself from the Roman persecution of the Jewish remnant.

As the church separated itself from the Hebrew root it was grafted into, pagan practices began to quickly infiltrate it. With the victory of Constantine in the early 4th century (300's), the paganization of the church accelerated rapidly and was given the official state seal, protected and enforced by law. Overnight Pagan temples became churches, and former pagan priests became "Christian" Priests. Statues of Jupiter, became Peter, others represented other saints.

The Council of Nicea & Imperial edicts sealed pagan practices, with Shabbat now being outlawed (replaced by the day to honor the sun god, called Sunday, not to honor Messiah) and the resurrection celebration (originally 3 days after Passover) moved to the pagan celebration of Easter.

Constantine ended the persecution of the church brought by Diocletian, and thus to many was seen as a type of 'savior'. But far from being a benefactor of the church, he became it's worst enemy, by marrying pagan & true worship, Holy & unholy. He, in fact, was a Sun worshipper, professing Christianity for political reasons. He professed allegiance to Messiah was in reality a faith based on Mithras (Tammuz). His edict making Sunday the official day of worship was in honor of Deis Solis, Day of the invincible Sun-god, not the Son of G-d.

So what?

"Easter" is one of the names of the pagan goddess, who Ha-Satan used to deceive the world and whose religion has caused suffering and misery. Semiramis was clearly a false goddess, and her son Tammuz was an anti-Messiah, a false messiah (Christ) that has deceived millions.

It is not difficult to discern the deception that Ha-Satan (the adversary) has successfully brought into the Church. The seductive symbols of pagan religion has been incorporated into people's lives, even to this day - continuing to obscure the truth of G-d. From the passages in Jeremiah & Ezekiel, we can see the G-d does not approve of the mixing of True worship of G-d (YHVH) and false, pagan, gods.

"What has light to do with darkness, or Holiness with the unholy".

Should Believers celebrate Messiah's resurrection, the most important of all holy days, by trying to redefine a Satanic celebration?. It seems obvious that it would have been a better if Church had not attempted to "Christianize" this pagan celebration.

The true day of Messiah's resurrection has been known from the beginning, and is accurately stated in scripture. Nissan 17, the feast of First Fruits, celebrated 3 days after Passover, is that day. For Messiah was truly the First Fruits of G-d!

www.CBHM.org

Purim Customs

Shalom Mishpachach,

We will be celebrating Purim on Friday, March 25th, at 8 PM. Decorum is out, inanity is in. During the service, we tell the story of Esther. At the Oneg afterwards, we will be serving the Hamantashan that Mr. Bill showed us how to make at Jim & Amy's.

(We're having the teens make signs that they will be holding up telling us when to Boo, Cheer, and Ahhh! Please make sure you encourage them; they are a great group with a lot of energy and can get pretty wild!)

The following is Jewish traditions for Purim. We will not be serving wine.


Purim Customs
READING THE MEGILLAH

The service for Purim is most unusual. Dressing in silly costumes is encouraged. At no time of the Jewish year is the synagogue as "wild" as during the Megillah reading.

Interrupting the reading with noise-making devices at the mention of Haman's name is encouraged. When Haman's name is read in the Megillah, the congregation erupts in a deafening chorus of groggers, boos, hisses, and stamping of the feet in order to blot out his evil name.

The grogger (Yiddish for rattle), is more widely used than the custom of feet stamping. (The Hebrew word for this noisemaker is ra'ashan, from the word ra'ash, meaning noise.) The custom of the Purim grogger, was obviously introduced to amuse the children, and so keep up their interest in the reading, as children (over 6) are also required to hear the Megillah.

So that Haman's ten sons should not feel left out, the congregation again interrupts the Megillah reading with resounding noise, when the ten names are read.

When then name “Mordecai” (the Benjamite) is read, the audience cheers enthusiastically. And when they read the name “Esther”, the crowd responds with a reverent, whispered “Ahhhhhhh”.

The scroll is unrolled completely and the Megillah is so folded as to give it the form of a letter or dispatch. The reading of the Megillah is considered by our sages of such importance that even women are obligated to hear it, especially as they played an important part in the miraculous delivery. Women must also perform the other Purim mitzvot, - sending food to friends, giving gifts to the poor, and eating the Purim meal. As mentioned above, children (over 6) are also required to hear the Megillah. A whole tractate of the Talmud, called Megillah, (what else?) is devoted to the laws of Purim.


ENJOYING A PURIM SEUDA (Meal)

There is an old joke about summing up a Jewish Holiday: "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat!"

Like all Jewish Holidays, (except Yom Kippur of course), it is a mitzvah to have a great big meal on Purim, including meat and wine. The Purim feast must be held during the day, usually after Mincha (Afternoon prayers).

If the meal extends into the evening, as it usually does, Al Hanisim, a special prayer recounting the miracle of the day, is still added to the Birchat Hamazon, the "Grace after meals."

This Purim meal is different, in that not only do we feast and feast, we over feast.

Because the miracle of Purim came thru wine, - Vashti's downfall and Haman's downfall came as a result of a wine feast, the Rabbis of the Talmud, usually a quite sober group, said:
"On Purim, one should drink - Ahd D'lo Yoda Bain Arur Haman L'Boruch Mordechai" - "Until he can no longer tell the difference between 'Cursed be Haman' and 'Blessed be Mordechai.' " (Tractate Megilah 7b).

What they were trying to suggest is a high level of inane behavior on Purim. As long as it is not abusive or destructive, Purim is a time when almost anything is permitted.

A person who can't or won't drink may fulfill the "Ahd D'lo Yoda " requirement by sleeping, because one who sleeps also doesn't know the difference between a curse and a blessing.


Baruch BaShem Yeshua,
Talmidim
www.CBHM.org

Purim Feast

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Torah dedication & 2nd anniversary!

Shalom,

The new Torah has been dedicated! What a wonderful service. 7 men of the Congregation carried the Torah around the Congregation for everyone to see and touch.

The Messianic Dance Team then led us in Praise and Worship of Adonai - for pictures see
Torah Dedication & 2nd Anniversary Celebration

What a blessing it was!

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this day a reality.

Baruch BeShem Adonai

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Ark is almost ready

Shalom

This week has been busy with preparation for the 2nd anniversary of Congregation Beth Ha'Mashiach (CBHM) Friday, and the dedication of the new Torah.

Aswritten previously, our new Torah was smuggled out of Germany by a Jewish family fleeing the Nazis. They escaped with little of their earthly belongings, but managed to take the overland route through Turkey to Israel.

When He (Torah) arrived, our sister Congregations new Ark was not ready, so they were still using the Ark theu had graciously donated to Yeshua Ha'Mashiach Ministries (The umbrella Ministry under which CBHM functions). Thus a question, how to properly store & display the Torah?

Solution - with a little hard work, about 50 bucks in supplies and some ingenuity, we were able to transform a curio case into an attactive Ark.

Still need to build the base, mount the interior lights and the eternal light; but all is coming together.

We are all very excited about dedicating the Torah, and with the new Ark, we have a safe, attractive place to display Him until our permeant Ark is available.

Blessings in Yeshua's Name.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

G-d is so Awesome!

Saturday Night was Awesome!

G-d was present in a powerful way. One of the Teens heard His prompting and responded. What a Blessing! We have fantastic teens and young adults!

His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Breath) breathed on those attending in a real, powerful way.

What a fantastic night
We had great visitors.

Kevin brought us in the the Holy Ones Presence in praise and Worship.

The Beit Midrash (House of study portion) was flowing and many took part in discussing the Parashot (readings) for the week.

Many came forward for prayer, healing and anointing. Praise Adonai!

I'm not sure it gets in better than this, until Messiah breaks the Eastern Sky!

Baruch BeShem Yeshua - Blessings in the name of Yeshua (Jesus)!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tallit & Scarves

Shalom,

Ever wonder why Jews & Messianic Jews wear Tallits (prayer shawls) in Synagogue?

What about Messianic Gentiles & Chrisitans, should they wear a Tallit?

What about women & scarves?

We just finished an article on subject, see if you agree: Use of scarf & Tallit in a Messianic Congregation

Blessings in Messiahs name!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Our Torah has Arrived - Praise Adonai

Shalom!

Our Torah has Arrived - Praise Adonai!

Make sure to come March 4th for the dedication.

Picture at Our Torah has arrived


Blessings in Messiahs name!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Torah is on the way!

Our Congregational Torah has left Tel Aviv and is on it's way to us. We expect His (TheTorah's) arrival early next week.

We will unveil the Torah at the 2nd anniversay celebration.

Baruch BeShem Adonai

Tribulation - Change in Jobs

Shalom,

It's interesting that many today view lack of adversity as a blessing from G-d. But is that correct? Yeshua, the ultimate manifestation of rightousness, said we would have tribulation in this world, and that if they hate you, they hated him first.

Last week I was offered a severence from work. It was clear that if I did not choose to take it, it would only be a matter of time before the choice would not be mine.

Emotions are mixed, honestly any change creates an initial fear. Then we remember that nothing is allowed to happen to us that we cannot bear.

Others in the Congregation are in similiar situation. While I cannot "fix-it", I can understand as we walk through this challenge together.

Remember - "He who is in us, is greater then he who is in the world"

Baruch BeShem Adonai

Monday, February 07, 2005

Messianic Passover

Shalom,

Interested in a Messianic Passover? Want to know the origins of the L-rd's supper? Then come visit us April 30th for our Congregational Guest Passover.

For details goto House of the Messiah

Blessings

Purim Celebration

Shalom,

A special Purim celebration isscheduled for March 25th at 8pm. Come hear the story of Esther told in an interative and lively presentation.

For mor info: House of the Messiah

Blessings

Special 2nd Anniversary Celebration

Shalom,

We are having a special celebration of the Congregations 2nd anniversay March 4th. The event will include live worship music, a special teaching, and a great Oneg - delight! (special food, anniversay cake, etc.)

Try to attend if your in the Atlanta Area. House of the Messiah

Blessings

Friday, February 04, 2005

Messianic - a tension from living in two worlds

Shalom,

Life for a Messianic Believer involves an added tension, or dynamic not experienced inthe traditional Church or Synagogue.

Dr. David Stern points this out very well in his classic work - Messianic Jewish Manifesto.

To most in the Church and traditional Judiasm, one is either a Christian/Messianic, or a Jew, never both. This comes from a common misunderstanding of the meaning of Chrisitan and Jew.

The world is divided into distinct spheres: Jew or Gentile, Believer or non-Believer. thus 4 possibilities emerge:
1. Gentile Believer - This is a Christian Gentile (also Messianic, see below)
2. Gentile non-believer - This is a non-Christian Gentile
3. Jewish Believer - This is a Messianic Jew
4. Jewish non-believer - This is a non-Messianic Jew.

So -
What is a Messianic Jew - (not to be dogmatic but the best definition seems to be) - a person of Jewish descent who has accepted Yeshua as Messiah and lives a substantially Jewish Lifestyle.

What then is a Messianic Gentile? I suggest the following definition: a person of non-Jewish descent who has accepted Yeshua as Messiah, desires to be identified with the seed of Abraham (the Jewish people) and lives a substantially Jewish Lifestyle.

Note:I prefer to use the term Messianic vs. Messianic Gentile since there is only one body in Messiah. A person accepting Messiah is a spiritual descedant of Abraham and no longer a Gentile in my mind, but part of the commonwealth of Israel. This does not make the person Jewish, but does make them fully part of the family.

For more details on Messianic Beliefs go to House of the Messiah

Baruch BeShem Adonai Yeshua - Blessings in the name of L-rd Yeshua.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

New Definition in the Glossary

Shalom,

Just added new definitions to the Glossary, both (e)lul-(f)our Questions & (G)-d - (i)yar. Fun reading!

Glossary of terms Elul-Four Questions

Glossary of terms G-d - Iyar

Blessings

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Death of the rightous for atonement - a very Jewish concept.

Shalom,

Many who were raised Jewish, or have considerable interaction with our Jewish Brothers & Sisters, know one common point of disagreement if whether the death of a "Rightous Man" can atone for others sin.

Michael Brown, in his excellent series on "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus" Volume 2 addresses this in a very deep meaningful way.

He shows from the Talmud & Torah how this concept of the just dying for the unjust is a very Jewish concept. Citing many examples. The most compelling is the bindings of Issac providing atonement. Since we know Issac did not die, the Rabbi's say he spilled 1/4 of his blood to redeem the Hebrew people.

I don't know about you, but this analogy fits perfectly for Adonai taking the perfectly righteous Messiah and using His shed blood, atoning for all who repent and accept it by faith.

Hope to post a paper on thins soon. If interested in geeting your oown opy of "Answering Jewish bjections to Jesus", go to
House of the Messiah to order.

Blessings

Jewish / Messianic Greetings & Expressions just uploaded

Shalom,

Thanks for everyones Prayers, I seem to be getting better & stronger.

Just uploaded a section on Jewish / Messianic Greetings & Expressions, good reading. Take a look, and you'll underrstand phrases like: Gut Shabbes. The link is

Jewish & Messianic lifestyle & greetings

Sunday, January 30, 2005

New - Jewish /Messianic Glossary

Shalom,

Just posted the first of several pages of Jewish / Messianic Glossary. Items 10 - B have been posted. Interestig way to familiarize yourself with some terms. The link is: http://www.houseofthemessiah.com/Jewish_Messianic_Lifestyle.htm.

Enjoy!

Baruch BeShem Yeshua (Blessings in the name of Messiah)

Service Friday Night

Shalom,

The numbers may have been smaller than normal, but Friday night was a real Blessings. about 40 braved the ice. Luckily, no one had problems.

Kim was out of the hospital, good news there, they now know what was wrong, and are treating it, expectfull recovery.

I made it back, taught on the reason for a Messianic Congregation. There are basically 3 functions: House of study (Beit Midrash), House of Prayer, and House of Assembly.

The audio recording may not have worked.

Blessings

Dr. Visit

The Dr. visit went well. OK to return to work Monday the 31st.

Thanks for everyone's prayers.

Blessings

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Jewish / Messianic Living

Doing somewhat better today, glad to be home. Where the IV's were my arms look like someone beat me up.

A new article has been posted on the meaning of the mezuzah. It includes the prayers, history, and relevance for Messianic believers. it can be read at http://www.houseofthemessiah.com/Messianic%20Living/Mezuzah.htm.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A Short Delay - I must apologize

A Short Delay - I must apologize

I must apologize for the delay in posting. I had gone to the doctor thinking I had the flu, only to be admitted to the hospital for a irregular heart beat.

Had a trip to ICU, then the heart catherization lab. Good news, heart is healthy. Still have the irregular heart beat, but that can be treated by medicine.

The trip to the hospital had a remarkable positive side. The meaning of mispuchah (family) became clearer as many in the Congregation poured out Love for me and my family. One person sat with me for 3 hours, missing shabbat service. It was a good time of fellowship and peace.

G-d is faithful and our congregation family is just that, One Awesome family!

Baruch BeShem Yeshua

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Rabbi's who believe in Yeshua as Messiah

Found excellent articles on 6 rabbi's who trusted in Yeshua as Messiah. While there are many more who have trusted, these are respresentative and well documented.

It is often said the only Jews who believe that Yeshua is the Messiah are the uneducated, or ignorant. This could not be further from the truth, and is a real insult to those men and women who have given up much to follow their Jewish Messiah.

For the articles, go to http://www.yhmm.org/Rabbis_who_believe_in_Yeshua_menu.htm

Blessings

Sunday, January 16, 2005

House Dedication - setting of the Mezuzah

Yesterday was a special day. We were invited to a house dedication to set the first Mezuzah.

If you're not familiar with a Mezuzah, it is a container that holds portions of the Torah which are affixed to the entrances (and often all internal doorways except bathrooms) to Jewish houses in response to the Mitzvah (command) to "list them (G-d's commands) on your doorposts and gates."

A wonderful family that has been part of our Congregational family for over 18 months, lost their house to a fire 1 year ago. But what the adversary meant for evil, G-d meant for good, and restored their home, 2-fold.

Many members of Congregation Beth Ha'Mashiach (www.bethhamashiach.com) gathered along with many friends to celebrate this wonderful restoration.

The Mezuzah was set, and it's meaning was explained to many non-Jewish guests. The blessings were said, and then Kevin lead everyone in singing the Shema - "Hear ye O Isra'el, the L-rd is G-d, the L-rd is One!" We then sang "Trees of the Field" as many joined in.

What a wonderful celebration!

Blessings

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Reggie White - Football Great & Messianic Believer

Shalom,

Many of you are probably aware football defensive great, Reggie White, died recently.

What many do not know is that the man know as a the "Minister of Defense" was a mighty man of G-d, and a Messianic Believer.

While listening to Fox News as they announced Reggie's death, they mentioned that in his final years he had been studying Judaism. This statement probably confused many as they knew him as a fiery Baptist Preacher who tackled controversial issues like he tackled quarterbacks, head-on, from the Word of G-d.

During Reggie's last year in football, one of his friends had given him a teaching on Torah by Monte Judah, from Lion and Lamb Ministries (http://www.lionlamb.net/). This teaching opened Reggie's eyes to the mighty Hebrew Roots of Scripture and lead him to study both Torah and Hebrew. According to Reggie, it opened his eyes to see Scripture as never before.

Please pray for Reggie's family and friends as they struggle with his loss. Monte Judah's Web Posting can be read at www.bethhamashiach.com.

Blessings