Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday vs the Feast First Fruits

Here's an interesting fact:  Easter and the Feast of First Fruits are on the same day this year.  But the former is pagan while the latter is what Yahweh commanded.  Even if Easter wasn't pagan, God is very specific in Deuteronomy 12 that we are to serve him only as he commanded us to serve him.  Deuteronomy 12 also forbids claiming pagan holidays for God.  And in fact, it forbids claiming any pagan practice or tradition for God.

Before we get into the pagan origins of Easter and the surrounding traditions, let's talk a bit about the Feast of First Fruits, and how our Lord Yeshua fits into this biblical holy day.  The Feast of First Fruits was instituted by Yahweh in Leviticus 23:9-14.  On that day, the first fruits of all of the crops are to be presented as an offering to Yahweh.  This is to happen the day after the Sabbath that comes after the Passover.  All the first fruits of the field are set apart to Yahweh.

Yeshua, having died to pay the penalty for our sins, and having risen from the dead, is the first fruits of those who will be raised at the resurrection of the righteous (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).  Yeshua is the first fruits of the redeemed.  This is why, as mentioned in my previous post, Yeshua rose at the very start of the Feast of First Fruits (that is, what we would call Saturday evening, which is the end of the Sabbath).  Yahweh does nothing by accident!  First Fruits points us directly to Yeshua.  So does Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Sabbath, etc.  Every one of Yahweh's appointed times points directly to our Lord and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah!

Even the very word "Easter" is pagan in origin, being derived from the name of the Proto-Germanic goddess of fertility, which also traces all the way back to the Babylonian fertility goddess, Ishtar.  It's just a chain of cultures pronouncing the name of the same false god slightly differently from the other cultures.  Same name, same false god, but different language and pronunciation.  Now if even the name is of pagan origin, then what about the rest of the celebration and its various traditions?  Also, in Exodus 23:13, Yahweh makes it clear that these names are never, ever to be spoken of!

Things get even worse for this "holiday".  Because historically, Easter and Passover have sometimes been portrayed as being the same thing.  Considering the fact that Passover is when Yeshua died while Easter is supposedly when he rose from the dead, it should be clear that they are definitely not the same thing.  The timing of the two days are also based on different calendars, with the exception that Easter is sometimes moved if it lands on the same day as Passover.  Passover is a feast of remembrance of Yahweh's judgement passing over the Israelites when they were in Egypt.  Yahweh later used this to symbolize his judgement passing over those who believe in Yeshua.  Easter, on the other hand, is all about satisfying the desires of the flesh under the pretense of remembering Yeshua's resurrection.

Also, there is also no link between the word "Easter" and language-specific variants for the Hebrew word "pasakh".  But the variants of "pasakh" do follow the same pattern:  Different pronunciations of the same thing:  Passover!

What about the eggs and rabbits?  Those are symbols of fertility.  The pagans worshiped fertility itself rather than the One who made mankind fertile.  These obviously have nothing to do with the resurrection of Yeshua.  And their pagan origins means we should not be using them in remembrance of Yeshua, as per Deuteronomy 12.  Yet for some reason, every year, Christians everywhere hold "egg hunts" for the children.

And if you think the connections couldn't get any worse, the red Easter egg represents the blood of the infants that were burned alive on the altars of the pagan gods!  They would then dip eggs into the blood of these infants.  The pagans were just that evil!  The Church has "Christianized" this to represent the blood of Yeshua instead.  This is obviously not acceptable in the eyes of Yahweh.

The timing of the holiday also has pagan roots.  The Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox.  Let's just say that the pagans love their full moon!  The pagans also love the Spring Equinox and Winter Solstice.  And let's not forget that Sunday got its name because the pagans honor their sun gods by naming the first day of the week after the sun.  Whoever observes Sunday as the Sabbath worships the sun, not God.

The only thing about Easter where the pagan connections are merely a coincidence (if you can call it that) is the pagan stories of their gods being resurrected by other gods at this time of year.  That tells us why the pagan "converts" to "Christianity" decided to celebrate Yeshua's resurrection on this day rather than the Feast of Frist Fruits.  However, the pagan stories are nothing like the historical resurrection of Yeshua.  I'll leave you with "Truth or Tradition" by Pastor Jim Staley (from before his fall), and the more accurate "The Christmas Question" by 119 Ministries.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Bad Friday, Good Passover

Today is one of the instances where Good Friday and Passover land on the same day, in spite of the fact that the Catholic Church tried so hard to make sure that this didn't happen.  Good Friday is allegedly the day that Yeshua (Jesus) died.  The alleged date of this death is Friday, March 25, A.D. 33.  There are a few problems with this date, however.

First problem:

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [Matthew 12:40; NKJV]

You can't get 3 days and 3 nights from a Friday burial and Sunday resurrection.  Some will claim that something taking up a part of the day is counted as taking a full day.  But this nullifies what Yeshua said concerning his (then) upcoming death and resurrection.  When you see something like what we have in the above passage, it means a specific number of full days and full nights.  In this case, 3 full periods of daylight and 3 full periods of night.  But from what we would call Friday evening to Sunday morning only gives 1 day and 2 nights in the grave.

But let's be a little generous and say that part of a period of daylight counts as the full daylight period, and part of a period of night counts as the full period of night.  How many days and nights would he be in the grave for given a Friday burial (just before or at sundown) and a Sunday resurrection?  2 days and 2 nights!  Yeshua would have to have died on Thursday in order for this to count as 3 days and 3 nights when using this unbiblical counting method.

So, what would a Thursday burial give us when requiring the full length of the daylight and night periods?  2 days and 3 nights.  Just one daylight period short of the full 72-hour period that he said he would be in the grave for.  So what would it take to get 3 days and 3 nights?  A Wednesday death with burial at sundown, and a resurrection on what we would call Saturday evening.  They would call it the evening of the first day.

Second problem:

The biblical new year is in the month of Aviv, which is now called Nisan (yes, the Hebrew calendar has been paganized).  Passover is on the 14th of Aviv.  This year, it happens to be today.  Take a look at where the 14th of Aviv lands in the year of A.D. 33.  It lands on Friday, April 1.  Good Friday didn't even land on the correct Friday that year!  It's exactly one week off.

Now, let's address a common argument used to defend the tradition of Good Friday:  That the next day was the Sabbath.  The fact of the matter is that the day after Passover is always a Sabbath, regardless of which day Passover falls on.  Aviv 14 is Passover, and Aviv 15 is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  This day is what is known as a "special Sabbath".  Aviv 21 is the 7th and last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  It too is a special Sabbath.  So no matter which day of the week Passover falls on, the next day is still a special Sabbath.  The relevant passage is Leviticus 23:4-8.

Also, John 19:31 actually states that the next day was a special Sabbath.  While it's true that a special Sabbath can land on the weekly Sabbath, a special Sabbath can also land on any other day of the week.  There are a total of 7 special sabbaths in Torah.  Those that use the argument that it must be Friday because the next day is the Sabbath show that they do not understand Scripture.

The third problem is that Yeshua did not die in A.D. 33.  He died in A.D. 30.

Here is A.D. 30.  Notice the start of Aviv.  And notice where Aviv 14 lands.  It lands on Wednesday, April 3.  This is the exact day that it needs to land on in order to fulfill Yeshua's prophesy about him being in the ground 3 days and 3 nights.  Note that the Last Supper happened on what we would call Tuesday evening or Tuesday night.

Here is the sequence of events that happened:  On Tuesday night, Yeshua eats supper with his disciples for the last time.  He then goes out with his disciples to the Mount of Olives to pray.  It is there he is arrested.  The following morning, Yeshua is sentenced to death and sent to Golgotha where he is crucified.

At sunset, he is buried and the tomb is sealed.  The special Sabbath begins shortly thereafter.  On Thursday, nobody is working because of the special Sabbath.  After this, probably on Friday, a couple of women make plans to anoint Yeshua's body after the weekly Sabbath.  They don't do it today because it is preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, and they won't have enough time before the weekly Sabbath starts.

Finally, on what we call Saturday evening, Yeshua rises from the dead and is discovered the following morning.  This is the Feast of First Fruits, and Yeshua is the First Fruits of the dead.  It also fulfills his Matthew 12:40 prophesy.

Fourth problem:

Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. [Deuteronomy 12:32; NKJV]

This is pretty straight-forward:  We are to serve Yahweh the way he commands us to serve him.  We are not to serve him our own way.

Good Friday seems to be an exception to the rule that the Catholic Church hijacks everything (don't count on that though).  A read through Scripture reveals that the disciples were not specific that Yeshua was in the ground 3 full days and 3 full nights.  They were also typically not specific on the time of day of his death and resurrection.  This lack of specificity, if continued, would naturally result in people believing that Yeshua was crucified on Friday and raised on Sunday.  And since I can't find anything on the exact origins of Good Friday, I'm going to conclude that this is what happened, and that the Catholic Church just ran with it.  And I also found that the name "Good Friday" is less than 800 years old.

If you want to remember Yeshua's death on the day that he died, then you should celebrate Passover according to all of the rules laid out in Exodus 12:43-49.  If you don't want to do that, that's fine.  Yeshua gave us something to remember his death by that nobody does.  It's called the "Lord's Supper".  This has been replaced with a cracker and one-ounce cup of grape juice called "Communion".  Also, Yeshua simply said "do this in remembrance of me."  So we can do this as often as we want.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Ham's Sin is Not What You Think!

What's your interpretation of Genesis 9:18-27?  It's probably that Ham was punished for seeing his father naked.  Or that Canaan was punished for Ham seeing his father naked.  Or that Ham not only saw his father naked, but that he also mocked him for it in front of his brothers.  Well, all of these interpretations are wrong.  First, let's see what the passage says, then we'll analyze some passages that share similarities to this one.

18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.

20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.

24 So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. 25 Then he said: "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren." 26 And he said: "Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant." [Genesis 9:18-27; NKJV]

Here's a question:  Why is it that Canaan, the son of Ham, is the one receiving the curse?  Shouldn't it be Ham receiving the curse since it's Ham that sinned?  Also, how does Canaan fit into this event other than being the one receiving the curse?  Genesis goes out of its way to point-out the fact that Canaan is the father of Ham.  Why?

Here are some similar passages.  First thing to note about the following passages is their link to sexual relationships.

If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness. He shall bear his guilt. [Leviticus 20:17; NKJV]

Jerusalem has sinned gravely, Therefore she has become vile.  All who honored her despise her Because they have seen her nakedness; Yes, she sighs and turns away. [Lamentations 1:8; NKJV]

35 'Now then, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord! 36 Thus says the Lord God: "Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children which you gave to them, 37 surely, therefore, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved, and all those you hated; I will gather them from all around against you and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 And I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your shrines and break down your high places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare. [Ezekiel 16:35-39; NKJV]

In these passages, "seeing someone's nakedness" is in the context of sexual relationships.  Compare that to passages about providing for those in need:

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? [Isaiah 58:7; NKJV]

"When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?" [Matthew 25:38; NKJV]

To "see someone naked" means to see that a person has no physical clothing on their bodies.  But to "see someone's nakedness" means to have sexual relationships with that person (always a male to female relationship).  Note that when Joseph was testing his brothers, he used the phrase "see the nakedness of the land" in the context of a vulnerability (Genesis 42:9-12) in a nation's defensive capabilities.

We should also note the link between "seeing" and "uncovering" someone's nakedness, like in Leviticus 20:17.  They mean the same thing.  And Leviticus 18:7-8 makes it clear what "uncovering someone's nakedness" really means:

7 The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. 8 The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness. [Leviticus 18:7-8; NKJV]

Again, these are Hebrew idioms that have to do with male to female sexual relationships, not whether the person is physically naked.  For some reason, the Old Testament uses only idioms when it comes to discussing sexual relationships.

This means that what Ham actually did not only involved seeing his father physically naked, but also having sexual relationships with his mother!  And that's where Canaan fits into the picture.  Canaan's mother is Noah's wife!  So it's no wonder that Canaan receives the curse instead of Ham.  Note that none of the rest of Ham's sons are cursed.  In fact, one of his sons, Egypt, is actually favored by God.

Now, what about seeing someone naked?  That is not a sin at all.  And, until recently, was considered a normal part of every day life.  I leave you with this poem from the YouTube channel "Renewed Mind".

Friday, April 1, 2022

The Evils of April Fools Day

This is the day when many people pull pranks on each other and practice all sorts of deceptions and practical jokes on others in ways that tear each other down.  What could possibly be wrong with that?  Especially since the these are revealed to be "April Fools" jokes shortly thereafter?  Well, let's start with Leviticus 19:11.  "You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another [NKJV]."  Pretty straight forward.  And in case you're wondering what "dealing falsely" means, the word translated as "falsely" is the Hebrew word "kahas", which deals with deception.  The intent of these pranks is to deceive, which makes them contrary to Yahweh's commandments, even though they are quickly revealed to be pranks.

What about when the intent is not to deceive?  For example, anyone who checks the date on an article that says outlandish things may quickly notice that the intent is not to deceive, but rather to joke around.  (You're not going to find me posting those types of articles or videos, by the way.  And I'm certainly not joking around in this one.)  Such things follow the letter of the commandment, so they are technically not sinful.  But I do not believe that such things follow the heart of the commandment.  But I will leave it to you to decide for yourself.

Now, about what happens when someone does fall for your prank or practical joke:  As I said earlier, such things tear people down by making them look foolish for falling for what you have said or done.  This is the opposite of what we should be doing as members of the Body of the Messiah.  For example, 1 Thessalonians 5 is all about encouraging one another.  April Fools' jokes do the exact opposite to those who fall for them.

By the way, even when everything else that is done on April 1st is in line with the Bible, that does not necessarily mean that the day itself is okay.  The thing that would make it not okay is if it were somehow linked to pagan worshipDeuteronomy 12 makes it very clear that anything that the pagans did to worship their gods is off limits to us!  An internet search gives some quite interesting results:  While the origins of the day are not known, it would seem that April 1st has many centuries of history of people pranking each other.  There are indeed some inconclusive links to pagan worship (links that are probably correct).  And there are also speculations of other links.  Of course, there are some who interpret the unbiblical practices of a "holiday" as definitive proof of the day's pagan origins.  I learned of that line of logic when doing research about Purim and Hanukkah.  So make of that what you will.  But even without this link, this day goes against every intent of Yahweh's commandments, even when the commandments are not actually broken.  It also goes against the intent of Yeshua's teachings of going above and beyond what is required of us.

Change of Heart, Change of Style

A while ago, on social media, a posted a rather harsh reply to something that a pastor posted, and got rebuked for not making my reply in a ...