Diwali ~ A festival of lights? Or a festival of darkness?

Rangoli decorations , made using coloured powder or sand, are popular during Diwali. Diwali, or Deepavali, is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. It falls on the day of ‘Amavasya’ or new moon. This year, it will be observed on November 7, 2018.

Introduction

The five-day celebrations begin with Dhanteras and conclude with Bhai Dooj. On the third day, people collectively participate and partake in the celebrations of Diwali by exchanging greetings and gifts with loved ones and indulging in lavish feasts. They also clean and furnish their houses and decorate them with rangolis (an art form), diyas (oil lamps) and bright lights, and worship goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, and Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. [Source]

Diwali (Dipavali in Sanskrit, IAST: Dīpāvalī , meaning "row of lamps"; also spelled Deepavali) is a Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the climax occurring on the third day coinciding with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November. [Source]

Observances by other Religions

Some other faiths in India also celebrate their respective festivals alongside Diwali. The Jains observe their own Diwali, which marks the final liberation of Mahavira, the Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas to mark the release of Guru Hargobind from a Mughal Empire prison, while Newar Buddhists, unlike other Buddhists, celebrate Diwali by worshiping Lakshmi. The festival of Diwali is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia (except Sarawak), Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. [Source]

This blog-post is not about bashing people of Indian descent or the people of the Hindu religion, but it is solely written showing the erroneous ways of the religion of Hinduism and more specifically, in this instance, the ‘celebration’ of Diwali. Within the Hindu faith there are over 300 million idol deities that they worship as gods and/or goddesses. As can be seen from above, two of the millions of idol gods worshipped are Lakshmi and Ganesha. A short description of each follows:

Raja Ravi Varma, goddess Lakshmi, 1896 - goddess of fortune, wealth, prosperity & beautyLakshmi (/ˈlʌksmi/; Tamil: இலட்சுமி, IAST: lakṣmī) or Laxmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. She is the wife and shakti (energy) of Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism and the Supreme Being in the Vaishnavism Tradition. With Parvati and Saraswati, she forms Tridevi, the holy trinity. Lakshmi is also an important deity in Jainism and found in Jain temples. Lakshmi has also been a goddess of abundance and fortune for Tamils and was represented on the oldest surviving stupas and cave temples of Hinduism. Goddess Lakshmi in Hinduism: The goddess of abundance and fortune, Sri Lakshmi, reflected the accumulated wealth and financial independence of the Tamil monasteries.

Archaeological discoveries and ancient coins suggest the recognition and reverence for Lakshmi by the 1st millennium BCE BC. Lakshmi’s iconography and statues have also been found in Hindu temples throughout southeast Asia, estimated to be from the second half of the 1st millennium CE AD. The festivals of Diwali and Sharad Purnima (Kojagiri Purnima) are celebrated in her honour. [Source]

Ganesha Basohli miniature circa 1730 Dubost p73 - god of new beginnings, success and wisdom. Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश, Gaṇeśa), also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, Pillaiyar and Binayak, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia), Bangladesh and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists.

Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha’s elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honoured Philadelphia Museum of Art - Ganesha, Madhya Pradesh, c. 750, Indiaat the start of rites and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.

Ganesha likely emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE AD, but most certainly by the 4th and 5th centuries CE AD, during the Gupta period, although he inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions. [Source]

The True LIGHT Enters the World

This festival is a ‘celebration’ of idol gods, the lighting of artificial light, fireworks and feasting. We will now look at who is venerated during Diwali comparing it with the Holy Scriptures handed down by GOD the Creator to HIS creation.

You will note that the aforementioned Hindu idol deities emerged in the 1st millennium BC (Before Christ not Before the Common Era) through the 2nd century AD (Anno Domino – In the year of our Lord – not Common Era) when the earth was created by the Creator GOD (YHVH) in or about 4004BC according to the genealogies of the Holy Bible that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. You can read of GOD’s family lines from Creation all the way to the birth of HIS only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ, “a Saviour which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), in the Old Testament Books: Genesis 1,4,5,11,15,17,21,29,30,35; 1 Chronicles 2:3-5,9-12,15, 3:5,16,17, 11:3; 2 Chronicles 26:1; 2 Samuel 5:3; Ruth 4:17-22; 1 Kings 2:12, 14:21,31, 15:8,24, 22:50; 2 Kings 14:21, 15:7,38, 16:20, 20:21, 21:18,26, 24:6; and in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew 1:2-16 and of Luke 3:23-38. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ divided time on earth into BC and AD.

The all existing eternal GOD “In the beginning created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) and said, “Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). GOD reveals further in HIS Holy Word, for it is written,

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
2  The same was in the beginning with God. 
3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 
5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 
6  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 
7  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 
8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-14

The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is revealed and known as the King of kings and Lord of lords (see Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16) is the manifestation of the Creator GOD for we read, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). This is the historical record of GOD visiting HIS creation in the person of HIS Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

GOD reveals in the Book of Isaiah, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22), and continues by speaking through the prophet Isaiah, GOD reveals that HE is “the first, and with the last; I am he” (Isa 41:4) and, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isa 42:8). It is clear from this statement that GOD will not let HIS glory be usurped by any other gods and/or goddesses. This puts Hindus and the religion of Hinduism in peril with GOD since they worship the graven images of  Lakshmi and Ganesha, for GOD reiterates and brings an indictment against idolaters in Isaiah 42:17,18, “They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.”

Whilst GOD might be speaking to Israel, HE most certainly being the Only True and Living GOD makes known that all HIS creation must worship HIM alone and no other. For the prophet Moses reveals Who the GOD of creation is, when he writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as we read, “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:6). Jacob got a name change from GOD; he was renamed Israel, “And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel” (Genesis 35:10). Therefore, the GOD of creation whom we all are to worship is the GOD of Israel, a GOD many nations, peoples and languages despise because of their own man-made religions!

The prophet Isaiah continues GOD’s History when he records, 

10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ~ Isaiah 43:10,11

15  I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. ~ Isaiah 43:15

The prophet Isaiah continues writing what GOD makes known to him that the GOD of creation, the GOD of Israel, the One and Only True and Living GOD is One GOD who will not compete with idols and false gods, for we read, for it is written,

25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
26  Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. ~ Isaiah 43:25,26

6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ~ Isaiah 44:6

24  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; ~ Isaiah 44:24

5  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: ~ Isaiah 45:5

7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. ~ Isaiah 45:7

9a  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! . . . ~ Isaiah 45:9a

18  For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. ~ Isaiah 45:18

20  Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
21  Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 
22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 
23  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. ~ Isaiah 45:20-23

This Old Testament “every knee shall bow” is magnified again in the New Testament by the apostle Paul when he preaches “to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi” (Phil. 1:1), for it is written, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10,11).

Further, this is all summed up in the Second Commandment that was given to GOD’s prophet Moses upon Mount Sinai by GOD, which reads as follows,

3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6, read also Deuteronomy 5:7-10

GOD makes known that no graven image (idol) is to be made in the likeness of HIS creation, not in human form or animal form, like Lakshmi and Ganesha respectively, and those who worship and serve these idols – in statue or picture form as graven images – are cursed to the third and fourth generations. Parents, or ancestral forefathers, who teach their children to worship idols will not be blessed as they often say, but the curse of GOD will proceed through their family lines to the third and fourth generations, and will so continue in like fashion until the generational curse is severed through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). For the apostle John confirms this when he writes, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). GOD also makes known that idols are useless when HE speaks through HIS Word by the psalmist, and says,

1  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. 
2  Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 
3  But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 
4  Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 
5  They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 
6  They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 
7  They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 
8  They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. ~ Psalm 115:1-8

GOD says in verse 8 here above that they (idol worshippers) are like their idols, lifeless; dead in their trespasses and sin! Hindus are not the only people who find themselves in this graven images predicament. So too are Roman Catholics (with their crucifixes with a Jesus still on the cross, the wafer-god in the Mass, Mary worship and other Saint statues), Buddhists, Darwinian Evolutionists (read Romans 1:20-23), the Jains of Jainism, Islamists, and the like.

There can much more be written where the True GOD of creation (YHVH – the Hebrew name being YEHOVAH) will shed True Light on the Truth.

In Conclusion

A typical Diwali vedic prayer from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad celebrating lights is this example of the Pavamana Mantra:

Asato ma sat gamaya | (असतो मा सद्गमय ।)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | (तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।)
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya | (मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।)
Om shanti shanti shantihi || (ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥)

Translation:

From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

As can be seen from the preceding Holy Bible Scriptures one needs to know, or rather be known by, the True GOD. We will look at the Diwali prayer above and show the error of its ways and show what GOD truly says as HE reveals (my emphasis added in bold):

TRUTH

4  For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. ~ Psalm 33:4

6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
~ John 14:6,7

LIGHT

1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1

12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. ~ John 8:12

ETERNAL LIFE / IMMORTALITY

1  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 
2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 
4  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 
5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
~ John 17:1-5

9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: ~ 2 Timothy 1:9,10

PEACE, PEACE, PEACE

11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. ~ Psalm 29:11

6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~ John 14:27 [JESUS The Prince of Peace speaking]

Why we preach / share the Gospel of Jesus Christ

As Christians we are commissioned to make known to the world the TRUTH (see Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, 8:1,4) and as soldiers enlisted, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Our love for GOD is to reach as many lost souls for HIM as we possibly can. As Paul the apostle exhorted the believers by writing an epistle “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Colossians 1:2), we read,

26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: ~ Colossians 1:26-28

Our hope and prayer is that as many Hindus, or just sinners, who would read this treatise and come to repentance through GOD’s calling, then this too will be your message, for it is written,

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. ~ 1 John 1:5-7

Today while it is still today repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ ONLY, the Only True GOD and Saviour, for that is your only hope. Know this: Diwali is not a festival of true light, but darkness.

Soli Deo Gloria __________________________

Sources: The Authorised Version of the Holy Bible (King James, 1611) and Wikipedia.

Which Date in 2016 for Easter or Passover?

On April 9, 2015 we wrote an open article directed at “Dear _____(insert the name)_____ Church” in a blogpost titled “Passover or Easter Controversy”, wherein we discussed at length the etymology of the translation of the words “Easter” in the Authorised Version (KJV 1611) and “Passover” in the modern translations pertaining to Acts 12:4. We also directed the readers . . . , let God be true, but every man a liar; . . . ~ Romans 3:4 to two articles dealing with the true etymology of Easter which were posted in September 2014 under the title “Correct Rendering of Easter at Acts 12:4” which can be read at these links Part 1 and Part 2. We do suggest that you read these preceding articles to gain the context from which this particular article is written.

As discussed online, and via an email to a local body of believers at LHBC where I once fellowshipped, writer pointed out the following pertaining to the celebration of “Good Friday” in 2015 in relation to the Jewish Passover, bearing in mind that the oracles of GOD were committed unto the Jew (Israel)(see Romans 3:2), yet the “Gentiles” make up their own ways as they deem fit! The quote read as follows concerning the date Easter was celebrated in 2015:

This “Good Friday” (3rd April 2015) was before the true Jewish Passover (Nisan 14) for 2015 which only took place at sunset on Saturday 4th April to sunset Sunday 5th April 2015 [the first day of the week] and therefore the resurrection would be three days and three nights later on Thursday 9th April 2015 [the fourth day of the week]! Just “celebrating ‘Good Friday’” as the day of the crucifixion would be in and of itself Roman Catholic! And this year “we” have failed to keep the Jewish feast! This is why we have a real drastic problem keeping days and feasts as we are warned in Galatians 4:9,10 ~

9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. ~ Galatians 4:9,10 

Do you desire again to be in bondage? The real problem actually comes into true contrast when we see how the modern denominational churches – including some “professing remnants” – will celebrate Easter/Resurrection Sunday in 2016! Now which date are you going to use for your church/celebration services? The Roman Catholic and protestant churches have “Good Friday” set down for Friday March 25, 2016 and “Easter/Resurrection Sunday” set down for Sunday March 27, 2016! However, about 2,000 years ago our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified at Passover Redeemed by Yeshua, the Passover Lamb and the Jewish Passover in 2016 takes place from Nisan 14 (see Leviticus 23:5-8) in the Jewish calendar which equates to the secular calendar of the evening of Saturday April 23, 2016 and ends seven days later in the evening of Saturday April 30, 2016! There is about a month difference from the “Gentile celebration” preceding the actual celebration day and date of the Jewish Passover. So which day/date holds the more credence? Biblical truth? or man’s traditions and customs? This shows the disjointed ways of modern churchianity. However, the reason for the month’s difference which will escape many is that the Jewish calendar is also in a leap year, i.e. today, 20th of March, 2016 is 10th of Adar II, 5776. The chart hereunder reflects the first day of the Passover celebration which is the First day of unleavened bread proper (see Matthew 26:17ff; Mark 14:12ff; Luke 22:7ff):

 

YEAR EASTER PASSOVER* DIFFERENCE
2013 Good Friday, March 29 – Sunday, March 31 Evening of March 26 (Nisan 15, 5773) – evening of April 1 Easter in the midst
2014 Good Friday, April 18
– Sunday, April 20
Evening of April 15 (Nisan 15, 5774)
– evening of April 21
Easter in the midst
2015 Good Friday, April 3
– Sunday, April 5
Evening of April 4 (Nisan 15, 5775)
– evening of April 10
Easter one day before
2016 Good Friday, March 25 – Sunday, March 27 Evening of April 23 (Nisan 15, 5776)
– evening of April 29
Easter one month before
2017 Good Friday, April 14
– Sunday, April 16
Evening of April 11 (Nisan 15, 5777)
– evening of April 17
Easter in the midst

* A date converter from the Gregorian calendar to the Hebrew calendar can be found at: www.hebcal.com/converter/

[The same unbiblical situation with secular feast days plays out every December 25th, too!]

Jesus suffered God's wrath in your place Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13) “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter [law], but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Therefore, we are called to be of the same speech, of no divisions, perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment, and as there were contentions back in the first century so there are contentions even today which ought not to be so, as it is written:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 
2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 
3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 
5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 
7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. ~ Ephesians 4:1-7

11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. ~ Ephesians 4:11-16

Today’s churches appear so disjointed and divided from what we have just read from GOD’s Word, the Holy Scriptures that speak of our Lord of Glory Jesus Christ. How is it that there are so many different days kept for Christ, or teachings taught that are  diametrically opposed to the unity in Christ and His disciples are The Holy Bibledivided? Surely, the “His disciples are divided” statement would be an oxymoron? Right?

Then there are believers who proudly state that they are Calvinists or Arminianists or (fill in the blank) when we are to follow the Bible’s teachings of the apostles’ doctrine (see Acts 2:42). John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius and (fill in the blank) did not establish the foundation and authenticate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for you as the apostles and prophets of old did, for the “written works” of Calvin, Arminius, et al, are extra-biblical,

19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 
20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 
21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:19-22

By way of another example: How can believers hold to “a pre-trib rapture”? “a mid-trib rapture”? and/or “a post-trib rapture”? and each holding to each of the respective teachings think their doctrine is correct! These are three different doctrines. Surely, if believers are abiding in Christ and have received the Holy Spirit of GOD, He, the Holy Spirit, does not divide by teaching diametrically opposed teachings?

33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 

Ekklesia of GOD, something is drastically amiss and in error! We can learn a valuable lesson from the apostle Paul. He said that if his eating meat would offend his brother he would abstain from it, as we read,

11  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 
12  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 
13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. ~ 1 Corinthians 8:11-13

If we are serious of being obedient to GOD’s commands, then we ought to keep His commandments and also lay down our lives for our brethren. It must cost us to be a true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ! Sadly, what is playing out in modern churchianity is that there are teachings and celebrations that are done in lust and pride for one’s own gratification and teachings to make a name for oneself which is sinful and contrary to glorifying GOD. We are told by our Lord Jesus, for it is written,

24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24

If we are not in agreement, how can we be of the same Spirit and Truth? That is why our Lord protects us from sinful behaviour of having contentions amongst ourselves of observing days, and months, and times, and years and draws all of His born again disciples into unity when He gave command to remember His death through His instituted supper until He will come back, as we read, for it is written,

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 [my emphasis]

Some will hear and sadly others will neglect the Biblical instruction and continue on as they please: But, be warned, all must give an accounting to Christ Jesus . . .Soli Deo Gloria

“The Forbidden Chapter” in the Tanakh

The video hereunder shows the Gospel of Yeshua haMeshiach (Jesus the Christ) being shared in Hebrew from “The Forbidden Chapter” in the Tanakh, which is the prophecy of the Jewish Messiah, the Lamb of God Who was to be crucified and by His shed blood He would redeem His people. This prophecy has been fulfilled by Yeshua at His crucifixion, death and resurrection which fulfils what Yeshua said when He told the Jews whilst clearing the Temple of them that made merchandise therein:

19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 
20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 
21  But he spake of the temple of his body. ~ John 2:19-21 (KJB)

Now read the Chapter from the Old Testament:

ISAIAH 53

1  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 
2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 
3  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
4  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 
5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 
6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 
7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 
8  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 
9  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. ~ Isaiah 53:1-12 (KJB) 

Soli Deo Gloria!

Hebrew for Christians

letterchart I have recently found a Hebrew for Christians website that will be found to be very useful in studying and learning to read, write and speak the Hebrew tongue and to also study the etymology, pictographs and history of the language. From a Biblical perspective, from what I have gleaned in a very short period of time whilst studying, you will see how the Hebrew Aleph-Bet (pronounced “ah-lef”-“bate”) has YHVH (GOD) in the very letters and words of His divinely inspired Aleph-Bet. When Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) said that He is the “Aleph and Tav” (Alpha and Omega in Revelation 1:8,11; 21:6; 22:13) He was saying the whole of YHVH’s Word from the first letter to the last letter speaks of Him! This is why no-one, especially modern-day bible translators and publishers, are NOT to add to or diminish from the Word of God! Our Lord Yeshua said,

18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. ~ Matthew 5:18

17  And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. ~ Luke 16:17

A “jot” is the Strong’s Greek word #2503 iota “. . . of Hebrew origin (the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet) . . .” which is the Yod (pronounced “Yode” and is an ) and a “tittle” is the Strong’s Greek word #2762 keraia which refers to “. . . something horn-like, i.e. (special) the apex of a Hebrew letter (figurative the least particle).”

What is very helpful is if you have a Hebrew and English Tanakh (Old Testament) and also a Brit Chadashah (New Testament) which you can compare as you study. I have both and the English Scripture portion that runs side-by-side with the Hebrew is the Authorised King James Holy Bible! You can obtain copies for yourself and for distribution among the Jews from:

THE SOCIETY FOR DISTRIBUTING

HEBREW SCRIPTURES

Joseph House, 1 Bury Mead Road,

Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1RT

England

What you will also find very helpful is that there are audio links for pronunciations of various Hebrew letters, words and sentences.

Here is an example of the gems of information that will be very helpful to understand YHVH’s historical language and it will be very helpful to you also when it comes to evangelising Jew and Gentile alike. To get a feel for what you can expect, I have copied the first Hebrew letter hereunder:

aleph-head

Phonetics

The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called “Aleph” (pronounced “ah-lef”). Aleph has no sound of its own, but usually has a vowel associated with it.

In modern Hebrew, the letter Aleph can appear in three forms:

aleph-write

Manual Print (block)

Notice that the manual print form of Aleph, resembles the book print version – except that the strokes of the lines are all even. You will learn manual print in order to recognize the printed Hebrew letters as they appear in Hebrew texts. You write the manual print version of the letter Aleph according to the following pattern:

aleph_block

The numbered arrows show the order and direction for drawing the lines (the gray rectangle indicates the letter proportions in a graph paper cell).

Hebrew Script (cursive)

Manual print is important to learn to help you recognize printed Hebrew type; however, handwritten communication is normally written using Hebrew cursive. You write the cursive version of the letter Aleph according to the following pattern:

aleph_script 

Write the letter from right to left, beginning with the stroke labelled 1 and then to the stroke labelled 2.

Practice

Write the letter Aleph (from right to left) in both manual print and script several times. You may want to use graph paper to make sure you are sizing the letter correctly:

grid

Note: Aleph is known as a guttural letter since it is used to be pronounced in the back of the throat. Other guttural letters are Ayin, Hey, and Chet. Note also that Aleph sometimes does not take a vowel in a word, and thus is considered “quiescent.”

Summary

aleph-sum

Advanced Information

scripts-aleph

The letter Aleph is the “father” of the Aleph-Bet, whose original pictograph represents an ox, strength, and leader. It’s numerical value is one (and also 1,000) and it is a silent letter. Aleph therefore is preeminent in its order and alludes to the ineffable mysteries of the oneness of God. Indeed, the word aluph (derived from the very name of this letter) means “Master” or “Lord.”

In the classical Hebrew script (ketav Ashurit) used for writing Torah scrolls, Aleph is constructed with two Yods (one to the upper right and the other to the lower left) that are joined by a diagonal Vav. Ketav Ashurit was the script that Jesus would have read (ketav Ivri was an older script, similar to ancient Phoenician, but was not the script used when Moses received the Torah from the LORD on Sinai. Ketav Ivri is also sometimes called the Temple Script because samples of it are extant dated to the time of Solomon’s Temple).

From the Phoenician/Ketav Ivri, the letter Aleph morphed into the Greek letter Alpha α/A, from which came the Latin A:

alephhist

1. Mysteries of Aleph

In Kabbalistic literature, the upper Yod (meaning an arm) represents the hidden (and infinite) aspect of YHVH called ein sof (אֵין סוֹף, lit. "without end"), whereas the lower Yod represents the revelation of YHVH to mankind. The Vav, whose meaning is “hook,” shows connectedness between the two realms. Vav is also thought to represent humanity, since Adam was created on the sixth day. Vav is diagonal since it is humbled in the face of God’s mystery and His revelation. The two Yods also indicate the paradox of experiencing God as both hidden and close, far and near.

aleph-p

2. The Gematria of the Parts of Aleph

The basic gematria for Aleph is one, indicating the One and only God who is the Master of the universe. Note, however, that the gematria for the parts of the letter Aleph add up to 26 (Yod+Yod+Vav). This is the same number as the sacred Name YHVH, also indicating a link between the Aleph and God Himself. This is also demonstrated in Exodus 3:14-15, where the LORD reveals His Name to Moses as ehyeh asher ehyeh (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה) “I AM THAT I AM.”

aleph-p2

There is a midrash (fable) that asks why Aleph was not selected to be the first letter of the Torah. In the story, all of the letters come before the LORD giving reasons why they should be the first letter – all, that is, except for the letter Aleph. When the LORD asked why, Aleph explained that since he was silent, he had nothing to say. But the LORD honored Aleph’s humility and declared him to be the first of all the letters – and to be honored as the letter of the first word of the Ten Commandments:

אָנכִי יְהוָה אֱלהֶיך

3. In the Beginning — Aleph-Tav

In Or Torah, Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, explained first words of Torah: Bereshit Bara Elohim Et – "In the beginning God created et" (Gen 1:1). Note that et is an untranslatable word used to indicate that "a definite direct object is next" (thus there needs to be an et before the heavens and the earth). But Dov Ber points out that et is spelled – Aleph-Tav, an abbreviation for the Aleph-Bet.  Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav the last, so, he reasoned, in the beginning God created the Aleph-Bet. Since God did this before creating the heavens and the earth, the letters are considered to be the primordial “building blocks” of all of creation.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi stated that if the letters were to depart even for an instant, all of creation would become absolute nothingness (Zalman, Shneur. 1981. “Igeret Hateshuvah.” Likkutie Amarim – Tanya. Brooklyn: Kihot. 289).

4. Aleph and the Divine Names

There are a number of divine Names that begin with the letter Aleph, including the following:

el11 – El

elohim11 – Elohim

eloha1 – Eloha

ehyeh-asher-ehyeh2 – ehyeh asher ehyeh

adonai11 – Adonai

adon-olam1 – Adon Olam

adir1 – Adir

5. Aleph is a picture of the God-Man

As One who is composed of both the upper realm of heaven and the lower realm of the earth, connected by the humility of the body, Aleph is a picture of the God-Man unity that is Yeshua HaMashiach, “Who, being in the form of God . . . took upon him the form of a servant . . . as a man . . .” (Phil 2:6-11).

Moreover, in Revelation 22:13 Jesus refers to Himself as the Aleph and Tav, the First and the Last, and thereby told us directly that the Hebrew Alphabet would provide revelation about Him:

rev22-13

Note that this phrase is a direct reference to Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12, where Adonai Himself says that He is the First and the Last – and explicitly declared that there is no other “god” beside Him.

6. Aleph is a picture of Messiah’s Intercession

From a Messianic point of view, Aleph represents Yeshua the Mashiach as our Intercessor and Kohen Gadol. The two Yods represent outstretched arms or hands reaching both to mankind and to God. The diagonal Vav represents the sacrifice of Yeshua on our behalf. And since Yeshua is the Aleph and the Tav, the letter represents His divinity, His humility in silence as He opened not His mouth when He was unjustly accused, and so on.

7. Aleph is a picture of Oneness in Unity

Aleph also is a picture of three-in-one, or hashilush hakadosh. Just as there are three parts to Aleph, but Aleph is One (echad), so there are three Persons to the Godhead, yet God is absolutely One. The gematria of the word Aleph (אָלֶף) is 111 (Aleph=1, Lamed=30, and Pey=80).

aleph-p3

8. Aleph is Eschatological

Yeshua is called the Aleph and the Tav, and the letter Aleph itself has overtones of the acharit hayamim, or “end of days” spoken of in prophecy. The idea that there are 6,000 years of the Olam Hazeh (the present age before the arrival of the Messiah to set up His kingdom) comes from the fact that there are 6 alephs in the first verse of the Tanakh, and each represents 1,000.

6alephs

9. Aleph and Names of God

The first Name of God revealed in the Tanakh is elohim22222(elohim), which starts with the letter Aleph. Elohim is also the third word in the Scriptures. Other Names that begin with Aleph include El, Eloha, Elah, Adonai, Av, Avinu, Avir, Abba, etc.

elohim-stam

10. Aleph and Metaphors of God

In three places in Scripture the LORD is metaphorically identified with something else. In each case, the metaphor begins with an Aleph:

Fire esh – Hebrews 12:29, Deuteronomy 4:24

Light light – 1 John 1:5; Isaiah 10:17;

Love  love2 – 1 John 4:16

11. Textual Oddities

An undersized Aleph appears in Leviticus 1:1 (Vayikra):

vayik

The sages reasoned that Moses’ humility (anavah) was such that he waited for the LORD to call him into the ohel mo’ed (Tent of Meeting), despite the fact that God had previously granted him full access to His Presence. The Book of Leviticus begins with vayikra (“and he called”) – spelled with an undersized Aleph – as a scribal token of Moses’ humility.

According to the sages, Moses wanted the word vayikra to be written without the Aleph, as “vayikar” (“and He happened upon,” the same word used to describe how the LORD “happened upon” Balaam in Numbers 23:4).  In his humility, Moses did not want to use a word that implied that the LORD regularly called to him. However, God overruled him and insisted that the Aleph be included, but allowed Moses to use an undersized version, as a token of his modesty before others.

12. Aleph Pictograph

The pictograph for Aleph is the ox or bull, representing strength:

ancient-aleph

Note that even though the pictograph may represent the basis for ketav Ivri, it may have pagan overtones (e.g., the “bull” god) derived from ancient Canaanite culture.

–ooo–

Other Biblical historical information that will be very helpful will be the Ten Commandments, Jewish Holy Days,  Blessings, Prayers and much more. An example of a Biblical historical timeline is:

The Sin of the Golden Calf (egel maseikhah)

Before Moses reappeared from the mountain top, however, the people talked Aaron into making a molten calf (egel maseikhah) which they began to worship (Ex. 32:1-6). The LORD told Moses of their idolatry and threatened to destroy the Israelites, but Moses interceded on their behalf. As he rushed down the mountain, with the tablets in hand, he saw the people dancing about the idol. The tablets then became heavy and were smashed to the ground (Ex. 32:19). Moses then destroyed the molten calf and led the Levites (the only tribe that had not contributed gold for the idol creation) in slaying 3,000 of the ringleaders. The next day he returned to God and said: “If You do not forgive them, blot me out from the book that You have written.” despite Moses’ intercession, God sent a plague upon the Israelites.

Some time later, Moses was told to prepare a new set of tablets in order to once again ascend the mountain, where God would graciously reinstate the covenant. This second set of tablets was carved from sapphire by Moses himself (instead of by God) as an atonement for Israel’s sin with the Golden Calf.

According to Rabbinic tradition, Moses carved the new tablets during the month of Elul, during his third 40 days upon Mount Sinai (see Rashi’s comment, below). According to this tradition, Moses ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance and restoration of the people was complete. The month of Elul therefore represents the time of national sin and the forgiveness obtained by means of teshuvah (repentance) before the LORD.

120days

Rashi wrote concerning these events:

  • On the 6th of Sivan, Moses went up onto the mountain . . . On the 17th of Tammuz the Tablets were broken (1st 40 days). On the 18th he burned the (Golden) Calf and judged the transgressors. On the 19th he went up for forty days and pleaded for mercy (2nd 40 days). On the 1st of Elul he went up to receive the Second Tablets, and was there for forty days (3rd 40 days). On the 10th of Tishri God restored His goodwill with the Jewish people gladly and wholeheartedly, saying to Moses “I have forgiven, as you ask”, and gave him the Second Tablets.

This traditional understanding of the timing of these events explains why:

  • The festival of Shavu’ot (Pentecost) is celebrated as Z’man Mattan Torateinu – the time commemorating the giving of the Torah
  • The 17th of Tammuz is observed as a time of national tragedy
  • The month of Elul is a time of selichot
  • The 10th of Tishri marks the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

According to the Talmud, the script God wrote the Ten Commandments was ketav Ivri (the older script), instead of ketav Ashurit (the divine script that was later restored by Ezra to Israel). The Talmud Yerushalmi explains that it was the Ayin that was miraculously suspended in the tablets, rather than the final Mem and Samekh.

–ooo–

The website can be found here: Hebrew for Christians – Learn Hebrew for FREE!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Passover or Easter Controversy

Dear _____(insert the name)_____ Church

Greetings in our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, who almost 2000 years ago took up His life (see John 10:18) in the Resurrection and ascended to the right hand of God our Abba Father! Brothers and Sisters, please do consider this blogpost very carefully.

Firstly, over this period of time (March/April) the “age-old discussion between Passover or Easter?” always rears its head. This is why I make this earnest plea to you all to consider this posting very carefully and test all things with an open Bible. Secondly, the Roman Catholic church has sullied the word “Easter” with their misrepresentation of “Christendom.”

For those of you who do not know, The Authorised Version (KJV1611) has the word Easter in Acts 12:4 – surprised?? – which is not a pagan word, but refers to the Christian Church’s (ekklesia’s) post-crucifixion “celebration” which has fulfilled the Messiah’s Passover, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Easter might sound like “. . . the Anglo-Saxon  “Estre” – “Estara” – “Eastre” – “Ishtar” the pagan goddess of  Spring and fertility”, however this is far from the Truth. Let us first consult the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance with regards to the word “Easter” from Acts 12:4 (Authorised Version):

Gk #3957 πασχα pascha, pas’-khah; of Chaldee origin [compare Heb #6453]; the Passover (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it):- Easter, Passover.

The Hebrew word is:

6453 פּסח  pesach, peh’-sakh; from 6452; a pretermission, i.e. exemption; used only technically of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim):- Passover (offering).

A masculine noun meaning Passover, a Passover animal, a sacrifice. The word is used forty-nine times, usually referring to the Passover festival or celebration. It is first used to describe the Passover ritual while Israel was still in Egypt (Ex 12:11, 27, 45, 48; 34:25). The first Passover ideally was constituted as follows: on the human level, the Israelites killed the Passover sacrifice on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, Abib or Nisan (March or April). They then took some of the blood of the slain Passover animal (Dt 16:2, 5) and smeared it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of their houses (cf. Ex 12:7). The Passover ritual and the Passover animal were directed and belonged to the LORD (Ex 12:11, 48; Dt 16:1). Then they roasted the animal (lamb, kid, young ram, goat – a one-year-old without any defect) and ate it with their sandals on their feet and their staffs in their hands ready to move out in haste at any time. The angel of death passed through Egypt and passed over the Israelites’ houses with the blood of the lambs on the doorposts, but the angel struck the firstborn of all the Egyptian households (cf. Ex 12:12, 13, 29). Later Passovers were held in commemoration of the historical event of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage.

The animals eaten were also called the pesach, the Passover sacrifice (Ex 12:21; 2Ch 30:15; 35:1). The Passover was celebrated throughout Israel’s history before and after the exile (Nu 9:4; Jos 5:10; 2Ki 23:22; Ezr 6:19, 20).

The root word from which we get the Hebrew pesach, is from the Hebrew word:

6452 pâsach, paw-sakh’; a primitive root; to hop, i.e. (figurative) skip over (or spare); by implication to hesitate; also (literal) to limp, to dance:- halt, become lame, leap, pass over.

A verb meaning to leap, to pass over, to halt, to limp, to be lame. The first occurrence of this verb is in Exodus, where God states that He will preserve the Israelites by passing over their homes when He goes through Egypt to kill the firstborn (Ex 12:13, 23, 27). This sentiment is echoed by the prophet Isaiah (Is 31:5). In 2Sa 4:4, the word is used of Saul’s grandson who became lame. Before Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, he confronted the Israelites for their syncretism. He asked how long they would bounce back and forth between the LORD and Baal (1Ki 18:21). Then during Elijah’s confrontation, the prophets of Baal began to dance on the altar that they had constructed (1Ki 18:26). This was probably some sort of cultic dance performed as part of the sacrifice ritual.

As can be seen nowhere does it make reference to ““Estre” – “Estara” – “Eastre” – “Ishtar” the pagan goddess of Spring and fertility.” The true etymology of Easter can be found at the following blogposts Part 1 and Part 2 dealing with the Correct Rendering of Easter at Acts 12:4. It should also be borne in mind that “one” needs to be very vigilant and discerning as to what “information” is gleaned from the internet – we are told in Scripture to try the spirits (see 1 John 4:1).

On Thursday 2nd April 2015, at my flat I was approached by a cleaning lady named Virgina who said to me that there were a lot of “Afrikaans Bibles in a black bag dumped in the garbage room.” Well, long story short, “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”, I am now in possession of a 1o6 year old Dutch Bijbel. The reason why I make reference to this Dutch Bijbel which “came into my possession just at the right time” is how it translates Acts 12:4 in connection with the other parts of Scripture:

Ø Easter = Paasch-feest – Acts 12:4 – “Welken hij ook, gegrepen hebbende, in de gevangenis zette, en gaf hem over aan vier wachten, elk van vier krijgsknechten, om hem te bewaren, willende na het Paasch-feest hem voorbrengen voor het volk.” [my emphasis and throughout]

Ø Passover = Pascha – 1 Corinthians 5:7 – “Zuivert dan den ouden zuurdeesem uit, opdat gij een nieuw deeg zijn moogt, gelijk gij ongezuurd zijt; want ook ons Pascha is voor ons geslacht, namelijk Christus.”

Ø Passover = Pascha in the other Scriptures.

A Google Translate in Dutch for the word “Easter” comes up as “noun Pasen, Paasfeest; adjective paas-”; and the English/Dutch translation for “Passover” comes up as “noun Pasen, paaslam, Joods Paasfeest.” Kindly also note that even Scripture gives a clear distinction of the “Jews’ Passover” in John 2:13 and 11:55.

To test Acts 12:4 further, I have consulted the Spanish Bible on my e-Sword and the parallel translation reads:

Ø Easter = páscoa – Acts 12:4 – “E, havendo-o prendido, lançou-o na prisão, entregando-o a quatro grupos de quatro soldados cada um para o guardarem, tencionando apresentá-lo ao povo depois da páscoa.”

Ø Passover = páscoa – 1 Corinthians 5:7 – “Expurgai o fermento velho, para que sejais massa nova, assim como sois sem fermento. Porque Cristo, nossa páscoa, já foi sacrificado.”

My Oxford Spanish Mini Dictionary records in English:

“Easter” as “/n Semana f Santa; (Relig) Pascua f de Resurrecciόn;” and

“Passover” as “/ n Pascua / de los hebreos.”

For Easter it is for the Resurrection and for Passover of the Hebrews. In the Spanish side of the dictionary: “Pascua f (fiesta de los hebreos) Passover; (de Resurrecciόn) Easter;”.

Comparing English / Dutch / Spanish they all appear in agreement. Now to test the etymology further, read the articles that appear online here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Kindly also note that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has fulfilled the Feasts of “Passover”, “Unleavened Bread”, “First Fruits” and “Pentecost”. To continually revisit these feasts can lead one to “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:6). We are told in Colossians 2:16 let no man therefore judge you . . . “in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” for in Colossians 2:17 we read: “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Those “holyday / new moon / sabbath days” being the “shadow of things to come” have been fulfilled by the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ who dies no more (see Romans 6:9,10). Whilst we might be warned of the “Roman Catholic Easter”, kindly remember every year when one comes together for “Good Friday” sermons if they are not kept strictly according to the Jewish feast dates then “those days” have their origins from the “Roman Catholic church’s” formula received at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. As the feasts have been fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ how can we “celebrate” them continually year after year? How many times must Christ be crucified “Passover/Unleavened Bread” and be raised to life “First Fruits”? The argument could then be made that most protestant churches “celebrated” Easter as a Roman Catholic church! This “Good Friday” (3rd April 2015) was before the true Jewish Passover (Nisan 14) for 2015 which only took place at sunset on Saturday 4th April to sunset Sunday 5th April 2015 [the first day of the week] and therefore the resurrection would be three days and three nights later on Thursday 9th April 2015 [the fourth day of the week]! Just “celebrating ‘Good Friday’” as the day of the crucifixion would be in and of itself Roman Catholic! And this year “we” have failed to keep the Jewish feast! This is why we have a real drastic problem keeping days and feasts as we are warned in Galatians 4:9,10 ~

9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

However, we do have a wonderful way of rest from all of this. Let us first look at the Biblical Historical Account of our Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on a Thursday in order to fulfil Matthew 12:39,40 (three days and three nights), and if we want to be more specific let us use the day-naming as God uses throughout Scripture. Our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on day five and resurrected on the first day of the week, as follows:

ELEVEN-DAY BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT (From The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Gary Stephen Crous)

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Sunset (9th Nisan) – FRIDAY [sixth day of the week]

Sunrise

1Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. ~ John 12:1

This was when Mary, Martha’s and Lazarus’ sister, anointed Jesus Christ’s feet with a pound of ointment of spikenard (see John 12:3) the day before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see John 12:12).

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Sunset (10th Nisan) – SATURDAY (Sabbath Day) [seventh day of the week]

Sunrise

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1,10; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29,37,38; John 12:12). The Messiah is the paschal lamb of the Jewish Passover as God Almighty had commanded that a lamb without blemish was to be set aside on 10th Nisan (Exodus 12:3) and this lamb would be killed on “the fourteenth day of the same month: . . . in the evening” (Exodus 12:6).

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Sunset (11th Nisan) – SUNDAY [first day of the week]

Jesus went to Bethany with His disciples (Mark 11:11).

Sunrise

On the morrow when they came from Bethany, Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14), He cleansed the Temple and taught (Mark 11:15-18).

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Sunset (12th Nisan) – MONDAY [second day of the week]

And when even was come He went out of the city (Mark 11:19).

Sunrise

And in the morning they passed the fig tree and He speaks of the Power of Faith (Mark 11:20-24) and He teaches on forgiveness and addresses the question of authority (Mark 11:25-33). Jesus then teaches extensively (Mark 12:1-44, 13:1-37; Luke 20:1-47, 21:1-38).

1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. ~ Mark 14:1,2 (Cf. Matthew 26:1,2 and Luke 22:1,2)

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Sunset (13th Nisan) – TUESDAY [third day of the week]

Sunrise

Judas Iscariot plans to betray Jesus. This event took place sometime after Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and before the first day of Unleavened Bread as we read in the Apostle Luke’s account:

1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover . . . 7Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. ~ Luke 22:1,7

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Sunset (14th Nisan) – WEDNESDAY [fourth day of the week] – Passover (Leviticus 23:5)

Sunrise

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Sunset (15th Nisan) – THURSDAY [fifth day of the week] – First Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6)

The Passover is prepared and the Passover lamb is killed (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13).

“Now when the even was come,” in the evening the Passover meal is celebrated and eaten (Matthew 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:14-18)

The Lord’s Supper is instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20)

After the meal, they depart for the Mount of Olives and Peter’s denial is predicted (Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38)

Jesus and His disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 17:1-26)

Jesus is betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11)

Jesus’ Trials –

  • Before the Sanhedrin by Annas and Caiaphas the high priest (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54, 55, 63-71; John 18:12-14, 19-24)

Sunrise (First Day – part)

Jesus’ Trials continue “And straightway in the morning …” (Mark 15:1)

  • Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Matthew 27:1, 2, 11-28; Mark 15:1-14; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-40, 19:1-16)
  • Herod Antipas (Luke 23:8-12)
  • Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Luke 23:13-25)

Jesus is lead away to be crucified at Calvary (Golgotha)–

  • 3rd Hour (9am) – Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24, 25; Luke 23:33; John 19:18)
  • 6th Hour (12pm) – 9th Hour (3pm): There were three hours of darkness over all the earth (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)
  • 9th Hour (3pm) – Jesus died giving up His spirit (Matthew 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Part of One Day, No Night

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Sunset (16th Nisan) – FRIDAY [sixth day of the week] – The Preparation Day (First Night – full)

Jesus is taken off the cross and buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathae and Nicodemus – when evening was come, the day before the Sabbath (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42).

54And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. ~ Luke 23:54

As it was the day of preparation and the Sabbath drew on no body could remain up on the cross on the holy preparation day and the Sabbath day. Also, according to Deuteronomy 21:23, it commands that “a body shall not remain all night upon the tree”. When this is mentioned in John 19:31 the high Sabbath day is in reference to a Sabbath day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Sunrise (Second Day – full)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Two Days (1 part + 1 full), One Night (1 full)

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Sunset (17th Nisan) – SATURDAY [seventh day of the week] – Sabbath Day (Second Night – full)

In the grave (Luke 23:56).

Sunrise (Third Day – full)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Three Days (1 part + 2 full), Two Nights (2 full)

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Sunset (18th Nisan) – SUNDAY – First Day of the Week – The Third Day (Three days dead Thur./Fri. – Fri./Sat. – Sat./Sun. and raised on the Third Day) (Third Night – part)

Jesus raised to life in the Resurrection “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = THREE DAYS (1 part + 2 full), THREE NIGHTS (2 full + 1 part)

Sunrise

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As Judeo-Christians we have a problem celebrating the Passover as given to the Jews. In 2015 the “resurrection” would have been on the fifth day of the week (9th April 2015 – TODAY!) when the Holy Bible says Jesus Christ was resurrected “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week”, the day the apostle Luke refers to as Easter. Therefore (in light of all that has been said before), in order to get away from all the day/feast squabbling, our Lord Jesus Christ gave us a better Feast and we can partake of it everyday! This is why we are commanded to remember our Lord’s death through partaking of the Lord’s supper, as we read:

1Cor 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

1Cor 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1Cor 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

1Cor 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

I hope you all will prayerfully test all things and remember to read the aforementioned articles here: Part 1 and Part 2. That is why we must Study the Word – God commands us to do so (see 2 Timothy 2:15)!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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