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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
|July - August (5772), 2012||Vol. 38 No. 7|
TRADITIONS or TRUTH
Mrs. Ari. D. Hidalgo, Th. B.
Traditions or Truth is a look at the contrast between man's customs in relationship to religious dogma and God's truth as recorded and established in the Word of God.
The Messiah of Israel, Y'shua (Jesus) said as recorded in Matthew 15: 3b,
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Imagine all of the 'traditions' of men that we involve ourselves with in a years time, and at the same time forget the 'truth' of God? In order to please or appease another human being, or any man-made set of rules!
There are many interesting questions that people have shared with us, especially 'spiritual' questions that need a response from a Biblical foundation.
We received a letter requesting some information that we were happy to assist with, we shared some insights through Scriptures that hopefully were of help to this individual. Before sharing these answers with you, let us be reminded of II Timothy 3: 16-17 that reads ...
'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works'.
Below are answers to the questions that we received by letter that we hope will be of help to you, and that your understanding in these matters will be enlarged.
1. WHEN YOU DIE DO YOU GO TO HEAVEN?
According to Hebrews 9: 27, it reminds us that,
'And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment':
Physical death affects the 'Body' only, the 'Spirit' and 'Soul' await the resurrection of the body.
Secondly, there is consciousness of the bodies. The book of Luke 16: 19-26 speaks of all departed human spirits between death and the resurrection, and it shows that when the unsaved man or woman who was in Hades or Sheol saw Abraham and Lazarus, they were far off. In verse 26 we are told that between these two places there was a 'Great Gulf Fixed' so that no one could pass from one side to the other.
Luke 16: 19 thru 26,
'There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence.
After the resurrection of The Messiah, we are told in the book of Ephesians 4: 8-10,
'Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things'.
We are told that there was a change in the place of departure for believers. All who are saved by grace through faith in Y'shua, (Jesus) go at once into the presence of The Messiah, in II Corinthians 5: 8,
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
And in Philippians 1: 23,
'For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better':
Also in I Thessalonians 4: 13 thru 18,
'But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words'.
We have a third place called Paradise mentioned in Scripture when Y'shua (Jesus) told the thief on the cross that... 'Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise'. (Luke 23:43). Paradise is a place of joy and eternal rest (a place of perfect peace, which is in Hebrew a place of tam shalom). Jesus said to the thief that he would be with Him in the very presence of God while awaiting for the complete and final act for the believers and that will be when the 'Spirit' and 'Soul' is reunited with its 'Glorified Body' which will be at 'The Resurrection of The Just'.
I Corinthians 15: 51-58,
'Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord'.
The Hebrew word 'Sheol' or the Greek word 'Hades' is the condition of an UNSAVED PERSON between 'Death' and 'The Great White Throne Judgment' where the 'Wicked' are in torment and continue in that state until 'The Final Judgment of The Lost'.
Revelation 20: 11-15,
'And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire'.
2. WHAT DAY IS FOR WORSHIP?
According to Mark 6: 2 Y'shua (Jesus) kept and worshipped on the Sabbath (Saturday), the 7th day of the week, for we find Him in the synagogue teaching...
'And when the 'sabbath' day was come, He (Jesus) began to teach in the synagogue; and many, hearing him were astonished'.
Therefore, Jesus' 'Day of Worship' was 'The Sabbath Day' (Shabbat) from Friday evening until the sun went down on Saturday, which ushers in Yom Rishon (The First day of the week).
Y'shua (Jesus) reminds us of His estimation about the special day of 'Ha Shabbat' (The Sabbath) in Mark 2: 27-28,
'And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath'.
Also, we need to remember the Resurrection Day of our Lord was before the sun came up (when it was yet dark), or the first day of the week (Saturday evening to Sunday until the sun went down). (John 20: 1-20; Matthew 28: 1-10). The end of Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week Jesus our Messiah rose from the grave when 'it was yet dark'.
John 20: 1,
'The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher'.
3. WHAT IS THE BIBLE DEFINITION OF SIN?
The Bible tells us according to Roman's 14: 23, 'for whatsoever is NOT OF FAITH is SIN'. Sin is the transgression of the law of God as recorded in His Word. (I John 3: 4). The Word of God tells us that ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS is SIN. (I John 5: 17).
The origin of sin as recorded in the book of Roman's 5: 12 speak of Adam and Eves disobedience unto God, which was the beginning of sin entering into the world.
Roman's 5: 12,
'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned':
But, in verse 19 we read...
'For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous'.
4. HOW DO WE KNOW GOD'S PEOPLE ARE CALLED ISRAEL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
How do we know? We can only know by faith believing in God and what He has said in His Holy Word. The Bible tells us that it was God who formed a nation called Israel, and it was God Himself in the form of The Angel of the Lord who changed Jacob's name to Israel. Below we will look at the Scripture, but first, let us look at its beginning.
It all started in the first book of The Bible, in the book of Genesis 12: 1 thru 3,
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed'.
The Lord God called and chose a man by the name of Abram to be obedient to 'His Four' commands. By faith Abram obeyed The Lord God and as a result He, God had wonderful blessings in store for him... in fact 'Seven Wonderful Blessings' and one of the seven blessings was the promise of 'A Seed' to Abram and Sarai, his wife, who was barren. Through Abram and Sarai's union the seed that God had promised Abram became a reality, for they had a son who was called Isaac.
In the process of time, Isaac married a woman named Rebekah and they too were blessed by God not with one child but Rebekah gave birth to twins, twin boys. The question is... What son would the Abrahamic Covenant be past on to? This blessing should have been passed on to the FIRST BORN son Esau, but he, Esau, the first born, sold his birth right to his brother Jacob.
Therefore, 'The Abrahamic Covenant' which included the blessing of a 'Great Nation' yet to be born was given to the second son JACOB (Ya-acov). Jacob was chosen by The Almighty God who would be the descendent that the promise would be past down too. From the loins of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob a great nation would be born that God had promised to Abram.
In spite of the business transaction that took place with the two brothers, God knew the heart of both sons, and He, had in mind before the foundation of the world that Jacob would be the one to whom 'The Blessing - The Covenant' would be given.
How do we know that God's people are called Israel? The Bible tells us that it was The Angel of The Lord who came to Jacob and gave him a new name and that name was ISRAEL (which means... A Prince with God). We find this in the book of Genesis 32: 28,
'And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed'.
Jacob, and his descendents, beginning with his twelve sons, were called the Nation of Israel, also referred to as the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
The 'seventy souls' mentioned in the Book of Exodus that eventually went into Egypt was indeed the beginning of a great nation that would grow within four hundred years into two and a half million souls . The Almighty God chose Jacob to bring forth a people to love and serve Him and this nation of Hebrews would be known as God's people, called Israel. God promised that this people, as a nation, would remain before Him as a people unto Him forever.
They are God's chosen ones... 'a holy people unto The LORD Thy God', (a people of His own possession) 'above all the nations that are upon the earth'.
Deuteronomy 14: 2,
'For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth'.
The nation and people of Israel that were chosen and formed by The LORD God of heaven and earth would bring forth 'The Anointed One' (The Messiah). He was sent by God to bring deliverance to His chosen ones, Israel and ultimately all nations of the earth would be blessed through Him. God sent His Son, and His Name is Y'shua (Jesus) which means 'Salvation', Y'shua Ha Masschiah (Jesus the Christ) brought salvation to His people called Israel that through His 'own life' He would become the last sacrifice for sin.
II Corinthians 5: 21,
'For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him'.
We are reminded in The Scriptures, that not only this beautiful Salvation is for Israel, but it is also for the whole world that will believe and receive Him.
John 3: 16,
'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life'.
Again, the Holy Bible tells us that Salvation is to 'whosoever will' by grace through faith believe and receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord, they also would be called the people of God who were not a people, but now have obtained mercy,... a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.
I Peter 2: 9,
'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light'.
Indeed, it was a Jewish virgin named Mary (Miriam) that did conceive of The Holy Spirit that in the fullness of time brought forth God's only begotten Son called Y'shua (Jesus), which means Salvation.
Therefore, we have THE NATION OF ISRAEL called GOD'S PEOPLE and we have INDIVIDUALS WHO BELIEVE IN THE GOD OF ISRAEL THROUGH HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, Y'SHUA (JESUS), that are also called 'A PECULIAR PEOPLE' in The New Testament. (I Peter 2: 9),
'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light';
Therefore, we see that Israel is called God's Holy and Peculiar people, so also the Church is called God's Holy and Peculiar people. But, only the Jewish people are called and referred to in The Holy Scriptures as the Children of Israel.
The false premise that some espouse that the 'Church' is now the Israel of God is not only ridiculous but has at its core a sentiment of anti-Semitism. The Church made up of Jewish and Gentile believers can never become or replace the Jewish people in the sight of God.
I Corinthians 10: 32,
'Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God':
5. ARE WE TO KEEP THE FEASTS IN LEVITICUS CHAPTER 23?
The Lord God spoke to Moses and His Words were passed down to Israel as a nation, and thus, what God established a long time ago and set forth in motion does not change. Israel had a responsibility in teaching the Law of God to the Nations of the world, and they did so, through the writings found in both the Old and New Testament (humanly speaking, written by Jewish men of old as they were inspired by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit).
Every book and every word were written by Jewish men as they were moved by the Spirit of God, thus all sixty six books in the Holy Bible are from God through Israel.
Here is a beautiful Scripture to confirm this in Roman's 3: 1-2,
'What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God'.
The Word of God stands forever.
Isaiah 40: 8,
'The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever'.
Y'shua (Jesus) observed Torah (The Law). He referred to The Law as He was answering a question by a certain lawyer in Luke 10: 26. And, Jesus said to him... 'What is written in the law'? What God established a long time ago is for the Jewish people to observe today as well as for Gentile individuals that love the God of Jacob (Israel).
Yes, Y'shua is the fulfillment of The Law and The Prophets. He also set an example for us in His life of those things He observed as a Jewish man and yet He is GOD in the flesh (Emanuel).
Luke 24: 44 thru 47,
'And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem'.
Remember the story of the leper being cleansed by The Lord and what He said to the leper in Matthew 8: 4,
'And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them'.
As long as there was a Temple and the Sacrificial System in place, the feasts were observed as recorded in the Word, including sacrifices, offerings and etc., that Moses commanded.
But, after the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD no longer was there need for the Priesthood or the Sacrificial System, because Y'shua (Jesus) became the true fulfillment of the High Priest and the Sacrificial System was complete through His death, burial and resurrection. He completed all the requirements for righteousness, which included the temple worship, the Priesthood, and the Sacrificial System, and lastly the ultimate required sacrifice for sin.
Today, we have the privilege not only to have The Holy Word of God in our hands, but also the right to read and heed it. How we observe the 'Seven Feasts' in the book of Leviticus chapter 23 is with out the earthly requirements that all point as fulfilled in 'The Christ' (The Messiah).
In relationship to the offerings that are given during the time of the 'Seven Feasts' of the Lord, today they are a bit different. As believers in Y'shua, obviously, we do not bring offerings such as sheep, cows and etc. But, out of all that the Lord blesses us with, we are to obediently and willingly give unto God our tithes and offerings as the Lord prospers us.
In Philippians 4: 17-18 we read,
'Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God'.
Also, in the book of Malachi chapter 3: 10 thru 12,
'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts'.
6. SHOULD WE KEEP DIETARY LAWS AS FOUND IN LEVITICUS 11 AND IN DEUTERONOMY 14?
Leviticus chapter 11 gives us a catalog of clean and unclean animals commonly called 'kosher' (good to eat) and 'trayfe' (not good to eat). The Lord has always given His children a guideline in respect of what is good and that which is not good, according to His Word.
Normally, any food that comes from the earth is good to partake of, such as 'fruits' and 'vegetables'.
Y'shua (Jesus), a minister of the circumcision (the Nation of Israel) for The Truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers,
Roman's 15: 8,
'Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people'.
And, Roman's 9: 4,
'Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises';
The Torah (The books of Moses), do include the dietary laws.
Our Lord kept the dietary laws. God's holy and chosen people (Israel) were not to eat abominable things (unclean animals).
Observing the dietary law recorded in The Bible can also be a blessing for the Gentiles to observe, for all that The LORD God gave to Israel was and is still good, and if it was and is good for the Jewish people, it is certainly good for the Gentiles. Why would any one want to miss out on any of the blessings that God has for His obedient children.
Secondly, another one of God's blessings that is found in Scripture comes from Deuteronomy 14verse 22,
'Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year'.
The law of tithing was a command with a blessing, if the house of Israel was obedient unto The LORD God, as a result He would bless them with the increase year by year.
The tithes that the children of Israel gave were for the care and welfare of the tribe of the Levites to live on for they did not receive an inheritance like all of the other tribes received, but God was the Levite's inheritance.
Tithes were given to help the priests, to sustain them, to help the strangers that would come into the camp, also it was for the widows so that they too could eat and be satisfied.
In obedience to THE LAW OF TITHE, the blessing from the LORD was a reality.
Deuteronomy 14: 29,
'And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest'.
7. WAS THE MESSIAH IMPALED ON FRIDAY AND RAISED ON SUNDAY?
Yes, and please remember any part of a Jewish Day in Hebrew idiom is considered to be a complete day.
Yes, Y'shua (Jesus), our Messiah and Saviour, was crucified on the day of preparation (Pesach).
John 19: 31-42,
'The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.
There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews preparation day; for the sepulcher was nigh at hand'.
Y'shua, Jesus, died before Shabbat began at sundown. Here is a chart to help you better understand this question.
THURSDAY TO FRIDAY
(14TH DAY OF NISAN)
FRIDAY TO SATURDAY
(15TH DAY OF NISAN)
SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
(16TH DAY OF NISAN)
The Lord Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead on the first day of the week referred to in Hebrew as 'Yom RISHON'. (16th day of Nisan).
Mark 16: 1 & 2,
'And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun'.
8. WHAT IS THE HEAVENLY FATHERS NAME?
The Heavenly Father's Name as we know it to be is referred to as THE LORD GOD. It usually is listed as YHVH and is unpronounceable because it is made up of four consonants with no vowel markings. So, in the reading of Scripture Jewish individuals will say Adonai (meaning Lord or Master) which is substitutionary for the YHVH. As in Exodus 3: 13-15 we read in verse 14... 'And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you'. (THE LORD GOD OF YOUR FATHERS) ... I AM THAT I AM... Also in, Exodus 6: 3,
'And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH (LORD) (which is the YHVH), was I not known to them'.
We find in Exodus chapter 34,
THE LORD GOD PROCLAIMING HIS NAME which is referred to as,
'THE 13 ATTRIBUTES OF GOD'.
Exodus 34: 5 thru 7,
'And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation'.
9. WHAT IS HIS SON'S NAME?
In The TaNaCH (The Old Testament) we have revealed prophecy describing His Son's Name in two Scriptures below
Isaiah 9: 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 7: 14,
'Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel'.
Also in the New Testament, in The Book of,
Matthew 1: 22-25,
'Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS'.
His Name is called JESUS - in Hebrew the form is 'JEHOSHUA' which means JEHOVAH IS SALVATION.
10. DO YOU KEEP CHRISTMAS?
The following is an insert from a brochure by Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo on Christmas.
'HEAR YE THE WORD WHICH THE LORD SPEAKETH UNTO YOU'. (Jeremiah 10: 1).
What does the term 'CHRISTMAS' conjure up in your mind and heart, and what do you associate it with?
Is it gifts, trees, 'Santa Claus', family gatherings, arguments, the manger, envy, strife, tinsel, depression, parties, drinking, fighting, gossiping, and, oh yes, Jesus?
Do you 'really' set aside the 25th day of December to fully and completely love and worship The LORD? Or, is it a means to an end, a day off, a holiday, an excuse to 'party' in The Name of Jesus. Obviously, only you can answer your own motives and reasons.
DO YOU CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ?
Do you celebrate Christmas simply because it's a tradition, or because others expect you to? Again, only you can truly answer this most important question.
If you are remembering the birth of Y'shua (Jesus) on Christmas day, then, shouldn't you worship Jesus; love Jesus; speak of Jesus; sing unto and about Jesus; and bring gifts unto Jesus, rather than, see who can decorate the prettiest 'tree', or receive gifts rather than give gifts, and party, party and more party?
WE CAN LEARN:
We can learn so much from The Commandments that The Almighty GOD gave unto The Children of Israel, as they were warned not to learn the way of the Nations (see: Jeremiah 10:2).
And so, The LORD reminds us today to be careful not to become involved with and participate in the customs and traditions of the world that are pagan, false and idolatrous.
The cutting down of trees and decorating them to 'so-call' honor The LORD (?).
In Jeremiah 10:3-5, we read the following, "For the customs of the people are vain: for it is but a tree which one cutteth out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not, ... neither ... is it in them to do good."
THERE IS NO EVIDENCE:
There is no evidence in The Holy Bible that Christmas is to be celebrated, in fact, The Apostles, the disciples, the first true believers and even for the next three centuries we find absolutely no record anywhere that anyone spoke about or observed what we know today as 'Christmas'.
SO, HOW DID ALL THIS GET STARTED?
Before the birth of The Messiah, Y'shua our LORD, The Roman's had a pagan feast called 'saturnalia' that was observed during the early part of winter, what we now call 'December', and its heathen feast and practices fell towards the end of the month.
As a result of Roman Catholicism connecting church and state around the year 313 A.D., the secular and religious became in many instances one issue. It is from this point in history that we begin to witness many pagan and lurid rituals and activities that became lot and parcel of 'so-called' Christianity.
POPE GREGORY THE FIRST:
Pope Gregory The First around 600 A.D., specifically instructed Augustine, the Archbishop of Cantebury, to adapt existing local religious (pagan or otherwise) customs and practices to Christian usage in order to help propagate the faith.
Thus, the state church endeavored to amalgamate, the old with the new, and as a result, a 'strange fire' became evident within Christianity that remains even today as a smell of awfulness in the sight of The Almighty GOD.
Just think, instead of bringing gifts to The LORD like the wise men did long ago, many in selfishness receive, and receive from one another.
HOW ABOUT THE TREE?
How about the tree? Some individuals will traditionally go into deep debt not only to decorate such an idol, but also, all the other things that revolve around the Christmas celebration that brings no honor and glory to The Son of GOD.
Haven't you sensed something in your spirit telling you year after year that your adoration of and involvement with: the tree, Santa (deception) Claus, rudolph, debts, gifts, who outgives who, stories and songs 'about Christmas' that have nothing to do with the advent of Y'shua (Jesus) is wrong? Haven't you sensed something terribly wrong?
DON'T YOU WANT TO DO WHAT OUR LORD DID?
Y'shua (Jesus) celebrated The Feast of Dedication (Chanukkah) as recorded in John 10:22-30, furthermore, Our LORD never celebrated what today is referred to as The merry, merry holiday of x-mas, also known as Christmas.
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ?
Have you ever thought about the name of this holiday -- "Christ - Mass" --, which associates the Christ (the Messiah) with a man-made service that (for all intentions) has no Jewish sentiment, called the Mass? This of course is an invention of a major religious order that has its roots in Judaism, and yet has for these many centuries completely separated itself from anything remotely considered 'Jewish'. In this century, this has been especially true regarding the Vatican's position towards the Land of Israel. Roman Catholicism today does recognize Israel, but the question is...to what extent? It is this religious entity that authored what we know today as Christmas. In a world of complexities and religious misgivings, it's a terrible shame that true believers in Y'shua (Jesus) throughout these many centuries have been drawn into this awful celebration of tinsel and a old bearded man declaring that he has a 'gift' for you.
It is high time to wake up out of this sleep and stupor that has plagued those who profess faith in the Living GOD, The only True Light for this dying world, and His Name is, Y'shua (Jesus) The Son of GOD.
YES, Y'SHUA (JESUS) WAS BORN!
Yes, Y'shua (Jesus) was born in Bethlehem of Judea nearly two-thousand years ago for one and only one purpose and reason, and that is, to become our mediator between GOD and man, and not as some espouse, that Mary, or the Pope, or a rabbi, or a minister can take his place or even intercede before GOD for us. Only Y'shua (Jesus) is Our LORD.
It is only through The Birth, Life, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Our LORD and Saviour Y'shua (Jesus) that anyone can have access into The Kingdom of GOD.
AS A CHILD OF GOD!
As a child of GOD, are you willing to put aside idols? Like the tree, santa, rudolph, debts, traditions, customs, paganistic and heathenistic issues that revolve around Christmas and its commercialism with all of its trappings?
We do remember Y'SHUA'S (JESUS') BIRTH, as He was born in Bethlehem.
Galatians (4: 4)
'But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 'To redeem' them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons'.
Luke 2: 1 thru 11
'And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord'.
11. DO YOU KEEP EASTER?
The following is a brochure by Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo on Easter.
IS EASTER IN THE BIBLE ?
Every question in life has both a short and a long answer. Well, let me give you the 'Good News-Bad News' about our subject at hand.
A DICTIONARY DEFINITION
The best dictionary definition of Easter is found in the root of its meaning from the mythical goddess 'EOSTRE' (also known as Ostara or Ishtar), a goddess of the dawn and spring.
A FERTILE EGG ?
The story begins supposedly that an angelic being descended from the heavens in a fertile egg (sound familiar?) to bring blessings to all the inhabitants of the earth. Somehow, by the time Christianity assumed a major role in society (around the third and fourth century A.D.), the leaders, also known as the church fathers, began to hunt for some form of symbolism to associate themselves with the Resurrection of The LORD Jesus Christ. Thus, the fragmented and fictional account of 'Eostre' has become embroiled with the factual account of the Resurrection of our LORD.
THE HOLY BIBLE
To give credence to what has already been said, we find inserted in The King James translation of The Holy Bible (Acts Chapter 12 and verse 4), the term 'EASTER', which in reality should properly say 'PASSOVER'.
The above reference to Easter (wrongfully inserted of course) appears only once in the entire Holy Bible. Yet, with all the carrying on in reference to Easter parades, Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter sunrise services, Easter this and Easter that, ad infinitum, one would expect that THE HOLY BIBLE would be replete with Scripture after Scripture mentioning the word 'EASTER'. It's not. If anything should have been spoken of and written about, even celebrated, in connection with The Resurrection of Our Messiah, The LORD Jesus Christ, it should have been the 'PASSOVER'.
CUSTOMS OF THIS WORLD
Oh, I know that one should not fight against City Hall, or better stated, go against the 'ESTABLISHED RELIGIOUS ORDER', but, I must confess that the more I hear about this holiday and its theme, the more I am compelled to state my case against this marriage between Christianity and the traditions and customs of this world.
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS
You might be asking yourself, 'Does Dr. Hidalgo believe in The RESURRECTION OF JESUS or not?', my answer is loud and clear. Yes, I believe with full assurance and perfect faith that The Messiah of Israel, The LORD Y'shua (Jesus), died on a cross for our sins according to The Scriptures, He was also buried according to The Scriptures, and on the third day He rose from the dead triumphant and glorious according to The Word of God. Today, He is at the right hand of God making intercession for all who believe and accept this wonderful message of salvation. I believe this with all my heart, and I preach and teach the same to all who will listen.
I DON'T AGREE
What I don't agree with is the inclusion of a pagan mythical goddess (Eostre), and all of the trappings that go along with it; the mixing of pagan and heathen customs with The Resurrection of Our LORD Jesus Christ.
WORSHIP OF THE SUN?
Therefore, Easter, and the eggs, and the bunnies, and the sunrise services (worship of the sun and not the SON) are all opposite to the Scriptural and truthful meaning of The Resurrection of The LORD Jesus Christ. By the way, if you read correctly the account describing when Y'shua (Jesus) rose from the dead, you will then understand that the resurrection took place while it was yet dark (night-time). So, why do those who represent Christianity insist on remembering The Resurrection after the sun rises?
I'LL TELL YOU WHY
Because of the pagan influences. Not only of the mythical goddess 'Eostre', but also the heathen practice of worshipping the sun is as another mythical and pagan god.
OPPOSED TO THE TERM
I am totally opposed to the term 'EASTER', as well as, all of its pagan involvements, especially the commercial and eclectic involvement of bunnies, eggs, parades, and on and on.
THE RESURRECTION OF MESSIAH
What I promote wholeheartedly is that we should remember, daily, that Our Blessed Saviour rose from the dead according to The Word of God. We need to remember The Resurrection of Our LORD Jesus Christ not just once a year. I believe we need to honor Our Risen LORD and Redeemer every day of the year. In reality, our faith and our salvation depends totally and completely upon the finished work of Our LORD Y'shua (Jesus). The blessed Gospel (Good News) of the Lord Jesus Christ is, that He died for our sins, was buried and on the third day rose from the dead, all in accordance with the prophecies from the Old Testament Scriptures, as well as, the New Testament teachings of Jesus while He was on earth.
THE RESURRECTION....NOT EASTER
As we honor and pay homage to our Lord on this day, may we learn to say, "Thank the Lord for the Resurrection Day", instead of the common greeting "Have a Happy Easter". I believe The LORD is honored and pleased that we have extricated that which is ungodly from the beautiful and glorious majesty of His Resurrection.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
JOHN 20: 1, 11-17
'The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher ..... But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God'.
By the way the word 'Easter' does not appear in the original manuscripts of The Holy Bible, but what does appear is the word Passover. We keep PASSOVER, AND AS WE DO WE REMEMBER Y'SHUA'S (JESUS') DEATH, BURIAL and RESURRECTION, for He is our Lord and Saviour. He is... 'The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world'.
John 1: 29,
'The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world'.
12. WHY DO YOU USE G-D AND NOT ELOHIM?
We ourselves do speak of THE LORD GOD AND ELOHIM AND JEHOVAH without omitting a letter.
These are His Names that He has made known to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, His people Israel and also the Church that is made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. There are many, many other beautiful names of our LORD found in Holy Writ, here are a few.
JEHOVAH - OLAM, Exodus 6: 3 (The Eternal One)
JEHOVAH - JIREH, Genesis 22: 14 (Provider)
JEHOVAH - NISSI, Exodus 17: 15 (Banner)
JEHOVAH - SHALOM, Judges 6: 24 (Peace)
JEHOVAH - SHAMMAH, Ezekiel 48: 3 (There He is)
JEHOVAH - TSIDKENU, Jerem. 23: 6 (Righteousness)
I hope that these brief answers to your questions will give you a clearer understanding of The Lord God and what He requires of us in His Word.
For The Lord promises that as we study the Scriptures then we will learn how to rightly divide The Word of Truth, and we will be a workman or (person) that need not be ashamed.
II Timothy 2: 15,
'Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth'.
Thank you LORD for all of the help that You have given so freely. Bless our 'Shalom staff' and their part in making this work unto You a reality. Bless my husband, Dr. Hidalgo who faithfully has given his time and expertise in putting this manuscript together, amen.
In Y'shua's Precious and Holy Name,
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo, Th.B.
OTHER BROCHURES OF: SHALOM SCRIPTURE STUDIES, INC.
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