Happy Halloween?

An Excerpt from the upcoming BEKY Book :
Truth, Tradition, or Tare?  Growing in the Word
  


   Let's apply the Scriptural pattern to a modern holiday.  After all, few believers today would bow down to a golden calf.  Granted, the bull on Wall Street has become an icon of faith in the American dollar, and the love of money is the root of all evil, but perhaps the bull is more iconic of the choice each believer must make in regard to Paul's injunction:   

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.  For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience...[1]

The Wall Street bull, however, is not associated with Godly, holy spiritual behavior; it is strictly secular no matter what amount of passion is invested in money-making.  It would never be confused with Jewish or Christian worship by a rational mind.  A better example is one that is not a Wall Street bull, yet its commercial value is only exceeded by its value as an erosion to truthful tradition and worship.  No bull.

Halloween is a holiday found nowhere in Scripture.  A little historical research digs up a Christian tradition[2], but no holiday grown in contradiction to the commanded Seed words of Scripture can be added by a believer in Yeshua.  A disciple of Yeshua who celebrates Halloween violates even more boundaries than the calf-worshipper:

·      Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Ex. 22:18)

·      There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (Deut. 18:10-11)

·      You shall be clean before the Lord and before Israel. (Numbers 32:22)[3]

Does the God of Israel hate little children and want to cheat them out of an annual sugar-fest and costume party?  Isn't it all harmless?  There are no idle words in Scripture.  While the reader may focus on the harsh-sounding imperative against allowing a witch to live within Israel, few consider that the Holy God of Israel gives the exact reason why it is so dangerous to let witches and sorcerers practice their craft:

For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.  You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.  For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.

"But wait," we say.  "I don't actually BELIEVE in witches and horoscopes and magic numbers!"  There's no harm in it if I don't actually believe in it or worship God like that, is there?"  Let's continue reading the context of Deuteronomy 18:12-15 for the truthful answer:

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

The reason for removing the witches and warlocks from the believing community is that it detracts from the words of the prophet like Moses, whom we know is Yeshua the Messiah.  There is nothing in Yeshua's words that needs help from a sorcerer!  There is nothing in a believer's walk with Yeshua that requires dressing up like a witch or passing out sweets in order to have fun.  There is no prophecy of Yeshua that needs assistance from fortunetellers, necromancers, or knocking on wood.

If an adversary wanted to "sell" a golden calf or doctrines of sorcery to the disciples of Yeshua in order to erode the Gospel message, how would he do it?  Find the heel of vulnerability.  Entwine it around a Christian tradition and make it a fun, happy occasion!  If Yeshua's disciples do not mix the Promised Seed of the Word with faithfulness, then it will not profit them, and they will allow the commercial transaction gradually to take place in their hearts until eventually it becomes a harmless bit of fun.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, 'As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest': although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, 'And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.' And in this place again, 'If they shall enter into my rest.' Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief.[4]

The context of the passage alludes to the Israelites in the wilderness.  The golden calf was formed and celebrated on an added holiday in spite of the clear commandments just given in the text of Exodus 20 & 23 to the Israelites.  Moses is taken up out of their sight, and the Israelites immediately start conceiving a new holiday instead of preparing and learning about the two kinds of holidays He commanded them:  the weekly Sabbath and the seven feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits of the Barley, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles.

According to the writer to the Hebrews, the ancient Israelites did not mix the Seed words with faithfulness, so they could not enter the rest of the weekly and annual holy days.  They were doomed to fall in the wilderness with their eroded Gospel, for they could not see the important prophecy of Messiah in them.  They did not BELIEVE that Yeshua was in their God-given Sabbath and holy assemblies, but they did BELIEVE in the calf.  They allowed ungodly Egyptian worship to erode their faithfulness.  Although the Israelites in the wilderness were SAVED from bondage, most refused the sanctification of the Word by remaining faithful to it.

While a disciple of Yeshua may not believe in sorcery and riding magic brooms, to practice the appearance of it is faithfulness to spiritual power in which he or she claims not to believe!  Halloween does not meet Yeshua's criteria of faithfulness. There is no rest in Messiah at a Halloween party, for the believer has "entered in" to the wrong holiday.  Ouch!

The Body of Messiah needs to apply Yeshua's tests to every Sabbath and holy day in order to be the lights and lamps of prophecy, for he will return!  This is how we "listen" to the prophet like Moses, the one who disappeared into clouds of the Presence of the Father, yet he will reappear at the appointed time.  Usually it requires only a small bit of research to locate the Seed and roots of any traditional holy day or Sabbath.  Tradition or taredition?

[1] Col. 3:5-6
[2] Or we might argue a tare, for honoring "saints" was the Church's method of accommodating the blending of pagan worship with Christian in order to entice new converts to simply add Jesus as one of their gods, and then in turn, allowing them to keep their old gods by simply renaming them as the saints of the Church: "...what used to be done for idols, and is therefore detestable, is done for martyrs, and on that account is acceptable." (MacMullen, 1997, p. 115-116)
[3] In a previous chapter, Paul cites a rabbinic understanding of Numbers 32:22 in I Thessalonians 5:22-23, when he writes: "Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  This is what the Torah means when it says to be clean before Adonai AND men.

[4] Heb. 4:2-6 KJV


Feast of Trumpets/Rosh HaShanah

 


Tuesday Afternoon Online Torah Class


We only have room in the Tuesday 1:30 pm EST online class via WebEx after Sukkot.  We will use the Creation Gospel 5 Torah commentaries as a "jumping off place" for the class, which will look into the weekly Torah portions.  The class will run from 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm EST on Tuesday afternoons.  

Because most will be Sukkot traveling or camping for the first portion of Bereishit, it will be held early, October 11.

This class will not require homework, although there will be suggested study assignments and students will be encouraged to connect for extra study on the portion.  

The cost will be $20 per month.   Students will need to install WebEx on their computers, but the system also accommodates phone logins, which is handy when traveling. Students will have access to the video files of each class for up to one month following, so when life gets in the way, the lesson can be watched or listened to at a later time.  

If you are interested in joining the class, send an email to creationgospel@gmail.com with your name and email address for updates. 

LaMalah Children's Centre

We can't thank our donors enough for their monthly support of the Children's Center in Kenya.  We are saving for the purchase of a vehicle for the Centre, so if you can help, please click on the link below:

http://www.thecreationgospel.com/donate/