PASSOVER AND THE EASTER TRADITIONS

PASSOVER AND THE EASTER TRADITIONS

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) The question of whether Christians should observe Passover, or continue with the well-established tradition of Easter, is one that provokes much reaction amongst believers. To answer this question we must always begin by examining the word of God.   For God’s ways are higher than man’s. Nowhere in the bible will you find the word Easter. The word Easter derives from Ishtar, the moon goddess from ancient Assyria, and is the root of the Germanic name Eostre, a pagan fertility goddess of the Saxon people of northern Europe. Eostre is also the root of the word estrogen, or oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone Ishtar/Eostre’s fertility symbols were eggs and rabbits. The ancient Assyrian new-year celebrations, called Akitu, culminated with the festival of Ishtar, which was the religious celebration of the fertility and pregnancy of the mother goddess as well as the resurrection of her son/husband, Tammuz, ‘the incarnated son of god’, who coincidentally was born on the 25th December! These pagan fertility symbols have become widely accepted in western culture, yet God makes it abundantly clear that we are not to do as the pagans do. Even the origins of the hot cross bun are found in a repeating form of worship, dating back to the days of Ishtar, who was known as the ‘queen of heaven,’ a name later given to Mary the mother of Jesus. Pagans would bake cakes to offer to ‘the queen of heaven’ (just as the idolatrous Israelites did – Jer 7:18) on the Friday before the Easter festival. Sound familiar? “Take heed to yourself you are not ensnared to...
CHRIST AT THE CHECKPOINT – A COUNTER MANIFESTO

CHRIST AT THE CHECKPOINT – A COUNTER MANIFESTO

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Our ‘counter manifesto’ has been written in response to the CATC4 manifesto: http://www.christatthecheckpoint.com/index.php/en/catc4-manifesto This response has been written out of genuine concern and love for the Palestinian Church whose plight and suffering we publicly acknowledge, stuck as they are between a rock and a hard place: a highly defensive militarised Israel on the one side, and the intransigent hardening hearts of their Palestinian Muslim neighbours on the other. As Jesus/Yeshua suffered, so we too as His disciples must expect to suffer. Such suffering must of course be for righteousness sake, for which we are blessed. “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3). Amid suffering, Jesus’ disciples first and foremost must stand on the immutable word of God and obey it. For God’s ways are not like man’s. When we do, and “when our ways please the Lord He can make our enemies be at peace with us” (Proverbs 16:7). So this counter manifesto was written to our Palestinian brethren out of love and we ask them to prayerfully consider what we have written. The Emmaus Group – 7th March 2016   ___________________ Counter-Manifesto:   1. Bethlehem Bible College (BBC): The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel. Emmaus Group (EG): The opening statement, “the Kingdom of God has come”, is misleading. The Bible says in many passages such as Matt 10:7, Mark 1:15, Luke 10:9 and others, that the Kingdom of God is ‘at hand’...
THE GOD OF ISRAEL IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE

THE GOD OF ISRAEL IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) In these days of increasing enmity towards Israel and the Jewish people, we must always keep in mind our God is the ‘God of Israel.’ The kings and princes of this world may conspire against her, but it’s the Lord’s counsel that will stand when it comes to this prophetic time clock of a nation. Re-established in 1948, Israel has spent 46 of her 68 years in a state of conflict; including three existential wars. Never in history has such a nation had to fight for survival, straight from the womb; she was less than one day old before the massed Arab armies sought to destroy her. Yet despite their efforts then, the many wars since, and the ongoing hostility of her neighbours today, including global economic sanctions by some, she defies precedent and logic. In the midst of adversity she thrives and prospers, blessing the world with remarkable technological, scientific and medical advances. How can this be? How can a tiny nation the size of Wales endure three existential wars, and a myriad of other conflicts, yet both survive and prosper? She does so because her God is faithful and true. Out of the ashes of the holocaust emerged a nation, one the world never stops trying to defame, yet against all the odds; against military reasoning and precedent; against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty, Israel flourishes as a healthy olive tree in a sea of turmoil. There will of course until the end of days, continue to be plans in the hearts of men who plot against her; proud men who will...
THE ROYAL WEDDING – PART 4: WHO IS THE BRIDE?

THE ROYAL WEDDING – PART 4: WHO IS THE BRIDE?

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Who is the Bride of Christ? In the final part of this series we ask the all-important question: who is the Bride? Broadly speaking, the established church in its various forms has taught us that the church is the bride of Christ.  Such teaching has inadvertently led to both complacency and anti-Semitism towards Israel and the Jewish people. For many believers there is also an understanding that the church has in fact replaced Israel in God’s affections. Yet God makes it clear Israel will always exist: “If the sun moon and stars stop shining, and the tides stop working, then and only then, Israel will stop being a nation.” Jeremiah 31:35-37 Israel is still very important to God and this is why there is such conflict over the land. The wars that rage on the ground in the natural merely reflect what is taking place in the spiritual. Why, because Satan knows Israel remains the “apple of His eye.”[i] Rejected for his rebellion and thrown out of God’s presence, Satan in his envy and rage seeks to steal, kill and destroy what is precious to God, hence the wars and international condemnation of the chosen ones, as the accuser of the brethren does his work.  If one looks at Israel through a spiritual lens rather than a natural one it’s much easier to understand the dynamics of the Middle-East. Confusion about the identity of the bride is in the use of words and translations: “Thou art snared by words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth” Proverbs 6:2 The Origins...