FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Christmas

(The following was published in the old Plain Truth Magazine each year)


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

EACH YEAR our Personal Correspondence Department answers numerous inquiries regarding the holiday season.

1. You say that Christmas observance does not come from the Bible. Where does it come from, then?

Where Christmas customs came from is really no secret. You can read the origins of Christmas customs in encyclopedias and other reference works, as well as in newspaper and magazine articles that often appear during the Christmas season. The facts are readily accessible.

At the end of December and the beginning of January festive celebrations were taking place in various nations of Europe centuries before Jesus was born! When that festive season rolled around, little children were filled with anticipation and excitement. The whole family got busily involved in putting up decorations. Boughs of holly and evergreen were assembled and placed about the house. The mistletoe was hung. A tree was chosen and decorated with ornaments. It was a season of giving and receiving presents, a time to sing songs, admire all the pretty lights and burn the Yule log. There were parades with special floats, sumptuous meals and merrymaking.

All this and Jesus wasn’t even born yet! In ancient times, many of the earth’s inhabitants, realizing their dependence upon the sun for light, heat and the growing of crops, watched the sun’s yearly course in the heavens with deep interest. At different seasons, feasts and celebrations were held to help, it was thought, the solar orb on its way.

The end of December was an especially significant time in the Northern Hemisphere. The days were short. The sun was at its lowest point. Special festivals of thanksgiving and encouragement to the sun were held. When, at the winter solstice, the days began to lengthen, there was great celebration lasting into the first part of January. The sun–the light of the world–had been (re)born! Such festivities, once meant to honor the sun and its god, were freely adopted by the spreading and increasingly popular “Christian” religion.

Why not, in the same way, honor Jesus–the real light of the world (even though He was not actually born in December)? The modern version of the Christmas tree is supposed to have originated in German lands in the Middle Ages. Since evergreens were green throughout the dead of winter, people looked upon them as especially imbued with life. It was in honor of the tree spirit or the spirit of growth and fertility that greenery was a prominent part of ancient pagan winter celebrations.

The Romans trimmed trees with trinkets and toys at that time of the year. The Druids tied gilded apples to tree branches. To certain peoples an evergreen decorated with orbs and other fruit-like objects symbolized the tree of life in the garden in Eden. Branches of holly and mistletoe were likewise revered. Not only do these plants remain green through the winter months, but they actually bear fruit at that time, once again a type of the spirits of fertility. Still today, catching someone under a branch of mistletoe can serve as a convenient springboard for romantic activity.

Few people stop to wonder what in the world such strange customs have to do with the birth of Jesus! The ancients lit festive fires in the last part of December to encourage the waning sun god, just as Christmas bonfires, candles and other lights burn today at the same time of the year. Use of the “Yule log,” part of the “Yuletide” season, hearkens back to the ritual burning of a carefully chosen log by the Druids. The word Yule comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word hweol, meaning “wheel,” a round wheel being an appropriate symbol for the sun.

You thought the Christmas shopping spree was a 20th century phenomenon? Listen to how fourth-century writer Libanius described end-of-the-year gift-giving and partying in the ancient non-Christian Roman Empire: “Everywhere may be seen … well-laden tables…. The impulse to spend seizes everyone. He who through the whole year has taken pleasure in saving … becomes suddenly extravagant…. A stream of presents pours itself out on all sides” (as quoted in Christmas in Ritual and Tradition).

Of all times in the year, it was indeed the season to be jolly. Drunkenness was widespread. Fortunately, however, the modes of transportation in those days did not lend themselves to the high rate of drunken-driver-induced traffic fatalities that are part of the Christmas season in many nations today.

An important part of the pagan harvest festivities–beginning in October-November with what has become Halloween–involved good and bad spirits. In many lands, visitors–usually bringers of good or evil–made their appearance in the winter season. Through blending pagan legends with traditions about saints, certain figures emerged, with similar personalities.

We recognize them today in different nations as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, St. Martin, the Weihnachtsmann, Pere Noel. Whatever name is used, all these winter visitors fulfill a similar role. These fictional persons–Christianizations of the pagan Germanic deities- -clearly perpetuate certain folk-ritual themes wherein varying degrees of rewards and punishments were dealt out to the celebrants.

Through the centuries these customs came to be centered around children. It is not too hard to see a connection between Santa using the chimney or the shoes and stockings hung by the fireplace and the ancient superstitions about hearth spirits. For thousands of years, especially among the Chinese, it was customary to sweep and scour the house in preparation for the visit of the hearth spirit. Each year, dressed in a pointed, fiery red cap and red jacket, this fire god traveled from the distant heavens to visit homes and distribute favors or punishments.

Today he is welcomed in the Western world each Christmas season. Popular Christmas customs, as we can see, plainly reflect non-Christian legends and practices. Some of the very Christmas customs observed today were once banned by the Catholic Council of Rome, the English Parliament and the Puritans of New England. The logical question to ask is, What is there about Christmas that is Christian?

2. All right. So Christmas is based on pagan traditions and myths. What is wrong with borrowing some of those customs and using them to honor Jesus on His birthday?

If we are supposed to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, why doesn’t the Bible give us the date of that event? Elsewhere in the Scriptures, when God revealed certain days He wanted His people to observe, no room was left for doubt as to when those days occurred. The instructions were specific because God wanted His people to observe those particular days.

Why, then, the silence as to which day Christ was born? The plain truth is that the Bible nowhere commands us to observe birthdays in the first place! But an even more important point to consider is this: When Jesus’ name is applied to borrowed pagan ideas and practices, does Jesus really feel honored? After all, it was Jesus Himself who told His people Israel not to seek to worship Him with customs borrowed from other religions (Deut. 12:29-32). Time and again He made it clear through His prophets that He wanted His people to remain “cleansed … of everything pagan” (Neh. 13:30, Revised Authorized Version).

3. Even though I have ceased to celebrate Christmas, is there anything wrong in continuing to exchange gifts out of the motive of giving rather than wanting to follow pagan customs?

There is nothing wrong with giving to others. Part of God’s overall purpose for our existence is that we learn to give instead of seeking to get. But a Christian needs to be careful about giving a gift around Christmas time. The reason? Christians are to be lights to the world. They must set the example of righteous living. To engage in gift giving with those who are celebrating Christmas may give the appearance to them that you are participating right along with them in Christmas festivities. God tells us to come out of the religious system of this world and to be “separate” (11 Cor. 6:14-18). How can a person be separate from such goings on and continue at the same time to dabble in them? Why not give gifts at other times of the year when they will be appreciated as spontaneously sincere and heartfelt?

4. How do I tell my friends and relatives that I no longer wish to exchange presents?

With a smile! That’s right. Show firmness, yet at the same time be relaxed and friendly about it. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to come across as a religious fanatic fired up with purple-veined emotion on the subject. There’s no need to make friends and relatives feel condemned and guilty by what you say. Your example will be testimony enough to them. Most of them haven’t the faintest idea where Christmas customs came from or why they are following them. It’s more superstition than it is religion. They’re just doing what everyone around them does.

Many of the problems arising from the Christmas season can be resolved if you apply three principles:

(1) Stress your objection to the commercialism of the season. Immediately you have everyone, with the possible exception of some shopkeepers and commercial interests, on your side. Who can deny that Christmas is a crassly commercial holiday, that it is budget-bustingly expensive? Who would not–especially as general economic conditions worsen–rather spend the money on more needful items, like maybe heating the house?

Who does not dread the wearisome Christmas shopping experience, the time-consuming uncertainty as to what to buy for whom? All you have to say is you’ve had enough of it, that when you give a gift you want to do it spontaneously instead of as a slave to some custom. After the initial shock wears off, most people will respect your stand and secretly wish they had the courage to do likewise. Some, in fact, heartened by your example, may do just that!

(2) Maintain a sense of humor. Let’s face it, cutting trees down and then setting them back up loaded with ornaments, the whole gift-trading rigmarole, the thought of an overweight, bearded individual decked out in flamboyant red and traveling through the air in a sled or some other conveyance when he is not slithering up and down someone’s chimney–these and so many other traditions are ridiculous. Feel free to point that out. Who can deny it?

(3) Put the burden of proof on those who are celebrating Christmas. It’s not that there isn’t overwhelming proof to back you up in your decision to cease celebrating Christmas. There certainly is. But most people have neither the time nor the interest for a detailed explanation. So shift the burden of proof to them. Say, in effect, “If you can show me where the Bible says I ought to observe Christmas, or where it says early Christians celebrated Jesus’ birthday, I will celebrate it also!”

The discussion will probably end very suddenly at that point. Of course, if the person to whom you are speaking shows an obvious interest in learning about the real origin of Christmas, you should be prepared to give an appropriate answer.

5. What happens if someone gives me a gift anyway? Should I return it?

If a person is testing you to see how deeply your religious convictions lie, returning the gift is a proper response. On the other hand, in cases where the person sincerely doesn’t know or comprehend your stand, a polite note of thanks for the gift and a brief statement that you no longer observe the Christmas holiday may be sufficient. By the way, you will find that most people will stop giving you Christmas gifts anyway after a year or two of not receiving a gift from you in return.

6. My friends and relatives continue to send me Christmas cards. Should I write back to each of them and explain that I have quit celebrating Christmas?

A brief note to that effect may be in order. As with gifts, most people will cease sending Christmas cards when they stop getting them in return.

7. What do I tell my children now that they will no longer be receiving presents at Christmas?

Why not tell them the truth? Why not tell them that you have come to understand that the world is wrong in its observance of Christmas and that you are going to do God’s will because it is better than Christmas? Be sure to emphasize the positive side–that God’s way is better than Christmas.

As proof of this, tell your children you are going to give gifts to them throughout the year because you love them all year long, not just on Christmas Day. That, in turn, is precisely what they can tell their friends who will be showing off their Christmas gifts.

It is important not to leave a void in your children’s lives by removing Christmas observance and putting nothing in its place. Arrange special activities with them often, and especially centering around the Holy Days God has ordained in the Scriptures–the days He does want us to observe.

8. Is there anything I can do to prevent my child from having to participate in Christmas activities at school?

One of the most important steps you as a Christian parent can take is to discuss the subject with the children’s teachers, addressing the problem ahead of time. Politely inform the teachers involved that you do not observe certain holidays and that you do not want to have your children take part in celebrations centering around those days.

Seek to avoid, as much as possible, leaving a teacher in a difficult situation with children to teach but not knowing what to have them do while others, for example, are drawing Santas. You can advise that your children may draw winter scenes or snowmen instead of things immediately associated with Christmas. If the whole class is having a Christmas party perhaps you could offer to come to school and take your children home that afternoon to relieve the teacher from having to find something else for them to do. In any case, try to be very cooperative with school officials.

Above all, ask God for wisdom, grace and favor in their sight. Your children themselves, especially as they get older, will be a determining factor as to whether they become involved in worldly religious holiday activities at school or elsewhere away from home. You can’t be with them every minute. This underlines the absolute need to provide positive instruction at home. If children are convinced in their own minds that they should not participate in certain activities, much of the battle is already won.

9. It is a standard policy for the company where I work to give all employees a Christmas bonus. Should I accept this bonus?

Bonuses given at the end of the year are usually not considered as Christmas gifts. They are often given in gratitude for work done throughout the preceding year. It is logical to wait until the end of the year before giving such a bonus, and Christmas seems to be as good an occasion as any.

Most large companies are not interested one way or the other in the personal convictions of their employees and, when that’s the case, there is no reason to refuse the bonus. If you are working for a smaller company where you know your employer personally, it may be advisable to mention to him or her that you don’t celebrate Christmas. If he or she wants to give you the bonus regardless, as simply a gift or token of appreciation, you can accept it with a clear conscience.

10. Some relatives have invited me to their house for dinner on Christmas Day. Should I refuse the invitation?

Not necessarily. It depends on the nature of the occasion. Since you understand the truth about Christmas, to you the day will be just another ordinary day of the year. And to you the simple fact of eating a meal with others on that day is no different from eating one with them on any other day.

What matters in this case, though, is how your relatives will regard the occasion. If they look on the meal as part of Christmas festivities and place religious significance upon it, then you would be out of place there. Your attendance could give the impression that you are observing Christmas with them or, if they know about your beliefs, that you are willing to compromise on your beliefs.

On the other hand, if the meal is merely a convenient opportunity for a family get-together, and there is no objectionable connotation placed upon the meal, then it might be all right to accept the invitation. Better be prepared to answer some questions, though, because sooner or later the conversation is sure to focus on why you don’t observe Christmas.

11. What should I say when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas”?

It is often sufficient to respond with a question such as “Where has this last year gone?” or “It’s that time of year again, isn’t it?” or “Do you think it is going to snow?” or even a parting statement on an entirely unrelated subject such as “Good-bye now” or “Have a good day!”

The surprising fact is that few individuals will even notice that you haven’t wished “Merry Christmas” in return, so meaningless is the expression. At other times, a smile and a “Thank you” (meaning you are grateful for their concern) may be more appropriate. If you have a question regarding the Christmas holiday and it has not been answered here, please feel free to write our Personal Correspondence Department at our address nearest you. They will be glad to help you.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Three Reasons to Celebrate Channukah

Three Reasons to Celebrate Channukah

By

James Scott Trimm


1. Yeshua observed Channukah.

John 7:1 tells us that starting at that time, Yeshua avoided going to Judea and taught only in Galil because the Judeans wanted to kill him:

After these things, Yeshua was walking in Galil,
for He did not want to walk in Y’hudah,
because the Judeans wanted to kill Him.
(John 7:1 HRV)

The next few verses tell us that when Sukkot came, Yeshua felt compelled to go to the Temple in Jerusalem, but came there secretly, not even letting his family know, and traveling apart from them:

2 And the Feast of Tabernacles of the Judeans was near.
3 And His brothers said to Yeshua, Depart from here and go into Y’hudah, that Your
talmidim might see the works that You do:
4 For there is no one who does anything in secret, and desires that he be [known] in
public. If you do these things, show your nefesh to the world:
5 For not even His brothers had trust in Yeshua.
6 Yeshua said to them: My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
7 The world is not able to hate you, but it hates Me because I testify against it; that its
works are evil.
8 Go up to this feast: I will not go up now to this feast, because My time is not yet
fulfilled.
9 He said these things, and He stayed in Galil.
10 And after His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He also went up: not in the open,
but in a secret manner.
(John 7:2-10 HRV)

Yochanan then goes on to cover the events which transpired during this Sukkot visit (John 7:11-10:21).

John 10:22 then opens with:

Now the Feast of Chanukkah was held in Yerushalayim,
and it was winter. And Yeshua was walking in the Temple,
in the porch of Shlomo.
(John 10:22-23 HRV)

Clearly Yeshua had returned to Jerusalem, something he normally avoided doing at this point in time, just as he had come for Sukkot, now he had come for Channukah. In context John 10:22 is not simply incidental, it is intended to be read in context with John 7:1-10 to indicate that Yeshua risked his life to come to Jerusalem to be there for Channukah, juts as he had done so for Sukkot. Normally in this time he avoided Judah and taught only in Galil. Clearly Yeshua had come to observe Channukah just as he had come to observe Sukkot, despite the fat that many Judeans wished to kill him, because he thought it urgently important to observe the feast.

He who says, I am in Him,
ought to conduct himself
according to His conduct.
(1Jn. 2:6 HRV)


2. The Scripture instructs us to observe Channukah.

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.
(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.
(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …
(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.
(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

5 Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
6 And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.
7 Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.
8 They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

1st and 2nd Maccabees were originally part of the Canon.

All English-language Protestant Bibles in the 16th Century included the books of the Apocrypha—generally in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments; However, Puritan theologians were inclined to reject books which owed their inclusion in the Biblical canon to ecclesiastical authority. Starting in 1630, volumes of the Geneva Bible were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. After the Restoration in 1660, Dissenters tended to discourage the reading of the Apocrypha in both public services and in private devotion.

The 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha but many publishers sought to satisfy a demand for cheaper and less bulky Bibles. In 1615 public notice was made that no Bibles were to be bound and sold without the Apocrypha with a penalty of one year in prison. None the less publishers continued seeking to increase their profit margin and soon it became difficult to find an ordinary edition of the KJV which contained the Apocrypha. (Today publishers are doing the same thing with the rest of the Tanak, simply printing the New Testament alone).


3. The Beit Din as Empowered by the Torah Established Channukah as Halachah.

We read in the Torah:

9: And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
10: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
11: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
(Deut. 17:9-11 KJV)

2nd Maccabees opens with two attached letters from the Jerusalem Council, the first is addressed to the Jews in Egypt in general (1:1-9) and the second is to Aristobulus, a teacher of King Ptolemy and to the Jews in Egypt (1:10-2:32). The two letters are from “the people that were at Jerusalem and in Judea, and the council, and Judas” (1:10). 2nd Maccabees is very much like the letter from the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:23-29 relaying an official decree from the Council to Jews in the Diaspora. That which we find written in 2Maccabees chapters 1-2 is “the sentence of judgment” of “the judge that shall be in those days” (Deut. 17:9) and we are therefore directed by Torah to “observe to do according to all that they inform you” (Deut. 17:10) and not “decline… to the right hand, nor to the left” (Deut. 17:11).

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.
(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …
(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.
(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

And as we see also recorded in 1st and 2nd Maccabees:

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.
(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)

5 Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.
6 And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.
7 Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.
8 They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.
(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

And as we also read in the Talmud:

What is the reason for Channukah? For our Rabbis taught: On
the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Channukah, which are
eight, during which lamentation for the dead and fasting are
forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they
defiled all the oils in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty
prevailed against and defeated them, they [the Maccabees]
searched and found only one cruse of oil which possessed the
seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for
only one day’s lighting; yet a miracle occurred there and they
lit [the lamp] for eight days. The following year these days
were appointed a Festival with the recitation of Hallel and
thanksgiving.
(b.Shabbat 21b)
It was also recounted in the Megillat Antiochus (c. 200 CE):
The Hasmoneans entered the Sanctuary, rebuilt the gates,
closed the breaches, and cleansed the Temple court from the
slain and the impurities. They looked for pure olive oil to light
the Menorah, and found only one bottle with the seal of the
Kohen Gadol so that they were sure of its purity. Though its
quantity seemed sufficient only for one day’s lighting, it lasted
for eight days owing to the blessing of the Elohim of heaven
who had established His Name there. Hence, the Hasmoneans
and all the Jews alike instituted these eight days as a time of
feasting and rejoicing, like any festival prescribed in the Torah,
and of kindling lights to commemorate the victories Elohim
had given them.
(Megillat Antiochus)

The Torah commands us to “observe and to do” according to what the “judges that be in those days” direct us to do, and the Jerusalem Council at the time of Judas Maccabee officially directed us to observe Channukah.

I often ask the question, is this work worthy of your support? Ask yourself, have you learned anything from this ministry? If so then chip in and do your part to help spread this truth.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

The Guf and Pre-existence

The Guf and Pre-existence
By
James Trimm

We read in Jeremiah:

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.”
(Jer. 1:5)

This passage alludes to the Jewish doctrine of pre-existence which Christendom rejected as heresy at the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553.

This contradicts the Torah which teaches that all creation was completed on the sixth day (Gen. 2:1-2) So every soul that would ever be born, had already been created by that time.

According to the Talmud, in the seventh heaven known as “Aravot” “the souls which are yet to be born” await the time of their birth:

‘Aravot is that in which there are Right and Judgment and Righteousness, the treasures of life and the treasures of peace and the treasures of blessing, the souls of the righteous and the spirits and the souls which are yet to be born… The spirits and the souls which are yet to be born, for it is written: For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made. (Is. 57:16)
(b.Chag. 12b)

This passage of Talmud is citing Isaiah 57:16 as it appears in the JPS 1918 text:

For I will not contend for ever, Neither will I be always wroth; For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, And the souls which I have made.
(Is. 57:16 JPS 1917)

In Jewish tradition, this storehouse of souls is called the “Guf” (or “Guph”). One tradition says that the Son of David (The Davidic Messiah, or from a Nazarene stand point, the second coming of Messiah) will not come until the Guf has been exhausted of souls:

R. Assi stated: The Son of David will not come before all the souls in Guf will have been disposed of, since it is said, For the spirit that unwrappeth itself is from Me etc. (Is. 57:16)
(b.Yev. 62a; 63b)

R. Jose stated: The Son of David will not come before all the souls in Guf will have been disposed of, since it is said, For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made. (Is. 57:16)
(b.Nidah 13b)

The Talmud also records a tradition which states that at the time a soul is sent into the world, an oath is administered to the soul by Elohim, as follows:

Be righteous and be not wicked;
and even if the whole world tells you that you are righteous,
regard yourself as if you were wicked.
(b.Niddah 30b)

And according to another tradition, these souls in the Guf have male and female “halves.” The Zohar describes their entry into the world as follows:

All the souls in the world are all mystically one,
But when they descend to this world they are
separated into male and female, though these are
still conjoined. When they first issue forth, they
issue male and female together. Subsequently,
when they descend (to this world) they separate,
one to one side and the other to the other. And
Elohim afterwards mates them- Elohim and no other,
He alone knowing the proper mate to each. Happy
is the man who is upright in his works and walks
in the way of truth, so that his soul may find its
original mate, for then he becomes indeed perfect,
and through his perfection the whole world is
blessed.
(Zohar 1:85b)

The doctrine of pre-existence has been rejected by Christendom, but it is very much a part of the Jewish roots of the original followers of Yeshua.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

My Mother the Ruach HaKodesh


My Mother the Ruach HaKodesh
By
James Scott Trimm

The sad truth is that many do not understand the Ruach HaKodesh, and even fewer understand the ministry of the Ruach HaKodesh, a ministry which is absolutely key to the Assembly of Elohim.

The Ruach HaKodesh is YHWH

There can be no doubt that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is YHWH, for we read in the Torah:

YHWH alone did lead him,
And there was no strange god with Him.
(Deut. 32:11)

While Isaiah speaks of this same event saying:

…The Spirit of YHWH caused them to rest;
So did You lead Your people…
(Is. 63:14)

And again we read in the Torah:

But when Moshe went in before YHWH that He might speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out…
(Ex. 34:34)

And Paul elaborates on this writing:

But when any man from them should turn to YHWH, the veil is lifted from him. Now YHWH himself is spirit, and where the Spirit of YHWH is, there is freedom. But all of us, with open faces, behold the magnificence of YHWH as in a mirror, and we are being changed into that likeness from glory to glory as by YHWH the Spirit.
(2Cor. 3:16-18)

Not Just an Impersonal Force

Some teachers have tried to reduce the Ruach HaKodesh to a mere impersonal “force”.  However, it is clear from the Scriptures that that the Ruach has many qualities that are not characteristic of an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 8:29; 10:19; Jn. 15:26; 2Pt. 1:21); have emotions (Is. 63:10; Eph. 4:30) can be insulted (Heb. 10:29) intercedes (Rom. 8:26) testifies (Jn. 14:26) leads (Rom. 8:14) commissions (Acts 13:4), commands (Acts 8:29); wills (1Cor. 12:11) and gives understanding (1Cor. 2:10-11).

The Nazarenes Understood

The original followers of Yeshua were a sect of Judaism known as “Nazarenes”.

The ancient Nazarenes clearly understood the Ruach HaKodesh to be a sort of Heavenly Mother. The ancient Nazarenes used an apocryphal Gospel called The Goodnews according to the Hebrews, which taught this very idea. While this apocryphal Gospel is now lost, several quotes from it have survived in the writings on the ancient “Church Fathers.” One of these quotes, found in Jerome’s commentary on Isaiah, tells the story of Yeshua’s immersion (baptism) this way:

And it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him, and said to him, “My Son, in all the prophets was I waiting for you that you should come, and I might rest in you.
For you are my rest, you are My firstborn son, that reigns forever.”
(Jerome- On Is. 11:2)

Here it is the Ruach HaKodesh, not the Father, who is calling Yeshua “My Son” apparently referring to Psalm 2:7 (see also Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5).

In another passage the Gospel according to the Hebrews is even more clear.  In this passage (cited by both Origen and Jerome) Yeshua is quoted as saying:

“Even so did my Mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away to the great mountain Tabor.” (Compare Ezkl. 8:3)
[Origen- On Jn. 2:12; Hom. on Jer. 15:4; Jerome- On Micah 7:6; On. Is. 40:9; On Ezkl. 16:13]

In Our Image…

We were created in the image of Elohim (Gen. 1:26-27; 1Cor. 11:7). This Image of Elohim is an invisible image of attributes, which make up the godhead (Col. 1:15; Rom. 1:27).

“What may be known of Elohim is manifest in them [mankind] his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…”
(Rom. 1:19)

Then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that those who fail to perceive these things may fall into the errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in creation were Elohim’s invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:

26 And Elohim said: Let us make man in our image; after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
27 And Elohim created man in His own image: in the image of Elohim created He him; male and female created He them.
(Gen. 1:26-27 HRV)

What does this mean?  Let US make man in OUR image?

The Zohar gives a very interesting answer:

And Elohim said, Let us make man (Gen. 1:26).  The secret (SOD) is to them who fear him (Ps. 25:14)…

That most reverend Elder opened an exposition of this verse by saying ‘Simeon Simeon, who is it that said: “Let us make man?” Who is this Elohim?’ With these words the most reverend Elder vanished before anyone saw him.

R. Simeon, hearing that he had called him plain “Simeon”, and not “Rabbi Simeon”, said to his colleagues: ‘Of a surety this is the Holy One, blessed be He, of whom it is written: “And the Ancient of days was seated” (Dan. 7:9). Truly now is the time to expound this mystery, because certainly there is here a mystery which hitherto it was not permitted to divulge, but now we perceive that permission is given.’

He then proceeded: ‘A king had several buildings to be erected, and he had an architect in his service who did nothing save with his consent (Prov. 8:30). The king is the supernal Wisdom above, the Middle Pillar is the king below: Elohim is the architect above, being as such the supernal Mother, and Elohim is also the architect below, being as such the Divine Presence (Shekinah) below. Now a woman may not do anything without the consent of her husband. And all the buildings were created through his Emanation  (aziluth), the Father said to the Mother by means of the Word (amirah), “let it be so and so”, and straightway it was so, as it is written, “And he said, Elohim, let there be light, and there was light”: i.e. one said to Elohim, let there be light: the master of the building gave the order, and the architect carried it out immediately; and so with all that was constructed in the way of emanation.
(Zohar 1:22a)

The Zohar understands “US” and “OUR” to be reflected in the “male and female” image of Elohim  mentioned in verse 27 and these are here referred to as “the Father” and “the Mother”.

The Male and Female image of Father and Mother are the Elohim which is the “Architect above” while the “architect below” is the “Elohim below” or the “king below” and identified as the “Middle Pillar”.  Elsewhere the Zohar identifies the Middle Pillar as the “Son of Yah”:

Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother far off.
This neighbor is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead,
which is the Son of Yah.
(Zohar 2:115)

Here (Zohar 1:22a) the Zohar also identifies the Middle Pillar with the Word.

So the words “Let Us create man in Our own image” are spoken from the Father to the Mother (Holy Spirit) and this is the Elohim above, and these words are carried out by the Word which is the Son of Yah, the Middle Pillar, the Elohim below.

Now following the parallelism of the passage, “Our image”, “Our likeness” and “male and female” appear to be parallel terms.

These feminine and masculine attributes are represented in the Tanak by the Father (Jer. 31:9; Mal. 1:9; Is. 63:16; 64:8), the Mother (Is. 66:13 ) and the Son (Prov. 30:4; Ps. 2:2, 7, 12).

YHWH as Mother is our Comforter

The female aspect of the three pillars of the Godhead is called “mother”. This is YHWH expressed to man, not in his aspect of “Father” but in the aspect of “Mother”. as we also read in the Tanak:

As one whom his mother comforts, so will I [YHWH] comfort you…
(Is. 66:13)

YHWH as a “comforter” is also known as the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) as we read in Yochanan:

…I will ask my Father and he will give you another comforter that will be with you forever, The Spirit of Truth …
(Jn. 14:16-17)

…the comforter, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom my Father will send in my name,…
(Jn. 14:27)

…when the comforter comes. Whom I will send you from my Father, the Spirit of Truth who has proceeded from my Father…
(Jn. 15:26)

…I will send the comforter to you.
(Jn. 16:7)

The Ruach HaKodesh is the Spirit of Elohim, which rested upon Messiah at his immersion:

…behold, the Spirit of Elohim descending from the heavens…and rested upon him…
(Mt. 3:16-17=Mk. 1:10-11 = Lk. 3:21-22 = Jn. 1:33)

Which is the Spirit of YHWH which rests upon Messiah in Isaiah 11:2-4:

And the Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom (Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah) the Spirit of Counsel (Atzah) and power (Gevurah) the spirit of knowledge and of the fear (yirah) of YHWH …But with righteousness shall he judge…
(Is. 11:2-4)

This Ruach HaKodesh is clearly is the “her/she” of Prov. 8:1-2, 12-18:

Does not wisdom call, And understanding put forth her voice?
Where the paths meet, she stands…I Wisdom (Chokmah) dwell with prudence…the fear (yirah) of YHWH is to hate evil…
Counsel (atzah) is mine…I am understanding (Binah) power (Geburah) is mine…. …by me rule… all judges…
Grammatically Feminine

One problem that presents itself in translating the New Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic into English is that of the gender of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). English is very different from Hebrew and Aramaic. To begin with English has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter (i.e. he, she and it). Hebrew and Aramaic have no neuter gender. In Hebrew and Aramaic everything is either a “he” or a “she” and nothing is an “it”. Also gender plays a much more important role in Hebrew and in Aramaic than in English. In English gender is usually only an issue when dealing with pronouns. But in Hebrew and in Aramaic nouns and verbs are also masculine or feminine. And while there are no true adjectives in Hebrew (nouns are used as adjectives), noun modifiers must agree in gender with the noun. Now the Hebrew word RUACH (Aramaic RUCHA) is grammatically feminine as is the phrase Ruach HaKodesh. This is matched by the role of the Ruach HaKodesh as “comforter” (Jn. 14-16) and the identification of the “comforter” with YHWH acting as a “mother” (Is. 66:13).

Now in English the Ruach is often referred to as “he” or “it” as also in the Greek New Testament. However this seems very odd indeed to the Semitic mind.

Now it is very clear that the gender of the RUACH has been revised in many passages of the Aramaic to agree with the Hellenistic concept of the Holy Spirit as being either a “he” or an “it”. Thus the pronouns used for the Ruach HaKodesh in Jn. 14-16 in the Peshitta are all masculine. However the hand of revision is very clear. For example while both the Peshitta and Old Syriac have “he” in Jn. 16:8 the Old Syriac has “she” just a few verses further down in 16:13 while the Peshitta has “he”.

Moreover there are many passages in which the Peshitta itself pairs the Ruach HaKodesh with feminine verbs and/or feminine modifiers: Mk. 1:10; Jn. 1:32, 33; 6:63; 7:39; Acts 8:29, 39; 16:17; Rom. 8:9, 10, 11, 16, 26a, 26b, 1Cor. 3:16; 1Tim. 4:1; 1Pt. 1:11; 4:14 and 1Jn. 5:6. In fact the Peshitta Aramaic of Rom. 8:16 opens literally with:

And she the Ruach gives testimony….

While it is clear that the Ruach HaKodesh has no literal gender, it is also clear that the Ruach HaKodesh is grammatically and figuratively a “she”.

The Woman in Revelation 12

In Revelation 12 we read:

“And a great sign was seen in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. And [she was] with child and crying and laboring in childbirth, also being in pain to bring forth…she gave birth to a male-child.”
(Rev. 12:1-2, 5)

Now if we turn to Isaiah we can easily see who this woman is:

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she delivered a man-child…. As one whom his mother comforts, so will I [YHWH] comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Yerushalayim.”
(Is. 66:7, 13)

The woman in Rev. 12:1-2 is in fact the Ruach HaKodesh, our comforter, our Mother. But look now at Rev. 12:1, she is “clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head”. This clearly refers to Joseph’s dream (Gen. 37:9) in which the Sun symbolizes Jacob, the Moon symbolizes Rachel and the twelve stars (an obvious reference to the twelve “signs of the Zodiac”) symbolize the twelve patriarchs. The woman is therefore “clothed” with Israel and the twelve tribes thereof. Thus the woman may also be seen as representing Israel. She is Israel on the outside, but Ruach HaKodesh on the inside. Thus we also read:

“Like as a woman with child, that draws near the time of her delivery, is in pain and cries out in her pangs; so have we [Israel] been at Your presence, O YHWH.”
(Is. 26:17)

“I have long time held My peace, I have been still, and refrained Myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman, gasping and panting at once.”
(Is. 42:14)

“Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Tziyon, like a woman in travail; for now shall you go forth out of the city, and shall dwell in the field, and shall come even unto Bavel; there shall you be rescued; there shall YHWH redeem you from the hand of your enemies.”
(Micah 4:10)


On yet another level the woman in Revelation 12 may be seen has having a parallel in Miriam the mother of Yeshua. Her son “is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5) this refers to the well known Messianic prophecy in Psalm 2:9. When Miriam conceived Messiah, the Ruach HaKodesh came upon her (Luk 1:35) thus she was able to act as the surrogate for the Ruach HaKodesh.

In the same way Israel is able to serve as the bride of YHWH. While the Ruach HaKodesh is the consort of YHWH, Israel, being filled with the Ruach HaKodesh acts as her surrogate.

And the dragon was angry concerning the woman, and he went to wage war with the remnant of her seed–those who keep the commandments of Eloah and have the testimony of Yeshua.
(Rev. 12:17)


When HaSatan comes against us, remember he is attacking us because the Ruach HaKodesh is our Mother.


As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

So You are Not Keeping Christmas?

SO YOU ARE NOT KEEPING CHRISTMAS?
By
John A. Halford
(Originally Published in the Plain Truth Magazine in the 1980’s)
(“Jesus” has been revised to “Yeshua” throughout)


So you have decided it’s time to make some changes. This year you and your family are (sssh–don’t let the neighbors know!)–not going to keep Christmas! But it isn’t quite as easy as that though, is it?

Christmas has become so much a part of most people’s lives that not to observe it can mean a major disruption. No Christmas cards. What will Aunt Tess think? No relatives over for Christmas dinner. No decorations. No lights or Santa Claus. You’ll have to try to avoid the office party, and you’d better write to the school explaining that you don’t want little Fred to play an angel in the Christmas play. And no tree.

I remember the first time we didn’t have a tree. It had always been a feature in our house. We would go to a lot of trouble to decorate it beautifully, and then put it in the front window for all to see. A good-looking tree was a status symbol in our neighborhood and, though I do say it myself, ours was one of the best and most impressive. But we noticed in the Bible where God made some pretty pointed remarks about decorated trees. Check it for yourself in Jeremiah 10:3-4.

God said it was a futile, pagan custom–a clear case of worshipping Messiah in vain. So–no tree. Even though we knew we had done the right thing, we really missed that tree. The neighbors all had them, sparkling in their windows, but our window remained dark. We missed it so much that we cheated a bit. We put up a few decorations–not a tree, mind you, just a few bits and pieces to make the place look more cheerful.

And we had a Christmas dinner, only we didn’t call it that. It was only a celebration. We felt guilty about it, because we knew we had compromised. It was just that the old way seemed so comfortable and without a tree and all the rest of the paraphernalia, Christmas just didn’t seem like–er, Christmas.

Yeshua knew this would happen. He explained to His disciples that they would indeed miss some aspects of the old way of life, and that even as they learned the truth from Him they would look back nostalgically from time to time. Yeshua taught an important lesson in Luke 5:36-39: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old” (verse 36).

Any seamstress understands that. New, unshrunk material cannot be used to patch old, worn garments. When it shrinks, it will tear the old cloth even worse than before.

Yeshua’ second analogy is not quite so easy for us to follow in the 20th century: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins” (verses 37-38). In New Testament times glass bottles were rare, so wine was often transported in animal skins, usually from goats. They made a strong, airtight and moisture-proof container, but you had to be careful. New wine that had not finished fermenting gave off gas that would expand the skins.

A new wineskin had some “give” to it, and would allow for the expansion. But old, used skins lost their elasticity. They would burst. The wine would be spilled and the wineskin ruined. But why tell people that? Yeshua’s business was not to give the multitude helpful household hints. Yeshua was using a familiar situation to teach an aspect of Christian living.


Withdrawal symptoms

When someone begins to understand the teachings of the Bible, it is a totally new experience–unlike anything he or she has ever known–like new wine or an unused piece of cloth. Now, what most of us do is try to fit this new truth into our old way of life. That is only natural, because it is hard to change, and no one likes to admit having been wrong.

The old way of life is familiar and comfortable, and we want to hang on to as much of it as possible. How about you? Perhaps you have fond memories of the Easter sunrise service, the fun of Halloween and those beautiful candlelight carol services down at the old family church. The truth comes smashing into inherited religious ideas and preconceived notions of right and wrong. It challenges comfortable beliefs, making you question things you have always done.

This new way–even if it is right–sometimes seems like an unwelcome intruder, and you find yourself resenting it. Yeshua warned us that that could happen: “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better”‘ (verse 39).

It is not surprising that so many people, even though they acknowledge the truth, still prefer to cling to their old beliefs. Or perhaps they do as my family did when we met the truth halfway, with a sort of “unChristmas” celebration. We didn’t enjoy our “unChristmas.” You never can if you know that you are compromising with what is right. We were trying to put our new wine in the old bottle, and we spoiled everything.


All the way

Don’t make that mistake. If you are beginning to understand what it means to be a real Christian, realize that it is going to demand positive action on your part. You can’t have it both ways, observing this world’s customs and still expecting the blessing of the world tomorrow. “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not the things which I say?” Yeshua thundered (Luke 6:46).

He expects total commitment. He demands that we come out of the Babylon of confusion that characterizes so much religion today. So along with the excitement of learning new truth comes the responsibility of making some painful decisions. Don’t compromise. God does not want to take from us anything that is good. His way of life is filled with exciting experiences that mean something and lead somewhere, not empty, senseless but often very expensive rituals.

As you take the plunge and follow God’s way of life, you will begin to miss the “old wine” less and less. You will see it for what it is–a hollow counterfeit of the real thing.

God is showing you the way to freedom from all that. Instead of looking back at the fraudulent ways of this world, you will begin to anticipate the excitement of helping others learn the truth in the world tomorrow.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

That Rock Which Followed Them: The Well of Miriam and the Messiah

That Rock Which Followed Them: The Well of Miriam and the Messiah
By
James Scott Trimm

In reference to the exodus and forty years in the wilderness, Paul writes:

1 Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all immersed unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah.
(1Cor. 10:1-4)

What does Paul mean by “drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them”?

Here Paul is referring directly to the Jewish tradition of the Well of Miriam. This is a tradition which permeates Rabbinic literature. According to the tradition there was a “rock-shaped like a kind of bee-hive, and wherever they journeyed it rolled along and came with them” in the wilderness (Midrash Rabbah Numbers Rabbah 1:2)

The Tanak tells us that Moshe struck the rock that gave water twice, in two different times and places. The first was at Horeb (Sinai) Exodus 17:5-6:

5 And YHWH said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with you of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
6 Behold, I will stand before you there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
(Exodus 17:5-6)

The second was later at the desert of Zin. At the time of the death of Miriam:

1 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
(Num. 20:1-2)

7 And the YHWH spake unto Moses, saying,
8 Take the rod, and gather you the assembly together, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak you unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shall give the congregation and their beasts drink.
9 And Moses took the rod from before YHWH, as he commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, you rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And YHWH spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because you believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
(Num. 20:7-12)

Since the rock seems to have stopped giving water at the death of Miriam, it became known as the “Well of Miriam” since it came to be understood that it was by the merit of Miriam that the rock followed them and gave them water. As we read in the Talmud:

R. Jose the son of R. Judah says: Three good leaders had arisen for Israel, namely. Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and for their sake three good things were conferred [upon Israel], namely, the Well, the Pillar of Cloud and the Manna; the Well, for the merit of Miriam; the Pillar of Cloud for the merit of Aaron; the Manna for the merit of Moses. When Miriam died the well disappeared, as it is said, And Miriam died there,(Num. 20:1) and immediately follows [the verse], And there was no water for the congregation (Num. 20:1); and it returned for the merit of the [latter] two [Moses and Aaron].
(b.Ta’anit 9a)

There are two reasons given in Rabbinic literature for Miriam’s merit in this regard. The first is given in the Zohar, that she stationed herself afar and watched the baby Moses in the water of the Nile:

“Three celestial gifts were provided for Israel through three siblings– Moses, Aaron and Miriam… the well by the merit of Miriam… The well on account of Miriam, for she is surely called Well. In the book of Aggata: His sister stationed herself afar (Ex. 2:4)- a well of living waters.”
(Zohar 3:103a)

The second is the joy with which she praised YHWH in song at the partting of the Red Sea, as recorded in the Midrash Rabbah:

And again, the well was due to the merit of Miriam, who sang by the waters of the Red Sea; as it is said: And Miriam sang (wa-ta’an) unto them: Sing ye to the Lord (Ex. 15:21), and by the waters of the well, Then sang Israel this song,Rise up, O well, sing (‘enu) ye unto it (Num. 21:17)…. R. Berekiah, the priest, said in the name of R. Levi: … And the well was due to the merit of Miriam. For what does Scripture say? And Miriam died there, and was buried there (Num. 20:1). And what is written after that? And there was no water for the congregation5 (Num. 20:2).

How was the well constructed? It was rock-shaped like a kind of bee-hive, and wherever they journeyed it rolled along and came with them. When the standards [under which the tribes journeyed] halted and the tabernacle was set up, that same rock would come and settle down in the court of the Tent of Meeting and the princes would come and stand upon it and say, Rise up, O well (Num. 21:17), and it would rise.
(Midrash Rabbah; Numbers Rabbah 1:2)

The Well of Miriam was said to have divine healing powers, which later came to be associated with the region of the Sea of Galilee (also known as the Lake of Tiberius):

R. Tanhuma said: The Holy One, blessed be He, accomplishes His purpose even through the agency of water. An incident is related of a certain man suffering from boils who went down to bathe in Tiberias. It so happened that he floated into Miriam’s well, and he bathed there and was healed.
(Midrash Rabbah; Leviticus Rabbah 22:4)

R. Tanhuma said: Even with water the Holy One, blessed be He, fulfils His mission. It happened that a person who was afflicted with boils went down to bathe in the Lake of Tiberias. Now it chanced that just at that moment Miriam’s well gushed up in that spot, and he washed therein and was healed.
(Midrash Rabbah; Eccl. Rabbah 5:10)

(This same story is found in the Jerusalem Talmud in y.Kelayim 9:3)

Paul gives us the remarkable insight that the Well of Miriam, the rock that literally rolled along and followed Israel in the wilderness to give them water, was in fact a physical manifestation of the Messiah!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Complete Harmonic Chronology of 1, 2 & 4 Maccabees

Complete Harmonic Chronology of 1, 2 & 4 Maccabees

By James Scott Trimm

Channukah begins soon. What a great time to study the Channukah story in the books of the Maccabees.

For those that have requested it, a more detailed chronology of the Maccabees/Hannukah Story

Event 1Macc. 2Macc. 4Macc. Other
The Rise of the Seleucid Empire 1:1-10
An attempt to take the Temple treasury 3:1-40 3:19-4:14
The plot against Onias 4:1-6
Jason becomes Cohen HaGadol 1:11-15 4:7-22
Menelaus becomes Cohen HaGadol 4:23-50
Antiochus Epiphanes comes to Jerusalem 1:16-40 5:1-27 4:15-26
The Abomination of Desolation 1:41-64 6:1-6
Martyrs 6:7-17
Eleazer is martyred 6:18-31 5-7
Martyrdom of Hannah and her seven sons 7 8-18 b.Gittin 57b
The revolt begins 2:1-48 8:1-7
Mattithias dies 2:49-70
Various battles 3:1-4:35 8:8-36
Cleansing of the Temple 4:36-61 10:1-9 The brief account in the Babylonian Talmud generally fits here: b.Shabbat 21b
More battles 5:1-68 Book of Judith Takes Place Here
Antiochus’ illness 9:1-12
Antiochus dies 6:1-17 (9:13-29)
Various battles 6:18-63 10:10-13:26
Demetrius becomes king 7:1-4 14:1-10
Appointments of Nicanor and Alcimus 7:5-25 14:11-14
Nicanor and Judas 7:26-38 14:15-46
Death of Nicanor 7:39-50 15:1-36 b.Ta’anit 18b

2Maccabees recounts the death of Antiochus Epiphanies (9:1-29) just before it recounts the purification of the Temple (10:1-9).

This appears to contradict 1Maccabees which places his death (6:1-17) after the cleaning of the Temple (4:36-61) in agreement with the account of Josephus.

Having examined it, I believe that the historical chronology is to be found in 1Maccabees and Josephus.

The account in 2Maccabees is not intended to relay the chronology (which was already well known) but to cover one subject at a time. 2Maccabees 9:1 begins with “About that time came Antiochus out of the country of Persia”, which is the event that took place shortly before the cleaning of the Temple in chapter 10.


But in the next verse the book backtracks to an event which had occurred while he was in Persia, and in recounting that event, he follows through to the death of Antiochus before returning to the “present” in 2Maccabees 10:1 with “Now Maccabee and his company, YHWH guiding them, recovered the Temple and the city…”.


2Maccabees 9:2-29 is a parenthetical which is not intended to be placed in chronological order.


This helps us to place Judith in context. Judith takes place shortly after the purification of the Temple (Judith 4:3) and before the death of Antiochus Epiphanies (i.e. “Nebuchadeznar”) during the gap between 1Macc. 4:36-61 and 1Macc. 6:1-17.

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Why the Rabbis Suppressed the Book of Enoch

Why the Rabbis Suppressed the Book of Enoch
By
James Scott Trimm



In the Second Temple Era the Book of Enoch was widely used and accepted in Judaism.  Seven copies of the book were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and the contents of the book were referenced by the original Jewish followers of Yeshua no less than 128 times in the Ketuvim Netzarim (The books that came to be known as the “New Testament”), with the book of Jude actually quoting the book (Jude 1:14-15 quotes 1Enoch 1:9).  Certainly it was from their Nazarene Jewish predecessors that the gentile Christians inherited the book.  The earliest Christian “Church Fathers” used the book right along side the others, Tertullian even called it “Sacred Scripture”.

Some time after the close of the Second Temple Era the Book of Enoch became suppressed by the Rabbis.  Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai, a 2nd-century tannaitic sage and traditional compiler of  the Zohar indicates that the Rabbis used the book secretly, but suppressed it for fear that laymen might be misled by misunderstanding it:

Rabbi Simeon said: ‘Had I been alive when the Holy One, blessed be He, gave mankind the book of Enoch and the book of Adam, I would have endeavoured to prevent their dissemination, because not all wise men read them with proper attention, and thus extract from them perverted ideas, such as lead men astray from the Most High to the worship of strange powers. Now, however, the wise who understand these things keep them secret, and thereby fortify themselves in the service of their Master.’
(Zohar 1:72b)

The so-called “Church Father” Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 CE) wrote around the same time period:

But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that “every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.” [110] By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that (very) reason, just like all the other (portions) nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive. To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude. [111]              
(Tertullian; The Apparel of Women”; Fathers of the Church 3,1,1-3)

So Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai admits that among the sages of Rabbinic Judaism “the wise who understand these things keep them secret, and thereby fortify themselves in the service of their Master.’”.  But that he “endeavoured to prevent their dissemination” because, as he says “not all wise men read them with proper attention, and thus extract from them perverted ideas, such as lead men astray from the Most High to the worship of strange powers.”

And Tertullian says “the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected” the Book of Enoch because “just like all the other (portions) nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive.”

In simpler terms, Rabbi Simeon says the Rabbis suppressed the book because they thought only the “sages” could be trusted to understand it without “extracting perverted ideas” and being led “astray from the Most High to the worship of strange powers.”  And Tertullian says the Jews rejected the book because is spoke so clearly of Messiah and because of their rejection of Yeshua as the Messiah.

In recent years Orthodox Jewish scholar Daniel Boyarin (pictured at the top of this article) wrote a book “The Jewish Gospels; The Story of the Jewish Christ”. This book also takes a non-hostile approach to Yeshua and his original Jewish followers. Daniel Boyarin is not only a noted historian of religion, he has also been called “one of the two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world.” He holds dual United States and Israeli citizenship. Trained as a Talmudic scholar, in 1990 he was appointed Professor of Talmudic Culture, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, a post which he still holds.

Boyarin opens his book with some very interesting words:

If there is one thing that Christians know about their religion, it is that it’s not Judaism. If there’s one thing Jews know about their faith, it is that it’s not Christianity. If there is one thing that both groups know about this “double not,” it’s that Christians believe in the Trinity and the incarnation of Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) and that Jews don’t, that Jews keep kosher and Christians don’t.

If only things were that simple. In this book, I’m going to tell a very different story, a story of a time when Jews and Christians were much more mixed up with each other than they are now, when there were many Jews who believed in something quite like the Father and the Son and even in something like the incarnation of the Son in the Messiah, and when followers of Jesus kept kosher as Jews, and accordingly a time in which the difference between Judaism and Christianity just didn’t exist as it does now….

While by now almost everyone, Christian and non-Christian, is happy enough to refer to Jesus, the human, as a Jew, I want to go a step beyond that. I wish us to see that Christ too–the divine Messiah–is a Jew. Christology, or the early ideas about Christ, is also a Jewish discourse and not–until much later–an anti-Jewish discourse at all. Many Israelites at the time of Jesus were expecting a Messiah who would be divine and come to earth in the form of a human. Thus the basic underlying thoughts from which both the Trinity and the incarnation grew are there in the very world into which Jesus was born and in which he was first written about in the Gospels of Mark and John (1-2)
(Daniel Boyarin, The Jewish Gospels; The Story of the Jewish Christ; 2012, p. 1, 5-6)

Of course I believe that Boyarin uses the term “Christian” too loosely here (the original followers of Yeshua identified themselves as Jews and not as “Christians,”) however it is very interesting that such an important Orthodox Jewish scholar is now willing to admit that not only were Yeshua’s original followers Kosher eating and Torah observant, but that the doctrine of the Deity of Messiah itself was of Jewish origin, was held by the original Jewish followers of Yeshua from the very beginning, and has been rejected by Rabbinic Judaism since the first century in a reactionary manner!

What is even more interesting is what Boyarin has to say about the Book of Enoch in this very regard!  Boyarin’s book has an entire chapter on the “Son of Man” figure as portrayed in the Book of Enoch.

Boyarin says that the Book of Enoch “…makes extensive use of the term “Son of Man” to refer to a particular divine-human Redeemer figure…” which he says exhibits “many of the elements of the Christ story.”  (ibid p. 75) and “This book provides us with our most explicit evidence that the Son of Man as a divine-human Redeemer arose by Jesus’ time…” (ibid p. 76) he goes on to conclude:

What we learn from this is that there was controversy among Jews about the Son of Man long before the Gospels were written.  Some Jews accepted and some rejected the idea of a divine Messiah.  The Similitudes [of the Book of Enoch] are evidence for the tradition of the interpretation of the Son of Man as such a divine person, the tradition that fed into the Jesus movement as well.  It is only centuries later of course, that this difference in belief would become the marker and touchstone of the difference between two religions.
(ibid p. 77)

Boyarin even writes:

“In the Book of Enoch, this figure is a part of God; as a second or junior divinity, he may even be considered a Son alongside the Ancient of Days, whom we might begin to think of as the Father.  Although the Messiah designation appears elsewhere also, it is in Enoch 48 that the similarities to the Gospel ideas about Jesus are most pronounced.”(ibid pp. 77-78)

Boyarin then quotes Chapter 48 which I give in my own translation below:

1 And in that place I saw the fountain of righteousness
Which was inexhaustible:
And around it were many fountains of wisdom:
And all the thirsty drank of them,
And were filled with wisdom,
And their dwellings were with the righteous and set-apart and chosen.
2 And at that hour that Son of Man was named In the presence of YHWH Tzva’ot,
And his name before the Ancient of Days.  
3 Yea, before the sun and the signs were created,
Before the stars of the heaven were made,
His name was named before YHWH Tzva’ot.
4 He shall be a staff to the righteous whereon to stay themselves and not fall,
And he shall be the light of the Gentiles,  
And the hope of those who are troubled of heart.
5 All who dwell on earth shall fall down and worship before him,
And will praise and bless and celebrate with song YHWH Tzva’ot.
6 And for this reason has he been chosen and hidden  before Him,
Before the creation of the world and for evermore.  
7 And the wisdom  of YHWH Tzva’ot has revealed him to the set-apart and righteous;
For he has preserved the lot of the righteous,
Because they have hated and despised this world of unrighteousness,
And have hated all its works and ways in the name of YHWH Tzva’ot:
For in his name they are saved,  
And according to his good pleasure has it been in regard to their life.
8 In these days downcast in countenance shall the kings of the earth have become,
And the strong who possess the land because of the works of their hands,
For on the day of their anguish and affliction they shall not (be able to) save themselves.
9 And I will give them over into the hands of My chosen:
As straw in the fire so shall they burn before the face of the set-apart:
As lead in the water shall they sink before the face of the righteous,
And no trace of them shall any more be found.
10 And on the day of their affliction there shall be rest on the earth,
And before them they shall fall and not rise again:
And there shall be no one to take them with his hands and raise them:
For they have denied YHWH Tzva’ot and His Anointed.
The name of YHWH Tzva’ot be blessed.
(1Enoch 48)

Boyarin comments on this chapter saying:

First of all, we find the doctrine of the preexistence of the Son of Man.  He was names even before the universe came into being.  Second, the Son of Man will be worshipped on earth: “All who dwell on earth will fall down and worship before him, and they will glorify and bless and sing hymns to the name of the Lord of Spirits.” Third, and perhaps most important of all, in v. 10 he is named as the Anointed One, which is precisely the Messiah (Hebrew Mashiach) or Christ (Greek Christos).  It seems quite clear that many of the religious ideas that were held about the Christ who was identified as Jesus were already present in the Judaism from which both the Enoch circle and the circles around Jesus emerged.
(ibid p. 80)

Boyarin then cites 1Enoch 69:26-29 which reads from my own translation:

26 And there was great joy among them,
And they blessed and glorified and extolled
Because the name of that Son of Man had been revealed unto them.
27 And he sat on the throne of his glory,
And the sum of judgment was given unto the Son of Man,
And he caused the sinners to pass away and be destroyed from off the face of the earth,
And those who have led the world astray.
28 With chains shall they be bound?
And in their assemblage-place of destruction shall they be imprisoned,
And all their works vanish from the face of the earth.
29 And from henceforth there shall be nothing corruptible;
For that Son of Man has appeared,
And has seated himself on the throne of his glory,
And all evil shall pass away before his face,
And the word of that Son of Man shall go forth
And be strong before YHWH Tzva’ot.
(1Enoch 69:26-29)

Boyarin says of these verses:

Here the Son of Man is clearly occupying his throne of glory, seated perhaps, at the right hand of the Ancient of Days.  It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Son of Man is a second person, as it were, of God.  And all the functions assigned to the divine figure called “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7 are given to this Son of Man, who is called, as we have seen, the Christ.
(ibid p. 81)

Here an Orthodox Jewish scholar has admitted that the beliefs of the original followers of Yeshua concerning the Messiah were originally Jewish ideas long before the time of Yeshua, and that the best evidence of this fact is the Book of Enoch!

It is no surprise then that by the second Century the Rabbis began to suppress the book of Enoch, thinking that only they had the ability to understand it without being drawn astray to follow after the Yeshua movement.

The book has now been restored to us in these last days as Nazarene Judaism is also being restored, as proof that even an Orthodox Jewish scholar had to accept, that our ideas concerning the Messiahship of Yeshua are authentically Jewish!

As you know we have been digging ourselves out of a budget shortfall.  As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

ALL ABOUT “CHRISTMAS” 2000 B.C.E. to Date

ALL ABOUT “CHRISTMAS” 2000 B.C.E. to Date
Originally by Ed Stevens
Edited by James Trimm

As recorded in Gen. 3:15, YHWH Elohim announced to the guilty pair in the garden of Eden that of the “seed” of the woman the Savior of mankind would appear, by whom “the Serpent” would be destroyed. After the flood, when the human race was centralized on the plains of Babylon, Satan sought to turn men away from G-d’s plan of redemption by producing a counterfeit Messiah. He found a ready tool in an ambitious woman, Semeramis, the widow of Nimrod, “the mighty hunter before YHWH” (Gen. 10:9) who had met with a violent death. Nimrod had been deified as being a deliverer from the menace of wild animals. His wife, seeking to perpetuate his worship and also to retain power over men herself, deceived them into joyfully believing that through a miraculous conception she had given birth to a son called Tammuz, purported to be Nimrod reincarnated. Here then, 2000 B.C.E. was HaSatan’s counterfeit of the promised “Seed” of the woman. This woman with her illegitimate son was thenceforth worshipped as “mother of (a) G-d” (Madonna)– “the queen of heaven.” Thus originated the ancient Babylonian mystery religion, the fountainhead of all idolatry covering the globe. Every idol mentioned in the Bible as well as in mythology, having varied names in different lands, can be traced to this source.

Alexander Hislop, in his monumental work. THE TWO BABYLONS, has clearly shown that the papal worship is none other than the worship of Nimrod and his wife, disguised in a garb of Christianity. Concerning the Christmas festival Hislop writes:

The Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, the ceremonies with which it is celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves– Yule day– proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. “Yule” is the Chaldee name for “infant,” or “little child”; and as the 25th of December was called by our pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors “Yule-day” or “the child’s day”, and the night that preceded it, “Mother night”, long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birthday observed
(THE TWO BABYLONS; Alexander Hislop; p. 93)

It may be demonstrated that Y’shua was not born in the winter at all, but during the Fall Feasts. Since YHWH has not in his Word authorized the celebration of Christmas, then who induced men to begin doing so, and how was it being brought about? As early as the first century Paul was condemning those from the Gentiles who were attempting to incorporate their old pagan “days, and months and seasons and years” into their new faith (Gal. 4:8-11). About the year 230 the Gentile Christian “Church Father” Tertullian wrote:

By us [Gentile Christians] who are strangers to (Jewish) Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to G-d, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried to and fro.

Since Tammuz was worshiped as G-d incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the “L-rd of the heavens,” the sun, and since the sun noticeably began to grow stronger at about the 25th of December, this date came to be known not only as the rebirth of Nimrod but of the Sun as well. In ancient Rome this day was known as “Natalis Invicti Solis”– the birthday of the unconquered sun. Lights were kindled then to burn until the 6th of January (Epiphany). The feast of Saturnalia, lasting about a week, was held at this time of the winter solstice, accompanied with much merrymaking, wild revelry and debauchery. To obtain more adherents to Roman Catholicism it was the policy of the papacy to amalgamate the heathen festivals with things of Christendom. Pope Gregory wrote to Augustine the first missionary to the British Isles (C.E. 597):

Do not destroy the temples of the English G-ds; change them to Christian churches. Do not forbid the “harmless” customs which have been associated with the old religions; consecrate them to Christian use. Thus Rome retained a pagan form for “Xmas” but could not restrain its pagan spirit– existing to this day.

Sir James Fraser in “The Golden Bough” writes:

Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of its founder on the 25th of December in order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the sun to him who was called the Sun of Righteousness. If that was so, there can be no intrinsic improbability in the conjecture that motives of the same sort may have led the ecclesiastical authorities to assimilate the Easter festival of the death and resurrection of their L-rd to the festival of the death and resurrection of another Asiatic G-d which fell in the same season.

The name “Christmas” appeared about 450 C.E. when Pope Julius decreed that all Catholics must celebrate the birthday of Christ at the same time that the heathen were celebrating the Saturnalia, etc. It was designated as “Christe-masse”, or Christ’s mass.

Few know that the so-called “Christmas tree” had its origin in Babylon’s mystery religion, where it was used to represent Tammuz (which name means a sprout) HaSatan’s counterfeit of “The Branch” (Hebrew: NETZER; branch; shoot; sprout)– Messiah, who was also prophetically called “The Root out of dry ground” (Is. 11:1; 53:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 6:12– “Behold the man whose name is The Branch”). Ancient coins have been found picturing a tree stump (representing dead Nimrod) and a small tree growing nearby (Tammuz). The Egyptians used the palm tree; the Romans a pine tree. The “Xmass tree” of idolatrous Israelites is described in Jer. 10:1-4, where the modern tree seems vividly pictured. Mistletoe and holly figured prominently in the early Anglo-Saxon and Druidic tree worship.

The whole hearted believer will not contribute to this perpetuation of Christmas by observing it in any way whatsoever; but will withdraw in horror from such pagan-born celebrations revered by a world that greeted the infant Messiah with Herod’s sword, reeking with the blood of Bethlehem’s baby boys, and which finally crucified Him in diabolical hatred. The prophecy of Rev. 11:10 may soon be fulfilled when YHWH’s two witnesses shall be slain, then “they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and make merry and shall send gifts to one another.”

“Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
(Eph. 5:11).

The birth of Jesus is remembered each year but Yeshua is contemptuously set at naught.

The Torah reminds us:

“You shall not follow a multitude to do evil”
(Ex. 23:2)

And as Y’shua himself said:

“That which is highly esteemed among men is abominable in the sight of Elohim”
(Luke 16:15)

And as Paul writes:

“Be you not conformed to this world but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may know what is that good and acceptable and wholehearted will of G-d.”
(Rom. 12:2)

Ed Stevens (Edited by James Trimm)


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The last six weeks have hit us very hard. It has been a long time since our situation was this dire. We are treading water financially. We we have nearly $220 in pending charges that must clear our account tonight (12/16/20). This morning I am taking my wife to one of her many doctor appointments, where there will be a copay, plus I need to fill a prescription for her today that is just over $200 (that is our cost). We honestly need to raise about $500 today to cover these costs. Any donation will help, and any donation is better than no donation.


Now is time to step up to the plate!

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen, and to continue the work of the Scripture Restoration Project. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

Donations sent by Paypal to donations@wnae.org normally reach us instantly. Any donation will help, and any donation is better than no donation.

James Trimm

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

Judith, Channukah and the Last Days

Judith, Channukah and the Last Days
By James Scott Trimm
An excerpt from Channukah and the Last Days



The Apocryphal book of Judith is about a beautiful and devout Jewish widow who saves her city from an invading army. The Elders of her city decide to surrender unless help arrives within five days. Judith leaves and enters the camp of the opposing general. She beguiles him by her beauty but ultimately returns to her city with his head in a bag. This inspires her city to route the invading army. In the end the High Priest comes to her city an honors Judith for her valor. Many modern critics have accused the Book of Judith of anachronisms and historical inaccuracies. On the surface the book claims to be set “In the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh, in the days of Arphaxad who ruled over the Medes in Ecbatana”. In fact Nebuchadnezzar was actually the King of Babylon, not the King of Assyria. In actuality these are all Euphemisms and the book is actually set in the Maccabean era. For example the book of Judith uses Nebuchadnezzar as a euphemism for Antiochus Epiphanies, because both names have a gematria (numerical value) of 423.


There are other reasons to associate Antiochus Epiphanies with Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon.  The call to “come out of Babylon” is phrased in Zechariah as coming out of “The Land of the North” and Antiochus Epiphanies was the “King of the North” in Daniel 11. Also as we discovered in the last chapter, Antiochus Epiphanies parallels the first “Beast” of Revelation 13. This “Beast” of Revelation 13 is described as follows:

1 And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming
up from the sea that had ten horns and seven heads: and upon
his horns, ten diadems, and upon his head, the name of
blasphemy.
2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet like
those of a bear, and his mouth [was] like that of lions. And the
dragon gave to him his power, and his throne, and great
authority.
(Rev. 1:1-2)

This is a composite of the four beasts Daniel sees in his vision in Daniel 7. Students of Biblical Prophecy will be well aware that Daniel’s prophecy in Chapter 7 parallels the dream of the image made up of various substances in Daniel 2 and that the “image” of Daniel 2 is a composite of the kingdoms laid out as “Beast” in Daniel 7. In other words, the “image” of Daniel 2 parallels the “Beast” of Revelation 13. This is significant because in Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar is told that the “head” of this image represents him as the King of Babylon. This is because Nebuchadnezzar was symbolizing Antiochus Epiphanies who was to come. This is further substantiated by the parallel between the abomination of desolation and the arrogant proclamation attributed to the last days “King of Babylon” in Isaiah 14 and the fact that the account of Antiochus Epiphanies death in 2nd Maccabees recalls language from this portion of Isaiah 14.

In reality the book takes place during the rule of Antiochus Epiphanies over the Selucid Empire of Syria and of Ptolemy VI over Egypt. The story appears in several Midrashim in Jewish literature in which it is set in the Maccabean era. 2Maccabees recounts the death of Antiochus Epiphanies (9:1-29) just before it recounts the purification of the Temple (10:1-9).  This appears to contradict 1Maccabees which places his death (6:1-17) after the cleaning of the Temple (4:36-61) in agreement with the account of Josephus.  Having examined it, I believe that the historical chronology is to be found in 1Maccabees and Josephus.

The account in 2Maccabees is not intended to relay the chronology (which was already well known) but to cover one subject at a time. 2Maccabees 9:1 begins with “About that time came Antiochus out of the country of Persia.” Which is the event that took place shortly before the cleaning of the Temple in chapter 10. But in the next verse the book backtracks to an event which had occurred while he was in Persia, and in recounting that event, he follows through to the death of Antiochus before returning to the “present” in 2Maccabees 10:1 with “Now Maccabee and his company, YHWH guiding them, recovered the Temple and the city…”. 2Maccabees 9:2-29 is a parenthetical which is not intended to be placed in chronological order.

This helps us to place Judith in context. Judith takes place shortly after the purification of the Temple (Judith 4:3) and before the death of Antiochus Epiphanies (i.e. “Nebuchadeznar”) during the gap between 1Macc. 4:36-61 and 1Macc. 6:1-17. It is commonly recognized in Judaism as a Channukah story. And like the books of the Maccabees, the Book of Judith has much to teach us about last days events. The Book of Judith features two primary villains Nebuchadnezzar who is called “King of Assyria” and one of his generals named Holofernes. As discussed above, Nebuchadnezzar is used as a euphemism for Antiochus Epiphanies and Holoferenes represents one of his generals. Just as Antiochus Epiphanies is a type and shadow of the first “Beast” of Revelation 13, Holofernes is a type and shadow of the second “Beast” of Revelation 13.

Holofernes enacts an edict from “Nebuchadnezzar” (Antiochus Epiphanies) to abolish all other forms of worship in favor of the worship of “Nebuchadnezzar” (Antiochus Epiphanies):

…he [Holofernes] did cast down their frontiers, and cut down
their groves: for he had decreed to destroy all the gods of the
land, that all nations should worship Nabuchodonosor only,
and that all tongues and tribes should call upon him as god.
(Judith 3:8)

3: He will send his power, and will destroy them from the face
of the earth, and their God shall not deliver them: but we his
servants will destroy them as one man; for they are not able to
sustain the power of our horses.
4: For with them we will tread them under foot, and their
mountains shall be drunken with their blood, and their fields
shall be filled with their dead bodies, and their footsteps shall
not be able to stand before us, for they shall utterly perish, saith
king Nabuchodonosor, lord of all the earth: for he said, None
of my words shall be in vain.
(Judith 6:3-4)

Holofernes prefigures the second beast of Revelation 13, which causes people to worship the first beast:

11 And I saw another beast coming up from the earth, and he
had two horns, even like a lamb, and he was speaking as a
dragon.
12 And he will exercise all the authority of the first beast
before him, and he will cause the earth and those who dwell in
it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he will do great signs in such a manner, that he will
make fire to descend from heaven upon the earth, before the
sons of men.
14 And he will seduce, those who are dwelling on the earth: by
the signs that are given to him to work in the presence of the
beast; saying to those who are dwelling on the earth [that they
should] make an image for the beast, who had the wound of the
sword and lived.
15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the
beast: and he will cause all who will not worship the image of
the beast, to be killed.
(Rev. 13:11-15 HRV)

Judith 2:20 speaks of the army of Holofernes as “like a swarm of locusts” recalling the army of locusts in Joel and Revelation 9. The main character Y’hudit (Judith) represents the remnant of House of Judah which overcomes the false prophet. Her name means simply “Jewess” (this may also be a euphemism and not her actual name). She parallels the “woman” in Revelation 12 who dwells in the wilderness for forty-two months. In parallel Judith had been a widow for three years and four months (about 1,200 days) (Judith 8:4). Her husband had dies at the time of the barely harvest (around Passover) and had been named “Manasseh” (Judith 8:1-3). Her bridegroom parallels Messiah, the bridegroom of Judah, Messiah was impaled at Passover (at the barley harvest) when he died in the role of Messiah “ben Yosef”.

Channukah is not just a Jewish holiday, it is a key to prophetic events of the last days. Embedded within the Channukah story are elements foreshadowing the apostasy, the abomination of desolation, the Great Tribulation the Anti-Messiah, the martyrs of the tribulation, the false prophet, the remnant, the return of Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom to come.

The rent is due tomorrow and we do not have it!

The last two years have been a real trial for us, and the last two months especially so. As you all probably know, our lives have never been the same since my wife returned home from a nearly two month hospitalization and septic shock in 2018.

Then recently in October 2020 my wife was hospitalized for two weeks and and had two surgeries beginning October 9th. She was sent home with a antibiotic resistant infection, under home health care with I.V. antibiotics at home, with visiting nurses. Not long after we got home, we both started having Covid-19 symptoms (mine were only mild), and we both tested positive for Covid-19 about three weeks ago. We were both recently retested, and while I re-tested negative, she is still positive and still sick with Covid-19.

All of this has been a financial burden on us. The I.V. antibiotics were almost $200 a week, and she needs a prescription filled soon which is just over $200!

I am now “back in the saddle” on projects like the Scripture Restoration Project

Also, by popular request, start looking for ne YouTube teaching videos soon!

We need your help to continue the ongoing work, bringing the message of Messiah to the Jewish people, and bringing the message of Torah to the world. We need your help with the ongoing work of Scripture Restoration, as restore the original Hebrew of the “New Testament” books, a project which will bless all mankind, especially the Jewish people of Israel.

In these uncertain times, we need your support more than ever. The time is short, and there is much work to be done. As you might imagine, donations are low. If you can, please donate. This is no time to pull back from the great work in front of us!

Help us to continue to do important work, like posting important Hebrew and Aramaic texts at Scripture Nexus

As I have said to you many times, I look on this work as a co-operative one with me, and all of you combining our resources together in order to get the job done of helping to teach this great truth to all in the world who will listen. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, you are the ones who make it all possible by your contributions and your prayers for our work. I truly appreciate your help in every way.

If you can make a one time donation of $500 or $1,000 dollars to support this work.


Donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org.

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network

And don’t forget to join the conversations at the NazareneSpace Social Network