C O N T E N T S
VOL. 2 | No. 6 |November/December 2011
A R T I C L E S
3 | What Would Yahshua Do? by Randy Folliard
12 | Two Faces of New Year’s by Alan Mansager
6 | What’s Important In Life? by Joel Wirl
8 | Holly Day- Mithra Meets St. Nick by Alan Mansager
17 | Going Solo by Donald Mansager 20 | Questions and Answers 23 | Letters
Restoration Times expounds the close ties between the Old and New Testaments. We teach the continuity and harmony that extend from Yahweh’s actions anciently down through His present activity in Yahshua the Messiah. This was also the conviction of the early New Testament Assembly. This publication is sent free of charge, made possible through the tithes and offerings of those who desire to see the truth of Scripture restored in our day. © 2011 Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry
FRONT COVER: Image of Santa Claus kneeling at the nativity. Misconceptions abound this time of year as many try to justify why they do what they do.
Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry PO Box 463 Holts Summit, MO 65043 Telephone: 573-896-1000 Fax: 573-896-9248 www.yrm.org email@example.com
What Would Yahshua Do by Randy Folliard
hat would Yahshua do? This is one of the most popular questions in nominal worship today. It is found emblazoned on shirts, notebooks, billboards, bracelets and many other items. Even though this phrase has become somewhat mundane, its validity extends to all believers in the Messiah. In 1Peter 2:21 we find that we’re to follow Yahshua’s examples: “For even here unto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” What does it mean to follow in Yahshua’s steps? The word “example” is from the Greek hupogrammos and means a copy for imitation. Yahshua’s life serves an example that we’re to emulate or mimic. In other words, we’re to live as He lived, worship as He worshipped, and act as He acted. He is our pattern for right living. Scripture says that if we’ve seen the Son, we’ve also seen the Father (John 14:9). The example that Yahshua provided serves
as a reflection of our Father’s own behavior. This fact adds additional reason we’re to follow in the footsteps of our Savior. Here we will consider three different attributes of our Savior, with the understanding that we’re to follow or emulate each: (1) humility, (2) forgiveness, and (3) love. While we can certainly find other attributes of our Savior, these three were not only central to Yahshua’s ministry, but also often missing from the lives of believers. Humility Few attributes are more crucial in the Word than humility. In Matthew 20:26 Yahshua explains why his disciples must show humility: “But Yahshua called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”
In verse 26 Yahshua draws a contrast between the world and the Faith. Unlike the world, those who are exalted in the Faith are those who minister. Minister comes from the Greek doulos and figuratively means a slave. So if we desire to be great in the Kingdom we must become slaves or servants to one another. Our world embraces pride and selfishness; conversely, Yahweh’s truth embraces humility and servitude. If we desire a position in the Kingdom, we must first learn how to abase or humble ourselves before others. There’s no greater example of this humility than from our Savior. In verse 28 Yahshua said again, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” This word “minister” is derived from the Greek diakoneo and means, to be an attendant, i.e., wait upon. So we find the purpose for Yahshua’s coming was not to be served, but to serve. Being the Son of Almighty Yahweh, if anyone was in a position to be served, Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
it was Yahshua the Messiah. Why do you suppose Yahshua chose to serve? The answer is obvious; he did so as an example or pattern that we’re to mimic. Yahshua not only taught humility, but also showed and lived this attribute through His own life. In like manner, do we serve our brothers and sisters? Do we look first to the needs our family in Messiah or do we look out only for number one? Yahshua said again that we must become servants to one another if we’ll be blessed in the Kingdom. Humility is one of the most difficult attributes for many to achieve. Let’s face it; raw human nature wants little to do with humility or meekness. It is for this reason that as Yahweh’s people we must strive to remove our natural pride and replace it with unnatural humility. Paul in Philippians 2:2 admonishes us to have the same mind of humility that Yahshua had: “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yahshua: Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” As was our Example, we’re to be more cognizant of the needs of others, even over our own needs. We’re also told here to do everything in lowliness of mind. What does this mean? Everything we do should be done with meekness and humility. This is why we’re to be more concerned about the needs of others. Selfishness is a byproduct of pride. This is why a selfish person cannot inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh. To overcome this carnality we must
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
If Yahweh used the same measurement that many of us use, none of us would exist today. have the same mind as the Messiah. As Yahshua served and humbled himself, we’re to do the same. In verse seven Paul states that Yahshua made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form a servant. The word “reputation” comes from the Greek kenoo and means, to make empty, i.e., to abase. Now how was this accomplished? This was done in two ways. First, He humbled himself by serving man and dying for man’s sins. Second, He humbled or emptied himself when he gave up the glory that he had with His Father prior to being born as a man (John 17:5). Forgiveness The second attribute of our Savior that we need to have forgiveness. Matthew 6:9 contains the Master’s Prayer, where we find a key component of this attribute. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our
Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:9). In this model prayer, Yahshua asked that Yahweh forgive our debts in the same manner that we forgive our debtors. In verses 14-15 He goes on to explain that unless we forgive, we cannot receive forgiveness. So what do we learn from this passage? Forgiveness is reciprocal. In other words, to receive forgiveness, we must forgive. What does it mean to forgive? Forgiveness is letting go of strife, hatred, animosity, and bitterness and keeping no record of wrongs. Forgiveness is a required key for Yahweh’s Kingdom and a cornerstone of what the Messiah represents. Now as believers how often are we called to forgive? “Then came Peter to him, and said, Master, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Yahshua saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22). Seventy times seven represents innumerable times. In other words, there is no limit to our forgiveness. While forgiveness is not always easy, it is a responsibility and holy obligation of every believer. We might argue, but that person doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. Even though we may be able to justify this position in human terms, we cannot from Yahweh’s Word or by the example of our Savior. How many times has mankind rebelled against Yahweh’s Truth? More than one can count. How many times has Yahweh shown mercy upon mankind for his rebellion? Again, more than one can count. If Yahweh used the same measurement that many of us use, none of us would exist today. Our Savior is no exception. Like
His Father, He too has shown great mercy and compassion. This mercy is no better illustrated than by His own death. “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they impaled him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Yahshua, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Messiah, the chosen of Elohim” (Luke 23:33-35). We find here the last few minutes of our Savior’s life. In verse 34 Yahshua shatters the earth when He says, “…forgive them; for they know not what they do.” The pain and torture that Yahshua suffered at this point was horrific; nonetheless, He maintained forgiveness in His heart. He asked His Father to forgive those who gave false testimony and unmercifully tortured Him. This is the example that we’re to follow; we’re to forgive, as the Messiah forgave. If anyone had a reason not to forgive, it was Yahshua, but we find that He forgave. Forgiveness is one of the greatest messianic principles we find within Yahweh’s Word. If we desire to be part of Yahweh’s Kingdom, we must liberate ourselves from anger and learn to forgive, even when we’ve been unjustly wronged. Love Now the most important attribute of our Savior and of Yahweh’s truth is love. As our Savior showed forgiveness, we find that he equally showed love. As a matter of fact, it is this attribute that ties all believers together in Messiah. “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35). Yahshua commanded His disciples to love one another, as he loved them. This word “love” derives from the Greek agapao. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, “Agape and agapao are used
in the New Testament (a) to describe the attitude of [Yahweh] toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Rom 5:8, and to such as believe on the [Master Yahshua Messiah] particularly John 14:21…” Those immersed are brothers and sisters within the family of Messiah and as such, we should love one another as Yahweh loves us. By this love we are Yahshua’s disciples. To be part of Messiah, we must have true genuine love for one another. This is the second greatest commandment found within the Word (Matt. 22:39). To be worthy of the prize of Yahweh’s Kingdom, we must walk in the love of Messiah.
our sins. He died so that we might have hope of everlasting life. This is the example that he left and we’re to follow. We must be willing and able to give our lives, as our Savior gave His. Could we die for those whom we love? Love is not only an emotion but also an action that requires sacrifice. If we’ll be counted worthy as His disciples we must be willing to demonstrate this level of love to our fellow man, especially to those in the household of faith (Gal 6:10). As our example He gave all to a people who rejected Him; we again must be willing to do the same. As Yahshua demonstrated humility, forgiveness, and love through his own life,
ow how did Yahshua show His love to N mankind? He showed His love in many ways, but none greater than through his own death. Yahshua in John 15:12 said that we were to have this same caliber of love for one another: “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” Yahshua gave his own life as a ransom for
as his disciples we are called to follow in His pattern. Are we following in His examples daily? If the answer is no, then we need to immediately stop and change course. If the answer is yes, praise Yahweh! We should never deviate from the examples of our Savior, for by them we find the path to everlasting life.
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Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
anity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” This is not the most cheery way to start a book, but this is how King Solomon began his book in Ecclesiastes 1:2. How did Solomon come to this conclusion? As we will find in the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon contrived a great experiment in his life to find out what really satisfies and what is truly important in life. Solomon was able to take on such an experiment better than anyone because of who he was. He has much to teach us. Short Solomon Bio Solomon was born into royalty through his father King David, who was ruler of Israel. When King David died and Solomon took the throne, Yahweh came to Solomon in a dream in 1Kings 3 and told him to ask for whatever he desired. Verses 9-12 give the account of how Solomon responded, and then how Yahweh responded back: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people,
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased Yahweh, that Solomon had asked this thing. And Elohim said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.” Solomon became the wisest and richest king ever because of this blessing from Yahweh, and he was able to build Yahweh’s temple in 1Kings 6. Because of his vast resources, Solomon conducted his great life experiment to find out what truly satisfied one’s life. No one could ever have done this experiment better than Solomon because of all that he had. Some of Solomon’s exploits can be found in Ecclesiastes 2:1-9, “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee
by Joel Wirl
with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.”
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Still Not Happy How did Solomon come to his conclusion that life is vanity? One could look at all that Solomon accomplished and believe he must have been the happiest man alive. But he wasn’t. He realized that none of those things he did would last; it was all temporal, vanity. In Ecclesiastes 2:18 Solomon writes, “Yea, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.” Imagine the frustration one would have in climbing the ladder to success, getting to the top, and realizing that you are leaning against the wrong wall. As a castle built upon sand will topple, so too did Solomon’s perception of happiness when he leaned upon it. This is not a totally sad story though. Through his struggle Solomon finally came to the conclusion of what is really important in life. In Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 is his most wonderful synopsis on what really matters, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For Elohim shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Solomon realized after all he had accomplished, his only lasting fulfillment was obedience to Yahweh. Lessons for Us Ponder for a moment our own lives. The cars, the cell phones, the home, our clothing, the trophies we may have, our jobs, and everything we possess will one day be gone. Now on the one hand this doesn’t give us a license to abuse or neglect what we own; we should be good stewards of all. And neither does it mean that we are necessarily to sell all our possessions and live in abject poverty. The point is that these things we own should be more peripheral rather than the focus of our lives. Yahshua spoke a parable that illustrates this point in Luke 12:16-21, “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow
all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But Elohim said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward Elohim.” Most focus on the temporal riches and pleasures of life, which give only temporary pleasure and satisfaction. Solomon found it best to focus upon obedience to Yahweh, as His rewards are eternal.. And what does He command of us? Our Savior Yahshua spoke of it with
instruction in Mark 12:28-31, “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Yahshua answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; Yahweh our Elohim is one Yahweh: And thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Love Is What’s Important Having a loving relationship with Yahweh our Father through Yahshua our Messiah, as well as a loving relationship with each other, is the most important thing we can ever accomplish. Keeping love in the forefront of our minds is so important to our very existence that Yahshua commanded that we must even show love to our enemies. Yahshua knew that without love, everything we become or accomplish is hollow. What is love? “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things,” 1Corinthians 13:4-7. While we were still sinners and enemies of Yahweh, He showed His love for us by giving us what He loved the most, Yahshua His son. Yahshua obeyed Yahweh because He loved Yahweh and wanted to please Him, and also loved us far greater than His own life, even to the point of extreme anguish. That one act of love sent an eternal ripple in our lives so that we too could have a chance to live forever. That is the power of love. Love is the only thing that has lasting value in this life. Paul writes in 1Corinthians 13:8 about the enduring nature of love; “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophesies they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Obey Yahweh, it will last. Forgive one another, it will last. Give to those in need, it will last. Console one who is mourning, it will last. Do all that you can out of love, it will last. The love we produce in our hearts and then show to the world will have more lasting results than anything else that we can ever do. We conclude with the final two verses of 1Corinthians 13, summarizing what is really important in life: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
Holly Day Mithra Meets
by Alan Mansager
ather rises early, throws a large log on the fire, dresses warmly, grabs his axe and heads into the woods. He’ll soon return with bundles of greenery to place on and around the house. Humming cheerfully, Mother prepares the ham, lights the red candles at the center of the table, and fills wine glasses for the adults who will soon arrive. Everyone eagerly awaits the gift exchange amid brightly colored candles and figurines. The decorated living room will shortly be filled with singing as the children, off from school, join the festival games while eating their fill of fruits and nuts. “Merry Mithra” they call out. “May Mithra bless us, every one.” This is the Roman Saturnalia, a.k.a. Feast of Mithra. It’s December 25 – some 50 years before the Savior is born at Bethlehem. It could just as easily be 2,000 years before that, as these same rites are rooted in the customs of the ancient Babylonians and their worship of their sun god. The focus of this holiday is a Roman god known as the Sun of Righteousness. This is his birthday celebration of the Saturnalia, the Feast to the Roman deity Saturn.
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
But for the Name, the Rest Is the Same If you were to place this celebration up against today’s December 25th festivities you would be hard pressed to discern any major differences. Except there would be tons more presents to exchange and homes would be more garish today. Other than that, the masses would be just as comfortable with the rites of Mithra as with St. Nick. Even those who want to “put Chr-st back
into Christmas” will sense a communion with the ancient sun god of the Romans. Mithraism promised immortality to its faithful. The pagan Roman faith included such rites as fasting at certain times, baptism, marriage, the last rites, and liturgy with candles, incense, and holy water. More striking than this, perhaps, are the personal similarities of Mithra and Messiah: Mithra “was the creator and
orderer of the universe ... he incarnated on earth ... his birth on 25 December was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds he held a last supper with his disciples and returned to heaven ... after the last battle, victorious over evil, he will lead the chosen ones through a river of fire to a blessed immortality” (Mystery Religions in the Ancient World, p. 99). All of this begs the question: who is being honored on December 25th? The Savior, or the Roman sun god? Don’t feel alone if you are mystified by it all. Many ancients were also confused. Pope Leo I (440-461) chastised Christians, who on Christmas celebrated the birth of the sun god. And the syncretism never stopped. Strange Mixture From the start, the Christmas observance was mired in a pagan and pseudo-Biblical combination that still scourges it today. Why the discordant mixture of the nativity with evergreen trees, St. Nick, Wassail bowls, wreathes, mistletoe, and Alvin the chipmunk? Is this how the Savior should be honored? Who authorized such a thing? Search the Scriptures and you will not find one instance where Yahweh commanded or even requested such a rite. For that matter, He never even authorized a birthday celebration for His Son. Surprisingly, there was no birthday observance for the Savior until 300 years AFTER His birth. Being that no one knew when He was born, the Christmas observance was timed to coincide with a midwinter pagan festival already in progress for thousands of years. It honored the imperial gods Mithra and Saturn. By a process of amalgamation, the winter solstice celebration became permanently linked with the birth of the Savior. Here is how one of many references describes it: “In the 5th century the Western church ordered the feast [of the Savior’s birth] to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of [Messiah’s] birth existed. Among the German and Celtic tribes the winter solstice was considered an important point of the year and to commemorate the return of the sun they held their chief festival of yule, which, like other pagan celebrations, became adapted to Christmas” (Encyclopedia Americana,
Seven Xmas Rites and Wrongs Some think they are purifying the observance by “putting Chr-st back in Christmas.” For those who contend for the “Biblical” side of Christmas, the following facts must be honestly confronted. • December 25 is nowhere mentioned anywhere in Scripture as the birthday of the Messiah. It is, in fact, the most unlikely time for His birth. • The shepherds and their flocks were still in the fields, which would have been unheard of at the end of December in the Mideast, when it was cold and wet with winter rains and sometimes snow on the ground. The flocks would have been removed from the fields in early autumn. All evidence points to an early autumn birth of the Savior. • Nowhere in the Bible can we find a single command to observe the Savior’s birthday. Rather, the observance of His death, Passover, is enjoined on every True Worshiper, 1Corinthians 11:26. • The number of wise men is never given as three; just three kinds of gifts were presented. There were at least two wise men, conveyed by the plural word wise “men,” but there could have been dozens. • The gifts of the wise men were not birthday presents, but reflected the Eastern practice of approaching a notable person like a king with a gift. Further, they gave these gifts to Him, not to one another. • The wise men came to a “house,” not a manger, to see the “young child,” not a newborn (see Matt. 2:11). Herod ordered the systematic murder of all children around Bethlehem up to TWO YEARS of age, hoping to snag the young Messiah child in the process, Matthew 2:16. • A mass is a Romish observance of the “Holy Communion,” where the supposed body and blood of the Savior are imbibed in a process they call transubstantiation. Why His birthday is called “Christ-mass” is not from anything in Scripture. Usually Christians celebrated the birthday of a saint or martyr through his “heavenly nativity.” But in this case they honored Savior’s earthly birth in direct competition with the birth of the pagan Mithra, the invincible Sun of heathendom. One would think that a celebration of the birthday of the very Savior Himself would be completely accurate and true to fact, rather than so rife with error. This fact alone is enough reason to leave the observance to the world and its delusions. Why link true worship with what is so utterly false? Yahweh tells us through Paul: “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness ... And what agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols ...” 2Corinthians 6:14, 16.
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
Mistletoe Facts • According to folklore ancient people noticed that mistletoe would grow where birds left their droppings. “Mistal” is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “dung” and “tan” means “twig,” the actual meaning of mistletoe is “dung on a twig.” • Mistletoe Viscum album is toxic if consumed. Eating any part of the plant (especially the leaves or berries) can result in sickness and even death • Druid priests (on the sixth night of the moon) would cut the oak mistletoe with a golden sickle. Two white bulls would be sacrificed amid prayers that the recipients of the mistletoe would flourish (It is interesting to note that Mithra is almost always depicted slaying a bull, see below). According to Barbara Walker, in her book, The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (1983), “At the season of sacrifice, Druidic priests ceremonially castrated the oak god by cutting off his mistletoe with a golden moon-sickle, catching it in a white cloth before it could touch the ground, so it remained like every sacrificial deity ‘between heaven and earth’… The phallic meaning of the mistletoe made it the ‘key’ that opened the underworld womb, key and phallus being interchangeable in mystical writings.” Mistletoe has long been symbolized as both a sexual symbol and the embodiment of the oak tree. It was gathered at both middle-summer and winter solstices. We can still see the custom today of decorating houses at Christmas as a continuation of the old pagan Druidic traditions.
vol. 6, p. 622). This source candidly admits that Christmas customs have no basis in the Bible. Notice: “Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were preChristian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merrymaking customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles. Lights also played an important part in most winter solstice festivals” (ibid). Does Yahweh honor such worship?
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
‘But He Understands... Doesn’t He?’ So what if we borrow customs pulled from heathenism? Shouldn’t Yahweh be pleased simply because we observe the birthday of His Son? Does it really make any difference HOW we do it? Simply put, it certainly does. Every aspect of His worship must be honored according to His precise commands or it does not consititute His worship. Yahweh says that any worship outside of His commands is expressly prohibited: “Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them [pagan worshipers], after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their elohim, saying, ‘How did these
nations serve their deities? even so will I do likewise.’ You shall not do so unto Yahweh your Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh which He hates, have they done unto their elohim ... Whatever thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto nor diminish from it,” Deuteronomy 12:30-32. Mixing forms of worship was what got ancient Israel into so much hot water with Yahweh. He is pointedly particular about how we worship and glorify Him. Adding rites and rituals is adding unacceptable worship. Anything less or anything added to what is commanded in His Word – and we will reap our own judgment. Consider the biggest rite of the holiday, adoration of the tree. The brightly lit tree is a solar religion survival, and its greenery a symbol of life and fertility worship. Jeremiah 10 condemns tree worship, a mainstay in the worship of pagan gods. “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen ... For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, and with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not...’’’ verses 2-4. Yahweh is not pleased that most have not chosen to separate themselves from the ways and worship of the world. Paul urged the Corinthians, “Wherefore ‘come out from among them and be separate,’ s a y s Ya h w e h , ‘and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ s a y s Ya h w e h Almighty,” 2Corinthians 6: 17-18. Let’s Just Be Honest The Corinthians shared the same misconception as many today: they thought they could worship Yahweh the same way they had always worshiped their other gods. Just
Request our booklet Birthday of the Sun for an in-depth look at Christmas and it’s pagan roots. To read, visit yrm.org/literature.htm To request, see back cover for details
retool and rebaptize the rites and rituals to a Biblical context and have the best of both. Yahweh says if you do that, it won’t be Me but some other you’ll be worshiping. I’m not like the many false gods of heathenism. I demand special worship from those who are mine. Not only is your worship vain, but I will also punish those who will not listen to Me. “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). Be honest with Yahweh. Pretending you are keeping the birthday of the Messiah by gathering around a pagan tree, coveting presents, eating ham, standing under mistletoe perhaps to steal an immoral kiss, and using Santa Claus as a surrogate savior who keeps track of who’s naughty and nice – and rewards accordingly – is tacitly wrong and does not honor or serve the One you may be trying to worship. To our Heavenly Father and His Son, any unauthorized worship is an abomination. Keep in mind what Yahweh told Israel
at the foot of Sinai about the deities of
false worship: “You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I Yahweh your Elohim am a jealous EI, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep My commandments,” Exodus 20:5-6. His ways as revealed by His laws are not grievous (lJohn 5:3), but point to His exclusive and saving way of life. Come to know Him. Shun the empty ways of the world that ultimately lead to destruction, and find Him through real and complete obedience to His Word. Nothing less will do. Nothing more can please Him than to do just what His Word tells us to do.
The Scandal of
Saturnaila Precursor to Christmas Roman pagans instituted the Saturnalia in honor of the god Saturn, a lawless celebration held December 17-25. Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the festivities. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s end on December 25, this innocent man or woman was murdered with the aim to bless the coming crop. Besides human sacrifice, there was widespread intoxication; singing from house to house dressed scantily (origin of caroling); gross sexual license, and consuming human-shaped biscuits (today’s gingerbread men). “All classes exchanged gifts, the commonest being waxed tapers and clay dolls,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition. “These dolls were especially given to children. Varro thought these dolls represented original sacrifices of human beings to the infernal god,” vol. 24, p. 231. To entice the heathen masses, Christianity integrated the Saturnalia festival in the 4th century C.E. by promising that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians. The final day of the Saturnalia, December 25th, was declared to be the Savior’s birthday. “The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence,” New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, p.48. True to form, the earliest Christmas observances were marked by much the same drinking and immoral license as the Saturnalia. Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was made illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681. George Washington clearly had no esteem for Christmas when he attacked the drunken Hessians on Christmas eve.
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
Two Faces of New Year’s by Alan Mansager
You may think New Year’s is just a harmless holiday celebrating the coming of a new year, but what about its past? Does it really matter where it originates? How should the Bible believer respond to this secular holiday?
hen Roman Emperor Julius Caesar declared January 1 as the world’s New Year’s day based on a duplicitious deity, the connection could not have been more apropos. Specifically, the god he worshiped was two-faced, a fitting metaphor of the flip-flopping that marked New Year’s day through the centuries. Caesar’s idol was named Janus, from which we get our month January. The emperor thought his deity would be the suitable portal to the new year, as one of his faces looked forward to a new year, the other backward. That’s the sanitized version of New Year’s. The messy and convoluted history of the January 1 New Year’s observance reveals chronological confusion amid politicial intrigue, race hatred, and fuzzy math—all in an attempt to improve upon the Biblical calendar as inspired by our Creator. Ancient Cultures Kept New Year’s The January 1st new year is an on-and-off tradition. Surprisingly, January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
for only about the past 400 years. The earliest record of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C.E., and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it at the winter solstice. The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That is why the name September means seventh in Latin but is actually the ninth month. October means eight but is actually the 10th. November means 9th but is the 11th. December means 10th but is the 12th month of the secular year. January Joins the Calendar The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st in Rome was in 153 B.C.E. In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C.E., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius,
added the months of January and February. February was the end of the year, making the new year a spring event. The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1. In 46 B.C. E. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar. The old calendar had become out of sync over the years. This new Julian calendar began the new year with January 1. Within the Roman world, January 1 would become the consistently observed start of the new year. Sacrifices were made to Janus, gifts and visits were exchanged, along with masquerading and feasting. Not everyone found this observance acceptable. The early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. “Participation in the ordinary New Year’s Day observances as well as in the Saturnalia of December was from the first discouraged by the Church. Christians were expected to spend the day in quiet meditation, reading of Scripture and acts of charity” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Ed., Vol. 19, p. 594). During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Year’s. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began melding its religious observances and dates with other pagan celebrations of the day, and New Year’s Day was no exception. New Years is still observed as the Feast of the Savior’s Circumcision by a few modern denominations.
In 567 the Council of Tours abolished ancient past. The Persians exchanged eggs for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and January 1 as the beginning of the year. at the beginning of the year. Gift exchanging book burnings, public tortures, and murder. At various times and in various places at New Year’s is a custom strong in Europe. throughout medieval Christian Europe, “The Driuds distributed as New Year’s Yahweh’s Biblical Calendar the new year was celebrated on The true Biblical calendar is based December 25; March 1; March on the growing season, with the 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation, first month called Abib, which is when the Angel Gabriel announced rooted in the green barley grain. to Mary she would have a This calendar eliminates the need to divine Son); and Easter. March perpetually adjust month lengths, 25 was the usual date among add leap years and intercalate a Christians in early medieval days. 13th month in order to synchronize After William the Conqueror the lunar and solar cycles. became King of England on Here is how Yahweh told us December 25, 1066, he decreed to determine the start of the year: that the English return to the “This month shall be unto you January 1 new year established the beginning of months: it shall by the Roman pagans. This move be the first month of the year to ensured that the commemoration you. In the tenth day of this month of the Messiah’s supposed January they shall take to them every man 1 circumcision would align a lamb…And you shall keep it up with William’s coronation, thus until the fourteenth day of the same tying the English and Christian month: and the whole assembly of calendars and his own coronation the congregation of Israel shall kill into one neat bundle. William’s it between the evenings.” Exodus Pope Gregory XIII commissioned the Gregorian Calendar innovation was eventually rejected, 12:2-3, 6. This is the Passover lamb. and England rejoined the rest of the Which is this first month when Christian world and returned to celebrating gifts branches of the sacred mistletoe. In the Passover was observed? “Observe New Years Day on March 25. Anglo-Saxon and Norman England New the month of Abib, and keep the passover Year’s gifts were common,” Britannica. unto Yahweh your Elohim: for in the January 1 Again in Vogue Roman pagans found a different method of month of Abib Yahweh your Elohim In 1582, Pope Gregory’s calendar observance— drunken orgies—a ritual they brought thee forth out of Egypt by night,” reform restored January 1 believed constituted a personal re-enacting Deuteronomy 16:1. Abib means green ears as new year’s day and of the chaotic world that existed before (of barley). When the barley grain comes synchronized the the cosmos was put in order by the gods. to a harvestable age, then you have Abib. seasons with the However, gift-giving was not always No need to juggle solar and lunar cycles, months, which had in vogue at the new year observance. as they take care of themselves under the gotten far out of Sometimes bloodletting was more the case. Bible’s calendar. harmony. This is Julius Caesar celebrated his first January 1 In Yahweh’s calendar the first day of still the calendar in New Year by ordering the violent routing of the year was observed by watching for the use today. Although revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee. first visible crescent of the Abib moon. This most Catholic countries At the 1577 New Year’s inauguration “new moon” starts every month (moonth). adopted the Gregorian of the second great Roman calendar Most secular and some religious calendar almost immedi- (Gregorian) Pope Gregory decreed that all calendars base their new year on the vernal ately, it was only Roman Jews, under pain of death, must equinox. The vernal equinox is that instant gradually accepted among listen attentively to a compulsory Catholic when the sun is directly above the earth’s Protestant countries. The British, for conversion sermon given in Roman equator while going from the south to the example, did not adopt the reformed synagogues after Friday night services. north (for the northern hemisphere). It is calendar until 1752. Until then, On New Year’s Day 1578 Gregory signed the time that most believe starts spring. the British Empire — and into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the Those who employ the vernal equinox their American colonies — support of a “House of Conversion” to point to Genesis 1:14, claiming that the still celebrated the new year convert Jews to Christianity. On New sun, moon, and stars set the Feasts. It is in late March or early April. Year’s 1581 Gregory ordered his troops true that the sun divides day from night to confiscate all sacred literature from the and establishes the seasons, while the New Year’s Rites Roman Jewish community. Thousands of new moon sets the beginning of months. The giving and Jews were murdered in the campaign. Yet, nowhere in the entire Bible does the receiving of gifts at Throughout the medieval and post- vernal equinox establish Abib. Nowhere in New Year’s has an medieval periods, January 1 was reserved the Bible is there even any mention of the Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
Catholic Christmas Confession
Tertullian 160 – 220 CE
n the first couple centuries after the death of the Messiah the early church did not celebrate New Year’s or Christmas. We find this interesting statement in the New Catholic Encyclopedia : “According to the hypothesis accepted by most scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 on the Roman calendar, January 6 on the Egyptian calendar), because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the Invincible Sun). (1967), Vol. III, p. 656. The Catholic Encyclopedia 1908 says under Christmas: “Early celebration – Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts.”
vernal equinox. To say that Genesis 1:14 refers to the vernal equinox is reading what isn’t there. Abib is a condition of grain as much as a time of year. The King James Version has led some astray in the way it translates moed in Exodus 13:10, Numbers 9:2, 3, 7, and 13. The KJV uses “season” in these verses, causing some to believe that the command is specifically for springtime, and therefore must involve the vernal equinox. In reality, the Hebrew moed simply means “set time” or “appointed time.” Yahweh has set Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread by the criteria of the crops, not by a purely astronomical reckoning known as the vernal equinox. The vast majority of Jews gradually got away from actually looking for the green ears of barley, going instead by a calculated calendar that involved the vernal equinox. This was done for the sake of convenience. But Yahweh tells us that His growing cycle reveals the proper month for His Feasts. When the Roman church deliberately acted to separate Easter from Passover, it ruled in 325 C.E. in the Council of Nicaea that Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This setting of an observance was entirely man-made, and appropriately
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applied to a man-made holiday called Easter. The Roman church on its own volition, therefore, bestowed a legitimacy to the vernal equinox as a calendar marker where it had none before — at least not
Vernal Equinox Anciently The vernal equinox had great significance among historic pagans and their calendars. Note the following:
in any kind of Biblical context. Among heathens it was a different story.
• “Easter, too, celebrates the victory of a god of light (J-sus) over darkness (death), so it makes sense to place it at this season. Ironically, the name ‘Easter’ was taken from the name of a Teutonic lunar Goddess, Eostre (from whence we also get the name of the female hormone, estrogen). Her chief symbols were the bunny (both for fertility and because her worshipers saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg (symbolic of the cosmic egg of creation), images which Christians have been hard pressed to explain. Her holiday, the Eostara, was held on the Vernal Equinox Full Moon. Needless to say, the old and accepted folk name for the Vernal Equinox is ‘Lady Day.’ Christians sometimes insist that the title is in honor of Mary and her Annunciation, but Pagans will smile knowingly.” – Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox, by Mike Nichols. • “The vernal equinox has long been a significant event in the lives of agricultural peoples as it symbolizes nature’s regeneration, fertility, growth and bounty. The word equinox comes from Latin and
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means “equal night” (German Tag und Nachtgleiche). On this day, night and day each last twelve hours. The Vernal Equinox used to be considered the beginning of the Pagan New Year. It was a time of joy called forth by the resurrection of the ‘Light of the World’ (sun god) from the underworld of the winter, from where he arose to join his goddess Eostre.”– by Ruth Reichmann, Max Kade GermanAmerican Center, Indiana UniversityPurdue University, Indianapolis. • “Babylonians and Assyrians placed greater importance on the Equinoxes than the solstices. The most important festival in Babylonia was the New Year, which occurred at the Spring equinox. This was the akitu, a twelve-day ceremony in which the King, as the son and representative of the divinity, regenerated and synchronized the rhythms of nature, cosmos, and human society.”– Tales of the Vernal Equinox, by Robin DuMolin • “Modern Pagans also celebrate the universal principle of Resurrection at the Equinox – which is named for Eostre, a Pagan goddess. She is the goddess of Spring to whom the offerings of cake and colored eggs were made at the Vernal Equinox. Rabbits, especially white ones, were sacred to her, and she was believed to take the form of a rabbit. She is also said to be the goddess of the East, that being the direction of rebirth. Since the sun rises in the East, she is linked with the sunrise. Traditional Easter services stem from this association.” Ibid. “Easter is supposed to be derived from Anglo Saxon Eostre, the name of the Norse goddess whose festival is celebrated by the pagans at the vernal equinox.” – A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, p. 180. • “Ostara, also known as The Spring or Vernal Equinox, the Festival of Trees, Alban Eilir, Ostara, the Rites of Spring, and the Rites of Eostre, occurs between March 19 and 21 and marks the first day of true Spring. Day and night are equal on this day, hence the name Equinox. It is observed by Pagans throughout the world.” –from The Witches’ Web • “Pagans revere the G-d and G-ddess through rituals or ceremonies of various kinds. Pagans of the western traditions celebrate eight festivals or Sabbats each year. They comprise the four solar quarters i.e. the two solstices (longest and shortest days) and the two equinoxes (day
Origins of New Year Traditions Resolutions New Year’s resolutions date back to Babylon. While modern resolutions typically involve a commitment to losing weight or quitting a bad habit like smoking or alcohol abuse, the early Babylonians’ most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. April Fool’s The history of April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day is uncertain, but a popular explanation is that it began around 1582 in France. The Gregorian calendar was introduced, moving New Year’s Day from March 25 - April 1 (new year’s week) to January 1. Some refused to acknowledge the change and continued keeping the last day of the former celebration, April 1, which corresponds more to the start of the Biblical calendar. These people were labeled “April fools” by the general populace and were subject to ridicule and pranks. Chubby Infant The most ubiquitous symbol of the new year is the rotund baby with a top hat, a caricature rooted in Greece around 600 B.C.E. The Greek god of wine, Dionysus, was depicted by an infant in a basket to portray the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. The Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth. Early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, but could not curtail it. The Roman church eventually capitulated and placated the masses by, as one might guess, transferring the Greek symbol to the baby Messiah. Old Father Time In Greek mythology, the god Chronos is said to be the personification of time. His name in Greek means “time.” Chronos was snakelike with three heads—those of a man, a bull, and a lion. He and his consort, serpentine Ananke (Inevitability), circled the primal world egg in their coils and split it apart to form the ordered universe of earth, sea and sky. In Greco-Roman mosaics he turns the Zodiac Wheel. Often the figure is named Aeon (Eternal Time), a common alternative name for the god. Chronos is often portrayed through an old, wise man with a long, gray beard, or “Father Time.” He is also depicted with wings, as “time flies.” New Year’s Luck Certain New Year foods are thought to bring good luck. Anything in the shape of a ring is good luck in many cultures, signifying “coming full circle” by completing a year’s cycle. For some that means donuts, for others round cakes and cookies. Hosting a Toast The ancient Greeks and Romans originated the champaign toast at midnight. They would commonly share wine at a religious function. To absorb acidity and improve the taste of the wine a piece of burned bread (toast) would be floated in the wine bowl and then eaten by the last person to drink. Charcoal filters do much the same today. Thus the act of drinking in unison came to be called a “toast.” The Clink of Glass The clinking sound made when glasses touch in a toast was an audible way of affirming closeness and camaraderie. But many cultures believed that clinking glasses together would drive away wicked spirits. They blamed evil spirits for causing drunkenness. In the same way, smashing the glass underfoot at a wedding toast was a way to drive away bad spirits who were thought to linger on beautiful things—like on the rim of special wedding glasses.
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and night are the same length) plus four Celtic seasonal festivals. All these mark important events in the cycle of life. They are: Ostara (Easter), the spring equinox, 21st March: Return of the sun from the south, springtime proper. Some celebrate a holy union between G-d and G-ddess.” – from What Do Pagans Do? The secular New Year’s observance is significant beyond a collection of quaint, heathen customs.
Scripture records Yahweh’s displeasure whenever anyone fiddled with His holy calendar to devise different observances. The coming Beast of Daniel 7 is an unsettling case in point. This individual, who will pose as the true Messiah, will be empowered by Satan himself. Note especially his actions: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and
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they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time,” v. 25. This antimessiah will enforce his own calendar on the world, making his own celebrations that honor only himself exclusively. The world is already acccustomed to alternate days of worship. His actions will prove to be the definitive calendar crime of all time and he will pay eternally.
by Donald R. Mansager
erhaps you have searched for a group of people who endeavor with all their hearts to remain true to the Bible. Many will tell you that they are that group. Just check any newspaper “church page” and you will find a plethora of churches advertising themselves as giving, caring, sharing, and Bible-believing. What more could one want? How about ... the Truth? The problem with many is that instead of looking into Scripture with an open mind in search of the Truth, they seek out a group that is teaching what they already believe. And those tenets do not necessarily need to come from the Bible. Tradition is the most popular teacher, which is why doctrinal errors like the immortal soul teaching, the rapture, everburning hellfire, heaven as the ultimate reward, worship on the first day – and many more nonBiblical teachings continue to abound. Basing their faith on what they have always believed, many accept traditional doctrines as truth. Others are not as concerned with the teachings as they are with a group’s prestige, its comfortable sanctuary, gifted choir, handsome minister, or any number of other reasons that have nothing to do with what is taught there. For many, a religious affiliation is a marriage of convenience, a compromise for the sake of the spouse or children. For others it is used to enhance their worldly status.
Just as perilous is the person who believes he or she is justified in worshiping Yahweh on their own. Maybe some problem in their former affiliation prompted them to go it alone. They may even pride themselves with going solo. Should we reject organized worship when problems arise? Are we given the Scriptural alternative to worship separately from everyone else? Is that the arrangement we find in the Bible? What does Scripture reveal about becoming part of a group of worshipers and working with and through the Body of Messiah? Could private worship signal spiritual defeat or does it have Yahweh’s complete blessing? ‘I Will Build My ... lndividual’? Scripture is clear on the subject of worship. It also has much to say about group affiliation. Clearly, the command to assemble is there: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching,” Hebrews 10:24-25. We are directed to join in fellowship, encouraging and exhorting one another to good works and sacrificial love by word and example. We must seriously consider the Savior’s words about those called out from the world to be a part of the Body of Messiah. It is obvious that He expected His followers to become a part of a greater Body of believers who would be close to
one another and who would help guide one another. Yahshua said there would always be a group of True Believers on earth teaching what He brought to light: “And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my assembly; and the gates of [the grave] shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16: 18). He established an organized worship based on Peter’s confession that Yahshua was the Messiah. If we seek salvation, we must become a part of that Body. His assembly was to continue until His return, 1Peter 4: 17. Teaching the truth of Scripture, His Body would be the physical representation of Him on earth. This Body would be the repository of His truth and mirror the example He set. The writers of the New Testament, and especially Paul, shared the belief that Believers must congregate as a body whenever possible. Acts 2:42 relates that after Yahshua’s death that the early apostles continued steadfast in fellowship and prayer. The apostles were in constant fellowship with one another throughout the Book of Acts. They were aware that persecution was soon to fall on them and they used every opportunity to encourage one another and to preach the Word wherever they could. It is up to all who have been called to proclaim the Good News and encourage others in the truth of the Name, Sabbath, Feasts, clean foods, and other truths neglected for millennia. These are the bedrock teachings that must be reintroduced Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
before the Savior returns, Jude 3. Those who have this knowledge are to be teachers and guides of others searching for it, 1Peter 2:9; Romans 2:21. The only effective way to get the message out is through a united effort. Message Through the Body For a number of important reasons Yahweh’s people are to congregate to study His Word. The overriding concern is to help sinful lives change to lives of righteous obedience. The Book of Acts is filled with examples of conversions to Messiah. The Apostle Paul himself was struck down on the Damascus road in Acts 9, where he actually heard and spoke to the risen Messiah (vv. 1-6). Although Yahshua spoke to Paul, He did not tell him the entire plan at that time. Rather, the plan of salvation was to be found in going to the city and letting those in the ekklesia – the Body of believers – tell him what had to be done. Yahshua had given the keys of the Kingdom to His called-out ones, and although He could just as easily have told Paul what to do for others directly, that was the job of the Body. It still is today. The early assembly was busy showing the path to those who were seeking the strait gate and the narrow way. For example, the Ethiopian treasurer was trying hard to understand the Book of Isaiah (Acts 8). Philip explained the Scriptures to him and brought about his conversion and desire for baptism. This is a prime example of Yahweh’s Spirit working through His people to help others find the way of salvation. That truth is lodged in the Body of believers. Yahweh could just as easily have spoken to, or in some way moved, the people He was dealing with to do His bidding. Instead, He used those who had prepared themselves and were qualified, to help others seeking truth. It is up to the Body of Messiah to preach the Good News of salvation as Yahshua said in Matthew 28: 19. Although signs, visions, and miracles were used on occasion by Yahweh in the New Testament Assembly, the message of salvation was given and expounded to others by those in the ekklesia, the called-out ones. Shaping the Building Stones Another reason for the necessity to gather with others of like faith is that all those placed in the Body of Messiah have a particular gift that is to be used to edify and build the Assembly, 1Corinthians 7:7.
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
That gift is to be used for the ekklesia and is not for personal glorification, 1Corinthians 14:12. We are placed in the Body of Messiah as living stones making up a spiritual temple. Each member of the Body has been selected to be a part of that temple and is even in this life being fitted for an individual place in Yahweh’s spiritual temple. The chipping, shaping, and fitting of each of the called-out ones goes on as we live our lives and change according to His Word. Yahshua is the chief cornerstone of the entire living, spiritual temple. He is not a lone rock on the seashore. We are a collective, spiritual house, 1Peter 2:4-7, founded on Yahshua, not a single brick, piece of siding, or board. Yahweh has a purpose for gathering His people. We are to use whatever gift He has given each of us for the edifying of the temple. If we never associate with others of like faith, how can we exercise the gift we have received? Only through interaction with others do we learn to subjugate our own wants and desires as we uplift, edify, and strengthen others in the truth and faith. “Living stones” that make up the body fit together only once they have been chipped and shaped and smoothed through contact with other living stones. The finished, polished pieces fit into a harmonious building where Yahweh’s Spirit dwells. As an individual member of the Body of Messiah begins to pattern his life after that of the Messiah, he stops committing acts that he learns are sinful and against Yahweh. He starts following a course in accord with Yahweh’s way of life. His mind is stayed on the Messiah. He no longer is taken up with satisfying his flesh and former way of life. He now longs to please the Heavenly Father and no longer indulges in wickedness of the lower nature: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim” (Gal. 5: 19-21). Advantages of Fellowship Through the Body of Messiah the fruits of Galatians 5:22-23 are grown, nurtured,
and matured: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Examples of the kind of people we are to become should be visible in each assembly. Here we meet with those who are also trying to become more like the Messiah, growing in His likeness and stature. This is not possible to fulfill alone, which is why it is all the more important that we fellowship with other saints. Regardless, we should always live as if the Messiah were living right here among us no matter where we are. By fruits is that person known, Matthew 7:20. Just as Yahshua sought fruit from the fig tree (Matt. 21), so we should be bearing fruit not only for Him, but also for the brethren. Another great advantage of regular fellowship is the mutual understanding one can derive from others. Often we learn of a strange new doctrine that arises from an isolated individual who does not “test out” his idea with others for validity and harmony with the Scriptures. How often have we all been corrected or redirected by a brother or sister who had more insight on an idea or teaching! We need one another to stay balanced and on track. This is just another advantage of regular fellowship. Believers Same as Yahshua While most of us fully recognize the great debt of gratitude we owe Yahshua the Messiah, we often forget the most obvious way we can show our appreciation and love to Him for the price He paid that we might have life. The Apostle Paul got the message in a big way. Supernaturally struck down on the Damascus road, he heard a voice asking him, “Shaul, Shaul, why do you persecute Me?” Who was this he was hearing? The answer comes: “I am Yahshua whom you persecute,” Acts 9: 1-5. Suddenly Paul realized the astounding fact that Yahshua was so close to His disciples that anything Paul had previously done in persecuting them was the same as attacking the Messiah Himself! That is how important the Body of Messiah is to our Savior, and that is why each person must have a place in it and work through it. To work and worship with the Body is to work and worship with the Savior! Paul never forgot the lesson. On frequent occasions he would mention that he - more
Know? Roman Emperors and
After Jerusalem’s destruction the city remained relatively insignificant. Even the church historian Eusebius (264–339), who was the bishop of Caesarea less than 75 miles from Jerusalem, showed little interest in the city in his early writings. Jerusalem had been called Aelia Capitolina by the Romans since 130CE when Hadrian had decreed to rebuild the city, sparking the Bar Kokhba revolt. It wasn’t until the first Christian Emperor Constantine had rebuilt the city for Christian worship did Jerusalem become a valued city once more. Constantine built the well known Church of the Holy Sepulcher (The holiest site for Christians) in 335CE. The Jews were banned from Jerusalem until 614 CE when the Persians conquered the city aided by the Jews who had risen up against the Byzantines. The city would remain in Persian hands for fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius reconquered it in 629 CE. Church of the Holy Sepulcher
than anyone else needed forgiveness because he had persecuted the Body of believers, and through them Yahshua Himself. Philippians 3:6; Galatians 1: l3, 1Timothy 1: l3. Yahshua again revealed the deep and intimate feelings He has for His True Worshipers when he spoke of the righteous saints who inherit the Kingdom, Matthew 25:34-40. He said that doing good to the saints is the same as reaching out to Yahshua Himself. He likens His spiritual Body to his own body. When we do anything to a fellow believer we are in essence doing the same to Yahshua. When we refuse to fellowship with the Body, we are refusing Yahshua. In verses 41-46 He makes the same point with the wicked who have not shown compassion and love for the Body. He speaks of not having cared for the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned. Some hunger for the Word; we should feed them. Some thirst for the Holy Spirit; they should be taught. Strangers should be taken into the camp and made spiritual Israelites wherever possible. They should be clothed in the robes of righteousness. If they are sick, they need healing and should
be made whole. Those in prison should be freed from the captivity of sinful living. Yahshua identified the group of believers in Matthew 12:48-50 when He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples and said, “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister and mother.” Keeping His words in mind will help us to think of one another in the ekklesia as brothers or sisters. Whatever we do to these followers of the Messiah we also do to Him. He said that the ekklesia was also His Body. He refers to the called-out ones as the spiritual mother of the Body of believers. This is the same thought Paul had when he referred to the spiritual Jerusalem as the “mother of all,” Galatians 4:26. Strength Through Fellowship It is quite apparent that Yahshua expected the Body of believers to assemble as often as they could. Not associating with the saints leaves much of the development of the spiritual aspects of our lives unfinished. The interaction between the believers is necessary not only to help us become better
followers of the Messiah, but also to learn from others who have met and overcome many of the same problems and difficulties. It strengthens us as well to see how others have overcome their trials. Becoming associated with a group of True Believers allows one into a training ground or preparation for the work in the Kingdom. We develop talents or gifts that Yahweh has given us so they become ability. We use that ability to edify and build up the ekklesia. In interaction with the saints we not only help them be better followers of the Messiah, but we also perfect ourselves. It is difficult or impossible to develop and use the spiritual gifts Yahweh gives us if we are alone. Another purpose for assembling together is to make recommendations and judgments on the qualifications of the brethren. This was true in Acts 15:1-2 when the brethren determined who would go to Jerusalem. It was the brethren who decided the candidates for the role of deacon in the early assembly, Acts 6:3-6. In Acts 11:22 it was the ekklesia that sent Barnabas to Antioch. Later (Acts 15:22-23) it was the ekklesia that joined with the apostles and elders to send men they had chosen to visit the gentiles. Cooperation Is Key All through the New Testament we find that the Assembly played a vital part in the direction of the ministry. Decisions were made by the Body. There is no such term as head elder or directing elder in the New Testament, unless it refers to Yahshua. Examples of a plurality of people making the important decisions are found in the following: Acts 15:25 and 40; 16:1-2; lCorinthians 16:2-3; 2Corinthians 8:19, and Philippians 2:25. Yahshua established the Assembly (Matt. 16:18), and to make it run He guides it by His Holy Spirit working through His people. It was the apostles or elders who recognized the choice of the brethren in ordaining individuals for the special task of serving the Body. Most of us can look back on our Biblical pursuits and recall that we assimilated Bible knowledge by degrees. After we accepted one truth we went on to study deeper knowledge. Significantly, we learned through the help of others. Who can say that he learned all the truth totally without the help and direction of other people guided by Yahweh? (continued on p.22) Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
in Scripture Shouldn’t we fast a couple times a week? The Pharisees fasted twice a week (Luke 18:12) and Yahshua said that except our righteousness exceeds the Pharisees we have no hope for the Kingdom. –BH, FL Except for Atonement, fasting at other times is not an act of righteousness but humility. Righteousness results from lawkeeping and there is no biblical law to fast regularly during the week. If fasting were an act of righteousness and in order to outdo the Pharisees we would need to fast at least three days a week. Yahshua’s point was that the Pharisees established their own standards of righteousness that had little to do with their inner, spiritual growth. If in fact Moshe [Moses] used the sun, moon and stars as given for us to use in Genesis to determine the days, months and years, how exactly did they determine the specifically commanded times for our new moons, Shabbat and moedim 40 years in the desert where no crops grew, and being hundreds of miles from Jerusalem? –Anon, email The new moons and Sabbath are not determined by crops, but by the moon and sun. As for determining the start of the yearly Feasts, Israel went by the barley crop in the Abib stage of development to establish the first month of the year. Abib is even the name of the first month of the Biblical year,
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
Deuteronomy 16:1. Barley is native to the Mideast, and in the wilderness it doubtless grew wild back then as it does today. Abib barley aside, being in close contact with Yahweh as he was, Moses would need only to ask Him when the first month was. Isn’t Jerusalem the only proper place to keep the Biblical Feast days? –JJ, email Some think that worship is sanctioned and properly kept only at Jerusalem. Yahweh commanded in Deuteronomy 12:5 to worship where He places His Name. Yahweh didn’t place His name just in Jerusalem. Granted, when the kingdom comes to earth Jerusalem will be the capital of the earth and also the focal point of worship and the Feasts, 2Kings 21:7. Until then, as Yahshua said to the woman at Jacob’s well, “Believe me, the hour cometh, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father,” John 4:21. The following are several times when the Feasts were kept away from Jerusalem: Exodus 12 – Israel kept the Passover in Goshen, and Unleavened Bread on the way to the Promised Land. Numbers 9:5 – Israel kept Passover and Unleavened Bread in the Sinai wilderness Joshua 5:10 – Israel kept Passover on the plains of Jericho Acts 20:6 – Paul kept Unleavened Bread in Philippi
1Cor. 5:8 – The Corinthians kept Unleavened Bread in Corinth. Paul in his missionary journeys kept the Feasts wherever he was, and at times was more than a thousand miles from Jerusalem. You mention Genesis 1:29 and 9:3 that say plants that are green and have seeds are fit to eat. What about bananas, which lack seeds? –Anon, email The primary reason for a plant to bear fruit is to propagate itself through its seeds. Modern, commercial strains of banana don’t have obvious seeds. Their seeds are tiny and sterile, unlike wild bananas that have large and viable seeds. Seedless, fruit-bearing plants normally propagate only with human help—as in transplanting cuttings— because the plant has no natural way to regenerate when it dies. Bananas break the mold. Each banana plant produces just one bunch of fruit over its lifetime of about a year and then dies—or at least appears to. But the stem above ground is just a portion of the plant, the so-called pseudostem. There is also an underground stem called a rhizome which produces new shoots at the base of the visible stem. These begin growing into new flowering stems just as the old one is dying. The new plant, then, really isn’t new at all and is genetically identical to its predecessor. An exchange with a Catholic friend and myself about the actual Passover meal got me stumped. They believe they are literally eating the
Messiah’s body and blood. He used the example of the actual meal where after the Passover lamb was killed they all ate it literally afterward. This, he says, shows Christians are to eat literally Messiah. While I strongly disagree, I am trying to find a response to address his example. What verses show the comparison NOT valid? –MP, email
MANNER of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people,” Leviticus 7:27. The clean food laws of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 don’t list humans. Being sinless, Yahshua would not violate these ordinances in His teachings. And He never gave the Catholics or any other church the authority to transform his flesh and blood, real or imagined.
In the year 1215 Pope Innocent III decreed the doctrine of transubstantiation, meaning that once an ordained priest blesses the bread of the L-rd’s Supper, it is transformed into the actual flesh of Messiah and when he blesses the wine, it is transformed into the actual blood of Messiah (though both retain the properties of bread and wine and are never changed to actual flesh and blood). The support passage cited most frequently is John 6:32-58 and especially verses 5357, “Yahshua said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life … For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him … so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.’” Yahshua used physical concepts of eating and drinking to teach spiritual lessons. He said in John 6:63, “The words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.” Eating His flesh and drinking His blood are symbolic of fully and completely receiving Him in our lives. The Passover is a memorial, a “remembrance” pointing to the body and blood of Yahshua (Luke 22:19; 1Corinthians 11:24-25), not the actual consumption of His physical body and blood. In contrast, transubstantiation is viewed by the Roman Church as a “resacrifice” of Yahshua for our sins or as a “re-offering and re-presentation” of His sacrifice. This directly violates Scripture, which says that Yahshua died “once for all” and He does not need to be sacrificed again (Hebrews 10:10; 1Peter 3:18). Hebrews 7:27 declares of Him, “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. “ Further, the law strictly forbids drinking blood. “Whatsoever soul [it be] that eateth ANY
In Revelation 22, the trees leaves are for the “healing of the nations,” yet in Revelation 21 it is stated that there would be no more tears, etc. Revelation 22:3 says the curses have been removed. Could you explain why there would be a need to heal? –SD, email The verse tells us that in the midst of the street is the tree of life – indications of not just one tree but many of that same category lining the way. Every month this tree produces fruit in inexpressible abundance. The leaves are for the healing of the nations – ensuring health and immortality, not to heal illness because sickness is absent. Young’s Literal Translation reads, “In the midst of its broad place, and of the river on this side and on that, [is] a tree of life, yielding twelve fruits, in each several month rendering its fruits, and the leaves of the tree [are] for the service of the nations.” When Adam and Eve were rejected from the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword were placed at the east end so that they could not return and eat of the Tree of Life and live forever, Genesis 3:24. This future paradise will have nothing evil (v. 3) in it: There shall be no more curse, rather no accursed thing (Gr. Katanathema), including no serpent there as was in the Genesis paradise. I have a good chance to get work as a bus driver. But the problem is I will have to drive on Saturdays also. Should I take the job or not? My wife is getting tired of seeing me without work and she is pushing me to take the job. For her the Sabbath is not a specific day. According to scripture it is right also to take care of the family. What do you think about this view on Shabbat? The time zones are not in Scripture. Therefore
anyone who celebrates the Sabbath at any place other than in Jerusalem, his Sabbath is not official Temple time. And in the north pole, days are 6 months longs, so I don’t know how a person could keep the sabbath in either pole. Of course, if the International Date line was just moved over a little bit, then my Sunday would be a Saturday. Also if you pay close attention to Yahshua’s revelation about the Sabbath you’ll see that it is all focused on what a person does, not when. –RM, email We’ll answer your points one at a time. Doing any work on the Sabbath violates the Fourth Commandment. We are each working out our own salvation and must never violate Yahweh’s commands in order to please someone. Relatives can pose some of the biggest tests of our faith. Blessings will come if you put Yahweh first. We are indeed commanded to provide for our families, but not at the cost of lawbreaking. We could justify bank robbery with that logic. The Sabbath comes to us when the sun sets at our location on earth. Being thousands of miles away from Jerusalem on his missionary journeys, Paul had to keep the Sabbath at sunset where he was and not when sunset came at Jerusalem. Keeping it when the sun sets in Jerusalem today means we would observe the Sabbath around noon on Friday, which would violate the Biblically mandated end and start of the day at sunset. Besides, there is no Temple and thus no “Temple time” today. Living at either pole presents problems and we must wonder whether Yahweh even intended man to live there, given the extreme weather conditions. We live and act in the context of time and cannot separate actions from when they were done. How else can you keep the Sabbath holy except through your activities? This clearly is a test to see whether you will do your own will or Yahweh’s. The Sabbath is indeed the test commandment both in entering the Truth and in staying in it. We have found through the years that the Sabbath is the first of Yahweh’s laws broken when someone backslides. Observing the weekly Sabbath is what keeps you strong in the faith and is the sign of the True Believer. We pray you will make the right decision of obedience. Know this, Yahweh may close one door but He always opens a far better one. Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
(continued from p. 19) To say that we no longer need the fellowship and help of others in the Body is to reject the blueprint Yahshua established by which the truth is spread to all the earth. One of the biggest thrills yet to come is when Yahshua returns to set up His Kingdom. It will not be the individual who thought it was “just you and me, Yahshua” who will make up that Kingdom. It will be ALL those who have been faithfully keeping the commandments and living daily the precepts they have proved true. It will be His entire ekklesia, the firstfruits, that will make up the core of His Kingdom of which there will be no end. Serving the Body In any organization, obligations and duties befall some for the good of all. For some, the reluctance to meet with a group is born of the fear of the responsibilities involved. Yet that is exactly what the Kingdom will involve ... responsibilities! We are in training now to handle the smaller duties of service so that we will be able to take on the much greater responsibilities to befall us in the Kingdom. If we shirk the little assignments of service now, how do we think Yahweh will consider us for the far greater and more demanding ones of ruling in His Kingdom? (Rev. 5:10) A muscle that goes unused withers away. Yahweh wants involvement from His people. They in turn will grow with the responsibilities, ultimately to be qualified for a greater role to come. No one can presume to be an effective ruler in the Kingdom if he has not learned how to interact with others now. This is one of the great truths of the Assembly. The ekklesia is a training ground, both for now and also for a more important role in the future. No one can effectively rule in the Kingdom if he has not learned to get along successfully with others now. Traits of the True Group How can we know which is the correct group of True Worshipers? The Bible gives us a clear understanding of the characteristics of truth seekers. Many teach that the law of the Old Testament has been done away. But Revelation 14:12 and many other New Testament verses maintain that Yahweh never changed His mind. His precepts are still binding. Besides boldly teaching the truth of the Word, other significant characteristics identify the true Assembly. Revelation 14:12 tells of the patience of the saints who keep
Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
the commandments of Yahweh and have the faith of Yahshua. The saints, then, must be willing to endure situations that may not be pleasant. They must be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of the truth. Conditions will come to pass that will severely test their dedication and resolve to be faithful to the Father they serve. Will they keep the commandments? Will they be willing to suffer shame for His Name? Notice specifically in Revelation 14:12 that the True Worshiper keeps the faith OF Yahshua, not the faith IN Yahshua – but the same faith He had. Part of His faith was that He was obedient in all things, 1Peter
2:22. He kept all the commandments. All the Feast days. All the Sabbaths. He is our example, our model, and our goal. Another characteristic setting apart of True Worshipers is that His people will know and use His Name, Isaiah 52:6. His people will also be hated because of His Name, Matthew 24:9, but they will never deny it, Revelation 3:8. The way is narrow and the gate is strait that leads to the Kingdom, and few will find it. The closer an organization follows the truth the fewer there will be in that group. But seek the Kingdom we must, and with all our determination follow the Savior.
e rejoiced, worshiped and fellowshiped for eight wonderful days at Shakamak State Park in Indiana for the Feast of Tabernacles 2011. The many activities for the young and old made a great opportunity for new brethren to develop deep friendships in Messiah that will last an eternity. Those who heeded the command to keep Yahweh’s holy days will come away with a greater, spirit-filled, fervent zeal to continue this narrow walk and a new sense of reality that there are many more who believe just as they do. We witnessed 12 new brethren make the commitment to Yahweh through baptism into Yahshua’s name. If you are willing to follow Yahweh and his “entire” Word then we invite you to join us next year for this festival of rejoicing and fulfillment of salvation’s plan through sound doctrine.
Feedback My Life Impacted “Thanks again for the incredible teaching this ministry gives to me through the Word being taught properly and not all the lies I listened to for so many years. I always came away from a service wondering why I wasted my time. Your ministry has impacted my life like nothing has ever impacted my life. You have changed my life for eternity. Thanks for all the truth. There is never a time that I do not come away with some new knowledge in the Word. Plus it is always sweet to have someone seeing the difference in my life and thinking it is something I did, but no, it is knowing the truth, living it and walking it out that has made all the difference.” –LC, CO Recycling Pays Tithe “I have been released from prison and am now living in a tent off State Route 20, by the river in Ohio. Yahweh has blessed me with all the things I need. He gives me food and clothes and a place to sleep at night (well, a tent!). All things I have He gave me. I was worrying about how to pay my tithes but Yahweh showed me about recycling aluminum cans and steel. So that is what I am sending you. Yahweh does bless His people that praise Him and keep His commandments. I have no address right now but will keep sending tithes.” –WE, OH RT a Life Changer “Your RT magazine is beyond phenomenal, spiritually challenging, life changing, and making us more and more hungry to continue to seek after Him. Thank you so much. We want to meet you all someday, somewhere and be baptized into Yahshua’s Name.” –R&RF, email
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Had to Start Over with Truth “I was raised Baptist and only recently learned that I was not taught the Truth from Scripture. I am new to this and need to learn the whole Truth from the beginning. Thanks to YRM I am now doing that.” –D, email
My RSB Arrived Just received my Restoration Study Bible. I only had a short time to look into it but I really like what I have seen so far. Thanks to all who were involved in putting this together. Praise Yahweh!!! –CG, Facebook
Husband Needs Feasts Education “I need prayer as I am wanting to truly follow and serve. I have come aware that I should be celebrating the feasts but my husband is not sure if we have to. We are born-again christians. My husband has to be convicted and enlightened as to all this.” –J, email
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Show your husband where both Yahshua and Paul kept these commanded Feasts and then ask why the church stopped doing so. –ED Confused Until Now “All my life I have found conflict with traditional religions. I never understood how a loving Creator could ever place one in a place of eternal torment as opposed to just destroying one. I was always confused by the Sabbath and how it came to be changed to Sunday. Recently I ran across a January 2011 issue of Restoration Times magazine and learned some about Yahweh’s true Name. I’m really excited about finding your ministry and have a thirst for the truth. Is your Restoration Study Bible in print yet?” –DS, AL An online order form is available for the Restoration Study Bible. Just print it and mail it in! Find it at: www.yrm.org/ bible/RSBOnlineOrderingForm.pdf -ED Loves the New Bible “Thank you, thank you so much for my Bible...it’s beautiful!” –DP, CA
Tabernacles Pilgrimage We are home from our long pilgrimage! HalleluYah! that was a LOT of driving...but so well worth it! We are so grateful for the welcome and fellowship of YRM at FOT this year, thank you Yahweh, and thank you YRM! –GB, Facebook Living the Faith in Prison “I was recently given an issue of Restoration Times to read right after celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles while here in prison. I am thrilled to think about one day in the future my fellow Christian Israelite brothers who are feasting in tents/booths/tabernacles, and the opportunity for me to be among them celebrating. Even though there are way too few Christian Israelites here in prison, we do obey all the laws and Scriptures to the best of our abilities and have even been able to publish and circulate our own little newsletter with the help of outside fellow believers. We are always in need of and looking for any type of literature that will bring us closer to the truth and our obligations to Yahweh.” –GC, MI Thank You, Thank You “I can’t thank YRM enough for standing for what’s right and teaching by living. You are true saints!”- MA, MO Restoration Times Magazine November/December 2011
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