The Importance of Using the Biblical Names of Elohim

Exodus 3:14–15, I AM THAT I AM. The name YHVH is Elohim’s memorial name forever. It reflects that fact that he is; that he is undefinable in human terms, and that he has always existed. This is the name by which he is to be remembered (not forgotten as is the case with the ineffable name concept of the rabbinic Jews whereby the names of deity are forbidden to be used).

The Scriptures clearly teach us that YHVH wants his people to use his Hebrew names and titles (e.g. YHVH, Yah, El, Elohim, Adonai and Yeshua). If not, than why is “YHVH,” the personal name of the biblical deity, found in the Tanakh (or Old Testament) almost 7000 times?

Despite the proliferation of the name YHVH in the Bible, men are not to use his name carelessly as the third commandments teaches us (Exod 20:7).

The problem is that YHVH’s people have forgotten YHVH’s Hebrew names and worshipped pagan gods instead (Ps 44:20; Jer 23:27). Interesting, it’s a fact that most of our common English substitutes for the Hebrew names of Elohim derive from the names of pagan deities (e.g. God, Lord, Holy, Christ, Jesus). At the same time, the Scriptures prophesy that YHVH’s name will be restored and used again (Jer 23:6; 31:23; Ezek 39:7).

Interestingly, Satan’s name has never been changed down through the millennia from one language to another. The names of significant Hebrew biblical personalities along with Greek and Roman notable historical figures remain essentially unchanged to our day. However, the Hebrew names of Elohim and his Messiah not only have been changed, but often masked under the names of pre-exisiting pagan deities. Doesn’t this sound like a Continue reading

 

Building a Foundation Over a Black Hole…

I received this email today, and decided to share it with you. The writer succinctly expresses one of the main purposes of our ministry.

I also want to say thank you for the opportunity you give others to ask you questions and for all the information you provide!!! In the very beginning when I started to see that scriptures say something else than we were being taught I lost the “foundation” and underneath me was a big black hole. It was a very difficult time. While searching for the truth I found your video on YouTube on the book of romans and ever since I have gotten so much useful and valuable information from Hoshana Rabbah and it has helped me to slowly build up a new ground under my feet – this time a stable one. I just wanted you to know what a huge blessing it is and I thank our Father for it! — From KR

 

Mexican Riviera Cruise 2016—Natan & Sandi Lawrence

Relish the wonders of YHVH Elohim’s creation as you see humpback whales, underwater video of tropical fish, exotic marine and exotic wildlife, the paradise of a white sand beaches, stunning sunsets, live Mexican music, a visit to a gorgeous cathedral, a tour of the Queen Mary cruise ship and more. Enjoy!

 

Do you want Natan to talk to your group via Skype?

If anyone has a home  fellowship or a Bible study group that meets on Shabbat and you would like me to talk to your group via Skype, let me know. All you need is a computer with a camera in it and a Skype account, which you can download for free. After that, get your Skype name/password and you’re ready to go.

Email may me the suggested time of our meeting and I will confirm if that works with my schedule or not. If so, we’ll arrange a predesignated time to make the Skype connection from my computer to yours. Give me your Skype name/password and I’ll call you at the prearranged time. That’s all there is to it. It’s totally free to use Skype!

I would be  happy to talk with your group on any Biblical subject, answer any biblical questions anyone may have, or just to speak an encouraging, prophetic word over your group, or to pray over people.

You can contact me by email at hoshanarabbah@earthlink.net.

 

Getting a Christmas Tree? Save Some $ and Read This First!

The use of trees or wooden poles as an object of worship in the ancient world was universal as a fertility or phallic symbol. In many places, the Bible strongly condemns involvement with this pagan custom. Obviously the tree of Jeremiah 10:1–5 is not the modern “Christmas tree” as we know it, since Christmas wasn’t invented by the Christians until about the late fifth century AD. However, the decorated tree is a pagan symbol as evidenced by history, which is why it was outlawed by the Puritans and many other religious groups in America in the 1700s. It was not until the 1850s with many Germans migrating to America with their Christmas tree tradition that Christmas became popularized again in this country.

The Scriptures advise us to abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thess 5:22). At the very least, because of its pagan connotation, a Christmas tree is an appearance of evil. Furthermore, where in the Bible do we find any examples of YHVH’s people reclaiming a pagan tradition, sanitizing it, and then practicing it? This occurred only when Israel was in a state of apostasy or was attempting to syncretize the religion of the Bible with the pagan practices of the surrounding nations.

True, many things in our daily lives have been tainted by paganism. If we were to toss out everything that fits that category, we probably wouldn’t be able to say anything, wear anything, eat anything, or do anything. Some of us would even have to change our names! What we are to throw out are those things that the Bible forbids, anything that is indigenously pagan, or anything that leads us away from YHVH and his Word.

Often our view of the Scriptures is filtered through our emotions. We all struggle with this spiritual disease. When we’re extremely partial to a belief or an idea, we have a hard time conforming our lives to those biblical scriptures that disagree with us. Thus, we have a spiritual blind spot. For many, Christmas has become a spiritual blind spot because it is so ingrained in our families and the culture  around us. It is perhaps the hardest thing for people to let go of because of family and emotional ties. Each of us has to make the choice: Do we love the praises of family or the praises of Elohim more (John 12:43)?

Jeremiah 10:1–5 is the perfect description of what has come to be known as a Christmas tree. Continue reading

 

Study shows that experiences makes you happier than having possessions

From http://mediarelations.cornell.edu/2014/09/02/experiences-make-you-happier-than-possessions-before-and-after/

Experiences make you happier than possessions – before and after

To get the most enjoyment out of our dollar, science tells us to focus our discretionary spending on experiences such as travel over material goods. A new Cornell University study shows that the enjoyment we derive from experiential purchases may begin even before we buy.

This research offers important information for individual consumers who are trying to “decide on the right mix of material and experiential consumption for maximizing well-being,” said psychology researcher and study author Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University.

Previously, Gilovich and colleagues had found that people get more retrospective enjoyment and satisfaction from their experiential purchases than from their material purchases. And other research has shown that people often hold off on experiences so that they can savor the thought of eventually having them.

Gilovich and co-authors Amit Kumar of Cornell University and Matthew Killingsworth of University of California, San Francisco wanted to bring these lines of research together and investigate whether the enjoyment we get from the anticipation of a purchase depends on what we’re buying.

The researchers discovered that people thinking about impending experiential purchases, such as ski passes or concert tickets, have higher levels of happiness than those who anticipate spending money on things.

In addition, researchers found the act of actually waiting in line to make a purchase may be more pleasant for those intending to spend money on an experience. In one, an analysis of newspaper accounts of crowds of people waiting in line, found that those waiting to purchase an experience were in better moods and were better behaved than those waiting to purchase material goods.

“You sometimes hear stories about people rioting, smashing windows, pepper-spraying one another, or otherwise treating others badly when they have to wait,” said Kumar. “Our work shows that this kind of behavior is much more likely in instances where people are waiting to acquire a possession than when they’re waiting for tickets to a performance or to taste the offerings at their city’s newest food truck.”

The researchers speculate that there may be several factors that could explain these findings. People may think about future experiences in more abstract ways that can make them seem more significant and more gratifying, for example. It’s also possible that waiting for an experience induces less competition than waiting for material goods. Finally, anticipating experiences may confer greater social benefits, making people feel more connected and happier overall.

The findings have clear implications for individual consumers, but they could also inform the way money is spent on a much broader scale:

“Our research is also important to society because it suggests that overall well-being can be advanced by providing an infrastructure that affords experiences – such as parks, trails, beaches – as much as it does material consumption,” says Gilovich.

The findings were published in Psychological Science and supported by the National Science Foundation and by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation through the Greater Good Science Center.

 

“Marriage isn’t for you…”

From http://www.faithit.com/seth-adam-smith-marriage-isnt-for-you/

1 ½ Years After “I Do,” He Saw Marriage Wasn’t for Him—When He Looked at His Wife, He Knew

They met when they were 15 and were best friends for 10 years—but after being married just 1 year, the truth hit him HARD.

wedding-adam

By Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for 10 years until … until we decided we no longer wanted to be just friends.  I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: Marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy,” which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?” while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and anguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.