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Start Your New Week with a Word of Edification, Exhortation and Comfort from Daniel Botkin

Welcome to the Gates of Eden Blog ~ New posts weekly at 8PM following Shabbat

January 26, 2020

About 25 years ago the pastor of the congregation I attended preached a sermon telling Bible believers why they should not celebrate Halloween. Afterwards I told the pastor that it was an excellent sermon, and I commended him for taking a bold stand. Then, as respectfully and as lovingly as I could, I told him that all the good reasons he gave to urge Christians to shun Halloween were the very same reasons I shun Christmas. If the pagan origin of Halloween traditions makes Halloween un-kosher for Christians, then should not the pagan origin of Christmas traditions make Christmas just as un-kosher as Halloween? Why is it that so many conservative Christians are willing to shun Halloween because of its connection to pagan superstitions and idolatry, but are not willing to shun Christmas?

January 19, 2020

According to the Bible, spring marks the beginning of the year. “This month [Aviv, the month of Passover] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Ex. 12:2). In ancient times, not only the Israelites but also the Gentiles regarded spring as the beginning of the year. For Jews the first day of the year was Aviv 1. Gentiles used April 1 as New Year’s Day. Then in 46 B.C., Julius Caesar revised the calendar and decreed that henceforth, the new year would begin on January 1. Those who continued to regard April 1 as New Year’s Day were considered fools. This is the popular explanation for the origin of April Fool’s Day, though there is no actual historical proof of this.

January 12, 2020

"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me to you." -Ex 3:13f When Moses asked God what His name is, God replied, "I AM THAT I AM. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." This sometimes confuses people, because God is never again referred to or addressed as "I AM THAT I AM" anywhere else in the Bible. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures God is usually referred to and addressed as "Yahweh," never as "I AM." So what did God mean when He told Moses that His name is "I AM"? When speaking about someone's name, we must remember that the English word name (as well as its Hebrew equivalent, shem) has...

January 5, 2020

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven....” (Eccl. 3:1) From Ecclesiastes chapter 3, we learn that the Creator has specific times and seasons for different things. We see this truth about times and seasons manifested in the life cycle, in human experience, in nature, in agriculture, and even in history. There was a specific time in history to conquer Canaan. It could not be done in Abraham’s time, “for the iniquity of the Amorites [was] not yet full” (Gen. 15:16). There was a specific time in history when the Messiah was scheduled to come. “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son” (Gal. 4:4). In the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Yeshua used agricultural

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