Shavua Tov

It's only six days until Shabbat!

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

March 22, 2020

We live in a world inhabited by two sorts of intelligent beings: visible and invisible. There are two categories of visible beings: children of the light and of the day, and children of the darkness and of the night. There are likewise two categories of invisible beings, commonly called angels and demons. Some misinformed people think of angels as cute little Cupid-like cherubs, naked little babies with wings. And they think of demons as cute little horned imps with pitchforks living in the dark, fiery underground caverns of hell. There are some "angels that sinned" and "kept not their first estate" who are now "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness" in Tartarus. (See Jude 6 & 2 Peter 2:4.) But these eternally-chained fallen angels are not the ones who make trouble for mankind. The demons we have to deal with are not in hell. They are in this world. I find it curious that we read very little about demonic activity in the Old Testament Scriptu...

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?

November 17, 2019

"Queers wear red on Thursdays." At least that was what students said at my high school in 1964. We didn't know where that rumor came from, or even if it was true, but we weren't taking any chances. Every Thursday we made sure to not wear any garment with red in it. Even white socks with red stripes along the tops were avoided on Thursdays. We didn't want to do anything that might raise even a remote suspicion that we might be one of "them," because we were disgusted by the thought of the things that "those people" did. Even if we didn't know the word "abomination," we knew that homosexuality was an abomination. We didn't even need the Bible to tell us that. In the 1960s we knew intuitively that homosexual behavior was an

September 8, 2019

Our family has a board game called Tri-Bond to help develop thinking skills. It provides you with three words or phrases, and you have to figure out what the three all have in common. For example, "forest, kelly, olive." They are all shades of green. Or, "Moe, Larry, Curly." They are all Stooges. (I know, that one was too easy.) Now let's play Quad-Bond. Deuteronomy 22:9-12 lists four commandments: 1) Not to sow your vineyard with different seeds; 2) Not to plow with an ox and an ass together; 3) Not to wear a garment of sha'atnetz (linen and wool woven together); 4) Make fringes on the four corners of your garment. What do these four commandments all have in common? Answer: They all involve the principle of separation--separation of seeds, separation of kosher and unkosher animals, separation of wool and linen, and separation of Yahweh's people from worldlings who follow their own heart instead of God's

August 18, 2019

The word paradigm has been around for centuries, but it seems to have become something of a buzz-word in the world of academics and corporate business in just the last two decades or so. I think the first time I ever heard the word was in 1985 when I was in a linguistics course at a university. As the above dialog from the Dilbert cartoon illustrates, paradigm is one of those words that a lot of people use without really knowing exactly what it means. Often it is used in the phrase "a paradigm shift," which has become a buzz-phrase in its own right. A few years ago I was at an art gallery and saw a piece of art titled Paradigm Shift. It was a ceramic piece, a plain, smooth lump of clay that had been glazed and fired. On top of the lump of clay were two dimes, glued at the ends of two parallel grooves, which made it appear that the two dimes

June 30, 2019

God's Kingdom is a kingdom of law and order, a kingdom wherein imperfect humans are appointed by God to exercise authority over other imperfect humans until the Lord returns. Authority in God's Kingdom is hierarchical and begins with the Supreme Authority, God. The Bible says that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of woman. (See 1 Corinthians 11:3.) Women are also delegated to exercise authority. Older women have authority to teach younger women ("The aged women...that they may teach the younger women," Titus 2:3f), and mothers have authority over their children ("Forsake not the law of thy mother," Proverbs 1:8). In God's Kingdom, authority in the family is gender-based: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church" (Eph. 5:22f). "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own

June 9, 2019

A few years ago I was asked to teach a seminar on “Hebrew Holidays and Their Import For Christians” at Bradley University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The students were all 50 or older, so I knew they would remember the Marx Brothers comedy team. I asked them if they could name all the Marx Brothers. They immediately rattled off the names: Groucho, Chico, Harpo. But there was a fourth Marx Brother that people tend to forget, and none of my students could remember his name. (No, it wasn’t Karl.) It was Zeppo, I told them. Oh, yeah, Zeppo Marx!

   Then I showed them a column from the 5/1/10 Jewish Forward called “Shavuot: The Zeppo Marx of Jewish Holidays.” J.J. Goldberg, the author, starts his column by saying:

   “Of all the major Jewish holidays, the least familiar to the general, synagogue-avoiding Jewish public is the festival of Shavuot… In fact, its obscurity is so striking that discussions of the holiday commonly start by noting its obscurity, as I did. As a result, it...

May 26, 2019

I became a born-again Christian in 1972. In the 1970s a popular Christian slogan was "Jesus is Lord!" This slogan was shouted and printed on T-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons, and other paraphernalia. Christians talked about letting Jesus be Lord of your finances, Lord of your marriage, Lord of your job situation--in short, Lord in every area of your life. I believed in letting Jesus be Lord back then. Now that I'm in the Messianic movement, I still believe in letting Jesus be Lord, even if I now call Him by His Hebrew name, Yeshua. I think that most other Messianics would say that they, too, believe in letting Yeshua be Lord. For Messianic believers, though, the Lordship of Yeshua affects their calendars in a way that it does not affect the calendars of mainstream

March 24, 2019

My spiritual identity is centered in Jesus (Yeshua), not in Sabbath-keeping. However, this does not lessen the importance of keeping the Sabbath, any more than it lessens the importance of keeping any of the other nine of the Ten Commandments. Keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is very important to me and to others who, like me, are active in a movement that is usually called the Messianic Movement. Some people call this movement by other names - the Jewish Roots Movement, the Hebrew Roots Movement, the Torah Movement, the Messianic Israel Movement, and perhaps other names I have not heard. But the term most commonly used is the Messianic Movement. The modern Messianic Movement grew out of the Messianic Jewish Movement, which grew out of the Hebrew Christian Movement of the 1800s.

March 3, 2019

We live in a world inhabited by two sorts of intelligent beings: visible and invisible. There are two categories of visible beings: children of the light and of the day, and children of the darkness and of the night. There are likewise two categories of invisible beings, commonly called angels and demons. Some misinformed people think of angels as cute little Cupid-like cherubs, naked little babies with wings. And they think of demons as cute little horned imps with pitchforks living in the dark, fiery underground caverns of hell. There are some "angels that sinned" and "kept not their first estate" who are now "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness" in Tartarus. (See Jude 6 & 2 Peter 2:4.) But these eternally-chained fallen angels are not the ones who make trouble for mankind. The demons we have to deal with are not in hell. They are in this world.

Please reload

Featured Posts

The Fear of the LORD

March 29, 2020

1/10
Please reload

Archive