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

February 16, 2020

What is the Jethro model? For readers who may not be very familiar with the Bible, we are not talking about television's Jethro Bodine of "The Beverly Hillbillies." We are talking about Jethro the priest of Midian, who was the father-in-law of Moses. After the Exodus from Egypt, Jethro came to Mount Sinai where Moses and the Hebrews were encamped. Moses told Jethro all about the recent Exodus from Egypt, and all that Yahweh had done for the Israelites. Jethro rejoiced, blessed Yahweh, and offered sacrifices to God. Then he sat down to eat with Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel. The next day, Jethro saw that Moses sat to judge the people all day long, from morning to evening. Jethro asked Moses why he did this. Moses explained that the people came to him to enquire of God, and to have Moses make judgments between them, and to explain God's laws to them.

February 2, 2020

Compromise can be good or bad, depending on the situation. It can be good when trying to make a decision that will satisfy everyone. For example, if your wife wants to spend three hours at the zoo and you want to spend only one hour there, you can compromise and spend two hours at the zoo. That way you will both be disappointed and miserable, but at least you will be equally disappointed and miserable. Compromise can be good when a buyer and a seller are haggling over the price of an item. If the seller wants $300 but the buyer only wants to pay $100, they can compromise and settle for a price of $200. That way they will both feel like they were deprived of $100. So compromise can sometimes be a good thing. However, when God makes strong, sure demands—“Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not"—compromise is out of the question. When Yahweh said to Pharaoh, "Let My people go," there was to be no compromise, no haggling over the

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...

September 22, 2019

The word apostasy does not appear in the 1611 KJV, but according to Webster's it has been in the English language since at least the 14th century. The English word apostasy is a transliteration of the Greek word apostasia. The Gingrich Shorter Lexicon defines it as "rebellion, abandonment, apostasy." Strong's defines it as "defection from truth." According to Strong's, the word apostasia is formed by attaching the apo- prefix to stao, a word related to stemi ("stand"). Regardless of how those ancient Greek speakers formed the word apostasia, it means defection from truth; rebellion, abandonment, apostasy. These lexicon definitions leave a couple of questions unanswered, namely: From which elements of truth do apostates defect? What specifically is it that apostates rebel against and abandon?

June 23, 2019

Growing up as a kid in the 1950s and early 60s, I read a lot of superhero comic books. I even read the Letters pages, where readers sent comments and questions about the various characters. Some readers seemed to think of the superheroes as real people. I remember one reader wrote and asked if Superman believed in God. The editor answered Yes, Superman indeed believes in God. I was glad to learn that the Man of Steel was not an atheist. As a kid I knew very little about God, and virtually nothing about Jews and Judaism. In later years I learned that nearly all of the most popular superheroes were created by Jews, and that Jewish themes were often woven into many of the stories. I also learned about the original mythical Jewish superhero, the Golem. The legend of the Golem took place in 16th-century Prague. To defend the

May 19, 2019

The modern Messianic Jewish Movement began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when great numbers of Jewish people came to the conclusion that Jesus (Yeshua) was the Messiah foretold by Moses and the Prophets. In previous centuries, a Jew who came to faith in Jesus was expected to assimilate, and he normally did. He abandoned Jewish forms of worship and lived like the Gentile Christians of whatever church he happened to join. Unlike Jewish believers of the past, Jewish believers in the 1970s desired to retain many of the Torah practices which Jewish believers of previous generations normally abandoned. In the 1970s many Jewish believers started meeting together to celebrate Shabbat and holy days in a Christ-centered (Messiah-centered) way, and to worship in a Jewish context.

January 26, 2019

What is the Jethro model? For readers who may not be very familiar with the Bible, we are not talking about television's Jethro Bodine of "The Beverly Hillbillies." We are talking about Jethro the priest of Midian, who was the father-in-law of Moses. After the Exodus from Egypt, Jethro came to Mount Sinai where Moses and the Hebrews were encamped. Moses told Jethro all about the recent Exodus from Egypt, and all that Yahweh had done for the Israelites. Jethro rejoiced, blessed Yahweh, and offered sacrifices to God. Then he sat down to eat with Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel. The next day, Jethro saw that Moses sat to judge the people all day long, from morning to evening. Jethro asked Moses why he did this. Moses explained that the people came to him to enquire of God, and to have Moses make judgments between them, and to explain God's laws to them.

January 13, 2019

Compromise can be good or bad, depending on the situation. It can be good when trying to make a decision that will satisfy everyone. For example, if your wife wants to spend three hours at the zoo and you want to spend only one hour there, you can compromise and spend two hours at the zoo. That way you will both be disappointed and miserable, but at least you will be equally disappointed and miserable. Compromise can be good when a buyer and a seller are haggling over the price of an item. If the seller wants $300 but the buyer only wants to pay $100, they can compromise and settle for a price of $200. That way they will both feel like they were deprived of $100. So compromise can sometimes be a good thing. However, when God makes strong, sure demands—“Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not"—

December 23, 2018

"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"?

September 2, 2018

The word apostasy does not appear in the 1611 KJV, but according to Webster's it has been in the English language since at least the 14th century. The English word apostasy is a transliteration of the Greek word apostasia. The Gingrich Shorter Lexicon defines it as "rebellion, abandonment, apostasy." Strong's defines it as "defection from truth." According to Strong's, the word apostasia is formed by attaching the apo- prefix to stao, a word related to stemi ("stand"). Regardless of how those ancient Greek speakers formed the word apostasia, it means defection from truth; rebellion, abandonment, apostasy. These lexicon definitions leave a couple of questions unanswered, namely: From which elements of truth do apostates defect? What specifically is it that apostates rebel against and abandon? If we look at how the word apostasis is used in the New Testament, it will help answer these questions, and will give us a clearer understanding of w...

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