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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 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

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 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?

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

July 28, 2019

Some people reject the idea of a divine Messiah, either because they do not believe in Yeshua (Jesus), or because they do not believe in the inspiration and authority of the New Testament. They say it is not enough that the New Testament declares the deity of Messiah; if the idea of a divine Messiah is to be accepted, it must also be declared, or at least hinted at, in Jewish writings. All the books of the New Testament, with the possible exception of Luke and Acts, were written by Jewish writers. Therefore the deity of Messiah is clearly declared in Jewish writings. Nonetheless, for those who do not recognize the inspiration and authority of the New Testament Jewish Scriptures, let's look at some other Jewish writings that declare the divine nature of the Messiah. Those who argue against the deity of Yeshua often quote Numbers

July 14, 2019

In Numbers 16 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron. As a result, Yahweh caused the earth to open its mouth and swallow the three rebels and their families, so that they all went down alive into the pit. Then the earth closed over them. This should have been enough to convince everyone that Aaron was indeed Yahweh's choice to be High Priest. Nonetheless, to further confirm the authority and priesthood of Aaron, God had all twelve heads of the twelve tribes bring their rods to Moses. Each rod, including Aaron's, had its owner's name written on it. All twelve rods were then laid together overnight in the tabernacle. The next morning all the rods still looked the same, except for Aaron's. Aaron's rod

June 16, 2019

In English we call the fourth book of the Bible “Numbers.” This is a translation of the Latin title of the book, Numeri, which is a translation of the Greek title Arithmoi. If you read the first several chapters of the book, it’s easy to see why Greek-speaking, Latin-speaking, and English-speaking people gave it a title that includes the ideas of arithmetic and numbers. The first several chapters consist primarily of long lists of numbers and mathematical calculations to record the total amounts of various countings: how many men in each of the twelve tribes; how to set up the camp according to the tribes; how many men in each of the families of the Levites; how many shekels of redemption money to collect; how many of each item that each of the tribal leaders brought as an offering, etc., etc.,

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...

June 2, 2019

In the early years of the twentieth century, God did an amazing thing. He poured out His Spirit in a mighty and marvelous way. All over the world, in Wales, in America, in India, in Africa, in Asia, all over the world, the Holy Spirit moved mightily. Great multitudes of people were awakened, converted, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Out of this world-wide revival emerged the Pentecostal Movement. The history of the Pentecostal Movement has been documented in books such as Vinson Synan's The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Eerdman's 1997), Walter Hollenweger's Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide

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