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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Forty-Eighth (Appropriation)

I hope you're doing well and had a wonderful week. It's becoming more and more important to trust in Him as the world keeps going in the direction it's in, so keep that in mind! Remember, just as Yehovah protected His chosen people in the wilderness, He will protect His chosen people now: those that believe in His Son and His sacrifice for us.

I'm sure you're wondering about the title this week. If you look back at history, many times you'll see a movement inspired by Satan countered or mirrored by a movement inspired by Yehovah. For instance, around 1950 there was a New Evangelical movement mirrored by a Neo-Paganism movement. Around 1942, a secular movement was mirrored by a biblical theology movement. In that fashion, I think it's appropriate to "reset" ourselves to His Word as the world attempts to "reset" to some new version of their normal.

Jesus tells us that we shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yehovah (Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4). You know what's interesting about that statement? The word Jesus chose for..."word"...was rhema. As we learned previously, this means spoken word. Right there, Jesus tells us we are to live according to whatever God has spoken and will speak. What is the most monumental thing Yehovah spoke that we shall live by? His commandments, His law (Deuteronomy 4:12-14).

Many believe that these are no longer required to be followed because of Jesus' death on the cross, however this is a deception of Satan. Despite Jesus saying He was not here to destroy the law (Matthew 5:17), or even that nothing from the law will pass until this heaven and earth are destroyed (Matthew 5:18), some pick and choose verses like those in Romans 2, out of context, to justify not following the law. However, even Paul says faith does not void the law, it establishes it (Romans 3:31). Some even claim those who are not Jewish are not under the law because it was given to Israel, despite Paul himself stating that believers in Christ are grafted into them as a part of Yehovah's chosen (Romans 11:13-21).

But this is not the only thing to cover this week, and it certainly doesn't explain the title! What do I mean by appropriation? I mean appropriation of paganism by Christianity. And perhaps appropriation isn't quite the right word, since really the incorporation of pagan aspects was somewhat forced. However, they were accepted by Christians and are still practiced today. We are in a time of being tried and purified by fire, and it's only going to get hotter. When fire is used to purify metals, it removes the impurities from them, and that's what Christians need to do today and going forward.

Some justify their actions by saying these rituals may have originated from paganism, but they're not doing them because of the same reason the pagan's did them, they're doing them to glorify God, so it's ok. But let's think about that argument logically. Yehovah says over and over that pagan rituals are an abomination to Him (Deuteronomy 7:25, 12:31, 18:12, etc.). So why would He want us to use them, or some part of them, and twist them to some sort of worship of Him? He tells us how to worship Him in His Word. We don't need to, and He doesn't want us to, invent new ways of doing that.

What's more, Yehovah detested pagan things so much He even commanded His people to not even cook the same things pagans did in certain pagan rituals. Three times! (Exodus 23:19, Exodus 34:26, Deuteronomy 14:21) He told them not to plant a tree near the altar built for Him, or set up a sacred pillar (Deuteronomy 16:21,22), which was a ritual of worship to the goddess Asherah and is still practiced today. This clearly shows a combination of paganism with worship of Yehovah, and He says He hates it!

Yehovah does not want us using pagan rituals, or some version of them, to worship Him, and He doesn't want us making up our own ways to worship either. He told us how to worship in His Word, with the Feasts of the Lord. He told us what is sinful, with His commandments. And even some of those now have appropriation of pagan rituals. The changing of keeping the holy day from the seventh day (Deuteronomy 5:12-15) to the first day was done to coincide it with the worship of the sun god (on SUNday). In the catholic record of London, Ontario, dated 1 September, 1923, the catholic church acknowledges sunday worship as their mark of authority, saying that they are above the Bible. In Faith of Our Fathers, 92nd edition, on page 89, one of the catholic cardinals acknowledges that nowhere in the Bible will you find the sanctification of sunday. In the Catholic Mirror, dated 23 September 1893, they acknowledge they changed the day from saturday to sunday. Who are we, as man, to change Yehovah's Word, His commandment? In fact, even more sinister is the statement in Our Sunday Visitor, dated 5 February, 1950, where they say protestants accept the authority of the pope by observing sunday.

Take the opportunity this week, and going forward, to research the origins of all the rituals done today in churches. If you take a look at when they're conducted, you'll also find that the overwhelming majority of them are during a Feast of the Lord, because Yehovah gave those feasts for a reason! He gave them to us to show us He's going to do important things during those times. Don't just take the word of your pastor, or even me. This is something that needs to be a conviction in your heart. Remove the impurities from your worship of Yehovah, and live by every word that proceeds from His mouth, not from the mouth of man!

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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