Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Holidays; Holy and Pagan: Purim and Halloween

Purim (Feast of Lots) and Halloween

Biblical Month: Adar

Secular Month: February/March

Purim is the Feast that was instituted by Mordechai, Hadassah’s (Esther’s) cousin and guardian after Haman’s plans to wipe out the Jewish people recoiled upon his own head. During this festival we dress up in disguises and costumes, have a lot of fun and even play some good natured tricks on people. Esther is a book of the Tanak that does not mention the name of God anywhere outright in the text. But it is interesting to note that God is disguised all throughout the book of Esther, not just in the events, but in the text itself! God participates in Purim by disguising Himself.

Esther 1:20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both to great and small.

God’s name, “YHWH” is formed by the initial letters of the verse, but YHWH is spelled backwards because in this verse He was turning back the counsels of man.

Esther 5:4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.

YHWH is spelled by the initial letters as HE is initiating action, and YHWH is spelled forward because the Almighty is ruling causing Esther to act.

Esther 5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.

YHWH is formed by the last or final letters of this verse because Haman’s end was fast approaching. YHWH is appears backwards in the text seeing as G-d was overruling Haman’s joy and turning back his counsel.

Esther 7:7 And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

Again YHWH is spelled in this verse by using the final letters because Haman’s finality had come. Yet in the text YHWH is spelled forward because G-d was ruling and bringing about what He had determined.

Chuck Missler in his book, “Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity” (pg. 83) has this to say about these for verses:

“The first two acrostics are a pair, having the name formed by the initial letters of the four words. The last two are a pair, having the name formed by the final letters of the four words.

The first and third acrostics are a pair having the name spelled backward. The second and the fourth are a pair, having the name spelled forward…

The first and third, in which the name is formed backward, are from the text spoken by Gentiles. The second and fourth, in which the name is formed forward, are from text spoken by Israelites.”

But this is not all. “I AM” is hidden in the final letters spelled backwards in Esther 7:5

Esther 7:5 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

The word Messiah or Moshiach is found hidden in the Hebrew text of Esther 1:3 by skipping eight letters. Eight being the number representing beginnings.

Esther 1:3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:

Esther 4:17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

In this verse Yeshua’s name meaning Salvation is found by counting every eight letters.

El Shaddai (the Almighty) is found by counting every seven letters in Esther 4:2.

Esther 4:2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

And as a divine punch line God has the phrase, “Haman and Satan stink” by counting every six letters ten times in Esther 3:11, 12.

Esther 3:11, 12 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.

So even before Purim was instituted we See God was already participating in all the disguise, jokes and festivities that we celebrate by tradition today.

On another note satan likes to play dress up too!

 II Cor. 11:14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

Which means satan can make himself look pure, good, and holy on the surface, yet is pure and deadly evil just inches beneath.

At Purim we dress up in costumes, we hide our true identity because YHWH’s name is not mentioned in the book of Esther, He is hidden, yet we see He is all too present. It shows us that God and miracles often are disguised in the mundane every day.

Hadassah (Esther) hid her identity at the command of her cousin Mordechai in order to reveal her Jewishness at just the right time in order to save her people from total annihilation.

On the other hand satan too participated in Purim. He first came as wise serpent to Chavah (Eve), then in Hadassah’s day he disguised himself in Haman as a wise councilmen to birth a plan of genocide of the Jewish people. And later in Judas to betray and hand over the Messiah to be killed.

And today satan conceals himself in the guise of Enlightened and Free, Anti-Torah Christianity, and compromising and assimilating forms of Messianic Judaism, which all appear as pure, good, and well-intended, even enlightened and yet this is but one of the true threats to Jews, and the true remnant of believers today.

We must do our best when called upon to tactfully, yet boldly spread the light of Torah and Messiah to Christians and Messianics. Yet we must be careful so as not to fall into the soft and cuddly death trap of ecumenicalism that says, “We all serve the same G-d, we all serve the same Messiah.”

We must, whether we are at home, work, school or play, no matter what skin or place we are in, we must not compromise and we must stand tall and strong for Torah and Messiah in this dark perverted backwards world.

“In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.” - Esther 3:7

“When the joy fell on Adar, Haman rejoiced greatly, for he said; ‘The lot has fallen on the month Moses died!’ He did not know that was the month Moses was born.” – Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 13b

“And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan… And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” Duet. 31:2; 34:7

We see from this that Moses dies on his birthday! Haman saw only one side of the coin. He only saw that Moses died in the month of Adar and seen it as a good omen for him to exterminate the Jews of Persia and a bad omen for the Persian Jews; that their God had turned against them and they were doomed to extermination. Little did Haman know Moses was also born on the same day as he died! Haman’s interpretation of the lots was just the opposite! It was a bad omen for him, for he and his house would perish in the same day (Esther 9:5, 10, 25). And it would represent the death of old captive, fleshly Israel and her rebirth into a new creation (II Cor. 5:17); which was right on the heels the month of Nisan (Abib/Aviv), which is the month of the Passover, the month of the Exodus from Egypt and when Israel was birthed as a nation in freedom in the wilderness!

Hallelujah! The lot is not man’s domain, but the LORD’s! HE IS IN CONTROL OVER ALL THINGS (Rom. 8:28)!

“The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” – Prov. 16:33

It should also be noted that death, for the believer is a rebirth anyway, and a precious thing in God’s eyes (Psa. 116:15). Moses was born on the earth and born anew in heaven on the same day! So death in the eyes of His People is a moot point (Phil. 1:21)! No matter how you look at it, Israel was to be reborn, again! Haman didn’t have a chance and never saw it coming!

The LORD was not finished with the Persian Jews. He had a plan and purpose for them. The God of Israel and Israel declared as one:

“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” –Psalm 118:17

Justice is at times diverted by a monetary bribe. Recall the Command of the Half Shekel which was announced on the 1st of Adar in preparation to be due on the 1st of Nisan (Abib/Aviv):

“When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.” Exodus 30:12-14

“Resh Lakish said; ‘The Creator of the world knew Haman would pay money (shekalim) to convince Ahasuerus to give him permission to destroy the Jews. So the Holy one made the Jews give their shekalim first. This is why the announcement of the shekalim must be made on the first of Adar.” – Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 13b

Each person, despite their economic standing was required to give a half shekel, no more and no less. It took two persons to make a whole shekel, representing unity and equality, and that we need each other. Haman’s shekelim drove people apart, the Half Shekel of the Jews brought people together. Haman’s money was seen as a bribe. Perhaps he even thought that because the Jews were exiled in Persia by their disobedience to Him (Deut. 27-28) that they no longer had the L-RD’s favor and thus Haman could bribe GOD with money and thus get a favorable lot when it was cast!  On the other hand we see that the Jews shekalim was seen as righteous tzedakah (charity), which delivers from death (Prov. 11:4).

Just as many who come to the Messianic/Natsari faith take on new names to reflect ones new found faith; similarly when a conquering nation would submit a nation, the people of that vassal state would take on new names to reflect that the people are under “new management.” Also, this was done to symbolize the defeat of the defeated nation’s god(s), because back in the day, most names reflected the religion of that nation. For example; Daniel, Dan-El, meaning “God is my judge.” Or Eliyahu (Elijah) meaning, “Yahweh is my God.” It was not uncommon for a conquering nation to give new names to the people they captured, for Daniel and the Three Hebrew Children all were given pagan names and it is by those names we know the three Hebrew young men; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar (Dan. 1:7).

Did you know that Esther, the Heroine of Purim is not a Hebrew name? It is actually a derivative of the name of the pagan goddess Ishtar. Her real name was Hadassah.  Hadassah means myrtle tree. Myrtle branches are used in the lulav and etrog bouquet we wave unto the LORD during Sukkot. The Lulav and etrog represents the human body, each element a part of the body. The hadass leaves are shaped like eyes and represent the eyes. The four species of the lulav also represent a type of person. The hadass is and aromatic species and is representory of one who has good deeds. Indeed, Hadassah (Esther) had the eyes of the king, but she also had eyes to see the trouble around her and wisely took action by fasting and her good deed was risking her life to approach the king without being summoned.  What greater deed is there than self-sacrifice (John 15:13)!?

Ishtar, from where the name Esther derives, was the goddess of fertility, love and war. Esther won the love of King Ahauerus and was the catalyst that brought war to the kingdom, saving the Persian Jews, and allowing the Jewish people to survive and continue the perpetuation of their various lines as well as defeating Haman and bring his line to an end.  Esther’s actions fulfilled what her pagan name meant!

Names, whether pagan or Hebraic have prophetic meaning in a person’s life and their name will shape their life. For example Nabal was foolishly crass enough to snub David when he was on the run from King Saul and it cost Nabal his life, and indeed his name meant folly (I Sam. 25:25).  Solomon, means “son of Peace” and He was the peace child that brought back equilibrium between God and David as well as there was peace and prosperity during Solomon’s reign.

Ahasuerus, the king of our story, means “lion king,” which shows how he was seen by everyone and showed that he was a mighty conquering king not to be trifled with. And we see what happened to Haman when the king though Haman was trying to seduce Queen Esther right under his nose; he was hung (Esther 7:9-10). A lion, when attacking his prey to kill him immediately goes for the neck! Ahasuerus sure did live up to his name.

Haman was a descendant of Esau and Amalek, enemies of Israel. Israel was commanded to wipe out Amalek and his descendants but failed to do so and the Jewish people reaped the consequences of their disobedient as we read in the book of Esther (Deut. 25:19), for Haman, an Amalekite attempted to wipe out Israel!

Haman means magnificent, and indeed Haman was very vain and conceited and thought of himself so magnificent that everyone should bow in recognition of that magnificence. His name also means, “noisy tumult” and indeed he was always flapping his lips causing trouble where ever he went. And traditionally, during the reading of Esther, we make a noisy tumult in order to drown out his name.

Mordechai’s was named after the god Marduk, the god of war and order. Haman, meaning noisy tumult is symbolic of chaos and Mordechai/Marduk is all about order and hence the clash between the two! Also a warrior does not bow to someone just because one thinks there magnificent, the warrior will only bow to a superior, and Haman was anything but. Mordechai only bowed to the G-d of Israel, for He is supreme and worthy of a warriors worship and allegiance.

In Esther Rabbah 7:8 it says, “Haman said to the courtiers: ‘Tell him his ancestors bowed to my ancestor, for it says: ‘Joseph and Rachel… bowed down [to Esau].’’ Mordechai replied: ‘But Benjamin was not born.’”

Mordechai was a descendant of Benjamin, who was prophetically represented by a wolf, a warrior of the woods and seeing as when Joseph and Rachel bowed before Esau, Benjamin was not born yet and so Mordechai’s descendants never bowed to Esau and his line and he wasn’t about to start.

You see, even when one is conquered one is not defeated.  And in order to attempt to wipe out Hebrew life, religion and culture the Persians gave the Jews pagan names, yet that was their downfall because they failed to see the prophetic significance in a name. By giving Hadassah the name Esther and Mordechai the name Marduk, the Persians were actually christening them warlords of the Hebrew people! God truly does work everything out for the good (Rom. 8:28). 

Did Yeshua Celebrate Purim?

The Brit Chadasha is by far not an exhaustive commentary on the first century beliefs and practices of the Jewish believer; it is but a series of snap shots in time.

The Brit Chadasha was never written with the intent of becoming ‘Scripture.” The Besorah (Gospels) are mostly a historical, testimonial type of document as a witness to Yeshua that falls way short of the entirety of His life, activities, teachings and miracles. It has been said by one of the writers of the Besorah that all the libraries and books couldn’t contain such information (John 21:25). Other parts of the Brit Chadasha are instructional correspondence between a Sheliachim (an Apostle) and various synagogues.

Much of the Brit Chadasha is written in such a way that it is assumed the readers were Torah Obedient and knew about many of the customs and traditions of Judaism.

This being said, it is a given and obvious that Yeshua kept the Saturday Sabbath, went to synagogue (Luke 4:16), participated in the Feasts of Leviticus 23 and even celebrated a non-biblical feast called Chanukah (John 10). But what about Purim, it is mysteriously not mentioned in the Brit Chadasha just as God’s Name is not found in the text of the book of Esther. So did He observe it? I think it is safe to say He did because though it is not mentioned he did, Yeshua was a Torah Observant Jew even keeping many of the customs and traditions of His people which Purim was one of them (Esther 9:28). The reason it is not mentioned as being celebrated in the Brit Chadasha is because in the time of Yeshua, Rome occupied and ruled Israel and thus Purim was ban as a public festival out of fear it would insight rebellion among the Jews against Rome. However, the Meggillah was still permitted to be read and Purim was allowed to be observed in private. Wouldn’t Chanukah incite such rebellion too, why was it celebrated and not Purim? Great question, it is because Chanukah was all about the defeat of Rome’s enemy; the Greco-Syrians and encouraged the Jews to celebrate that fact by allowing Chanukah observance to continue.

Unless you make your own, the best time to get your costume for Purim is the day after Halloween when costumes are half off or lower.


Of all the holidays, most everyone knows of the satanic and pagan origins of Halloween and the Catholic churches attempt to sanitize and “Christianize” it. However, it is the highest holy day on the satanic calendar. Satanic cults, covens, and neo-pagan religious groups preform human and animal sacrifices on this night amid other carnal and lurid practices. But who cares, right? That’s not what Halloween means today, it’s just a time for people to dress up, get candy and have fun. So what’s the harm in that!? Why be a party pooper and spoil all the fun?

One cannot ignore the pagan and satanic origins of this day. The western populace that participates in this celebration may not sacrifice animals or humans or participate in religious orgies and rituals as was done centuries before us, but what they do is imitate and rehearse them. Just as child who plays cops and robbers or war they are imitating what is real. It has roots and meanings one cannot escape from or tame into innocents. Play is a type of training and conditioning to one day do the real thing. Although people that celebrate Halloween would likely never participate in such rituals that they imitate, it is desensitizing and conditioning the soul to tolerate and accept such evil. Why would anyone want to imitate or reenact such things in the name of fun or just to satisfy a sweet tooth!?

“In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic Festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, at the end of summer…. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.”  – Encyclopedia Britannica

Because of Americas Christian Heritage, Halloween was not widely celebrated until the 20th century.

“Halloween has its origin in the British Isles about 1300 years ago. In those days, there were many men and women who practiced a so-called “nature religion” known as Wicca. (The word “Wicca” means “wise ones.” The word “witch” is derived from “Wicca.”)… The Wiccans were worshippers of the “Earth Mother”, the sun, the moon, and stars. Witches do not believe in Satan. The Wiccans or witches meet every Friday night at a gathering called an “esbat.” They draw a magic circle with a six-pointed star in it called a “hexagram”, from which we get the word “hex.” The coven of 13 stand “sky clad” or naked in the hexagram and work spells by chanting and doing rituals such as “drawing down the moon.” The full moon is sacred to witches, especially if it is on a Friday. It is considered to be even greater if the Friday is the 13th day of the month.

Eight times each year, the witches celebrated a sabat and the ritual work and spell casting was always done on the eve of the sabat. The sabats are Imbolc on February 2nd, the spring equinox on March 22nd, Beltaine on May 1st, the summer solstice on June 22nd, Lugnahsaid on July 31st, the fall equinox on September 22nd, Samhain on October 31st, and the winter solstice on December 22nd, which is also known as Yule.

Witches have special ways of celebrating for each sabat, and even though they do not believe in Satan, it is Satan who gives them the experiences they have and deceives them into thinking it is the forces of nature they are tapping into. Halloween is the most important of the eight sabats in witchcraft and is known to the witches by the Scotch-Gaelic word “Samhain”, which is pronounced “SOW-EEN.” It is believed that on that night, the barrier between this world and the next, known as the astral plane, becomes very thin. The witches believe that this allows spirits of departed ones to travel freely back and forth between the earth and the spirit realm. Thus, Halloween is the highest day in Wiccan witchcraft. On that night for many centuries, witches would work their magic and then have wild parties all through the darkness of that night. They would play games, such as bobbing for apples, because witches regard the apple as sacred. The witches would also tell stories from their personal diaries of spells known as their “book of shadows.” These ghost stories would start when the hosting High Priest or Priestess would say, “A witches’ tale and a cup of ale for the host of our guests unseen.” “ – David J. Meyer, Last Trumpet International Ministries.

Dressing up and Trick or Treating and The Jack-O-Lantern

Where did dressing up and soliciting candy door to door come from, where did this custom originate? And why do people hollow out and carve face in pumpkins and then set a candle inside?

“One possibility is from the notion that ancient witches had to steal the materials needed for their festivals. The Druids may have believed that witches held this day to be special, something clearly true for modern witches.
The idea of trick-or-treating is further related to the ghosts of the dead in pagan, and even Catholic, history. For example, among the ancient Druids, “The ghosts that were thought to throng about the houses of the living were greeted with a banquet-laden table. At the end of the feast, masked and costumed villagers representing the souls of the dead paraded to the outskirts of town leading the ghosts away.”
As already noted, Halloween was thought to be a night when mischievous and evil spirits roamed freely. As in modern poltergeist lore, mischievous spirits could play tricks on the living—so it was advantageous to “hide” from them by wearing costumes. Masks and costumes were worn to either scare away the ghosts or to keep from being recognized by them.” - The Facts on Halloween by Harvest House Publishers, 2008

Another source says:

“In those early days in England, there was another kind of witchcraft known as Druidism. The Druids were called “men of the oaks” and were a strange clan of men who dressed in white robes. The Druids worshipped Cernnunos, the “horned hunter of the night. “Halloween was sacred to the Druids because their sun-god receded to the underworld on October 31st, which is why darkness increased and light decreased according to their reckoning.

As darkness set in on October 31st, the clan of Druids would put on their white robes and hoods. They would carry sickles and Celtic crosses as they began a torchlight procession. At the beginning of the procession, a male slave was killed and dragged by a rope fastened to his left ankle. The Druids would walk until they came to a house or a village where they shouted the equivalent of “trick or treat.” The treat was a slave girl or any female to be given to the Druids. If the people refused to a girl as a “treat”, blood was taken from the dead slave and used to draw a hexagram or six-pointed star on the door or wall of the village. Spirits of the “horned hunter of the night” were invoked by the Druids to kill someone in that house or village by fear that night.

If the house or village gave a girl as a “treat”, the Druids put a pumpkin with a face carved in it in front of the door or gate of that place. Inside the pumpkin was a candle made of human tallow to keep evil spirits away. Thus, the Jack-O-Lantern was and is a sign that you have cooperated with Satan.

The treats or female victims were taken to Stonehenge where they were raped and killed and then sacrificed on the sacred bonefire until only glowing embers were left. The “bonefire” is the origin of the modern day bonfire. As a matter of luck for winter survival, all villagers were expected to use the glowing embers of the bonefire to light their hearths.”  – David Meyer, Last Trumpet International Ministries

Another reason for the Jack-O-Lantern is that this custom mimics the skulls illuminated by candles that the witches and warlocks used in and to light their rituals and sacrifices that they performed.

It was also believed that dressing up you could fool spirits that were after you, but it was also held that you absorbed the power and took on the traits of whatever you dressed up as. If you donned a wolf pelt, you were believed to have the power and characteristics of the wolf, thereby being able to fend off any evil spirits that may come to torment you.

Costumes were also worn to disguise ones identity so as to participate anonymously is lurid carnal pagan rites such as orgies or sacrifices.

All Saints Day

The Celts and the Druid’s began their New Year on November 1st. This marked the beginning of their winter. On October 31st, the night before their New Year and the last day of the old year, they believed that Samhain gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals. He then decided what animal form they would take for the next year. On the other hand, the souls of the good dead were reincarnated as humans. The Druids attempted to help the fate of the evil dead by offering sacrifices, prayers, and gifts to Samhain. It was on this night Samhain allowed the spirits of those who died in the past year to return to earth to their former places of habitation for a few hours to associate once again with their living relatives and loved ones, or to finish unfinished business. People would light bonfires in order to keep the spirits of the dead away from haunting them as well as to give more power to the sun, as it was weakening during this time of year.

In A.D. 835, Pope Gregory IV designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day (the term hallow refers to saints). This was designed to “Christianize” a pagan holiday so as to draw pagan into converting to Catholicism. This day was a day of the dead in paganism, but the Catholic Church deemed it as a day to remember and honor the martyrs of the Faith and the saints who passed on before us. Elliot Watson said, “Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween.” The night before November 1st, October 31st, was known as All Hallows’ Evening. How did we get the term Halloween? Look at the name, “All Hallows’ Evening.” If we drop the word “all,” and the “s” on Hallows’, as well as the “v” and the “ing” on evening, the result spells, Halloween. 

I concur with David Meyer,

“As we can clearly see, Halloween is not harmless. Satan has people in our modern era mimicking the witches and Druids of old. All of this is cursed of God… Halloween is no joke and is not harmless fun! This evil holiday has no part in the life of a Christian. The Roman Catholic Church borrowed Halloween from the witches, which shows how blind they are.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

Sadly, many Christians and Churches have tried to make Halloween okay by having, “Harvest Festival” parties and allowing the kids to dress up as Bible characters. But this is just swapping names and keeping the exact same traditions.

I do agree that one should attempt to educate folks about the true origins of Halloween and evangelize during this time by handing out tracts with the candy or organizing what has been known as “Judgement Houses,” an alternative to Haunted Houses that is a walk through drama that shares the gospel.

I do pray you will have the boldness to oppose such a holiday by refusing to participate in it and instead celebrate a Godly holiday like Purim that glorifies God and causes us to remember His Faithfulness and His Word.