Day: March 1, 2024

Purim

Purim

By Eric Carlson in 03_2024_1 on March 1, 2024

Esther 3:8. Then Haman said to Achashverosh, “There is a particular people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people; moreover, they don’t observe the king’s laws. It doesn’t befit the king to tolerate them.

Haman described our Jewish People to Achashverosh as a “people scattered abroad and dispersed amongst the people.” As children of God, we too are scattered and dispersed among all the people of the 50 states of this nation! Our laws, Mitzvahs, and commands are different than those of all other nation and there are now laws of this land that we cannot and won’t observe!! We have American Haman’s that are pointing us out as he did with our Jewish people in Persia! The parallel between the story of Esther over 2,450 years again and our situation in America today is chilling! Haman wanted to kill and eradicate all our Jewish people, to completely destroy every vestige of our biblical culture and expression of worship. We today in America have a quickly growing segment of our population that seeks the same for us!

Esther 3:13. Letters were sent by courier to all the royal provinces “to destroy, kill and exterminate all Jews, from young to old, including small children and women, on a specific day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to seize their goods as plunder.”

Each expression of destruction relates to a different aspect of Jewish existence. Haman wanted to “exterminate” the existence of our Jewish people by destroying all mention of the Torah, its commandments, and their observances. Haman wanted to physically “annihilate” the Jewish nation. Not only did he want to kill us; he wanted to destroy every last shred of our existence hence a literal annihilation. Lastly, Haman wanted to plunder the goods of the Jews, so that no physical remnant would remain of the Jewish people. Exactly what the Nazi’s sought to do, exactly what the Inquisition sought to do, exactly what Pogroms sought to do, ironically, it’s what Socialism and Wokeism seeks to do in our nation today!! It’s a concerted attack against Adonai’s covenant promise to the Jewish people. If the Jewish people cease to exist Gods word isn’t true. Haman was a minyan of HaSatan who seeks to destroy Adonais covenant promise:

Jeremiah 31:35-36. This is what ADONAI says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — ADONAI-Tzva’ot is his name: 36 “If these laws leave my presence,” says ADONAI, “then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being a nation in my presence forever.”

In a unique twist the name of Adonai isn’t mentioned in the entire book of Esther. Whoever misses the Divine hand that touched the Purim story is not looking. And if he claims that he heard the Megillah, he probably was not listening. Imagine, the Prime Minister draws lots and decides to annihilate the entire Jewish nation. Within 24 hours he has approval from the ruler of the not-so-free-world, King Achashverosh.

Within days, the plot is foiled, the Prime Minister is hanged, and his prime target is promoted to replace him! Pretty political. Pretty miraculous. And definitely divine. Yet Hashem’s name is not mentioned once in the Megillah. Why? Of course, the Megillah is replete with allusions. There are acronyms that spell the name of Hashem, and our sages explain that every time the word “King” is mentioned in the Megillah, it has a divine reference. But, still, why does the Book of Esther, a Divinely inspired Megillah, have only veiled references to Heavenly intervention?

The writers of the Megillah left us with a message that would accompany us throughout our long exile. You will not always see God’s signature openly emblazoned upon every circumstance. However, throughout persecution and deliverance, He is always there. And just like on Purim His obvious interference is undocumented; but we know and feel it — and we search for it, and we find it! So, too, in every instance we must seek His name, find it, and recognize it. It may not be emblazoned on the bumper; it may be hidden on the console — but it is there. For Hashem is always speaking. All we have to do is listen.

In America today those who advocate biblical, Judeo-Christian values and reject the lies of the leftist, socialist, communist state are being marginalized and singled out for persecution. “Biblical believers, Messianic Jews, Jews, Christians and their Congregations, Synagogues, and institutions are seen as an obstacle to progress doctrines. If you stand or speak out against LGBT rights for example, if you stand against abortion rights, if you stand against critical race theory you are a problem with the New State Doctrines. The Cancel Culture is attempting to silence our voice, to take away our First Amendment right to free speech!

American youth are readily taking to the streets to demand social change, embracing Socialism, Communism, Hamas, and a radical doctrine called critical race theory which is inflaming their frustrations and the current social unrest. There are certain times, situations, experiences in life that the greatest act of trust is to not run to God for a miracle, rather, the greatest act of trust is to make a stand because it reveals the trust in who you serve. This is foundational understanding of the book of Esther:

Esther 4:12-14. Upon being told what Ester had said, Mordekhai 13 asked them to give Ester this answer: “Don’t suppose that merely because you happen to be in the royal palace you will escape any more than the other Jews. 14 For if you fail to speak up now, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from a different direction; but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position precisely for such a time as this.”

Purim is about boldly standing for truth! Throughout our history since the days of Moses, we as a people have endured untold attacks, persecutions, and face annihilation. The names have varied: It’s been called “Purim”, “Hanukkah”, “Inquisition,” “Pogroms,” “Holocaust”, Intifada, and “Jihad.” The Haman spirit has had numerous names as well such as Pharaoh, Antiochus Epiphanies, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Antifa, Yehiya Sinwar, etc. While Anti-Semitism is at an all-time record high!

There are occasions and situations in life more important than dying! Mordechai is a profound example by his refusal to bow before Haman, even though that was the law of the land! There is a time to be bold, courageous, and take a stand based on the foundational truth of God’s word Unthinking compliance and obedience is never the answer!

There are many, many nuggets hidden in this story!! This is a profound, fascinating revelation that we must take to heart in the modern Messianic Jewish community and why I’m such a staunch 2nd Amendment supporter. Like the Hanukkah story Purim ends with a great Jewish military victory which occurs in chapter 9. The Jewish people are rejoicing because the king’s edict gave them the right to assemble, protect and defend themselves.

Esther 8:11. The letters said that the king had granted the Jews in every city the right “to assemble and defend their lives by destroying, killing and exterminating any forces of any people or province that would attack them, their little ones or their women or would try to seize their goods as plunder.”

The king’s edict did not annihilate the enemies of the Jewish people or invoke the Persian Army to intercede. The king’s edict granted our people the right to “to assemble and defend their lives by destroying, killing and exterminating any forces of any people or province that would attack them, their little ones or their women or would try to seize their goods as plunder.” This is a lost and foreign concept for a majority of our people! We must learn from history! This couldn’t be done without the ability to both assemble, to keep and bear arms as guaranteed in our Constitution by the 1st and 2nd Amendment in the “Bill of Rights”. We must never again fall into the trap of 1930’s Germany in not being able to protect and defend ourselves which led to the Holocaust! We must learn from the Oct 7th, 2023 Hamas invasion. The unarmed Kibbutzim were annihilated. Never again is now!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi Eric Carlson

From Bondage To Freedom

From Bondage To Freedom

By Eric Carlson in 03_2024_3 on March 1, 2024

The transition from the book of Genesis to the book of Exodus covers quite a span of time that leaves us with a void of information. We leave Genesis with the entire nation of Egypt mourning the loss of Yosef for 70 days. Yosef and his family were almost royalty, the heroes of Egypt and Israel. So how did his descendants wind up in slavery as we enter the book of Exodus?

Exodus 1:8-11. Now there arose a new king over Egypt. He knew nothing about Yosef 9 but said to his people, “Look, the descendants of Isra’el have become a people too numerous and powerful for us. 10 Come, let’s use wisdom in dealing with them. Otherwise, they’ll continue to multiply; and in the event of war they might ally themselves with our enemies, fight against us and leave the land altogether.” 11 So they put slavemasters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built for Pharaoh the storage cities of Pitom and Ra’amses.

The curse of History, humanity fails to learn from it. A new king arises that doesn’t know his history so he appoints slave masters over this growing group of Hebrews in his nation. Israel was in slavery approx. 215 years. 430 years will pass to the day from the time the promise was made to Abraham to when Israel leaves Egypt. Not all that time was in slavery. The book of Exodus begins with Israel crying out to God while in slavery but God for His part is silent. God doesn’t answer the Nation directly until Exodus Chapters 19-20.

Exodus and its teachings have inspired people and events throughout History. Many Jewish immigrants to America over the centuries compare their flight from their previous countries of origin and affliction to America as a New Exodus. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson recommended that the Great Seal of the then recently birthed United States of America depict Moses leading the Israelites across the parted Red Sea as a comparable symbol of the American experience. American slaves seeking freedom in the 18th and 19th century related their experience to that of the Israelites and did so again in the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the flight of Russian Jewry to Israel was known as “Operation Exodus”, this is prophetically recorded in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 23:7-8. “Therefore,” says ADONAI, “the day will come when people no longer swear, ‘As ADONAI lives, who brought the people of Isra’el out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As ADONAI lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Isra’el up from the land to the north’ and from all the countries where I drove them. Then they will live in their own land.”

Jacobs 70 (represents the nations) that went into Egypt has now become millions. Profoundly, something deep happened here. Egypt was Israel’s incubator. The most powerful nation on the earth, Egypt, the world’s only superpower at that time was the protector of the fledgling nation. If God had left the fledgling nation of Israel among the Canaanites, Midianites, and Philistines as they were maturing and growing Israel wouldn’t have survived. The surrounding wary nations would have attacked and destroyed Israel long before they became this size!

There is a price associated with this protection, slavery, but even this situation makes us ponder. Without the persecution, would Israel have sought God? There are numerous other similar circumstances in which God will use other Nations to Judges Israel and turn their hearts back to Him.

Think about the Talmidim 2,000 years ago, through extreme persecution and oppression they left their homeland in duress and changed the known world forever. It was persecution that spurned them to go out into the world! An overwhelming majority of our modern Messianic understandings and prophecies came from a persecuted and oppressed Judah in Babylonian captivity which turned their hearts back to God and His word which they began studying! This revelation makes you think about your own current situation, bondage, or position and why you’re there! God promised to deliver Israel from the burdens of Egypt.

Exodus 6:3-8. Va’era (I appeared) to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya’akov as El Shaddai, although I did not make myself known to them by my name, Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [ADONAI]. 4 Also with them I established my covenant to give them the land of Kena’an, the land where they wandered about and lived as foreigners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Isra’el, whom the Egyptians are keeping in slavery; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 “Therefore, say to the people of Isra’el: ‘I am ADONAI. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians, rescue you from their oppression, and redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am ADONAI your God, who freed you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya’akov – I will give it to you as your inheritance. I am ADONAI.'”

This is a powerful testimony and witness of Gods covenant faithfulness. He made covenant with the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. He now intends to fulfill that covenant. Releasing Israel from slavery, He desires relationship! He desired to be their God and they, His people. Relationship, relationship, relationship! Slavery comes with baggage and bondage. The most detrimental is that slavery, particularly bondage inhibits heavenly relationship. Egypt feared Israel in their midst so they oppressed them into bondage:

Exodus 1:12-14. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, until the Egyptians came to dread the people of Isra’el 13 and worked them relentlessly, 14 making their lives bitter with hard labor (ba’avodah: labour, service, bondage, be kept in bondage, transgress) work -digging clay, making bricks, all kinds of field work; and in all this toil they were shown no mercy.

It is one thing to be a slave, it’s quite another to be in bondage. A person will willingly carry their own burden, but it is extremely difficult to carry it under oppression, affliction, and the compulsion of another. The LORD told Moses that he would take Israel out from under oppression and bondage of the Egyptians! Israel had issues with this, they had trouble with both freedom and the release from bondage. In bondage there are no worries, everything is provided for you (welfare is modern slavery). You can take the person off welfare but it’s almost impossible to take the welfare mentality out of them. This leads to bitterness and even unrighteousness as we witness in a person who sought to purchase the gift of the Ruach in.

Acts 8:20-23. Peter said to him, “May your silver go to ruin, and you with it—because you thought you could buy God’s gift with money! 21You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be pardoned. 23 For I see in you the poison of bitterness and the bondage (sundesmos {soon’-des-mos}: that which binds together, a band, bond, that which is in control) of unrighteousness!”

I want you to catch this here both from Israel in bondage and this Brit Chadesha example of bondage, you can be a slave, someone who is physically forced or coerced through oppression to perform labor for a taskmaster that you don’t want to do. Bondage is something that you are willing intertwined with, it has control over you. You are bound together with the bond. There are numerous of bondages afflicting humanity.

Occasionally people groups are taken into bondage such as Yom Hashoa during WW-II. European Jewry were taken into bondage and executed or worked to death with few survivors. This bondage left scars and affected several generations. The pain and anguish over so much loss and grief left deep forms of survivor guilt and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Most individual bondages are self-made bondages. A major bondage in America is Mammon, so many are in financial bondage with high mortgages and deep debt or the opposite, they hoard and worship money. Obesity is the bondage to our appetites, feeding that dopamine rush of pleasure from eating, a sin of gluttony. We are ruthlessly bound by addictive behaviors to pornography, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling, internet, and various sexual immorality.

A person unable to exercise self-control over his own behavior is a person in bondage. All addictions are bondages, when a person is in bondage, they are not able to liberate themselves. They need an intervention, they need help outside of their situation to get free from the bondage. Those with bondages/addictions have higher success rates when outside help such rehab centers, counseling, support groups and other deliverance venues such as Ancient Paths.

Spiritual bondage is any area of our lives where we come into agreement with a lie from the enemy that is in direct opposition to God’s Word. In areas of bondage we give demonic authority for them to come and torment us. It happens in the simplest and most fundamental of ways. If you are hurt and become offended (remember, there should be no offense among mature believers) and we choose to disobey Gods word and not forgive someone a precedence is set.

Ephesians 4:26-27. Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; 27 otherwise you leave room (Topos: place, space, a foothold, opportunity, license, room) for the Adversary.

Unforgiveness opens a door, a foot hold given, room is allotted for the enemy. We give the enemy license, authority to do what they do and create a self-inflicted bondage. The Ruach HaKodesh will bring conviction to repent but if that conviction is ignored the foothold will grow into a stronghold, bondage.

II Peter 2:19. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him.

It will continue to grow and move on as it usually does. What started out as unforgiveness over time ferments into resentment, a stronger bondage. Resentment left unchecked grows into revenge and vindication! You are going to restore your honor and dignity which is now the next higher level of bondage. Left unchecked revenge and vindictiveness leads to full blown anger. Your bondage is now transforming into a major stronghold of bitterness and anger that is no longer contained to the original offence. Bitterness and anger has now taken over every area of your life, now it has contaminated and infected you!

Now you view the world through eyes of bitterness, you’re angry all the time. You don’t know why you’re always angry, you no longer hear Gods voice, and your prayers remain unanswered. Life becomes very hard and has no Shalom (Shalom is the absence of conflict). The stronghold of bondage will now physically manifest into sickness and disease. Replace the original unforgiveness with the shame of sexual abuse, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, porn addiction, sexual sin etc… the process is the same, the foot holds slightly vary but they lead to the same path.

There are Four general sources of bondage that we must be dealt with:

Habitual sin.

Hebrews 6:4-8. For when people have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become sharers in the Ruach HaKodesh, 5 and tasted the goodness of God’s Word and the powers of the ‘olam haba – 6 and then have fallen away – it is impossible to renew them so that they turn from their sin, as long as for themselves they keep executing the Son of God on the stake all over again and keep holding him up to public contempt. 7 For the land that soaks up frequent rains and then brings forth a crop useful to its owners receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it keeps producing thorns and thistles, it fails the test and is close to being cursed; in the end, it will be burned.

Disobedience to the known will of God:

Numbers 15:30-31. ‘But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut off from his people. 31 Because he has had contempt for the word of ADONAI and has disobeyed his command, that person will be cut off completely; his offense will remain with him.'”

Ephesians 2:1-3. You used to be dead because of your sins and acts of disobedience. 2 You walked in the ways of the ‘olam hazeh and obeyed the Ruler of the Powers of the Air, who is still at work among the disobedient. 3 Indeed, we all once lived this way – we followed the passions of our old nature and obeyed the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts. In our natural condition we were headed for God’s wrath, just like everyone else.

Ignorance of God’s Word:

Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”

Ignorance of God’s Power:

Matthew 22:29. Yeshua answered them, “The reason you go astray is that you are ignorant both of the Tanakh and of the power of God.

God is more than able to intervene and release you from the clutches of bondage that shackle and imprison. Through trust in Yeshua, the chains of bondage will be broken.

John 8:31-36. So Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted him, “If you obey what I say, then you are really my talmidim, 32 you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered, “We are the seed of Avraham and have never been slaves to anyone; so what do you mean by saying, `You will be set free’?” 34 Yeshua answered them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave (doulos {doo’-los}: slave, servant, in bondage) of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain with a family forever, but a son does remain with it forever. 36 So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!

May you be free the chains and fetters of all Bondage!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi Eric Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Corner March 2023

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Corner March 2023

By Eric Carlson in 03_2024_2 on March 1, 2024

Shalom Mishpocha,
March has arrived, spring is just around the corner! The first day of spring is Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at 11:06 p.m. EDT. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this was marked by the arrival of the Vernal Equinox. This is the earliest arrival of spring in 124 years! Daylight saving time will begin at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 when the clocks are moved forward one hour. March is one of our most beautiful periods as everything is blooming and the air is warming! March is the time for spring cleanup as we prepare our gardens for planting! It’s a joy to be spending more time outside!

The name March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war, and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. Martius was the beginning of the season for warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities ended. Even in late antiquity, Roman mosaics picturing the months still placed March first.

Sunday, March 17th, 2024, is St, Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland” he brought the Gospel to Ireland. He baptized thousands of people and ordained priests to lead the new Christian communities across the land.

Purim (Lot’s) begins at sunset, Saturday March 23rd, 2024. We will host our Purim service on Shabbat, Friday March 22nd, 2024. Remember to get your costume ready (nothing demonic or improper) as we honor Esthers’ hidden identity.

Lastly, next month (April) we celebrate Pesach (Passover) at Sunset, Sunday April 21st, 2024 while Easter is celebrated Sunday March 31st 2024. How can this be? The date that Easter is celebrated was changed by the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicaea I 325 C.E. The celebration was purposely separated from Passover, its date determined each year through a calculation known as computus (Latin for ‘computation’). Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after 21 March (a fixed approximation of the March equinox). The Council of Nicaea accordingly required the feast of the resurrection to be celebrated (Easter) on a Sunday and never on the day of Passover. The Council emphasized that Easter should never coincide with Passover. This was based on the belief that Christians should have no association with those involved (Jews) in Christ’s crucifixion. The emperor himself [Constantine] writing to the churches after the council of Nicaea, exhorts, ‘At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day [Easter Sunday]…And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hand with enormous sin. It’s through actions like this that we see the roots of Antisemitism in the Church. Yeshua was crucified and resurrected in the Feast of Passover as recorded in scripture! This is what the Body of Messiah should celebrate!

May the Light of Yeshua shine upon you and bestow upon you the character traits of patience, perseverance, love, and kindness so that you may be a beacon of hope for all those around you. As spring ushers in its warmth and vibrancy, may you be reminded of the beauty and magnificence of Adonai’s creation and be inspired to seek out the good in every situation. May you share the “Good News” everywhere with all whom you cross paths with! Adonai, as you restore and renew your creation in the springtime, we thank You for Your desire to restore and renew our hearts, bodies, souls, and minds! In Yeshua’s might name, Amen!

Shalom and Blessings,
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Carlson!