One law for Jews & Gentiles +
One faith in Yeshua the Messiah =
One people

Sons of God, Christmas, & Other Controversies

Part of our Messianic Bible Study

Sons of God - wilderness tabernacleSons of God, Christmas, & Other Controversies

This teaching contains ideas about the Bible you may have never heard of before, and may be shocking or offensive to you. It is not our intention to be either.

Even if you’ve read all or much of the Bible, you probably glanced over what we’re going to cover without much thought. And some of these things are so ingrained into our culture and the culture of the church that your first reaction is probably to dismiss it without even seriously considering it. We encourage you to remain teachable and weigh what we’re saying against the Scriptures to see if they are true.

 

His Ways vs. the Ways of the Nations

There are only two groups of people in the world:

(1) the covenant people of YHWH the God of Israel—these people are known as Israel in the old testament and the church in the new testament (but they are one and the same; see Did the Church really begin at Pentecost?).

 

Sons of God - Osiris(2) And the people of the nations who are not in covenant with Yahweh—known as Gentiles in both testaments. Spiritually speaking, there is Israel, and there is everyone else. Yahweh has a set of instructions on how His people are to live (called the Torah); and so do the gods of the nations! As believers, we must learn to distinguish between the two.

Most believers are used to thinking that what we typically call God is the only God that exists. But God is not a name at all, it is a description of where that being’s proper dwelling place is i.e. where he “lives” or belongs. A “god”–according to how the Bible actually uses the word in Hebrew–is someone who belongs to the spirit realm rather than the earthly realm.

Most people understand this when we use the term angel. But the word angel refers to a job description. An angel is a messenger, not a type of being. It describes a job, not a thing. It’s like the terms President or Senator or King. King is not the name of the person in the old testament who was the first man to rule over the nation of Israel, Saul is. And David was the next leader of Israel, not someone named King. Do you see the difference?

So too with what we so often call God. His name in the original Hebrew language of the old testament is, in English, the letters YHWH. We supply the vowels ‘a’ and ‘e’ to get Yahweh. Click to read What does Yahweh mean? Our English word god comes from the Hebrew words el and elohim (pronounced el-oh-heem). And while Yahweh the God of Israel is indeed referred to as el or elohim in the Bible, it is not His proper or covenant name.

 

Why does it matter?

It matters because most believers have been taught that Yahweh is the only god that exists, but this is not what the Bible teaches. It teaches that Yahweh is the Most High god, He is the God of gods. He is thoroughly unique and powerful and holy. He is the uncreated one, the Ancient of Days. He is above all other gods.

 

But there are other beings called gods (elohim) in the Bible.

 

Sons of God

Who is like you among the gods, Yahweh? Who is like you—glorious in holiness, awesome in praiseworthy actions, doing wonders? Exodus (Shemot) 15:11

They made him jealous with strange gods; with detestable things they provoked him. They sacrificed to the demons, not God, to gods whom they had not known, new gods who came from recent times; their ancestors had not known them. Deuteronomy (Devarim) 32:16–17

God stands in the divine assembly; he administers judgment in the midst of the gods. Psalm (Mizmor) 82:1

And it happened one day that the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came into their midst. Job 1:6

 

There are several other examples, but we will leave a more complete study for another time. For now, let’s focus on one more passage from Deuteronomy 32:

For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh; ascribe greatness to our God… Remember the old days, the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders and they will tell you. When the Most High apportioned the nations (Gentiles), at his dividing up of the sons of humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples, according to the number of the sons of God. For Yahweh’s portion was his people, Jacob the share of his inheritance… so Yahweh alone guided him, and there was no foreign god accompanying him. Deuteronomy (Devarim) 32:3, 7-9, 12 DSS, LXX, ESV, NRSV, NET, RSV, NLT

 

This is a critical event, it is when Yahweh disinherits the nations of the earth and gives them over to be ruled by the sons of God. This is referring back to the Tower of Babel event in Genesis 11.

Then Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower that humankind was building. And Yahweh said, “Behold, they are one people with one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. So now nothing that they intend to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand each other’s language.” So Yahweh scattered them from there over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, for there Yahweh confused the language of the whole earth, and there Yahweh scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis (Bereshith) 11:5-9

 

Yahweh divides up the nations (Gentiles) according to the number of gods who make up the divine council or assembly we read about in Job 1:6. These sons of god are supposed to serve and be obedient to Yahweh, the Most High God. They are supposed to rule over the nations in a good way, but instead, some of them seek worship of themselves. This is what Paul is referring to in Ephesians 6:11-12:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

To be 100% clear, One Torah does not believe in dualism (the belief that the world is ruled by two equal forces of good and evil). These sons of God are just that–they are rebellious sons, but sons none the less. They are the creation of Yahweh the Creator. They are not equal to Yahweh nor are they His peers. We fully subscribe to the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4:

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.

 

And that translation is the Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures (1985). It’s the Jewish translation of the Bible. And when we put back in the covenant name and show you the underlying Hebrew, it says:

Hear, O Israel! YHWH is our elohim, YHWH alone.

 

Of all the gods, Yahweh alone is our god.

 

This is a very brief introduction to the concept of the Divine Council. For a more thorough introduction, watch Dr. Michael S. Heiser’s video:

 

 

What does it mean to be in the world but not of the world?

The answer to this question matters greatly because most of us are still scattered throughout the nations where Yahweh has given these other gods the power to rule. And they desperately seek our worship. It’s not a joke, it is an epic battle in the unseen realm as we read in Ephesians 6:11–12:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Yahweh has a set of instructions–a constitution if you will—for His holy people, His chosen nation Israel (the church or assembly of Yahweh). It is known as the Torah in Hebrew. It is His laws, commandments, regulations, judgments, and ordinances. It is our instruction manual for how believers ought to live.

We’re supposed to teach it to our children and hide it in our hearts and meditate on it day and night. It is what our heavenly Father gave to us as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We are supposed to walk in His ways and do His good works that He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

But the adversary (satan in Hebrew) seeks to counterfeit everything of the Father, including His perfect law. He is the father of lies. And while few choose to openly and willingly worship him and the other fallen gods, many are unknowingly deceived into walking in his ways and deeds.

Yahweh makes a clear distinction in His word between the holy and the profane, the clean and the unclean, and between His ways and the ways of the nations. And yet many believers are completely oblivious to the ways of the nations in which we live and have been commanded to avoid and abhor. And so rather than the nations conforming to us, we conform to them.

 

Sons of God - Frog in a pot

We’re the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water.

 

We don’t even realize it’s happening. And then we pass it down to our children and grandchildren as ‘harmless traditions.’ And it is not at all unusual for people to get downright hostile when confronted with what Yahweh says about it in His word. If you’re new to Torah and the Messianic movement, there’s two things we can all but promise you:

(1) You will be called a Jew by someone you know, likely a family member.

(2) You will poke a hornet’s nest when you decide to start living by the Torah and keeping Yahweh’s holy days (holidays) instead of those of the nations in which you live.

 

If there’s two things the world loves, it’s pork and Christmas!

 

If you don’t think so, try telling someone that you no longer partake in them and watch their response. Then ask yourself why anyone would be so upset about you choosing not to do these things. What does it matter to them?

There is no rational explanation, because it’s a spiritual battle that is vastly larger then we imagine. It’s a battle for the very world, and there are only two sides:

The people of Yahweh and the people of the nations. Spiritual Israel and everyone else. Those in covenant and those not in covenant. And you must choose sides, there is no middle ground or sitting on the fence.

Like keeping Shabbat and eating clean, making a distinction between His ways and the ways of the nations is not that hard. It’s simply a choice to be obedient from a grateful heart for the immeasurable grace that was shown to us through the death of Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew). Because He loves us, He died for us while we were yet sinners. Because we love Him, we choose to follow His ways by keeping His commandments:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15

 

Sons of God - Start Here signWhere to start?

While there is more to this topic that we will save for another lesson, here are some practical steps to separate ourselves from the false gods of the nations. We warn you up front, most if not all of these will likely cause you much grief from those closest to you, be it your family or your church friends. Always ask yourself why they are so against you following the word of Yahweh. Especially if you are not telling them how they must live, but simply choosing to follow Yahweh yourself as best you can.

 

Christmas, Easter, & religious symbols

Each of these topics are full teachings in themselves. There are already God-ordained holidays that point to the death and resurrection of Jesus–namely, Passover and First Fruits. Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) is our Passover lamb and the first fruits from the dead. These are part of the spring holidays.

While there is no direct commandment to celebrate His birth, many Messianic believers believe that Jesus was born during the fall holy days, either on the Day of Trumpets, or 15 days later on the Feast of Tabernacles. There is much evidence to support a fall birth and zero evidence to support a winter birth. And as we discuss in our lesson about the Biblical holidays, all seven of the annual holy days given by Yahweh either look back on the ministry of Jesus or look forward to His return.

The bottom line is that neither Christmas nor Easter are found in the Bible and both are made up of extensive pagan practices that were either initiated by the Roman emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD/CE, or have crept into our practices over the centuries as traditions developed from nation to nation.

Your knee-jerk reaction may be to scoff or to say that you don’t keep these holidays in pagan ways, but please watch the following two-part teaching for yourselves before making a judgment. And then decide for yourself instead of simply doing things the ways you’ve always done them. Yahweh already has His holy days that He instituted and that all point to Jesus.

 

From 119 Ministries:

 

 

Religious Symbols

We make even Hebrew Roots folks mad with this, though that is never our intention. This is our personal conviction; we are likely in the minority on most or all of these and we don’t break fellowship over it. But we choose not to use images of common religious symbols including crosses, ichthuses (fish symbols)—and here’s the big one within Hebrew Roots—the star of David.

“There shall be for you no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth. You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generations of those hating me, and showing loyal love to thousands of generations of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments. Exodus (Shemot) 20:306

 

First notice the mention of other gods as we discussed earlier in this teaching. This is from the 10 Commandments. How many times have we read right over this mention of other gods?

Second, notice that these divine images come from three locations: the heavens, the earth, and the sea. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it immediately brings to mind stars, crosses, and fish symbols.

We understand that we are not worshiping these images, but we’d just assume stay away from them, especially the star of David. We know that many in the Hebrew Roots Movement have Israeli flags, menorahs (lamp stands), t-shirts, and other items with the star of David on them, but to us it is simply a hexagram:

The hexagram, like the pentagram, was and is used in practices of the occult and ceremonial magic and is attributed to the 7 “old” planets outlined in astrology. The six-pointed star is commonly used both as a talisman and for conjuring spirits and spiritual forces in divers forms occult magic.

Six pointed stars have also been found in cosmological diagrams in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism

Within Indic lore, the shape is generally understood to consist of two triangles—one pointed up and the other down—locked in harmonious embrace. The two components are called “Om” and the “Hrim” in Sanskrit, and symbolize man’s position between earth and sky. The downward triangle symbolizes Shakti, the sacred embodiment of femininity, and the upward triangle symbolizes Shiva, or Agni Tattva, representing the focused aspects of masculinity. The mystical union of the two triangles represents Creation, occurring through the divine union of male and female. The two locked triangles are also known as ‘Shanmukha’—the six-faced, representing the six faces of Shiva & Shakti’s progeny Kartikeya. This symbol is also a part of several yantras and has deep significance in Hindu ritual worship and history.

In Buddhism, some old versions of the Bardo Thodol, also known as The “Tibetan Book of the Dead”, contain a hexagram with a Swastika inside.

The Medieval pre-Ottoman Hanafi Anatolian beyliks of the Karamanids and Jandarids used the star on their flag. The symbol also used on Hayreddin Barbarossa flag. Even today, the star can be found in mosques and on other Arabic and Islamic artifacts.

Professor Gershom Sholem theorizes that the “Star of David” originates in the writings of Aristotle, who used triangles in different positions to indicate the different basic elements. The superposed triangles thus represented combinations of those elements. From Aristotle’s writings those symbols made their ways into early, pre-Muslim Arab literature. Wikipedia

 

While the hexagram has been used to identify with the Jewish people since the Middle Ages (5th-15th centuries AD/CE), it is nowhere found in the Bible that was completed centuries before hand. A more appropriate and Biblical symbol is the menorah or lamp stand that was located inside the tabernacle and Temple, and was commanded by Yahweh to be made and placed there.

As with Christmas and Easter, much more could be said about the use of images and other ways in which we can separate ourselves from the nations. But hopefully this has been a good introduction to this topic that you may never have thought about before.

 

I am Yahweh your God, who has set you apart from the nations. And you shall distinguish between the clean and the unclean animal and between the unclean and the clean bird; and you shall not defile yourselves with the animal or with the bird or with anything that moves along the ground that I have set apart for you as unclean. And you shall be holy for me, because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have singled you out from the nations to be mine. Leviticus (Vayiqra) 20:24–26

 

And I heard another voice from heaven saying,

Come out from her, my people,
so that you will not participate in her sins,
and so that you will not receive her
plagues” Revelation 18:4

 

If this teaching was edifying, please take a second to share it by clicking on the below social media or email buttons. And we always welcome your comments!

 

Next Teaching:

What is the Hebrew Roots Movement?

 

3 Responses to "Sons of God, Christmas, & Other Controversies"

  1. Kalev Posted on April 22, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I have been on this journey walking in The Way for 11 years and the issue of symbols was resolved in my mind early on; no crosses (Tau symbols) no fishy’s (Babylonish) nor Star of David (occultic). And I am concerned with the plethora of “Hebrew Roots” teachings: Be careful; be like a Berean – search the Scriptures, YHVH will hear your spirit and guide you with His Spirit through Yeshua.

    • admin Posted on April 22, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Thanks for the comment Kalev, we agree!

  2. stephen Posted on March 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve not keen on wearing a cross for a long time now. That being said the star of David is something I don’t choose to have in our house.

    I think the only symbol that is acceptable is the Menorah, but even then we don’t ascribe any mystical powers to it either.

Leave a Reply