Posted in Français ... et autres langues., Origins

Languages: the origins

Have you ever wonder where so many languages originated from?

Let’s go back to Genesis 11. In verses 1-4, we see that everyone spoke one language. There was no need to learn French, Hindi or Korean for everyone understood one another even when they greeted each other with a simple hello. One day, the people came up with a bad idea: to build a city and a tall tower to reach up to heaven (skyscrapers are like modern towers of Babel). They wanted to make a name for themselves and to be famous. They wanted to be like God.

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In verses 5-9, we see that God isn’t pleased with the people’s behavior, and so, He puts a stop to their plans. They were trying to live without Him and their mindset was all wrong. God gave the people different languages, so they wouldn’t understand each other, causing work on the city to stop. This caused them to scatter all over the world.

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And this is how we ended up with so many languages! Evolution and cavemen had nothing to do with the origins. We need to stop discrediting God when it comes to history. All theories about how languages originated wouldn’t have to be in the first place if we’ll just look to the Bible for answers. When God created the first humans, they were given breath and speech in which they can communicate with Him. He never left them trying to learn how to speak for He values and loves communication. 

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion, Origins

Did three wise men really visit Jesus?

The birth of Christ is wrapped up in folklore and tradition (man’s) and marketed to the world as Christmas. The nativity scene takes the center of attention in window displays, schools and offices, often misleading believers.

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The Nativity Scene Origin

The first nativity scene was created in 1223 in Greccio, central Italy by Saint Francis of Assisi. It is said to represent the true “spirit” of Christmas. However, many depictions of Jesus’s birth are filled with inaccuracies and it conflicts with the true Biblical account. We often see the little family, three wise men, sometimes a shepherd or two, a few animals, huddled around a newborn, the scene illuminated by the light of a lone star. Pretty wonderful and harmonic, right? But this is most unlikely.

Why can’t we be satisfied with the Biblical account? The true account?

The visiting Wise Men 

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The wise men came from the east to see the infant after following a star (Matthew 2:2). Magi or wise men originally referred to a class of priests from Persia. They were said to be students of astrology, hence why they noticed the strange star, to begin with, and followed it.

It’s unclear how many wise men were there as the Bible doesn’t speculate, but because they brought three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11) –  it’s assumed that it was three wise men. It could’ve been two wise men bringing those gifts. It could’ve been as much as five, six or even ten wise men.

Manger or house?

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We’re told that the wise men visited Jesus in the stable while He was in a manger. Luke 2:8-20 shows that the shepherds who were watching over their flock in the field by night were given the news of Jesus’s birth by angels and they visited Jesus as He lay in a manger. It’s most likely that they saw the newborn Savoir before the Magi. And it’s no coincidence that the angels broke the news to the shepherds first, for it foreshadowed Christ as the good Shepherd.

In Matthew 2:11, by the time the wise men arrive, Mary and Joseph are not in a stable, but in a house. It’s likely that it took the wise men, days, months or even a few years to arrive on the scene.

The gifts the Wise Men brought.

The Magi brought three significant gifts that bore spiritual meanings. 

Gold recognizes Jesus as the King of Kings and the great High Priest. The Magi acknowledged that they were in the presence of a King. Gold was highly valued by kings as we see with Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9:20. Gold was also woven into the fabric of the high priest (Exodus 28). 

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Frankincense recognizes Him as the perfect Lamb sacrifice and it has a wonderful fragrance. It was used for making incense (Exodus 30:34), was an ingredient in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:1-2) and it was also an ingredient in perfumes (Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:14).

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Myrrh recognizes His death and resurrection. It was first mentioned in Genesis 37:25 where it was carried by camels in a caravan. It was used for burial embalming (John 19:39), as an ingredient in anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25) and as a perfume (Song of Solomon 1:13; 3:6; 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5, 13). It was also used in Jesus’ burial (John 19:39).

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The frankincense and myrrh trees are cut and bruised to bleed out the resin to use for healing, perfumes, incense, and anointing. Do you see the spiritual symbolism when it comes to Christ, Who suffered and shed His blood for humanity? By His stripes, we’re healed!

In conclusion

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Matthew is the only Gospel writer that mentions the wise men visiting Christ after His birth. The account states that after Jesus’s birth, the wise men visit King Herod to inquire about Jesus’s actual location. However, Herod doesn’t have a clue though he’s troubled, and seeks the services of the wise men to locate the newborn Savior under the guise of wanting to worship Him. After leaving Jerusalem, the wise men see a star, follow it, and comes to worship the King of Kings in a house and not in a stable.

The Magi read and believed God’s Word, they sought Jesus, recognized His worth, and humbled themselves before Him in worship. We should come into God’s house with such reverence when we’re in His presence.

This is the account that is given in Matthew 2:1-12. The Bible doesn’t mention how many Magi (even if there was really 3) so we shouldn’t take away or add to the Word.

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Posted in Origins

Halloween: a celebration of darkness 🎃

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Ephesians 5:8

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It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark

Thriller by Michael Jackson

Yes, the foul stench of Halloween. 

When we look at many of the traditions, holidays, rituals, and practices today, it’s clear to see why we shouldn’t be of this world, but we still cling to worldly traditions especially where it concerns holidays: we pick which one/s we want to celebrate and try to justify it. Have we ever sat down and think for ourselves why holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween get pushed on us when there is nothing of the sort in the Bible? Are they Godly-appointed festivals? And why are they always marketed as fun and harmless?

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A celebration of darkness

No matter how much this holiday is commercialized, Halloween has its roots in pagan origins. This day celebrates darkness, evil, death, and witchcraft annually on October 31st. But how did this holiday come about? The origin of Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (sow-in) when the Celts celebrated their new year on November 01st. They believed that on the night before the new year, ghosts of the dead returned to earth so on October 31st, they celebrated Samhain when the boundary between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest. 

The Celts believed that on this night it was made easier for the Druids or Celtic priests to make predictions about the future due to the presence of the otherworldly spirits. They built bonfires and the people burned crops and offered animals and human beings (especially firstborn children) as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. It was during this event that the Celts wore costumes in an attempt to blend in with the evil spirits. They even attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. 

The Celts also celebrated many holidays including spring fertility rites (it became Easter later on) and the winter solstice (later transformed into Christmas). They worshipped Bel or Baal (sun god) and Baal is also a synonym for the devil hence why Halloween glorifies death.

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Customs and practices associated with Halloween

Trick or treating: It was believed that the wandering spirits will get hungry and so, the people set out “treats” for the spirits to appease them from playing tricks on the living.

Bobbing for apples: This was a form of divination (fortune-telling) to learn of future marriages. The first person to bite an apple was predicted to be the first to marry in the coming year. 

Jack-o’-lantern: The original Jack-o’-lantern was not a carved spooky pumpkin, but a severed human head. 

The costumes: The living feared the wandering spirits so much that they came up with a brilliant idea to dress up in ghostly or ghoulish costumes. In this way, they thought that the wandering spirits might mistake them for one of their own and leave them alone.

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Halloween has always been a celebration of death. It promotes every wicked and imaginable evil under the sun. 

Although modern celebrations of Halloween may appear to be harmless on the surface, it doesn’t change the meaning of this celebration. Ouija boards, fortune-telling, grotesque horror movies, and black magic are related to the occult that is Halloween.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Revelation 18:4

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Should Christians celebrate the holiday of darkness?

Halloween is a culturally encouraged tradition that Christians shouldn’t even think of celebrating. You cannot have one foot in the world and the other in eternal life. Why do we know about the worldly holidays, but not God’s feast and holy days?

The devil is the father of lies (2 Corinthians 11:14) and as Christians, we can’t lead people to Christ if we look like the world for we’re not supposed to be imitating what is evil despite the attraction (3 John 1:11). However, with our freedom as Christians, we have to decide how to act. We can’t continue to provoke the Father to jealousy and to grieve the Spirit. 

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:11

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Does it matter to God?

God has set us apart for Himself hence the reason why He warns us not to have nothing to do with the world (1 John 2:15). Halloween is not of God regardless of how man twists it. When it comes to this dark holiday, I think of these things:

God is a God of life, not death. Should I celebrate a holiday that glamorizes death? A holiday that emphasizes the macabre and the morbid? (Isaiah 8:19).

We’re to avoid practices that pertain to evil spirits for witchcraft is detestable to God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Why would I want to dress up as a witch and glorify witchcraft when it should be detestable to me as well? After all, we’re supposed to be putting away all deeds of darkness (Romans 13:12). We cannot claim to be of the light and walk in the dark at the same time for they have NOTHING in common (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

Does Halloween bring glory to God? Nothing about this dark holiday glorifies the God of Light and Truth.

What do witches, tombstones, magic, dressing up in scary or pretty costumes have to do with Jesus or Christians? Nothing. The scriptures tell us to keep the Passover and consider all of God’s feasts, but 95% of Christians today don’t have a clue about what they are and what they mean, but they’ll gladly tell you all about the man-made holiday and tradition and claim to be doing it for Christ.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

1 Corinthians 10:21

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