Iron
Sharpens
Iron
Iron sharpeneth iron;
so shall a man sharpeneth
the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

      (It is our policy not to divulge either the names or locations of those who write us, unless requested by the writer. Hebrew Roots reserves the right to condense letters to save space. Every effort will be made to retain the essence of the communication. Responses to the letters may be for clarification, or for the general edification of our readership and are not necessarily directed toward the person writing the letter.)

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Dear Dean & Sue,
      Just a few lines to let you know how very much I enjoy and appreciate the tapes and Hebrew Roots. I have learned so much. Was in ______ for 25 years, but quit 2 years ago. My friends and I were so bewildered and felt betrayed. But after the shock had worn off and we began to get tapes from Jim Rector, we began to feel better. Near the last we would go to church feeling "great" about the Sabbath and come away feeling just terrible! Instead of being ‘uplifted’ by the sermon, we weren’t good enough, weren’t giving enough, weren’t doing enough. I felt for a long time I would never make it into God’s Kingdom.
      I have learned more in the past two years that I have in my entire period with ___.
      Thank you so much again for everything.
      Please send me the tape "Covenant of Promise" Part V.
                  God Bless,

                  EW

Shalom Aleichem EW,
      Thank you for your letter. We believe that God is bringing many of His people into a time of testing, to see if we, as individuals, are going to follow Him or going to follow men. No longer can Believers (no matter what church organization they belong too) sit back comfortably and enjoy the fellowship and the sermons. Decisions have to be made.
      We pray that as each Believer reaches these times of decision in their lives, they will choose to follow our Father in heaven and His Son, Yeshua into all truth and righteousness.
      May God bless you and keep you from all harm.
                  May the peace of God
                  be with you always,

                  DEW

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      Please take me off your mailing list.
      Have you read the book - ‘Keeping Passover’ by Ira Steingroot? I have, and have come to the conclusion the seder goes all the way back to Babylon.
                  DL

Shalom Aleichem DL,
      Your request to be removed from our mailing list has been processed.
      No, I have not read the book you mentioned but I am familiar with the teachings that some hold about the Passover Seder and Babylon. You are correct, the Seder does go all the way back to Babylon. In fact, the Seder goes even further back than that, it actually goes all the way back to Egypt, that awful flesh-pot of idolatry.
      God instituted the symbols of the Passover Seder on that very first Passover in Egypt. You can read about them in Exodus chapter 12; the blood of the lamb, the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the questions by the children about what it all means.
      Remember that Daniel was a high official in the government of Babylon. He persisted in that office all during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, even running the country during Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of madness. Then when the Persians took over, Daniel remained as a high ranking official. It was just a little later that Esther became Queen of Persia and thwarted Haman’s plan to exterminate the Jews. According to Jewish tradition, the son that Esther bore to King Ahasuerus became Cyrus, the anointed one that God foreknew who made it possible for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
      Did the Jews come back from Babylon steeped in idolatry? No. As a matter of fact they came back far more Torah observant than when they left. They were exiled for idolatry, would God have brought them home if they had not repented? No. Were Ezra and Nehemiah and Zerubbabel steeped in idolatry? No, they were the ones who set Judah back on a proper path.
      It is interesting to note that during Yeshua's time on earth He never once criticized the worship of the Jews. In fact He said that the Jews knew whom they worshipped (John 4:22). What Yeshua condemned was the myriad of fences that the Pharisees had constructed around the law and their inability to truly express charitable love towards those in need, such as the poor, the widows and the orphans.
      Have you ever been to a Passover Seder that is sponsored by Believers?. If not, I strongly urge you to attend. The Messianic symbolism contained in that service is absolutely incredible. It could very well be one of the most meaningful spiritual experiences you will ever have.
      Those who find a pagan behind every Jewish tradition remind me of the people during W.W.II who said; ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness,’ and then watched with approval as the Jews were marched off to the ovens. Where each one of us really needs to look is within our own minds and hearts, for there is plenty within each one of us that cries out for repentance.
                  May the peace of God
                  be with you always,

                  DEW

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Dear Dean,
      I have a question in re your last edition of Hebrew Roots.
      After going through your excellent dissertation on the timing of the Passover, I find myself somewhat confused by the "Pentecost" question. It is commonly accepted that the Sadducees were at odds with the Pharisees on both Passover and Pentecost. Why would we not agree with the Pharisees on Pentecost, i.e. Sivan 6? I am very comfortable with the late 14th Passover, but am not quite as convinced on a Sunday Pentecost.
                  RS

Shalom Aleichem RS,
      Thank you for your letter and your question. It appears that 1 must ask a question in return. Where do you find information that the Saducees and Pharisees disagreed on the time for the sacrificing of the Passover lambs? I am not aware of any disagreement on that issue in authoritative sources.
      We must remember that while the Pharisees ruled the synagogues, the Saducees ruled the Temple. Nearly all of the Priests and Levites were Saducees.
      After the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., the Saduceen party disappeared. The Pharisees took control and proceeded to change the emphasis from Temple worship to synagogue worship instituting what is called Halachah (the rules by which one walks). This is where modem Rabbinic Judaism originated. It is not the same as the Judaism of Yeshua’s day although elements of it existed even in His time.
      The point is, the Saducees had much more control of the Temple and its services than today’s Jews give them credit for having. Since the Pharisees eventually became the dominant party in Judaism, the writings of the Saducees have been totally lost (or destroyed by their bitter enemies, the Pharisees). Thus, in Yeshua’s day (contrary to Rabbinic teaching) Pentecost or Shavu’ot as it is known in Judaism, was held on Sunday, not on Sivan 6. The Sivan 6 practice came into common usage after the destruction of the Temple. Even today, a sizable number of Jews hold to the Saduceen view of a first day of the week Shavu’ot.
      However, the main reason I hold to the Sunday Pentecost is because in Leviticus 23 the ‘Sabbath,’ from which one is to count fifty days, is the term that is used exclusively for the weekly Sabbath. In the Hebrew Scriptures an annual Festival is always designated as a ‘Shabbaton.’ never a ‘Sabbath.’
      As we indicated in the article you mentioned (and also in the article on Pentecost in Issue 96-1), this is an issue that is open for discussion. We do not condemn those who feel fully convicted to keep Pentecost on Sivan 6 or on a Monday. Neither do we condemn those who are convinced that they should be following one of the calendars that disagree with the traditional Jewish calendar. At this time, until Messiah comes to set us all straight, we must do the best that we can with the information that we have. The very fact that sincere, dedicated Believers can disagree on some of these issues makes it clear to me that none of us are dealing with a full deck. Let us pray that God will soon give us all the information we need to come into complete agreement.
                  May the peace of God,
                  be with you always,

                  DEW

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Hi Dean Wheelock,
      Thanks for the tapes. I have learned a lot from them. I would like to ask; Did the Hebrews seal the Marriage contract with a wax seal? If so is the sealing in rev. 7:1-8 a marriage contract by baptism?
      Thanks for your help.

                  WG

Shalom Aleichem WG,
      Thank you for your question. The answer is; I do not know if they used a wax seal or not. I have not found that in any of the research that I have done up to this point. It certainly is a possibility, since that was a common method for sealing official documents at that time. Whether a common person would have had a sealing ring I do not know. Perhaps one of our readers can provide us with the answer as well as the source.
      As to Rev. 7:1-8 being a sealing through baptism, I do not believe that is the case. This is apparently a very special group of 144,000 people who are physical descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel (except for the tribe of Dan). This sealing involves their foreheads, and is in direct contrast to the mark of the Beast, which is also in the forehead as well as the hand. This entire passage requires much study. I am not convinced that anyone yet understands it correctly, at least not from what I have seen.
                  May the peace of God
                  be with you always,

                  DEW

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Dean & Susan,
      A note of encouragement for you two. I want you to know that you are serving and ministering to me. I find through my study, questions I have and pray about, and lo and behold in your next issue, you address them. I do pray for you and Hebrew Roots and as requested will continue to devote time in prayer for you.

                  KJ

Shalom Aleichem KJ,
      Thank you so much for your letter of encouragement and especially for your prayers. We surely need all the prayers that our readers can offer, for it is evident to us that the Adversary would like to see us suspend publication.
      We did wonder where the ideas for some of our articles originated. Now we know, so we pray that you will keep studying KJ, so that we will continue to have an abundance of topics for teaching.
                  May the peace of God
                  be with you always,

                  DEW

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