Two Saviors And Two Crosses-Part One
Purim Message 2004
Purim is the celebration of the Jewish people’s salvation from the diabolical schemes of Haman. Had it not been for a faithful Esther and Mordecai, it is very likely Haman would have exterminated every Jewish person off the face of the earth. In Hitler’s day it was the German church that could have done the same but chose to follow down a path to a false savior and a false cross. In these latter days as we draw nearer to the advent of the one Hitler foreshadowed – the Antichrist – it will once again come down to God’s people who will have to choose between two saviors and two crosses. It was the conflict in Nazi Germany in 1938 and it is very rapidly become the conflict of today’s modern church world.
By Chris McDonald
As we draw near to the Purim season I want to preface this very heart challenging journal to review the story of one of Israel’s greatest feasts that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the hands of the wicked Haman in the kingdom of Persia so many centuries ago. You can read the entire story of Purim in the book of Esther, who is a type of the modern church, which, like Esther, will be called to stand in the gap for the Jewish people in the coming days from the world’s total hatred and decreed determination to exterminate God’s chosen people. Mordecai, another key figure in this story, is a type of the Holy Spirit, our great intercessor on earth and voice calling us to the kingdom, “for such a time as this.”
It's been about at least three years now since I took my first ever visit to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. It was a life-changing experience but one that just accentuated a broken heart the Lord had given me since the summer of 1999 over the plight of the Jews and the Church. As I listened to the presentations and watched the videos I couldn't help but think back to a story taken right out of the Bible of Israel's first real brush with total extinction and annihilation.
Adolph Hitler was not the first with murder in his heart toward the Jewish people. Haman was probably not either, but he was the first one recorded in scripture who literally tried to have every single Jewish boy, girl, man and woman exterminated from the kingdom over which he had authority. Pharaoh and Herod had been terrible despots who persecuted the Jewish people and killed untold tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands possibly under Pharaoh), but Haman was the first real true-blue demonically inspired ruler to try and kill an entire race.
He and Hitler were but dress rehearsals for the coming Antichrist who will try and do the same again and succeed for a season before being stopped and destroyed by the brightness of our coming Redeemer – Yeshua Ha’maschiah.
Glory to the Lamb forever and forever!; Pardon me for a minute while I type these words to stop and praise God. The Jews have seen some dark days and their future is not too great in the near term, but JERUSALEM will once again be the center and capital of the WORLD and ALL NATIONS will come and worship the KING there one day. Her king is a son of Abraham, born of the stock of Jesse and David, the MESSIAH of whom Israel looks for so hard today, yet because of the unbelief of her religious, are blinded to Him until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Those days are coming to an end friend. Israel shall be saved. The Jewish people are coming home to their Messiah! Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God. NOTHING, Satan can do can ultimately hinder that, even though he will unleash untold horror and heartbreak on God’s chosen race before the end finally comes. We need to be in much intercessory prayer for God’s chosen people for this reason.
Anti-Semitism is hardly a modern occurrence. Israel's embittered enemies have, with craft and cruel hatred, plotted the destruction of God's chosen for many centuries - the sons of Jacob. Yet, the wayside of human history is strewn with the debris of Israel's detractors. Through all their plotting and debauchery - they have only brought about their own demise. Their only lasting achievement has been an occasion for a Jewish holiday! Such was the case with Pharaoh when the Lord instituted Passover. Such was the case with the defeat of Antiochus Epiphanies and the resulting feast of Hanukkah. Such was also the case with the defeat of Hitler, which paved the way for the emergence of the modern state of Israel, and its annual Independence Day celebration. It was and is also true of the Jewish Feast of Purim and its institution in ancient Persia.
The Feast of Purim contains a beautiful story of God's redemption and His protection of His people Israel through the people of Esther and Mordecai. This feast celebrates Esther and Mordecai's efforts to save the Jews from national extermination at the hands of the King who was convinced by Haman they were a threat to his kingdom.
Purim is the Hebrew word for "lots" in remembrance of the pur (lot) cast by wicked Haman to determine the month and day on which the Jewish people were to be killed throughout the mighty Persian Empire. Ironically, the lots that were thrown for Israel's destruction actually set the date for a new national celebration.
Known as the "Feast of Esther," and in antiquity as "Mordecai's Day," it stands in type of the coming ultimate deliverance of God’s people from the hands of the Antichrist, who will be prototype of Haman.
The Time of Purim
Purim is a late winter feast (late February or early March), the last feast of the biblical year. It occurs on the 14th day of Adar, the 12th Hebrew month (or, in a leap year, on the 14th day of Adar Sheni, the 13th month), exactly ONE MONTH before Passover. In Jerusalem today, Purim is celebrated on Adar 15, one day later than in the rest of the world. This is in commemoration of the Jews in the ancient Persian capital of Shushan who did not rest from fighting their enemies until the following day that is now known as Shushan Purim.
Esther 9:18 - But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof; and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Instituted centuries after the time of Moses, Purim is nowhere to be found in the divinely given feasts of Leviticus 23. But despite this fact, it is without argument or contradiction one of the best-known and biblical Jewish holidays added since the time of Moses.
From this Jewish dispersion came Esther and Mordecai - two towering heroes of Purim. To avoid Persian anti-Semitism, they masked their Jewishness from the public eye. Esther's given Persian name was derived from the pagan goddess, Ishtar, and Mordecai's from the Babylonian god, Marduk, very similar to the name changes of Daniel and his three Hebrew companions living in the Babylonian court (Dan. 1:7). However, beneath their Persian social veneer, Esther and Mordecai were both strongly nationalistic and fiercely devoted to the God of Israel.
Esther's Hebrew name, Hadassah, meaning "myrtle," was fitting name indeed in light of her tremendous beauty (Esther 2:7). Her parents died when she was young, and her cousin, Mordecai, adopted and raised her as his daughter. Mordecai held a high office in the Mede-Persian court (the world power of his day), giving his access to the palace (Esther 2:5,11) and necessitating his presence in the king's gate.
· Esther 2:5 - Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
· Esther 2:11 - And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
· Esther 2:7 - And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
· Esther 2:20 - Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
· Esther 2:21 - In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
This created an interesting backdrop for this incredible story. Mordecai's enemy Haman was a Agagite (Est. 3:1), a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites during Saul's reign (1 Sam. 15:8). The Amalekites were descendants of Amalek, the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12). As bitter enemies of Israel, they carried on the ancient strife between Jacob and Esau. In the days of Moses and Joshua, the Amalekites treacherously attacked the unarmed Israelites as they passed through the Sinai. The Lord never forgot their blind, inbred hatred, and pronounced a curse to "blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven."
· Deut. 25:19 - Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God gives thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it.
· Exodus 17:14 - And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
24:20 - And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek
was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for
King Saul had been commanded by the Lord to utterly destroy all the Amalekites. Had he only been obedient, the threat of annihilation at the hand of Haman would not have been possible. However, the descendants of Saul and Agag met again almost six centuries later and were once again engaged in mortal conflict with God's chosen people.
While never mentioned by name in the book of Esther, we see God's great power working in the lives of His people in great detail and grace. Vashti the Queen to Ahasuerus was deposed of because of displaying her beauty before the princes and men of renown in attendance at a great feast at the palace. Because of strict Persian law, which forbade women to be seen unveiled by strangers (much like Islamic law today), she refused this command in order to preserve her reputation. However, in doing so, Vashti created a national crisis. Her example, threatened the Persian honor of the king and the social dominance of the men of Persia. Ahasuerus was incensed with her insubordination and conferred with his princes. The result was the demotion and removal of her as queen: (Esther 1:6-9; Esther 1:19)
Esther 2:17 - And the king
loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight
more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head and made
her queen instead of Vashti.
After this a prince named HAMAN was promoted to the position of prime minister over all the other princes, answering only to the king. At the king's command, all were to bow and do obeisance (as homage to a god) in Haman's presence. For the devout Mordecai, idolatry was unthinkable. He worshipped only the one true GOD. When questioned by the other royal officers to why he daily disobeyed the king's command, he explained his JEWISHNESS.
When the matter was told to Haman, he determined to kill not only Mordecai but also all Jews everywhere. If one would not bow, it was clear that none of the Jewish people would bow before him. His inflated ego and honor were at stake. Having purposed to annihilate the Jewish people, Haman cast lots to gain direction from the Persian gods for the best date for the planned massacre. The lots fell on Adar 13, giving Haman some eleven months to work out the details of his demonic plan.
Haman petitioned the King to obtain the needed authorization for his edict. He reported that a troublesome people existed within the Persian kingdom. They were dispersed as a foreign and evil element throughout the empire, they help incompatible laws, and they rebelled against the laws of the king. As he presented his case, Haman outlined his "final solution" for this hated people. He proposed an edict calling for their destruction. In return he offered 10,000 talents (more than 10 million ounces) of silver to the royal treasury. It is not clear whether this enormous sum was to compensate for the significant economic loss to the empire or defray the extensive military costs for such a plan. Apparently, Haman counted or recovering his "bribe" by seizing the properties of his Jewish victims (sound familiar?). Because of his great confidence in Haman, the King removed the royal signet ring and gave it to Haman, granting him full authority to carry out his insidious plot. So Haman sent the evil edict, hastened by the command of the king:
Esther 3:13-15 - And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.  The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.  The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.
Intercession For Esther - "For Such A Time As This."
When word of the sinister decree came to Mordecai, he tore his clothes in bitter anguish, put on sackcloth, and covered himself with ashes. Mordecai related the dire news to Esther and gave her a copy of the edict. He insistently pled with her to INTERCEDE before the king on behalf of her people. The Holy Spirit is PLEADING with the modern church world today to do the same for God’s chosen people.
Events on Planet Earth are rapidly rushing us toward the advent of Antichrist and one world government. This one world movement will have two earmarks its rule – total control over the earth and a deep rooted hatred and murderous heart towards God’s chosen people.
This posed a grave dilemma for Esther. She feared to approach the king. According to Persian law, if anyone came uninvited into the inner court of the king, he would be killed. The only possible exception was for the king to put forth his golden scepter to stay the execution. But the king had not summoned Esther for 30 days. The strong possibility existed that she would forfeit her life for such a brazen breach of Persian law.
Esther 4:14 - For if thou altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther was persuaded and requested only that Mordecai gather the Jewish people of Shushan and fast for three days before she petitioned the king. Courageously she resolved,
Esther 4:16 - Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
On the third day of the fast, Esther donned her royal apparel and stood in the inner court of King Ahasuerus. When the astonished king saw her, he extended his golden scepter to spare her life. Seeing her in great distress and desperate action, the king promised to grant any request within his power to fulfill. Esther delayed her request and instead asked the king and Haman come to a banquet prepared in their honor.
At the banquet the king asks again, "What is your request or petition?" Not wanting to rush the decision, especially since it concerned the king's most trusted government advisor, Esther again invited the king and Haman to a banquet on the following night. Ideal circumstances were needed for her difficult petition. The egotistical Haman was elated that he had once again been invited to a private royal banquet. He viewed it as the pinnacle of his career and rushed home to boast. As Haman passed through the king's gate, he met Mordecai who again stubbornly refused to bow. Haman's deep-seated anger and hatred flared as he complained:
Esther 5:13 - Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
His friends counseled him to build 75-foot gallows and hang Mordecai the next morning. This would allow Haman to fully enjoy his banquet in the evening.
That night the king could not sleep. As only God could do, He used the King's vanity to save Mordecai's life. His servants read the chronicles of the king’s exploits to him. In the pages, the details of Mordecai's faithfulness in foiling the attempt on his life were recounted. The King was very troubled when he realized that Mordecai had gone unrewarded for such a great deed. The next morning, the king noticed Haman waiting in the outer court to gain a meeting with him. Haman was waiting for permission to hang Mordecai upon the newly constructed gallows. The king asked Haman:
Esther 6:6 - So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delights to honor? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honor more than to myself?
Esther 6:8-9 - Let the
royal apparel be brought which the king uses to wear, and the horse that the
king rides upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:  And let
this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble
princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delights to honor, and
bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him,
Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.
The Banquet Reveals All - The Just Shall Live By Faith
At the banquet, Esther finally made her petition known to the king. She pled for the King to save her and her people from impending destruction. This was a surprising revelation indeed, since the king was not aware that Esther was Jewish. The angered king immediately arose and demanded to know the identity of the enemy. Pointing to Haman, Esther answered:
Esther 7:6 - And Esther said, The adversary
and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the
In the wake of Haman's demise, Mordecai was promoted to Haman's position and given the royal signet ring. But the Persian law still stood which called for the destruction of Esther's people So she again risked her life by going before the king to beg for the deliverance of her people. However, a difficulty existed - laws within the Mede-Persian government could NEVER be repealed. Therefore the king commanded Mordecai and Esther to draft a decree to the provinces and seal it with his signet granting the Jewish people the right to self-defense against their aggressors. Normally, as in Islamic countries today, to take a life even accidentally would mean the forfeiture of one's own life or payment of huge sums of compensation to the survivors.
When the fateful Adar 13 arrived, the Jews of Persia fought for their lives. Fearing the exalted Mordecai, the provincial rulers aided the Jewish people under their local authority. But anti-Semitism was especially ingrained in the capital city where particularly fierce fighting carried over until the next day. When it was finished, the enemies of God's people were killed - 75,000 in the provinces, 800 in Shushan, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged on the gallows lest there be blood revenge.
To remember God's might deliverance, Mordecai carefully recorded the events and sent letters throughout the land. The feast was called PURIM, for Haman had "cast Pur," (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them. And so Purim became a feast for Israel, a day of "feasting and joy," so that the memory of Purim would never cease throughout all generations.
Esther 9:20-24 - And
Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all
the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,  To establish this
among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the
fifteenth day of the same, yearly,  As the days wherein the Jews rested from
their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and
from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and
joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.  And the
Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the
Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is,
the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
Let’s pray: Father in the name of Jesus, we come to you with hurting hearts today. Lord your church has forsaken the preaching of the gospel for a humanistic gospel that is promoting a false saviour and a false cross. Bring us back to the TRUE cross Lord, the cross where man is declared a sinner before you yet is also declared righteous if man will but put his faith and trust in Your atoning blood for his sins. Lord we need your Redeeming touch today. Your church has lost its way on the Earth, we need you to anoint our eyes with eye salve and heal our wounds. Help us today to know the GRACE and the GLORY of Your love for us. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem this Purim season and ask your protection and angelic visitations on your chosen people- the Jewish race. Help us not to chose the wrong messiah and the wrong cross in this modern time we live in .In Your name, Amen.
"For such a time as this - Celebrate the feasts of the Lord this year - PURIM begins Sundown March 6, 2004-March 8, 2004
This message series continued in: Two Saviors and Two Crosses - Part Two