Passover, Prayer, Fasting and Laying Teffilin
By James Scott Trimm
Certain shedim (”Demons”) cannot be removed simply by evoking the Name. These shedim can only be removed though prayer and fasting, as Yeshua says:
Then came near to him the talmidim privately, and asked him, "Why could not we cast him out?"
And he answered them and said, "On account of your lack of trust. Truly I say to you, "If you have trust as a grain of mustard seed, and shall tell this mountain, 'Pass away from here,' it will immediately pass away, and the thing will not be withheld from you.
(Mt. 17:19-21 HRV see also Mk. 9:18, 28-29)
Various commentaries have interpreted the “faith” that can “move… a mountain” in various ways. However in the context here the “mountain” represents as shed. Why does Yeshua use a “mountain” to represent a shed?
In the scriptures “mountains” often represent “kingdoms” (for example in Daniel 2:35, 44) and “Kingdoms” often correspond to shedim. For example “the prince of the Kingdom of Persia” (Dan. 10:13, 20) and “the prince of Greece” (Dan. 10:20). The “mountains” here are “powers and principalities”, the Sacred Name alone may not be enough to cast out or otherwise take authority over these shedim.
Daniel prayed and fasted for 21 (7 * 3) days in order to receive a prophecy (Dan. 10). The Prince of Persia resisted the angel who was sent to bring this prophecy to Daniel (Dan. 10:13) but it appears that Daniel’s 21 days of prayer and fasting invoked and strengthened the angel Michael into the heavenly battle and overcame this shed. Prayer and fasting has an impact in the ongoing war in the heavens (Dan. 10; Eph. 6:11-13, 18).
The Shema, the Tefillin and Mezuzah
There are three times of prayer throughout the day: Shaharit (morning prayer), Minhah (afternoon payer) and Maariv (evening prayer). (Two of these correspond to the time of sacrifice at the Temple in ancient times.) These three times of prayer are mentioned in the Scriptures:
And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house--now his windows were open in his upper chamber toward Yerushalayim--and he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his Elah, as he did
(Dan. 6:11 (6:10) HRV; Ps. 55:17)
Traditionally the Sh’ma is recited as part of the morning and evening payers in fulfillment of Deut. 6:4-7:
HEAR, O YISRA’EL: YHWH OUR ELOHIM, YHWH IS ONE.
And you shall love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart;
and you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
(Deut. 6:4-7 HRV)
(some see the phrase “when you sit in the house, and when you walk by the way” as pointing to the afternoon prayer as well)
According to the Jerusalem Talmud the reciting of the Shema repels the shedim (demons):
On what ground was it ordained that the Shema
should be recited at home in the evening?
to put harmful spirits to flight.
The Babylonian Talmud teaches that the Shema is like a two edged sword which repels the shedim (demons):
Whoever reads the Shema upon his bed is as though he holds
a two edged sword in his hand (to ward off evil spirits); as it
is said “Let the high praises of Elohim be in their mouth,
and a two edged sword in their hand” (Ps. 149:6)
This is much like what Paul says when he identifies the Word of Elohim with a two edged sword (Heb. 4:12) and lists it as part of the full Armor of Elohim by which we may be "able to stand firm against the tactics of the Akel Kartza" (Eph. 6:10-18)
Closely connected with both the daily prayers and the Passover is the wearing of the tefillin. The tefillin are two black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with certain biblical verses (Ex. 13:1-16; Deut. 6:4-9; 11:13-21). The arm-tefillin, is worn on the upper arm, while the head-tefillin is placed above the forehead in literal fulfillment of the following passages from the Torah:
And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
(Deut. 6:8; 11:18; Ex. 13:9; 13:16 HRV)
This custom was followed not only by Pharisees, but by Essenes as well. As several sets of Teffillin were found at Qumran.
The wearing of the Tefillin is mentioned by Yeshua:
And so all their works they do that they may be seen by the sons of men, for they make broad the straps of their t’ffila, and enlarge the corners of their mantles,
(Mt. 23:5 HRV)
Here he does not suggest that wearing Tefillin should not be done, but that one should not broaden the straps to make a big show of using Tefillin. In fact, one cannot follow this rule not to broaden the straps of one’s Teffilin, if one does not use them. This rule from Yeshua presupposes that one is using Teffilin.
Two of the passages concerning the wearing of Tefillin tell us that Tefillin are specifically worn as a remembrance of Passover:
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to YHWH.
Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you, in all your borders.
And you shall tell your son in that day, saying: It is because of that which YHWH did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.
And it shall be for a sign unto you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the Torah of YHWH may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand has YHWH brought you out of Egypt.
You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.
And it shall be when YHWH shall bring you into the land of the Kena’anites, as He swore unto you and to your fathers, and shall give it you,
that you shall set apart unto YHWH all that opens the womb; every firstling that is a male, which you have coming of a beast, shall be YHWH’s.
And every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and all the first-born of man among your sons shall you redeem.
And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying: What is this? that you shall say unto him: By strength of hand YHWH brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage;
and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go that YHWH slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man, and the first-born of beast; therefore I sacrifice to YHWH all that opens the womb, being males; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem.
And it shall be for a sign upon your hand, and for frontlets between your eyes; for by strength of hand YHWH brought us forth out of Egypt.'
(Ex. 13:6-16 HRV)
The other two passages concerning the Tefillin tie them closely to the Mezuzah:
And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
And you shall write them upon the door-posts of your house, and upon your gates.
(Deut. 6:8-9; 11:18-20 HRV)
The Mezuzah is a piece of parchment normally contained in a decorative case and affixed to the doorpost of a Jewish home. I is inscribed with verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21).
The practice of affixing a Mezuzah to the doorpost seems to have been kept by not only Pharisees, but Essenes as well, in fact a Mezuzah parchment containing portions of Deut. 10:1-11:1 was found at Qumran.
The connection of the Mezuzah with Passover is obvious. Like the Mezuzah the blood of the Passover lamb was placed on the doorpost so that the “angel of death” would Passover the home.
Similarly the Mezuzah and Tefillin is seen as a guardian of a Jewish home, keeping the shedim (demons) outside:
R. Eliezer b. Jacob said, Whosoever has the tefillin on his head,
the tefillin on his arm, the tzitzit on his garment,
and the mezuzah on his doorpost, is protected.
He will not fall into sin, for it is written,
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken;(Eccl. 4:12)
and it is also written, The angel of YHWH encamps
round about them that fear Him, and delivers them. (Ps. 34:8).
(b. Menachot 43b)
In fact the Greek word for “tefillin” is “phylactery” which is a Greek word meaning “guardian”. The head tefillin symbolizes for us the helmet of salvation while the hand teffilin symbolizes the shield of faith.
An example of the protection of the tefillin can be found in Revelation:
And the fifth sounded and I saw a star that fell from heaven upon the earth, and the key of the pit of the abyss was given to him.
And smoke went up from the pit as the smoke of a great furnace that is burning and the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
And from the smoke locusts went out upon the earth, and the authority that is to the scorpions of the earth was given to them.
And it was told to them that they should not harm the grass of the earth or any herb, not even the trees, but only the sons of men who did not have the seal of Eloah between their eyes,
(Rev. 9:1-4 HRV)
This refers back to another passage in Revelation:
And after this, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth and holding the four winds so that the wind would not blow on the earth and not on the sea and not on any tree.
And I saw another angel who ascended from the rising of the sun and he had the seal of the living Eloah and he cried aloud with a loud voice to the four angles, those to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea.
And he said, Do not harm the earth nor the sea, not even the trees, until we seal the servants of Eloah between their eyes.
And I heard the number of those sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand from all the tribes of Yisra'el:
(Rev. 7:1-4 HRV)
Note that these “sealed” ones are “firstborn” and are redeemed by the blood of the lamb, referring back to the imagery of the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorpost and the Mezuzah. This sealing of Israel on the forehead refers back to a section in the book of Ezekiel:
Then he called in my ears with a loud voice, saying: 'Cause you them that have charge over the city to draw near, every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.'
And, behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate, which lies toward the north, every man with his weapon of destruction in his hand; and one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn on his side. And they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.
And the glory of the Elohim of Yisra’el was gone up from the cheruv, whereupon it was, to the threshold of the house; and He called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writer's inkhorn on his side.
And YHWH said unto him: 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Yerushalayim, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.'
And to the others He said in my hearing: 'Go you through the city after him, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have you pity;
(Ezek. 9:1-5 HVR)
Those being protected in Ezekiel 9 are those who sigh and cry over the “abominations” of Ezekiel 8. The abominations of Ezekiel 8 are all relate to Easter and that those who “sigh and cry because of the [Easter] abominations” do so because they have made Passover “a memorial between your eyes” (Ex. 13:9) and thus have received the mark/seal of YHWH on their foreheads. (Listen to “Passover vs. Easter” a Truth Talk Podcast Special Presentation at http://nazarenespace.com/video/passover-vs-easter for a full understanding of Ezekiel 8-9 as it relates to Easter vs. Passover).
No ministry even comes close to the work we are doing for the restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes. Yet there is so much more to be done in these areas, and so much more to be done to bring the message of Torah and Messiah to this lost world.
We need your support in tithes and offerings to keep this work going, and with your help, even expand the work.
Is this work worthy of your support? What other ministry provides this kind of teaching?
How is This Haggadah Different from Others?