Biblical Holidays

The Memorial of Blowing

18 September 2012
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Leviticus 23:24-25; Numbers 29:1-6

When the Israelites were in the desert, God commanded them to blow the trumpet on the first day of the seventh month.  He stated this was a holy convocation, a sacred assembly.  But why?  No reason is given.  He does not say that this ceremony commemorates anything.  To understand the intent of God’s heart for this Feast, we must look at how the trumpet or shofar was used throughout the Bible.  God’s Word does not signify whether the silver trumpet or the shofar should be used so we will consider both.

The following examples were excerpted from The Feasts of the Lord1 by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal.

  1. Assemble the tribes for breaking camp and setting out – Numbers 10:1-7
  2. Rejoicing at His sacred assemblies, feasts and New Moon (Firstfruits) celebrations – Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 10:10
  3. Gain victory in battle, assemble the army, sound the alarm for battle – Numbers 10:9; Judges 3:27, 7:22; Nehemiah 4:20; Ezekiel 33:3
  4. Coronation of a new king – 1 Kings 1: 34; 2 Kings 11:14
  5. The Day of the arrival of Messiah – Zechariah 9:14

In Leviticus 23:24, the literal rendering of this feast is “a memorial of blowing.”  A memorial is for remembering.  Considering the reasons for blowing a trumpet along with the call to remembrance, I believe that God is saying, “Remember that the Day of the Lord is soon approaching.  A great battle will precede His arrival and you must be prepare yourself for this battle.  The sound of the trumpet is the call to assemble for battle.  Assess your life.  Devote yourself wholly to me, be single focused.  All of hell will be set against you, but if I am first in your life, you have been assured the victory.  When the battle is over, I will take my place as King of Kings and there will be no more tears. Then together, we will shout a victory cry!”

An Awakening Cry

The shofar blast is deep, penetrating sound meant to arouse our spirits to attention.  It is an awakening cry, stirring us from our slumber and calling us to the battle lines.  Taking a look at Noah might help us to understand this time a little more.

Noah had received a word from God that judgment was about to come to the earth in the form of a flood.  Prior to this time, God had given the people many chances to return to Him.  He was always calling to His people.  This Word from God was a wake-up call for Noah, God had his full attention.   Noah was determined to listen to every word God said and obey it.  God gave him step-by-step instructions for how to save himself and his family.  The ark was built, Noah and his family entered the ark and it began to rain.  The people still stood mocking Noah.  How might Noah have felt at this sober time?  It must have been a great joy to Noah that he and his loved ones were safe, but imagine the horror of knowing that all the people that stood mocking would soon be crying out for their lives.  Noah’s heart must have been grieved.  For this reason, the Bible says in Genesis 7:16, “the Lord closed the door behind him.”  God knew that Noah’s heart of  compassion would not allow him to stand there and shut that door in the faces of those he knew, those that were going to die, those that suddenly wanted to change their minds about how they had been living.  Noah would want to save them, too!  Wouldn’t you?  But God’s word was final.  He shut the door.

This story gives us a glimpse into the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.  There will be those who have mocked us, mocked God, lived unrighteously and never believed a word of the Bible who will suddenly have the door closed in their face on that day Jesus returns for His Bride.   And we, though we are assured a place around the banquet table of the Lord, will have a heart of compassion and feel great grief for them.  Then, it will be too late!  But today is still the Day of Salvation…..

So what does the Memorial of Blowing mean to us now?  How do we get ready?

First, we make sure our hearts are like Noah’s.  We ask Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal the things that are displeasing to Him.  Then we clean our house and receive forgiveness through Jesus’ blood.  The price has been paid for our sin once and for all.  We need only to receive it and treasure our salvation in Him.

Then, we determine to search out the mysteries of God’s heart.  He has given us the written Word, so that we can know Him.  He has given us Holy Spirit as a teacher and a light.  He has also promised us that when we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him.  He has much to say about this time in which  we now live.  He wants us to know what is to come and to be firmly established in His Word so that we will not be shaken by the catastrophic events that are going to occur.

Finally, we receive the call to be God’s shofar!  We purpose to become the voice of truth that speaks wherever God gives us access.  The time is short.  It is no time to spare our family and friends from the truth.  We have the gift of salvation to share and share we must.  Those that refuse His gift of salvation will suffer greatly.  We are here on the earth to bring God’s love, light and life to those that have ears to hear in the midst of chaos and destruction. This is still the day of salvation and many are looking for Him….Yeshua, our Messiah!

Shana Tova!

1 Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal, The Feasts of the Lord (Orlando, FL: Zion”s Hope, Inc., 1997), p 106-107.

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Pentecost…Power to Birth the Kingdom

27 May 2012
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The Old

Moses received the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai on Pentecost.  In the Old Testament this feast was called the Feast of Weeks.  We know that beyond the 10 Commandments, God gave Moses the details of His Law for living in the Promised Land.  The people stood at the base of the mountain and witnessed God speaking to Moses through billows of smoke, lightning, thunder and fire.  What they saw terrified them.  Exodus 19:16-22 gives us this account.

It was the giving of the Law that birthed the Hebrew people into the nation of Israel.  Without a Law, the people cannot be free.  God’s Law set their boundaries, it established their culture and assured their freedom, if they would obey it.  A culture without laws is lawless, it breeds fear and violence.  Proverbs tells us “Righteousness exalts a nation” (Pr 14:34) and ”When the righteous rule, the city rejoices “ (Pr 11:10).

The New

Forty days after His Resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and told the disciples to wait for the promise from on high.  They weren’t really sure what was going to happen.  Ten days later, they were all gathered in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit came from Heaven with the noise of a violent rushing wind.  It appeared that the Holy Spirit rested on the believers like tongues of fire.  This was the gift of Holy Spirit given to the church. (Acts 2 and Joel 2)

This was 50 days after Resurrection Day and no coincidence that it happened at the same time that God had given the Law to Moses.  In the Greek speaking culture of Jesus’ Day, it became known as Pentecost.  For Moses and the Hebrews in the Promised Land, the law was given to point them to their need for a Savior, which would come many years later.  To those who believed in Jesus and the church that would grow through the ages, God gave the Holy Spirit to empower us to become like Jesus and lead others to Him.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

Up until this time, God had dealt primarily with the Hebrew people.  But the giving of the Holy Spirit was for ALL who believed.  The giving of the Holy Spirit birthed a new entity in the earth called the church, Jew and Gentile, or One New Man.

The Law was given while the Hebrews were still in the desert with a promise that God taking them to the Promised Land.  They knew they would not stay in the desert forever and the Laws were given for the time when they would live in the Land.  They practiced the Laws in the desert, but they would be fully manifested in the Promised Land.  In the context of their day, part of celebrating this festival was to offer a wave offering of two loaves of bread made from their wheat harvest at a time when they weren’t yet growing crops.

The Now

The Holy Spirit was given to the Church at the beginning of the Church age with a promise of living eternally in the Kingdom of God.  We know that we will not remain on earth forever, but soon and very soon, Jesus will return to receive His Bride and we will rule and reign with Him in His millennial reign on earth and for all eternity in the New Jerusalem.  Our destiny is the Kingdom, but that is not reserved for some future day.  We are NOW entering the Kingdom age so that we can partner with Jesus to bring the Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven.  The Holy Spirit was given on that first Pentecost, but throughout Scripture we can see that the promise of the power of Holy Spirit has always exceeded what we have witnessed.  In our day, a new fullness of time moment is occurring and God is releasing to us a new, fresh baptism that will allow us to accomplish God’s end-time purposes.  It’s not a “new” Holy Spirit, like something new we’ve never seen before, but it’s “new” in the sense of fresh, powerful, and relevant for our day.  Can you receive it?  Are you ready to believe for something new?

We, like the disciples of old, are waiting and expecting this outpouring, but we aren’t really sure of what is going to happen or what it is going to look like.  If we read the promises of what’s to come in the last days, we might be tempted to be fearful, but the Holy Spirit in us makes us bold, makes us fearless, so we can partner with Jesus to birth and build His Kingdom. Each of us has a dream in us, placed there by God, that is a piece of His Kingdom.  We birth the dream and then work with Him and His Body to see all the pieces of the puzzle fit together to manifest His Kingdom on earth.  He wants us to KNOW we have all that we need to be victorious through every trial and tribulation we will encounter.  But it’s not just about enduring the tough stuff, it’s about having joy, assurance of His Presence, peace and well-being, confidence in His love and great courage.  We are becoming the Pure, Spotless Bride, full of  the Love of God, fearless in the face of danger, and willing to lay down our lives for each other.  The outpouring of God’s Spirit this Pentecost and in the coming days will far exceed what we can imagine.  Stir up your expectation, receive the fresh baptism and get ready to build with Him! Let Him open your eyes to see what you could not see before, let Him move your heart to pursue what you could not pursue before, let Him fill your mouth so you can say what you couldn’t say before.  Surrender to Him and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Lord, let your Kingdom Come!

Happy Pentecost!

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Sealed With Fire

24 May 2012
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Ring of Fire 05_20_12

Set me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm…Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.  SOS 8:6

As I was reading Song of Solomon this morning and came to the verse above, the Lord quickened to me  the picture of the solar eclipse this past weekend…the moon encircled by the sun was called “ring of fire.”   He showed me this is the prophetic picture of the “seal” of marriage to Jesus…the completeness of this season, the Bride (moon) equally yoked to Jesus (Sun)  in voluntary love.  Jesus the Son, perfectly aligned with His Bride.  His fire seals us because we have chosen to submit to Him completely.  

It is symbolic of this Pentecost when Jesus is baptizing His Bride with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16).  “When the day of Pentecost had fully come…and there appeared to them tongues as of fire…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”  Acts 2:1-4 

The fullness of time has come for the first wave of the Bride to be unveiled, Jesus is placing His ring of fire on Her finger, and the Holy Spirit is releasing a fresh baptism that will fill our mouths with a new sound.  We will speak what the Father speaks, when we open our mouths He will fill it. 

Jesus declaring the maturity of His Bride to those that have gone through this wilderness season with Him.  It is His declaration that we have completed our season and have gained our identity.  Our cry for the First Commandment to be reality in our hearts has been answered.  We have withstood the temptations, we have thrown away other gods, we have surrendered our rights to Him and given Him our all.  We now carry the fullness of His heart in us and He is releasing new assignments to minister to the rest of the Bride, those that have not yet been awakened as well as the unbelievers, out of the Holy love of God.  It takes God to love God and that fullness is in us.  It takes God in us for us to love the Church and Israel and that fullness is in us.  We have become the nurturers, the spiritual mothers and fathers for the next generation (not by age, but by their maturity in the Kingdom). 

We now possess a confidence and boldness that we have not had before.  We have been tested and tried and found true.  Our hearts have been purified by His grace.  We are truly One with our Beloved and He entrusts us with this ministry knowing that no longer will we pursue our own agendas, but we will listen to the voice of the Bridegroom and minister from the intimacy of our relationship with Him.

Oh, let us celebrate this Pentecost with great expectation and confidence in our Beloved, let us love as we have been loved.  Let the harvest begin!

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Why Should You Celebrate Firstfruits?

26 February 2012
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Celebrating Firstfruits, or any of God’s Holidays, is not about trying to be Jewish.  The call to celebrate God’s Holidays is a call to know God more intimately.  When Father God established His Feasts in the Old Testament, He was not establishing ritual.  He was ordaining a time of blessing that was organic.  In other words, each time we gather to celebrate with Him, He brings something fresh, something new and living, with which to bless us.  If we choose not to celebrate, He’s not going to be mad at us, but we will miss out on having a great time with our Dad. 

 Firstfruits is a principle in the Word of God that means we bring God our best and He blesses the rest.  When the Jews celebrated, they offered God the first portion of their crops and livestock and then trusted Him to bless and multiply the rest.  The first portion of anything is special and we honor God by giving it to Him.  We meet with God at the first of each Hebrew month to hear what He has to say about this period of time.  Each month has significance in God’s calendar and it’s a blessing to hear His direction.  He gives us what we need to be successful in our journey through life.  Many people rely on horoscopes to give them insight to what’s going on, but God created the stars and set them in place to create the constellations.  God created the moon and ordained its orbit.  These are signs in the heavenlies that communicate God’s message.  Horoscopes are the devil’s counterfeit.   

 The Hebrew name of the month, represented by a Hebraic letter, is a pictogram.  The “picture” of the month gives insight into its meaning.  Each of the twelve months are also linked with one of the twelve  tribes of Israel.  The characteristics of the month are driven by the characteristic of its tribe as described in the Word.

 So what does all this mean?  God’s plan is a plan of redemption and blessing.  He has set “appointed times and seasons” for us to meet with Him and receive revelation so that we can fulfill our destiny.  His cycles of blessings are meant to take us from one level of glory to another – glory to glory, strength to strength.  I like to picture it as a spiral that leads upward toward heaven.  Each year we celebrate the same feasts, but if we are moving with God through His cycles, we are celebrating on a higher level each year.  We continue to gain revelation as we go through the cycles. 

 The Firstfruits celebration is a time to gain strategy. If we will set apart the first of the month to celebrate with Him, God will reveal what to watch out for and how to pursue our destiny to its fullness.  God wants to give you the keys to increase and multiply in your life.  He wants you to succeed!  He wants you to regain what the enemy has stolen from you.  He wants you to understand how to work with the angels. 

 You may ask why you haven’t heard much about this if it’s so important.  The truth is that God’s Feast times are something that the enemy has wanted to keep a secret;  so, using the religious spirit, he sought to convince the early church that these were “Jewish” and they didn’t belong to “Christians.”  He wanted the church to believe that these were the old dispensation so that we would miss out on the blessings that Abba Father wanted to give.  He was very successful at this – for a time.  But now, God’s people are hungry for Truth.  By searching the Word, one cannot escape the emphasis on celebrating God’s Feasts.  Hunger has caused people to ask the Holy Spirit the important question – “Are these relevant for us today?”  And He is responding by restoring this revelation to the Body of Christ.  There are many that still have not understood it, but God wants all His people to know the Truth.  He wants all His people to receive His blessings.  This is how we will become the pure and spotless Bride of Christ.  God is restoring Truth to His people.  If you don’t yet know anyone that participates in these feasts, begin to ask Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you to others that have this understanding.  He will certainly do that and then you can be one that leads others to their blessings. 

 This is the season to step into all God has to offer.  Don’t miss your blessings.  Celebrate Firstfruits!

For more on this subject, get A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce and Robert and Linda Heidler

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The Light and The Glory

20 October 2011
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Another distinctive feature of the Feast of Tabernacles was the radiant light that emanated from the Temple.  Huge lampstands, called menorahs, lit up the Temple courts so brightly that their glow could be seen across the Judean hillside.  The menorahs were so big that the priests had to climb ladders to fill their bowls with oil.  For seven days these lampstands burned brightly as a sign of God’s Presence.  When the lampstands were lit, it was cause for great joy and celebration. 

Throughout the Word, God reveals His Presence in light.  The first thing God created was light.  He visited Moses as fire in the burning bush and He manifested Himself as a pillar of fire to give light to the Israelites in the desert.  Light is a symbol of revelation, purity and holiness.  It contrasts the darkness of sin.  Light always displaces the darkness. 

In John 7, Jesus declared Himself to be the Living Water.   John 8:12 tells us of another aspect of Jesus that was revealed during this Feast.  In John 7:37 it says that Jesus made the declaration of His identity as Living Water on the last day of the Feast.  On the last night of the Feast, the menorahs were not lit.  The brilliant light had been shining for seven days was giving way to darkness.  The next day, while Jesus was still in the Temple courts teaching, that He revealed Himself as the “Light of the World.”  The light of the menorah would burn out, but His Light can never be quenched. 

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

Jesus clearly links Himself to the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.   He came in the flesh to dwell (tabernacle) among us.  He is the living water (rain which brings harvest), and He is the promised Light that had been spoken of through the prophets.  

Further study of the timing of Jesus’ birth reveals that He was born during this Feast.  Scripture shows that the angel visited Zechariah, the priest while he was on duty in the Temple. According to 2 Chronicles 24, Zechariah belonged to the division of Abijah which would have served in late June or early July.  The angel said Elizabeth would have a son and as soon as Zechariah got back home, she became pregnant.   Six months later Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  This would have occurred in December, during the Hanukah season, which is called the Festival of Lights.  From the last day of Hanukah to the first day of Tabernacles is 280 days, the exact length of a pregnancy.  

Another mystery of God revealed!  He has encoded the times and seasons for our discovery.  Keeping the feasts is not a matter of keeping rituals or acting Jewish.  In God’s great love, He has hidden His treasures throughout time for those that are hungry to find them.  When we partake of the divine mystery of God, it satisfies our hearts like nothing else can.   We are invited to celebrate in the Spirit of Christ all things that point to Him. 

Jesus, the Light of the World, was conceived during the Festival of Lights and born into the world to dwell with His people during the Feast of Tabernacles, a joyous time of Light emanating from the Temple.  When you see what God has ordained, it is clear that Jesus will come again during the Fall Feasts and set up His millennial Kingdom during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Revelation 21:23 tells us that the New Jerusalem will have no need of the sun or the moon because the glory of God will be its light and that lamp will be the Lamb (Jesus).  The glory of God in this context is called the Shekinah – it’s the Presence of God manifested by Light.  This is our destiny – to dwell with Jesus forever in the fullness of His glory!  That’s reason to celebrate!

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Draw Water With Joy

17 October 2011
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The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of the harvest.  At the end of the agricultural year, God instructed the Israelites to bring in their harvests, make offerings to Him and to celebrate His goodness and provision.  After the hard work was completed, it was a time for great rejoicing.  Thus, the feast was also called the Feast of Ingathering (Ex 23:16, Lev 23:39).

 While rejoicing over the abundance of this year’s crop, it was also a time to look forward and pray for rain for the coming year’s crops.  The priests performed a ritual during the feast to request rain from God.  In Israel, there were two seasons for rain called the early and latter rains.  The early rains came in the autumn season, right after the Feast, to prepare the ground for spring planting.  The latter rains came in the spring, after the spring harvest of barley and wheat and before the second planting (Deut 11:14, Joel 2:23).  Israel was very dry and hot, so without the rains of heaven, crops would fail and there would be famine. 

 Each day of the feast the Priests would go down to the Pool of Siloam carrying a golden pitcher.  A procession would follow them singing praise psalms (Psalms 113-118).  The priest would draw water from the Pool and carry it back to the Temple.  All the people would wave palm and willow branches before the Lord and carry pieces of citrus fruit, often called the citron, in their hand. The priest would then pour the water into the basin in the inner court which was typically used for drink offerings.  Normally, wine would be poured into the basin, but on this day the water was poured into this basin and wine was poured at the same time into another basin.  As he did so, the priest and the people would rejoice while reciting Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

  This was a most joyous ceremony with much symbolism.  The water represented God’s provision in the wilderness, as well as the refreshing, cleansing of Messiah that was to come.  The wine represented the outpouring of the Spirit that was to come. Waving the branches was symbolic of the progression through the desert as they encountered different types of vegetation, and the citrus fruit was a symbol of the fruit of the Promised Land. 

 Just before Jesus’ death, he was celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles.  In John 7:37-38, we read that during this water-drawing ceremony on the last day of the Feast, Jesus stood up drawing attention to Himself, and cried out in a LOUD voice, “ If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”  The Jews who heard this would have been familiar with the many references in the Torah and from the Prophets that spoke about Living Waters, streams of life, river of God, etc.  Jesus was declaring fulfillment of these scriptures in Himself.  Verse 39 further defines “living water” as being filled with the Spirit of God. 

 While the Jews were crying out for natural rain to be poured on their land to give them a natural harvest of food, Jesus now gave them access to spiritual rain that would produce a life-giving harvest of souls.  Many recognized Jesus as Messiah after this, but many others refused to believe. 

 The beauty and mystery of God’s Word is seen again in this story.  The word “salvation” in Isaiah 12:3 is the Hebrew word ‘yeshua.’ Yes, it is the very name of Jesus!  Yeshua means salvation by God, deliverance, welfare, prosperity, victory, health and help.    Unknowingly, for seven days the priests and the people had been declaring that they would drink from the well of Jesus’ living water and here He was stating that prophecy was available in Him! 

 The application for us today is clear.  God has stated that He will have a great end-times harvest of souls.  In order to accomplish this, He has called His people to cry out for the latter rains of the Holy Spirit to awaken people’s hearts and draw them near to God.  This is the imagery proclaimed in Joel 2:18-32.  After the people rend their hearts and repent (Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement), then God will restore the people and release a great harvest!  This is the day we are living in….God is ready for us, the laborers, to work with Him to gather in the Harvest and make ready for Jesus to return. 

 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the latter rain….And He will give them showers of rain… Zech 10:1

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The Feast of His Presence

16 October 2011
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The Feast of Tabernacles is the most important Feast in God’s calendar.  It is mentioned as one of the three Feasts that all men are required to participate in each year (Ex 23:14-17, 34:23-24; Deut 16:16; 1 Ki 9:25; 2 Chr 8:13).  Additionally, Zechariah singles out the Feast of Tabernacles as the one that all survivors of the tribulation will participate in during Jesus’ Millennial reign (Zech 14:16-19).  If this feast is so important to God, it should probably be important to us, His followers, especially as part of the end-times generation.  

God’s desire has always been to dwell with His people.  In the beginning, He created a garden in which He and His creation would live, work and play.  When Adam and Eve sinned, they had to be sent out of the garden and out of God’s presence.  The plan of redemption is a plan to bring us back into union with God so that once again He can literally dwell with His people.  He never intended to pull us off the earth and take us to heaven.  He wanted to come and dwell amongst His people in the world He created.  Throughout the Bible, we see God continually establishing His Presence and inviting the people to repent, return and remain with Him.  

Once the Israelites left Egypt, they met God at Mt. Sinai where he gave them instructions on how they were to live once they came into the Promised Land.  He gave them all the details for constructing a tabernacle, the place where His presence would dwell.  Then He told them how the tribes were to be situated around the tabernacle. God was in the center of His people. 

 When Jesus came in the flesh, John 1:14 tells us that he came to dwell among us.  He left the glory of heaven so that He could be with His people.  When he returned to heaven, He gave us the gift of His Spirit to dwell inside of us (Eph 2:22).  

Revelation 21:3 says that once Jesus comes again and conquers all that hinders His Love, reigns on earth for a thousand years and puts an end to Satan, then He will establish the New Jerusalem, the place where God the Father and Jesus the Son will dwell among their people.  This is our destiny.  Celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles on earth is a dress rehearsal for the eternity we will spend in God’s presence.  Today, God is pouring out more and more of His Spirit to move us deeper into His Presence during these appointed times.  Enter in and celebrate!  Our redemption draweth nigh!

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Shana Tova!

29 September 2011
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Today we welcome the new Hebrew year 5772, a time to pierce the world structures and recover all!  It is a time for celebration and a time to set the course for the year ahead.  In Jewish homes, many will be dipping apples in honey as a way of declaring the new year will be full of sweetness.  When leaving the House of Prayer, the Jews bless each other saying, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”   

What does it mean to be sealed for a good year?  This celebration was designed by God as a day to blow the trumpet.  There are many scriptures that instruct the people to blow the trumpet for various reasons, but this day there is a special significance to the blowing.  The prophetic meaning of this Biblical Holiday is so relevant to us today.  The sound of the trumpet is a call to AWAKEN.  Awaken from your slumber, from your routines, from business as usual to the call of God.  Awaken to His Presence and to His eternal plan.  The time is short!  Consider your ways before God and hear His voice.  It is the voice of the Bridegroom calling to His Bride.  It is an alarm that gives warning, there is still time to return to the Lord with all your heart. 

 The trumpet sound is a call to action.  The next 10 days are to be days of reflection and repentance.  We are called to consider our ways and consider Him Who made us.  Are there areas of your life that are not aligned with God’s purposes?  Do you know the precious plan He has for your life and are you submitting to His leadership to bring it about?  Are there habits and routines that hinder you from knowing Him more?  If you ask the Lord to reveal these things to you, He will.  That’s what this time is for,  it leads us back to Him. 

 Jesus Christ shed His own blood for us when He died on the Cross.  His blood is the atonement that we need.  It does not fade away each year like the annual sacrifice of a goat did on the Day of Atonement in Old Testament times.  His sacrifice was once and for all, for all men and women that would receive it.  It’s not about you, it’s all about what He did.  You cannot earn it, you can only accept it.  His blood is the salvation that brings us back into right relationship with God, but it doesn’t stop there.  The salvation of the Lord is not only for forgiveness, it’s for being who God created you to be, a son or daughter of the Living God.  God created each one of you with a purpose, a destiny in His Kingdom.  We must be awakened to the enormity of His call.  Most Christians don’t realize just how much God prepared for them in His Kingdom.  He didn’t send Jesus to the Cross just for your forgiveness.  That is only the starting place.  Once you know you’re forgiven, there is much more for you to know and to do.  He wants you to know Him deeply, just as you are deeply known by Him.  He wants to share secrets with you, to impart gifts to you, to give you incredible assignments that will cause others to know Him too.  He wants to show you His Glory….think about it! 

 So I pray today that you are “sealed for a good year,”  sealed by the Blood of Jesus, knowing that you are a child of His Promise, You are called to greatness in Him, You are anointed with the Holy Spirit and full of the Life of God.  You are sealed with the Reality of Jesus Christ on the inside of you.    You were not made to hide out awaiting Jesus’ return to rescue you from the wicked world.  You are made to be a victorious warrior, knowing His will and enforcing it, taking back the captives and setting them free, bringing light into every dark place.  You are called to take dominion in the earth.  This is an exciting and adventurous call.   Religion is boring, but life in the Kingdom is brimming with joy and excitement in Christ. 

 Hear the sound of His voice, the trumpet, as He calls you today.  Turn aside and listen to what He has to say.  Take these next 10 days to get reacquainted with the Word of God and His purposes.  Then set your heart on Him and get ready for the ride….

 Be sealed in Him and have a Sweet Year!

 Shana Tova!

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The Significance of God’s Fall Feasts

25 September 2011
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God initiated three Spring feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Early Firstfruits that foreshadowed Jesus’ first coming.  Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after these feasts, marks the release of God’s provision.  God also appointed three fall feasts and it’s important to look at all three together to get an understanding of this season.  These feasts foreshadow Jesus’ second coming and the end-times scenario.  Therefore, it is vitally important that we understand why God appointed these feasts.  This is not about keeping a religious ritual, but about understanding God’s heart and receiving His revelation in our day.

The fall feasts create a pathway into God’s glory.  At the Head of the Year, the trumpet sounds as a wake-up call.  This feast is centered around the blast of the trumpet.  The Hebrew name for this day is Yom Teruah, meaning the Day of the Awakening Blast! God is calling His people to alertness.

The next 10 days are called the “Ten Days of Awe.”  The Jewish people spent these days in quiet reflection before God.  They sought Him and asked for forgiveness for their sins of the past year.  These days culminated on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  This was a solemn day of fasting before God for their sins.  It was a day when God accepted the sacrifice of a goat for the sins of the people and they confessed their sins and sent them away via the scapegoat.  As believers in Jesus, we can rejoice that we no longer have to slay a goat to be forgiven.  Jesus atoned for our sins and we know we are forgiven, but God still requires that we confess our sins before Him.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  This process is for us!  God wants us to know that we’re forgiven, and to experience His cleansing power.  When we’re forgiven, all guilt and shame are removed.  God forgets about it and He looks at us through the Blood of Jesus, perfect and set apart.  Unfortunately, we don’t always see ourselves that way.  The confessing and cleansing that take place in God’s presence bring confidence to our hearts and restores our faith (1 John 3:21-22). 

Several days after the Day of Atonement, God scheduled the biggest celebration of the year, called the Feast of Tabernacles, a seven day extravaganza to celebrate the nearness of God.  God’s ultimate desire is, and always has been, to dwell with His people.  When Adam and Eve were expelled from God’s presence, it was heartbreaking to Him.  He set in motion the Plan of Redemption that would bring all people back to Him.  This Plan is almost complete and when it is, we will have the joy of being with our God forever in unbroken fellowship. 

All of God’s appointed feasts were designed to be a yearly reminder of the totality of His Plan of Redemption throughout human history. God wanted us to be reminded and encouraged to keep drawing nearer to Him, throughout every generation for all time.  The last days that we live in are really a ‘season of tabernacles,’ a season when God’s  judgments are released to wake us up to His call, when He is calling His people to repent and return, and when He is releasing greater and greater dimensions of His glory in the earth realm.  

Hear the sound of Heaven, the Shout of the King is among us! 

Rosh Hashanah begins on September 29, 2011.

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The Risk of Faith

20 March 2011
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Today is a day of celebration when we, along with the Jews, celebrate deliverance from our enemies.  It is the Feast of Purim, a time in which our sorrow is turned to gladness and our mourning into a holiday.  Let’s take a deeper look at how God is speaking to us today through this appointed time to celebrate.

Esther was an orphan raised by her Uncle Mordecai.  As a Jewish girl, she was given  the name Hadassah.  She probably never considered during those dark days of losing her father and mother that she would become Queen of Persia, a foreign, gentile land.  Through her trials, however, the Lord God was shaping and molding her for what she was to become.  When Hadassah was called, along with all the virgins in the land, to go to the palace and prepare to become a queen, she did not resist.  Rather, she submitted herself to this calling and trusted the Lord to lead her.  She honored the instruction of her Uncle Mordecai to keep her Jewish identity hidden and even to take a Persian name, Esther.    It is amazing to think that the assignment the Lord had been preparing her for was to become Queen of gentile nation and wife of a gentile King.  Yet God would use this situation to also make Esther a deliverer of the Jewish nation.

This might upset some of our religious ideas of how God is preparing to use us.  But if you are willing to submit to God, you will find that His favor will propel you beyond your wildest expectations.  Not only did Esther rise to a position of great material blessings, but she was given authority in the land.  The King gave her the authority to write a decree determining the fate of her people!  Mordecai also got a huge promotion.  He went from being a relatively unnoticed scribe to second-in-command in all of Persia.  These two faithful servants of God had to overcome their fear in order to rise to these positions.  Esther and Mordecai first had to be willing to lay down their lives.  Mordecai realized that by refusing to bow to Haman, he could be put to death.  Esther knew that to go before the King unsummoned could result in death.  They were people of conviction that lived out their faith in God and did the “hard” thing in the face of death.  God was with them all the way, but they had to take the risk.

So it was with all the Jews on that day.  God did not take away the decree that the Jews be attacked, for the Word says the decree of the King could not be revoked.  Instead, the King gave Esther the opportunity to supersede the decree with a greater decree.  This greater decree gave the Jews the right “to assemble, to defend their lives, to kill or annihilate their enemy or anyone that might attack them.”   Clearly, they had to fight for their lives.  They could not sit back and have the situation take care of itself.  They had to prepare their strategy and determine how they would fight, with whom they would fight and how they would save their communities.  Were they afraid?  Probably.  But again, they had to move beyond their fear and with great courage, take up their weapons and fight.  God was with them in the battle.  He gives supernatural grace in these hard situations, but we will never realize it unless we are willing to risk it all.

As we look at our own lives and the circumstances surrounding us in this hour of history, we must strengthen our understanding of God’s grace and our resolve to live by faith.  Just as God told Joshua, so He says to us, “Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  Then we, too, will be delivered from our enemies.

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