Posts Tagged Biblical Holidays

FREE Pentecost eBook

6 June 2016
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pentecost coverThis week before Pentecost is a time to prepare our hearts to receive all that the Lord wants to give us. I believe this year is a SUPER Pentecost – for those who are ready to receive. God is doing so much so fast. He is equipping His people to demonstrate Him and His Kingdom in the earth. He’s looking for those that are ready to partner with Him, those that can see beyond the circumstances and dream BIG. I offer this FREE DoWNLOaD to help you stir up expectation in your spirit! Press into His heart this week!

FREE Pentecost eBook – Download here

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Purim – A Time to Defeat the Haman/Amalekite Spirit

24 March 2016
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daniels statue

 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”  Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner;  and he said, “The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”  Ex 17:14-16

The altar called “the Lord is my Banner (or victory)” shows that it takes complete dependence on the Lord to defeat this enemy.  The altar is the place of worship and sacrifice.  As we worship at the Lord’s altar and declare “He is our victory,” He defeats His enemies!

Joshua

God made this promise to Joshua who faithfully completed his assignment to lead the young generation into the Promised Land.   God’s promise to Joshua, and all succeeding generations, was that if we would do our part, God would be with us and do His part to defeat the Amalekite spirit.   God was already planning to send Jesus (a transliteration of the Hebrew name Joshua) as the ultimate Deliverer.

Today we are a Joshua generation, a people rising up to believe God for His promises to manifest.  As Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms, so we are to stand together fighting under the Lord’s banner.  Moses, Aaron and Hur were worshipping and praying while others were fighting.  This is worship warfare – everyone doing their part.

This war will go on in every generation until the Amalekite spirit is utterly defeated.  Be encouraged as you see the people of God awakening and rising up as one to pray and seek the strategies of heaven.  God is faithful and He has already sent His Deliverer.  Victory is assured!

Saul

Six hundred years later, King Saul was instructed by Samuel:

Then Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.  Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”  1 Sam 15:1-3

Saul did not have a great track record for obeying God, but God gave him another chance.  He gave Israel the offensive position this time and Saul had the opportunity to redeem himself.   Sadly, he was more concerned with his own agenda.  He pursued all the Amalekites and killed them but decided to spare King Agag and the best of the livestock.  Saul was still set on pleasing people more than pleasing God.   When Samuel questioned him, Saul tried to convince him that he had obeyed.

Those who do not FEAR the Lord end up being rejected by Him, just as Saul was removed from his kingship and the Israelites were not allowed to enter the Promised Land.

Disobedience empowers the Amalekite spirit.  When we disobey God, we are not worshipping at God’s altar, but at the altar of a foreign god, where satan and his demons reign.  This gives the enemy power to affect our lives.  On the contrary, when we obey God, it brings blessings to our lives.

David

When David became King, he had the same charge – to wipe out the Amalekites.  He obeyed and the Lord gave Him rest from all his enemies.  That brought blessing to the whole nation.  David destroyed them in the natural, but the spirit of the Amalekites is still at work through those that are willing to worship at that altar.   We, however, have been given the Spirit of the Living God to overthrow every enemy that stands against the purpose of God.  Like David, we can defeat the Amalekite/Haman spirit in our cities and nations.

Other Examples

Between 605 and 539 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar partnered with the Amalekite spirit by attacking Jerusalem, destroying the city, killing many Jews and leading the rest into exile in Babylon.  Here they were held in captivity for 70 years, but God delivered them as He had prophesied by raising up Nehemiah and Ezra to lead the people back and rebuild God’s house.  He used the leaders of the newly formed Medo-Persian Empire to fund this restoration.  Daniel was part of this process.

Haman rose out of the Medo-Persian Empire between 539 and 331 B.C.  seeking to destroy the Jews. Mordecai and Esther were positioned for such a time as this to speak on behalf of the Jews and avert their destruction.  The memorial commemorating this victory is Purim.

When Greece became the next world empire from 331 through 168 B.C., Antiochus Ephiphanes determined to wipe out the Jews.  Judas Maccabees led the revolt and defeated the Amalekite spirit.  The memorial commemorating this victory is Hanukkah.

As Rome established itself as the next world empire in 168 B.C., there were multiple leaders that attacked the Jews.  Nero was the fierce violence behind the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. and persecution of both Jews and Christians.  By this time, the Messiah had already come, fulfilling the prophetic picture of Passover.  Unfortunately,  the Jews rejected Him as their Deliverer.  They are still bearing the curse of their disobedience.  No more appointed times (Biblical Holidays) were  established after Jesus’ victory on the Cross.  We need only remember the ones God has given and embrace the Messiah, He is the One that is highlighted in every feast.

Since the fall of the Roman Empire, there has been much chaos in the nations of the world.    Hitler arose in the West, Islamic territories arose in the East, and now the world is full of this Amalekite spirit that still seeks to destroy the people of God, both Jews and Christians.  God made a way for the State of Israel to exist, to re-establish the Promised Land.  He has been perserving the Jews from their enemies in this battle for land since 1948, but they are under constant threat from their enemies.  God has kept them from extinction, but they suffer greatly because, as a nation, they still have not received their Messiah.  America is facing the same test.  We were a blessed nation because we belonged to Jesus, but if we will not return to the Lord, we will face the same kind of hardship Israel has faced.

This is the picture painted by Daniel’s statue with the head of gold, the chest of silver, the loins of brass, and the legs of iron.  As the return of Jesus draws near, we are beginning to see more clearly who makes up the ten toes of this statue and the revealing of  the anti-christ.  The fiercest battle is still ahead.  The Deliverer of the Jews continues to wait for His people to turn to Him.  In the meantime, these appointed times recorded in God’s Word are here to cause us to remember, rejoice and return to the only One that can truly deliver.  His promise stands firm forever.  He will deliver His people and we shall spend eternity with Him, rejoicing!

Happy Purim!

 

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God’s Fall Festival

19 September 2012
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While the three spring feasts picture events that have been fulfilled, the fall feasts symbolize that which is yet to come.  In our generation, these feasts are exceedingly important because the time of their fulfillment is NOW.  We are in the last days.  These feasts, celebrated yearly, are dress rehearsals for church, the Bride of Christ, to meet her Bridegroom at Jesus’ second coming.  The day of Jesus’ second coming is the culmination of human history, described as the “great and terrible Day of the Lord.”  We should not expect that we will just coast into this great event.  The Bible has much to say about these last days and many warnings are issued to make sure that we prepare ourselves to meet our King.  If we were invited to meet with a famous person or one who is in a position of authority, we would give some attention to how we would present ourselves.  How much more should we give great attention to preparing to meet the King of all Kings, our Creator, and the One Who gave His all for us!

These three fall feasts take place in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, the month of Tishri. On our Roman calendar, this is during the months of September and October.  The Feast of Trumpets falls on the first day of the month of Tishri beginning at sundown and continues for two days.  Ten days later is the Day of Atonement.  This ten-day timeframe is called the Ten Days of Awe, a time of personal examination and reflection.  This is followed by the Feast of Tabernacles, the “Great Feast,” as it was called in John 7:37 when Jesus was about to reveal Himself as “the Living Water.”

I believe that the three fall feasts represent three aspects of the end-times.  The Feast of Trumpets is a time of awakening.  God is calling His Body, His Bride to awaken and return to Him.  The time has come for us to be cleansed of things of this world and focus our hearts and minds solely on Him.  The First Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength,” must have first place in our hearts.  Jesus is returning for a pure, spotless Bride.  We must be done with lesser things. We are called to glory in our King, we are called to greatness, we are called to rule and reign with Him.  That is our destiny and it’s time that we begin to focus on eternity rather than being caught in the muck of this world.  As we do this, we begin to see things shift in the world around us.   We begin to pursue the things of God’s heart.  We cry out for revival, we go after the harvest, we stand in the authority given to us and call forth Light into the darkness.  Signs and wonders abound, people are set free, healed, delivered, and equipped.  The Kingdom of God comes into manifestation.  This is the season we are in.  We are living in the Feast of Trumpets.

These things must occur before the Day the Lord.  The Day of Atonement symbolizes Judgment Day.  This day separates the saved from the unsaved.  The door will be shut and the Bridegroom and His Bride will move on to the wedding banquet…..

The Feast of Tabernacles pictures that event….when we will dwell forever in the Presence of our beautiful Bridegroom, King and Judge.  The tone of this feast is extreme rejoicing and celebrating.  We celebrate His goodness and provision.  We celebrate the harvest of souls.  We celebrate our permanent dwelling with Him.  This is our eternal destiny, the day we long for.  This is the day for which we must prepare NOW.

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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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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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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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Two Goats at the Temple

7 October 2011
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When the Jews participated in the Day of Atonement, the ceremony involved two goats.  The first goat was called, “the goat for the Lord,” and it foreshadowed Jesus’ death on the Cross at Passover.  Jesus’ death atoned for the sins of all people for all time.  Once Jesus made this sacrificial gift on our behalf, no longer was it necessary for the priests to make this offering on the Day of Atonement.  In fact, Jewish custom led the priests to tie a scarlet cord on the door of the Temple on this day.  When the sacrifice of atonement was accepted by God, this cord turned white.  This happened every year, until 30 A.D., the year that Jesus was sacrificed once and for all.  God was saying this ritual has been fulfilled! 

The second goat was called the scapegoat and was a picture of what happens when we confess our sins.  The Jews would confess their sins and symbolically place them on the scapegoat.   Then the goat would be sent out to the wilderness, as a reminder that their sins and their guilt had been taken away.  This part of the Day of Atonement activities is still relevant to us today. 

The Day of Atonement is a Day of Judgment.  God judged the sin of the people and because of the blood, they were found “not guilty.”  Because of the Blood of Jesus, all those who believe in Him are found “not guilty.”  When Jesus comes again, He is coming as Judge.   Could it be that His Second Coming, called the Day of the Lord, will occur on the Day of Atonement?  I believe so. 

 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.”  Matt 25:31-33

 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.  2 Corinthians 5:10

Those who have believed in Jesus’ sacrifice and received cleansing through His blood by faith will be put on His right and they will hear Him say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”  Matt 25:34  But to those on His left, He will say, “Depart, from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”  Matt 25:41

Truly, it was never God’s intention for any person to go to this awful place, but He allowed each one a free will with which they can choose to receive Jesus’ sacrifice or not.  This is the day to choose!  We receive forgiveness by faith in what Jesus did.  All we have to do is receive it. 

Once you receive His forgiveness, He tells us to confess our sins.  Why?  Because until we confess or admit what we have done, we feel guilty and condemned.  So many Christians walk around feeling guilty.  This should not be.  God does not see us as guilty, He sees us as righteous.  We must see ourselves as He sees us.  Only then are we restored to perfect fellowship with God.

The process of confession and cleansing is to prepare us for the next Feast, the ultimate celebration that represents God making His dwelling place among His people.  He invites us to come boldly into His Presence.  Let us prepare our hearts so that we can fully enter in! 

This understanding is vital to our part in the end-times scenario.  Each year, as we celebrate His Feasts, we enter into deeper and deeper revelation of His plans and purposes.  He is coming soon, so let us pursue the Lord wholeheartedly and continue to receive the unfolding revelation of Jesus’ blood and our standing with Him.

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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 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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When the Decree is Sent Against You – CELEBRATE!

16 March 2011
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Are you facing a life-threatening situation?  Is the world crumbling around you?  Are you feeling utterly defeated?  Well, then it’s time to celebrate!

This is exactly what God prescribes as a cure for our plight.  The book of Esther reveals this secret plan of God.  The wicked scheme of Haman was about to be carried out against the Jews.  For centuries, the Amalekites, the family line of Haman, hated the Jews and sought to annihilate them.  Finally, Haman saw an opportunity to carry out this plan and the King approved it.  When Esther and her uncle Mordecai found out about the plan, they sought the Lord with fasting, weeping, and repentance.  Esther had only one hope, she had great favor with the King.  So instead of running to him with tears and pleading for his help, she invited him to a feast, a celebration.  The King took great pleasure in this opportunity to celebrate with his beloved Esther and so asked her, “What is your request?”  With great wisdom, Esther invited him to a second celebration.

During this second time of feasting, Esther exposed Haman’s plot to kill her people.  The King, outraged by this discovery, and used the very tool, the gallows built by Haman to hang Mordecai, to hang Haman.  With Haman removed, Esther now pleaded for the evil decree set against her people to be revoked.  The King gave Esther and Mordecai his authority to overthrow the evil decree.  Word was sent to all the Jews throughout the land giving them the right “to assemble and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate their enemy.(Esther 8:11)”  So it was on the thirteenth day of Adar (March 20 this year) that the Jews destroyed their enemies.

The principle is this:  In order to overthrow your enemy and the life-threatening situation you face, first, seek God in fasting, prayer and repentance.  Make sure your heart is pure before Him.  Know that you have great favor with Him.  Second, celebrate Him in praise and worship, declare His majesty and unparalleled power.  Speak His Word, which is your weapon.  His Word, spoken by you and with His authority, overthrows the evil decree set against you.  Celebrating allows you to overcome fear, you gain boldness in His Presence.  The enemy trembles when you begin to celebrate and declare the greatness of your God.  He knows what is to come when God is roused.

The Bible tells that the month of Adar is a month which turns sorrow to joy and mourning to a holiday, that we are to make these days of feasting and joy and send presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.   The Jews call this The Feast of Purim, an appointed time!  (Esther 9:22, 31)

God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  As He told the Jews to celebrate to overthrow their enemy, so He tells us.  Come into His Presence with joy and thanksgiving, listen to hear the strategy He will release, speak it out, then celebrate some more and watch your enemies fall.  Declare “My fear shall laugh!”

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