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from glory to glory…

Archive for the category “Autumn Holydays”

Faithful and True…

On this evening before the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles, I am deep into the prophet Hosea, preparing for our little ones Sunday School. The one thought that keeps emerging in my little grey cells is that there is only One True God. No other God loves the way the God of the Bible loves. No other God than He has ever provided the way of grace and mercy and forgiveness for our rebellion against Him…

Hosea’s message was a call to Israel to come back to the only True God whose holy love, mercy and grace are true and faithful. Hosea’s life was an example to Israel of the faithfulness of the One True God. Hosea’s name means “salvation…”

jesus-faithful-trueMany hundreds of years after Hosea lived, God sent His Son Yeshua. His Name means “God is Savior.” Hence, Hosea 13.4 “…for there is no savior besides Me.” Hosea paid a high price to bring Gomer back to him; Yeshua paid the highest price to bring the mercy, grace and forgiveness of a Holy God to sinners–peace with a Holy God through Messiah Jesus alone…

Lord, the One who is called Faithful and True, please grant the same grace to other rebels that You have shown to me while I was in deep rebellion against You…

Soli Deo Gloria!

Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Part 4

Camping with God

In the Wilderness…

Peace in Messiah’s Kingdom

As I think about the backdrop of this world in which I live, I am remembering all the images which echo the memorials of the Feast of Tabernacles, a season which remembers that we are camping in this wilderness with God. Immanuel. “God With Us.” I am so rooted and fixed in Messiah Jesus that I am finding two things which are extraordinary and priceless:  a rich comfort in the way the feasts interlock and dovetail together giving me a continual feast, and the Peace which passes all understanding…

When Messiah Jesus has the pre-eminence in your life and celebrations, drawing a barrier between Sukkot (Tabernacles) and Christmastide is nearly impossible… And that’s why I want to shout and blow the shofar today. There are issues resonating in the Feast of Tabernacles that pertain to your longing for some quiet and some peace–but not just for today’s discomforts…

I do not wish to give you all a headache, so I’m praying as I write this that the God who is “God With Us” will be the voice you need to hear to make your day and to bless every day of the seasons of your life, whatever He ordains in them…

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Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Part 3

Camping with God

in the Wilderness:

Blessing, Water and Light…

I did not intend to leave everyone with their teeth on edge as I concluded Part 2 of Camping with God in the wilderness. The imagery of the fire, blood and smoke of the sacrifices in the Temple is not a welcome picture in our day. To be sure, it was not a welcome image in any time in history. Although the graphic reminder of judgment on sin points the world to the suffering and death of the Lord Yeshua on the cross, the concept of the need for a substitutionary sacrifice is always difficult to embrace for the human spirit. God knows it is. He is not without comprehension of the human heart, its needs and deep longings, its attempts to find what it thinks is a kinder and gentler way to mend the wide breach between its own independence and the God who has formed it to trust depending on Him. But where would be the cry for the grace of God in the absence of acknowledgment of rebellion against Him?

sukkah2With that question in mind, come sit with me in my little camp in this part of the planet; hear of the majesty and beauty of God behind the veil of odors and clouds which mercifully kept us all from being devoured by the unveiled sight of His glory…

For the celebrants of the Feast of Tabernacles upon entering the land of Israel, there was also the imagery of blessing, water, and light. Three elements of celebration, even as the sacrificial altar is laid with its offerings everyday, remind the people of God of the abundant mercies attendant to those who trust in Him…

Blessing…

Leviticus 23.40 includes the branches of myrtle, palm and willow and the fruit of the fragrant etrog (a citron grown in Israel) as elements of the festival of Sukkot. Traditionally, the myrtle, palm and willow are bound together with a gold thread to form a lulav. In the days of the Temple in Jerusalem and nowadays in the synagogue, the etrog and lulav are carried during the reading of the Great Hallel which are songs and psalms of praise from Psalms 113-118. In the Temple days as now, the priest/rabbi also carries these items while singing special passages called Hoshanot (prayers for salvation) each day of the week of Sukkot.  The lulav is also used in blessing the family sukkah. The father stands before the sukkah with the lulav raised, and turning to face toward Jerusalem, prays the blessing:

Blessed art Thou, O LORD, our God, King of the universe! Who has sanctified us by Your commandments and commands us to take up the lulav.

As he recites the blessing, he shakes the lulav three times in each direction, in succession, as follows:

  1. pointed ahead of him to the East;

  2. to his right side to the South;

  3. behind him over his right shoulder to the West; and

  4. to his left to the North.

He finally concludes his blessing with the lulav held in front of him, raising it and lowering it. This signifies the presence of God in all the earth, acknowledging the blessing of His presence in our lives.

In Jewish tradition the myrtle, palm, willow and fragrant etrog symbolize four virtues of man. For discipleslulav&etrog of the Messiah Jesus, the fragrance of the etrog and beautiful branches of palm, willow and myrtle are foreshadows of the beauty and character of Messiah Jesus, the King, as described in Psalm 45:

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad. Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women; at Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.

–Psalm 45.7-9

In another place in Scripture, the people of Israel used the palm branches to acknowledge their recognition of the One they expected would answer their prayers for salvation–the prayers they sang at the Great Hoshanah six months before Jesus entered Jerusalem to observe His last Passover meal on the earth:

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord has need of them,” and immediately he will send them.’ All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest!’ And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’ So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee…’ Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ They were indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise”?’

–Matthew 21.1-11,14-16

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Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Part 2

Camping with God

in the Wilderness…

grill2Mmm, mmm! Oh yeah! One of the joys of the modern camping experience is setting up the barbecue grill, stoking the fire till the coals are glowing and ready for the offering of some fine aged beefsteak or dad’s secret recipe for prize winning burgers. Some true outdoorsmen even prefer the offering on their altars of gastronomy from wild game they have snared and dressed. The culture of grilling is not reserved for the camper; many–even, perhaps, the majority of American suburban and country homes have a grill which serves as their own altar of holocausts to the god of “bon appetit.” I have not met a single friend who has that backyard or back deck grill who does not relish the all encompassing sensations of the sight, the feel, the scent and the taste of the outdoor grilling experience, all for the pleasure of tasting the product of their offering. The friends and family all gather around in rapt anticipation of the flavors of the meats grilled to their own liking on the fiery altar suspended over the coals. The blood and juices of the meats drip on the coals sending plumes of fragrant smoke into the air and igniting a momentary tongue of flame lapping upwards from the pit. Neighbors can smell the aromas for blocks…

…As you are reading this, you are probably asking what any of this has to do with the Feast of Tabernacles. In Part 1 of the Feast of Tabernacles, I featured the excitement of Israel’s celebration of their 40-year camp in the wilderness. They would remember it in the land of Israel by constructing booths in which they would dine and dwell for seven days during the Feast of Tabernacles. God ordained this practice as a memorial observance throughout their generations…

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My Morning Thoughts-Feast of Tabernacles, Day 2

…In our CBS group we’ve been in the Book of Ezra this week. This morning, reading about those who were documented among the first to return to Jerusalem, the cities of Judah and the cities of Israel from the captivity at the time of Cyrus, king of Persia.

One study question asked why we think the careful detail of names and tribes of the returning Jewish people was documented in Ezra 2…

One important detail would be knowing who was of the priestly house according to God’s Word; another important detail would be knowing who was of the line of Judah and his offspring for the royal house…

Finally, one of the most encouraging details in general is this: the historical documentation that the Jewish people live. God did not destroy them. Am Yisrael Chai!

For the Body of Christ, this should strike your kishkes deeply; because, if God does not keep His promises to the Jewish people (and Satan is working over time to destroy them to discredit God’s veracity), then the Body of Christ has no reason to expect that God will keep His promise to preserve those who believe in Messiah Jesus…

Fairest Lord Jesus – Maranatha Celtic

fairest-lord-jesus4

 

Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Part 1

Camping with God

in the Wilderness…

Lately I’ve been listening to tales my friends have been telling of camping experiences. This is the time of year in our region when many families are planning that annual camping trip. It might be that the weather and the change in the color of the foliage beckons us to want to experience a bit of natural beauty before the cold and snow set in for winter.

I’m confessing that, as much as I like the idea of being out in the beauty of nature, my actual experience of it has been less than appealing. The bugs love my blood too much, and my allergies prohibit the use of the chemicals that deter them. Therefore, my idea of “camping” is living out of a suitcase in a nice hotel far away from the familiar comforts of home.

As I reflect on the Feast of Tabernacles during this Autumn Holyday season, I think that perhaps if I were in the desert climate of Israel, I might be more likely to enjoy celebrating this festival of joy out of doors…

The historical account in Scripture of how God established this celebration is exciting to me, and causes me to long for a climate in which such an observance would be more accommodating to my limitations. On that note, allow me to take you on one of the manifold facets of the experience of camping with God in the wilderness.

trumpets stained glass 3The Holydays preceding the Feast of Tabernacles have passed: first came Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets which began the 10 Days of Awe; then came Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The climax of the Holy Days comes at the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Sukkot)Leviticus 23.34-44 establishes the entire week between 15th and the 22nd days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei as the observance of Sukkot. Sukkot is the Hebrew word for “tabernacles” or “booths,” and a sukkah is one booth or one tent.

Although God gave Israel the instructions for the Feast of Tabernacles while they were still in the wilderness, the Feast of Sukkot was not a wilderness feast. The feast is to be celebrated remembering how God dwelled among the Israelites after He brought them out of Egypt. The wilderness experience was a time of great awareness of and dependence upon God. After Israel would enter the land and begin living in houses, harvesting crops and enjoying a comfortable existence, God calls Israel to sacrifice the comfort of her houses to live in a rugged little booth or tent for a full week. He wants His people to remember with joy His power to sustain their lives, for He has dwelt among them.

In Jewish tradition, when the sun sets on Yom Kippur, plans begin for the building of the family sukkah four days later. Israeli farmers lived in little sukkot (booths) built in the fields during the harvest of their crops, but God called all Israel to live in sukkot built outside for this festival. The sukkot were not to be too sturdy; they were to represent the temporary houses Israel hastily erected and moved from place to place in the wilderness. The light of the full harvest moon should shine through the roof; and the wind should shake it a bit.


Just a thought: If all our high-tech stuff failed, we would soon remember how earthly our “tents” are and how our lives depend upon the mercies of God in the seasons of the year and the agricultural cycle. God has promised that springtime and harvest will not fail. He has made no such promise about our high-tech wizardry.


Because the feast occurs at the time of harvest in the land, it is now–as it was in former days–linked to the season of the year and the agricultural cycle. The labors of harvest time necessitated being in the fields, and many people would already be living in booths in the fields for the duration of the harvest. God simply used the occasion to refresh their memories of “the good old days.” For Israel, the “good old days” were the years when they dwelled in the wilderness, encamped around the Tabernacle of the Lord in their midst. Those years were hard, stigmatized with the reproach of their rebellion against God; but those years were generously laced with the mercy of a holy God mingled with the trauma of living in so close proximity to His holiness. The Tabernacle of the Lord was the first house in which God dwelled on earth with His people Israel. The Lord dwelled in the part of the Tabernacle which was called the Sanctuary. The word “sanctuary” means “most holy place.”

‘I will make a covenant of peace with [Israel]; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put My sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when My sanctuary is among them forever.’

–Ezekiel 37.26-28

You might say, in modern words that God “pitched His tent” or “built His sukkah among men. Even though the wilderness in which Israel dwelt those 40 years did not have the fruits and grains God promised they would have in their new land, they experienced the wonder of camping with the King of the universe.

Imagine you are living in a tent out on the desert sands under the sky. There are no tall trees there, only shrubs and bushes that grow close to the ground. There are no buildings there to get in the way of your vision as you look out the doorway of your tent. There is no electricity and no loud stereo boom box music to fill up your mind with noise. The air is clear and you can see for miles around you when you stand at the edge of the camp beyond the tents. When you look out the door of your tent each desert morning you can see all the tents of your aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins’ cousins to the right of you and to the left of you. But as you gaze toward the center of your camp you can see a strange and wonderful sight: it is the tent where the God of heaven and earth dwells. Every morning when you rise after a night of sleepy dreams under the stars, you run to the door of your tent to see, “Is He still here with us?” As your eyes dart toward the center of the camp, you see it–the sign of His Presence dwelling there with you Numbers 9.15-16.

The encampment of Israel in the wilderness was orderly and precise, as instructed by the Lord to Moses.

Wilderness Tabernacle Camp

Wilderness Tabernacle Camp

Numbers 2.3-9 says that the tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun camped on the east side of the Tabernacle of the Lord–a total of 186,400 men over age 20, able to go to war (not counting women, children and the elder men and women among the tribes).

Numbers 2.10-16 says that the tribes of Reuben, Simeon and Gad camped on the south side of the Tabernacle of the Lord–a total of 151,450 men over age 20, able to go to war (not counting women, children and the elder men and women among the tribes).

Numbers 2.18-24 says that the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin camped on the west side of the Tabernacle of the Lord—a total of 108,100 men over age 20, able to go to war (not counting women, children and the elder men and women among the tribes).

Numbers 2.25-31 says that the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali camped on the north side of the Tabernacle of the Lord–a total of 157,600 men over age 20, able to go to war (not counting women, children and the elder men and women among the tribes).

Numbers 2.17 says that the tents of the tribe of Levi were always camped in the inner ring closest to the Tabernacle perimeter, standing between the courts of the Lord and the people in their respective camps.

The God of Israel left no mysteries about the community life of the people in the camp of the Israelites, including how they would know when to strike camp and begin another leg of their journey, and when to pitch camp to rest:

Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not journey. So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the Lord they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the Lord they would journey. So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

–Numbers 9.15-23

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The Day of Atonement: The Offering and The High Priest…

Messiah Jesus:

So Great an Atonement!

The Feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is one of the most solemn of the Biblical Holy Days. It is also complex in that those who are tuned in to the significance of this holy day realize there is both affliction of the soul and a thanksgiving for a way of reconciliation with God. I have written several instructive pieces for observance of Yom Kippur, all of them with what the Scriptures say of Messiah Yeshua at the center of them.

Yom Kippur comes from the Hebrew word kapporeth which means covering or mercy seat. The lid on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies was the mercy seat or kapporeth. On Yom Kippur the Jewish people beg God for mercy and forgiveness for their sins.

When we examine ourselves in the Light of a Holy God, we should realize that God owes us no means of atonement at all. The Day of Atonement is the blessed celebration of the grace of a Holy God in providing A Way for forgiveness of our rebellion and treason against Him.

My remembrance focuses on the power of the blood of God’s Holy One for the remission of sins, the rescue from condemnation, and the ransom from the power of sin–all given to those who trust in God’s Holy One, Messiah Jesus…

While I was studying the traditions of the Jewish observances of the Day of Atonement, I found the following among their traditional prayers:

Our righteous Messiah has departed from us. We are horror-stricken, and have none to justify us. Our iniquities and the yoke of our transgressions He carries who is wounded because of our trransgressions. He bears on His shoulder the burden of our sins, to find pardon for all our iniquities. By His stripes we shall be healed–O Eternal One, it is time that you should create Him anew!

…straight from the text of Isaiah 53.4-6

One of my early prayers, taken from one of my studies in years past…

Blessed art Thou, O LORD, our God, King of the universe! I will celebrate the mighty holiness of this day, for it is one of trembling mingled with joy and mourning. On this day, Your dominion is exalted and Your Throne is established in mercy. You sit upon Your Throne in Truth…You cause all who enter the world to pass before You as a flock of sheep. As a shepherd seeks out his flock and causes them to pass beneath his staff, so You cause to pass and number, tell and visit every living soul, appointing the measure of every man’s life and decreeing their destiny…O LORD, work in my life that I might more embrace what You love and renounce what You hate; that I might give all honor and glory to the Lamb God provided to take my punishment for my sin; that I might grow in learning  the power of His blood over sin which no longer condemns me, but which defiles; and that I might pray more fervently for others who are not yet sealed in the Lamb’s Book of Life by faith in Yeshua–so great an Atonement…

The Offering…

Because there is no fellowship with a Holy God without satisfying His requirements under the Law for full atonement for unrighteousness, God Himself established the tradition forever that the Day of Atonement may not be celebrated without the offering(s) He appointed for that holy day. The following passages clearly outline the offerings and the duties of the high priest on this most solemn of days: Leviticus 16 and Leviticus 23.27-32

  • The blood of bulls and goats could only provide forgiveness until a man thought or did something sinful again; then more bulls and goats would have to die–over and over, again and again.

  • The Temple in Jerusalem is gone, and not even the sin offerings can be made anymore. God took away the Temple and the old sacrifices to give us a perfect Sacrifice through the Blood of Yeshua the Messiah.

  • If Yeshua’s atonement only pays for the sins of a believer, he would only be restored to the innocence of Adam. As soon as the believer sinned again, Yeshua would have to die again. But Yeshua’s atonement is so great that God does more than take away the believer’s sins. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement also rescues the believer from the enemies that rebel against God’s goodness–our sin nature and Satan’s influence on it. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement enables the believer to serve God without distrust in holiness and righteousness before Him all his days. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement cleanses the believer’s conscience from acts that lead to death, so that he may serve the living God! Messiah Yeshua! So Great an Atonement!

This bears repeating: The blood of bulls and goats and lambs cannot do the job of cleansing the deep well of sin in the heart of a person. One minute after the sun went down on the Day of Atonement, a person could be in trouble again with God. The more a person was aware of sin in his/her life, the more often he/she was at the altar of sacrifice with a sin offering–until…

The Lamb of God…

The Scriptures tell of the provisions for the offering in God’s “First Covenant” for reconciliation and His “Last Covenant” for reconciliation in  Hebrews 10.1-4

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

The description of God’s provision for the offering is spoken by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53. The description of this great offering comes into clear focus in Hebrews 10.5-10. The Holy One Himself said…

…’Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Yom Kippur in the Newness of the Holy Spirit…

Remembering the holiness of God and the Great Atonement He accomplished through the blood of Messiah Yeshua are the most important traditions in celebrating the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Some Jewish traditions can help a child of God to do that; some Jewish traditions can distract from that calling–especially if the focus is upon observing the traditions while neglecting intimacy with God…If one has a personal “tradition” of neglecting intimacy with God all other times, he/she may not hear the call of God’s trumpet, and will not be ready and willing to observe the stillness God calls His own to practice during this holy season of rest…

If you believe that Yeshua is the Great Atonement, you can begin a new season of confessing your sins to God, trusting in Yeshua’s blood for forgiveness. Remember that the atonement of Yeshua is so great that it has the power to cleanse and renew your heart to obey God more and more…

Daily Cleansing…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

–Psalm 139.23-24

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

–1 John 1.7-10

  • ŸWhat it would be like for us if we could not see when our appearance is less than acceptable to others: dirty faces, soiled clothing, unkempt hair, etc?  We would not have the advantage of knowing and correcting the problems…

  • ŸWhat would happen to us if we failed to bathe and brush our teeth. We would smell bad; others would avoid us. In our culture we would not dream of going to school or to worship services or to work in such an unacceptable condition…

  • ŸThe availability in our culture of soap and clean running water to make us socially acceptable. It would be easy for us to take it for granted…

  • ŸBelievers in Messiah Yeshua are called by the covenant feast of Yom Kippur to daily walk in the light of God’s Word; and to daily “bathe” and be cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, The Holy One.

how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him?

–Hebrews 2.3

“The Priest” (Go to Page 2)

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The Days of Awe and the Eve of Yom Kippur

Listen to the sound of the shofar.

Today we are on the threshold of one of the most solemn Biblical Holy Days, The Day of Atonement. As the shofar is sounded today, we remember two major implications of what we have been remembering on all the other Days of Awe and Remembrance…

The first is this: God’s promise to gather the remnant of Israel to the Messiah has not been revoked.

The prophet Daniel speaks of a time when the people of Israel will endure a trouble unlike any they have ever known in history, but God will deliver them so that they would not be destroyed. Daniel 12:1

Many of Israel have already believed in Jesus and gone to be with Him; but the prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s promise to  gather all the people of Israel who remain after the time of Jacob’s trouble. Isaiah 11.11-13

The apostle Paul exhorts those who believe in the Lord Jesus to remember that, although there is a blindness in part afflicting Israel until the Gentiles come to the fullness of either their part in salvation or their iniquities, God’s irrevocable desire is to deliver Israel from ungodliness. Romans 11.25-29

So before we go on to the second implication, consider how this truth is applicable to your life in times like these…

What is the attitude of your heart toward the Jewish people?

Since none of us knows who is blinded–either Jew or non-Jew–and who is not, are you a co-laborer with Messiah Jesus in gathering the Jewish people to safety in Him?

Will you pray for those who are yet unbelieving?

Will you engage in redemptive dialog with those whom God brings into your sphere of influence?

Ask God to give you the heart and the training to be a gatherer of Israel during your generation…

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Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe 8

Listen to the sound of the shofar.

Remember the Great Day of Judgment and Messiah’s deliverance for those who trust in His atoning blood…

For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt…The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers…For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…

–Exodus 12.12-13; Zephaniah 1.14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5.9*

Our world cries for justice, yet hates judgment. Do you see the nonsense in that kind of thinking? Many are offended at the idea of judgment and even ignore it when they are sharing the gospel with people.

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all… ‘But you are those who forsake the Lord, who forget My holy mountain, who prepare a table for Gad, and who furnish a drink offering for Meni. Therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.’

–Proverbs 28.5; Isaiah 65.11-12

They speak only of salvation and redemption.  But if there is no judgment, why bother with salvation and redemption? And if there is no judgment, then, beloved, there is no justice. Think about that the next time you hire a lawyer to settle your complaint in court…

The truth is that much of what we know about judgment comes from the lips of Jesus Himself. If you look closely at the way He refers to Himself in the Scriptures, you will see He calls Himself the “Son of man” which means The Judge in the Bible…

I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was  seated, and the books were opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed… For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.’

–Daniel 7.10-14; John 5.22-27

Start to pray for those you know who are in danger of condemnation because of their rejection of Messiah’s atoning sacrifice.   Ask God to give you the words and the courage to share them with someone who needs to be reminded that judgment is coming…

‘But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doingBut if that evil servantbegins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

–Matthew 24.37-39,44-46,48-51

Will you be guilty of disobedience in your behavior with others when you face Messiah?

*NOTE: In the righthand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe 7

Listen to the sound of the shofar.

Today it sounds to remind you of Messiah’s return to receive His own to Himself.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61.10*

Those who believe that Yeshua is Lord, know that He  is the Bridegroom to whom the Scriptures refer. He is preparing a place for His Bride, the Body of Messiah. He has promised to return for His Bride.

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

–John 14.2-3

Are you living your life for Him only? Are you keeping your life pure for Him? Will He be offended by some resentment you are harboring toward someone you have not forgiven?

Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father’s house; so the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him. And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; the rich among the people will seek your favor. The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; the virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You. With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; they shall enter the King’s palace. Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You shall make princes in all the earth. I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.

–Psalm 45.10-17

*NOTE: In the righthand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

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