Enjoy a sneak peek of the Fall Feasts being celebrated in Jerusalem.
Enjoy a sneak peek of the Fall Feasts being celebrated in Jerusalem.
Yom Kippur has been observed by the Jews annually as the most holy day on their calendar for thousands of years. It is a time for personal reflection, but it is also the time when God looks at the nation of Israel as a whole. His eye is on His people in a specific place called Jerusalem, the city of David. This is the city that God has chosen in the earth realm for the seat of His Kingdom government.
Keeping in mind that the Blowing of the Shofar 10 days prior was meant to awaken the hearts of the people and cause them to remember that the Messiah is coming soon, this day is a reminder of the final day of Judgment at Christ’s return. As Christians, our individual salvation has been assured through the blood of Christ. At first glance, the message of this feast might look similar to Passover. However, the focus of this feast is national repentance. Certainly, there are messianic Jews today who are assured of their salvation. Yet, the nation of Israel still hangs in the balance. There are many prophecies throughout the Bible that speak of the judgments against Israel and the restoration that will be given to her at the end. They are a constant reminder of the severity of judgment that awaits her as a nation. God has a people, and He has a place, land – a physical place on the earth. He promises to renew hearts, but He also promises to renew the land, to make it flourish and bring forth its fruit.
The Jews have gone through many cycles of judgment and deliverance. During certain periods of history, they rebelled against the Lord. God would discipline them, and then they would return to the Lord. Generations later, they would again find themselves reaping the whirlwind of discipline, each time getting more severe. The Book of Judges shows the pattern that runs throughout the Old Testament.
What God does to Israel, He does to all nations just to a lesser degree. America is facing the same kind of judgment and blessing cycle promised to Israel. This year the feasts have a heightened significance because God is looking deeply at our nation. He sees many of His people crying out for Him, but He also sees many that are complacent and disbelieving. The Feast of Trumpets is about awakening a sleeping people. I don’t believe it’s coincidence that Donald Trump is being used by God to awaken this nation. For over a year, his anti-establishment stance has created chaos in the political arena. It is God’s mercy that we break out of our religious thinking and be awakened to reality as God sees it. We have been a nation of complacent, comfort-loving people. Even Trump said to the Christian leaders that met with him that we (the Church) had become soft. If we are sons and daughters of God, shouldn’t we behave and believe differently than the rest of the world? Before God seeks to awaken the world, He first wants to awaken those that are called by His Name.
The election is like the Day of Atonement this year for the USA. It is a day the gavel is going to fall and it’s going to signify the direction of nation either back toward God or further away from Him. The choice that America makes through her voting is rendering her own verdict. God has given us the choice. It takes all of us to come together in order to change the direction. By turning back to God, we can have great, wild hope for restoration of our lives and our nation. We can read all the restoration promises to Israel with a certainty that God will do the same for us, but if we turn away from Him and stick to our current path, judgment is going to be seen and felt to a great degree. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. God disciplines those He loves. He loves Israel and He has let her suffer in order to bring her back to Himself. America will be no different. We can choose to humble ourselves or be humbled.
Let us remember on this Day of Atonement and for the remaining 28 days till election day that we are determining our future and that of our generations. We have a huge responsibility to choose wisely. Let us pray from a place of humility and seek His face for His outcome for our nation.
Today we welcome the new Hebrew year 5777, a time to dismantle 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,” that you are 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. 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!
God’s Fall Feast e-book is on sale now thru Wednesday (9/28) in the Kindle Countdown Deals. If you’re interested in taking a deeper look at what was on the Father’s heart when He appointed these Feasts for celebrating with His people, grab your copy today. You won’t be disappointed.
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. The Feast of Trumpets 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 come alive.
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, a solemn day of fasting before God for their sins. Two goats were used in the ritual, one was sacrificed to God, the other carried away the sins of the people as 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. What makes this day different from Passover, a time of personal repentance, is that it was a day of corporate repentance. The people repented together as a nation. This process is for the nations of the earth. God wants us to repent for our national sins and invite Him, the King of Kings, in to rule and reign.
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. It is a picture of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
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 set up these times to encourage us to keep drawing nearer to Him throughout every generation for all time. The last days that we live in are a long ‘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.
Let your heart be awakened to hear the sound of Heaven, the Shout of the King is among us!
The Feast of Trumpets begins at sundown on October 2nd this year.
The Hebrew year 5776 has begun! On the first day of the new year, I launched God’s Fall Feasts, The Pathway Into His Presence. This book details each of the three fall Feasts and provides insight into God’s calendar and timing. I’m praying that all who are longing for Jesus to return will take time to study these feasts and understand how they are a dress rehearsal for this glorious time. The Church at large must awaken to the truth about all the signs that God has given so that we will be ready to meet Jesus. Before He returns, there will be a great revival and harvest, but the Bible warns there will also be a great falling away. We must make ourselves ready to stand in the coming days, assured that we know what the Word says and that we will not be offended at things we don’t understand.
God’s Fall Feasts is in ebook format only at this time and is available on Amazon. Regular price is $4.99
And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2
Pentecost is a time to celebrate the provision that God has given. God is a giver, He delights in giving to His children. He gave the Torah to the Israelites as they gathered at Mount Sinai. When they arrived in their Promised Land, He was faithful to give them crops in abundance as He had promised. Then after Jesus was resurrected, He told His disciples to wait in the Upper Room for the promised Holy Spirit. It was on Pentecost that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God says Pentecost 2015 is a Memorial Day. There is something new going on this year. God chooses His special times to pour out in an unusual way according to the needs of that particular generation. He always pours out, but sometimes He pours out more. This is a year of more. We are a special generation, the end-times generation that needs more and more of Him. We have a special and unique call to prepare the earth and its people to receive the return of the Jesus, the Messiah. We are here to gather the multitudes to receive her King. We are here to bring restoration to a hurt, broken and dying world that desperately needs to know the Savior, Redeemer, and Deliverer. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us up so He can pour us out.
All over the earth, the Holy Spirit is pouring out. Doug Addison noted the many earthquakes that were rumbling in California last night. God said He would shake everything that can be shaken. Here in Texas, we received historic rainfall on our parched and dry land accompanied by great winds and threats of tornadoes all around the region. Oklahoma and much of the Midwest experienced great rains and flooding. Other areas are suffering from colder than normal temps. God is speaking through His creation and announcing that He is breaking His people out of captivity and setting us on a new path to do what He’s created us to do. Moves of God aren’t necessarily comfortable or convenient!
Have you been waiting a long time to move into your promise? Don’t be discouraged. You’ll notice that every time God has poured out His gifts in a unique way, it came with waiting period attached. It’s just part of the testing that comes along with a great outpouring. Sadly, the Israelites got anxious in their waiting and created a golden calf. Their impatience demonstrated their lack of faith. The disciples were gathered in fear in the Upper Room but they were faithful. They received their promise and left the place with the Word and the Spirit burning in their hearts. They were compelled to preach to those who were gathered outside and miracles were the result. Three thousand were saved that day.
God has promised the same and more to us. Many have waited faithfully. You’ve been tempted to figure out a way to make God’s promise manifest. You’ve been mocked and judged in the waiting. You’ve almost given up. But you didn’t! That’s the key. If you’re still standing, you qualify. God has seen your struggle and He is pleased with you. Your promise is about to be fulfilled. Miracles are going to occur suddenly, not just for you, but so that you can accomplish your God-given assignment.
The provision you need to carry on is on its way. Here in Austin, TX, Lake Travis has been drained by drought over the last 4 years. Last year it was down by 60 feet! Reports of it filling again were dismal. Recreation on the lake was over. But this spring, God has brought so much rain that it has been steadily filling up. After the torrential Pentecost downpour, the lake filled 7 ft. in just 12 hours. With runoff still adding to it and more rain in the forecast, we will be close to full stage very soon. Boat ramps are open for Memorial Day. Catch the wind, it’s time to sail!
You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. Lev 23:15-16
This 49-day period between Passover and Pentecost is a time of reflection, repentance and expectancy. We look forward to entering our Promised Land, but we also reflect on our past to make sure we have let go of everything that would hinder the fulfillment of our identity and calling. We repent and receive cleansing by the Blood of Jesus so that we are fully prepared to “enter in.” This is a time to press in to God and be assured of His sufficiency for us in every area of life. The story of the Israelite’s journey through the wilderness is our example. As you will recall, their journey was not easy. Truthfully, it brought out the worst in them. They grumbled and complained at every turn. We are to learn from their mistakes and see that the key to entering into our promise is to trust God no matter what things look like outwardly.
The story reveals the struggle of the ages, the struggle to believe God is good all the time and He only has our best interests in mind. God is not a heavenly Santa Claus that seeks to make us feel good. No, His purpose is and always was, to prepare us to be a pure spotless Bride for His Son, the Bridegroom. He said He made us in His image. The problem of our sin was dealt with on the Cross, but now we must be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” so that we live from our Spirit not from our soul. We must take to heart what it means to come out of Egypt, out of a world of bondage, and be conformed to Jesus and the pattern of heaven.
By day three of their journey in the desert, the Israelites were tired and thirsty and had all but forgotten the miracle of being delivered through the Red Sea. Their celebration and rejoicing on the banks of the sea was a distant memory. They were off to a rough start. When they left Egypt, God said He would not lead them by the way of the Philistines, even though that way was shorter. God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” God’s purpose in this was to prepare them to enter, and then possess, the Promised Land. The Promised Land was full of “enemies” and the Israelites would need to be strong enough not only to take the land but to keep it. He was testing their hearts to see if they were ready to fully submit to Him as their “King.” He said He would lead them, guide them, protect them and provide for them. Did they believe it? Their responses would reveal that they didn’t.
Do you believe it? God uses the wilderness to prepare His people to take dominion, to rule and reign. He doesn’t think small. He is not preparing us to just get by and keep the enemy at bay, but to completely defeat the enemy and establish a new Kingdom. The test is hard! Like them, many of us are tired and weary. We were tired before we began the journey and we keep asking, “Aren’t we there yet?” Daddy God’s response is, “We’re almost there, but we have a few more stops along the way.”
For the Israelites, their first stop was Marah, the place of bitterness. The people were thirsty and, at the sight of water, hope rose up. When they put the water to their lips, however, it was bitter and they couldn’t drink it. They grumbled against Moses and Moses cried out to God. God provided an unusual solution by telling Moses to throw a tree in the water to make it sweet. Then Father gave them instructions.
“If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.” Ex 15:25
God revealed Himself as their Healer. The Israelites had just witnessed the plagues in Egypt. Several of the plagues created infirmity and sickness in the people and their livestock. He was declaring that they would not have to worry about those things happening to them as long as they lived in fellowship with Him. The tree pointed to Jesus, the Healer, that hung on a tree to take away our sins and our infirmities. Jesus makes our life sweet! Then He led them to 12 springs and 70 date palm trees. What a refreshingly beautiful picture of God’s promise to take care of His people! The Father was not withholding from His people, but waiting to see how they would react. He had already planned good for them.
God is using your situation to reveal Himself in a new way to you. He wants to assure you that you will be safe from the storms of life if you are trusting Him in sweet fellowship. What you see happening around you is not your portion. If you are feeling the weariness of the journey today, remember what God has done. Remember that, in the spirit, you are already delivered from Egypt, you are on your way to your promise. The things that seem like setbacks are not there to cause you to doubt the promise. They are there to shake loose the wrong thoughts and mindsets that want to hold you captive. Let them go and choose a new response. Praise when you feel like pouting. Rejoice when you feel like ranting. Trust God’s heart for you when you feel tried. You are being prepared to rule and reign in your domain. There is a moment and there is a place for you! Just keep going….
I pray that the joy of Lord would be your strength today!