October 13, 2014 15:56 PM
Before beginning my new series I’d like to reprint this blog from last year about the Feast of Tabernacles, because once again my church is celebrating it. I love this feast. Every year our church celebrates it for eight days and nights. We are now in the fifth day. As I wrote last year, the Feast of Tabernacles is one of seven feasts of the Lord. It commemorates the time when the Jews wandered in the wilderness for forty years and literally tabernacled with God. But it’s so much more. It speaks prophetically of a time when Jesus will return and tabernacle with us here on earth, and set up His thousand year reign. Of course the Spirit of God already tabernacles with all true believers, but the Feast references the physical return of our Lord.
For eight days and nights we praise and worship the Lord. Dancers whirl around with their colored flags, as breathtakingly beautiful banners are paraded through the sanctuary declaring Jesus as “Soon Coming King,” “Lord of Lords,” and “Lion of Judah” making it easy to envision the splendor, or at least a small part of the splendor and pageantry and glory that will accompany the event that all Christendom awaits. And when I glimpse it, it creates such a longing in my heart it actually hurts. Scripture tells us that all creation groans for His return (Romans 8:22-23). I think all our hearts have groaned these past several days. I could see it on the faces around me. They groaned because there was such a sweet presence of the Lord in the sanctuary. And while it was wonderful, we knew it was but a foretaste of things to come, a foretaste when once again God will tabernacle with man, and we would have to wait. I was never good at waiting.
But the Feast does something else for me. It reminds me of the here and now, and how important it is to live life fully for the Lord. He is to be our number one priority followed closely by the people He has placed in our lives. He has a plan and purpose for each of us, and we have only one lifetime to get it right. We need to take this seriously because everyday we don’t, is a lost day.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God . . . And he had on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11-16).
Oh, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Until next time,
September 23, 2014 16:17 PM
Ever heard of a Shemitah? Me either. That is, not until I listened to Jonathan Cahn, of The Harbinger fame, do a teaching on the “Mystery of the Shemitah”. Cahn spoke about how the Shemitah is an ancient Biblical year of the Sabbath, a time of blessing or judgment, depending upon how a person or even a nation honored or dishonored God. It is a seven year cycle, every seventh year being the Shemitah or Sabbath year. It was during a Shemitah year (2001) that the twin towers in NYC were destroyed. Seven years later (2008), according to the biblical Hebrew calendar and another Shemitah, we experienced a global economic crisis.
Now here we are facing another Shemitah year which will begin in just two days, September 25, 2014, and end September 13, 2015. During this time another curiosity will be added, two blood moons on Jewish Feast Days. In scripture these feasts are not called Jewish feasts but Feasts of the LORD. It is unusual to have four blood moons in a row that fall on Feasts days. One of the blood moons occurred five months ago (April 2014), another will take place in October 2015. The remaining two blood moons will actually take place during the Shemitah. Why is that important?
First, let’s consider the Feasts of the Lord. There are seven in all, and all prophetic. The first three have been fulfilled: 1) Passover = the death of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb 2) Unleavened Bread = the burial of Jesus and 3) First Fruits = the resurrection of Jesus. The fourth feast, Pentecost, is currently playing out. It began in an upper room when the Holy Spirit fell upon Jesus’ frightened disciples. It continues today as the “church age” but in the not too distant future this age will end. God is a God of order. His word is sure. His feasts were designed to give us an understanding of His future plans. So when the “church age” is finally over what’s next? We can know by understanding the three remaining feasts: Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles.
Many believe the Feast of Trumpets is when Jesus will return for his bride, the church. Millions and millions of people will vanish in an instant and the “church age” will be over. Then comes Atonement, the time of great tribulation; a time when the earth and all her inhabitants will be sorely tried and tested. And God’s judgment will be harsh. Then finally, Tabernacles, when Jesus returns to earth and sets up His kingdom, and thereby tabernacles with man.
So what does all this have to do with the Shemitah? Maybe nothing. But scripture tells us that God gave us the sun and moon and seasons (feasts) as signs. The next year, from September 2014 to September 2015 is already full of signs. What they foretell we will know soon enough. There is no point in guessing here. But this I do know, this is no time to be on the fence when it comes to our relationship with God. We need to fully commit and live our lives for Him.
Until next time,
July 22, 2013 15:03 PM
All His radical pronouncements made Jesus a marked man. A death sentence now hung over his head (John 7:1-53). It was inevitable. So when the Feast of Tabernacles draws near and his unbelieving kin, his natural brothers, tell Him to go into Judea, Jesus answers with, “My time is not yet come.” Like so often is the case, His words have a double meaning. He is proclaiming that it’s not yet time to lay down His life as the lamb of sacrifice nor is it time to become King, and tabernacle with man. So He stayed behind in Galilee. That is until the middle of Tabernacles when He went to Jerusalem secretly then began teaching in the Temple.
But His teachings only managed to arouse more scorn and controversy. “He deceives the people!” some say. While others claim He’s “possessed by a demon.” To which Jesus responds, “My teaching is not My own, but His Who sent Me.” Then on the final and most important day of the feast (of Tabernacles) Jesus stands and cries in a loud voice, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!” (John 7:37) A discussion breaks out as the crowd wonders if Jesus could really be the Messiah. “No one knows where the Messiah will come from,” some claim, showing their lack of knowledge of God’s word. Others who know the scriptures say, “Does the Messiah come out of Galilee? Does not the scripture tell us that the Christ (Messiah) will come from the offspring of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” But it appears their knowledge is useless for they can’t apply it to Jesus. They had not taken the time to really learn Who He was. For one thing, if they had they would have known Jesus didn’t come from Galilee. And, thankfully, there’s a third group who openly proclaims, “This is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One!” All were Jews, but very different spiritually. And don’t you know we have these same three groups in our Church today? First there are those who have little real knowledge of God’s word. Then comes the “religious types” who know the Bible but fail to apply it to their lives, to live it. And finally, those who know God’s word and follow it.
Ok, what about the Feast of Tabernacles? What do those two references about that feast in John 7:1-53 tell us? First off, the Feast of Tabernacle is the last of seven feasts of Israel, or feasts of the Lord. These seven feasts provide a picture of prophetic events spanning the seven thousand years which many Bible scholars believe encompass all of human history. In the middle of the seven feasts or feast number four, is Pentecost. Jesus’ appearing in the middle of the “feast” is a foreshadowing of Pentecost and the new dispensation of grace. It literally speaks of His soon coming death and the appearance of the Holy Spirit who would herald an entirely new eon, a new era. Grace would replace law. And when Jesus rose up and proclaimed Himself living water on the “final day” He was also referring to the Holy Spirit who would come at Pentecost. It’s no accident that this took place on the last day or Great Day, the culmination of Beit HaShoevah, the ritual of the water pouring where the high priest passed through the Water Gate with his golden pitcher to collect water from the pool of Siloam then used it to cleanse the Temple altar. Jesus was soon to cleanse humanity by pouring out His blood upon God’s heavenly altar and herald in the Age of Grace where the Holy Spirit would be “living water,” the ultimate living water, for all those who thirst after righteousness.
But here’s the best part. Jesus is no longer saying “my time is not yet come.” He has fulfilled part of the prophecy of the Feast of Tabernacles. His blood has cleansed the heavenly altar and His Holy Spirit is the very fountain of living water. We can all experience Jesus as both our lamb sacrifice and as our living water through the Holy Spirit. And even though Jesus has yet to appear on earth as King, and tabernacle with us physically—that will occur during the millennial reign—He will tabernacle with each of us individually if we ask Him. So His time has come. And it’s the right time for all three groups. The right time to truly learn God’s word; the right time to apply it, to live it; and the right time to tabernacle with Jesus, and make Him King over our lives.
Until next time,