Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Linger Under the Canopy






As the Feast of Tabernacles comes to a close, the Lord asks us to linger one more day--the eighth day of assembly or Shemini Atzeret. This indicates His great desire for intimacy and communion with those He loves. When I shared about how I decorated our library during Sukkot, I said that when I had finished draping the white sheer panels, it looked like a wedding canopy. There's a reason I did that.

Like the cloud by day that led God's people, the cloud also represented a chuppah or wedding canopy:

And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies ], a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defence [2646]. - Isaiah 4:5 KJV

The word 'defence', according to the Strong's Concordance note No. 2646, is the Hebrew word chuppah meaning 'canopy; chamber; divine protection'.

In a Jewish wedding, the couple is married under the chuppah signifying their new home together. The chuppah can be made from a piece of cloth or other material attached to four poles, or a prayer shawl (tallit) held over the couple by four family members or friends.

I believe it will be during Tabernacles that the Bride of Christ will marry the Bridegroom, Yahshua.

The word chuppah originally appears in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Joel 2:16; Psalms 19:5)...In biblical times, a couple consummated their marriage in a room. In Talmudic times, the room where the marriage was consummated was called the chuppah.(Excerpt from:
wikipedia.org)

Let us linger under the canopy of intimacy...He is the Beloved!














Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's Tent Time!



You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast... - Deuteronomy 16:13-14a NASB

Part of my daughter's homeschool experience was to learn of the seven feasts of the Lord as outlined in Leviticus 23. I don't think she will ever forget the year we did this, because I decided to make these lessons 'come alive' for Rachel.

The final autumn festival, Sukkot, was and is my favorite time. It follows on the heels of Yom Kippur (see The Holiest Day). The Feast of Sukkot is a holiday of rejoicing and celebration, for which the people were commanded to build a hut or sukkah and make it their home (sukkot is the plural).

Sukkot usually is translated as "Tabernacles" or "Booths". In 2 Samuel 11:11 KJV, it is also translated "Tents".

To illustrate this, I festooned our tiny library with white sheer panels. Using the small antique lamp that hung from the center of the ceiling, I tied the material to the chain the light hung from and secured the loose corners with tacks so that each panel billowed out forming what looked like the inside of a wedding canopy. Then I had Rachel help me decorate the room with fall leaves and dried flowers, and real and artificial fruits and vegetables.

I did this not because I believe we as followers of Yahshua, Jesus Christ, are obligated to do it, but to give my youngest child a picture to retain in her mind. I wanted her to be able to remember it. AND it was fun!

Sukkot was celebrated by God's people as a remembrance of their time in the wilderness after they left Egypt on their way to the Promised Land (see Leviticus 23:42). This reminded them of how they lived in temporary dwellings and how the Lord sustained them. The sukkah also reminds God's people of the clouds of glory that surrounded Israel during their wandering through the desert. God bestowed His divine protection on Israel. As it is witten in Exodus:


And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people. - Exodus 13:21-22 KJV

THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF SUKKOT IS TO SHOW HOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHER DESIRES TO LIVE AND DWELL WITH HIS PEOPLE BY MEANS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (Ruach HaKodesh).

Of course, for us to eternally abide with God, it was necessary for Him to send His only begotten Son who was born--guess when? Yup. During The Feast of Tabernacles!

In The Seven Festivals of the Messiah, Ed Chumney devotes an entire section to this subject entitled, "The Birth of Yeshua During Sukkot". You can go to his website to learn more (hebroots.org/chap9) or you can go to this blog site
here and watch 4 short videos that explain when Jesus was born.

These videos state that Tabernacles is an 8-day feast. The scripture says it is a 7-day feast, but that immediately following the last day of Sukkot is the eighth day of assembly or Shemini Atzeret.

"As it is written, 'On the eighth day you shall hold a solemn gathering (Atzeret); you shall not work at your occupations' (Numbers [Bamidbar] 29:35). The rabbis interpreted this verse to mean that G-d asks all who made a pilgrimmage for Sukkot to tarry (atzeret, which comes from the Hebrew root word meaning 'to hold back') with Him one additional day."
p. 187 The Seven Festivals of the Messiah, Ed Chumney

When I first learned of Christ's true birth date, it disheartened me because of what Christmas meant to me. But if you read my December blog articles (click on Christmas), you will see how our great God redeemed this winter celebration!

Zola Levitt, author of The Seven Feasts of Israel, also believed Christ was probably born during the Feast of Tabernacles: "We shall see Him, soon we pray, in that Feast of Trumpets, and we shall return with Him on the day of Atonement. But His complete birth cycle, as it were, will see Him crowned as the rightful King of this creaton, when that final Tabernacles is reached." (Excerpt from page 30)


In God's timetable, those who are 'in Christ' will be gathered together to meet the Lord during The Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) will be when the world will see The Messiah face to face when we return to earth with Christ.

Then The Feast of Sukkot ...will have its full prophetic accomplishment when the Lord comes with His Church to "tabernacle" or live in the middle of his people, after His return to the earth, to begin His one thousand-year reign. His great tabernacle will be situated in Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14: 16 -17).

This Feast of Tabernacles, seven years after the beginning of the Tribulation, will mark the official inauguration of the Millennium. The "last great day of the feast" the eighth day, represents what will happen at the end of the Millennium, at the time of the last Judgement, the "Great White Throne" which will precede the new creation, the new heavens and the new earth on which the New Jerusalem will come down.

Death will be no more. This earth's history will end and eternity with the Lord will begin.

We can see that the cycle of the seven feasts of the Lord given to the Jewish people has a great prophetic significance for the Church of the Lord Jesus, and for the whole world. (Excerpt from: seventheory.com)

Yahshua, our Jesus, is the Star we are all called to see with our (spiritual) eyes!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Holiest Day


In the timetable of the seven festivals of the Lord today is The Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur in the Hebrew language--the holiest of all days. According to Leviticus Chapter 16 on the holiest day of the year (the Day of Atonement), the holiest man in the world (the high priest of Israel) went into the holiest place in the world (the Holy of Holies). The high priest had to enter in order to make atonement for Israel.

"It is on Yom Kippur when the Great Trumpet, known in Hebrew as the Shofar HaGadol is blown...There are three primary shofarim (trumpets) to the Jewish people and these three trumpets are associated with specific days in the year. These three trumpets are: (a) 'The First Trump,' blown and associated with Shavuot (Pentecost); (b) 'The Last Trump,' blown and associated with Rosh HaShanah; (c) 'The Great Trump,' blown and associated with Yom Kippur."*

Let me share with you why this really is the holiest day. In the Old Testament "G-d issued a warning that no man could see His face and live (Exodus [Shemot] 33:20). But because on the Day of Atonement the priest could be in G-d's presence (Leviticus [Vayikra] 16:2), another term for the Day of Atonement is "face to face".*

Of course, Yahsuha, our Jesus, became The Great High Priest and The Atonement and presented Himself before God's throne on our behalf (Hebrews 4:14-16).

So this fall festival will be completed when we see Him 'face to face'.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away...
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. - 1 Corinthians 13:9,10,12 KJV

"The year of Jubilee was the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 25:9-11). This was a year and day of liberty. Yeshua came to preach this liberty at His first coming (Isaiah [Yeshayahu]61:1-3; Luke 4:17-21...The ultimate fulfillment of the year of Jubilee will take place at the second coming of Messiah. The earth will be redeemed and come into full and complete rest from the curse brought upon it by Adam's sin...So, the year of Jubilee and the day of Atonement speak of the fullness of the redemptive plan of G-d for man."*

*Quoted material from Edward Chumney, The Seven Festivals of the Messiah, Chapter 8. Website: http://www.hebroots.org/hhmi.html

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tribulation--The Time of Jacob's Trouble


We are in the last days of this year's Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets) season. One of the significant themes of Rosh HaShanah is 'the time of Jacob’s trouble (the birthpangs of the Messiah)'. Jacob refers to the natural-born of Israel.

As I have written before, it is significant that the United Nations is taking into consideration a bid of statehood for Palestinians which would, if approved, tear the city of Jerusalem in half and be in total opposition to almighty Yahweh's covenant with Israel. Could this be the precursor to 'the time of Jacob's trouble', the seven-year tribulation period? If so, where does the rapture or gathering of the saints fit in God's timetable?

In Matthew 24:8, Yahshua, our Jesus, refers to the tribulation as 'the beginning of sorrows'. The Greek word translated as 'sorrows' here is odin, which means "birthpangs". The birthpangs of the Messiah are also spoken of in Revelation 12:1-2 and Jeremiah 30:4-7:
And these [are] the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. - Jeremiah 30:4-7 KJV
"The interpretation here [of verse 7] is of the day of Babylon's overthrow. The application is of the yet future Great Tribulation of Matthew 24...Jacob's [trouble] Not Israel's, for it is the natural seed that is here in question, not the spiritual." [Note from page 1058 The Companion Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers.]

To clarify, those who believe on Yahshua, Jesus Christ as the Messiah, are grafted into spiritual Israel (see Romans 11:11 and 17) so that Jew and Gentile become one new man (Ephesians 2:12-16). Those who are natural born of the tribes of Israel who do not accept Jesus as Messiah are not of spiritual Israel.

...For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. - Romans 9:6-8 KJV

So the tribulation will be experienced by the natural born Israelites who have not yet accepted Yahshua as their Messiah.

This period of time will be Israel's most trying time ever... There shall be great tribulation in Israel such as never was since there was a nation (Daniel 12:1). It will also be a time when G-d will ultimately judge sin and all the nations on the earth. Through it, the nation of Israel will be physically saved from total destruction by G-d, and will, as a nation, accept Yeshua as the Messiah. "...But he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30:7)...[excerpt from page 113 of The Seven Festivals of the Messiah by Edward Chumney]
At this point in my life, I believe that what is referred to as the Great Tribulation is a separate time from what is referred to as 'the wrath'. I am not certain, however, as to when each of these actually begins. It would seem that the demarcation between the tribulation and the wrath would occur when the sixth seal is opened in Revelation 6:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood...
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? - Revelation 6:12 and 17 KJV
I've been a student of the Bible for over 30 years yet I don't claim to know it all. Many of my questions have been answered, but researching the Word of God has actually dug up different questions than I had before. I understand that most of the Bible is literal but some sections are metaphorical. I decided to look at Revelation Chapter 7 as a literal order of events.


And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. - Revelation 7:1 KJV
Revelation 7:3-8 goes on to record that 144,000 of the tribes of the children of Israel will be sealed. Then in verse 9--
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; - Revelation 7:9 KJV
This verse seems to be describing the raptured Body of Christ, those who have made Yahshua, Jesus, their Savior and Lord:
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. - Revelation 7:13-14 KJV
But verse 14 says that these 'came out of great tribulation'. The word 'out' in Revelation 7:14 is translated from the Greek word ek and denotes motion from the interior.
Does this mean the saints are caught up after the great tribulation begins or simulatneously? Is this great multitude who I think it is?
[Diagram from: biblestudysite.com]Just before this, the 144,000 children of Israel will be sealed. This is so they will be able to be kept alive during the Great Tribulation and come to the knowledge of Yahshua as their Messiah.

Another excerpt from The Seven Festivals of the Messiah reads: The festivals will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, tell you that the resurrection of the dead precedes the time of Jacob's trouble (also known as the tribulation). First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that the dead in Messiah will rise first, and that the catching away of the believers will immediately follow. [Ibid, page 129]
There are many interpretations of the Book of Revelation. This is where I am at in my understanding at this time. I am open to being convinced otherwise if anyone has Biblical evidence. One thing I am certain of is this, however--we are saved from the wrath to come! (See Romans 5:9.)

It is Rosh HaShanah--the gates of Heaven are open. Will the heavenly shofar call us Home or do we wait a little longer? What do you believe?













Jesus' Appearing and the Fall Festivals



Many of you who read my blog are already familiar with or knowledgeable of the seven festivals or feasts of the Lord as outlined in the 23rd Chapter of the Book of Leviticus. The word ‘feast’ is derived from the Hebrew word mo’ed meaning 'an appointed time'. It is a set time ordained by God—an appointment with humanity.

I find them fascinating and am continuing to learn more every time I delve into the topic. (For an overview of the feasts and how Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s plan for the world through them, click here.)

Currently, it is the season of Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) that culminates on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Rosh Hashanah is a festival rife with spiritual significance. Here is a list of themes associated with it:


1. Teshuvah (repentance)
2. Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, Birthday of the World)
3. Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast/Feast of Trumpets)
4. Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
5. HaMelech (the Coronation of the Messiah)
6. Yom HaZikkaron (the Day of Remembrance or memorial)
7. The time of Jacob’s trouble (the birthpangs of the Messiah)
8. The opening of the gates
9. Kiddushin/Nesu’in (the wedding ceremony)
10. The resurrection of the dead (rapture, natzal)
11. The last trump (shofar)
12. Yom Hakeseh (the hidden day)

Above information taken from The Seven Festivals of the Lord by Edward Chumney. His excellent website can be found at: http://www.hebroots.org/
The Feast of Trumpets is a fall festival that has not yet been fulfilled by the Messiah. When will it be fulfilled?

Simply put, it is when I Thessalonians 4:16-17 occurs:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 KJV

Edward Chumney, author of The Seven Festivals of the Lord, gives us more insight:

A theme and term associated with Rosh HaShanah in Hebrew is HaMelech (the King). …The shofar blown on Rosh HaShanah is known as the last trump…which is mentioned in First Thessalonians 4:16-17. At this time, the believers in the Messiah who are righteous…according to Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment) will escape the tribulation…on earth and will be taken to Heaven in the rapture (natzal) along with the righteous who had died before this time. [excerpt from page 107]

The gates of Heaven are opened on Rosh HaShanah so the righteous nation may enter (Isaiah 26:2; Psalm 118:19-20). Because the gates of Heaven are understood to be open on Rosh HaShanah, this is further evidence that the rapture of the believers in the Messiah Yeshua will take place on Rosh HaShanah. [excerpt from page 115]

Next I will share about the tribulation—the time of Jacob’s trouble.