I was awakened in the night by the pleasant patter of steady rain on the metal roof. This morning as the rain continues, half-heartedly, there are mysterious, Brigadoon- like clouds clinging to the tree tops.
The geese and hummingbirds have headed south and the last echoing notes have faded away from the annual Wine and Music festival. Miles upon miles of Aspens have turned their special, glorious shade of gold: instinctively signaling the Lake City summer residents and tourists, like lemmings to the sea,
that it is time to head back to Texas and Oklahoma. Our iridescent Alpine sunlight has taken on that peculiar, indescribable quality that tells us that summer is well over. And, while our days here are still warm, the nights are marvelous: crisp and lovely for sleeping. Fall has come to the San Juan’s.
Here in the mountains, these following brief weeks afford a small window of opportunity that comes with a nervous rush of activity and preparation before the snow flies. At home we are finishing some backyard building projects and there is ever a struggle to get things winterized and put away where they won’t sit in the snow or freeze to the ground.
I have procrastinated till the last moments to finish staining all the wooden furniture and benches out around the fire pit. There is also that distant buzz of activity as grandchildren gear up and go back to school, and a recurring mental red warning light that Christmas is just around the corner so I had best begin to plan for all that! There is much to do before, suddenly, we can’t get anything done!
I mentioned in post, Rain on Me, we are also entering the season of the Fall Feasts. Growing up as a nice, Southern Baptist girl I never really heard much about these Feasts that are recorded in Numbers 29 and Leviticus 23 and referenced all thru the scripture: old and new. I think it is common that Protestants and Catholics largely have ignored the Feasts with the possible exception of Passover which has been partially edited into our sacrament of Communion/ The Lord’s Supper and of the Feast of Pentecost which is linked to the powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And, since this prophetic event opens a whole can of uncomfortable worms for those who don’t like to think that the Lord may still be working in signs wonders and miracles and the gifts of the spirit: these are passages that are largely glossed over as quickly as possible, explained away or preached as a purely historic event. Additionally, somewhere along the line in our Christian history it became fashionable,and anti-Semitic, to ignore the fact that Jesus was very Jewish, disavow our Hebrew Roots and begin a doctrine that essentially implies that the Old Testament was supplanted by the New and we, believers in Christ, supplanted the Jew… and as such, the “old” details don’t really need to be studied or kept. Don’t you believe it!
It is probably for just these reasons that I have been criticized from time to time for teaching and lingering too long in these Old Testament passages. Somehow, the Law and the Prophets have become the ” red-headed step child” of Bible Study. We know it’s there and we learn all the good stories in Sunday School as kids but that should really be enough, right? However, it is my opinion that if you don’t really understand your Hebrew Heritage then you are never really going to understand the full Technicolor import of the New Testament. To a much lesser extent, it’s sort of like watching The Wizard of Oz in black and white on our family RCA as a kid. I understood that it was a good movie but, I didn’t really get the real impact of the whole drama until I went across the way and watched it at Sue Tilley’s house on their new color TV. It was suddenly a much, much richer experience!
But, scripture tells us that these are NOT Jewish or Hebrew feasts or Gentile Feasts although, admittedly, the Lord is spelling things out to Moses in Leviticus 23:2. In this passage The Lord calls them His Feasts: “The Feasts of the Lord”. (The Hebrew word here for Feast makes us think of food but the word here implies Divine Appointment). Further, the Lord makes another point of how “keeping the Sabbath”( the 7th day) is so important and then slides right into outlining all 7 of the feasts. He tells Moses in Leviticus 23:4,31,37, 41 that these are to be kept forever, from generation to generation, a holy convocation, a permanent statute for the generations. Why? What’s the big deal?
The big deal is that these 7 Feasts are all pictures, signs and signals and dress rehearsals for the Messiah! Jesus died on Passover, He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread and rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits. All 3 Spring Feasts were all fulfilled when Jesus came the first time. He came then as a suffering servant and perfect Sacrificial Lamb prophesied in Isaiah 53. Fifty days later, The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit came in a Mighty Rushing Wind and the evidence of speaking in tongues. Flames of fire were seen flickering over the head of each of the 120 in that upper room. Yes, actual, real signs and wonders!! There was a tremendous crowd present for this event because The Lord had required that All Hebrew men were to report to the Temple for specific feasts 3 times a year without fail: 1) The Feast of Passover 2) The Feast of Pentecost 3) The Feast of Tabernacles. The Lord God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob -Every Year-was lighting a huge signal fire, painting a big picture, waving banners and surrounding it with flashing lights : He did not want any of his children to miss any of His Divine Appointments. He did not want anyone to miss the arrival of the Messiah! It is a Big Big Deal so don’t miss the point, here!
There was a really, really large group of devout Hebrew folks assembled there that day. You can be sure that everybody was talking about this, in great detail for a long, long time. It was only seven weeks and one day since Jesus had been Crucified on the Feast of Passover and that was still HUGE news. Let us not forget that everybody had either heard of or witnessed his incredible miracles. They knew who he was and who he claimed to be- The Messiah! Everybody had witnessed the multiple dust-ups between Jesus and the Religious guys at the temple. This was Big news, especially in Jerusalem! And don’t forget the accompanying full eclipse, huge earthquake and lots of folks rising from the dead and testifying about Jesus being Lord. Not to mention His own resurrection from the dead!! EVERYBODY was talking about this. Re-read Acts 2 with this framework in mind. Once the Holy Spirit hit Peter he was never the same, none of them were. The Person of the Holy Spirit is God here on Earth today. Don’t ever believe that the The Baptism of the Holy Spirit isn’t necessary or that it does not make a HUGE difference in your ministry, on the mission field or your personal spiritual life.
The last 3 Feasts all drop into the 7th month of the Hebrew year. We anticipate, based on past performance, that the Second Coming of Jesus will all be fulfilled during these Fall Feasts. Is it coincidental that the 7th month, Tishri, is Fruit harvest time? 1) Feast of Trumpets 2) Yom Kippur 3) Feast of Tabernacles. Are you noticing that with the Lord the number 7 turns up a lot? Follow the 7’s: Genesis to Revelation, the number 7 is the number of Divine perfection, of His Rest and Spiritual Completion.
The upcoming Feast of Trumpets begins at Sunset on Thursday, Sept 24th. It is alternately called the Memorial of Blowing or Day of Blowing. Other than blowing the horns all day 99 times and then commencing with a final,long Tekiah Blast of the Shofar. we don’t have much other information on this Feast. The Shofar blowing is the point. The MEMORIAL of blowing. ” The King is Coming!”
The big hoop-te-doo, unmistakeable blast for the ensuing Ten Days of Awe until we reach Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and the suspension of any sacrificial offerings there, this feast has largely just been relegated to the celebration of Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.
It is very interesting to note that this is the only Feast that begins on the new moon or first day of any of the Hebrew months. Therefore, Trumpets was known as the day that no one knew the day or the hour! Watchers on the wall would keep watch in all sorts of weather, for the first peek of the slivery new moon, then run tell the High Priest who would then proclaim that the next morning they would begin the “holy convocation” This brings new meaning, does it not, to Jesus’ statement in Matt 24:36 that “no one knows the day or the hour of my return.” Based on this Hebrew roots information I would say it looks like Jesus plans to return on some future Feast of Trumpets!
I believe I mentioned some of this in the past few posts but it is interesting and important enough to repeat. The shofar, made of a rams horn, was an instrument that was blown for 3 purposes. To call the folks to an assembly, to call the folks to battle, and for the coronation of the new King. Since we have established that the Fall Feasts will be fulfilled on Jesus’ Second Coming, it is on this visit He is arriving in Power, the King of Kings! With this last long blast of the shofar, Jesus will be assembling the folks, calling them to battle and announcing the arrival of the new King! There may be some differences of opinion on when the rapture will occur during the prophetic 70th week of Daniel. However, I submit that without a full understanding of the Hebrew Feasts, without being on The Lords timetable and Hebrew Calendar you will not understand the perfectly orchestrated timing of God. It is generally assumed amidst Christian students of Hebrew Roots and Messianic Rabbi’s that the Feast of Trumpets is a depiction and actual date of the Rapture of the Believers …When you see “a last trump” described in scripture….Think Feast of Trumpets. Sequentially followed by the Day of Atonement….Judgment day. Feast of Tabernacles follows with Jesus setting up his Earthly Kingdom to live or “tabernacle” with us. Full circle. Happy Ending. Please be ready when the Shofar Blows! Next Time: Yom Kippur
* Authors note: This is a big, important topic and a deep, enriching one which can only be skimmed in a post like this one. I can only hope to whet your appetite for more. For additional reading and study, I recommend Messianic Rabbi Mark Biltz’s: The Feasts of the Lord. He has a great DVD series with additional workbooks. He also has a great wealth of info on the Hebrew Roots as well as the Blood Moons which I have recommended for your library, as well. You can access his material on Amazon or go to his website at: www.elshaddaiministries.us. I also think everybody needs Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal’s book, The Feasts of the Lord: God’s prophetic calendar from Calvary to the Kingdom.