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Preparing for Yom Kippur: 40 Days of Repentance, Part 1

Alignment, Fall FeastsHow would you characterize the month of August?  How about September?  Or January?  Just like the Gregorian calendar in which each month reminds us of the season and a mood, the Hebrew sages have determined the spiritual seasons of the year.

The Hebrew month of Elul is considered the start of the “Season of Repentance.”  This season extends 40 days, from Elul 1 to Tishrei 10, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  Read the rest of this page »

Preparing for Yom Kippur: 40 Days of Repentance, Part 2

Alignment, Fall FeastsIn Part 1, we looked at the Hebrew understanding of the month of Elul, which begins 40 days before Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement).  From the days of the Israelites in the wilderness, this period has emerged as a Season of Repentance, specifically repentance from idolatry, and originally the idolatrous Golden Calf.

For us it may not be a statue, figurine or carved image, but idolatry can take many forms.  Repentance is an ongoing process of discovery of sin in our lives and realignment with God’s ways.  In my own journey I’ve found four places where idolatry can hide and have watched God realign my life as I walk through each one.  We’ve discussed the first two: discontentment and following my own plans.  Let’s continue with the third:

Fear Read the rest of this page »

Feast of Trumpets: “A day of complete rest for remembering”

Blow the ShofarThis year the Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashanah) begins on the evening of September 25, 2014.  We put aside our work and gather with other believers, share a meal, blow our shofar, present an offering and worship just as the Lord commanded us in Leviticus 23.

But Leviticus 23:24 also tells us this is to be “a day of complete rest for remembering.”  Remembering what, it doesn’t say.  In fact none of the references to the Feast of Trumpets tell us what we’re remembering.

To get some perspective, let’s go back in time about 3,500 years when the observance of this day was first commanded.  Read the rest of this page »

Yom Kippur: Yeshua Already Paid for That

Crucifixion“…and forgive us our debts as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Matt. 6:12)
…”Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
Forgiveness:  Relinquishing our desire to punish another for their offenses. (Dr. Jerry Cook)

Easy to understand, hard to apply.  But Yom Kippur is all about forgiveness – God’s forgiveness of man, and man’s forgiveness of others.  Yom Kippur (translated the Day of Atonements) begins at sunset on October 4, 2014 and is the sixth in the seven Biblical Feasts.  It commemorates God’s annual forgiveness of the Israelites as a nation and God’s forgiveness of all through Yeshua’s death.  Likewise, it’s a time when we are to forgive others. Read the rest of this page »

Thank Goodness for The Feast of Tabernacles!

SukkahThe rising cost of living, wars and governments being overthrown, global financial instability, an increase in natural disasters and man-made dangers – the headlines bombard us.  The low level hum of a looming turmoil grows louder.  Thank goodness for The Feast of Tabernacles!

The Feast of Tabernacles, called Sukkot in Hebrew, is the seventh and last Feast in God’s holy days.  This year it takes place from sundown October 9 through sundown October 16, 2014.  It looks back to God’s unlimited provision for the Israelites as they sojourned 40 years in the wilderness.  During the seven days of Sukkot, we spend time in our flimsy, homemade shelters to remind us of our complete dependence on God.  Sukkot also looks forward to the Millennial Age where we will “tabernacle” with Yeshua eternally.

But there’s an often overlooked aspect to this Feast.  Read the rest of this page »

The Feasts of the Lord: Going Through the Motions

Spring FeastsPassover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles – lots of Feasts, each with different instructions for observing them. Sometimes when we’re just starting out observing the Feasts, or approach a new season of Feasts, we can easily think of all the instructions and do’s and don’ts, and forget the richness of each Feast.  It can feel – and in fact become – like we’re just going through the motions.

I can imagine that’s how the Hebrews must have felt when they heard the instructions for the first time as well.  Exodus 12 is 50 verses full of instructions for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  And the instructions are not exactly intuitive or logical.  What were they to make of killing a lamb and smearing its blood on their door frames?  Had that ever saved them from death before?  Was this a common practice?  And what’s so bad about leavened bread?  What does that have to do with saving their firstborns? Read the rest of this page »

Preparing to Enter Our Promised Land – Part 2

Image271In Numbers 1-2 God appoints leaders from each tribe of the Israelites, counts the men for military battle and organizes them as to how they are to camp and move.  By Numbers 10 they are moving toward the Promised Land.  These are our bookends in this study.  Everything within this 20-day period can be considered the last minute instructions before the Israelites can move forward.

In Part 1, we referenced Hebrews 3-4, in which Paul points out,

“it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today.’ ”  … “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;”

The last minute preparations in how to enter our Sabbath rest in these last days are the same for us as they were for the Israelites in Numbers 1-10.  These are our instructions for what is required in order for God to fulfill His promises to us. Read the rest of this page »

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