Hoshanah Harabbah – One Christian’s Perspective

Standard
Hoshanah Harabbah – One Christian’s Perspective

The seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) is referred to as Hoshanah (Hoshanah Harabbah, Great Hosanna, Hoshanna Rabbah or Festival of Willows). It was technically the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. On this day the people would go to the synagogue and take a bundle of willows and some palm branches with them. The Hoshanot, The Psalms that begin with the word hoshana, were recited each of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is from the word hoshana that the word hosanna. Hosanna is based on a Greek word of the New Testament that was derived from a combination of two Hebrew words of the Old Testament, pronounced yaw-shah, meaning to save or deliver, and naw, meaning pray. Originally intended as “Save/deliver us, I/we pray,” hosanna is now more often used as an exclamation of praise.

Psalm 118:25-26 NKJV
“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.”

In the center of the synagogue the elders would march around the ark that held their torah scrolls. The people would march around the ark waving the palm branches seven times, crying, “Hoshana.” After the seventh time, the palm branches are laid down and the willows are beaten. This symbolized the casting away of sin.

The beating of the willows is also associated with the Geshem, or rain prayers. This physical act points to what happens in the spiritual realm. Succoth is a time of harvest, so literal rain is very much needed for the crops.

Joel 2:23-29 NKJV
“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days”

A great spiritual harvest is also coming, so we must pray for the rain of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit creates a spiritual thirst, convinces the world of sin, draws the sinner to Christ, and empowers us to be a witness for Christ.

John 16:7-11 NJKV
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

Without the Holy Spirit the believer cannot be an effective witness, and there will not be a harvest of souls into the kingdom of God.

Advertisements

ANIMOSITY IN THE BODY

Standard
ANIMOSITY IN THE BODY

Animosity is a strong feeling of dislike, ill will, resentment, or an antagonistic attitude. Within the world and within the body of Christ, animosity runs rampant. Some causes of animosity between believers are differences in beliefs, personality clashes, conflicts, pride and contention. Whatever the cause, it does not come from God and we must guard against it.

When it comes to disagreeing with others in the true body of Christ, we should be able to do it without feelings of animosity. You can disagree with a person without having feelings of dislike or ill will toward them. You can disagree with a person and still love them. When it comes to what we believe we must focus on what God says in His Word. There will be times that you will have to agree to disagree and get on with your life and what God has called you to do.

There were times that the disciples disagreed with each other, but they never had animosity toward each other.

Example – Dispute Over Doctrine
Peter and Paul had a dispute over circumcision. Paul felt that Peter’s behavior and actions did not line up with his words concerning what he said about circumcision. Basically, Paul thought Peter was a hypocrite and that his actions could divide the church. Since Peter had a great spear of influence, Paul felt it necessary to address the issue with Peter.

Galatians 2:11-14 NKJV
“Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?”

We must remember that Peter and Paul were both handpicked by God to spread the gospel. They had different callings therefore they did not see everything the same way. Even after their disagreement they both continued to serve God and they both had fruitful ministries. They did not have animosity toward each other even though they disagreed with each other.

Example: Dispute Over People
Paul and Barnabas disagreed over John Mark. Paul was adamant concerning John Mark not going with them on their journey. When Paul, Barnabas and John Mark had been in Pamphylia, John Mark had deserted them. The contention between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark was great. Instead of making this an issue within the church they parted ways and worked separately. Each one continued to serve the Lord and be faithful to Him.

Acts 15:30-41 NKJV
“So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles. However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there. Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. “

There are times that believers will not agree on details or aspects of ministry. When this happens it is sometimes better to go your separate ways. We must note that Barnabas did not use his position, he was a representative at the Jerusalem council, to speak against Paul or to try to alienate Paul from ministry. They simply went their separate ways and continued in ministry. To often today when people disagree in ministry one of them will use their position or power to alienate the other from ministry or to force them out of ministry. The “if you disagree with me you are out” mentality (also know as the “My way or the highway” attitude) has no place in the body of Christ.

Luke 9:49-50 NKJV
“Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

In the above passage Jesus is responding to a statement made by John. John though just because they did not know the man and he was not part of their group that he should not be ministering. This attitude is still in the world today.

Sometimes when a person goes their separate way and continues to minister they are thought of as being out of God’s will. Even though someone may not be in your circle it does not mean that they should be stopped or that God can’t or won’t use them for advancing His kingdom.

Jesus did not say the man John objected to was in sin, or a false teacher or anything like that. Therefore, we can assume that John based his objection to the man solely on the fact that he was not part of their group. The same still goes on in the church at large today.

Acts 5:38-39 NKJV
“And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God.”

The counsel that Gamaliel gave the Jewish Sanhedrin lines up with the teachings of Jesus, regardless of the motive in his heart (Gamaliel) when he said it. We must guard against allowing animosity in our heart because in the end we could be fighting against God, which is a very scary thought.

Rocks, Giants and Forty Days – Lessons From David and Goliath

Standard
Rocks, Giants and Forty Days – Lessons From David and Goliath

Why did David take five stones and why smooth stones? What are smooth stones and how are they made? Why had the armies faced each other on opposite sides of the valley for forty days? How does the five smooth stones apply to our lives? How do they apply to the church body?

Short Version of David and Goliath
Jessie sent his son David to check on his brothers who were at war with the Philistine army. The Israelites and the Philistine army faced each other on opposite sides of a steep valley. Each day for forty days a giant, name Goliath, would stand in the valley and mock and challenge the Israelites. All of the Israelites were afraid of Goliath.

As David arrived at the battlefield he heard Goliath uttering negative things about God. Deep within David he was moved with a holy anger. He asked the men, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?” David knew that he could defeat this giant with God’s help so he asked for permission to fight Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:40 NKJV
“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.”

After receiving permission to fight, David gathered five smooth stones from a brook. With only his pocket of rocks and a slingshot, David ran down into the valley. He prepared for battle by placing one stone in his slingshot. As Goliath and David approached each other, Goliath mocked David. The taunts did not intimate David. He was confident that God would deliver him and the Israelites.

David slung the stone in his sling, hitting the giant between the eyes. The stone sunk into Goliath forehead causing him to fall to the ground. David quickly grabbed Goliath’s sword and cut off the giant’s head. Upon seeing Goliath dead the Philistine army fled. The Israelites chased and killed them, then plundered their camp.

Smooth Stones
Smooth stones are made from rocks rolling with the flow of water on the riverbed. When you see a smooth rock sitting in a river bed they’ve been transported over a long distance from their origin point. While on their journey they have be subjected to intense weathering, friction with sand, soil, water and collisions with other stones. All these things within the body of water erodes the sharp edges off the pebbles, rocks and boulders giving them a smooth shape.

1 Samuel 17:40 NKJV
“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.”

David chose stones that were smooth to use to defeat the giant, Goliath. When God has a job to do or wants to defeat a giant He also chooses smooth stones. Believers are like the rocks rolling with the flow of water on the riverbed. We are a work in process, ever changing as we flow in the river of God. In that river we are on a journey as we are being transported from our origin point to our destination. While on our journey we are subjected to elements of the world and to collisions with other believers. These things while we are in the river of God erodes the sharp edges off of us, giving them a smooth shape. Only after we are smoothed out will God reach down into His river and pull us out to defeat a giant.

If you’ve been beaten, bruised or hurt while in the river, keep on rolling and let go of the hurt because just maybe God will reach down and pull you out to slay a giant. People hurt pastors…pastors hurt people…people hurt people…pastors hurt pastors….that’s just a fact of life. Whatever you do don’t get out of the river. Let God continue to take you to your destination.

Luke 17:1 NKJV
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”

Jesus Himself said that it was impossible for there to be no offenses. He did not say for us to get out of the river because of it though. He said woe to him through whom they (offenses) do come. The word woe in the Greek is ouai and is more than just an expression of a feeling – it is a judgment. It is not our place to try to get back at someone because of an offense. God will take care of it, that’s not our job. If we keep our hands clean and our hearts pure God can use the collisions with other believers ( offenses) to mature, refine and strengthen us.

Sometimes the river you are rolling around in branches off to a different tributary. Just keep on rolling wherever the flow of the river of God takes you. People will change churches for many different reasons and that’s okay. In the natural, if a river never branched off the majority of the world would be dry and desolate. The same is true with the river of God.

Other Giants
Could the other four stones represent the other Philistine giants that the Israelites had to defeat? David and his mighty men killed giants named Ishbi-Benob, Saph (Sippai), and Lahmi, as well as an unnamed giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot.

2 Samuel 21:15-22 NKJV
“When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.” Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant. Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.”

Not everyone is called to fight the same giant. There are different anointings on each person and each church. Fight the giant God gives you. Don’t try to fight someone else’s giant.

Forty Days
For forty days the Israelites and the Philistine armies faced each other on opposite sides of a steep valley. Each and every day Goliath would stand in the valley and make fun of God and of them. His size and words were very intimating to the Israelites. As they stood there day in and day out listening to Goliath fear filled their hearts. Their actions showed that they had forgotten who they were (God’s chosen people) and His promises to them.

In the Bible many times the number forty represents a time of testing or judgment. A few examples are:
It rained for forty days and nights.
Moses was in the backside of the desert for forty years.
Moses was on Mount Sinai for forty days and nights.
Moses sent spies out to investigate the land God.
The Israelites were in desert forty years.
Jonah was warned for forty days that God was going to judge Nineveh.
Ezekiel laid on His right side for forty days to symbolize Judah’s sins.
Elijah went forty days without food or water
Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness for forty days.

Like the Israelites, when we go through a time of testing (especially if it is prolonged) uncertainty and fear will try to creep into our hearts. We too, can hear the voice of the enemy taunting us. During these time we must remember who we are – We are a child of God, the very Creator of the entire universe. We must also remember all the promises that God has given us.

When we are going through a time of testing God we can rest assured that God will send the help we need at the very moment we need it. However, that help often shows up in a form that we would not expect. It just might be someone who you can’t stand, or someone you have a bad attitude toward. It might be someone who brags a lot, talks a lot or a knows it all. You can never tell who God will use to bring deliverance to you.

1 Samuel 17:28 NKJV
“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

David’s brother Eliab, was not happy to see David. In fact, he was very angry with David. He definitely didn’t like it when David spoke up concerning the battle. Maybe Eliab thought David had disobeyed their father by leaving the sheep to come see what was going on. Or maybe he thought David was full of pride. And just maybe…Eliab didn’t like David because God had rejected him and had anointed David as the future king.

1 Samuel 16:4-7 NKJV
“So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 God is faithful and He will send help, but He will be the one to decide what form the help comes in. David knew that the battle was not theirs – it belonged to God. And that is exactly the type of person you need when you are going through a trial – someone who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the BATTLE BELONGS TO GOD!

Lessons From The Sukkah – One Christian’s Perspective

Standard
Lessons From The Sukkah – One Christian’s Perspective

You can learn many lessons from the sukkah. A few are:
(1) We are strangers in this land.
(2) This world is not our permanent home-it is only temporary.
(3) Any time God’s people become comfortable where they are at it spells problems.
(4) We must be able to move when God moves.
(5) We must not close God out.

1 Peter 2:11 NKJV
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul”

As people in a land temporary, we must not hold on to things too tightly. Things control and manipulate us. Things can become our gods (idols) when we begin to hold on to them too tightly. When things become your god, you turn away from the only true and living God. God gave the Feast of Tabernacle as a reminder to the people of who He is. We need to seek God’s kingdom, not earthly comfort. As we seek first the kingdom of God, our material needs are provided for by the Lord.

Luke 12:31 NKJV
“But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you”

When the Israelites were wanderers in the desert they all lived in tents. It did not matter if you were rich or poor. During sukkot all men are equal before God and one another. Each one sits in his flimsy sukkah and considers God, not his own status. The Feast of Tabernacles give a person an opportunity to reflect on God’s great love and majesty, and how they treat others. The tabernacle (sukkah) is a flimsy tent where you reflect on God’s majesty. We too are flimsy tabernacles that should reflect God’s majesty.

We must be able to move when God moves. We should not get so involved with things of the world that it prevents us from moving when God tells us to. The tabernacle (sukkah) is a flimsy structure and can be taken down and put up in a very short period of time. It is sensitive to the wind, just as we are to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

The sukkah is open to the heavens–it cannot be closed off. We too are to be open to God. We should never close God out of our lives.

Amos 9:11 NKJV
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins; and rebuild it as in the days of old”

The Tabernacle of David was a flimsy tent where glorious worship and fellowship with God took place. It may have been fragile and unsightly, but it enabled the Israelites to look out the door and see the glory of the Lord hovering over them.

Throughout Christian history, many great revivals were held in tents and brush arbors closely resembling the sukkah (tabernacle).

Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away”

When the sukkah is first put up it is fresh and green. As the days of the Feast of Tabernacles progresses, the leaves begin to dry. Soon they are falling as the wind blows. Our life here is short, but our hope is not in this world. God has provided a better place for the believers.

John 14:2-3 NKJV
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”

Inside of our houses it is easy to begin to feel permanent and self-sufficient and lose sight of our brief time on the earth. The sukkah also speaks of our frailty while we are here–we are but flesh. One day that will all change. Peter referred to our earthly bodies as tents. We live for only a short while and we must use every opportunity to encourage others toward Jesus Christ and toward His heavenly kingdom.

2 Peter 1:12-14 NKJV
“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me”

We should not get so involved with things of the world that it prevents us from moving when God tells us to. The sukkah is a flimsy structure and can be taken down and put up in a very short period of time. It is sensitive to the wind, just as we are to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

Feast of Tabernacles – One Christian’s Perspective

Standard
Feast of Tabernacles – One Christian’s Perspective

The Feast of Tabernacles is a week long autumn harvest festival. It is also known as: The Feast of Ingathering, The Feast of Booths, Sukkoth, Succoth, or Sukkot (pronounced as “Sue-coat”). In Biblical times this feast was the final and most important holiday of the year. Some Bible scholars believe The Feast of Tabernacles points to the millennium reign of Jesus Christ

Leviticus 23:39-43 NKJV
“Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

SUKKOTH
The word Sukkoth means booths, and refers to the temporary dwelling that the Jewish people were commanded to live in during this holiday, just as the Jewish people did in the wilderness after they left Egypt. This holiday commemorates the desert wanderings of the Jewish people on their way to the Promised Land. The people were caused to wander about through disobedience, but God was still with them. God still protected them and provided for them. The people were commanded to build temporary dwellings (tabernacles or booths) each year to live in during Sukkot, so that they could remember God’s presence and His faithfulness as a provider and protector. Today many Jewish people still build a sukkot for the festival. Almost any building material will do for the sides as long as they are not of a permanent nature. The top is loosely covered with branches so that you can still see the stars through parts of it. They are decorated with fruit, tinsel, paper chains, streamers and pictures of Bible stories. Meals are eaten in the sukkot, accompanied by singing and rejoicing. Some families sleep in their sukkot. It is a place to discuss and meditate on God’s goodness. God has redeemed us from a life of bondage to sin and brought us into His freedom in the Kingdom of God.

When the Israelites were wanderers in the desert they all lived in tents. It did not matter if you were rich or poor. During sukkot all men are equal before God and one another. Each one sits in his flimsy sukkah and considers God, not his own status. The Feast of Tabernacles gives a person an opportunity to reflect on God’s great love and majesty, and how they treat others. We too are flimsy tabernacles that should reflect God’s majesty.

CITRON AND LULAV
Sukkot is a season of joy and rejoicing. The men carry a citron and a lulav to the synagogue to wave as they rejoice before the Lord. The lulav has three branches tied together ( a palm, a willow, and a myrtle branch), and the citron is a citrus fruit that smells like a lemon. The lulav and the citron point to how our life should be spiritually.

The people took great care in picking out the citron and the items for the lulav. They were careful with what they offered to God. We too should be careful with the quality of the fruit that we are offering to God.

Palm – We should not be like the palm. It can only bears fruit (deeds / works). It is not fragrant (spiritual blessings). These people live by the letter of the law but they have no love or compassion, for themselves or others.

Myrtle – We should not be like the myrtle. It is only fragrant, but does not bear fruit. These people are sweet people, but their lives do not produce any real lasting fruit.

Willow – We should not be like the willow. It does not produce fruit or fragrance. These people are blown around by every wind of doctrine and never really know where they are spiritually.

Citron – We should be like the citron. It produces fruit and fragrance. These are God’s steadfast believers who live a balanced life in wisdom before God and man.

THIS IS NOT OUR HOME
You can learn many lessons from the sukkah. Five important lessons are:

(1) We are strangers in this land.

1 Peter 2:11 NKJV
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul”

Inside of our houses it is easy to begin to feel permanent and self-sufficient and lose sight of our brief time on the earth. The sukkah also speaks of our frailty while we are here–we are but flesh. One day that will all change. Peter referred to our earthly bodies as tents. We live for only a short while and we must use every opportunity to encourage others toward Jesus Christ and toward His heavenly kingdom.

2 Peter 1:12-14 NKJV
“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me”

(2) This world is not our permanent home – it is only temporary.
As people in a land temporary, we must not hold on to things too tightly. Things control and manipulate us. Things can become our gods ( idols) when we begin to hold on to them too tightly. When things become your god, you turn away from the only true and living God.

Our life here is short, but our hope is not in this world. God has provided a better place for the believers.

John 14:2-3 NKJV
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”

(3) God provides for our needs.
God gave the Feast of Tabernacle as a reminder to the people of who He is. We need to seek God’s kingdom, not earthly comfort. As we seek first the kingdom of God, our material needs are provided for by the Lord.

Luke 12:31 NKJV
“But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you”

(4) We must be able to move when God moves.
We should not get so involved with things of the world that it prevents us from moving when God tells us to. The tabernacle (sukkah) is a flimsy structure and can be taken down and put up in a very short period of time. It is sensitive to the wind, just as we are to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

(5) We must not close God out.
The sukkah is open to the heavens–it cannot be closed off. We too are to be open to God. We should never close God out of our lives.

Amos 9:11 NKJV
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down. And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins; and rebuild it as in the days of old”

The Tabernacle of David was a flimsy tent where glorious worship and fellowship with God took place. It may have been fragile and unsightly, but it enabled the Israelites to look out the door and see the glory of the Lord hovering over them. Throughout Christian history, many great revivals were held in tents and brush arbors closely resembling the sukkah (tabernacle).

When the sukkah is first put up it is fresh and green. As the days of the Feast of Tabernacles progresses, the leaves begin to dry. Soon they are falling as the wind blows.

Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away”

LIVING SACRIFICE
During this feast the people were to bring a sacrifice each day. Preparing the sacrifices was costly and time-consuming. It required much commitment to God. It required faith and obedience. Without faith and obedience the work of Jesus Christ on the cross is of no avail. It is not enough to know the facts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We must have a personal relationship with Him.

James 2:17 NKJV
“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”

We must personally act upon it by faith, then we will have the promised salvation. We have to receive it and live it.

Romans 12:1 NKJV
“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service”

Each of us has much that we can give to the Lord:
1. We can give our lives to Him in service.
2. We can use what God gives us (income, food, clothing, shelter) for use in His service.
3. We can use our talents for God’s service.
4. We can share the message of God’s love and salvation with others.
5. We can allow the fruit of the Spirit to overflow on others.

Sukkot is a time to consider that we are God’s creation. We are to gather up our personal, spiritual fruits of faith and celebrate by giving ourselves in God’s service. The message of Sukkot is total commitment to the Lord and His service.

THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST
At the end of the Great Tribulation Jesus will return to earth (Second Coming Of Christ). Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. He will defeat the antichrist and throw Satan into a bottomless pit for 1000 years. Jesus will reign over the earth for 1000 years (millennial reign).

Zechariah 14:4
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two…”

When the millennial reign is over, Satan will again be loosed on earth for a short period of time. He will gather an army to fight against Jesus. Jesus will defeat Satan and his army. The earth will be destroyed by fire and sinners will be judged (The Great White Throne Judgment). Those who died as sinners will be resurrected (removed from Hell / Hades), to stand before God to be judged for what they did (or did not do) while they were here on earth. Every person whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is described several times in the Bible. It is an eternal fire. It is a fire that never goes out. It is black and dark . There will be constant torment with no end – it will NEVER stop.

Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

After the final judgment, God promised a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus will give His millennial kingdom to God the Father, the Supreme Ruler. All Christians will live with God forever in a beautiful new universe. God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death, sickness or pain. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven and will shine with the glory of the Lord. The city will be made of gold and will be decorated with precious jewels.

Down the middle of the city will flow the river of life, and on each side of the river will grow trees of life. The throne of God will be in the city, and people will worship God forever and ever. Heaven will be far better than we can imagine. As we draw close to God here on earth, we can experience the same wonderful presence of God that we will experience when we stand before His throne.

1 Corinthians 15:25 NKJV
“Then the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”

Revelation 21:1-2 NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Rosh Hashanah – One Christian’s Perspective (2)

Standard
Rosh Hashanah – One Christian’s Perspective (2)

 

The Feast of the Trumpets is also known as Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the fall feasts. Rosh Hashana means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.“ It is the Jewish New Year. The Feast of Trumpets, points to the rapture , when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a bridegroom coming for His bride, the church. The feast of trumpets also points to spiritual warfare. As Christians we should put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the attacks of the enemy. Jesus is our armor because He defeated Satan.

Ephesians 6:11-13
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Some Bible scholars feel that this feast will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to catch away His Bride (rapture), the church to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven, then return to the earth seven years later on the Day of Atonement to establish His Kingdom beginning on the Feast of Tabernacles. The rapture is associated in scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Rosh Hashanah is about repentance, redemption, looking forward the coming of the Messiah.

A SIGN OF GOD’S GRACE
The blowing of the trumpets is a sign of the return of Christ and a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac.

Genesis 22:1-14 NKJV
“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Isaac is a type of foreshadowing of Christ. Just as Abraham offered his son on the altar, God offered His Son on Calvary’s altar.

Hebrews 11:17-19
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in figurative sense.”

SELF-EXAMINATION
Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) is observed in the Jewish month of Tishrei. The Feast of Trumpets requires a preparing of the spirit. Each person is to take time to look back in self-examination over the events and emotions of the previous year. To be part of the rapture of the church also requires a preparing of the spirit. You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to be the Bride of Christ.
Special prayers are recited during this festival. The prayers emphasize God’s mercy, benevolence and forgiveness. The prayers encourage us to reflect on our deeds. This is a time of offering forgiveness and seeking reconciliation with others. It is a time that people should “awake” and correct their ways.

SPECIAL SERVICES, OBSERVANCES, AND CUSTOMS
During the Feast of Trumpets many Jewish people attend special services where the Scriptures are read and songs of redemption are sung. Psalm 93-100 are believed to have been composed for Rosh Hashanah.
A popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol for a sweet new year. The following blessing is recited before the apples are eaten. “Blessed are You, O Lord our God. King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the tree.”
A custom still widely observed is the ceremony of Tashlikh. During the ceremony you throw bread crumbs into a river, lake, or large body of water. This symbolically represents your sins being cast away from you.

Micah 7:19 NKJV
“He will again have compassion on us, and subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

THE SHOFAR
The shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah. The end of the shofar is curved and bent as a reminder to bend in respect of God. The shofar sounds something like a trumpet. Trumpets were used in giving signals of war. Jesus is the commander of the army of God. Jesus came, the first time, to defeat the work of Satan and the sin in men’s hearts. Jesus was triumphant over the enemy.

Colossians 2:15 NKJV
“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

The shofar makes several different sounds, each one has a different meaning.
1. Tekiah-calls a man to search his heart, abandon his evil ways, and seek God’s forgiveness through repentance.
2. Shevarim- it represents the sorrow that a person feels when they realize that they are wrong (that they are a sinner), and they desire to change their ways (to repent).
3. Teruah-calls man to stand by the banner of the Lord.
4. Tekiah Gedolah- represents the final invitation to sincere repentance and atonement (forgiveness).

The sound of the shofar is meant to:
1. be a rousing call to repentance on the part of the individual.
2. awaken everyone to make them remember the One and Only Creator
3. remind the people to forsake evil ways
4. draw men back to God

REPENTANCE
Repentance is turning from sin to God; changing your mind concerning sin, God, and yourself. It means to “turn back” to God. Repentance, Teshuvah in Hebrew, literally means “turning back” to God. During this feast, the people examine their lives. They judge themselves. What have they done that God likes this past year? What have they done that God dislikes this past year? Prayers are offered up to God asking Him to write their name in the Book of Life.

Exodus 32:33 NKJV
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’”

Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. It was there that God gave him the ten commandments. While Moses was on the mountain, the people grew tired of waiting. They made themselves a golden calf to worship. The wrath of God grew against them. Moses asks that his name be “blotted out of the book” if God will not forgive the sins of the people.

Exodus 32:31-32 NKJV
“Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

Deut. 9:13-14 NKJV
“Furthermore the Lord spoke to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people and indeed they are a stiff-necked people. Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.”

Several places in the Bible make reference to sins being blotted out, to names being blotted out, and to names being written in the Book of Life.

Psalm 69:28 NKJV
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

2 Kings 14:27 NKJV
“And the Lord did not say the He would blot out the name of Israel from under the heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.”

Psalm 9:5 NKJV
“You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.”

Philippians 4:3 NKJV
“And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

Revelation 3:5 NKJV
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Revelation 20:12 NKJV
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

Revelation 20:15 NKJV
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 21:27 NKJV
“But there by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Our prayer should be that of David.

Psalms 51:1-2 NKJV
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”

REDEMPTION
Redemption is gaining back from another something that you have owned before, to buy back for the purpose of setting free from obligation, bondage, or danger. Redemption is salvation from sin, death, and the wrath of God by Christ’s sacrifice.

Psalms 107:2 NKJV
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”

John 8:36 NKJV
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Galatians 3:13 NKJV
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”).”

Romans 3:24 NKJV
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”

JESUS IS RETURNING
Jesus is returning for His bride, for all who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. This future event is sometimes referred to as the rapture. In order to participate in the rapture, you must repent, turn away from sin and toward God, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then you will be redeemed.
God loves every person and sent His Son so that everyone could be spared punishment. However, He cannot and will not allow sin to go unpunished. There is everlasting punishment for all who have not accepted God’s way of salvation. Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and their Savior will have everlasting life in a new heaven and new earth. They will live forever in the presence of God.

Revelation 20:15 NKJV
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 21:27 NKJV
“But there by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Has your name been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

Rosh Hashanah – One Christian’s Perspective (1)

Standard
Rosh Hashanah – One Christian’s Perspective (1)

Everything that God spoke to us through the Bible was meant to teach us Him and His truths. The feasts in the Old Testament represented the law, were shadows (pictures) of things to come, were visual aids/ teaching opportunities and were to point the people to Jesus.

Matthew 5:17 NKJV
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Romans 15:4 NKJV
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

The first of the fall feasts is Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashana means, literally, head of the year or first of the year. It is the Jewish New Year. It is also called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets, points to the rapture , when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a bridegroom coming for His bride, the church.
The feast of trumpets also points to spiritual warfare. As Christians we should put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the attacks of the enemy. Jesus is our armor because He defeated Satan.

Ephesians 6:11-13
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Some Bible scholars feel that this feast will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to catch away His Bride (rapture), the church to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven, then return to the earth seven years later on the Day of Atonement to establish His Kingdom beginning on the Feast of Tabernacles. The rapture is associated in scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

The blowing of the trumpets is a sign of the return of Christ and a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac.

Genesis 22:1-14 NKJV
“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Isaac is a type of foreshadowing of Christ. Just as Abraham offered his son on the alter, God offered His Son on Calvary’s alter.

Hebrews 11:17-19
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in figurative sense.”

Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) is observed in the Jewish month of Tishrei. The Feast of Trumpets requires a preparing of the spirit. Each person is to take time to look back in self-examination over the events and emotions of the previous year. To be part of the rapture of the church also requires a preparing of the spirit. You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to be the Bride of Christ.

Special prayers are recited during this festival. The prayers emphasize God’s mercy, benevolence and forgiveness. The prayers encourage us to reflect on our deeds. This is a time of offering forgiveness and seeking reconciliation with others. It is a time that people should awake and correct their ways.

During the Feast of Trumpets special services are held where the Scriptures are read and songs of redemption are sung. Psalm 93-100 are believed to have been composed for Rosh Hashanah.

The shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah. The end of the shofar is curved and bent as a reminder to bend in respect of God. The shofar sounds something like a trumpet. Trumpets were used in giving signals of war. Jesus is the commander of the army of God. Jesus came, the first time, to defeat the work of Satan and the sin in men’s hearts. Jesus was triumphant over the enemy.

Colossians 2:15 NKJV
“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

 

The shofar makes several different sounds, each one has a different meaning.
*Tekiah-calls a man to search his heart, abandon his evil ways, and seek God’s forgiveness through repentance.
*Shevarim- it represents the sorrow that a person feels when they realize that they are wrong (that they are a sinner), and they desire to change their ways (to repent).
*Teruah-calls man to stand by the banner of the Lord.
*Tekiah Gedolah- represents the final invitation to sincere repentance and atonement (forgiveness).

 

The sound of the shofar is meant to:
*be a rousing call to repentance on the part of the individual.
*awaken everyone to make them remember the One and Only Creator
*remind the people to forsake evil ways
*draw men back to God

A popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol for a sweet new year. The following blessing is recited before the apples are eaten:
“Blessed are You, O Lord our God. King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the tree.”

A custom still widely observed is the ceremony of Tashlikh. During the ceremony you throw bread crumbs into a river, lake, or large body of water. This symbolically represents your sins being cast away from you.

Micah 7:19 NKJV
“He will again have compassion on us, and subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Rosh Hashanah is about repentance, redemption, looking forward the coming of the Messiah, judgment, and creation.

I. Repentance
Repentance is turning from sin to God; changing your mind concerning sin, God, and yourself. It means to “turn back” to God. Repentance, Teshuvah in Hebrew, literally means turning back to God.

During this feast, the people examine their lives. They judge themselves.
What have they done that God likes this past year? What have they done that God dislikes this past year? Prayers are offered up to God asking Him to write their name in the Book of Life.

Exodus 32 : 33 NKJV
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’”

Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. It was there that God gave him the ten commandments. While Moses was on the mountain, the people grew tired of waiting. They made themselves a golden calf to worship. The wrath of God grew against them. Moses asks that his name be “blotted out of the book” if God will not forgive the sins of the people.

Exodus 32:31-32 NKJV
“Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

Deuteronomy  9:13-14 NKJV
“Furthermore the Lord spoke to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people and indeed they are a stiff-necked people. Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.”

Several places in the Bible make reference to sins being blotted out, to names being blotted out, and to names being written in the Book of Life.

Psalm 69:28 NKJV
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

2 Kings 14:27 NKJV
“And the Lord did not say the He would blot out the name of Israel from under the heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.”

Psalm 9:5 NKJV
“You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.”

Philippians 4:3 NKJV
“And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

Revelation 3:5 NKJV
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Revelation 20:12 NKJV
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

Revelation 20:15 NKJV
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 21:27 NKJV
“But there by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Our prayer should be that of David.

Psalms 51:1-2 NKJV
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”

 

II. Redemption
Redemption is gaining back from another something that you have owned before. To buy back for the purpose of setting free from obligation, bondage, or danger. Redemption is salvation from sin, death, and the wrath of God by Christ’s sacrifice.

Psalms 107:2 NKJV
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”

John 8:36 NKJV
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Galatians 3:13 NKJV
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”).”

Romans 3:24 NKJV
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”

 

III. Second Coming Of Christ
At the end of the Great Tribulation, Jesus will return to earth. Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. He will defeat the antichrist and throw Satan into a bottomless pit for 1000 years. Jesus will reign over the earth for 1000 years (millennial reign).

Zechariah 14:4a
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two….”

 

IV. Judgment – judge yourself so that God doesn’t have to.
When the millennial reign is over, Satan will again be loosed on earth for a short period of time. He will gather an army to fight against Christ. Christ will defeat this army and Satan. The earth will be destroyed by fire and sinners will be judged (Great White Throne Judgment). Those who died as sinners will be resurrected (removed from hell), to stand before God to be judged for what they did, or did not do, while they were here on earth.
Every person whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is described several times in the Bible. It is an eternal fire that never goes out. It is black and dark and the constant torment has no end, it never stops. The lake of fire will be a place of extreme suffering, where a person will always remember everything he has done or known, and will always regret not choosing to follow Jesus Christ.

Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 

V. Creation – one day God will create the world anew.
After the final judgment, God promised a new heaven and a new earth. Christ will give His millennial kingdom to God the Father, The Supreme Ruler.

1 Corinthians 15:24 NKJV
“Then the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”

All Christians will live with God forever in a beautiful new universe.
God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or pain.
The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven and will shine with the glory of God.

2 Peter 3:13 NKJV
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

The city will be made of gold and will be decorated with precious jewels. Down the middle of the city will flow the river of life, and on each side of the river will grow trees of life. The throne of God will be in the city, and people will worship God forever and ever.
Heaven will be far better than we can imagine. As we draw close to God here on earth, we can experience the same wonderful presence of God that we will experience when we stand before His throne.

Revelation 21:1-2 NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

 

Conclusion:
According to Acts chapter 15, we do not have to keep the laws of the feasts. But, by doing so we will gain a greater appreciation for God and all that He has done for us. When you participate in these special times you have a wonderful opportunity to point others to Jesus Christ and to teach about God’s plan of redemption.
As you study the fall feasts you will see prophetic events (the rapture of the church, the second coming of Christ and the millennium reign of Christ) in a new light.
In order to participate in the rapture, you must repent, turn away from sin and toward God, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then you will be redeemed. When the Messiah, Jesus Christ, comes again you will be changed and ready for the judgment, before the world is created anew.
God loves every person and sent His Son so that everyone could be spared punishment. However, He cannot and will not allow sin to go unpunished. There is everlasting punishment for all who have not accepted God’s way of salvation. Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and their Savior will have everlasting life in a new heaven and new earth. They will live forever in the presence of God.