Ancient Paths - GOD'S Seasons/Festivals

GOD'S (YHWH) SEASONS/FESTIVALS

If you’ve never really looked at the Jewish festivals, I believe you’ll find some of what I’m going to share with you pretty amazing….I hope you do….God’s festivals are loaded with symbolism and prophetic insight…they have helped make what even Bible scholars might consider complex…very easy for me to understand!  Especially the fall festivals and the special season of Return and repentance called Teshuvah that we'll be looking in detail. 

Listen to what the Amplified version of Psalm 89 says regarding the Jewish festivals:

 15 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are the people who know the joyful sound [who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts]; they walk, O Lord, in the light and favor of Your countenance! 

16 In Your name they rejoice all the day, and in Your righteousness they are exalted.

17 For You are the glory of their strength [their proud adornment], and by Your favor our horn is exalted and we walk with uplifted faces!

You can access a copy of the actual Powerpoint slides of this lesson at:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/2p8l1pi0omq8txm/God%27s%20Seasons%2C%20God%27s%20Festivals.pptx

GOD'S SEASONS/FESTIVALS

•FESTIVAL:  CHAGAG (in Hebrew) – The Hebrew word chag, which means a "festival,"³  is derived from the Hebrew root word chagag, which means "to move in a circle, to march in a sacred procession, to celebrate, dance, to hold a solemn feast or holiday."
 
•They are Seasons that the Lord has given to His people to help prepare us (His Bride) to meet Him (our heavenly Bridegroom)
–It’s all about relationship
–They help us get in tune with Him

 Think of it like this – our LORD has set his festivals or seasons in motion on a yearly cycle, each having their own prophetic message specifically for his people.  it’s my very humble opinion that he wants his people to step, march, dance to the same seasonal tempo and rhythym that he has set in motion  ….it’s part of getting in tune with his plan for our lives…it’s part of our preparation as his heavenly bride!

GOD'S SEASONS/FESTIVALS

•In Leviticus 23:2 it is written, "......the Feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations...." The Hebrew term translated as convocation in Leviticus (Vayikra) 23:2,4 is miqra, which means "a rehearsal.
•FEAST – DERIVED FROM HEBREW WORD MO’ED WHICH MEANS – AN APPOINTMENT; A SEASON; CYCLE OR SET TIME
•ECCLES 3:1 – TO EVERY THING THERE IS A SEASON; A TIME FOR EVERY PURPOSE UNDER HEAVEN!
•HIS FEASTS TEACH ABOUT THOSE SEASONS….HIS SEASONS! BECAUSE THEY ARE PROPHETIC – THEY TEACH US ABOUT SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN GOD’S PLAN FOR MANKIND

- Note that this scripture says these are the “Feasts of the lord”!  They are his holy days, his seasons…they didn’t come from Babylon or Egypt or from anywhere else in the world…he established them to teach us something about himself and his relationship with his bride.

Rehearsal – any educator worth their salt will tell you that “repetition” always enhances learning….Until it becomes are of you!

 -When an orchestra is preparing for a concert, they must go thru one rehearsal after another…making sure every note is perfect, the  timing is accurate and all the instruments are precisely in line with the conductor…all in preparation for that day of the actual concert arrives!  What might have been the result had they not rehearsed?  Musicians may have started at different times, instruments may not have been in tune, the timing may have been off….In short, it might have been a disaster.

 -And so it is with these appointment times that the Lord has established with mankind.  He has given us, a specific season of time to rehearse in preparation for that day when he fulfills that appt He’s established with mankind. 

 - Many of us our late but GOD is always on time!

GOD'S SEASONS/FESTIVALS

•A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words –the Festivals are GOD’s pictures that point to Yeshua
– Like carrying His Picture wherever we go –not for Salvation but to remind us of what He’s done for us
• God’s festivals are like Visual Aides that help us understand key events in His plan of redemption and His future Kingdom on earth.
– His festivals are like Building blocks vs English theory lesson

All teachers from time to time will use object lessons, visual aides or demonstration to help illustrate what they’re trying to get across….pictures, illustrations help provide a simplified view into what might otherwise be hard to understand subjects

 The festivals are God’s visual aides the Lord uses to teach us about significant truths contained in his word….things like:  his death, burial and resurrection, the plan of salvation, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, his first and second coming, his kingdom on earth…the tribulation period, judgement, the catching away of his bride….

 You wouldn’t give a first grader an English grammer book and expect them to make sense of it.  you start with the letters of the alphabet and build from there.

 They are pictures, or simple illustrations, consisting of rituals and customs that the Jews can celebrate year to year that help them understand and remember the seasons and prophecies GOD has given them to teach them about Messiah

Rich in Symbols, nuggets of prophecy contained within the customs and activities surrounding the special days...and Jesus (Yeshua) is in the midst of them!

In order to understand GOD's festivals and the seasons of the LORD, we need to have a basic understanding of the Hebrew calendar.

From Gen 1 to Ex 12 – the calendar that is used in the scriptures is called the Civil calendar….from Ex 12 on, the religious calendar is used.

 Why the 2 calendars?  Think of it like this:  if you’ve been born again, you have two birthdays….one to commemorate when you born physically and one when you were born spiritually.  So on the Civil calendar Tishri is commemorates the Birthday of the World (when and Adam and Eve were created). The month of Nisan on the religious calendar represents spiritual birth.  The religious calendar was given by God mainly to establish the times of the festivals, His appt times with mankind.

 Gen 1:14…; Ps 104:19….He appointed the moon for seasons, the sun knows his going down.  Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon…   Let’s go a little deeper here….we talked about the relationship between a husband and a wife…how they need to get in tune with each other for intimacy.  It’s been said that the sun represents the Lord as the source of all life, providing light and warmth for all living things….and that the moon since it reflects the sun’s light is a type of the church, the bride of Christ…if that’s the case, it becomes even more clear how the Sun and moon work in perfect harmony for signs and seasons…the Lord’s appointed times are established by the cycles of the moon representative of His Bride

 Notice that the first month (Tishri) on the Civil Calendar is the 7th month of the Religious calendar and visa versa (Nisan)….it all fits perfectly together!

 

The festivals are types and shadows of events to come….God has established patterns and seasons here that will not change!

 As we look at these festival times, here is what we really need to understand…the Spring festivals which represent His first coming, have all been fulfilled to The day! They were appts that God kept with his people.

 The fall festivals which represent his second coming, on the other hand, have not been fulfilled. There is no reason to believe he will not fulfill these festivals the same way he did the spring festivals…because they are set times!

 - Passover – 14th of Nissan….Same day, same hour they led the lamb into the temple to be sacrificed…Yeshua hung on a cross because He was the lamb slain for the sins of the world

Jesus (Yeshua) arose 3 days later on 17 Nissan...also on that same day earlier in Genesis – the Bible said the Ark rested on Mt Ararat or came up out of the water on 17th day of the seventh month (in civil calendar); the children of Israel came thru the red sea and came up on the other side

So from Genesis, the Lord established the 17th day of Nissan as a day of new beginnings, of deliverance….Once the Lord establishes a pattern it will not change!

 Pentecost – was the day God gave his law (written in stone) to Israel at Mount Sinai….

- 1500 years later on that same day of Pentecost God poured out his spirit and wrote his law on the fleshly tables of our hearts! ...again a similar pattern.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THESE THINGS HAPPEN ON SPECIFIC DAYS…they are His HIS APPOINTMENTS, THE FEAST DAYS….They look backward to key events that happened on those days…..and they also looked forward to other key events that would happen on those days…in other words they were prophetic in nature….they are shadow of things to come.

Again, we know the Spring festivals have been fulfilled...these are a few of the major themes represented by the fall festivals that have yet to be fulfilled in their season.

NOTICE THE SAME PATTERN AS JESUS DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION….Hearing the Shofar, seeing God face to face (idiom for Day of Atonement) at – one –ment, our Rest in Him

 So let’s get back to the real purpose for understanding the feasts….to help us draw near to God and separate ourselves from the world

IT’S ABOUT OUR SEPARATION FROM THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD INCLUDING IT’S SEASONS!

The World's Festivals

In I Peter 5:13 –  there is a reference to the church at Babylon – I couldn’t help but think that we are like that church at Babylon –  we are in the world but we are not of the world…however, because we are in the midst of Babylon, very often we find ourselves on the inside looking out, our senses are dulled by the  deception that envelops us…but when we receive the Holy Ghost, God gives us a new perspective….the ability to see from the outside in….the scripture says He is our high tower that we can run to in time of trouble! ….The Holy Ghost gives us a new vantage pt…so we can better know what Jesus (Yeshua) sees when He looks at this world!

 Represented here are some major holidays that most of Christianity celebrates…These are the seasons of the world…if you study them objectively, you’ll find for the most part (except for Thanksgiving) they have their origins in Babylon, in paganism and sadly even in the occult….and their timeframes coincide with pagan festivals, the seasons of the Sun or Sun God…the solstice and the vernal equinox.  Please see the following link for "the truth about Christmas":

http://www.cognm.org/cognm/Publications/The%20Truth%20About%20Christmas.htm

So if Yeshua (Jesus) was not born on the 25th of Dec then when was He born?  Here are several sites that will help you in your search for this wonderful truth -

http://www.betemunah.org/birth.html  also http://www.hebroots.com/  - go to Jewish festivals tab and select "Sukkot"...it will bring up a document that will provide mucho info regarding the birth of Yeshua! Of course it had to be on one of Gods chosen days!

To conclude, we should note that these holidays have some merit in that they recognize key events in the life of Jesus….but they are mixed with pagan customs and beliefs….their foundations are not stable….they are embraced by the world….and here’s the most important thing to consider…both believers and non-believers can celebrate these without conflict…there’s something for everyone!  I can’t help but believe that’s what the Groves and false places of worship offered the people of Israel in ancient times. Paul in Romans 14 basically says that a strong believer knows an idol is nothing when it! comes to eating food offered to idols, but that same believer wouldn't think of bringing that same idol into their home.  Israel was judged by the LORD for mixing paganism with the worship of GOD...why is it so hard for us to see that celebrating and bringing the pagan symbols of these holidays into our culture, into our home is basically the doing the same thing as ancient Israel?

 What does that tell us?  God gave me a scripture while I was meditating upon this that nearly brought me to tears:  13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

 The way to deception and destruction is paved, it’s smooth, it’s well lit, and many follow its path…but then the Lord says

  14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it….

 

WE SAID THE WAY THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION IS BROAD AND WELL LIT, BUT THE PATH THAT LEADS TO LIFE IS MUCH MORE OBSCURE….AND FAR LESS TRAVELED….ONE OF THE REASONS WHY JEWS HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED IS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WERE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. 

ALSO, REMEMBER THE MEANING OF FESTIVAL – IT IS A SACRED PROCESSION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, AN ANNUAL CYCLE BASED ON HIS SEASONS!  ….LIKE A SACRED PROCESSION THRU TIME BEING REHEARSED EVERY YEAR….EACH YEAR BRINGING US CLOSER TO THAT DAY WHEN THEY ARE ACTUALLY FULFILLED AND WE STAND FACE TO FACE WITH HIM!

AS I WAS LOOKING AT THIS, IT REMINDED ME OF MY FAVORITE POEM FROM HIGH SCHOOL BY ROBERT FROST - THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED BY – “I SHALL BE TELLING THIS WITH A SIGH, SOMEWHERE AGES AND AGES HENCE: TWO ROADS DIVERGED IN A WOOD, AND I-- I TOOK THE ONE LESS TRAVELED BY, AND THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE”

THE FACT IS, THESE ARE GOD’S TIMES; HIS SEASONS…ESTABLISHED IN LEVITICUS 23….GIVEN TO ISRAEL - THE LORD SAID TO MOSES, 2 "SPEAK TO THE ISRAELITES AND SAY TO THEM: 'THESE ARE MY APPOINTED FEASTS, THE APPOINTED FEASTS OF THE LORD, WHICH YOU ARE TO PROCLAIM AS SACRED ASSEMBLIES.

IT’S NOT ABOUT NEEDING TO PRACTICE THE FEASTS FOR OUR SALVATION, IT’S NOT ABOUT GOING BACKWARDS (GOING BACK UNDER THE LAW), BUT RATHER IT’S ABOUT GETTING IN TUNE WITH OUR HEAVENLY BRIDEGROOM AND THE SEASONS OF TIME HE HAS SET IN MOTION….

IT’S LIKE PRAYER AND DAILY MEDITATING UPON HIS WORD…NOT NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, BUT COULD AFFECT OUR SALVATION IF WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO GROW COLD!

UNDERSTANDING AND RECOGNIZING THE FESTIVALS FOR WHAT THEY ARE IS VERY MUCH LIKE THAT….THEY HELP US STAY IN TUNE WITH GOD’S SEASONS, HIS APPOINTMENTS WITH MANKIND.

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