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A LOOK AT THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH

Part 8

Review

Heb 4:12

12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.      AMP

So if the emphasis of God is on His Word then it would stand to reason that words are extremely important. Thus a study of specific words and their origins is essential to understanding the importance of not only their meaning but the implications that they have on our lives and how we respond to what we believe to be true.

Since this meeting falls on the "Head of the Year" or Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), we will begin here. This feast celebrates the completion of creation.

 

Remember, this is just an overview, there are many resources and different views on how to celebrate this festival, but we can use these as reminders of what God has done and is going to do. Each individual needs to commemorate these festivals with what works best with them. God will lead guide and direct as you seek Him in prayer as to what He requires of each one individually and as a family. God will honor your efforts and bless you in the process.

Here is an outline overview of the Festivals of God.

Sabbath - Friday 6 pm evening to Saturday 6 pm evening which is also part of the 10 Commandments

Passover -

                Passover

                Unleavened Bread

                Firstfruits

Pentecost -

                Harvest

                Word

                Holy Spirit

Tabernacles -

                Trumpets

                Atonement

                Tabernacles

 

The cycles are

                First Month                        Passover

                Third Month                       Pentecost

                (Summer)

                Seventh Month                                Tabernacles

The feasts correspond to the three courts in Moses' tabernacle.

                Outer Court

                Holy Place

                (Veil)

                Holy of Holies

 

 

I want to start with Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's devotional for today. From a Jewish perspective, here we go.

 

 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In between the two high holy days of autumn (the Feast of Trumpets, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement), there are Ten Days. These were the days given to Israel and heralded by the sounding of Trumpets to prepare to meet the Lord. They became known as the Yamim Noraim, The Days of Awe, or the Awesome Days. It was believed that in these days your final destiny was sealed in the Book of Life. So throughout the ages, Jewish people have spent their Days of Awe with great reverence - getting right with God and man, forgiving and asking forgiveness. What does this have to do with you? Everything! You see the days of eternity do not determine your days on earth - but your days on earth do determine the days of eternity. So use them wisely. Tie up the loose ends of your life. Express your love to that one who needs it. And do the good you know you must. For eternity stands just around the corner, and you will never again have these days to ready yourself for it, for these are your Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe.

From Message #1756 - The Awesome Days

Mission: Use your day wisely. Take steps to heal any relationship you have that may be in some way broken or cold, whether with God or man.

Read -> Scripture: Rev. 21:27

 

Then for tomorrow, the following insight from Jonathan Cahn is applicable.

Both of these articles are from the monthly devotional by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Author of the New York Times Best Seller, “The Harbinger”. You can receive these free by mail or internet by visiting his website at www.hopeoftheworld.org/sapphires/index.php?op=single&id=527

Sid Roth's book "The Incomplete Church" describes this festival and the meanings. The following is an excerpt from page 95, Overview of Rosh Hashanah.

This biblical holiday originated as a "sacred assembly commemorated by trumpet blasts" (see Leviticus 23:23-25) NIV, a holy gathering. Today, we observe it as the New Year because according to tradition, God created the world on this day. Rosh Hashanah is frequently called the day of remembrance (Yom HaZikaron) or the day of judgment (Yam HaDin) in view of its inauguration of the days of awe. The first name stresses God's faithfulness to His covenant and promises, the second His righteousness and justice. Still, the holiday conveys joy and delight, as illustrated by the custom of eating sweet things, such as apples dipped in honey.

Interestingly, these feasts were called "assemblies" or "convocations". In this instance, from the book of Leviticus, the KJV uses the word convocation and the Amplified bible calls it an assembly. Either case works to describe this feast assembly. First we will look at the scripture and then the meaning of the word translated assembly in the AMP version. Today it is translated "church" in the New Testament.

Lev 23:23 And the Lord said to Moses, 24 Say to the Israelites, On the first day of the seventh month [almost October], you shall observe a day of solemn [sabbatical] rest, a memorial day announced by blowing of trumpets, a holy [called] assembly. 25 You shall do no servile work on it, but you shall present an offering made by fire to the Lord.      AMP

 from OT:7121; something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal:                  KJV - assembly, calling, convocation, reading.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

The offering made by fire can have many faceted meanings, it could be literal, incense, animal or prayer, or a combination or all three. In any case, the Lord God is magnified and recognized on these days.

Another ceremony, Tashlich, originated in observance of this festival based on Micah7.

Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.   KJV

Traditionally, devout Jews would go to the edge of a body of water, empty their pockets or throw stones into the water while reciting the highlighted scripture above.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians regarding this feast.

1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  NIV

These festivals were times of celebration and rejoicing, not the somber, dry occasions they are portrayed as. If anything, modern denominational services are dryer than death valley and lack the enthusiastic joy filled exuberance of the Jewish feasts. They have wrongly been labeled law and convey the idea of joyless duty. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

This festival is a memorial of blowing of trumpets and according to the Rabbi's, the coming of the Ruling King, Yeshua HaMashiach. The term memorial in Leviticus does not mean to remember something in the past, but rather calls attention to something that is about to occur. This is a time to anticipate Yeshua returning to earth. This Festival is hallmarked by joy, delight and sweetness, hence the dipping of apples in honey.

Another aspect of this festival is Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. The ten days after the Feast of Trumpets are spent in introspection and repentance. It is a time to mend relationships and forgiving of debt, reverential worship of God and reading of scripture. This is also described in Leviticus 23.

Lev 23:26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.       KJV

On the Day of Atonement, only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and even then not without blood. Tradition says that the priests would tie a rope to his ankle, just in case the sacrifice wasn't sufficient so they could pull the body out of the Holy of Holies. On this day the entire nation of Israel was atoned for. Atonement (Kippur) means "ransom by means of a substitute".  The scriptures referred to during this ceremony deal with Isaac being offered on the altar.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.               KJV

Zechariah and Paul write concerning the redeeming of Israel in the future.

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. ... And... Zechariah 13: 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.        KJV

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:          KJV

Presently, this day looks forward to when all of Israel will accept Yeshua and the atonement He made once for all. As believers in Yeshua, we can use this as a time to pray for Israel and thank God for the atoning sacrifice that He paid once for all.

 

Next we will look at the Feast of Tabernacles.

 

 

This is only the beginning of this journey with our living God.

                DO NOT TELL ANYONE "Bob Berning said to leave your church." That is not what this is about!

o   Am I telling you to convert to Judaism?                                Absolutely not!

o   Am I suggesting leaving your current fellowship?                 Absolutely not!

o   Am I suggesting maybe looking into the scriptures to learn for yourself and seek the fellowship of like minded believers?                                                YES

 

 

"As Christians, we read what we believe, but do we believe what we read?" 6