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A LOOK AT THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH

Part 9

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 (Sukkot)

 

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

SUKKOT

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, commemorates the time when Israel traveled in the wilderness as God led them. They lived in booths -- temporary dwellings called "sukkot" in Hebrew.9 They would camp in these tents for 7 days and at the end of the 7 days, there would be a sacrifice made with ceremonies.

There are several ceremonies that take place during this feast and just a sample follows. These are taken from the book by Joseph Goode, "Rosh Hashanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come" pages 44-49

Preparation for the festival began around a month prior and one of the preparations was to read scriptures at the Temple. These ceremonies took place before and during the preparations for the sacrifices. During this time of preparation the Rabbi's would teach from each passage in the scriptures dealing with the pouring out of water.

First, the priests cut willow branches about 25 feet in length and would enter the city waving them left to right. They would be lined up shoulder to shoulder in rows about 30 feet apart. As they waved the branches, it created a breeze symbolic of the Holy Spirit coming from heaven. Then the priests would bring water from the pool of Siloam and pour it out as the sacrifices were prepared. During these processions, the trumpets would be blown. When the priests reached the altar with the sacrifice, the water and the wine was poured out. While this was being performed, the people sang Isaiah 12:3

Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.       KJV

This is probably the last great day of the feast referenced in the Gospel of John when Jesus declared Himself the well of living water.

Jn 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)       KJV

This is possibly the setting mentioned in the Gospel of John when the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus. Many scholars question what Jesus wrote on the ground, but God never does anything that cannot be found in the scriptures.

Jer 17:12 A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.               KJV

Yeshua probably wrote their names in the earth as they left one by one as he wrote their names. I am pretty confident that their conviction was witnessed to by their knowledge of the scriptures.

This was also the same day that Solomon dedicated the first temple.

This may also very well be Jesus birthday. Joseph Goode elaborates on this in Appendix 1 of "Rosh Hashanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come" pages 165-173

The internal evidence that is contained in the Old Testament illuminates the settings of the New Testament. Especially the Gospel of John which contains numerous references to the festivals and seasons.

Paul wrote in His letter to the Ephesians that he prayed they would know the magnitude of the Glory of God. I am going to include the whole chapter because Paul's walk with Jesus is an example for New Testament believers. WE ARE SONS OF GOD!!!

Eph 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 

 

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