Time to Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles!

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Shalom friends!

Tomorrow night at sundown marks the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, the seventh (and final) annual feast of Israel.  What an incredible celebration it is!  (Be sure to read to the end for a special invitation to celebrate!)

Yesterday, we reviewed the fall feasts, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  Now we come to the culmination of the feasts!  Jesus will fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles, just as He has already fulfilled the spring feasts (Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits and Pentecost).  In fact, fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles will also fulfill the Davidic Covenant, and we know that time period as the Millennial Kingdom!

It is this time period that the prophet Zechariah writes about in the passage above.  Notice that ALL nations are invited to the Feast of Tabernacles to worship the King of Kings!  This is the only Jewish feast that isn’t totally, 100% Jewish.  Why?

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
~Galatians 3:28

Related imageOne in Christ Jesus!  No Jews, no Greeks (no Gentiles)…just one in Him!  No need for “Jewish feasts” any longer because Jewish feasts are simply shadows of what is to come.  Jesus is the substance!  (See Colossians 2:17.  The context is a bit different here, but the principle is the same: God uses certain things to teach about Himself.  Those things, however, are not the “real deal,” they simply point to the “real deal” – Jesus!)

Thus, we are all invited to the Feast of Tabernacles, where the greatest worship the world has ever seen will take place!  It comes after the Feast of Trumpets (to be fulfilled when a trumpet sounds and Jesus’ foot touches down on the Mount of Olives) and Yom Kippur (to be fulfilled when the eyes of our precious Jewish friends are opened, they repent and finally see their Messiah).

For those who follow this blog, we just finished a study called Why Israel Matters.  In it, one of the foundational principles is that all nations will be blessed through Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:3), and we know that blessing to be salvation.  Put the puzzle pieces together and you come to this:

  • God set apart a special group of people (Abraham and his descendants) for a very unique purpose: to be vehicles of world redemption.
  • They became that, but missed the day of His visitation (Luke 19:41-44).  ie – they did not recognize Him as the Messiah.
  • That opened the door for Gentiles to be grafted into the olive tree.  (The olive tree represents spiritual Israel.  Thus, Gentiles were offered a means of salvation through the Jewish Messiah!)
  • God implemented the 7 major feasts as a calendar of His plan for His people (the Jews), which includes drawing them back to Himself…in salvation.  Four of the seven are already fulfilled, the final 3 will happen in very quick succession!
  • Once the trumpet sounds and Jesus physically appears, the Jews will repent and turn to Him, THEN Jesus says He will “tabernacle” among His chosen ones…both Jews and Gentiles, and there will no longer be a distinction!

Wow!  Incredible, isn’t it!?!  I can hardly wait for that day!

But…we can practice while still on earth!  It is a faint glimpse, but a glimpse nonetheless, when the Feast of Tabernacles kicks off in Israel tomorrow evening.

Did you know the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem hosts a huge Feast of Tabernacles celebration each year, and that people come from all over the world to worship the King of Kings right there in the Holy City!?!  Yes, its a preview!

Most of us cannot physically go to Jerusalem to participate, but thanks to modern technology, the ICEJ sends the Feast of Tabernacles celebration right to our computer screens!  They will live stream (and record) events during the Feast of Tabernacles, and they invite us all to join!  You will find a calendar of events here, so join in by clicking the “Media/Live Stream” button on the top right!

Take advantage!  Join the celebration, and rejoice with believers around the world in worship of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Enjoy!

Israel Facing Worst Drought in Almost 100 Years

Image result for sea of galilee droughtIsrael is entering the 6th year of a major drought, with no relief in sight.  As a result, the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s primary source of water, is approaching a 100-year low.  In fact the water level is dangerously close to the level in which intake pipes of water pumps will be above the water line, making it impossible to pump needed water out of the Galilee to neighboring farmland and orchards.

Fortunately, about 70% of Israel’s drinking water now comes from desalination plants along the Mediterranean Sea.  If not for that fact, Israel would quickly be out of water.  Regardless, water needs are such that authorities are warning residents that water consumption may be limited within a year or so.

I am reminded of a time when water will not be an issue!  Zechariah 14 describes that glorious day when, after gathering the nations against Jerusalem, Jesus steps foot on the Mount of Olives to take care of business!  A mighty earthquake will split the Eastern Gate wide open and He will enter.  Then, notice:

And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.
~Zechariah 14:8

Plenty of water will flow from Jerusalem (of all places!)

However, today’s drought is real, and I hope you will join me in praying for the Lord to bless Israel with significant rainfall.  But there is a greater need.  Jesus described Himself as “Living Water” in John 4:7-14.  Then, in Revelation 22:17, He says:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

A greater drought is occurring in the heart and soul of the Jewish people.  Spiritually, they are thirsty, and we (the bride of Christ) join with the Spirit of God, saying “Come…drink from the Living Water!”  God will take care of physical drought conditions, but only Jesus can rid the spiritual drought.

As we’re “about our Father’s business” in these last days, let’s engage in the task before us.  Let’s pray for Jews and Gentiles alike, who are experiencing spiritual drought.  We know the solution!  Are we sharing it?

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verses 8-9

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What a week we have had together!  I pray you are blessed by what we’ve discovered about Psalm 122.  God has given us the command to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but one of the questions I hear frequently is:  How do I do that, short of just repeating the same ‘ol prayer day after day?  As we dig deep, we learn deeper ways to pray!  I hope you’ll dig into God’s Word in many places and allow it to guide your prayer time.

Time to focus on the last two verses of Psalm 122:

For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.

This psalm ends with a bang, but let’s discover more about these verses.  Just as discussed previously, there is a theme of friendship and companionship.  In studying verse 6, we learned that Jerusalem has a “friend/companion,” and now we find the theme of togetherness emphasized yet again.

While Jerusalem is supposed to be a city of unity, today it is a city that creates global division….opposite of God’s stated desire.  But when Jesus comes again, God’s purpose will be fulfilled and Jerusalem will become a place of vibrant reconciliation between God and man, and between people.  That, my friends, is what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about!

So, as we pray for peace, we may petition God for redemption of broken relationships between Arabs and Jews, as well as between factions of all sorts.  We can pray for healing and restoration, and that all will seek the good of others.  Let us not forget there is a heavenly Jerusalem from which our King will one day reign!

Pray for that day to arrive, but also pray for the Prince of Peace to bring lasting peace in the hearts and souls of Jews, Arabs and people of all nationalities and religious beliefs.  We all have the same need: Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace!

Shabbat Shalom, friends!

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verses 6-7

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
~Psalm 122:6-7

There’s the direct command!  We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Most know that “peace,” in Hebrew, is “shalom.”  But are you aware that “shalom” has multiple meanings?  Indeed, it is also “hello” and “good bye,” as well as a popular greeting in Hebrew if you are in Israel and simply don’t know what to say!

But interestingly, “shalom” also means “complete,” which is very significant.  It carries the notion of well-being and contains the idea of “paid for.”  Indeed, the name Jerusalem means something like, “God will see to / provide complete and paid-for peace.”  (See here.)  Wow!

We are told to pray for Jerusalem, and we long to see completeness and absence of strife.  But, are there other forms of peace for which we might pray?  I believe so!  Inner peace with God, and peace with one another are Biblical notions.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~Romans 5:1

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 4:7

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
~Romans 12:18

Let’s seek that peace, and pray that peace for Jerusalem.

We’re moving on to verses 8-9 tomorrow, so join us then!