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Sukkot Blog

 “So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you are to keep the Feast of Adonai for seven days. The first day is to be a Shabbat rest, and the eighth day will also be a Shabbat rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit of trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and rejoice before Adonai your God for seven days. You are to celebrate it as a festival to Adonai for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations—you are to celebrate it in the seventh month. Leviticus 23:23-41

Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles) runs from Friday Evening, October 2 through Friday October 9.It is a time to remember we are temporary sojourners simply passing through this temporal world. For those of you who don’t have a Sukkah at your home; Beth Messiah has community Sukkah available for you. Be sure to spend some time (in a Sukkah) communicating with God about the beauty of His creation and thanking Him for the gift of your eternal life through Messiah.

The Festival concludes with the Great (Hoshia-na! Raba)

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” Now He said this about the Ruach, whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified.

When they heard these words, some of the crowd said, “This man really is the Prophet.” Others were saying, “This is the Messiah.” Still others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from the Galilee, does He? Didn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, David’s town?” So a division arose in the crowd because of Yeshua. John 7:37-43

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

13 So they took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, “‘Hoshia-na! Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai!    Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a] The King of Israel!” John 12:13

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Yom Kippur Blog

Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: “However, the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippur, a holy convocation to you, so you are to afflict yourselves. You are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai. You are not to do any kind of work on that set day, for it is Yom Kippur, to make atonement for you before Adonai your God. For anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. Anyone who does any kind of work on that day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You should do no kind of work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It is to be a Shabbat of solemn rest for you, and you are to humble your souls. On the ninth day of the month in the evening—from evening until evening—you are to keep your Shabbat.” (Leviticus 23:26-32)

Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is Sunday Evening and Monday Daytime, September 27-28. The historical Services of this day give us, not only a revelation of the Temple traditions, but a greater understanding of Messiah’s gift of atonement.

This is love—not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atonement for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

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Rosh HaShanah Blog

Adonai spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a Shabbat rest, a memorial of blowing (shofarot), a holy convocation. (Leviticus 23:2-3)

Rosh HaShanah, Saturday, September 19, marks the beginning of the Biblical New Year (5781). 5781 spells (in Hebrew) עוּק – meaning to totter or cause to totter.

This High Holy Day season comes during difficult times. Year after year, we wait for God to reveal a greater understanding of His Kingdom? Will this be the year? Will we finally understand the truth of His Instructions? Will the great feast finally be ours? I do not know. We are not supposed to know. What God expects from His children, at this time of year – and every year – is that you trust Him to take care of you, to love you, to give you peace knowing He is not here to confuse you with unrealistic expectations that leave you bereft. He wants to draw us closer to His Reality.

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Celebrating God’s Appointed Times 2

Year after year, we wait for God to save us. Will this be the year? Will this be the end? Will the great feast finally be ours? I do not know. We aren’t supposed to know. What God expects from His children, at this time of year – and every year – is that you trust Him to take care of you, to love you, to give you peace knowing He is not here to vex you or torture you with unrealistic expectations that leave you bereft.

Our God is a God of hope, and HE can be trusted with your deepest sorrows and greatest dreams. He knows what you need and how to get your attention. We celebrate these High Holy Days to REMEMBER He is real and He cares and His character does not change.

Your Bible is not just a list of rules and regulations, but an almanac for growing mature. The Bible authentically teaches self-control, even though it has been used wrongly for centuries to justify oppression against others

In this crucial 6th moon (Elul) of waiting and watching for Messiah’s return at the 7th new moon – Rosh Hashana 2020 – September 20, let us anticipate that God will give us a new revelation. God speaks through His Appointed times. God ordained permission to expect Messiah to come. EVERYTHING in the Bible must be confirmed by two witnesses – heaven and earth. And as the earth is real, so is heaven. Remember to trust God’s promises.

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Celebrating God’s Appointed Times

God’s people have been meeting on Shabbat for centuries. We are in the month of Elul and preparing for the 7th month Tishrei. As God set apart the 7th day and the 7th year, He also set apart the 7th month.

When this 7th new moon passes, then we spend the next ‘The 10 days of Awe’ in personal reflection preparing for the Day of Atonement – a worldwide day of repentance held in prayer for forgiveness for the coming year ahead. Then three days later, we all celebrate the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), the great pilgrimage feast headquartered in Jerusalem for all to come and worship the God of Israel. This is the great feast that Yeshua offered us living water and the same appointed time prophesied in Zechariah chapter 14 and the same appointed time spoken of by John in Revelation.

Just remember, this is a yearly feast of expectation, and consummation – which is why we are all breathlessly waiting to hear ‘what will come of us now, LORD?’ amidst this season of such waiting and wondering.

For my part, let me speak shalom to you. 

Yeshua said, “Shalom I leave you, My shalom I give to you; but not as the world gives! Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 TLV)

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Through Yeshua then, let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15 TLV Through Yeshua we have the privilege to offer up continual praise. Your first thoughts in the morning should be a time of worship. Give God the firstfruits of each day. Let the Holy Spirit fill you fresh and new. You cannot eat yesterday’s manna. Rather, be filled today with the new wine of His love for you. Show God your love for Him in a fresh way each morning. Praise Him, for He is worthy of your praise. Open your heart to have a continual flow of His Holy Spirit. Focus on Yeshua. Remember to thank Him all day long in every situation. If you find yourself in a wilderness or dark shadow, offer praises to Him for He is still with you. That is true worship – when it’s a sacrifice. When Abraham offered Isaac up on the altar; it was worship. When your heart is breaking, worship Yeshua. Never lose the opportunity to be thankful and grateful for God’s presence in every area of your life. Don’t miss the small miracles. Continually offer up continual praise.

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A violin that cannot be played was sold for $1,500,000. Its value was not in its musical quality but in its history, for it was played the last time in April 1912 by a doomed musician named Wallace Hartley aboard the Titanic. Hartley and his fellow musicians reportedly played, “Nearer, my God, to Thee”, as the vessel slipped beneath the icy Northern Atlantic. Hartley’s body was recovered 10 days later with his violin strapped to him.

We never know when will sing our last song in our life; but we know we will be a part of endless worship in God’s presence. As the psalmist said. (see above)

Since heaven is a literal place, and since will have resurrection bodies, will all be capable of singing and rejoicing and praising. The new heavens and the new earth are literal places with never ceasing meaningful activities. And praise will be a rich part of that activity. Our joy there will be unending and unimaginable.

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There is a trend to award trophies, metals, certificates, or prizes, to any children who participate: winners and losers alike. If you compete, you get a prize; no one goes away a loser.

There will be rewards in heaven as well, based on her faithfulness to Messiah and His glory during our life on earth. “For if what is passing away is glorious, much more what remains is glorious. Therefore, having such a hope, we act with great boldness. For if what is passing away is glorious, much more what remains is glorious”. (2 Corinthians 3:11-12 TLV)

But even if a faithful believer receives no rewards for faithfulness at the judgment seat of Messiah, will be one where world that every believer will receive: Messiah Himself. Paul said: “More than that, I consider all things to be loss in comparison to the surpassing value of the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things; and I consider them garbage[a] in order that I might gain Messiah and be found in Him not having my righteousness derived from Torah, but one that is through trusting in Messiah—the righteousness from God based on trust. (Philippians 3:8 – 9 TLV). He, iand every true believer, will certainly gain Messiah as his or her ultimate reward for following Him. Even though Abraham was a very wealthy man, God told him, “After these things the word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying,

“Do not fear, Abram.

    I am your shield,

        your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

Regardless of any stature we may attain on earth were in heaven, gaining Messiah will be our “very great reward.” All the rewards are nothing.

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But as it is written,

“Things no eye has seen

    and no ear has heard,

    that have not entered the heart of mankind—

these things God has prepared

    for those who love Him

(1 Corinthians 2:9 TLV)

When we see of the Earth’s natural wonders, we are often stunned at the awesomeness of God’s creation. Amidst such natural beauty, we are often shocked when we remember we are looking at a creation cursed by sin. If Earth is so beautiful in a cursed state, how much more beautiful will it be when the whole creation has been redeemed? “For behold, I create new heavens

    and a new earth.

The former things will not be remembered

    or come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17 TLV)

It is important to remember that heaven is going to be on planet Earth – actually, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. Peter referred to this as the “restoration of all things”. “Restoration” refers to the perfect environment God created “in the beginning”, the creation was cursed by Adam’s sin. Since we never saw the garden, we don’t know what the restoration will be like. But if what we see now seems glorious at times, how much more glorious will the new heaven and earth be?