The Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot

In this podcast we finish our series on the ‘fall’ (autumn in Israel) festivals; that is Yom Teruah; Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

We look at the significance of this festival; how it is celebrated; and how it will be in the future.

Some references in the Podcast are:

‘A Crash Course in Jewish History’ by Rabbi Ken Spiro

The Miracles of the Land – see short blog post:

http://luke443.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/seven-wonders-of-jewish-history.html

Hope you enjoy this look at a time of rejoicing!

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From Awe to Atonement

From Unity (through Yom Teruah) comes strength of mind;

from Strength, peace of mind;

from Peace, deep introspection,

from Introspection comes recognition of wrongs committed;

from  Recognition comes repentance (turning back to HaShem).

Repentance seeks forgiveness and,

Forgiveness brings Atonement and,

stays Judgement (Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement)!

You have 10 Days – choose Life!

“We shall ascribe holiness to this day. For it is awesome and terrible.

Your kingship is exalted upon it. Your throne is established in mercy.

You are enthroned upon it in truth. In truth You are the judge,

The exhorter, the allknowing, the witness, He who inscribes and seals,

Remembering all that is forgotten. You open the book of remembrance

Which proclaims itself, And the seal of each person is there.

The great shofar is sounded, A still small voice is heard.

The angels are dismayed, They are seized by fear and trembling

As they proclaim: Behold the Day of Judgment!

For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment.

They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes

And all creatures shall parade before You as a troop.

As a shepherd herds his flock, Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff,

So do You cause to pass, count, and record, Visiting the souls of all living,

Decreeing the length of their days, Inscribing their judgment…”

  • From the great  Unetanah Tokef prayer

King David wrote:

1. O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than God
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,

7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,

8  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9  O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
(Psalm 8)

In these Days of Awe, we should reflect not only on the awesome majesty of the Creator and King of the Universe, but also on the amazing role that he gave to us, to human beings made in His image. He is a personal God; He is always in our Presence; He is always communicating with us!

In fact, as we learn from Ps 19, He is speaking to us through His Creation every day and night!

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,  and night to night reveals knowledge.

Ps 19 also tells us that:

8  The Torah of Adonai is perfect, 
restoring the inner person.
The instruction of Adonai is sure,
making wise the thoughtless.

9  The precepts of Adonai are right, 
rejoicing the heart.
The mitzvah of Adonai is pure,
enlightening the eyes.

10 The fear of Adonai is clean,
enduring forever.
The rulings of Adonai are true,
they are righteous altogether,

11  more desirable than gold,
than much fine gold,
also sweeter than honey
or drippings from the honeycomb. …

15  May the words of my mouth 
and the thoughts of my heart
be acceptable in your presence,
Adonai, my Rock and Redeemer!

Let us seek the Almighty in these days leading to the great Day of Judgment and Atonement. May we fully turn back to our King and may we be given life so that we can also enter in the Appointed Time of Sukkot, the Marriage Supper of Heaven!

Aubrey and I will be speaking on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) in our next Podcast. If you haven’t listened to Parts 1 and 2 on Yom Teruah (the Day of Trumpets), you can hear it here.

Shout in Unity – the Day of Shouting

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah has already drawn to a close for some of us (it’s after sunset on Tuesday 18th Sept. 2012 here).

If you enjoyed the Podcasts at ‘A Sharp Arrow & a Strong Draught Horse‘ and would like some supporting documentation, our background doc is now online  – Click here: 10 Questions on Yom Teruah

The Day of Shouting (also called the Day or Feast of Trumpets; Yom Teruah or Rosh HaShanah) is a great day;  an amazing and intriguing Day of Celebration instituted by the Almighty.

Why? What is it’s significance? Why is the theme of Unity so foundational to this time? Listen to the 2 Part Podcasts or read the article – if you have more questions please be in touch.

Shalom!

Yom Teruah – The Day of Trumpets – Part 2 of 2

In this second Podcast on Yom Teruah, Pastor Aubrey Burt and Paul Herring answer the second five questions about this special Festival of God.

We further discuss it’s biblical mandate; its place in Jewish life today and it’s relevance to followers of Yeshua.

Most of the Scriptures used are either read out or clearly referenced – you can pause the Podcast and rewind if you miss one.

Along with the follow-up articles  ‘Our Passover Lamb’; Colossians 2:16 and the Sabbath’ and ‘Yom Teruah’, from Podcast Part 1, the article ‘Siblings of the King: Living in the Will of the Father’ also discusses the challenge of Matt 5:17 – these are all available from www.circumcisedheart.info

The Podcast ‘The Times of Yeshua’ that is also mentioned can be downloaded here – http://pfherring.podomatic.com/entry/2011-12-30T04_18_57-08_00

Click here for Podcast Part 2

The Apostle Paul and the Festivals of God

Some biblical scholars have tried to argue that the Apostle Paul (Sha’ul) only attended Pentecost (Shavuot) because that was where the crowd was so he could preach the Good News, and that this was the ONLY festival he attended! (This would also imply a degree of duplicity in his actions as well).

In other words some Christian theologians try to argue that after his Damascus Road experience, the Apostle Paul no longer observed the Jewish festivals and the ‘trio’ listed in Colossians 2:16-17.

I have listed many of the ways in which the Apostle Paul demonstrated that he remained a practicing orthodox Jew after his Damascus road experience in my articles ‘Siblings of the King: Living in the Will of the Father’ and ‘Living the Way: The Path of the Circumcised Heart’. For the details read these articles at www.circumcisedheart.info

However, as I have just stated, some scholars continue to read Col 2:16-17 back to front and believe that Paul was exhorting the Gentile followers of Yeshua NOT to keep the ‘trio’!

So here is a short, non-exhaustive list of Paul’s keeping the ‘trio’ (as recorded in the NT):

Paul observed and/or supported many of the Feasts, New Moons such as Yom Teruah (- only a few days away! – writing on the 13th Sept 2012) and the Sabbath(s), either by a direct reference to it; or by attending the festival or making some supportive implication or reference to it:

For some examples see:
Shabbat: Acts 13:14-16; Acts 18:4; 4:16 – Paul imitated Yeshua (1 Cor 11:1)
Pesach (Passover) – 1 Cor 5:7; Acts 27:9
Festival of Unleavened Bread – Acts 20:6
Shavuot (Pentecost) – 1 Cor 16:8; Acts 20:16
Yom Teruah – 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16 (New Moon Day, Rosh HaShannah)
Yom Kippur – Acts 27:9 (the Fast Day)
Sukkot – Acts 18:21

While this list does not include all 7 ‘Feast’ days, as they are grouped into 3 (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot), with the first and last being week long and including the others, attendance at Sukkot would by inference assume attendance at Simchat Torah (the Joy of Torah celebration) for example.

As Shaul/Paul said we should be imitators of him, as he was of Yeshua – 1 Cor 11:1; Phil 3:17; 1 Thess 1:6; 1 Thess 2:4; I would suggest we should consider the blessings of these Festivals of YHVH.

If the Apostle Paul only attended these festivals to to evangelize, should we do the same, should we also engage in such duplicitous and dishonest expediency? No! I don’t believe Paul/Shaul was a hypocrite. Rather he was a Torah observant Jew!

Thus, I think the evidence most strongly indicates that, as he himself declared, he observed the ‘trio’ and hoped Gentile followers would do likewise and imitate him, and not allow the ‘judgment’ and ridicule of their pagan neighbours to stop them embracing these great indicators of even greater feasts in the Coming Age!

For details see my Colossians 2 and the Sabbath’ article at www.circumcisedheart.info

Our next Podcast will touch on this topic – click follow to receive it automatically.

Yom Teruah Approaches

Some thoughts as Yom Teruah approaches:

The Apostle Paul believed that God’s adoption of the Gentiles was to precede the restoration of Israel (including the full return from exile and re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel).

Therefore the Apostle Paul believed that God had temporarily hardened the hearts of many Israelites to the truth regarding Yeshua as the eschatological Messiah so that Paul’s mission to the Gentiles could first be accomplished.

So, as Prof Paula Fredriksen points out in ‘Judaism, the Circumcision, and Apocalyptic Hope: Another Look at Galatians 1 and 2,’ “a generation after his experience of the Risen Messiah, and despite the great Day having not yet dawned, Paul could still ‘coherently and reasonably affirm to the Church at Rome  that ‘salvation is nearer to us that when we first believed’ (Romans 13:11)” – p564.

It is also instructive to recognize that this statement of the Apostle Paul’s in Romans 13 is part of his exhortation to the Gentile believers in Yeshua (worshiping God within the Jewish synagogues/homes in Rome), that they are to show proper respect and obedience to the Jewish leaders (‘ministers of God’) of these synagogues (see Mark Nanos, ‘The Mystery of Romans’ for the full explanation of this historical setting – here is an introduction).

It is also vital that we see that Paul (Rav Sha’ul), in true Hebraic fashion is generally speaking corporately, rather than individually, when he speaks of salvation.

Thus he sees the Coming Age as imminent as Gentiles are turning from their idolatrous practices to the One True God of Israel and fulfilling the promise to Abraham that he would become the father of many nations.

It would appear (to me at least) that Paul did not fully appreciate that the Tanakh’s prophecy of a dispersion to ‘the uttermost parts of heaven (earth)’ (Deut 30:4) had not yet been fully enacted and so the end times return from exile could not yet occur. (This return, a miracle greater than the parting of the Red Sea, is now occurring before our very eyes! – see my ‘Israel: Return in Belief or Unbelief’ at www.circumcisedheart.info for some more detail on this.)

And yet, for the Apostle Paul’s message to fully reach to all Gentiles throughout the entire earth, perhaps it really did need the historical events of the last, almost 2000 years for this to occur.

The Apostle Paul believed he lived in the ‘end times’ and that in those times God would graciously redeem the nations (gentiles) from their idolatry without the ‘works of the Law’ (Jewish proselytization) and so Jew and Gentile would go up to the mountain of the LORD, to worship together at the House of Jacob (Zec 14:16-21).

Before the resurrection of Yeshua, Gentiles who were learning about the One True God, the Creator of the Universe through attending synagogues on Shabbat (Sabbath), could only enter the family of God by undertaking the ‘works of the Law’ and becoming Jews (Israelites). With only Jews gaining entry into the Kingdom of God, this meant that prophecies such as Zec 14:16-21 could not be fulfilled.

I believe that somehow Yeshua revealed to the Apostle Paul that God had initiated a new way; a new path through which Gentiles could become fully ‘children of Abraham’,  and equal members of the Kingdom, while still remaining Gentiles.

This revelation of the Messiahship of Yeshua and the imminent arrival of the Coming Age (the Olam HaBah) brought great joy to the Apostle Paul and drove him forward in his mission with great energy and passion.  I have written at some length on this in both ‘The Mystery of Romans: A Torah and Shema Centric View’ and in ‘The Tripartite Salvation Paradigm’.

Note as well verse 9 of this prophecy of Zechariah: “And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be One and his name One.”

Perhaps the increasing recognition and rejection of such idolatrous doctrines as the Trinity and ‘Dual Nature of Christ’, etc., coupled with an increasing embrace of Torah by Gentiles in particular, is indicative of the lateness of the hour in this 2000 year ‘end times’ scenario?

Perhaps also the increasing recognition of Jewish scholarship; of brilliant Jewish theologians like the late David Flusser; Prof Mark Nanos; and Rabbi’s like Abraham Joshua Heschel, Ken Spiro and Moshe Reiss, to name just a few shows that Zec 8:23 is also being fulfilled before our eyes!

Zec 8:23:

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” 

As it appears to me that this great prophecy has not yet come to full realisation, this is just one of a number of reasons why I don’t believe that this Yom Teruah is THE Yom Teruah.

However, there is great tension in the air; many sense the Spirit of Adonai moving; something momentous may yet occur.

I believe Yeshua will return on a Yom Teruah in the near future (see my article for details) – may it be soon!