The fall feasts are nearly upon us. Perhaps many of you still wonder why I am observing them. What motivates one's heart to abandon the western/pagan holidays and to begin keeping the Feasts of the LORD? The last word there is the key! These are not the "Jewish feasts," nor the "feasts of Israel" These are the feasts of the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. My heart is motivated not by trying to earn points with God (much less trying to earn my salvation), but by the blessings that come from obedience to His Word. It is a heart issue! Where the holidays of my youth might have remained an emotional tie to happy memories, I soon found that it is not MY heart that matters - it is God's heart! And God is calling all His people in this hour to get on HIS calendar, in order to see, know and understand what He is doing in the earth.
Once on His calendar the rhythm of our lives begins to beat with His rhythm. Now we are on His cycle, celebrating each new moon as a gift of another month, and looking forward to each feast as a rehearsal for all that we will one day experience in His kingdom. The new moon that will usher in Yom Teruah (the day of blowing the shofar) is nearly here, expected on the evening of September 28. In the month prior to this (the Hebrew month of Elul) we become aware of times of testing. This is a time period of examining our hearts and making ourselves fully ready for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we will fall down before the Living God and submit ourselves to a time of deep repentance, that we might be cleansed and restored.
This process is actually illustrated in Torah in Leviticus and Deuteronomy by learning what our God calls clean and unclean, holy and profane. We are to stop being double-minded (James 4:7-8). Yeshua (Jesus) warned that he would rather we be either "hot or cold," as he hates a "lukewarm" person (Rev. 3:14-16)! He says he will spit lukewarmness out of his mouth! I believe He is saying that He hates mixture - a little holiness, a little profanity, all mixed together - what difference does it make?
Let's take a look at what God says: "You shall not sow your vineyard with a second kind of seed, else the crop from the seed you have sown and the yield of the vineyard may not be used. You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together. You shall not wear cloth combining wool and linen." (Deut. 22:9-11). Because most of us are not farmers, not spending our days sowing or plowing with oxen and donkeys - and because most of us are walking around wearing clothes made of many fabric blends, we cannot identify with this. What is God saying to us today? Consider that SEEDS can represent people. He is saying, "Don't be teamed with those who do not love the LORD, for what do the people of God have in common with the people of sin? How can light live with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14). The mixed team of oxen and donkey spiritually speaks to us of our associations with people. Who are you teamed with? Are they people who can build up and edify your life in Messiah, or those who will distract you and lead you astray from the faith?
And what about this mixed clothing? How can we apply this principle in our modern time? I believe this can spiritually represent contamination in our own hearts and lives. Consider the process of contaminated clothing in Leviticus 13:53-56: "If the priest sees that the stain has not spread in the garment, or anything made of skin, he shall give orders for the stained material to be washed, and then he shall put it aside for another seven days. After it has been washed the priest shall examine the stain; if it has not changed its appearance, although it has not spread, it is unclean and you shall destroy it by fire, whether the rot is on the right side or the wrong. If the priest examines it and finds the stain faded after being washed, he shall tear it out of the garment. If, however, the stain reappears in the garment, it is breaking out afresh and you shall destroy by fire whatever is stained. If you wash the garment or anything of skin and the stain disappears, it shall be washed a second time and then it shall be ritually clean."
It is a picture of our hearts, my friends. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and give me a new and steadfast spirit. Wash away all my guilt and cleanse me from my sin," prays King David in Psalm 51. In the Leviticus passage we glean the marvelous news that when our High Priest Yeshua examines our hearts, He washes the stain - and if the stain persists, He allows us to go through the fire in order to teach us how to live a clean and blessed life. In fact, He tears that part right out! And then when our stains are washed clean and disappear, but we fall a second time, He is able to wash us clean again!" This is the marvelous news of the atoning blood of Messiah Yeshua!
As we grow up into Him, the Spirit fills us with a desire to understand the difference between life and death, clean and unclean, so that we can walk in the fullness of His blessings! Keeping His Sabbaths and Feast Days will help us remain in God's blessings, power and authority. Getting rid of the mixtures in our daily lives and in our worship will make us hot for Him, not lukewarm! Getting on His calendar draws us ever nearer to His heart. Can you hear the shofar call about to be sounded throughout the earth? Look for the new moon and anticipate all the blessings of having Him dwell with you in your tent during the Feast of Tabernacles! We are rehearsing His moedim (His appointed times) in order to be ready for the Kingdom yet to come...
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