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Israel’s Feasts and Prophecy

Many of us have seen all too clearly that sincere followers of Christ have honest disagreements about the interpretation of Bible prophecy.

While agreeing that Jesus, as Israel’s Messiah, has already fulfilled many patterns, and some clear predictions, of the Old Testament, we are not as likely to see eye to eye about whether predictions about Israel’s last days have been fulfilled spiritually and completely in the Church.

Since we are now into the Fall cycle of Israel’s Rosh Hashanah, (Sept 29-30)  Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement (Oct 8) and the seven day Feast of Tabernacles (begins on October 13), let’s talk once again about whether these holidays have more than spiritual and historical significance.

Writing about 500 years before Christ, the prophet Zechariah makes this prediction: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16).

Zechariah earlier talks about how the Lord himself will blow the horn (lit. shofar/rams horrn) (Zech 9:14), fighting for Israel, as the nations of the world come against her (Zech 12:1-3). Zechariah also wrote that the Lord will give his people a spirit of repentance—as they look with inexpressible grief at the one “they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).

Some therefore believe that the Fall Feasts of Israel are fulfilled in Zechariah’s vision of the last days.

Others are convinced that  because the Spring Feasts (Passover through Pentecost) were fulfilled in Christ, that we now have reason to see the Fall feasts as being spiritually fulfilled in the church.

I was raised to believe that God’s program for the church does not replace his program for future Israel, just as many others were raised to believe that the body of Christ has inherited and fulfilled God’s promises to Israel.

At this point I’m convinced that there is truth (and plenty of over and under statement) on both sides. The church, through Israel’s Messiah, has inherited a place in the faith of Abraham (Gal :14) and God’s promises to him (i.e. to become a blessing to all of the nations of the world (Gen 12:1-3). In that sense followers of Christ are called to rise above nationalistic alignments– and to be for the people of all nations, without turning a blind eye to what the prophets have said about the injustices of Israel, or any nation.

I also believe, however, that to do justice to large portions of the prophets (which speak specifically about Jerusalem and the nations “in the last days)” we need to allow for a future that is in keeping with what the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans. (Rom 11:25-26)

I don’t say this to start or continue a bitter argument. Our disagreements do not keep us from looking for the promised return of Christ (maybe today/certainly in the future) (John 14:1-3); (Acts 1:9-11). So let’s not ignore what God has said through his prophets—nor fight about their interpretation.

Gracious disagreement can be healthy, appropriate, and energizing. But let’s also remember that far too many of our young people (and older) want nothing to do with vast sections of the Bible (prophecy) because they have seen too many of us say far more than we know, with far less love than is always called for.


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45 Responses to “Israel’s Feasts and Prophecy”

  1. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart and Friends!

    It seems to me each time we go to the Scriptures, we receive another set of images and insights into the character and the power of our God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even the finest exegetes and ancient historians cannot form a definitive whole from the works of the prophets, writers and correspondents of the Bible.

    Thanks for the two-fold calendar, Mart! I have one like it, though it is not so elegantly rendered. I know I could not walk out of the house in the morning without my personal calendar. I could not keep track of the meetings and projects before me. Each month of the Hebrew calendar actually reflects the rhythms of the land of Israel/Palestine: figs, barley flax…the plantings and the harvests. How much use is a calendar that is thousands of years old? I do not take this lightly. I only suggest an old calendar is mostly for looking backward. Our God is free to determine the day and the hour.

    Let me only offer that John, as he looked in heaven at the scroll with seven seals, wept loudly (Revelation 5:3) because there was no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth who was able to open it or look into it. Perhaps we might rejoice that the Lamb (who is also a Lion) is able…

    The Ingathering that we are told will occur — is so immense, all-incompassing, cosmic — we might not be able to contain the knowledge of it, if we could glimpse it! Blessings, Maru

  2. SFDBWV says:

    How marvelous and wonderful is our Lord; he has established His word for us to be informed, enlightened, and to expose all of His hidden mysteries, so that we can be a member of the family and partner in the family business.

    He established an entire *nation* of people through whom all other nations can be blessed and through them and their successes and mistakes we learn what is pleasing and what is not to our Lord.

    Through these same people he established special people whom we know of as the Prophets. God spoke through these men and shown His plan and the outcome of future events, for our benefit for every nations benefit.

    The study of these prophesies open up a view to the world from ancient history past to a future yet experienced or recognized as having experienced by anyone living today.

    In Revelation 3: 3 our Lord tells us to watch or else He will come unexpectedly and catch us unaware. For me this simple statement tells me to study prophesy of the future and be ready for His return.

    I believe that prophesy concerning the nation of Israel is specifically about Israel as a nation and a nation of people.

    Prophesy about the Church is separate and is concerned with the Church.

    I personally do not believe that the Church has replaced Israel in prophesy.

    However there are items whereas the Church has been given tasks that Israel had been charged to do, this does not replace Israel but through the entire matter of the Word becoming flesh the Church being the fulfillment of all Hebrew scripture still all the world is blessed. God’s Word still accurate 100% of the time.

    Once the Church is raptured away as evidenced in Revelation 4, all Gods prophesy returns to the nation and people of Israel once again. As Mart has referenced Israel as well as Egypt and other nations are mentioned in the prophesy of the *tribulation* and after during the *millennium*.

    This should be a great discussion as we will need to look before we speak….

    Steve

  3. dalinahj53 says:

    An intriguing series of reflections. I am no Bible scholar, but I have studied the Bible for decades and though about and rejoiced in the gift that prophecy is to the Church.

    As I consider today’s reflections, I’m reminded of the Lord’s remarks to the Pharisees concerning their understanding of prophecy (Matthew 16:1-4). I always hope that our Christ-centered interpreters will not miss the mark as broadly as those religious leaders.

    I remind myself to respect what’s been said, but to filter it through the revelation of God’s character and history portrayed in Scripture, and through the two great commandments Jesus reiterated as recorded in Matthew 22:34-46. I expect the revelations of the prophecies concerning the final days of Israel and the Church in the earth will provoke us to clamp our hands over our mouths much as did Job (Job 42:1-6). These revelations will ‘blow our minds’ because they will display the unsearchable vastness of God’s grace and mercy to His beloved (Messiah), and His great love and faithfulness to those with whom He has made covenant.

    What an encouraging perspective through which to view the mysteries that are yet to be revealed!

    Dalinah

  4. jimgroberts says:

    Jesus truly did everything required to fulfill the law and the feasts and He is the only way – the Jew have no other way. The old covenant prophesied to be done away in Jer 31 and Heb 8 totally confirms that is obsolete and completed in the person of Christ a FAR beteer priest and superbly better sacrifice. Our assignment is to remember what He did [Communion] and to be the salt and the light. To be that we have to do away with the hypocrisy of the Pharasee with integrity and righteousness. The law is now written on our hearts and we have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. We have no need of Rabbis and teachers of the Law as we have The Word and direct communication with God.

  5. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, I have a comment for you in the former topic. The topic has moved on, and for some reason I do get that often half a day later.
    I agree with Dalinah that we will be suprised when things happen, and what will happen.
    Ezekiel has a lot of prophecies!
    Ezekiel 37:16,17-22,23,24
    The stick of Judah meaning the kingdom of the south of Israel, and the stick of Ephraim, symbolising the nothern kingdom, which were taken away by Assyrians, and never returned to Israel.
    There is no christian equivalent for them. Why will this not happen? Judah will also be suprised that their brothers will come again.
    And what about the Temple, Ezekiel 40-44 and the division of the land, in chapter 45, 47,48. It is now easy to look at this, on internet, you get beautiful pictures of what is described there. The river of the Temple.
    This might talk about the time of 1000 year reign on earth where Revelation 20 is talking about. Why would this not be all literally so? As this description does not go well with that of the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21, which talks of a city which is just as long as wide as high, that sounds more supernatural, another era.

    And then Ezekiel 37:1-14 The valley of the dry bones, is this only about people now, when they put on Christ, and so go from death to life, or is this talking about the resurrection of the dead literally, as Revelation 20:13 the dead will come to life. Are these chapters talking about the same thing?
    It would be nice to openly discuss about this, keep all possibilities open. Maybe prophecies are also literal, not only spiritual.

  6. msnjor says:

    I used to take seriously any/all discussion regarding religion, the Bible,personal faith & beliefs of others and being Irish, usually wound up in an argument.
    Over the last 6 yrs. I`ve surrendered my life to God and tried to maintain daily effort in closer communion with the Son, Jesus Christ. Never forget that He became man…
    My belief, opinionated to some, maybe, is simple; God`s word is God`s word. The Father has used throughout the course of time,(the journey`s of men & women) human beings to speak, preach,live, and become true living examples of His word. To do the requests of the Father`s word, they had complete faith and trust in the unseen yet their hearts and souls “spoke” to them and they did. No questions asked, well maybe a few, but the point here is…
    Human beings I truly believe, are born into sin yet share a “holy unity” with the triune God. I call this the presence of the Holy Spirit that has always been a part of our “make-up”. Our own free will! Yet as the human beings that we are, we are prone to making mistakes based on the seven deadly sins. Human mistakes. Human choices. Choices not of the Father, Son, and Spirit. We most often do not “listen to our hearts…”
    wE were created in “His image and likeness” and yet we chose self, not Him. There have and may very well continue to be clear “signs” in all our lives. Signs pointing us towards Him, signs of mercy, guidance, grace, and the way of forgivness…yet humans “choose” self, not God.
    We need not concern ourselves with dissecting God`s word, discussing discrepancies, opinions, and the like. Simply put God`s Word is just as His love; all powerful all inclusive, non judgmental, everlasting and eternal! It is for everyone and always has been and always will be, not just for certain “peoples”, nations, and the like. It is for each and every human being to read, to learn, over and over and over again to “draw nigh unto Him who is all things to those who seek Him…”! It is by doing these thing in obedience, with humility, honesty and truthfulness, and willingness that we “live”, not only in the Word, but through, with, and in Him, Jesus Christ!
    The Word is yours. It is mine, it is theirs… Choose these things and you will come to “know grace”! In Jesus name, Amen.

  7. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart and Friends –

    The tabernacle precedes the temple; the synagogue precedes the church. “The Holidays of God” offers the wonderful midrash of the booth of Succoth representing the old human body preceding the resurrection body we receive by Messiah’s rising from the tomb.

    I believe as Christians read and study the Torah, we are surely called to share and teach the amazing correspondences between the fall High Holy Days and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ with any who will receive the good news. John, writing in Revelation the vision of the New Jerusalem, says: “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Revelation 21:22) The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven (Revelation 21:2), and the voice from heaven announces: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.” (Revelation 21:3)

    God the Son tells John, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) New Jerusalem, the city of God, is the Lamb’s wife. It is wondrous that the people of God have been built like a walled city too wonderful to describe – made of precious materials with actual dimensions, walls, gates and streets!

    Paul told the church at Corinth: ”For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)

    I can only, like Mary of Nazareth filled with Child by the Holy Spirit, contemplate the coming Messiah! When Jesus was born and prophecy poured forth from heaven above Bethlehem, the Gospel writer Luke tells us: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) May we give clear witness of Christ’s presence with us here and now. — Maru

  8. tracey5tgbtg says:

    msnjor- your comment made sense to me and was easy to understand amidst a discussion that lately I have had trouble following.

    Mart – I appreciate your comment “Gracious disagreement can be healthy, appropriate, and energizing. But let’s also remember that far too many of our young people (and older) want nothing to do with vast sections of the Bible (prophecy) because they have seen too many of us say far more than we know, with far less love than is always called for.”

    To me, that applies to a far wider group than this particular blog. I see that in Christian circles, and Christian TV programming and books written by Christians. Not all the time, but some times. And of course, whenever something strikes my heart, I have to apply it to myself as well.

  9. Mart De Haan says:

    Over the years, as I’ve wondered how literally to take what the prophets said about the future of Israel in the last days, I’ve thought a lot about the reason the prophets gave for a future “regathering,” judgment/cleansing, and “spiritual renewal” of the nation.

    For instance, Ezekiel says that God will bring back a people that he himself has scattered throughout the nations– plant them in the land of their fathers, and build a home for them from among the ruins–so that the world will know that the LORD of historic/biblical Israel is God of gods (Ezekiel 36:19-36).

    Admittedly, I can see in principle how the body of Christ has been called to let the nations see and know the God of historic/biblical Israel. But the details of this prophecy are such that I believe it makes most sense to see them as a reference to a real physical and spiritual restoration of God’s ancient people and purposes– to bring to a conclusion this chapter of his self-revelation and grace.

  10. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart!

    You wrote:

    “The church, through Israel’s Messiah, has inherited a place in the faith of Abraham (Galatians 3:14) or (Galatians 2:14) and God’s promises to him (i.e. to become a blessing to all of the nations of the world (Gen 12:1-3). In that sense followers of Christ are called to rise above nationalistic alignments – and to be for the people of all nations, without turning a blind eye to what the prophets have said about the injustices of Israel, or any nation.”

    I heartily agree with the spirit of your statement. What I find in the USA is what happens sometimes in BTA: Little willingness to cover the Scriptural ground in order to test what others say. (Ephesians 4:14) Sometimes this allows Christians to accept Zionism for Gospel.

    The apostle Paul began to use metaphors of the sports arena — or the building trades — or some other every day source — in order to get across the profound meaning of Jesus’ ministry, death, resurrection and ascension.

    To understand the spirit and practice of the ancient Jewish Temple, we read the first five books of the Bible, bringing imagination and reason to it (Torah). Biblical faith calls for Bible literacy.

    I believe ignorance, in this case, does not hinder salvation. Wondrous things are happening in our world!

    Blessings,
    Maru

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Ok Mart let us then discuss some of which you have ask. Why would “some” say that the fall feasts are fulfilled in the prophesy of Zechariah 9: 14, Zech 12: 1-3, Zech 12: 10, Zech 14: 16?

    Rosh Hashanah; “Days of Awe” the first of the Holy Days, the day of judgment a day of remembrance, the sounding of the shofar. The book of life is opened and the names of the righteous are inscribed. Through the blowing of the shofar all rise up and make God King.

    Yom Kippur; “The Day of Atonement and Repentance” Whereas on Rosh Hashanah God writes names in the Book of Life, of Yom Kippur God seals the deal.

    Feast of Tabernacles; “The Feast of Ingathering”. A celebration of thanksgiving.

    Zechariah 9: 14, speaks of the Lord blowing a trumpet and going to battle.
    Zechariah 12: 1-3, states that the Creator God will make Jerusalem a “cup of trembling” to all the people who lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
    Zechariah 12: 10 God will forgive the inhabitants of Jerusalem and they shall look upon “Me” whom they have pierced and mourn for Him.
    Zechariah 14: 16 declare that of all who are left of all the nations shall come up to Jerusalem to worship the King the Lord of hosts and keep the feast of Tabernacles.

    Ok there is a lot more mentioned in all of Zechariah that sets up the meaning in these quotes, One of which is Zechariah 9: 1 whereas the King comes riding on a colt or ass. Very definitely what most of us know of as Palm Sunday.

    Looking deeper for a connection to the feasts and these prophesies brings me to perhaps these parallels, perhaps.
    Rosh Hashanah, the blowing of the trump of God, 1 Thessalonians 4: 16. The rapture?
    Yom Kippur, God seals the names of the righteous in the book of life. The deal was sealed upon the Cross by Jesus.
    Feast of Tabernacles, as a Christian I believe that my body is now the dwelling place of God and my body the tabernacle, in where the Triune Spirit of God dwells.

    My quandary is how do the literal interpretations of the accounts of the tribulation of the world and the events that surround Israel during this time as inscribed by Zechariah line up with the Fall feasts? I clearly see and understand the prophetic events as described by Zechariah line up with the world I recognize, and the many prophesies by Zechariah and the other Minor Prophets, but am a bit clouded on its connections to the feasts.

    Mart follows up with a different line of thought after this section of our topic; I will attempt to speak on it in a different posting.

    Steve

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… good choice of words, ” I believe ignorance, in this case, does not hinder salvation.”
    Here is another take on it… I believe all our intelligence, study, titles, and human effort, does not hinder salvation. But because each expresses one’s opinion, as a founded authority over others, that may not hindrer salvation, but causes much concern in the Family of Christ, where the most learned among us, do not totally agree on any prophesy, translation, end times revelation, or who the church really is.
    If we could just let the “Bible speak” to each one as God sees fit. We could agree that His Word is the final Authority, not our interpretation of it! Gary
    As I feel the church today is the Isreal of tomorrow,
    as Christ is coming back for His Divided Church, or is He coming back for something else?
    Just a thought…Gary

  13. florida7sun says:

    In reading the Jerusalem Post this morning the headline read “IDF (Israel Defense Forces) announces closure of Judea, Samaria for Yom Kippur.” My thoughts took me to John 4 and Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well: John 4:21-24

    The Spirit of the Lord freely moves across borders in the transformed lives of believers. The Word shall go forth. No embargo can be placed on the truth. No restrictions can be placed on the power of prayer.

    Schools may block the Bible. Crosses may be removed from church steeples. Governments may ban the display of His Commandments. Corporations and dictators may restrict the speech and movements of their stakeholders.

    Israel may restrict access.

    Pride of life’s “institutional defense forces” may deny the Word of God a visa.

    Yet Jesus goes where He wills, and He gains access. He cannot be removed from the hearts of believers purchased through His death, burial and resurrection.

    Our Father cannot be contained. His Word cannot be killed. His Spirit cannot be blocked.

    With the renewing of our minds in Him we worship in the Spirit and in truth.

    “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” – 1 John 2:17

  14. poohpity says:

    There is so much about God and His plans for Israel and for us for that matter, that I will never understand. It seems that even Jesus taught in hind sight about what the prophesies foretold about Him yet some still did not see. We are told about many future prophesies about His coming again but several things have to happen and they seem to have to happen to Israel. Israel who has in the past and present depended on everything but God just as we do in our daily lives to cover, protect and provide. It seems that the one theme that runs it’s course through all of it, is when we have come to a place where we have no place to turn but to God. It is a shame for all peoples to have to get that far down to look up but it is the refining process for anything precious.

    It seems that just when we think we know about future prophesies something happens to let us know we do not know. I think that is what happens to our younger generations (older as well) when we push what we think on anyone it results in them just saying and thinking that we really do not know. We do not understand God’s decisions or methods or His mind and it is at a point when we have convinced someone we have it all figured out that the Lord shows us how wrong we are. Then that results in us loosing our witness and integrity.

  15. bratimus says:

    As with all things God has to let it be revealed to reach its fullfulment.

    Even with the prophecies of the Bible until God reveals it in the the seen or the physical world it wont reach its fullfilment.

    God even did things in the seen or phsyical world to reveal Jesus as the Messiah, from the dove coming down on Him and God’s voice being heard at Jesus baptism to Jesus on the cross and Jesus rising and acending into Heaven. I God allowing it to be revealed.

    Even the coming of the anti-christ God has to let the evil one be revealed as it is said in 2 Thessolonians 2

    So with prophecy until God reveals them and the fullfilment of them, it is really hard to say wo is right or who is wrong.

    we are to be watchful in these matters.

    There are a lot of things that could be signs of what is coming.

    But they probably seen and said the same things before WW1 and WW2 and im sure many thought that the end of days was then.

    Even when i metion something makes my mind go to a certain verse of prophecy just means im being watchful.

  16. poohpity says:

    Yes bratimus, that is very good place to be “watchful”. Also living with expectancy in the fulfillment of the promises of God which we can celebrate in the Festivals of Israel. Any day is a day to celebrate our God.

  17. parowanprophet says:

    There seems to be much confusion in the Christian world about what the Bible says. That’s the reason for so many denominations. The 1st 11 chapters of Genesis cover from the creation to Abraham. Beginning chapter 12 the rest of scripture is about the friend of God called Abraham. And his posterity. Isaac, and Jacob who had his name changed in Genesis 32:28. That is the 1st. time “Israel” is in the Bible. Revelations 21:12 is the 3000th. time “Israel” is in the Bible. The Jews are called just one tribe called from Judah. Moses command in Deuteronomy 16:16 was to “ALL” of the House of Israel, in Genesis 35:20-26 I hope that you are reason-able people able to think and read. Able to reason and think. The entire 12 tribe of Israel and their story is what the Bible is about. Not the American Indians or the Chinese. Amos 3:1-2 says the same thing. Genesis 49 and Numbers 2 also tell the names of the tribes. People today know about the Jews, but very few of us know where are the 10 lost tribes of Israel.

    Reason for a moment. All the “Feasts” commanded in Leviticus 23 are forever. Verses 14-21-31-41 = forever. Jesus was born near Passover in the spring when new baby lambs were born. He is the Lamb of God.

    I have been a farmer rancher all my life, and Mother Ewes have lambs when new spring grass grows for them to make lots of milk for new lambs. Calves are born in the spring, as are Deer, Moose, Wild Horses, Wild game and birds. All 3 Feasts commanded show the history of the Gospel in Code. Jesus spoke in Parables so that NOT everyone would understand. I have said enough for now, so I will wait to see if readers here can accept what the Parowan Prophet has to say. Millions on Google know of me. But I suppose that my name is new to readers here. Bless you all.

  18. poohpity says:

    The ten tribes of Israel are not lost they are better referred to as Northern Kingdom and the other two tribes are referred to as Judah/Southern Kingdom (Judah and Benjamin). Their separation was a result of King Solomon’s son Rehoboam’s decision to be an even harder ruler than his father was. It was the same with them as it has been with many making choices to not follow God but people’s own desires and getting advice from the wrong people. If you would like to read about them in the bible it is in 1 Kings 12:1–22:53. They are all Israel/Jews. I heard similar teaching from the those who follow the teaching of Joseph Smith.

  19. remarutho says:

    Little children understand very well that Jesus loves them/us. There is no confusion. In his kingdom, all nations are welcomed into the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16) The Message

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-8) NKJV

    “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitde which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (Revelation 7:9-10) NKJV Blessings, Maru

  20. remarutho says:

    Sorry, my reference is (Ephesians 2:8-9) in the NKJV.
    Maru

  21. remarutho says:

    Mart —

    You wrote:

    “I was raised to believe that God’s program for the church does not replace his program for future Israel, just as many others were raised to believe that the body of Christ has inherited and fulfilled God’s promises to Israel.”

    It seems to me, if we faithfully continue to take in the Scriptures — Old and New Testaments — and meanwhile live in this world of ours, we see clearly enough that not all of God’s plan is worked out yet. Jesus differentiates between “sons of Abraham” such as Zacchaeus(Luke 19:1-10)and Gentiles such as the woman at the well of Sychar (John 4:1-26). Yet, he loves us all…

    It is not a simple thing to see or discern the body of Christ in our day. My sense, from here, is that we, that is humanity, are moving toward fulfillment of “God’s program for the church.” We are called to engage, as Jesus did within the confines of Palestine, any and all we encounter. Who can assess these ultimate outcomes but the Lord himself?

    Do your travels indicate that the Great Commission and the Great Commandment are being lived out in the world by the body of Christ? Doesn’t it take a remarkably long time for the Lord to bring a new believer in Jesus Christ to that full, mature understanding of the ancient covenants of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 10:20)? Hang in there, Mart!

    Blessings,
    Maru

  22. Mart De Haan says:

    Maru, Yes, I heard reports of many (countless)turning to Christ in regions of Asia Pacific.

  23. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve, I don’t understand a lot of the literal details of the feasts. So I tend to stay with their general significance. i.e. The cycle of feasts end in a joy and celebration (before the Lord)that follows national repentance. Repentance in turn follows the sound of the shofar which seems to signal a wake-up call from the Lord.

    Those big ideas, as you suggest, seem to correlate with what the prophets say about the end of the age. Beyond that, I think we need to acknowledge that we are just guessing about detailed correlations.

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Ok Brother Mart, as to your second set of questions; let me start with what Paul says in Romans 11: 1-2 “I say has God cast away His people? God forbid, for I am also an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people which He foreknew;”

    Paul continues throughout this chapter to explain why it is that Israel cannot see her savior. Romans 11:7-11 gives exact explanation and say’s clearly their eyes are blinded so that salvation can come to the Gentile.

    I love what Romans 11:25-26 has to say; Israel’s blindness is “until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in”.

    This is seen in Revelation 7 and I believe it starts at Revelation 4. I personally believe that Revelation 4 is the rapture and that once the *Elect* spoken of as the Church is removed from the earth that this is the moment in God’s time that the fullness of the Gentile come to conclusion and Israel takes center stage once again.

    Let me make clear this concept; the Church is the Church and Israel is Israel. The Church is made up of all nations of believers all come together under the banner of Christ and have a separate place in God’s overall plan. However in the end all people are unified under the same Lord.

    Ezekiel 34 is a point in God’s prophesy whereas God clearly says that Israel has failed to care for the scattered people and declares that He Himself will search out the lost and “set up one Shepard over them”

    Ezekiel goes on to prophesy that God will remember Israel and bring her back to a place just like Eden Ezekiel 36: 35.

    Christians are the bride of Christ and have an eternal future that is different somewhat from the actual nation of Israel. Israel’s future as a nation and as a people are sealed in God’s word and explained by the prophets. Trying to say that the Church replaces Israel in prophesy is just not scriptural.

    God uses Israel as a timeline and as a reference point in what is going to occur all over the world. When God says He will resurrect the dead Israelite and return them to the Promised Land (Ezekiel 37: 12) He will. The many layered meanings of the scripture speak here in that there is both spiritual as well as literal meaning.

    Earlier in Ezekiel 34: 16, 17, 20 God says He will judge.

    Here in this study of prophesy, we come face to face with several realizations; for me the first is to avoid judgment I can accept Jesus of Nazareth as the promised messiah of Israel and escape judgment for sins. I can escape the horrors of a coming judgment upon all of mankind as described surrounding the events of the nation of Israel as given by the prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah and Daniel and others at the end of the age.
    Even if I were a physical descendant of Jacob I could still become a bride of Christ escape judgment and be included in the “Elect”.

    Being Jewish or from one of the twelve tribes of Israel would not exclude me from salvation if I were. This is still a personal choice to accept Jesus or not. However the people and descendants of Jacob have a promise and a destiny God has given them, and what God says will come to pass.

    So this is easy, look to prophesy and see the darkness *Not* accepting Jesus has to offer, and look to prophesy and see the bright eternal future Jesus offers all who call upon His name as Lord.

    As for me and my house, we all choose the Lord Jesus of Nazareth the Christ and Messiah of Israel. All one in Spirit and in God.

    Steve

  25. SFDBWV says:

    It took me most of my morning to write my last and rather long comment Mart and didn’t see your post until I posted. My remarks this morning as always are written is the midst of multiple interruptions. Not complaining just if any read what seems to be breaks in my train of thought that is why.

    I fully agree Mart, we all of us come to our own conclusions as to what we glean from reading these prophesies as they become an informed theory or hypotheses, fancy words for as you have said a guess.

    Like I tried to say before along the lines of the feasts and their connection to any prophesy, for some reason God has not seen fit to make these things clear to me, even when I listen to others whom seem to have a fix on them still they are clouded and I unable to place what they have to say in to my heart for permanent understanding.

    My only explanation for this is that God doesn’t see it as being important to my walk of faith with Him, and so at this place in time just doesn’t make these feast things important to me.

    It then just becomes an intellectual study without feeding the soul, kind of like eating rice cake instead of meat and potatoes in preparation for a long journey.

    No disagreement from me Mart no argument. No need for me to work hard at convincing anyone else of what I believe except in accepting Jesus as Lord.

    Steve

  26. florida7sun says:

    This morning I read some testimonies by Jewish physicians (“Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician”) on Jews for Jesus website. The site’s byline:

    “Ten Out of Ten Physicians We Know Say — “This Yom Kippur, for the relief of sin, Y’SHUA (JESUS) is indicated! Y’shua—Jesus—is God’s remedy for the affliction of sin. The mitzvah (commandment) of afflicting one’s own soul can be helpful, but there is something even better. Isaiah the prophet says about the Messiah: “He was afflicted for our sins. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

    My thoughts took me to Galatians 3:24-29.

    It’s wonderful that Our Great Physician knows our condition and is always on call. No appointment is necessary to speak with him. He offers abundant and eternal life to Jews and Gentiles, men and women, poor and rich… all who have been infected by sin. No one is turned away.

    He makes house calls and knocks on every heart. In opening the door I have found Him to have a wonderful bedside manner. He gave me His Word, and I never received a bill.

    What a Wonderful Physician is Jesus! He is also my friend. I recommend Him highly.

    “The worst of all diseases is light compared with sin.
    On every part it seizes and rages most within;
    Tis leprosy and fever and palsy all combined,
    And none but the believer the least relief can find.” – John Newton

    Blessed weekend to all, Ray

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve.. I am so glad your post went through. I was blessed by it, as it speaks much to my own interpretation of the Feasts as well. I did a lengthy one yesterday and it failed to post. When that happens, it becomes to me like a prayer in a closet, kept as a secret between the Lord and myself. Although, I felt led to write the original and to share with this family here, as soon as I saw it was lost into cyberspace, I had no energy to repeat, what I believe, God had tested me to write for Him. That is not the first time, a time consuming writing has disappeared, and it is difficult to replicate with the exact words used the first time. It is rewriters block, if you will!
    Thank God that the Holy Scriptures were not lost, but were copied with every last detail in tact. If the church today, were to start over and write such an amazing work, it would be filled with self-serving entries and mislead many, as some today also seem to have no problem doing. Praise God that those whom He has called unto Repentance, His Church, He has also deposited with His Spirit of Discernment. Gary

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, I write my posts on Microsoft Word first, then copy it and paste it to the BTA comment window. If as it sometimes does happen disappear off into cyberspace I have still got what I typed and can try again to send it. That always works for me.

    Other people have a different word processor and do pretty much the same. It really helps when you have a long post and seem to have been able to say exactly what you want.

    I learned to do this from other people here who suggested it to me.

    I hope this helps you in the future.

    Steve

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, Thank you for your comments on the previous topic, and taking the time to answer my question.

    Steve

  30. SFDBWV says:

    The study of prophesy can be very exhausting and time consuming. Whereas I can agree we all need to spend time in God’s Word we also need rest in our spirits from time to time.

    When I need comforting my two favorite places in scripture to go is John 14 and the Psalms.

    Sometimes when I don’t want to fight or do battle anymore and I am low in spirit, I go to these words to gather strength and reassurance that I am not alone and need not worry about a future I cannot control.

    That God is in control and in spite of the terrors around me He is with me and will see me through that valley.

    If I were Israel today and looked around and seen the enemies she has and wondered about her future where would she look to for strength? In herself? In her allies? Or would she look to the God of her forefathers?

    If she were to look to the God of her forefathers, where would she look but in the written Word. We Christians might call it the Old Testament; the Israelite might call it the Torah.

    What then does the written Word of God say to Israel about her future? It seems to me that there is a great deal said about her future, mostly bleak, but with a glorious ending.

    Even the Jew has to live today as we, in hope from the same God that in the end of all things we know He has a destiny for us. A blessed destiny and wonderful future that we can accept in spite of our trials and tribulations. That this destiny is given in prophesy and it is our choice to have peace by simply believing God and what He has said through His Prophets and His Word.

    Israel without Christ still has a destiny both bleak and glorious, but glorious only because of Christ.

    We Christians have a destiny that transcends the bleak and gloomy life we may be enduring now for a glorious future, all because of Christ.

    We Christians can offer every tongue and every nation of people including the Israelite peace and eternal secrurity in accepting Jesus of Nazareth as their personal Savior. In fact it is our responsibility to do so, to give testimony about Jesus and present the Gospel to all.

    We can present witness through the Word, but only God can open up a deaf ear or blind eye to the truth, we can only present it.

    Cold foggy morning in the mountains, 38 degrees f.

    Steve

  31. remarutho says:

    I received a blessing yesterday, on Yom Kippur. A hospice chaplain’s training was given by a Jewish rabbi on line, recorded at another time. I did not observe the Day of Atonement, but the rabbi mentioned the holiest of Jewish holidays in the seminar. It seems, in the Jewish service, there is a time for remembering the Temple in Jerusalem. The whole Yom Kippur service is mostly prayer: guided prayer, individual prayer, small prayer groups and corporate prayer from a prayer book. The point in the training was that prayer is one of the essential tools in a chaplain’s kit – both for preparing to call upon the dying person, and for being together in the presence of God with the dying person.

    I came away from the session wondering at the great shifts the Jewish religion has experienced in the scattering and re-scattering of Jews over the centuries. The teacher mentioned that on Yom Kippur, even non-observant Jews come to the synagogue. It is always packed out that one day.
    Is this a foretaste of the ingathering that will occur on account of the tribulation? Christ himself has replaced the temple. There is no temple in the New Jerusalem, no church, no chapel…

    After Solomon completed the building of the temple, the Lord appeared to him at night and said:
    “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
    (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)” Just pondering on the topic. Blessings — Maru

  32. foreverblessed says:

    Mart. you invite us to talk about the Fall Festivals, without bitter arguments, nor making a fight, about
    “let’s talk once again about whether these holidays have more than spiritual and historical significance.”
    I would like to do that, not wanting to offend anybody, who is not into prophecy. My first point is that today’s reality is important, we are now Christ’s, and He is busy gathering lost souls, and He wants willing christians, those who want to do His will, to further His Kingdom now. Thats my main goal, or rather, I want this to be my main goal in life.
    In my youth, I have had many bible studies on prophecies, and these are still in my head. Not knowing what to do with them, I left it. It is far better to grow in knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. That is a big journey.
    But future events?
    When you line up the Fall Festivals with the events that are described Revelation 19 and 20, they all do make sense. In some way I believe the Fall Festival describe these events, in the former topic “Backstory for Israel’s fall festivals” I described it in a particular way. If Revelation 20 is to be taken literal too, and a chronological line is given that will occur, then maybe the Fall Festivals give an outline of the same chronological events. The sounding of the Last Trump is described in Revelation 11:15, which could be the Rosh Hashana, and in Revelation 12 the story of Revelation is interrupted, and then come a whole lot of trouble, maybe in that trouble many will turn to Jesus as this beautiful verse in Zecheriah 12:10,11.
    What a reconciliation, it looks like the Revivals that have been in the past, the first thing that happens is the spirit of grace and supplication that is happening, people realising their sins are so great, they feel not worthy to be saved, a lot of prayer is needed till the grace of God gives them peace in heart.

    Do we become a better christian if we discuss these things? Or is it better to leave it? If discussing prophecy unsettles anybody, it is better that this person go back to Jesus, and ask for peace, and calmness. To keep asking untill it is given by God. In peace and calmness in heart, we remain one with Christ. And we learn to be gracious in discussing with each other.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    I agree Maru, with what you write, I know a jewish guy, he is not a believer, but goes to the Yom Kippur festivities. That is tradition he holds on to. They hear all these things, what will happen if God takes away the veil!

  34. tracey5tgbtg says:

    foreverblessed – I don’t think anyone is ever offended by you. I know that I always appreciate the things you say because they come straight from the heart.

    When I read Zechariah 12, Romans 11 and Revelation it is amazing how they all tie in together. What shines through is God’s love and grace for the Jews and the Gentiles alike and also God’s holiness and authority. There are many times in the OT where the words point so directly to Jesus. Isaiah 52-66 and especially Isaiah 53 for instance.

    I certainly don’t want to offend anyone either, but it is my own personal situation to distrust people who write books on “prophecy” and talk about times and countries and governments and events and politics that aren’t mentioned specifically in the Bible and say these are the signs. These are fulfillments of the prophesy. How do they know this for sure?

    I know most definitely that I don’t really understand in depth theological issues; my hope & trust is in God alone.

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I seem to lack the mechanics on the process of writnig in Word, then posting it here. I am open to a short treatsie on that lack.
    Here’s my take on the Jewish Feasts… they keep the Jew in Old Testament, but fail to open one’s eyes to the value and relaity of the New Testament.
    Yet, in their Old Law, *everything* was to be proved by a witness.
    “There is no greater witness to those who live in the Feasts of the Old Testament, than the Living New Testament, who’s witness goes unheard by the Jewish Nation, we call Israel today!”
    You can quote me on that…
    Does that reality stand in the way of the Jewish Nation today, as it will not be recognized by them? As you have shown by scripture, their eyes are blinded.
    I have several Jewish friends whom I love dearly, and whom I have shared at all costs and opprtunity, and In His Love, seemingly to no avail, as they hear only what they were taught to understand.
    Here’s my question to you, Should we then not try to Evangelise those whom we know through the New Testament, God has already scriputally blinded?
    Can we equally see, or be blinded as well, that our practicing of “Our Religion,” does not mean we are in relationship with Jesus Christ, for it is not about us,
    or our Religion, it is all about Relationship with Jesus Christ. All religion can fail mankind in that persuit. Our Faith must come from God’s Word alone!
    Here is a Witness of God’s Word found in Hebrews 11:6 “Without Faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
    My place of rest is found in Hebrews, one of my favorite books in the wholeness of the Word. Just as those “two testaments stand together” as a Witnesses for Christ! Gary

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, a peace which surpasses all understanding, a peace that only Christ can provide, may it come Upon that Nation Israel today, in His Name do I rent my heart for His People.”

  37. poohpity says:

    I know for myself I have so much to learn about the festivals and prophesy but I believe it all comes down to our desire to learn more about our God. I find it fascinating that in the festivals we are given time to celebrate our God, past, present and future. When we get heavily burden with the problems and struggles of everyday life it can take our eyes off of the joys of our Lord who helps carry those burdens for us but some feel they are bearing them all alone and forget to find joy in all things and just in our God being who God is. Not what he can do or not do for us but just the fact He is God and in that we get to have a personal relationship with Him, now that is a very good reason to have festivals or celebrations.

    ODB today had a very good article on bickering, fighting, and arguing amongst believers and even in my reading today in Mark 3 that a place filled with strife and division destroys itself. It seems nonproductive, when we are called to peace makers, to argue over prophesy which most of the time is just a guess at best, rather than to find the common foundation we all stand humbly on. I trust that the Lord gave this to me today to point out the area that He is working on within me and my only hope is that this work gets completed very soon.

    I pray that all things I can learn about anything related to our Lord and Savior never becomes trite or meaningless or unimportant or the thoughts that I know it all stops me from seeking more of our God in the most minuet detail because I believe that is where someone other than our Lord is trying to find an opening to turn my mind, heart and soul away from where my focus needs to be on God.

  38. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Foreverblessed,

    I have left a comment for you on the previous subject.
    Love to every one!

    Bob

  39. poohpity says:

    I was also considering Israel in today’s times and that when one rents an apartment there one of the must haves is a bomb shelter. Can you imagine what it would be like to have gun shots and bombs flying overhead through out your life time or people with bombs attached to their bodies. Israel in the midst of all those neighboring nations warring against you all the time trying to take something God had given to them centuries ago even Jerusalem as their capital being fought over, trusting in our unseen God for the final outcome when we have problems trusting him for our daily needs. All I can say is, wow!!!!

  40. foreverblessed says:

    Tracey, thanks for telling me it is OK. I also enjoy reading these positive prophecies, God’s Kingdom on earth. Then it will be visible on earth. Good tidings, healings nature will bloom as. All around us, that is not the fact today.
    I was dreaming last night that I was among many many people, singing praises together to God, people all around you serving God. Think of it, that is not the case today. But God’s Spirit is with us, and in us, He will not leave us nor forsake us.

    In the Kingdom to come, when Jesus returns, I believe that God will work with Israel, not for the sake of Israel perse, but to be a blessing to the rest of the world.
    God first wirks with Israel, nations around will see how they will blossom, and they will come, and ask, we want to serve your God too.
    Then the promise to Abraham will also be fulfilled, not only through Jesus, as Israel brought forth Jesus, but as a nation. Genesis 12:2,3
    Fact is, Jesus is already Victorious, Ephesians 1;19,20,21, 22-23. And we are with Him in the spiritual realm, Ephesians 2:6.
    But we need the eye of faith to see that, among all the difficulties around us, and in our bodies, that the victory of Christ is already here, and His Kingdom is growing in me now today.

  41. SFDBWV says:

    Gary I just stopped in for the minute I have to see what’s going on and seen your question to me, I did not want to leave it void but don’t have much time.

    Yes witness to everyone Jew and Gentile alike spread the Gospel into *all* nations.

    The future of Israel is about them as a nation not as an individual, I already expressed this but it may need emphasizing.

    Spread the Gospel wherever you can, this is our job and what Christians are to do. The Holy Spirit takes it from there, we must learn to let God be God and pray for and witness to all who have yet to accept Christ; as many of us feel time is running out.

    Pooh I am reminded by your last post about a scene during the first Gulf War *Desert Storm* seeing an Israeli woman wearing a gas mask in behind plastic and duct tape to protect her and her children from scud missiles they thought may have biological weaponry. She looked at the camera and said “Don’t worry America, Israel is with you.” That scene and statement still makes me tear up.

    Steve

  42. davids says:

    Tracey, I share your distrust. I was recently reading about the times of Sir Isaac Newton – himself a great student of the Revelations.

    People were convinced that the year 1666 would bring the end of the world. A great plague in 1665 and then the Great Fire of London strengthened their belief.

    Again without meaning to offend those that get comfort and blessing from the study of prophecy, the reading into the signs has also caused a fragmentation of the Church in the US and caused many to be led astray.

    To me, the preaching of “the end is nigh” takes away from the central message of God’s love and grace.

  43. davids says:

    Gary, I concur with Steve. Paul preached to the Jews and to Gentiles alike. I think we need look no further for a model.

  44. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve and davids… we are of One Accord. My question was more retospective to the blinded eyes scripture, than an attempt to change the Great Comission. We are all bound by Christ and allowed to do all He commands, and even more, through His Spirit that reigns in us. Even if we do not see the result as being as timely as we would wish, like my loving attempt to show my Jewish friends this Jesus I know, His Word never returns void. So, we bring it to them in His name, and leave all the consequences to Him. Gary

  45. Hephzibah610 says:

    Thank you for these teachings about the prophecy of the OT and the Holidays of God. We have a vhs copy of RBC teachings on ‘THE HOLIDAYS OF GOD”…it was SO informative and stirring. It is wonderful to see the amazing grace and mercy of God that spans throughout time. He is always calling us back to Himself and His Word. God’s shalom be with you!

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