The Feast of Tabernacles and Biblical Prophecy

“Sukkot” is the Hebrew term referring to the Feast of Tabernacles (also known as the Feast of Booths in many English Bibles)

Many Christians today do not celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles because they have been taught that it has been done away with. So today, let’s look to the Scriptures to learn more about the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and realize how relevant it remains today:

“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and say, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Feast of Sukkot, forseven days to ADONAI. On the first day there is to be a holy convocation — you are to do no laborious work. For seven days you are to bring an offering by fire to ADONAI. The eighth day will be a holy convocation to you, and you are to bring an offering by fire to ADONAI. It is a solemn assembly—you should do no laborious work.” Leviticus 23:34-36

As we continue, I urge you to read your Bible carefully. Trust the Word of God and read to discover His Truth for yourself.

Prophecies from Zechariah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah

The prophet Zechariah foretells what will occur at the Mount of Olives when the LORD returns to rule.

ADONAI will then be King over all the earth. In that day ADONAI will be Echad and His Name Echad.” Zechariah 14:9

“Echad” means One. The LORD our God, the LORD is One God. He alone will reign as King.

It will be a glorious time!

Now look at Zechariah 14:16:

“Then all the survivors from all the nations that attacked Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, ADONAI-TZVA’OT, and to celebrate Sukkot.” Zechariah 14:16

The nations along with Israel will celebrate Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles!) and celebrate our King! The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as Chag HaAsif, which means the “Feast of the Ingathering.” One day, we will all be gathered in the New Jerusalem. This is reason to rejoice!

“Therefore behold, days are coming,” says Adonai, “when they will no longer say: ‘As ADONAI lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’ Rather, ‘As ADONAI lives, who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ So they will dwell in their own soil.” Jeremiah 23:7-8

It will come about in that day,
ADONAI will thresh from the channel of the River to the Wadi of Egypt,
and you will be gathered one by one, Bnei-Yisrael.

“It will also come about in that day, a great shofar will be blown. Those perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come and worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 27:12-13

Sukkot is about Rejoicing

Moshe (Moses) informed the people of the moedim, the “appointed times,” when they were to keep a holy appointment with the LORD. Sukkot is one of the moedim. We have the wonderful opportunity to spend a week in our sukkah (temporary dwellings) to celebrate and to grow closer to the LORD. In His Torah, the LORD specifically commands us to rejoice, or to be joyful, during this time:

“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.  You are to live in sukkot for seven days. All the native-born in Israel are to live in sukkot so that your generations may know that I had Bnei-Yisrael to dwell in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am ADONAI your God.” Leviticus 23:39-43, emphasis added

When you celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, you are participating in something Biblical. God-honoring.

Don’t get me started on all these churches that host “trunk-or-treat” and whitewash the devil’s feast of halloween.

If you need something to celebrate this autumn, go with the Feast of Tabernacles and leave the pagans to their paganism.

The Feast of Tabernacles and the Birth of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)

No one can claim to know the exact date when our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) was born.

But I can assure you, it is highly unlikely that he was born on December 25.

You have probably heard that December 25th was chosen as “Christmas” because our Savior is the Light of the World, so it was somehow “fitting” to choose the darkest time of the year to celebrate the coming of our Emmanuel.

The problem is, this pattern of thinking conforms to the world and at worst, it is aligned with Constantine and the rule of Rome.

Let us be free of the cult of paganism and false religion.

We need not conform to the pattern of this world!

Let us always look to the Scriptures.

The Bible says the Word became flesh and dwelt – “tabernacled” with us

“And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Greek term “dwelt” more literally means “tabernacled,” hence the translation provided by the Tree of Life Version cited above.

This is an awesome picture of what our Savior came to do!

He left His glorious throne above to meet with us.

As I mentioned earlier, we have sacred appointments – the moedim – and He gave us the Feast of Tabernacles as an experience. That we would realize the magnificence of the fact He meets with us in the most humble of abodes.

You see, perhaps you have never built or even seen a sukkah. A sukkah is sort of like a tent. It is a temporary structure built for this occasion.

No Room in the Inn, but room in a . . . sukkah?

When there was no room at the inn . . . could it be that all of the hotels and motels of Bethlehem were taken because a busy pilgrimage feast . . . known as Sukkot . . . was going on?

Many who study the Hebrew Scriptures believe it very possible that the birth of our Messiah coincided with this pilgrimage feast of Sukkot. The shepherds were in the fields and the sheep in the pastures – it couldn’t have been too terribly cold yet . . . Sorry, closet Constantinians, the first Christmas definitely wasn’t in winter.

I don’t mean to offend anyone since I know Christmas is a beloved tradition for a lot of people.

But I do mean to point out Truth versus modern day tradition.

Could it be that the innkeeper had a sukkah, which provided the extra space available for Miriam and Yosef (Mary and Joseph)?

Our Messiah, our Prince of Peace, was born in the most humble of places. If you build a sukkah, you will see it fits that description.

A humble dwelling place.

Need more evidence?

The Hebrew word, sukkah, is translated as “stable” (Genesis 33:17).

Celebrate the Incarnation of our Messiah this Sukkot

Our wonderful Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) our LORD came to earth in a manner that demonstrated humility and the veracity of the Word. He never has contradicted His Word, and He never will.

On the contrary, the Word proves True every time, against any test.

This Sukkot, realize this amazing Truth. We currently dwell in temporary tabernacles of flesh, but one day, we will put on the eternal resurrected tabernacle because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) and He will raise us up incorruptible.

My husband is an immigrant to the United States and didn’t really grow up with Christmas carols. So he is fascinated by our culture in that by the end of November every radio station is playing Christmas songs. He loves the fact that the secular stations even play songs that honor our Savior.

So he wishes that they played these songs all year!

He doesn’t just want Christmas in July, this man would love to play Christmas songs on our stereo all year if I let him.

Do you love those beautiful songs, too?

Well, no need to wait any longer. Get out your Joy to the World playlist because the LORD has come, and will return! Let heaven and nature sing!!

He has come to tabernacle with you, my friend.

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Enjoy the feast, and invite your friends.

Perhaps someone will come to a saving relationship with Yeshua (Jesus) because of your faithful witness.

It was during the Feast of Tabernacles when Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) revealed Himself as the Living Water. If you’d like to study that topic, more in-depth, I invite you to check out my post on the Living Water at the Feast of Tabernacles: Exploring John 7.

Speaking of Living Water, notice that an offering by fire had been required during Sukkot. Now, the Holy Spirit fills those who call upon His Name with Living Water and the Fire of Pentecost. Let your life be that offering to Him, on fire for your Savior, and filled with the precious Holy Ghost. Chag Sameach Sukkot!

Are you celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles this year? We pray you have a wonderful time with your family and friends, celebrating the coming of Emmanuel, the One who gives us Living Water!

The joyful shout of Yom Teruah(Rosh Hashanah)

5782 B”H

Yom Teruah (“Day of the Shout”) is the correct Biblical name for the Holy Day more commonly called Rosh Hashanah, meaning “Head of the Year.” To make things more complicated, Rosh Hashanah is additionally called Yom HaZikkaron, meaning “Day of Remembrance.” This refers to Leviticus 23:24‘s exhortation to have a “memorial:”

“Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.” Leviticus 23:24. ESV

“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 23:24 TLV

Notice, the Day of the Shofar/Shout is considered a Sabbath day. Many Christians today do not realize that there are Sabbaths that fall on days besides Saturday. It is yet another opportunity to have an appointment with the LORD. Consider celebrating the prophetic feast of Yom Teruah and the High Holy Days this year, taking time to rest and rejoice in the God of Israel!

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah is very much associated with a time of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). These days are known as the Days of Awe. Traditional Judaism teaches that on Rosh Hashanah your name may be written in the book of Life and that on Yom Kippur, it may be sealed there. As disciples of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), we know that our name is written in the Book of Life at the moment of salvation, and it is by His Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) that we are sealed.

What does the Hebrew word “Teruah” mean?

The Hebrew word, “teruah” תְּרוּעָה means “shout!” It is a startling, battlecry type of shout. Think of Jericho and the walls falling down. This is no time for a half-hearted noise. This word expresses a collective shout that is unified, massive, earth-shaking, and awe-inspiring.

Walls will come down, if you will participate.

Walls will come down, if you will believe.

The Israelites had been instructed to circle the city of Jericho 7 times on the 7th day.

“Then on the seventh time, when the kohanim blew the shofarot, Joshua ordered the people, “Shout! For ADONAI has given you the city!” Joshua 6:16

Shofarot is the plural for shofar. Shofars were sounded and the people shouted, and they won the city.

What battle are you facing?

Are you willing to do things God’s way?

Will you turn away from sin and enter into a relationship with Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?

Teruah brings us to victory.

Sometimes we need to shout our praise and our thankfulness!

Blessed are the people who know the joyful teruah

The Bible says:

“Blessed are the people who know the joyful shout!
They walk in the light of Your presence, ADONAI.” Psalm 89:15

Yom Teruah people who know the joyful shout

And that

“God has ascended amidst shouts of joy, ADONAI amidst the sounding of the shofar.” Psalm 47:5

Notice a theme here? JOY!

shofar teruah joy

Though a battle may be raging, if we truly trust our Mighty Conqueror and Victorious Savior, we will have peace in the face of an enemy. Internally, we will have joy unspeakable. And it might even overflow in such a way that it is apparent externally.

Have you ever worshipped in such a manner? Tambourine in hand, dancing before your King? Arms lifted high in freedom of praise? Perhaps you have used worship flags or banners? Allow your joy to overflow and you will find great liberty, healing, and strength in the LORD’s presence!

Here is a song that may inspire you to praise in such a manner:

You see, once you realize from just how deep a pit you have been rescued, your praise changes. You won’t be ashamed to dance before your Creator. You will overflow with Living Water.

The Coronation of our King

Another very central theme during Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah is that the LORD (ADONAI) is King over all the earth. Traditional Judaism teaches that Rosh Hashanah is the appropriate time for the crowning of a king! Our Messiah Yeshua is King of all kings, the Victorious One and we look forward to His coronation again in Jerusalem!

“No misfortune is to be seen in Jacob,
    and no misery in Israel!
ADONAI their God is with them
    —the King’s shout is among them!” Numbers 23:21

This joyful verse from Numbers 23:21 uses the word “teruah” in connection to our King! Assuredly, even our King will shout and this prevents misfortune or misery from being among God’s people.

Are you among the people who know the joyful shout?

If your name is indeed written in the Book of Life, then this promise is yours today:

“Behold, I tell you a mystery:

We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed—

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar.
For the shofar will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

The shofar will again sound the Day of our Resurrection!

What greater joy could there be?

We will rise with Messiah, incorruptible. We will live in His Heavenly Kingdom for all eternity!

Now I do believe that is worth a mighty shout of praise today!

Rejoice! Our King lives and reigns forever! Please leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you!

The Biblical Autumn Feasts

Parashat Emor (V’yikra/Leviticus 21-24) 5782, B”H

In the springtime, we looked at the Biblical Spring Feasts.

As we near autumn, today let’s revisit that passage of Scripture from Leviticus that describes the feasts, but this time we will focus on the Biblical Autumn Feasts! Most people call them the Biblical Fall Feasts and I do admit it is easier to say . . . but since . . . Adam and Eve and the Fall . . . yeah I just personally prefer the word autumn. It’s just me, I know. A little too obsessed with linguistics. Go ahead and call them the Fall Feasts, it is perfectly fine 🙂

This post will be a quick overview on the autumn feasts. In future posts I will help us look more deeply at each of these.

Are you familiar with the autumn Biblical feasts?

The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles are the special days outlined in the Bible that are celebrated in autumn.

Each of the Biblical Autumn Feasts can also be called by its Hebrew term:

The Feast of Shofars = Yom Teruah*

The Day of Atonement = Yom Kippur

The Feast of Tabernacles = Sukkot

*Note: Yom Teruah is more widely known as Rosh HaShanah. Yom Teruah is the literal translation for the “Feast of Trumpets” and is more Biblical. Rosh HaShanah signifies “Head of the Year” meaning this is a celebration of the Jewish New Year.

Just like the Biblical Spring Feasts, Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) fulfilled the prophetic meaning of each of these Biblical autumn feasts (moedim). The Hebrew word “moedim” more literally means “appointed times.” These are appointments that God made for us – the appointed feast times to meet with our Creator! What a privilege! Throughout the year, we gather to experience these feasts. The Autumn Feasts are no exception, in fact, they are extremely eschatologically significant because they point us to the end of days.

The Feast of Shofars (Yom Teruah)

Autumn feasts shofars

The Feast of Shofars is more commonly called “The Feast of Trumpets” in English. But most people who think of a trumpet think of a beautiful brass instrument in the marching band. This autumn feast has nothing to do with those! A more correct translation is the “Feast of Shofars.” The ram’s horn was used as an instrument – an alarm to warn and even alert the enemy.

Have you ever heard several shofars played at the same time? The sound is awe-inspiring.

If you want to have a profound experience, find a place where the shofars will sound this Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah)! You will undoubtedly be touched by the sheer magnitude of the sound and inspired by all it represents for God’s people.

It is like a rehearsal. We will know what to listen for the day the trumpet (shofar) sounds:

“He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:31

I love to hear my boys practicing their shofar skills a few days before Yom Teruah! It is a wonderful way to bring in the Hebrew New Year!

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Another one of the Biblical autumn feasts is Yom Kippur. This is the most solemn occasion on the Jewish Biblical calendar. This is a day of fasting as people ask for forgiveness for the sins committed during the past year. When the Temple was still standing, this was the day when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement on behalf of the people.

Today, we know that Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) has provided our atonement (Hallelujah!!!) so most followers of the King of all kings participate by fasting and praying for Israel.

The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Immediately after Yom Kippur, Jewish and Messianic believers begin setting up their sukkahs (outdoor tabernacles) for the upcoming Biblical autumn feast known as the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is great fun! Many English speakers know this feast as the Feast of Booths. But booths? That’s a little hard for us to understand, unless you have seen an actual sukkah.

A sukkah is a tabernacle – a temporary structure intended for nonpermanent residency!

This feast is a lot like camping (but better) and lasts for a whole week! It is definitely family-friendly!

If you’d like some ideas on how to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, check out this post I wrote about ways our family celebrates Sukkot. And make sure you get your FREE printable Selfie Scavenger Hunt for Sukkot!

It is said that the best time to visit Israel is during the autumn feast of Sukkot. The entire nation sets up their temporary structures. The sukkahs are decorated and there is plenty of food. Did you know it is commanded to be joyful during these holy days of Sukkot? It is truly a celebration that the LORD chose to dwell with us.

Zechariah prophecies of a future time when all the nations will celebrate Sukkot, so it is certainly something we ought to learn about and participate in to understand the full meaning of our Scriptures! It really is like a dress rehearsal for the last days!

“Then all the survivors from all the nations that attacked Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot, and to celebrate Sukkot. Furthermore, if any of the nations on earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot, they will have no rain.” Zechariah 14:16-17

Sukkot Zechariah Feast of Tabernacles
Zechariah 14:16-17

I encourage you to learn more about the Feast of Tabernacles as autumn draws near. A fun project (especially if you have boys) is to build a backyard sukkah! Invite your friends and neighbors, and you will have a wonderful time of fellowship as you live out the Word of the LORD!

For a more thorough, theological look at the Sukkot and the spiritual meaning of it, I encourage you to check out my post: “Living Water at the Feast of Tabernacles: Exploring John 7.” You will discover the reason “why” our Messiah proclaimed that He is the Living Water!

If you have questions about the Biblical autumn Feasts we would truly love to help you! And most importantly, if you have questions about the Messiah, please let us know and we would love to share the Good News with you. We hope that following the LORD at His Word is important to you and hope that this post will help you in your faith journey! Please subscribe so you don’t miss any new posts! Shalom!

L’shanah tovah! May you have a very happy New Year!

The 7 species of the land of Israel

Parashat Eiqev/Eikev/Ekev (D’varim/Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) 5782 B”H

7 species promised to the land of Israel

Today, let’s look at the 7 kinds or “species” promised to the land and people of Israel in Deuteronomy.

Moshe (Moses) continues to speak to the Israelites

Deuteronomy/D’varim 7:12-11:25 continues Moshe’s (Moses’) speech to the Israelites, reminding them of all the wonders of the LORD’s deliverance and encouraging them toward blessing as they continue toward the Promised Land. Contained within these verses are the revelation of the 7 species that would be part of the land of Israel.

This passage reiterates that Israel will see increase “little by little (Deuteronomy/D’varim 7:22) and that the duty of the people was to remain faithful to the God of Israel and His commands so that they would continually experience abundant provision and blessing.

People of the Promise

We know that the Israelites struggled to maintain a positive outlook. Many of them failed to look with the eyes of faith toward a better future. Many of them grumbled and complained. They had heard of a Promised Land, but would they grasp onto its promise? Would they themselves live to see that Promised Land? Would they walk as people of the Promise or would they continue to walk around in circles?

How many of us today know intellectually of God’s promises but fail to continually walk in His path, choosing instead to try our own routes only to wind up back where we started with feelings of unaccomplishment and frustration?

The life of faith can be challenging. But while we may break our own promises or have others do so to us, God is faithful and He will never break His promises to you.

For those who would trust in the God of Israel as people of the promise, 7 species or special “kinds” of provision awaited them in the Promised Land.

7 Promised Species in Israel

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word, “species,” I tend to think of animals.

We’re planning a zoo trip for the kiddos in the coming weeks, so I have lions, tigers, and bears on my mind. I have one child who says he has never seen a live penguin (not true, but he was very young last time we were at the zoo) and another who claims kangaroos don’t exist because he has never seen one (so I really hope this zoo has an Australia exhibit . . . a lesson on doubting Thomas might be better for him than the zoo, but I guess we will start with the zoo!)

Back to Israel’s 7 species.

In Deuteronomy/D’varim 8:8, Scripture is talking about agricultural species. God promises that the land of Israel will be a land of

  1. wheat
  2. barley
  3. vines
  4. figs
  5. pomegranates
  6. olive oil
  7. honey
7 species of the land of Israel
The Seven Species of the Land of Israel

The LORD promises that “you will eat and be full, and you will bless ADONAI your God for the good land He has given you.” (Deuteronomy/D’varim 8:10).

7 species Deuteronomy 8 8 10
“You will eat and be full, and you will bless ADONAI your God for the good land He has given you.” D’varim/Deuteronomy 8:10

The 7 species are still found in Israel today as the LORD continues to bless that Holy Land.

And notice, of course, that there are precisely 7 listed! That perfect number reminds us of the perfection of His provision.

Grains & Fruits

If we analyze the seven species, we see that they can be described as either grains or fruits. Grains are so essential for basic sustenance, providing the main ingredients for bread, etc. Fruits give us sweetness and joy! It has become traditional to eat these 7 species of food on celebratory holidays such as the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost/Shavu’ot).

So give thanks today for all of God’s gifts, especially the provision of life-sustaining food. As the autumn/fall Biblical feasts draw near, perhaps you want to incorporate some of these delicious items on your family’s table! Rejoice today, because Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ) is Perfect in all of His ways and He died and rose again so that we may join Him in the heavenly banquet.

Thanks for reading this short teaching about the 7 species of the land of Israel. If this blessed you, please share or leave a comment below! Shalom!

Why everyone needs the Full Gospel

Too many institutions entice young students to look for “truths” rather than the TRUTH

When I was in middle and high school, I was definitely a “seeker.”

I had grown up immersed in pluralism. I had never heard of the “Full Gospel.”

By junior year of high school, encouraged by “pastors” of the United Church of Christ (UCC), (a sect I now consider heretical), I had read all sorts of books from so-called “Christian” mysticism. I was particularly interested in such works as “The Cloud of Unknowing” and Thomas Merton’s writings recommended to me by the pastors of the church our family attended. I dabbled in Buddhism and other false religions. I was considered “well-rounded.”

In college, I visited a local Hindu temple as well as a mosque outside of Chicago. My friends were also exploring world religions, but the frightening thing is, we were all studying to be “Christian pastors.” We weren’t just learning about world religions so that we could properly share the Gospel with the lost, we were learning because we wanted to participate in their practices.

The UCC “associate ministers,” as they were called, (like bishops) were aware that we were learning about Islam and even sat across the table from us during a Ramadan dinner at that mosque that we had all been invited to by an interfaith council. There was no effort on their part to correct our course: all of us who were theology majors were encouraged to explore the commonalities between different faiths. But believe me, we were never encouraged to visit an evangelical or Full Gospel church.

When I was in grad school, we were required to read many books that were also rooted in mysticism. I remember observing (sadly!) that my Divinity School peers were intrigued and absorbing these ideas, likewise encouraged by the seminary’s professors. It is no secret that many who enter seminary lose their faith: but the true tragedy has to do with the leadership of these institutions who entice young students to look for “truths” rather than the Truth. By this time, I had already met my Savior (to the dismay of many of my theologically liberal professors who wished I had retained my interest in ecumenism and interfaith activities).

If you want to read more about my experiences growing up in a universalist environment, check out my post on Divine Empowerment in an “Inclusive” Age.

Many professors have really gotten into using icons (a form of idolatry). Christian schools and churches now incorporate yoga into their programs despite yoga’s inherent spiritual connection to Hinduism. I have a missionary friend who is a native of India. She is so dismayed by how many American Christians have accepted and incorporated yoga into their “Christian” practices. She shakes her head and says, “if they only knew . . .”

See, you don’t need a whole host of odd rituals or candle lightings or chants. You just need the Full Gospel, brought to you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I share all this because so many people truly don’t know the Gospel, let alone the Full Gospel.

I feel like Peter writes more succinctly than Paul. He writes in a nutshell, the Gospel is:

“He [Messiah Yeshua/Jesus Christ] Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. ‘By His wounds you were healed.'” 1 Peter 2:24

It is very simple.

You might say Paul was more long-winded:

“For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Messiah accomplished through me, to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem and around even to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the Good News of Messiah.” Romans 15:18-19

In their own ways; however, both Peter and Paul describe what is termed, the “Full Gospel.”

Besides the death and resurrection of our Savior, He also brought healing, signs and wonders. We are saved, and we are healed. We are saved, and we receive the divine infilling of the Holy Spirit, if we will submit to the Holy Spirit’s authority.

“Fully” proclaiming the Good News, as Paul writes, is preaching what Messiah Jesus has accomplished (forgiveness of sin through His death on the cross and resurrection) with power. This is the Full Gospel!

In other words, preaching should be accompanied by signs and wonders – as something normal.

That doesn’t mean a worship service should become an entertainment spectacle.

And certainly none of this has to do with “manufactured miracles.”

But it should be completely commonplace for Gospel preaching to be accompanied by miraculous healings, deliverance, speaking in tongues, etc. The purpose of the spiritual gifts manifesting in power is to essentially give credence to what is preached. That God would heal someone is proof He is living! That God would deliver someone is proof He has power over sin and darkness!

This is the fullness of the Gospel!

A Gospel preached without power isn’t the full Gospel. And do you really want to settle for half?

Paul warned Timothy of those who have an “outward form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:5b.

This verse speaks to both sides of an issue.

  1. There are some followers of our Savior who care so much about their outward looks they forget they are quite rotten in their speech and other aspects of their lives. They deny the power of the Gospel through their pettiness and gossip.
  2. Then there are other followers of our Savior who carefully appear to be very godly in their doctrine and behavior, but literally deny the power when they claim that the Holy Spirit isn’t working and moving among the body of Messiah as He did in the past. This leads to anemic doctrine, lacking the vital nutrition of the full understanding of the Gospel.

The LORD is still working modern miracles today! Don’t be afraid!

This weekend we celebrate Shavu’ot, also known as Pentecost. A special time to celebrate this Full Gospel I am telling you about!

We rejoice knowing that the same God who gave us His Torah is the same God who gave us His Spirit!

If you would like to know more in depth about the Messianic and Pentecostal significance of Shavu’ot/Pentecost, check out my post on the Biblical Spring Feasts!

Now, let’s be realistic.

A lot of people have been trained by our society to be afraid of “Pentecostals.”

I know I used to be!

The only reason anyone should be afraid of a Pentecostal is if they don’t want any deliverance in their lives.

Because when a true Pentecostal believer prays, you better watch out, the demons flee!

Some Pentecostals or Full Gospel folks might dress a certain way or wear their hair a certain way, and I’m not saying any of that is necessarily bad. But your outward appearance isn’t what makes you Pentecostal – its the Holy Spirit within you.

If you have been baptized by the fire from above with the evidence of speaking in tongues, you are Pentecostal. You might attend an Assembly of God church or Church of God (TN), or Pentecostal Holiness, or United Pentecostal. While there are disagreements among Pentecostal people (just as there are disagreements among any group of people!) about things like Trinitarianism or dress codes, we serve the same Mighty God who has this awesome plan to heal you and deliver you.

When you know that you are saved from your sin, you need to know that you weren’t saved just so you’d go to heaven one day.

You were saved so you could start living with the joyous benefits of heaven, starting even now, here on earth.

Life won’t be perfect, but you have access to so much divine opportunity to pray and to witness great miracles occur, even now. Heaven will be wonderful, but we don’t have to sulk while we bear with the sufferings of this life. We can pray in confidence for the LORD to enable us to live in victory, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

You have the opportunity to be saved – and sanctified! Set free to live in abundant joy and peace. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit is described in the Scriptures as a deposit, a seal, so you know without a doubt that you are indeed saved!

The Full Gospel is for you!

If your pastor always stops preaching after Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you may need to start asking some good questions about the rest of the New Testament.

Starting in the book of Acts, you will discover how the early believers operated, constantly ministering to others in power. Healings and miracles were part and parcel of the Gospel Truth.

Your faith walk will be greatly enhanced by knowing this powerful Truth, that the Fullness of the Gospel is for everyone, and you are invited to live endued with power from on high! Whether you are a student or a seasoned believer, don’t ever pass up the opportunity to live your life yielded to the Presence of God in your life and the Full Gospel Truth!

Why does everyone need the Full Gospel?

Everyone needs the Full Gospel because everyone needs the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) will help you when you need to make important decisions. He will lead you closer to the Father. He will help you discern your next steps in life. The Spirit of God (Ruach Elohim) will anoint you and bless you. Your prayer life will improve, your worship will be deeper, and your longings will be much more satisfied.

If you have been a Christian for a really long time, but still feel like you’re missing out on something, don’t turn to mystical and false religions, turn to the Holy Spirit, who will take you to a new level in Him. If you do not yet speak in tongues, don’t think of it as something too strange for you. If Paul spoke in tongues, why can’t you? Our faith is not of this world, so dive in and allow the Holy Spirit to have His way!

A lot of people won’t talk about “speaking in tongues” because our culture has derided people who do as “wackos” and “crazies.”

Don’t let culture define you nor limit your experiences with God.

Follow the Word of God, and He will provide you the Full Gospel experience that you need.

Some great songs for Pentecost/Shavu’ot

I will leave you with some great praise and worship songs that I love! They are perfect for Pentecost/Shavu’ot, and all year round, too. May they benefit you spiritually as you seek the blessings of the Holy Spirit, our Eternal Comforter! I pray He baptizes you with His Holy Fire, even today! It is an experience that will transform your life!

Holy Spirit, How I love You

Send the Fire

Refiner’s Fire

Welcome, Holy Spirit

The Comforter has Come

Bo Ruach Elohim (Come, Spirit of God)

Please leave a comment or send a message to [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you! May you be endued with power from on high!

What Leviticus reveals about the Day of Atonement and Passover

Parashat Acharei Mot (V’yikra/Leviticus 16-18) 5782 B”H


That’s not a word most of us use every day, so if you aren’t quite sure of its meaning, let me suggest that breaking it into its three syllables.


It is a theological term meaning to be made whole again, reconciled to God.

God’s Son, Yeshua (Jesus), sacrificed His life to make atonement for our sins.

I was asked an interesting question about the atonement recently and it fits perfectly into our study:

If Yeshua (Jesus) is our atonement, why did He make His sacrifice following the Passover meal rather than on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)?

This is a very fair question.

Our reading from Leviticus 16-18 addresses this question since this very week we will celebrate the Passover Feast, yet this passage discusses Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur included a necessary sin offering and burnt offering, sprinkling of blood around the Ark of the Covenant’s atonement cover, as well as a ritual involving a literal scapegoat.

When Yeshua (Jesus) was crucified, He who knew no sin became sin for us.

Yeshua (Jesus) was our sin offering.

“We have an altar from which those serving in the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals—whose blood is brought into the Holies by the kohen gadol as an offering for sin—are burned outside the camp. Therefore, to make the people holy through His own blood, Yeshua also suffered outside the gate. So let us go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace.” Hebrews 13:10-13

Remember the 5 offerings listed in Leviticus and their purposes?

The purpose of the sin offering was to cleanse the penitent of their unintentional sins. Yeshua (Jesus) knows we will fail. He knows we will sin unintentionally, despite all of our best efforts to please our LORD. The atonement included forgiveness for these mistakes.

He was also our burnt offering.

The burnt offering had an aroma that pleased God. The smoke rose like incense before Him. “…walk in love, just as Messiah also loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:2 (emphasis added)

According to Leviticus 1:3, the burnt offering also had to be a male, without blemish.

We see that Yeshua fulfilled the spiritual requirements related to the burnt offering for atonement of sin.

“You know that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors—not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with precious blood like that of a lamb without defect or spot, the blood of Messiah.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 (emphasis added)

But our Savior didn’t stop there.

He fulfilled the requirements of the Yom Kippur sacrifices, but He actually did more than that.

He went above-and-beyond.

You see, every year on Yom Kippur (this occurs in the autumn), the High Priest would make atonement on behalf of the people. Israel was symbolically restored as God’s people one time every year.

Can you imagine the burden of sin?

How would you feel if your sins could only be forgiven once per year, and the rest of the time you carried that weight on your shoulders?

The only perk would be that sin was taken seriously. Great effort was made to avoid sin. Nowadays, many people sin nonchalantly, figuring they are “forgiven” so there is no need to flee sin. This is an error in thought. We should always flee from sin and immorality (2 Tim.2:22).

Yeshua (Jesus) shed His blood; the perfect atonement sacrifice. And in so doing, He actually fulfilled the other 3 offerings of Leviticus.

Our Messiah became the meal/grain (matzah) offering

Remember the meal or grain offering? The type of grain being referred to here is matzah, the same unleavened substance we use every Passover. The meal or matzah offering consisted of unleavened flour and oil mixed with frankincense and salt. It was placed over fire.

Have you ever studied a piece of matzah?

Notice that it is striped and pierced.

“But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities.
The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Yeshua (Jesus) became our meal offering. At his birth, He was given frankincense by the wise men (Matthew 2:11). Yeshua used matzah at the Passover meal.

And while they were eating, He took matzah; and after He offered the bracha, He broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take; this is My body.” Mark 14:22

Our Savior’s body was broken for us, just like we break the matzah during the Passover meal.

Our Savior was offered up as a fragrant aroma, just as the meal offering was matzah and oil mixed with frankincense.

Matzah + oil?

The body of Messiah + the anointing, abiding, consoling Presence of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh).

The atonement was seasoned with salt.

Salt was not only a preservative, it was used to treat wounds.

He was wounded for our transgressions, but this holy sacrifice would bring healing to the nations and we would become the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).

He was raised up by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you see all of the connections here?

Do you see how intricately interwoven the Scriptures are, truly?

I bet you never thought of frankincense having anything to do with Passover!

Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) also became our guilt offering

This is the offering that required restitution. We have willingly and disobediently gone against God’s Word. Our Redeemer chose to forgive us of our grievous offenses by making atonement for our sin.

Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) became our shalom offering

Remember that verse above, Isaiah 53:5? The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him.

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.

We couldn’t have peace if it weren’t for His sacrifice.

The common peace offering in Leviticus was a lamb.

“…Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

So to answer the question: Why did Messiah die at Passover rather than Yom Kippur?

The LORD has His reasons, but it seems to me that He chose Passover because He did more than what could’ve ever been done on Yom Kippur.

At Passover, Yeshua (Jesus) truly embodied every aspect of the meal. He symbolically shared His body and His blood with the disciples at the Passover seder meal and then went on to literally give up His body and blood for the sake of lost humanity as He was horrifically nailed to the cross as atonement.

He is our Passover Lamb and He died so we would be able to see how throughout history, He has masterfully planned every detail of our divine rescue.

He came to rescue us from sin and death, and He did it in the most profound way.

Be encouraged today, that our LORD made a way where there seemed to be no way and bridged the chasm so we could be forgiven. He has atoned for our sin!

The atonement that Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) made for us is a permanent atonement. Not once a year, not once in a lifetime, it is a permanent, ongoing atonement that ensures we are covered by His blood and presented as cleansed and holy before our Perfect and Holy God.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! In His great mercy He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead. An incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance has been reserved in heaven for you. 

By trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. 

These trials are so that the true metal of your faith (far more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire) may come to light in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Messiah Yeshua. 

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. And even though you don’t see Him now, you trust Him and are filled with a joy that is glorious beyond words, receiving the outcome of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9

Those of us who have a relationship with our Savior Yeshua ha Mashiach (Jesus Christ) know that He made atonement for our sins. If you do not know this important Truth and do not yet have a relationship with your Creator, please know this: God sent His Son to die in your place, as atonement for you, so that you could be reconciled to God. If you will trust Him today with your eternal future, you can have the confidence and peace of knowing you will live eternally with Him. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to find out more about our LORD and His ways!

A Simple Passover in light of the Resurrection

Preparing a simple Passover meal does not have to be complicated. But if you google Passover seder ideas, you may get overwhelmed!

Because Passover is such a central celebration, many wives and mothers love to focus on a beautiful table setting complete with fresh flowers and an exquisite meal.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ve done my share of elegant Passover meals.

But this year, I’m going simple.

Simple can be better. Have a blessed Passover celebration!

Post-Resurrection Passover

What does Passover mean for us, now, post-resurrection? Should we still celebrate the Passover meal?

Of course!

Miraculous things have happened during Passover. Not only does Passover commemorate the Israelites receiving freedom from Pharaoh, the Lamb of God – Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ) was our paschal offering. We have been freed from bondage to sin and death!

“Yet I know that my Redeemer lives and in the end, He will stand on earth.” Job 19:25

Even after the resurrection, Passover remained a central celebration.

In the book of Acts, we see that the believers continued to recognize the various Biblical feasts.

In Acts 12, Peter was captured during Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread, but the LORD sent an angel to break the chains and free him from Herod.

It was yet another sign to the believers that the LORD was with them. They would have clearly understood the connection that Peter was set free during the celebration of their collective freedom.

So yes, we absolutely should have a Passover meal, but Martha, dear, we absolutely don’t need to stress out over it.

Now while they were traveling, Yeshua entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. She had a sister called Miriam, who was seated at the Master’s feet, listening to His teaching.  But Martha was distracted with much serving; so she approached Yeshua and said, “Master, doesn’t it concern you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me!”

But answering her, the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things; but only one thing is necessary. For Miriam has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Remember, Messiah Yeshua took our stresses for us.

Teaching our children

Everyone I know uses a hagaddah for Passover. Hagaddahs are Passover reading guides. They contain lots of Scripture and explanations of why we celebrate Passover at all. The hagaddah can be especially useful for explaining the Messianic fulfillment of Passover to young believers. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it but as the years go along, my little family is getting tired of it. (It is quite lengthy!) Now I know, I know, just because you find something to be (gasp!) a bit redundant or boring doesn’t mean it should be abandoned. But, on the other hand, why do something if you aren’t finding it to be refreshing to your soul? It is ok to take a break!

We are mandated by God to remind and train our children – to teach the generations of the victory won. So we do not abandon Passover! We will still gather and we will still have a wonderful meal together. But we don’t “have to” use a hagaddah.

This year, we plan to do a more simplistic explanation and just enjoy our time together as a family. When we hold congregational seders, I believe using a hagaddah is appropriate, and we have done that many times in the past. If we don’t use it this year, quite possibly we would next year, but give yourself permission to change it up a bit. We don’t want to become “religious” about this. Be led by the Spirit of the LORD – allow Him to help you to teach your children and honor the specialness of the Passover.

Now when it happens that your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’  You are to say, ‘It is the sacrifice of ADONAI’s Passover, because He passed over the houses of Bnei-Yisrael in Egypt, when He struck down the Egyptians, but spared our households.’” So the people bowed their heads and worshipped. Then Bnei-Yisrael went and did it. They did just as ADONAI had commanded Moses and Aaron.” Exodus 12:26-28

The important thing is to ensure that everyone seated at the table understands the purpose and meaning of the seder meal as well as related Scriptures.

Happy Passover!

Some suggestions for a simple Passover meal

  1. Set a simple table setting. Use a table runner or tablecloth that you already have. There’s no need to go out and spend extra money (especially with all the inflation right now). Some people like to use a blue runner that reminds of the Red Sea. Be creative! I have an Amazon link below for the table runner I bought this year. (I’m an Amazon associate and I do get a small commission if you decide to buy something, but it won’t cost you extra)
  2. Don’t have a seder plate? You honestly don’t need one. Use any large platter, and just put each symbolic item on there. We choose not to use the boiled egg because of its similitude to Easter’s fertility symbology. We do have a seder plate which does make it seem special.
  3. Make a simple grocery list ahead of time. If you would like to use the traditional seder meal items, you will need a package of matzah (unleavened bread), parsley, apples, horseradish, and a shank bone, if you can find one. There are a million different versions of charoset, but here is one recipe I’m considering trying this year. Charoset is designed to remind you of the mortar used by the Israelite slaves. Decide what your main dish will be, and get everything a few days before Passover so you don’t have to worry about it. I usually find matzah at local grocery stores like Kroger/PickNSave or Publix. If you need it in bulk for a congregation, Amazon sells it that way, too.
  4. Plan when and how you will pray and read Scripture. We love to sing many of the traditional songs, like Dayenu and Eliyahu haNavi. Focus on the continuity of the Gospel, that salvation has come!
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and trusts in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40

Do our Passover observances as followers of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) differ from that of traditional Judaism?

Some time I will write about the significance of each aspect of the traditional seder meal.

As followers of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ), we are able to understand the seder in a more profound way than a nonbeliever. We can see the parallels between the striped and punctured matzah and His bruised and broken body. We can observe that the 3 pieces of matzot represent the unity of the Godhead – the Oneness of Elohim. The seder meal consists of 4 cups of wine. Our Savior drank the cup of judgment/deliverance for us – we do not partake of this. He will drink the fourth cup – the cup of praise and ultimate redemption with us, in the Kingdom.

We have a significant difference in terms of the understanding of Yom HaBikkurim, the Day of First Fruits. You see, this refers to the glorious day of the Resurrection!

Unbelievers certainly would not value the significance of Resurrection Day, but we should be testifying to Jewish people who do not yet know their Messiah that He has fulfilled this important feast!

I long to travel to Israel just to see that empty tomb with this sign on the door: “He is not here – for He is Risen!”

You see, I was raised in a pluralistic environment. I was taught the lie that Jesus was no different than Mohammed or Buddha, and I believed it for a long time.

But you see, you can go visit Mohammed’s tomb.

Same with the Buddha.

Their remains are marked at their burial place.

But if we go to visit the tomb of Messiah Jesus. . . there is no body there. No remains.

For He is not there! He is Risen! He is Alive!

Our Passover observances are filled with this great joy!

I’ve seen some churches hold seder meals that seem kind of solemn. That is totally the wrong way to go about it.

Passover is a true celebration of freedom and salvation!

It should be joyful!

Give joyous witness to the fact that our Savior lives. Just like the early believers went to tell everyone what they had seen and heard, may you be inspired to do the same. Reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors with the Good News of the Resurrection of our LORD!

How will you be celebrating Passover this year? Leave a comment below, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter! Shalom, and Chag Pesach Sameach (Happy Passover!)

The Biblical Spring Feasts

Parashat Emor (V’yikra/Leviticus 21-24)

Are you familiar with the springtime Biblical feasts?

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, and the Feast of Weeks are special days outlined in the Bible.

Each of the Biblical Spring Feasts can also be called by its Hebrew term:

The Feast of Passover = Pesach

The Feast of Unleavened Bread = Chag HaMatzot

The Feast of First Fruits = Yom HaBikkurim

The Feast of Weeks = Shavu’ot

Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) fulfilled the prophetic meaning of each of these Biblical spring feasts (moedim).

Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread

Perhaps your church has held a Passover Seder meal or you have tasted matzah bread at some point in your life.

Passover is so clearly mentioned in the Gospels and we know the Lamb of God came to take away the sin of the world, so most Christians have at least a basic understanding of what the Passover feast is all about. The amazing Truth of Redemption.

However, most do not realize that Passover leads right into the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

It is also common for many believers to admit they do not know much about the Feast of First Fruits or the Feast of Weeks.

No worries.

I can help you sort this out.

Before we go any further, let me reassure you, you do not need to be “Jewish” in order to celebrate the “Jewish” feasts.

Followers of Messiah, whether native Israeli or grafted-in, are now part of Israel.

Together, truly a nation under God. Israel’s history is our history. We do not compete with Israel, we do not supersede or replace Israel: we are Israel. We have been united by the blood of the Lamb and saved by His unfailing grace.

More and more Christians are learning about our Father’s established feasts!

He has prepared a banquet before you and you don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to feast and celebrate with Him.

The Feast of Firstfruits

The Feast of First Fruits is about harvest. The LORD established it so that the people would bring the first and the best of their harvest. It was a feast day for this expression of worship. (Leviticus 23:9-14)

So what does this mean for us today? Most of us are not farmers. It seems a bit challenging to fully understand agriculturally-centric feasts, but we can understand the simple Gospel teaching that spiritually-speaking, the fields are white and ready for harvest (John 4:35).

This Biblical feast illustrates the victory of the Gospel in the most powerful and marvelous way possible.

You see, Passover is about freedom from death and bondage. The Feast of Unleavened Bread reminds us that He was buried and in that tomb. The Feast of Firstfruits is about the Resurrection!

“But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20

Messiah Yeshua was the first of the harvest – raised into His glorified, resurrected body. If you read about what was involved with the celebration of First Fruits, you will learn that a sheaf had to be waved before the LORD back and forth.

Waving the sheaf surely seems to represent the movement of the wind through the crops.

A mighty rushing wind.

The power of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) breathing new life!

The Spirit of the LORD stirring up salvation!

We know that in the last days, the harvest will include people from the east and west, north and south.

So back and forth the wave offering was made: prophesying the harvest of the latter days and prophesying the Truth of Resurrection Day!

The Feast of Firstfruits is the Celebration of Resurrection Day!

“The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach (Holy Spirit) without limit.” John 3:34

The Feast of Weeks

Speaking of the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:1 begins “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come . . . “

The Day of Pentecost as a holy day wasn’t something new.

Bible translators chose to translate the Hebraic term, “Shavu’ot,” with the Greek term “Pentecost.”

Ironically, there are language barriers

It is debatable as to whether those who translated were legitimately trying to help readers understand the Hebrew here or whether they were trying to obstruct it (sadly, it is plausible). Preference for Greek terms in translation led to a loss of the original meanings and intent and propelled the wide separation between the early Messianic movements and later church movements.

Before you start thinking I’m anti-Pentecost, hold it right there.

I love Pentecost. I am an ordained Pentecostal pastor. Yet, using solely the term “Pentecost” actually obscures the fullness of the meaning of the Scriptures here!

We need to become more aware of the deficiencies caused by language. (This is nothing new to us Spirit-filled believers. We know language barriers have been overcome by the amazing infilling power of the Holy Spirit!). The limitations of our vocabulary lead to slight discrepancies in doctrine and practice which over time can become huge discrepancies.

For example: I don’t know any Christians who say, “Happy Shavu’ot Sunday!”

It’s always “Pentecost Sunday” in our vocabulary! And that is ok, in the sense that this is how we understand a word in our language.

But, we are missing half of the meaning!

We know the Holy Spirit came down. However, many do not realize that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit coincided with the ongoing celebration of the Biblical feast day. The disciples present in the Upper Room literally lived the Messianic fulfillment of the feast day.

The reality is, Shavu’ot (i.e. Pentecost) has been celebrated since the days of Exodus!

Exodus 34:22 says “You are to observe the Feast of Shavuot, which is the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, as well as the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.”

It became traditional to celebrate the giving of the Torah on Shavu’ot. As you can see, the Word which was written on tablets of stone would now be written on the hearts of all who would receive Him. Now we also celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit on Shavu’ot! The LORD never leaves us without instruction and never leaves us comfortless.

The Messianic significance of the omer count

Beginning at the Feast of First Fruits, a special omer count was to begin every year. This was a measurement used for dry goods. Each day, for 50 consecutive days after First Fruits, the day’s omer was to be counted. This had gone on for generations prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day we know as Pentecost.

The word, “Pentecost,” is highly appropriate here because it was exactly 50 days after the Feast of First Fruits (Resurrection Day) when the Holy Spirit fell upon the gathered, praying believers and endued them with power from on high.

When the LORD Yeshua (Jesus) walked on this earth, He came to fulfill the prophecies, not to abolish them. He promised that He would send another Comforter (John 14:16, KJV) and that is exactly what He did. Every single action He took and Word He spoke correlated with His mission and He never contradicted Himself.

All of the Biblical Feast Days were established before God sent His Son. Today we are just focusing on the spring feasts, but each Biblical feast day is a part of the divinely orchestrated plan to show us the way of salvation. (If you are interested in the fall feasts, those include what is known as Yom Teruah (aka Rosh Hashanah), Yom Kippur, and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles).

What shall we do?

On that same Shavu’ot day, Peter preached a Spirit-empowered sermon that resulted in 3,000 immersion baptisms.

When people felt convicted of their need for repentance, they asked, “Fellow brethren,what shall we do?” Acts 2:37 (emphasis added)

“Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh.  For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as ADONAI our God calls to Himself.”

With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!” Acts 2:38-40

The question posed by the crowd should be the same question we still ask.

What shall we do?

And the exhortation of Peter continues to direct us:

  1. Repent
  2. Be immersed (baptized) in water
  3. Receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit
  4. Be saved from this twisted generation

Our journey of faith doesn’t end when we are baptized in water. We must seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit, who empowers us for the task of ministry.

How can we be saved from this “twisted” (some translations read, “perverted”) generation?

By doing things God’s way, not our way.

That includes surrendering our manmade traditions.

The Biblical Spring Feasts are about doing things God’s way, not our way. Learn about why you might consider trading in man’s holidays for God’s holy days.

By Acts chapter 5, there was so much going on in the way of outreach and missions that the Jewish authorities became very upset. Miraculous healings, supernatural deliverances, prison doors being opened . . .

“And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?

And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:27c-29 (emphases added)

Obey God rather than men

This verse isn’t a license to stop listening to the wise people that God has placed in your path. Heed godly counsel. Submit to righteous authority.

But carefully discern what is truly godly.

If we are to obey God rather than men, let me ask you this question today.

Why continue with manmade festivities?

Why not celebrate the LORD in the way the LORD established?

Why allow the world to creep in to our faith practices?

What do the Springtime Biblical Feasts represent?

spring Biblical feasts

Easter, Eostre, and Ishtar

It is no secret that the word Easter has been derived from several pagan sources. Do we really need to “Christianize” these false gods?

Look at the linguistics.

We get the term, “Easter” from Eostre, an English goddess, who is likely the same personage as Ishtar, the Babylonian fertility goddess. It is no surprise then, that we see the reappropriation of fertility symbols such as eggs and rabbits in Easter celebrations.

What, then, shall we do?

Obey God rather than men!

Our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) died to free us from idolatry and sin.

We need to reject the pagan practices that have managed to invade our celebrations of our Savior’s Resurrection.

Resurrection Day exists in Scripture as the Fulfillment of the Feast of First Fruits. We should celebration Resurrection Day! But we really don’t need “Easter.”

Consider celebrating each of the Biblical spring feasts. Consider trading in man’s Lent for God’s teshuvah (time of repentance). Trade in man’s Easter for Yom HaBikkurim (the Feast of First Fruits). In the fall and winter, (I know this one will be controversial) trade in man’s Christmas for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), the most amazing celebration of the Word being made flesh and coming to dwell with us! If you decide to truly follow what Scripture says rather than what the majority of tradition has invented, you will gain so much!

If following the LORD at His Word is important to you, please comment below! If you have questions about the Biblical spring Feasts we would love to help you! And most importantly, if you have questions about the Messiah, please let us know and we would love to share the Good News with you. Please subscribe so you don’t miss any new posts! Shalom!

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Purim and Ukraine’s Mordecai

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has started a war that we can only hope and pray will remain somewhat contained.

But one acre that is bombed is one acre too many.

Sadly, whenever there are imperial aspirations, aggression seems to lead the way.

It is nothing new. The rise and fall of empires have been chronicled throughout history as well as the rise and fall of their leaders. Every now and then a Godly leader will rise up, like Queen Hadassah (Esther) whose influence saved the Jewish people in Persia.

But right now, we are witnessing firsthand a ruthless leader who does not care whether or not he has to destroy every square inch of land in Ukraine and kill thousands upon thousands in order to win his selfish war.

There is more going on with this war than many people realize. The region north of the Black Sea is very much indicated in Biblical prophecy, and we should not be surprised at all with these current events. I recently wrote this post discussing Ezekiel’s prophecies that relate to the war against Ukraine.

Of note, Russia’s invasion happened just weeks before the yearly commemoration of Purim.

As you will see, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy can be likened to a modern day Mordecai.

Purim – a celebration of victory over antiSemitism

Purim was established in ancient Persia by Queen Hadassah (Esther), Mordecai, and the Jews following the terrifying persecution devised by the evil Haman to “ruin and destroy” everyone of Jewish descent. You can read all about it in the book of Esther.

Like imperialism, antiSemitism is nothing new, either. But through prayer and fasting and reliance on the God of Israel, the Jewish people of Persia lived to celebrate victory:

Mordecai recorded these events and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, urging them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar every year as the days when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into celebration. These were to be days of feasting, celebration and sending presents of food to one another and giving gifts to the poor.

So the Jews agreed to continue the commemoration they had begun, and do what Mordecai had written to them. For Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had schemed against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur—that is, the lot—to ruin and destroy them. But when it came to the king’s attention, he issued a written edict that the wicked scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. (For this reason, these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Therefore because of everything in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, the Jews established and took upon themselves, upon their descendants, and upon all who joined with them, that they would commemorate these two days in the way prescribed and at the appointed time every year. These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family and in every province and every city. These days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor their remembrance perish from their descendants.

Then Queen Esther the daughter of Abihail, and also Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter of Purim. He sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of shalom and truth, to establish these days of Purim at their designated times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had decreed for them and just as they had established for themselves and their descendants, matters regarding their times of fasting and lamentations. Esther’s command confirmed these regulations about Purim and it was written into the records. (Esther 9:20-32, emphases added)

Ukraine’s Jewish heritage

According to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.


That’s like every single resident of San Antonio. Gone.

Or Philadelphia. Gone.

Prior to the war started by Russia, the European Jewish Congress estimates that somewhere between 360,000 and 400,000 Jews were living in Ukraine. Some believe those estimates are too high, however. In any case, there were far fewer Jews in Ukraine following Hitler’s regime than there were one hundred years ago, but the numbers were gradually and steadily rising. Jewish influence had become more embraced in Ukrainian culture.

Proof? The Ukrainians elected their first Jewish President in 2019. The Prime Minister is also Jewish. No where else on earth are a nation’s top leaders all Jewish except Israel!

Leading by example and refusing to flee

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a comedian before being elected president. No one imagined he would have to be a wartime leader and when the conflict began, I’m sure he had his doubters. He probably even doubted himself.

But when you fear the LORD, He grants favor, agility, bravery, and wisdom. I pray for President Zelenskyy. That the LORD will continue to protect him and his family. But I am not naive to think he is not in grave danger.

The people of Ukraine as a whole are brave. It is so obvious by watching the news. Civilians who have never held a gun before are now fighting to protect their country and their families. I really am a pacifist at heart, but I do commend those who have taken up arms as a last resort.

Their President has also demonstrated resilience and valor. The United States offered to help him leave, but his now famous response, “I need ammunition, not a ride,” demonstrates incredible leadership. President Zelenskyy could have easily escaped to safety, abandoning all Ukrainians left behind. But he refused. He chose to stay.

When the edict was made to annihilate the Jews in Persia, Esther’s cousin Mordecai didn’t flee, either. Instead, Mordecai turned to the LORD. He “went out into the middle of the city crying out in a loud and bitter voice” (Esther 4:1) and inspired fasting in every province (Esther 4:1,3).

None of us know the personal spiritual life of President Zelenskyy, but I would not be surprised if prayer and fasting are helping him get through this crisis. He, too, goes out into the middle of the cities and we know he posts selfies to both encourage and bolster his reinforcements. A modern day Mordecai.

Purim highlights contrasts between good and evil

At its core, Purim highlights contrasts. While Purim is a celebratory feast, it wouldn’t exist without the misery that was first afflicted upon the people.

Purim shows the stark differences between the forces of good and evil. The differences between those who pray versus those who rely on their weapons and brute strength.

I commend President Zelenskyy and the others who are so courageous to stand up in the face of such danger. I do not think I would be so brave, though I wish I were. We all must continue to pray for all of the people of Ukraine as they are under fire. There is no shame for those who had to flee. But for those who have bravely stayed – the world must truly respect their commitment and perseverance.

This Purim, may we pray most especially for all of the families who have had to leave their homes behind and for those who have lost loved ones. May we pray for all of the innocent children who are suffering and had nothing to do with any of this. May we pray for a nation in great need. And may we learn from the brave men and women who are on the frontlines willing to protect their families and friends and fight for their nation. May the LORD work in their lives as we continue to pray for an end to the fighting.

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Biblical Feast Days and significant dates: FREE Printable!

Rethinking holidays and the resistance we got from pastoral colleagues

When our children were born (they are close in age), my husband and I started really thinking about the Biblical feast days. We thought through the types of holidays and traditions we would want them to grow up with. We were familiar with the Jewish holidays and had participated in Passover seders and church-sponsored Feast of Tabernacles events, but we still celebrated Christmas and Easter. We were good about keeping the celebrations as focused on the LORD as possible – never incorporating santa claus or Easter eggs, but we definitely enjoyed the Christmas Eve candlelight services and the Easter sunrise services. We are both pastors, so of course we loved these events! We were trained to lead them!

Sometimes we were met with resistance from our colleagues. They wondered why we always refused to host Easter egg hunts. Pastors in the community would invite us to host joint activities of this type and we would never participate. Many would ask questions like, “Why would you turn down an opportunity to get extra visitors into your church?” They’d move from questioning us to judging us: “This is a great church growth model, and you are not taking advantage of it.” Sorry, but we have always cared much more about Truth than numbers. And we’ve been blessed because of it.

Sadly, when we tried to share what we knew about the Biblical Feast Days, most of our pastoral colleagues made it clear they’d rather just keep the status quo. Today, few church leaders want to embrace anything that might mess with the Sunday morning offerings.

So, we decided to be different. And it has been an awesome adventure!

Biblical Feast Dates
Biblical Feast Dates: Free Printable available!

Choosing to celebrate Biblical feasts rather than Christmas/Easter

Colored eggs inspired by the Ishtar or Eostre’s fertility cults never seemed to make sense to us as a positive testimony of the Resurrection victory of our Savior. (For consistency, let me inform you we do not use the boiled egg on our seder plate as is also customary in Jewish tradition). If the Messiah, the Son of God, rose from the dead in victory, is that not enough of a powerful message? Why do we need the help of rabbits to tell the Good News in a compelling way? The Resurrection really doesn’t need embellishment.

Similarly, “everybody” knows that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25. So why continue to perpetuate this day as Jesus’ birthday? Instead of giving the world ammunition to accuse Christians of being delusional and embracing idolatry, why not learn how Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) birth fits into the holy-days given by God Himself? Christmas trees have nothing to do with a baby in a manger. Bunnies don’t lay eggs nor do they rise from the dead. My question has become a simple one: Why, my dear Christian brothers and sisters, why do you participate in these traditions?

We decided that our children should be raised with the holidays given to us by the LORD and described in detail in the Bible. We began to realize there are so many of them that they wouldn’t be missing out on anything! The LORD has given us so many wonderful feast days that help us see His handiwork in our lives throughout the year.

Christian testimony would be stronger without some of these traditions

2022 list of Biblical Feast Days, traditional Jewish holidays and other dates of interest for the year

Here is a list of the Biblical holidays, traditional Jewish holidays, and other notable dates for 2022. The appointed times described in Leviticus 23 have exact specifications as to their dates so some people attempt to more closely align the dates using lunar calculations. I respect this attempt since the Gregorian calendar does not perfectly match, but our family uses the commonly accepted dates of the Jewish calendar.

Each of them has major significance to any believer who recognizes that they are part of Israel. The appointed times (moedim) are, of course, set feasts that our LORD established as “appointments” with us. He wants us to gather, to assemble, and He wants to meet with us and celebrate with us! He wants us to understand the fullness of the salvation reality – that our Passover Lamb has come, has been sacrificed, and has been raised again as the Firstfruits of the Resurrection harvest!

Some believers choose not to celebrate Purim or Hanukkah. I find there is great value in both, and will write about that another time. Similarly, one might wonder if you are not living in Israel, why care about Yom HaShoah or Israel’s independence day? But remember, whether you were born ethnically Jewish or have been grafted into the community of Israel, Israel’s victories are your victories, just as Israel’s sorrows are our collective sorrows. We weep with those who weep and we rejoice with those who rejoice.

2022 Biblical feast days

Dates for your calendar

Here is a listing of the Biblical feast days. If you would like a FREE downloadable PDF, subscribe to our newsletter, and you will receive it straight to your inbox!

March 16 Purim

April 15 Passover/Pesach

April 16-23 Unleavened Bread

April 17 Firstfruits/Yom HaBikkurim/Resurrection

April 27 Holocaust Remembrance Day/Yom HaShoah

May 3 Israeli Memorial Day/Yom HaZikaron

May 4 Israel’s Independence Day

May 28 Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim)

June 4 Shavu’ot

September 25 Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets/Rosh HaShanah

October 4 Yom Kippur

October 9-16 Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot

December 18-26 Hanukkah

May your year be most especially blessed!

If you are new to celebrating the Biblical feast days and need some help or encouragement, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It can be a lot of information to take in when you are new to it all! We’d be happy to guide you or give you some pointers! Shalom!

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