May You Have a Good and Sweet New Year?
At the beginning of the year, we were all contemplating what would lie ahead; some of us prayed and sought the Lord concerning the year, and prepared our hearts for what lay ahead.
A few prophets spoke of difficulties that would be experienced in the first part of the year, like Chuck Pierce, but overall, there was not a clear voice it seems as to the depth and expanse of what we have now experienced through the Covid-19 season.
As I write and share with you some information today about the Jewish High Holidays, let us always remember that Jesus/Yeshua is our focus.
Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.
~ Colossians 2:16, 17 (HCSB)
The reality is Moshiach. He is our Saviour, our Lord and soon coming King.
High Holy Days in Israel, 2017
Kym and I were in Israel for the High Holy Days in October 2017. Our main purpose for the trip was to participate in the Beersheba Centenary, which was incredibly significant and unforgettable.
The airport was packed as hundreds of people were waiting to be processed through passport control. Every year, for decades now, thousands of Jews as well as Christian pilgrims have been flooding into the Holy Land as part of the Mo’ed, the appointed times; Sukkot is one of the three appointed feasts or pilgrimage festivals where males were required to be in Jerusalem.
“Mo’ed” is the biblical word used to describe special days that are set apart from non-sacred days, which we would say are the appointed times.
In Exodus it says:
Offer a sacrifice to Me three times each year. Keep the festival of matzos [unleavened bread] … the reaping festival [i.e., Shavuot] … the harvest festival [i.e., Sukkot]…
Three times each year, every male among you must appear before God the Lord.
~ Exodus 23:14-17
Common greetings or exchanges that one hears are:
Shana Tova – Have a good year or Happy New Year!
Shana Tova Ve Metuka – May you have a good and sweet year!
There are many foods that are used to celebrate this new year festival, but apples and honey are quite common to express that one may have a good and sweet year.
Right now, in Israel the numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths are really bad; as of Friday 18th September, there will be a total lockdown of the country for three weeks.
According to Israel365News, Rabbi Shalom Arush is claiming it will be the last New Year without the Messiah. His prediction is a sign of the times. When rabbis talk like this, the Church should realise how close the Rapture is.
And my question is, “Which Christ?”
Recently, the Lord showed me a vision where I saw a white rectangular piece of paper, with the word Sukkot written on it in big red letters.
Personally, I believe that the Lord is telling me, and us, that this Sukkot will be a holy time, hence the white rectangle; and that it will be a notable or prophetic time — the red letters I believe indicate this.
If the Lord did all these things like the extreme lockdown in the United States or Australia, some of us might think or say, “What is God trying to say to us?”; but when He is doing something so extraordinary in Jerusalem and Israel, His Holy Land — He is actually YELLING!!!
We are coming to the end of the month of Elul and entering into what is commonly called the High Holy Days.
Very often I refer to the website Hebrew 4 Christians run by John Parsons, a Messianic believer. His teaching is sound and he explains that for Gentile believers, although the Feasts of the Lord bless us, there is no obligation for the Christian believer.
He goes on to say that the Biblical feast is called Yom Teruah/The blowing of the trumpets, “day of shouting or blasting”, and is a picture of the calling away of the Bride of Christ.
The Rabbinical festival is called Rosh Ha Shanah. The ancient rabbis believed that the Lord created the world in the first week of the month of Tishri. Therefore, the first day of the seventh month is considered the beginning of creation and the beginning of the year, and hence the present Jewish time reckoning.
Speak to B’nei Yisrael thus: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts.
~ Leviticus 23:24 (The Israel Bible)
Rosh Ha Shanah (18-20 September ~ 1-2 Tishrei)
The Bible calls this time the Feast of Trumpets, which is a biblical festival, whereas Rosh Ha Shanah has Rabbinical origins. Rosh Ha Shanah means Head of the Year. We are entering into the new year 5781.
Remember that there are four new years in Israel:
- First of Tishrei ~ Rosh Ha Shanah/Yom Teruah. This is where they count the civil new year, and Israel will be entering into 5781.
- 15th of Shvat, aka Tu B’Shvat ~ New Year for trees.
- First of Nisan ~ Pesach, which is the first festival of the liturgical year.
- First of Elul ~ this was the new year for animal tithes.
Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement (27-28 September 2020 ~ 9-10 Tishrei)
Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּיפּוּר ), also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.
This year, services will move to Zoom and other formats.
Sukkot (2-9 October 2020 ~ 15 Tishrei)
Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות , pronunciation: sukkōt), commonly called the Feast of Tabernacles or in some translations the Festival of Shelters, and known also as the Feast of Ingathering (חג האסיף, Chag HaAsif), is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei. During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals.
What do we begin to see from all this information?
As I have been mulling over this Covid-19 season this year, I saw that we were like the Children of Israel during Pesach, locked up in our houses like when they were waiting for the angel of death to pass over.
Come, My people, enter your chambers,
And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
Until the indignation is past.
~ Isaiah 26:20
He had shown me previously that we were going to enter a season of repentance and prayer globally.
Many of us found ourselves examining our lives and making adjustments, realising the things that were profoundly important and that other things, not so important, had to be laid down.
Traditionally, Shavuot was a harvest festival. The Jews says that Judaism was born at this time, when the Ten Commandments were given to Moses. We say that it was the birth of the Church when 3000 believed on the day of Pentecost.
And so, we began to enter into this harvest season, seeing the Lord open new doors for many of us.
As we, the Canberra Declaration team continued in prayer, new initiatives sprang forth — The Blessing Australia, The Awaken song, our involvement with the GO2020 evangelism initiative — and many of us found ourselves functioning in new areas, having found new opportunities. In May alone, through the GO2020 initiative, 277 million heard about Jesus Christ. That is one in thirty-one people on the planet!
Yom Teruah – The Feast of Trumpets, the Biblical feast (Rosh Ha Shanah — Rabbinical), righteous names written in the Book of Life is a picture of the catching away of the Bride of Christ.
After Rosh Ha Shanah, there is a season of repentance, making things right to ensure that names are sealed in in the Book of Life at Sukkot. These are called the Ten Days of Awe – Yamim Noraim or Aseret Yomei Teshuvah.
This special day is not fulfilled by the church. We owe no atonement, rather, through Jesus Christ our sins are totally eradicated.
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
~ Leviticus 23:27
For Jews, they believe that their names will be sealed in the Book of Life in this season. They build Sukkahs and partly dwell in these shelters. The sukkahs, which have three sides, have branches on top so one can see the stars which represent the promises of God: we, like Abraham, can see the stars and know that His promises to us will be fulfilled — for Abraham that he would have descendants, too many to be counted.
From what the Lord was showing me in the dream, we will enter into another season of global significance around the time of Sukkot. I have an expectancy of a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit, but right now I am not sure what that will look like. For Israel it looks like lockdown, an empty airport, and no school. What will it look like for us here in Australia is not certain.
Let us remain in the attitude of repentance and prayer, yielding to the Lord in all that He is doing in this season. Never forget that He is a good Father, He only has our best in mind, and He is preparing us for what lies ahead.
Let us continue in prayer, forgiveness and love, and never forget our dear Saviour Yeshua who is always the reason for the season.
- Romans 11:26 ~ And so all Israel shall be saved: Repentance and turning to Yeshua.
- Covid-19 cases to be reduced, and deaths as well.
- Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Ganz — pray for the leaders and the Knesset.
- National security for Israel on all its borders.
- Moral issues like prostitution and abortion in the land.
- Aliyah — ALIYAH means ELEVATION. Let us pray for the 6M + Jews in the world, but especially those from Australia, to return to Israel.