MY SCRIPTURE STUDIES

Understanding the Bible is a Journey, not a Destination.

Studying the Bible is a Journey Down God's Path

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Texting with Gabriel


This is not my typical study... It was originally posted December 23, 2009 and again the following year, but I like to repeat it again today:

From my Scripture studies I want to provide you a conjecture of "text" messages that Gabriel, who only spoke with a couple of people in the Biblical record, might write today to us if only we were only able to send a text to him about this shopping frenzied time
we call Christmas.

I hope that this study clearly shows some of the detective work you can do on your own with the simple clues provided in the text of the Gospel of Luke. Please know that this study is not intended to criticize anyone, nor to focus on any negative aspect of today's holiday, but it does ask you to consider that it is time to wake up from spiritual slumber and open your eyes. It is time to get on God's calendar, time to get in sync and in "the light" of God's word.

Consider the admonishment of Paul to the Ephesians:
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart." Ephesians 4:17-18
The reality is that "The One" born as a humble child in Bethlehem is Messiah. His is our Savior. He is also our King and we need to open our minds and soften our hearts to listen to God's truth, His word and walk away from ignorance. What we know and do is at the end of the day - up to us because God gives us choice.

In the beginning God gave Adam and Eve a choice between two trees. God did that because He wants us to chose Him. If He did not give us the choice to do so it would not be love.

God is the only One who can really know the intentions of any one's heart. So, I pray you find this insightful and helpful toward your return to walk in His ancient path because turning back is called "repentance".

So, after some consideration, I decided to go ahead and make this post, because The Scriptures are not about man's traditions. After all, our Savior warned us of the traditions of men in Mark 7:8-13.

The Scriptures are about God's truth plain and simple. So, no matter how hard the decision, we must all decide for ourselves if we want walk in the light and path of God's "truth" or stumble along in the dark of man's "tradition"?

If you choose God's truth, it is time to get out of your comfort zone and read the details given in the Gospel of Luke.

When I was kid it seemed everyone knew that Christmas was the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Yes, we had Santa figurine, a tree and presents, but the main focus was still on Christ but although I was a child, I remember our pastor saying that we think this is the time of our savior's birth. Wow, what a statement!

Just a few years later, commercialism has taken over and few seem to acknowledge Christ in Christmas. That is the message of this post. Perhaps we are just following the trend of losing our memory through tradition.

Gabriy'el whose Hebrew name means "Warrior of God" might just have a thing or two to say about the timing of this message. I do think Gabriel would get right to the point, after all, his record on that is pretty clear. Just check the evidence for yourself and read Daniel 8 and Luke 1. So here we go:

Question: Gabriel, since it's Christmas time, can you tell us... weren't you the messenger, the "angel" that proclaimed that the Savior was born to the shepherds tending sheep in the cold winter pastures of Bethlehem at Christmas time some 2,000 or so years ago?

Text: Good question, so let's clear the winter air. Actually "Christmas" is a term coined from the two words Christ's Mass and believe me there no insult intended here, but it is not declared in the Holy Scriptures as the birthday of Messiah. The word came from from the middle English "Christemasse" over a 1,000 years AFTER the earthly birth of Yeshua Messiah, the one so many today know as Jesus Christ. Even Sir Issac Newton wrote about this. He like many other Bible scholars - have shown that Christmas is not Yeshua's actual birthday. But this is a time of great rejoicing because this winter time does correspond with the time frame that many of the Disciples and early Believers knew quite a bit about, it is the time of Dedication, the Festival of Lights.

This truth has been lost to some, but it is now being recovered.

The week long celebration known in ancient Judea as the Feast of Dedication of the Temple. Today, it is it is also called Hanukkah, in Hebrew 'dedication'. It is linked in history because the Festival of Lights was also a celebration of the Feast of Dedication when the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple some 300 years before Messiah's arrival as the son of God. But the Maccabees were lighting the Menorah at this time for a reason.

Question: Hey wait a minute, you said Yeshua, but you mean Jesus right?

Text: Yes I do, but you can know His great name is not really English, Latin or Greek. His Hebrew name is "Yeshua". It means salvation. Yeshua is His great name and it represents His mission to mankind, it is "Salvation"! You see, the Bible was recorded by the Hebrew people and they all spoke Hebrew. Yeshua is the very name, the only name I was honored to deliver and to speak about. The name of the Savior born in Bethelem or Beit Lechem (which means House of Bread in Hebrew) is the name by which His family and friends used, and is the very same name His disciples knew. It is the name you too can know, after all He is returning.... don't you want to be able to call out to Him by His name? Just check any reputable dictionary or encyclopedia, because "remembering" names is very important and a key to a better understanding of Scripture. After all, "remembering" the time of the nativity story actually begins with Zecharias, whose name means "Yah remembers".

Question: But why does the story begin with remembering Zecharias?

Text: Zecharias, was a Levite priest. His wife was Elizabeth. She too was a descendant from Aaron, the brother of Moses and their story recorded in Luke's gospel is "the key" to understanding the actual time period of The Lord's first coming.

You see, Luke tells us that Zecharias was serving in the Temple according to the order of each priestly service times. This order of service was first established by King David and Zadok the priest. Zecharias was standing at the Altar of Incense standing just before the Holy of Holies in the Temple at Jerusalem. He was chosen to burn incense at the altar on the priest's roster of Aviyah (Abia) during the appointed holiday of the Feast of Weeks known in Hebrew as Shavuot. This day is exactly 50 days after Passover. It was the 7th day of the week, the 1st Sabbath of the 3rd month of God's Biblical year. The “course of Abia” (Abijah in Hebrew) is described in 1 Chronicles 24:7-10. Zecharias' appointed duty that day was performed on the 8th of 24 courses during a 12 month Biblical calendar year which differs from today's solar calendar year that begins in January.

That “course of Abia” is the time when I was sent as God's messenger to speak to Zachariah as he was standing before the Altar of Incense according to God's exact appointment and plan. I was very honored to tell Zecharias that he and Elizabeth would have a son - John. He would also be a Levite priest and he would be like Elijah, chosen by God to "prepare the way" and to also proclaim King Yeshua as the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. Zachariah and Elizabeth were so blessed because as Luke says, "... they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Question: Wow, I think I can do the math, in fact anyone can... Since John was conceived right after Pentecost in the summer month of June, and since Elizabeth was six months pregnant when she met with Mary, then we can easily see that they met in December of today's modern calendar which is also the time of Hanukkah starting on the 25th day of Kislev when Israel began to celebrate the miracle of lights. If we simply count 9 nine more months after that time, then it would mean that Yeshua was born in the beautiful fall season around the Feast of Tabernacles, not in the cold, dreary winter. You do the math.

Text: Yes that is right! Even Yeshua said, “Pray that your flight be not in winter” (see Matthew 24:20). But this is not a dreary time because we can celebrate the "Light of the World" and His miracle conception by the Holy Spirit of God. The key to understanding this is to always let Scripture interpret Scripture. You need only to study Scripture to know the truth and ask God to give you His Spirit to understand. When you do, you will know that the ordained timing of The Lord's seven Feast Days give us the proper understanding of God's appointments with mankind. After all, God calls them His "appointment days" for a reason. Everyone should study all they can about these awesome Holy Days, because they represent the seven point life plan of God that will be restored!

Christmas is not a part of the restoration. In fact, when Messiah returns to give rest to the earth, even the fir trees will rejoice as they will no longer be destroyed each year.
The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the cedars of Lebanon, [saying], Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Isaiah 14:7-8
The sacred Christmas tree has a shocking problem, God hates them.
Deuteronomy 18:21-22 “You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the LORD your God, which you shall make for yourself. You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which the LORD your God hates."

Jeremiah 10:2-4 "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
The Feast of the Lord show us the truth as the one invisible God - YHVH came to earth as the Son of Man - Yeshua in the 7th Biblical month of Tishrei, in the time frame of days during the autumn Feast celebrations that begin with the Day of Trumpets, the day of shouting and rejoicing, the day of blowing the trumpet announcing the King's arrival to the seven holy days known as Tabernacles or Sukkot.

And if you just think about it, why would shepherds tend sheep in the open fields of Bethlehem in the middle of icy frozen winter? They wouldn't. Not only is the ground cold, hard and frozen in winter, but after all, none, not one of the seven appointed Feast Days of The Lord God are in the winter time, yet it is still a time to celebrate. God keeps all of His appointments with man on His calendar, on His ordained Biblical Feast Days - not on man's Gregorian, Julian or any other sun based calendar.

\ You also need to know something very interesting. Many do not realize it but the shepherds tended very special sheep in Bethlehem. They were none other than the spotless sacrificial lambs, the "offerings" to be made to The Lord at the Altar in Jerusalem. Do you see the Biblical theme of our great shepherd, The Messiah? There is more. The story of Bethlehem begins as the Bible tells us it was also known as Ephrath. Interestingly, Ephrath אֶפְרָת means "place of fruitfulness". Imagine that!

The sheep of Bethlehem should also remind us of the stories of David being called from tending the sheep flocks there to shepherd the people of Israel as their king after he battled Goliath of the Philistines. It is important to notice what David was doing. He was taking care of some very special sheep as well.

Bethlehem’s first appearance in Scripture involves the birth of Rachel's second son Benjamin. Benjamin was the younger brother to Rachel's firstborn son Joseph. Benjamin was born in sorrow on the road to Bethlehem because Rachel רָחֵל whose name means "ewe" (a female sheep) died in his childbirth. It is no accident that the witness to this event established by Jacob still stands today. Rachel's tomb is still standing between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. It was there nearby as Messiah, the great shepherd was born.

When we consider the shepherds of Bethlehem we need to realize there was no need to bring large herds of young, beautiful sheep to Bethlehem in the dead cold of winter because there were no pilgrimage Feast offerings at the Temple in the winter. Of the seven "appointed" Feast Days of The Lord YHVH, only three of them are the "pilgrimage" Feasts which are the High Holy Days in which all men were to go to Jerusalem. They are 1) Passover (Spring) followed by the 49 day count to 2) Pentecost (Summer) and the week long celebration time of 3) Tabernacles (Fall).

Trumpets begins the joyous thanksgiving period of the fall Feast Days throughout the Scriptures:
Exodus 23:16
Exodus 34:22
Leviticus 23:33-43
Numbers 29:12-34
Deuteronomy 16:13-15
1Kings 8:3
2Chronicles 7:1
Zechariah 14:16-19
John 7:2
Matthew 24:35
2Peter 3:7
Revelation 21:1
The Bible also tells us that Joseph and Mary were righteous. This means they kept the Torah, the instruction of God. This is why they were chosen and even though there was a census, they were on the way to Jerusalem for Messiah's birth which was required by Torah for the Fall Feast of Tabernacles. Can we imagine that Jacob and Rachel were perhaps doing the same? Please re-read Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1.

Question: So, are you saying that the Day of Trumpets marks a trumpet day for the King of the Universe?

Text: Yes!! You need to know, it signifies the announcement of God's coming presence. A King's arrival is always announced with trumpeting. People need to properly prepare for the arrival of the King. It was the same at Mount Sinai and it will be the same at the Mount of Olives when He returns. A trumpet, a shofar always sounds for God's covenant people who look forward to the coming of the Creator. Trumpets Day is a day of joyous celebration marking the beginning of the fall fruit harvest season in Israel (grapes & olives). That is why the book of Revelation uses the metaphor of a harvest. This fall feast time marks the first arrival of the humble Messiah and the second will announce the coronation of The King. The host of angels even celebrate in God's instruction for joyful shouting on The Day of Trumpets, just read Luke 2:8-20.

When we read Leviticus we find that Trumpets is the only Feast Day that God's word does not tell us has a purpose for the day, but we can easily know its mystery. It declares salvation and the arrival of Yeshua.

Question: Then, why do we celebrate Christmas as a memorial of Messiah's birth?

Text: The idea to celebrate Christmas as Messiah's birth on December 25th originated in Babylon. It came to focus again in the the early 3rd century and many people do not know that history but this is not time to be angry, judgmental, condescending or critical as we learn to move forward to and even greater understanding of the truth found in the Bible. But we can read this from Collier's Encyclopedia:

"After the triumph of Constantine, the church at Rome assigned December 25 as the date for the celebration of the feast, possibly about A.D. 320 or 353. By the end of the fourth century the Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern churches where it was celebrated on January 6. The choice of December 25 was probably influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god (natalis solis invicti), and that the Saturnalia also came at this time."

Did you know that because of this history, a winter Christmas was actually illegal in Colonial America when our original Puritan colonists outlawed it in the 1600's? It was even banned by state law in Massachusetts until 1856 because the Puritans as well as the Presbyterians and the Baptists all knew its origins and history and they understood the Biblical record which has been ignored.

In fact, the first session of Congress in 1789 opened on December 25th and it wasn't until 1870 that President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a federal holiday along with July 4th, News Year's day and Thanksgiving.

Today, division and confusion remains as the nations of Ethiopia, Egypt, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia, Macedonia, and Moldova celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Churches in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Antioch, Alexandria, Albania, Finland on December 25th as we now do in America.

Question: So when did Messiah first come into the world?

Text: With a humble spirit, we should consider that Messiah Yeshua came from heaven to earth - born as a man nine months after the time of the "Dedication of Lights" of Hanukkah. In Hebrew, חֲנֻכָּה ḥănukkāh literally means dedication.

This would mean that Yeshua, the "light of the world" was born during the appointed autumn celebration time, the beautiful fall "Feast" season declared by God. It falls nine months after the Festival of Lights.

The Bible gives us simple information and truth. It's just that tradition and religion often tends to complicate things, hiding the truth, but you have to open your Bible and dig in to seek out the plain truth in the details which are there in the pure light of the Word. After all, it's not just a book or a story, it contains the living, loving unchanging voice of God for all of mankind to see. The timing of the Feast Days, the order of the Levitical sacrifices and offerings, the Altar, the Temple... all of these are very important if you are to understand the blueprint and timeline of God's salvation plan.

All of "the word" of God is a portrait of Messiah Yeshua, our Great High Priest and Savior. His story, His plan for salvation is contained within the imagery of the offerings, the Priestly duties and each of the Lord's Feast Days. As you can now see, even the roster order that the priests were named to serve in at the The Temple is vitally important today if we are to understand the Word of God. The Spring Feasts are shadow images into understanding the past and the Fall Feasts are windows of the future where time intersects with God and mankind. Nothing has changed with God, His Feast Days are as important to anyone that follows Him today as they were for those that followed Him out of Egypt.

Question: Can you explain more? I feel uneasy about what you are saying, I feel some discomfort or cognitive dissonance kicking in here because this conflicts with my traditional belief even though I know the Bible never once tells us Christmas day is the time of Jesus birth.

Text: Yes, I understand your frustration. People seek consistency in their beliefs and attitudes in any situation where one feels inconsistency. That is normal so you must seek the truth in the Bible and pray to God and ask Him for understanding.

You see, each Levite priest was responsible for a period of Temple service to be fulfilled according to the twenty four divisions by lot. You can read all about this in 1Chronicles 24:1-10. That's why six months before Mary conceived by God's Spirit, Zachariah was chosen under the service time known as "Aviyah" to be standing in the Temple serving his priestly duties. It is no coincidence that Aviyah means "Yah is my Father" in Hebrew and no coincidence whatsoever that Mary's pregnancy time is tied to Elizabeth's story as narrated by the gospel writer known as Luke. Each priestly service followed in exact order, from the first course of service for each Biblical calendar year which begins in the first Hebrew month - Nisan. Since the priests in the family line of Aviyah served on the eighth spot on the priestly roster, counting from the month of Nisan, you can determine for yourself that Zecharias' Temple service time fell right at the Feast of Shavuot! This is the holy, the "set apart" appointed Feast day many now call the Day of Pentecost. It's one of the three required days to be in Jerusalem.

Question: Why are the Feasts so important to Believers today, I thought that they are Jewish holidays and done away with?

Text: The Feasts, all seven of them, are God's eternal appointed times. The Bible in Leviticus 23:2 plainly says they are the Feasts of The Lord. They are the Feasts of God. Jesus is God. Being so, they to be honored by all God's people - for ever! In Hebrew, the word feast is "Moedim", it literally means appointments. These "appointments" of God represent the timing of His plan for His interaction and salvation of mankind. Its is simple, if you don't know them and honor them, you will not know to "show up" for the appointments. You are REALLY going to miss out something awesome in God's plan for man. No disrespect intended at all, after all Jesus or rather Yeshua, is from the tribe of Judah, but despite what may be misunderstood, these are not "Jewish" festival days as so many call them. But the fact is that the Jewish people have been faithful to honoring the word of God. So much so, the holy days of God have become synonymous with the Jewish people. Much like the time of Messiah's birth and His great name - the Feast Days of The Lord have been misunderstood for over 1,600 years by those that have rejected these days as God's eternal appointments. But you can clear this up for yourself and your family and friends if you will just study and apply His Word to your life. So open your Bible, read it and get on The Creator's calendar plan for your life.

The Feast Days are the planned "appointments" of God. These seasons mark the divine time windows that God chose from creation to interact one on one with mankind. The Feasts of the Lord are a part of creation, that's why the Star of Bethlehem is such a vital part of the story. God's appointments, His seasons of "Moedim" give us the prophetic outline of Messiah's springtime death on the tree at Passover and His resurrection at FirstFruits. They tell us everything about His fall time of return at the Feast of Trumpets, the same day of His first arrival and His marriage supper at the Feast of Tabernacles.
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" Genesis 1:14
Just as the Messiah has fulfilled the first four spring Feasts at his first coming, He will fulfill the fall Feasts when He returns in glory again to Jerusalem. In this manner, the Feasts represent the early and late rains described in Scripture. To understand we must study Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and then the gospel writings and the other books of Scripture will make a lot more sense - and they will be restored as the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31 begins!

Like all books, start at the beginning or you won't be able to follow the story line.

Question: The gospel of Luke states that Mary went visit Elizabeth in Elizabeth's 6th month of pregnancy. When Elizabeth saw Mary, the unborn John leaped, he kicked for joy in her womb, why was that?

Text: This confirmed the prophecy I was honored to give that John the Baptizer - would be anointed with the Holy Spirit while yet unborn. I do pray that ALL people come to understand the truth here. Though he was not yet born, John's joy and excitement was stirred by the very presence of Messiah Yeshua BEFORE either was born. Human life from God begins at conception not at birth. All people must understand what that means.

This was near the time of the Feast of Lights, the Feast of Dedication and celebration of the relighting of the light of the Menorah in the Temple by the Maccabees. We need to take notice because Yeshua was not in Jerusalem often. He spent most of His time in Northern Israel, in the land of Ephraim (the Galilee). Importantly, we need to see that that Yeshua chose this as the time that He would declare Himself Messiah and One with God:
"And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication, and it was winter. And Yeshua walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Messiah, tell us plainly. Yeshua answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. I and [my] Father are one." John 10:22-30
Just prior to this heated discussion with the Pharisees during the Festival of Lights at the Temple courtyard Yeshua also declared:
"As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:5
Question: So we may have it all wrong about Christmas time because we do not understand the Bible, so what does a Christmas tree with all its lights have to do with all this?

Text: Nothing really. I implore you, I encourage you, OPEN and READ your Bible. Take it to heart, your heart. It is God's LIVING and UNCHANGING word written for you. None of it is done away with. Just turn to Jeremiah 10 and one again, read the opening of chapter for yourself, without any prejudice, and you will read what God's has to say about green trees on a stand decorated with silver and gold balls.

Sadly, you will see they are brutish and foolish because they represent ancient idol worship from Babylon and beyond. The decorated trees are from Ashteroth, they are derived from Baal worship which is described throughout the Bible. Baal was also called Molech, the Canaanite false idol. Modern scholars can attest that Molech and Baal represent the same pagan god, a false god of wood and stone that can't speak or move, a god that exists only in the vain imaginations and traditions of man. The supposed idol wife of Baal is Asherah and the wife of Molech is Ashteroth. Asherah and Ashteroth represent the ancient pagan's fertility goddess. This idol was known to the Greeks as Aphrodite and to the Egyptians as Isis. The names change but the idols do not.

Look, you may be shocked by all this, but you've been innocent!! You did not know. However, now that you do know - its time to get busy praying, reading and studying your Bible. Take on the example of Mary and Joseph for heaven's sake.

Question: What do you mean, what example do they give us for living today?

Text: Like Zecharias and Elizabeth they honored and remembered God's word. After all they observed His instruction as recorded by Moses by circumcising the baby Yeshua, and presenting Him in the Temple on the 8th day. Then, just as the Torah teaches mothers to present an offering 40 days after a son was born, both Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to present the offering at the Temple. There was no coincidence they were there. That is when they saw the devout Simeon whom they met them in the Temple. The Holy Spirit had promised Simeon he would see the Messiah before he died and he did that very day. When Simeon saw Yeshua, he blessed Him and said, "My eyes have seen Thy salvation". Both Joseph and Mary were amazed that he knew His name, "salvation" when he declared "My eyes have seen thy Yeshua"!

Mary and Joseph honored all of God's teaching and instruction, which in Hebrew means His Torah. YOU too can honor God's instruction for His "appointed" Feast Days, they are His set-apart "holy" days. Trust me, you don't want to miss an appointment with God. How else are you going to begin to really understand God's plan of salvation and redemption for yourself and mankind?

Question: Wait a minute, I am confused again, I thought my pastor said the Feast Days were done away with. Are you saying that they still apply to me today?

Text: Yes. Yeshua, our Creator came to earth as the Son of man to save us. He is God. He led Israel out of Egypt. He spoke the commandments. The Feast days are his teaching. As the Word (Memra) of God, He gave us His instruction for living and worship when He spoke with a thunder-like voice from Mount Sinai and gave us His Torah teaching and instruction in the wilderness. When He did this He was giving His covenant to those that had received the grace of His salvation and followed Him out of Egypt and through the sea. Yes, it was He that gave the Ten Commandments to the assembly of the children of Israel and the sojourners with them. The same Yeshua, the one also called Jesus is God. It was He that dwelt with them in a Pillar of Fire and He is the One they "followed" into the Promised Land, Acts 7:38 says so, just read it for yourself.

This same book of Acts refers to the Israelites as the “church", this is really from the Greek word "ekklesia" which means "assembly" and it began in the wilderness journey. In fact, according to the NASB, two early manuscripts of the book of Jude render "the Lord" in verse 1:5 as Jesus:
Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. Jude 1:5
It is amazing, but there is actually no word "church "in the Bible. God's children, His assembly of people are those that would walk in His love and follow in His covenant instruction that began on the day of Pentecost some 3,500 years ago as the "assembly" came out of Egypt on Passover and heard God speak at the Mountain of Sinai 50 days later. The first-century Jewish believers that wrote the New Testament, the same people that we read about in the book of Acts were a continuation of the same assembly of God's people He calls "Israel". Like the ancient Israelites in the wilderness that followed the cloud of glory fire, they too saw the glory of God, but in the form of man.

Question: Wow, are you saying The Set-apart Feast Days of YHVH shows us God's plan?

Text: These appointed Feast days are the prophetic shadow-pictures that show us the plan of salvation and redemption by Messiah Yeshua our Creator and Savior. These seven appointments represent the seven appointments of God YHVH for mankind. Anyone can understand these truths. They represent the message of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. After all, the UNCHANGING Bible is a message in which which every word is important. Never speed read or skip around through His Word, it is too staggering, too deep, too meaningful. If you do, it will be beyond your understanding and confusing.

The Lord's seven Appointed Feast Days correspond to the seven days of creation and the time windows of His interactions with us. They are literally the foundation light upon which this truth is built upon. That's why God gave us the symbol of the golden seven branched Menorah, it graphically represents God's appointed plan as a message of salvation, sanctification, resurrection, glorification, redemption, atonement and eternal life. Think about it, perhaps you should replace the Christmas tree with it today, after all, it is the true representation of God's plan for eternal life. That is why the Savior King - Messiah Yeshua is seen in the middle of the seven candlesticks of the Menorah in the last book of the Bible - it is called His "Revelation" for a reason! Just read it for yourself:
"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle." Revelation 1:12-13
Question: What does this mean?

Text: You need to be prepared, "your lamp stand" needs to be ready for the fulfillment of the Feasts of The Lord. That is why Jesus, whose Hebrew name is Yeshua, gave us the parable of the lamps, the virgins and the wedding in Matthew 25. King Messiah Yeshua, the "Bridegroom" will come to His "Bride", and He will "tabernacle" in His Kingdom with this assembly of followers.

In Psalms 119:105 we see that Scripture describes God's Word, the Torah, as "a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. The five lamps in the parable are fueled by oil representing the Holy Spirit. The five is a reference to the Torah, the five books of Moses in which he recorded the words of God.

After all, we are now in the season of "dedication"... (see Numbers 7:84 2Chronicles 7:9 John 10:22). Today, we call it Hanukkah, in Messiah’s time it was also known as the 8 day festival of the Dedication of Lights or simply as John did, the time of Dedication. Some now call it the Feast of the Maccabees but the Bible shows us it existed long before those great warriors.

May God bless you and your family during this time as we seek to worship Him in truth and in Spirit.

Just read Zechariah 14:16-18 to understand the future celebrations of Tabernacles.

And start studying the Scriptures today, every day. Pray for understanding, open your eyes, your heart and your Bible so you will know how to walk in His ways like Joseph and Mary did! The Scriptures were given to you by the Creator of the Universe as a guide to live an abundant, blessed life (John 10:10).

Messiah Yeshua practiced what He preached, He lived and lives in accordance with all of His’ holy teaching, He shows us THE perfect example to follow (1 Peter 2:21) and it isn't religion or tradition. He is not a "Greek" Jesus... He has the face of the Messiah Yeshua from the tribe of Judah.
"For if he who comes preaches another Yeshua, whom we did not preach, or if you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you put up with that well enough." 2 Corinthians 11:4
Don't just take what is written here without first searching it out for yourself, then consider Hosea's words as he recorded:
"I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien." "What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts, on the festival days of the Lord?" "Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them." Hosea 8:12; 9:5; 14:9.
Light and truth abounds for those who have the eyes and ears to see and hear.

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If you like to view an excellent astronomical presentation on the the Star of Bethlehem from the book of Matthew created by the Griffin Observatory and as seen on MSNBC just click here. The "star" was a real event! This scientific presentation is based strictly on NASA lunar-phase tables and the description of the celestial image of the heavens described in Revelation 12.

It's time to focus on God's holidays, His Holy Days - not the holidays of man. You certainly don't have to take my word for this, nor should you but even TV's The History Channel has a thing or two to say about the truth and traditions of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, mistletoe, wreaths and songs of boughs of holly and yule tide logs.

The Word provides the Truth of Trumpets from Zecharias' story, so it is well worth repeating here:

Luke 1:5-25: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on [me], to take away my reproach among men.”
Luke 1:26-37: “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus {Yeshua}. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Luke 1:67-75 "And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation {Yeshua} for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life."
God's word holds many mysteries when we do not reconsider its simple truth - and all we need to do is look into the word and dig in. For example, at the end of the story of Zacharias we are given a prophecy. A prophecy that tells us:

1. God is the God of Israel. So, we need to know just who is Israel.
2. God visits His people. So, we need to understand God appointment days.
3. God saves His people. So, we need to know Yeshua means salvation.
4. God will allow us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness. So we need to know just how to live a set apart righteous life.

Sometimes the truth seems stranger than fiction.

After all, despite what we have been traditionally taught about Christmas, we know Santa does not exist nor did John the Baptist just eat insects. He ate the seeds, the herbal fruit of the "locust" tree. Today, we know its name as the carob. It grows throughout Israel.
"The seed is called gerah (Exodus 30: 13), which is the origin for the word carat which is a unit of weight (one fifth of a gram) that still serves for the appraisal of precious stones. In antiquity, carob seeds were used as a unit of weight since they do not lose water and their weight remains constant. In addition to the seeds, the legumen contains a sweet juice called “carob honey”. The fruit is eaten by man and animals."
The key to understanding the appointed holy days God gave us to celebrate we must first understand that God gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us and He never changes His mind. He teaches us some very simple guidelines about how we are to live and how we are to worship Him. It's the original message of the Deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't fall for that massage any longer. Seek only God's ways and remember that it is important what you do once you know the truth because:
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Luke 12:48
Once we know the truth, God will require it of us to do something about it.

It’s time to stop following tradition and allow our Heavenly Father to instruct us!

Christianity today is no different than Israel in the days of the prophet Hosea. They thought that they could celebrate unholy days offered up to Ba’al, but they had no idea that their compromise with heathern tradition would cause them to be divorced by YaHoVaH and sent away into exile (see Jeremiah 3:8; Amos 5:21-27; Galatians 4:8-11).

If you are one of those who would rationalize, not knowing you are standing on the wide road “God knows my heart” or if you say “They may have started out as pagan holidays, but we make them holy days for Christ”, I urge you to please consider what our Savior is teaching us in Matthew:

Matthew 5:13-14 "You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. You are the light of the world..."

Matthew 5:16-17 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

Matthew 19:17 "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

He repeated this in His revelation to the church of the Laodiceans.

Be zealous. Be zealous in the pursuit of good.

Paul told us what is good. He taught us to consent to it and to prove to others what is good.

"Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." "If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good." "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 7:12, 16, 12:2

Yeshua told us His view:

Mark 7:9, 13 "And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition." "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do."

In the letters of Paul, he warned the Colossians, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" Colossians. 2:8

In a close study, is Christmas really any different from the religious traditions Pharisees?

Yeshua draws a very sharp contrast between the word of God, and the traditions of men. Set opposite to the traditions of men, Jesus held up the word of God spoken by Moses. Jesus affirmed that these religious men laid "aside the commandment of God" rejected "the commandment of God" and were "making the word of God of none effect" by not keeping what "Moses said".

Yeshua upheld what Moses wrote and for His children to observe and do what Moses said (Matthew 12:1-3). The reason of course being that Moses wrote the spoken words of God (see Exodus 20:1,12).

Who is the word of God... and just what did He tell Amos?

Amos 5:21,23 "I hate, I despise your festival days... Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy instruments."

What did He tell Jeremiah to declare to you O house of Israel?

Jeremiah 10:1-4 "Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen... For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

For an indepth resource to further Biblical study on this timing of the birth of Yeshua Messiah, TorahCalendar.com offers a unique proof study that ties other Scripture into the Fall Feast date of The Birth if Messiah.

What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to give up tradition. It is time to repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now and let your light shine before others!

Today is the time. If you know you need to get your life right with God, don’t wait for tomorrow, get it right with Him now!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17

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