Sunday, October 30, 2011

Priority #6 - My Ministry - Not on my Calendar

When the Children of Israel came out of Egypt (a type of the believer coming out of the world system), YHWH gave them a calendar so that they would not assimilate to the culture around them. They were not meant to be boring or dry or religiously observed with out bodies while our hearts longed for something else. They all pointed toward YHWH and were in celebration of Him.

Recently, a neighbor boy tried to convince my son to come to his Halloween party. When my son said, "No, you already know I don't celebrate that," the boy gave to reasons why he should:
1. "Christians trick or treat."
2. "You should become one with the world."

In his mind, these are the reasons why my son should get involved in his celebration. Because so many "Christians" have left off from the Scripture that says, "So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor." II Corinthians 6:17 AMP "Christians" have rejected His favor so they can be in favor with the world and not make waves and be a "witness" by throwing identical festivals with the "evil" taken out of them.

His second reason, that my son should become, "one with the world," reminds me of I John 2:15-17, "

"Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever." I John 2:15-17 AMP

"I only participate in Halloween so I can get the candy." What, I can't buy my children candy without them getting dressed up, ringing the neighbor's doorbell, and giving them an ultimatum?

CNN did a story this year about the increasingly sensual nature of Halloween costumes for children:

"You just don't want your children to have fun." Of course, the only way to have fun is your way, right? Our children never laugh, never smile, never celebrate, never feast......Wrong!

In our family, adapting to YHWH's calendar, rather than trying to squeeze Him into our American/Gregorian system, has been the most eye-opening, joyful, and adventurous thing we have ever done as a family and our children are loving every minute of it.

We as grafted in Israelites had better learn how to celebrate the holidays of our Kingdom. According to Isaiah 66, we will be celebrating them for all eternity!

Romans 11:17-24
"But if some of the branches were broken off, while you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share the richness [of the root and sap] of the olive tree, Do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you. You will say then, Branches were broken (pruned) off so that I might be grafted in! That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], neither will He spare you [if you are guilty of the same offense]. Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's gracious kindness to you--provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away). And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews], if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree."

Hebrews 8:8 AMP, "However, He finds fault with them [showing its inadequacy] when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel [HELLO! YOU ARE HERE!!!] and with the house of Judah."

Hebrews 8:10 AMP, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws [TORAH - HIS INSTRUCTION AND TEACHING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS] upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Question: Do you think that the Torah, instruction and teaching that He writes upon your heart, is different than the instruction and teaching found in His written word? So when He says, "Be watchful that you are not ensnared into following them after they have been destroyed before you and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? We will do likewise." Deuteronomy 12:30 AMP, that He could have possibly been talking about not celebrating Halloween or making a substitute for it?

Leviticus 23:2, "Say to the Israelites, The set feasts or appointed seasons of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, even My set feasts, are these:

Verse 3 - The Sabbath:
"Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation or assembly by summons. You shall do no work on that day; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings."

Every Friday is like a party. From sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, we pray blessings over our husbands, wives, and children. We praise and worship our God. We fellowship with other believers. We dance and laugh and eat, and forget about all of our troubles and worries for the week. We refill our oil so that we can continue to be lights in the world.

Verse 4 through - Six Feasts

1. Passover - A memorial of the Angel of Death passing over the Children of Israel and delivering them out of the world. A memorial of Yeshua (Jesus) giving His life to renew the covenant with the House of Israel, those who would believe on Him and reconcile us back to our first husband (the God of the first Passover).

2. Feast of Unleavened Bread - yeast, which is a symbol of sin, is carefully searched for an removed from our homes in preparation for the receiving of the Torah

3. Shavuot - Festival of the barley harvest and memorial of the gathering to receive the Torah (marriage vows). Also memorial of Pentecost where the Holy Spirit was poured out and we received the Torah written on our hearts and in our minds.

4. Feast of Trumpets - a time that marks the time of repentance. A time of making things right with our neighbors and repenting before YHWH. It is the beginning of a 10-day period of introspection.

5. Day of Atonement - This is a fast and a solemn day of repentance. This is a day of looking at ourselves for what we really are so that we can know look to our Messiah and His finished work (on Yom Kippur the high priest, after the last lamb was slain, would say, "It is finished."

6. Feast of Booths - This is a season of our joy. This is when we believe Yeshua was actually born. This is when we celebrate His coming to dwell among us. There has been much research on it. You can look that up for yourselves.

New Moons - I love how YHWH is always about renewal. In Isaiah 66:23 AMP He says that in the New Earth and the New Jerusalem, "And it shall be that from one New Moon to another New Moon and from one Sabbath to another Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord."

Feast of Dedication (Hannukah) - We know that Jesus celebrated this, "After this the Feast of Dedication [of the reconsecration of the temple] was taking place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and And Jesus was walking in Solomon's Porch in the temple area." John 10:22-23 AMP

Purim - Celebration of the Jews of Shushan's victory over their Persian oppression.

With all these Biblical holidays to celebrate, WHY do believers look to participate in the celebrations of the world. We should be inviting THEM to OUR feasts, not participating in theirs! OUR feasts tell the story of redemption. Our feasts speak of Him Who was, is, and is to come. There are holidays and memorial days that have been celebrated in the past and are no longer relevant and have passed away, but this festivals are WORD and we are assured that His word will NEVER pass away.


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