Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How is Yeshua Both the Written and Living Word of God?

When Yeshua was asked what the greatest commandment was in Matthew 22, He quoted Deuteronomy chapter 6 which is the centerpiece of Jewish theology and teaching.

Matthew 22:36-38 NKJV 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37 Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 "This is the first and great commandment.

Deut. 6:4-5  NKJV “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

What is it that Yeshua came to teach us?  Did he come to start a “new religion”?  Or did He come to reiterate the Father’s instruction of how to live and draw near to Him?  Yeshua came to renew the covenant given at Mt. Sinai.  He came to secure our relationship to God the Father by His perfect sacrifice.  But what does His atonement really accomplish, and how does it work?

In order to properly understand it, we have to clearly identify who Messiah Yeshua is.  We have to have a clear understanding of his true identity, unclouded by conventions and doctrines invented over the centuries since His death and resurrection.

The Gospel of John does the best job of identifying Messiah as the “Living Word of God”.

John 1:1-3 NKJV 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Later in John’s Gospel, these words of Yeshua are recorded.  

John 14:6 NKJV “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Now this is perhaps the single most abused scripture in history! Christians, not understanding the Hebrew, Biblical context of this statement, have throughout history, used it to justify despicable acts of all kinds against the Jews and other so called "non-believers". It was used to justify the crusades and the Spanish inquisition, and in the last century, the Holocaust. But when we understand this statement by Yeshua in light of the Hebrew mindset, a deeper understanding and the true meaning emerges. Yeshua was a Jewish man teaching His Jewish disciples about the Jewish scripture, the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, the Tanakh, or what we commonly call the Old Testament.  So maybe we ought to pay attention to His Jewish instruction from that point of view.

I believe very strongly that we must read and understand all of scripture from within its cultural and historic context in order to clearly understand the intended message.  Let's take a closer look what Yeshua was saying here and see how His Jewish followers of the 1st century would have understood it.

What is the way?

Ps 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law (Torah) of the LORD! (NKJV)

And what is the truth?

Ps 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law (Torah) is truth. (NKJV)

And what is life?

Pr 13:14 The law (Torah) of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death. (NKJV)

So what is the Torah?

Pr 7:2 Keep my commands and live, And my law (Torah) as the apple of your eye. (NKJV)

Pr 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law (Torah), Even his prayer is an abomination. (NKJV)

Mal 2:6 The law (Torah) of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, And turned many away from iniquity. 7 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law (Torah) from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law (Torah). You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” Says the LORD of hosts. 9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law (Torah).” (NKJV)

Ps 1:2 But his delight is in the law (Torah) of the LORD, And in His law (Torah) he meditates day and night. (NKJV)

Ps 119:97 Oh, how I love Your law (Torah)! It is my meditation all the day. (NKJV)

Ps 119:44 So shall I keep Your law (Torah) continually, Forever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts. (NKJV)

Isaiah 51:7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: (Torah) Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults. (NKJV)

In all the scriptures above, the word translated as “law” in our English bibles is the Hebrew “Torah”.  The word Torah is defined in the Strong’s Concordance #8451 and means precept or statute. It is derived from #3384 which means to teach, instruct, to point out or to inform. The Torah is God’s divine instruction. It does not mean “law” as we understand law in our modern western society, it would be better translated as “teaching or instruction”.  Yeshua came to teach, instruct, to point out and to inform us of the ways of the Father.  He is the perfect embodiment of Torah.  Remember the scripture in Matthew

Matthew 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (NKJV)

In the Greek manuscripts of the NT writings, the word “law” is the Greek word “nomos”.  This is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint, the 3rd century BCE translation of the Tanakh, to translate “Torah.”

A Hebrew word picture of “Torah”:

The original Hebrew language was written as pictographs and each letter had a meaning in and of itself. The Modern Hebrew that we are familiar with today, was formed in the middle ages but still retains the original pictographic meaning of the letters and words. Hebrew is read right to left and the word Torah is as follows:

Torah: תורה = Tav, Vav, Resh, Hey.

Tav: ת =Cross, covenant or sign of the covenant
Vav: ו = Nail, tent peg, to secure
Resh: ר = Person, especially the highest person, head
Hey: ה = Reveal. At the end of a word hey can mean what comes from or out of, belonging to

Torah: The covenant secured by the highest person revealed or, if read backwards, that which comes from the highest person nailed to the cross.

So when we meditate on the Torah, when we listen to the Torah, when we speak the Torah, walk in Torah, seek Torah, delight in Torah, then the Torah is our heart. Yeshua is both the written and living Word of God and there is liberty in the Torah! For the Torah is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Did God the Father decide His past teaching was wrong?  Did He send His Son Yeshua, our Messiah, to eliminate or render invalid His instruction in righteous living, His Torah given at Mt. Sinai?  He did not!  His Word, both written and living, will stand forever!  When we understand that the written Word, the Torah and the Living Word, Yeshua are one and the same, we then come to the proper cultural and historic understanding of His profound statement in John 14:6. and we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2nd Tim 3:16, he was referring to the body of scripture known as the Tanakh.  What we know as the “New Testament” was not written yet and was decades away.

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (KJV)

Our “doctrines”, our “reproof”, our “corrections” and our “instruction in righteousness”, all derive from the Torah, both written and living.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

Please visit our web site at:  www.moedministries.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reasons for Christians to observe the Feast of Tabernacles: Part 2

(This essay is part of our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts”.  It is available from Amazon.com and on our web site at www.moedministries.com. This series of essays is designed to give the Christian an understanding of the Biblical Feasts and how they are connected to Jesus the Messiah.)

The Feast of Tabernacles is marked by special sacrificial offerings. Among them were 14 male lambs each day. This number is two times seven. Seven again is the number for spiritual completion but two is the number of division. What is the division here? The answer is in the other sacrifices. There was a succession of bulls sacrificed starting with thirteen on the first day and ending with seven on the last day. This totals 70 bulls which just happens to be the number of the nations as they were determined after the Tower of Babel (Deut. 32:8). As they sacrificed the bulls, Israel was acting in her divinely appointed role of priests to the nations (Ex. 19:6). The division is between Israel and all the gentile nations. Israel has been separated out as God’s portion among the nations (Deut. 32:9).

The Feast is observed after the harvest has been brought in (Ex. 23:16), after “you have gathered in the labors out of your field.” Jesus said that we are the workers in the field; that we have a harvest to bring in (Matt. 9:37-38). He also has a final harvest that He will bring in (Rev. 14:14-20, Matt. 13:36-43). After the harvest, we have a huge party. The wedding supper of the Lamb is ready. Blessed are those invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:6-7 MKJV 6 And I heard as the sound of a great multitude, and as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of strong thunders, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and we will give glory to Him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself.

If this isn’t enough, there are special observance every seventh year and every fiftieth year. The fiftieth year, of course follows the seventh seventh (49th) year. Every seventh year is a Sabbath year, again we see the number of spiritual completion. Every fiftieth year is the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25). In the year of Jubilee, prisoners are set free and land is returned to the family who originally owned it. Jesus proclaimed a Year of Jubilee when He began His ministry (Luke 4:18-21 quoting Is. 61). Jesus fulfilled the first part of this chapter in His first coming; He did not fulfill the part about the Day of Vengeance of our God (verse 2). This will be the harvest referred to as the winepress of His wrath (Is. 63:1-13). The grape harvest begins in late July and continues conveniently enough until right before the Feast of Tabernacle. The proclamation of the Year of Jubilee occurs on Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement which occurs just five days before the Feast of Tabernacles. On the subsequent Feast of Tabernacles, everyone, men, women, children and the stranger, gathers in Jerusalem to hear the King read the Torah! (Deut. 31:10-13) One of the first acts of Jesus who is the Living Word, will be to read His Written Word to all those He has gathered to Himself in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:3 MKJV 3 And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go out the Law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

 שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Please visit our web site at www.moedministries.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles: Part One

(This essay is part of our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts”.  It is available from Amazon.com and on our web site at www.moedministries.com. This series of essays is designed to give the Christian an understanding of the Biblical Feasts and how they are connected to Jesus the Messiah.)

This year the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of Sukot, begins tonight at local sunset.  The Feast of Tabernacles is the seventh and last Feast in the Feast cycles which began in the spring with Passover. The month of Passover is the first month on the religious or redemption calendar established when Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt. The Feast of Tabernacles is in the seventh month and lasts for seven days. That’s three sevens here. Seven is the number of completion and three is the number of divine completion. The Feast of Tabernacles is a rehearsal of the completion of God’s divine plan of salvation. Let’s see how God reveals this in the establishment of the feast.

Leviticus 23:39-40 MKJV 39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days. On the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40 And you shall take the fruit of majestic trees for yourselves on the first day, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

The Jewish people use the branches of the palm, willow and Myrtle along with the citron called a lulav to show rejoicing before God. The Jewish sages say this is in recognition that God is the Creator. He can be seen in the works of creation (Rom. 1:19-20) and creation itself worships God. (Ps. 19:1, Hab. 2:14, Luke 19:37-40) As we rejoice before the LORD during the Feast of Tabernacles, we look forward to when “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is LORD (Phil. 2:11)

Isaiah says that all creation will burst out in praise when God finishes His plan for redemption.

Isaiah 44:23 MKJV 23 Sing, O heavens; for the LORD has done it. Shout, lower parts of the earth. Break out into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it. For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.

Lev. 23:41-44 MKJV 41 And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall keep it in the seventh month. 42 You shall live in booths seven days. All that are born Israelites shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I made the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. 44 And Moses declared the feasts of the LORD to the sons of Israel.

The observance of the feast manifests itself in the Israelites living in booths, tents or huts so that they will remember that God had them live in booths when they were brought out of Egypt. Again, the Israelite left the trappings of civilization and lived close to nature observing God in all their surroundings. But what was there about their time in the wilderness that should be brought to mind?

First, this was a time when God miraculously provided all their needs. Manna rained down from heaven, water flowed out from a rock, and their clothing did not wear out. During the millennial reign of the Messiah, the ground of Israel will produce bountiful food (Jer. 31:12-14). Rain will be provided for all those who come up to Jerusalem to worship God during the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec. 14:16-18). After the thousand years, God will recreate the heavens and earth, and the tree of life will grow on both sides of the river of life. It will bear fruit each month which will be for the healing of the nations.  (Rev. 22:1-3)  The Feast of Tabernacles is a rehearsal for the millennial reign of the Messiah and the ultimate recreation of the heavens and the earth.

Second, this was a time when God Himself dwelt in the midst of their camp. The Tabernacle of God was literally right in the center of the camp. The pillar of cloud provided shelter during the day and the pillar of fire provided light during the night. When Jesus comes back, He will dwell in Jerusalem in the midst of the people. He will rule and reign with truth and righteousness. Isaiah describes Jerusalem after the final battle and restoration this way:

Isaiah 4:5-6 MKJV 5 And the LORD will create over all the site of Mount Zion, and on her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for on all the glory shall be a defense. 6 And there shall be a booth for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge, and for a hiding place from storm and rain.

This is a perfect description of the time Israel dwelt in the wilderness and God was in their midst.

This feast more than any others was to be observed with rejoicing. During the time of Jesus, the feast was a 24 hour a day seven day non-stop celebration. The temple was lit up with huge torches lighting up the entire countryside. Jerusalem was called the “Light of the World.” Jesus, our “Light of the World” will come and be the light from Jerusalem. When the earth is recreated and the heavenly Jerusalem comes down to join heaven to earth, there will be no need for light from the sun or the moon (Rev 21:22-23).

As we rejoice during the feast, we look forward to the return of Messiah and the redeemed who go up to Zion. Isaiah says, “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return and come with singing into Zion; and everlasting joy shall be on their head. Gladness and joy shall overtake them; sorrow and mourning shall flee away (Is. 51:11) This will be a time of rejoicing such as never has been!

Let’s rehearse the joyful time when Jesus our Messiah will begin His reign on earth. Let’s look 1000 years beyond that to the new creation where death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:54)

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

For this and other posts, please visit our web site at www.moedministries.com

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thoughts on Yom Kippur

What is this holiday of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement? How is it different from Passover when Yeshua died? Since He makes atonement for us, why didn’t He die on Yom Kippur? All these questions are questions that I have had and after prayers and study, I finally saw the difference. Passover is the day of deliverance; God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt. He delivers us out of our bondage to sin

The everyday circumstances of life, the mortality and imperfections of their lives as well as the many ways they fell short in their efforts to live pleasing lives before God made them unclean. They needed atonement or protective covering before they could come into the presence of God without bursting into flames.

Leviticus 16:1-2 NKJV 1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the LORD, and died; 2 and the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

Even the Tabernacle of God needed a new atonement or protective covering each year so God could enter without the Tabernacle going up in flames!

Leviticus 16:16 NKJV 16 "So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

So, the high priest sacrifices a bull and its blood atones for himself and all the priests who are the family of Aaron. Under the cloud of incense, he brings the blood to the mercy seat of God sprinkling it seven times. Seven is number of fullness and completeness especially the number of spiritual completeness. The blood fully and completely atones or covers them for the year. But this also looks forward to the time of spiritual completion when atonement will be fully completed forever and not just for another year.

Yeshua died once for our sins but He is ever present in the Tabernacle of God as our eternal high priest making atonement for us. Let’s see how this is true.

Yeshua serves in the heavenly Tabernacle of which the earthly tabernacle is but a shadow.

Hebrews 8:4-5 NKJV 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."
God’s throne is in the heavenly Tabernacle. Isaiah tells us that God’s dwelling place in the heavens is between the cherubim in the heavenly Tabernacle.

Isaiah 37:16 NKJV 16 "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.

Here on earth, the shadow of that throne was the mercy seat. There on the mercy seat, God came and met with His people.

Exodus 25:22 NKJV 22 "And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. 

Even now, Yeshua is the high priest making intercession or atonement for us.

Hebrews 7:25 NKJV 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

He is there at the right hand of the father on His throne in the heavenly tabernacle making atonement for us.

Romans 8:34 NKJV 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

This is an ongoing process! Even though we possess the hope of eternal life, in this world we are imperfect having mortal, corruptible bodies and frequently fall short in our efforts to love God by living lives pleasing to Him. John tells us that He is faithful and just forgiving us as we confess our sins to Him.

1 John 1:9 NKJV 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He not only forgives us, He cleanses us so we can once again enter into the presence of God.

The high priest makes atonement for all the children of Israel after he makes atonement for himself and the entire priesthood. This atonement is by the unique two-goat offering. The offering comprises two identical goats, one marked for the LORD and the other marked for azazel or the wilderness. He kills the goat for the LORD and sprinkles the blood on the mercy seat and, then, mixed with the blood of the bull, he sprinkles it on the altar. After he finishes making atonement for the tabernacle, he leans on the head of the goat for azazel and confesses the sins of Israel over it.

Leviticus 16:20-21 NKJV 20 "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.

The goat bears the sins of the Israelites away into the wilderness never to return. This two goat offering represents Yeshua’s two comings. As the first goat, He brings atonement and ongoing intercession for us before the LORD. As the second goat, He finally, fully and completely removes our sins and uncleanness from us.

Psalms 103:11-12 NKJV 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far as He removed our transgressions from us.

When we receive our incorruptible bodies and the hope of eternal life, we will no longer need the continual atonement of Yeshua sprinkling His blood on the mercy seat for us. Instead there will be an end to our sins and mortality; the goat for azazel takes them away forever.

Hebrews 9:27-28 NKJV 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

So, we rejoice in the Passover because Yeshua died on Passover to save us from our sins. We spend Yom Kippur in affliction for our souls as we humble ourselves before God.

Leviticus 23:27 NKJV 27 "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.

We mourn for the times we have failed to hear and obey God’s voice. We offer thanks for Yeshua’s ever present intercession on our behalf. We dedicate anew our lives to be sanctified, set apart, for Him. Finally, we look forward to the time of His second coming when we will be like Him.

1 John 3:2 NKJV 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and be blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

Visit our web site at www.moedministries.com and join us in our on-line study of  the Feasts of the LORD.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reason one for Christians to Observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement

(This essay is part of our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts”.  It is available from Amazon.com and on our web site at www.moedministries.com. This series of essays is designed to give the Christian an understanding of the Biblical Feasts and how they are connected to Jesus the Messiah.)

The Day of Atonement, or better known as Yom Kippur, is the one day a year when the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. He entered the Holy of Holies to make atonement for Himself and his fellow priests and for the nation of Israel.

It falls on the tenth of Tishrei, ten days from the beginning of the two day Feast of Trumpets. This year, Tishrei ten is on Saturday October 8th.  One of the reasons to blow the trumpets was to remind God to have mercy on His people. Now, on the Day of Atonement, that will be put to the test. Will God come down and “sit” on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies or will He instead bring judgment? The ten days leading up to the Day of Atonement are called the Days of Awe, reminding of us of the awe in which we should hold God. They are intense days of spiritual introspection marked by reviewing one’s actions of the past year. It leads to sorrow for wrongs done to God and others, and repentance leading one back to walking in God’s ways.

On this day, God says that His people are to “afflict their souls.”

Leviticus 23:27 MKJV 27 Also, on the tenth of this seventh month, this is a day of atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls and offer a fire offering to the LORD.

This is interpreted as a full 24 hour fast, putting aside the needs and desires of the flesh and focusing totally on the spiritual, seeking God with all one’s heart.

As believers in Jesus as our Messiah, we know that we have attained mercy by His blood that He shed for us and that we are sealed for that final day of redemption.

Ephesians 1:13-14 MKJV 13 in whom also you, hearing the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Paul goes on to remind us that we must continue in the faith.

Colossians 1:21-23 MKJV 21 And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and without blame, and without charge in His sight, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard and which was proclaimed in all the creation under Heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister…

What does it mean to be grounded and settled? In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul expands on this theme.

Ephesians 4:30-32 MKJV 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and tumult and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

On the Day of Atonement, Christians can also set aside the desires of flesh and participate in the Fast. How was our walk this year? Have we grown in our knowledge of God, in our faith and good deeds? Have we walked in the power of the Holy Spirit and allowed God to transform us into the image of His son?

Romans 12:2 MKJV 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

 For our books, Bible study materials and teachings, visit our web site at www.moedministries.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reason Four for Christians to Observe the Feast of Trumpets

(This essay is part of our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts”.  It is available from Amazon.com and on our web site at www.moedministries.com. This series of essays is designed to give the Christian an understanding of the Biblical Feasts and how they are connected to Jesus the Messiah.)

The sound of the shofar signals the beginning of the Day of the LORD.

Joel 2:1-2 MKJV 1 Blow a ram's horn in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble. For the day of the LORD comes, for it is near at hand; 2 a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread on the mountains; a great people and a strong people; there has not been ever the like, nor shall there ever be again, even to the years of many generations.

We learned in the previous blog that the shofar calls God to have mercy. He doesn’t want any to perish but rather that they come to repentance but those who won’t heed the call of the shofar will eventually face judgment.

Ezekiel 18:23 MKJV 23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Jehovah. Is it not that he should turn from his ways and live?

Jesus speaks of that day calling it a day when the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.

Matthew 24:29 MKJV 29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

Daniel chapter 7 describes the Day of Judgment. The books will be opened.

Daniel 7:9-10 MKJV 9 I watched until the thrones were thrown up, and the Ancient of Days sat, whose robe was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool. His throne was like flames of fire, and His wheels like burning fire. 10 A stream of fire went out and came out from before Him. A thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Remember, that this is a 40 day season of repentance, starting with Elul 1, 30 days before the Feast of Trumpets. The final ten days from the Feast of Trumpets to the tenth of Tishrei are called the Days of Awe. And the tenth of Tishrei just happens to be the Day of Atonement. Jewish tradition says that the books of life and death are opened on the Feast of Trumpets to determine one’s fate for the coming year. The sentence is pronounced on the Feast of Trumpets but God in His mercy leaves the books open until the Day of Atonement when they are sealed and judgment for life or death begins. So the Days of Awe are days of intense spiritual introspection.

As believers, we know that our names are written in the Book of Life and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NKJV 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

So, Daniel 7:10 is on the Feast of Trumpets, the books are still open. When the shofar blows we are reminded that God will not delay His judgment forever. He is the righteous judge and He sends His son to render judgment on the earth.

Jeremiah 33:14-15 NKJV 14 'Behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: 15 'In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

When we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets, we look forward to the millennial reign of the Messiah when He will rule and the land will have peace.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Please visit our web site at www.moedministries.com

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Online Feasts of the LORD Bible study now available.

To all our friends who follow Moed Torah,

Brenda and I are hosting/teaching a special online study of the Feasts of the LORD and YOU can participate!  This is a detailed, in-depth study of the Feasts spelled out in Leviticus chapter 23.  This foundational study consists of 12 sessions, approx. 1.5 hours each and is held each Friday night, in our home in Auburn WA.  We are recording each session, both audio and video and making these sessions available on the internet linked directly from the home page of our web site within 48 hours of the actual session.

What are the Feasts:

The story of the Messiah was given to us, by God 1500 years before Yeshua's birth!  Yeshua told us that all the scriptures spoke of Him.  Leviticus 23:1-2 says "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the Children of Israel, and say to them: "The Feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My Feasts."   The Hebrew words for convocations and feasts tell us that these are God's divine appointments!  Surely, something this important would speak about Yeshua the Messiah!  And they do!

All the Feasts of the LORD speak about the character of God and the details of His salvation plan instituted from the creation of the world.  In this study, we will learn what exciting events are yet to come on these set apart feast days and how we are to be watchful for these events.

We will see God's salvation message in the cycle of the feasts and His plan for how to live each day.  The Feasts of the LORD have an exciting message for you and we would love to share it with you.  You can purchase the student workbook for this study on our web site at www.moedministries.com, from the home page, click on the "Feast Study" menu button. The workbook is at a special pre-publication price of just $10.00 ea.  Your questions and feedback will be handled via email with most answers also put on the next available video/audio podcast for all participants to benefit.  We hope that you will take advantage of this in-depth study.  It will give you the strong foundation you need for further Torah study.  And those of us who have been around for a while can use a review now and then.  Any questions?  Email us at moedtorah@comcast.net

שלום ברוך
Shalom and be blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart
Moed Ministries