A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Feast of Trumpets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feast of Trumpets. Show all posts

September 20, 2022

"The Big Picture": The Lord's Judgment and Mercy; Hope and Redemption


More and more, I have been hearing from people who are feeling the tension in the world; most are Believers, some are not; but they all can sense that something dark is coming upon the earth. It is in these times and seasons of fear among men [which, let's be honest, that is what it is], that I earnestly seek the Lord for His clarification and the counsel of the Holy Spirit. I know the warnings against man's rebellion that can be found in the Word, and I know the Good News of the strength, peace, and joy of the Lord that are ours in the midst of such darkness. But I don't have a crystal ball to see into the future to forecast what we might experience in the coming days or years. I can only draw inspiration from Scripture and what it reveals. And lately, I find myself studying the words of the minor prophets at the close of the Old Testament. They speak of both God's judgment and mercy, which are both sobering and hopeful as we reside in a world that is in such turmoil.

So, it is with great anticipation and expectation that I view the approach of the beginning of the High Holy Days of Judaism in less than a week. At sundown on Sunday, September 25th, the Feast of Trumpets commences. This Fall Feast, as ordained by God nearly 4000 years ago, was to begin with the blowing of the shofar to remind the Hebrew people that it was 10 days until the Day of Atonement, when the people were to make amends [by blood sacrifice of animals] for the sins they had committed against Him. Between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement (known as the Ten Days of Repentance), people could repent of their sins. The Feast of Trumpets was [and still is] a call to examine our lives because they will be judged.

Fast forward to approximately 600 B.C. [or 2622 years ago], and the prophet Zephaniah hears these frightening words from the Lord, "I will completely consume and sweep away all things from the face of the earth [in judgment]”. Zephaniah had prophesied during the reign of godly King Josiah, whose father and grandfather (Kings Amon and Manasseh, respectively) had profaned the statutes of the Lord and led the people of Judah into wickedness. Josiah rediscovered the Law and brought religious and social reform and restoration to Judah. But it was to be short-lived, as his son Jehoiakim is forced to pay tribute to Nebuchadnezzar and eventually delivers the treasures of the Temple into the hands of the Babylonian king. It is Zephaniah who prophecies that the blasphemous worship of Baal; and "the names and remembrance of the idolatrous priests along with the [false] priests"; and "those who have turned back from following the Lord, and those who have not sought the Lord [as their most important need] or inquired of Him” will bring the downfall of the nation of Judah.

Zephaniah declares that the wealth of Judah will become plunder for its enemies; neither their silver nor their gold will be able to rescue them. He warns that God has set apart another nation [for His use]; a nation that has accepted His invitation to bring judgment upon Judah. The merchants will be silenced and destroyed and all who weigh out their profits in silver will be cut off. The economy and the security of the nation are in dire jeopardy because the spirits of men are in stagnation -- they do not fear God. Zephaniah prophecies that "The great [judgment] day of the Lord is near; near and coming very quickly... That day is a day of [the outpouring of the] wrath [of God]". Except for the names and places, this prophecy in Zephaniah, chapter One, could be spoken over nations today. 

BUT, Zephaniah, chapter Three, brings hope out of the devastation. True, the prophet holds to the forecast of judgment for the rebellious and defiled; for those who did not listen to nor heed the voice of God and accepted no correction; and for those who trusted in their own power rather than the power of the Lord. But just a few verses later, we read that the Lord promises deliverance from captivity for His remnant.... for those who grieve for the appointed Feasts [which have been outlawed]. God promises that their shame will be turned into praise and renown, and that He will gather them together, and restore their fortunes and freedom. 

God tells the godly remnant of Judah to patiently wait for Him; for the day when He will rise up as a witness against the rebellious nations. He says, "For it is My decision and My right to gather the nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All [the heat of] My burning anger; For [in that day] all the earth shall be consumed by the fire of My zeal". So, in the midst of His righteous judgment, God promises mercy to His faithful remnant. “Then I will give to the peoples [clear and pure speech from] purified lips [which reflect their purified hearts], that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder (united)".

That's why it's important that we keep our eyes and hearts on these Fall Feasts. From their institution in the Old Testament until the Day Jesus returns, they offer a time of Hope, Repentance, and Redemption that we, His faithful Remnant, might be spared His judgment that is due upon the ungodly world. It is such a blessing that God has given us these Feasts to prepare; to spend days in repentance and contemplation on how we can serve Him. It is a time of remembering and repentance for not living up to our full potential as sons and daughters of God. BUT we, who are saved by grace through our faith in Jesus as our Savior live with the certainty of the ancient prophets that our sins are forgiven and we are pardoned; that the blood of Jesus covers our sin and we stand blameless. Whether our Lord returns on this Feast of Trumpets or on a Feast day in the future, we do not fear the judgment of God. Rather, we praise Him for sending His Son back to claim us as His righteous harvest.  

The bottom line is this: It is inevitable that God will punish the wicked. But we have hope in this day when it seems that evil is running unchecked and victorious. God's remnant may number few, but we have the comfort that He will not forget us. So, I am grateful to God for those who reach out; those who are awakening to the sound of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They may not fully understand why their hearts and spirits are being quickened, but it is evidence that the Lord is readying Himself to return. God, the Father, is nearing the final number of His remnant who are willing to answer His call and seek Him. What a joy to be able to speak of the prophetic truths and promises in the Word. And Lord, we look forward to celebrating the Feast of Trumpets on the 25th and excitedly look forward to the Feast of Tabernacles, when You will reside in our midst. Hallelujah!

#Godsjudgment #Godsmercy #RemnantofGod #Feastoftrumpets #thelordsfeasts #bibleprophecies

Revelation 11:15   Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.

September 7, 2021

It's A New Biblical Year! What Does That Mean For Us?

Last evening [Monday, September 6th] at sundown began the observance of God's Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah. This Feast is mentioned in Levitcus 23:23-25, and was instituted as a memorial day announced by the blowing of trumpets; a holy convocation. In the Jewish tradition, it is the first day of the month of Tishri, and the beginning of the "civil" New Year in which the counting of years is calculated. Since the Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles, rather than the solar cycles of the Gregorian calendar [which we in the West follow], it can get a bit confusing. And according to the sages of the Jewish faith, when we count the years from the first day of Tishri, we find that it has been 5782 years since the creation of man [Adam]. 

It can get even more confusing when we understand that there is another month also designated as the "religious" new year. In Exodus 12, God tells Moses that the month of Nisan "shall be the beginning of months to you; it is to be the first month of the year to you". But unlike the new year in the month of Tishri, this new year is not for the counting of years, but is in commemoration of the Israelites' momentous transformation from slavery to physical liberation from Egypt. And not coincidentally, it is the month in which the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits are celebrated, signifying our transformation and freedom from the slavery of sin and eternal death through Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. 

Although the Feast of Trumpets is not specifically mentioned in the New Testament, the themes of the Feast [trumpet blasts] are found throughout the Book of Revelation. And in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, the Apostle Paul alludes to the prophetic importance of the trumpet blasts heard during the Feast of Trumpets ...  Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed].

So, what does all this tradition and instruction have to do with us 21st Century Christians? We see that the celebration of the new year in the month of Nisan speaks to the delivery of the Hebrew nation from slavery in Egypt, and their transformation into freedom. It speaks of Jesus's First Coming. The new year in the month of Tishri also speaks of a transformation -- and for us Christians, it commemorates our future transformation into our glorified bodies when Christ returns at His Second Coming. Should we observe this Feast of Trumpets, and what significance, if any, does the counting of this particular year have for us? 

The celebration of God's Feasts has increasingly become important to Christians as we take note that God ordained these Feasts as "permanent statutes throughout your generations, wherever you may be". Often mistakenly referred to as the "Jewish Feasts", they apply to all who call themselves children of Abraham. We may not be Jewish, in the physical sense, but we are "spiritual children of Abraham". He is the father of our faith, and through him, we have the roots of our faith. So, again, is this year any different than any other? Is there special significance to the year 5782? It is not uncommon at this time, as it has been for thousands of years, for prophecies to be forthcoming about what this new year holds for the faithful. All of us want to know how God's plans for mankind will transpire. And since we know there is a very active Enemy coming against those plans, we want to be forewarned of danger ahead.

To be honest, I am often skeptical of all the prophetic words that are coming from all the prophets in the land. I am always conscious that we are to test the spirits of those claiming to hear from God, because He tells us in His Word that "many false prophets have gone out into the world". I am aware that we have the ability to prophesy, as the Spirit leads us, therefore I am very discerning of what I hear prophesied, and, in turn, I never want to prophesy anything to anyone that I'm not convinced came from the Lord. That being said, I hear so many [in Christian circles] saying that the theme of prophecy for this year seems to be centered on rest in the House of the Lord; new things will be birthed, as the old falls away; new levels of Grace and Favor; Divine alignment and Kingdom connections. Oh, how I pray all that becomes our reality!

My spirit longs for it all and I will be earnest in praying for it! But I decided today to take some time away from what I'm hearing the prophets say and ask God what He wants to say to me about this year of 5782 and the year 2022. I just sat quietly and listened. I didn't want to project my fleshly biases, but honestly wanted His perspectives on what this year could bring. So, I now would like to share what I heard in my spirit; what I felt was an honest answer to my question of Lord, what is it that You want me to know about this coming year? [NOTE: this is not intended to be considered prophecy for the Body of Christ! It is simply sharing the personal conversation I had with the Lord, in the hopes of focusing my heart, mind, and spirit on discerning His will for my life].

Lord, what is it You want me to know? What should I be expecting [or looking for] in the coming year? Lots of upheaval, but a strengthening at the core. 

At the core of what? 1) My physical body;  2) the core of my spiritual house;  and 3) the core of the TRUE Body of Christ in the world.

Lord, I'm afraid to ask, but what does the upheaval look like? You don't need the details of all that is coming ... Trust Me to prepare you and inform you as needed.

Is there anything else You want me to know about this coming year? It will be difficult for many and your heart will be burdened by loss.

Is there any hope, Lord? You will be victorious and able to help many. You will see Me in the midst of it all. 

I want to stress again that this is what the Lord spoke over my individual life. It is not meant to be spoken as an umbrella prophecy over the Body of Christ. In fact, I urge you to take the time to sit with God and ask for Him to speak to you regarding His will for your life in the coming year. We each have an individual destiny as well as a corporate one, so He may have something specific to speak to you, and it will likely be vastly different than mine. And then continue to stay in touch with Him. As His prophetic word over your life comes to light, you will have more questions in which you will seek His direction and guidance.

 But most of all, I want you to celebrate this beginning of the new Biblical year, declaring that God is ever-present in our circumstances and we are all individually known to Him. We must never doubt that He has His eye on us, nor that we will be alone in what comes, good or bad. We have so much to look forward to! In this season we will experience the Ten Days of Repentance [leading to the Day of Atonement], and the Feast of Tabernacles [when we celebrate the future of living in the presence of our Lord and Savior]. So, I bless you all with peace and joy and revelation in this season of Holy Days! May the Lord's face shine upon you!

Revelation 21:5   And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”