Feasts of the Lord.
The Appointed Times of the Lord
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed (fixed festivals) feasts (an exact divine appointment) of the Lord that you shall proclaim (attract the attention of and detain (someone) in conversation) as holy (set apart for a most holy thing) convocations (rehearsal, assembly, reading); they are my appointed feasts.”
The festivals are blueprints through which God revealed His overall plan of redemption for both man and the earth, before He had even created man and before man had even fallen, needing God's redemption, as well as, the role that the Messiah would play in that redemption. The festivals are divided into two major portions, depending upon whether they occur in the spring or the fall. The spring festivals teach about the first coming of the Messiah (Jesus) and the fall festivals teach about the second coming of the Messiah (Jesus).
“Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign* that is opposed,"
* sign: miraculous; authenticates the Lord and His eternal purpose, especially by doing what mere man can not replicate or take credit for.
THE "EIGHT" APPOINTED TIMES OF THE LORD
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'You are to speak to the people . . . and say, "Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you . . . Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord . . . Therefore the people . . . shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people . . . that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed."’” Ex 31:12-17
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience." Heb 4:9-11
“‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,’ says the Lord.” Isa 66:22-23
Spring ("Appointments") Feasts
The Spring festivals of Pesach (Feast of Passover), Chag Hamotzi (Feast of Unleavened Bread), Bikkurim (Feast of First Fruits), and Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) reveal the first coming of Jesus and provide a portrait of the death, burial, and resurrection Messiah; and the giving of the Holy Spirit.
"Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Passover: Jesus fulfilled the festival of Pesach (the Passover sacrifice of a lamb on Nisan 14) with His final sacrificial/atoning death on Nisan 14 as the unblemished Lamb of God. (Isaiah 53; John 1:36; Hebrews 9:11–14, 22–24).
"Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: Jesus fulfilled the festival of Chag HaMatzot, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is the sacrifice of Jesus, when the sacrifice is burned, the exact day in which when Jesus was crucified, removing our sin and spiritual leaven forever, representing the deliverance from bondage, and that which had originally been born out of affliction (Deut 16:3) now became, on account of God’s deliverance, the token of freedom; ridding your life of the teaching of Egypt (false teaching of the world) that you may be a new lump ("of sincerity and truth," 1 Cor 5:7-8), transformed by the renewal of our mind (Ro 1:2), by observing all the Jesus has commanded us (Matt 28:20; Rev 22:14 KJV), and with His final sacrificial/atoning death on Nisan 14 as the unblemished Lamb of God, "purified our conscience from dead works to serve the living God," (Isaiah 53; John 1:36; Hebrews 9:11–14, 22–24).
"Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of First Fruits: Jesus fulfilled the festival of Bikkurim, the Feast of First Fruits, is the festival of the sheaf of the first fruits, prophetic of the resurrection of Jesus. This was foreshadowed to happen in the Old Testament by type and shadow (Gen 22:1-6; Ex 3:18; 5:3; 8:27; Jonah 1:17; 2:1-2; Matthew 12:40). Since Jesus was slain on the tree on the day of Passover (Pesach), the fourteenth of Nisan, and he arose from the grave three days and nights after he was slain, Jesus arose from the grave on the seventeenth of Nisan, the day of the festival of First Fruits (Matt 12:38-40; 16:21; Luke 24:44-46). In fact, Jesus is called the first fruits of those who rise from the dead (1 Cor 15:20-23).
"Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost): Shavuot (Pentecost) is a celebration of the giving of the Torah. On this same day (Sivan 6), Jesus poured out Holy Spirit onto His Believers. The Spirit wrote the Torah on their hearts, empowering the Believers to live holy lives. (Joel 2:28; Jeremiah 31:31–33; Acts 2).
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The fall festival season begins with a 40-day period called, in Hebrew, Teshuvah, which means "to repent or return", also, known as the time when “The King is in the Field” (a time of meeting with the King can be approached without usual decorum and requirements - a time of spiritual renewal and return to God; which also corresponds to the prophesied Messianic Virgin Birth (Isa 7:14), Jesus’ Birth (which this year would fall on - see Jesus' Future Birthdate below), and the prophesied Messianic Return (Zech 14:1-4, 9 - see "Feast of Trumpets" below)). Beginning in the sixth month of the religious calendar, the month of Elul, and concludes on the tenth day of the seventh month, which is Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement". It is during this month of Elul, it is said, that God makes Himself accessible by leaving His palace and goes out into the field where He can be found. This is the month in which we are meticulously preparing for a divine "Appointment" with the Lord of the Universe, in which, through Bible study, prayer, and repentance, we with certainty, will recognize Him and return to Him.
Forty weeks (the period of human gestation) after Jesus’ conception, following the Holy Spirit’s impregnating the Virgin Mary, on Kislev 25, 3755, the first night of Hanukkah, December 6, 6 BCE, Jesus is born. It is Friday night, Elul 7, in the Jewish year 3756. This corresponds to our Gregorian calendar date of September 9, 5 BCE. It is the beginning of the weekly Sabbath. The Jewish people have a particular name for every Sabbath and they read specific passages of Scripture on those Sabbaths. The one on which Jesus is born is called KiTeitzei, “When you go out”, Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19:
“When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive . . .” Deut 21:10
On that Sabbath night Jesus goes forth from the womb. And the next morning in the Temple and in every synagogue Isa 54:1-10 is read. It begins this way:
“Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman," says the LORD.
Note: because of the Biblical Lunar Calendar cycles every 19 years, and the additional month added to seven of those 19 years to accommodate for a solar year, the actual fulfillment of Jesus’ 40 week gestation, from conception during Hanukkah to birth during the reading of “When you go out” (KiTeitzei) - Deut 21:10 - 25:19, could have only occurred during one of the 19 years of the Lunar Calendar cycle.
"Prophetic Fulfillment" of Jesus' Circumcision: "And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb," Lk 2:21.
Gen 17:12 , 10-11 "He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised . . . This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you."
Deut 30:6-8, "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. And the Lord your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you. And you shall again obey the voice of the Lord and keep all his commandments that I command you today."
Forty weeks (the period of human gestation) after Jesus’ conception, following the Holy Spirit’s impregnating the Virgin Mary, on Kislev 25, 3755, the first night of Hanukkah, December 6, 6 BCE, Jesus is born, Friday night, Elul 9, in the Jewish year 3756, corresponding to our Gregorian calendar date of September 9, 5 BCE, the beginning of the weekly Sabbath. On the following Sabbath, being the eighth day Jesus is circumcised. The Jewish people have a particular name for every Sabbath and they read specific passages of Scripture on those Sabbaths. The one on which Jesus is circumcised is called KiTavo, “When you enter”, Deuteronomy 26:1–29:9 (8):
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and
have taken possession of it and live in it . . .” Deut 26:1
On that day Jesus entered into the Covenant through His circumcision. And in the Temple and every synagogue the prophet Isa 60:1-22 is read. It begins this way:
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you.
The Fall festivals of Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets or New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) will be fulfilled when the shofar blows and Jesus returns for the second time to establish His reign on earth; and finally, the last of the Feasts, Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) will be fulfilled at the conclusion of the millennial reign of the Jesus, the Great White Throne, and the establishment of the New Heaven and Earth, known as the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
"Future Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Trumpets: The biblical name for Rosh HaShanah is Yom Teruah, which means “the day of the awakening blast”. Non-Jews call this the Feast of Trumpets. It is observed on the seventh month (Tishrei) and the first day of the month (Lev 23:23-24). God gave us this day to teach us about the return (Zech 14:4) and coronation of the Messiah (the “transfiguration” would have occurred on Yom Teruah, the Day of Blowing the Trumpet; hence the beginning of Jesus reign on earth would begin at the same time - Matt 17:1-13). This day is both the Jewish New Year and the beginning of a period of soul-searching known as the High Holy Days, culminating on Yom Kippur.
The first and second days of the 10 High Holy Days (Tishrei 1-10) are collectively known as one day (Neh 7:73, 8:1-2,13). A little-known fact is that the Jewish people also refer to this feast as “the day, which no man knows” and “one long day”. The reason for this is that the day commences with the observance of the new moon of the seventh month; therefore, no man knows when it begins until the moon is seen. The seven-day period from Tishrei 3 through Tishrei 9 is called the “Days of Awe” or the “Awesome Days”.
As Christians we are reminded that the Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians that the Day of Lord would come upon the whole world like a thief in the night but that Christians would know the day (1Thess 5:1-11).
The book of Revelation says that His reign begins just prior to the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet blast (Rev 10:7, 11:15 – Dan 7). On Yom Teruah trumpets are blown throughout the day and as the day draws to a close the last trump is sounded with the note “Tekiah Godola” . . . an extended blast. In theory this note does not end until it is blown again ten days later at the end of the “Day of Atonement”.
“You are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you as a thief in the night. For you all are sons of the light,” 1 Thess 5:3-10, and “Look! I will come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition be seen,” Rev 3:13,18, 16:15.
Start your Feast of Trumpets Study Today.
"Future Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Atonement: Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is observed on the tenth day of the seventh month, Tishri (Lev 23:26-32), and is considered the most holy day of the year.
God gave us this day to teach us about the prophetic picture of the judgment of Satan (Azazel – the blame which Azazel must bear corresponds with the fate of Azazel in Lev 16 and Enoch 9:3-5, “You have seen what Azazyel has done, how he has taught every species of iniquity upon earth,” and “All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Azazyel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime,” Enoch 10:11-12), the Anti-christ (the bull), and the false prophet (goat chosen for “Yahuwah”) (all three representing a counterfeit/false trinity), when Satan will be held to account for his rebellion and corruption of the universe. Though Messiah died as a substitute payment for the transgression of all who confess and repent of their sins, covered during the “Feast of Passover”, Satan will still bear the blame for all sin (Enoch 9:3-5) and will be judged (“the Lord said . . . Bind Azazyel hand and foot; cast him into darkness; and open the desert which is in the prison of all the fallen angels (Dudael) . . . And in the great day of judgment let him be cast into the fire,” Enoch 10:4-10, Rev 20:3,10) for his primary role in the rebellion. This will occur at the “appointed time” of Yom HaKippurim – Judgment Day or the “Day of Atonement”.
When Jesus referred to the “great trumpet” or the “great sound”, it is the last note that is played on the shofar, which is made from the horns of a ram because God provided a ram in the place of Isaac, where the Lord preserved the two horns from the sacrificial ram given – sounding the first horn at Mount Sinai, the giving of the Law, and the last horn when He redeems His people by the coming of Messiah at the end of the age – the horn is curved to show that we are to bend our will to God, in repentance, as His humble servants; being reminded in its sound, of God’s provision for them, the “Tekiah Gedola” – the extended blast begins at the end of the Day of Blowing (The Feast of Trumpets), and is completed at the end of the Day of Atonement, during the “closing of the gate” ceremony or when God opens the three books (The Book of Life, the Book of Repentance, and the Book of the Dead - Ex. 32:32-33; Daniel 7:9-10, 12:1-3, Malachi 3:16-18, Rev. 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 15, 21:27), and all those who are found therein are sealed for life or judgment, culminating in the Final Judgment of all man-kind, following the 1,000 year reign of the Messiah.
This Last Trump proclaims the year of Jubilee every fiftieth year, when people are released from bondage, their debts are canceled and their land is returned, on the same day that Jesus started his ministry, and the day when Jesus will declare himself King of kings and Lord of lords, and begins his rule on the earth for the next 1,000 years, before the “Final Judgement”. The purpose of the extended blown trumpet or shofar is to insure that anyone desiring to repent of his sins will be given opportunity to do so. Since no man can play a note for that length of time (10 days) it is also considered the “trump of God” and a period called “The Days of Awe” for a period of repentance towards God.
The Thousand Years
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life (RESURRECTED) and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”
Start your Feast of Atonement Study Today.
"Future Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Tabernacles: immediately after the somber mood of repentance and judgment that accompanies the High Holy Days, the ten-day period between the “Feast of Trumpets” (Yom Teruah), followed by the “Days of Awe” and ending with the “Day of Atonement” (Yom Kippur), there is a transition to a holiday of rejoicing and celebration. Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) begins five days after “The Day of Atonement” on the 15th of Tishri (our Mid-September to Early-October timeframe). This feast is the greatest one of the year and the only one to be celebrated by all the nations during the Millennial reign of Christ on earth (Zech 14:16).
The three major lessons of the festival period are: 1. We are all sojourners – a lesson in learning that this life is only temporary and that we are on a pilgrimage to the Promise Land in eternity; 2. Our faith requires flexibility – a lesson in learning to move when God moves, the concept and difference between a “tabernacle” and a “house”, and although a house is more attractive, more durable and appealing to human habitation, yet in the house, we lose flexibility to follow the cloud (i.e. the Israelites in the wilderness), we lose sensitivity to the wind and we lose the intimate contact with the creation and the Creator, in essence, trading away spiritual reality for human security; and lastly, 3. We must remember the frailty of our own lives– like the season of fall, as is the season that the festival is observed in, when the wind rustles the leaves overhead, some will fall, as they become dry and dead, we to do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away (Isa 64:6). Like the “house” concept it is easy for us to feel permanent and self-sufficient and to lose sight of our very brief sojourn on the earth, while in the “tabernacle” concept it speaks of our frailty that we are but flesh, yet God is consistent in providing fresh and new every morning, as well as, Paul reminds us that “. . . if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven,” (2 Cor 5:1).
As it is written: "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34
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"Dual Prophetic Fulfillment & Future Fulfillment" of the Eighth Day:
Mary waited the prescribed 40 days for her purification (Lev 12:1-4) from the blood of childbirth before presenting her son, Jesus at the Temple ("And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses," Lk 1:22-38). It was Thursday, Tishri 21, of the Jewish year 3756 or our October 23, 5 BCE. The Jewish people call the day Hossana Rabba or “The Great Day of Salvation” ("my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel,” Lk 2:30-32). It is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth).
The “Dual Prophecy” continues, The Eighth Day (Hossana Rabba or “The Great Day of Salvation”) was also given by God to teach us how things will be following the Messianic age of the Millennium when the world will enter into eternity (Isa 66:22-23), again, corresponding to the “eighth day” of the Feast of Tabernacles (our Mid-September to Early-October timeframe). Though connected to Tabernacles, the “eighth day” is technically not part of it because the “appointed time” of Tabernacles lasts for only seven days, however, the “eighth day” is a Sabbath day, a day known in prophecy as the day of the Great White Throne Judgment when heaven and earth pass away and ends with God creating a new heaven and earth (Rev 20:11-21:1). The mystery of the “eight day” is that it represents the beginning of a new cycle. Jesus spoke of this day, in Matt 25:35-36, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
Hoshana Rabbah is the day on which the judgment
that was sealed on Yom Kippur is "delivered."
The Day of the Lord is the primary subject of the Book of Revelation, as the Apostle John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. It is in this Day that he is describing events that occur throughout the day, following the “Day of Atonement”, a day of warnings, judgments, resurrection of the dead (Hosea 6:2, Rev 20:4-6), binding of Satan (Rev 20:1-3), marriage supper of the lamb (Rev 19:6-10 and 21:9-27), and the reign of Christ on earth (Zech 14). It is this day, The Day of the Lord, the “eighth day”, a Sabbath, that he accounts the release of Satan to deceive the nations again (Rev 20:7-8), Heaven and earth passing away (Rev 21:1), the great white throne judgment taking place (Rev 20:12-15) and God creating a new heaven and earth (Rev 21:1-8).
Jesus Promises Living Water: “On the last day, the climax of the festival (the Feast of Tabernacles . . . the Eight Day, “The Great Day of Salvation”), Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” Jn 7:37-38
Jesus' Conception: ("you will conceive in your womb and bear a son" Luke 1:31 - Hanukkah - Original Est. Date: Dec 4, 6 BCE) - Kislev 25th - Luke 1:26-38
“‘Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,’ says the Lord.” Isa 54:1
It is Saturday night, Kislev 25, in the Jewish year 3755. It is the first night of Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication and the Feast of Light, December 4, 6 BCE. The angel Gabriel comes to the Virgin Mary with a message from God. She will conceive in her womb, bear a son and name him Jesus (Yashua – Joshua – “I AM SALVATION”). The Holy Spirit will come upon her, and the power of the Most High will overshadow her; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.
Mary appropriately Hanukkahs (dedicates – first use for a holy purpose) her body to be the temple of God by saying, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word."
The Holy Spirit impregnates Mary. She now has the Word of God, eternal life and the light of men dwelling in the darkness of her womb. As it is written: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
"Future Prophetic Fulfillment" of the Feast of Lots: will be fulfilled at the unveiling of the worker of lawlessness who will erect an image of himself in the Temple, during what has been prophesied as the "Abomination of Desolation" ("So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand" - Dan 7:25, 9:26-27, 11:3, Matt 24:15-28, 2 Thess 2:4, Rev 11:7, 13:5-6). And this, at an Appointed Time, as Jesus instructed, "Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath," Matt 24:20, which describes a specific time, during a curtain Feast/Appointed Time, the Feast of Purim, "the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep two days (Adar 14 and 15 - v. 21) according to what was written and at the time Appointed every year, that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants," Esther 9:27-28, which falls exactly 30 days before the Feast of Passover, but even more significantly, falls most years, at the beginning of Spring, "not in winter or on a Sabbath". And like Hamon in the story of Esther, the Anti-christ's plan is to destroy God's people, either by deception ("The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception," 2 Thess 2:9-12) or persecution ("For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be," Matt 24:21).
One of the most joyous of all the Biblical festivals, Purim (Festival of Lots), celebrations the exemplary leadership and bravery of Hadassah (Esther), a Jewish girl who rose to become ancient Persia's Queen Esther. As the queen, Esther risked death to uncover and overturn a plot to murder the Jewish People in Persia. Purim is a “Celebration of Forgetting” – forgetting our enemy’s plan for our destruction and our remembering God’s plan for his destruction instead – VICTORY OVER DEATH (“blot out the memory of Amalek,” Ex 17:14, “you shall blot out the memory of Amalek,” Deut 25:19). Haman, the villain who wickedly plots to destroy the Jewish People, was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites, representing pure evil or those who have “given themselves over” to the dark side of impurity. Indeed, the name Amalek symbolically is an eye, meaning “doubt” and “haughty”, therefore represents “the evil eye of doubt”, understood in this way, Amalek represents spiritual blindness acting arrogantly in the world, and therefore the Lord vowed perpetual warfare against Amalek” (Ex 17:16). Concerning this verse, it suggests that God’s rule will be incomplete until the powers of darkness are totally wiped off the face of the earth (by the hand of Jesus our Lord; see Rev 19-20). Amalek embodies the principle of, the lack of the fear of God, and therefore represents the power of darkness and evil in the world.
Like Esther, who submitted herself to a prolonged preparation time for the king, Believers, continuously dedicate themselves in preparation to meet Jesus their Messiah. This process begins with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who washes and renews us (Tit 3:5), brings us into unity (Eph 4:3) and enables us to obey the truth (1 Pe 1:22), among other important works. And like Esther who was faithful, beautiful, pure, and courageous, even to the point of being willing to lose her life to save her brethren, with the help of the Spirit, the Bride of Messiah is called to be faithful to God's word, beautifully pure in spirit, and courageous in sharing the truth of who Jesus is. As a result of their courage, many Believers, past, present, and future, suffer and will suffer severe persecution, even death. Relying on God and not her own talents and natural abilities, Esther, like Believers, know they cannot accomplish anything for the kingdom of God without relying totally on God's leading and protection. Carrying the full authority of the King and the seal of his signet ring, Esther to is able to issue decrees that cannot be revoked (Esther 8:8), in the same manner, Jesus gives His followers the authority to defeat the works of the enemy (Lk 10:19).
Adjustments and Leap Years
A year of 12 lunar months, however, is some 11 days shorter than a solar year. In order to ensure that the various seasonally based holidays in the Jewish calendar continue to occur at the correct season, the rabbis developed a system over time that allowed them to coordinate their lunar months with the solar year by inserting a leap month at the end of the year seven times in every 19-year cycle. This is now fixed in the third, sixth, eighth, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th years of the cycle. Although this is traditionally ascribed to Rabbi Hillel II in the fourth century CE, it is probable that the system in use today developed slowly during the course of the mid-to-late first millennium.
In order to further fine-tune their calculations, the rabbis determined that the months of Nisan, Sivan, Av, Tishrei, and Shevat are always 30 days long. Iyyar, Tammuz, Elul, Tevet and Adar are always 29 days long. Heshvan and Kislev are either 29 or 30 days in length. In a leap year, there are two months of Adar. When that occurs, Adar I is 30 days long, and Adar II 29. A short Jewish year, therefore, consists of 353 to 355 days, while a leap year varies between 383 and 385 days.
Contextual Passages / Studies
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17 (NIV)
“Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths which are a shadow of what is to come but the Body of the Messiah.” Colossians 2:16-17 (KJV)
Here, he is telling us that the Appointed Times (Feast Days) and the Sabbath are a shadow of things to come. A shadow is of the same image as what it is portraying. So, doesn’t this imply these will be observed in the future kingdom? And note the text says that these commands ARE a shadow of things to come, not “were a shadow” or “used to be a shadow” of things to come. He then says, ‘let no man judge you’ (in these things: new moon; Sabbath; feasts) ‘but the Body of Messiah’ (NIV) - ‘but the Body of Messiah’ (KJV). The word “is” has been added to the original text and did not appear in the Greek.
The Body of Messiah is to judge each other with regard to these things. A second witness to this can be found in the following verses:
1 Corinthians 5:11-13, “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone called ‘a brother,’ if he is one who whores, or greedy of gain, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge*, to pick out* by separating, to be of opinion*, to judge* those who are inside? But Elohim judges those who are outside. And put away the wicked one from among you!”
* “not judge” - (krínō (2919): to distinguish (to approve what is correct and reject what is wrong - discern).
* “to pick out”: choose.
* “opinion”: decide.
* “to judge”: “bringing to trail” - expressing severe disapproval of (someone or something), typically in a formal statement).
Additional Insights from the Beginning of all prophecy:
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
1 Corinthians 2:7-8
"And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
signs: oth: a sign, a witness, a pledge (signs, tokens of changes of weather & times Genesis 1:14 . . .).
seasons: moed: appointed time, place, or meeting (translations used: appointed feasts, appointed times, fixed festivals, set time, times appointed.)
Note: It is most probable that in Genesis 1:14 (P), where ׳מ "" אֹתֹת, the reference is to the sacred seasons as fixed by moon's appearance; and so also ׳עשׂה ירח למ he made the moon for sacred seasons Psalm 104:19:
“He made the moon to mark the seasons*(the appointed times – Genesis 1:14); the sun knows its time for setting.”
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