NOW THAT BLOOD MOONS HAVE COME AND GONE …..
The Feast of Tabernacles commemorates God’s faithful provision in the past, while anticipating His glorious kingdom of the future. Meanwhile, what does it mean for us today? At its core, the magnificent seven day feast honors and celebrates YHVH’s gracious presence with us.
Could this year’s feast have special meaning, in the wake of blood moon and Shemitah-related predictions? Maybe; we’ll know better when it (the feast or the year or the decade) is over. Meanwhile, perhaps more than ever, I’m inspired to live out the more sure words of prophecy summarized in Yeshua’s Sermon on the Mount and Great Commission. Ultimately, that’s what any authentic, post-biblical and predictive prophecy is meant to do.
WHY MOST MESSIANIC BELIEVERS DATE YESHUA’S BIRTH AT SUKKOT
Most Messianic believers date Yeshua’s birth at the Feast of Tabernacles rather than December 25. While any day is a great time to celebrate His birth, the Scriptures more likely point to Sukkot. Perhaps that’s all the more reason to celebrate this week – and pray for Israel to welcome the arrival of Messiah!
To summarize a rather complex formula, the reference date starts with the conception of John, born to Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah the priest. Luke 1:26 indicates that 6 months after John was conceived, Mary conceived Yeshua. John would have been conceived shortly after Zechariah was visited by the angel Gabriel and then completed his priestly service in the Temple (Luke 1:13-19, 23-24). The priests’ rotation of Temple service was ordered according to lots drawn by family division, as set forth in 1 Chronicles 24-28. Based on this and other historical sources,* Zechariah would have ended his service and gone home to be with his wife in late June/early July.
Six months later, Yeshua could have been conceived (not born) during Hanukkah and/or on or about December 25.
By this reckoning, John could have been born during Passover, the very time of year Jewish people welcome the spirit of Elijah. Yeshua could have been born during Sukkot, the very time of year set aside to tabernacle with God in booths. Sukkot happens to is also be a time when extra lodging in the Jerusalem area, including Bethlehem, would be hard to find due to an abundance of holiday pilgrims.
Perhaps John meant to suggest this in writing, “The Word became flesh and did tabernacle among us” (John 1:14, YLT). In any case, may Israel soon recognize her Messiah King so gloriously revealed according to divine pattern!
* Sources include Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 17, Chapter 8, www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-17.htm.
RUSSIA, IRAN AND EZEKIEL 38-39
No longer does it take a leap of logic to conclude the groundwork for events described in Ezekiel 38-39 seems to be setting. Notice, please, that I use the conservative word “groundwork.” We could be a week, a decade, or much further out from the actual events themselves. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Kingdom work to do—joyfully and prayerfully. So between now and then, what’s the practical purpose of Bible prophecy?
First, for those unaware of this week’s events: Russia has forged a military alliance with Iran and other Muslim states, and is now battling near Israel’s borders. Russia is presently regarded as the top player in the region, the US having relinquished that role. Meanwhile, the Palestinians declared at the UN they’re no longer bound by the 1993 Oslo Accords because they are “out of patience.” (The Oslo Accords implemented a quasi-peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians.) They plan to ask the UN to bypass Israel and formally establish a Palestinian state. They could succeed. Interestingly, Israel’s assigned Scripture reading this Shabbat includes passages about the War of Gog/Magog.
Yeshua told His disciples why He spoke of future events and we’d do well to remember what He said. “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble … that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” (John 16:1,4) He wanted us to have peace and know He is in control when challenging, or even apocalyptic, events come to pass.
The prophetic Scriptures should help us discern what the Spirit is doing in our day. But end time prophecy was never meant to distract us from the primary work of the Spirit in our day. His primary work is about helping us live both the Sermon on the Mount and the Great Commission. These days, as we do, we look up because our redemption draws near. Then, joyfully and prayerfully, we go back to Kingdom work, because He is most assuredly in control.
REMEMBER THAT TOMORROW IS THE INTERNATIONAL DAY TO PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM!
Chag Sukkot Sameach!