Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trumpets, Atonement and Booths...

The Jewish Spring Festivals set forth in Leviticus 23 are Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost.  Each was a reminder of God's dealing with the nation of Israel as He led them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.  Those sacred rehearsals ALSO foreshadowed the coming Messiah's earthly ministry.  Passover His shed blood, Unleavened Bread His sinless sacrifice, First Fruits His resurrection and Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit.

With the Spring Festivals complete we are left with the three Fall festivals that are recorded for us in Leviticus 23.  If the Spring festivals completed the picture of Jesus' earthly ministry with the giving of the Holy Spirit, what of the Fall festivals?  Maybe they highlight some FUTURE ministry of Jesus, yet to be realized.  The first festival is The Feast of Trumpets, it is the beginning of the Jewish civil New Year also known as Rosh HaShanah.  It is the first of the seventh month, Tishri, in the Jewish religious calendar but it marks the beginning of a new year of accountability for Israel.

Rosh HaShanah or Festival of Trumpets is heralded in with the blowing of the Shofar horn.  The Shofar horn itself is a reminder to Israel that God honored Abraham's obedience in his willingness to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice by providing a ram instead, caught by his horn in a thicket.  Rosh HaShanah is a call to individual and national repentance.  But could the trumpet have some future significance?  "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed."  1 Corinthians 15:52 ESV

Jesus physically left this world that He might go to prepare a place for those who love Him.  We are told that when he returns for His own it will be "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." Do not be mislead into thinking that Jesus' ministry was complete with His resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  He is coming again for all those, Jew and Gentile, who have placed their hope in His shed blood on Calvary's Cross, and the promise of the empty tomb.

The Feast of Trumpets is a call to repentance BECAUSE Jesus is coming again.  Will you be ready when the Shofar horn is blown on that great day?

Monday, August 29, 2011

A tale of two pictures...

Two pictures from Face Book over the last couple of days.  One a picture of some shoreline (on the left) with a terrible storm (on the right) rolling in.  The second, a single sentry guarding the Tomb of the Unknown.

The tale of the first.  Saw this one a bunch of times, it seemed to pop up everywhere.  At least one version said it was hurricane Irene preparing to come ashore in North Carolina and gives credit to WILX News.  There is just soooo much wrong here.  1. WILX is in Lansing Michigan, I know that cause I used to live there and I googled it.  Now that does not mean the picture is not theirs, but it starts to raise doubt.  2.  That is NOT North Carolina.  I did a little research and saw it listed as Pensacola, Florida.  Googled images for "pensacola beach" and got this website:   It is the same shoreline from the "North Carolina" Irene photo.  3.  I am not a meteorologist, but even I know that is no hurricane.  There is no rotation and hurricanes are ALL about rotation.  That is a sharply defined front more closely associated with a thunderstorm.  And that apparently is a shelf cloud...NOT associated with hurricanes.  I am just an idiot, but even I knew this was a fake, so why did it get so much mileage.

The tale of the second.  An unnamed (and he probably wants it that way) soldier of the Old Guard, assigned to the Tomb of the Unknown, guarding the unidentified remains, of soldiers long since dead, in the midst of a terrible storm (Irene or otherwise), against the possibility of...who knows what, with a rifle that will take several hours to dry and clean and a uniform that will require days of attention after being soaked........seen on only a few pages thus far.

Just two questions.  Why the disparity in reposting thus far?  Where do such men come from?

Enough said.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wrapping up the Spring festivals...

Leviticus 23 challenges Israel to rehearse God's appointed times on an annual basis.  The goal is that God would be revealed to the rest of the world by what He had done and that additionally the promised Messiah would be foreshadowed in the celebrations.

The Sabbath or Shabbat was the only WEEKLY convocation or rehearsal and reminded Israel and thus the world that God created for six days and rested the seventh, we should take a break once in awhile as well.  The next seven festivals were to be celebrated annually and the first four were in the Spring.  Passover/Pesach reminded Israel of the lambs blood that marked their door posts but it also foreshadowed the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread/HagHaMatzot was celebrated one day later and was a reminder of the flat bread that the Israelites carried with them as they left Egypt.  It also pointed forward to the bread of life, Jesus Christ, whose body was broken in our place.  First Fruits/Yom HaBikkurim was the third day of Passover.  It was an opportunity for Israelites to bring to God the first part of their harvest in the Promised Land but it also promised that Jesus' resurrection form the dead would be the first of many.  Those who trust in His atoning death cannot be held by the grave.  Which brings us to the fourth festival, the last of the Spring Festivals.

Shavuot or Pentecost was a commemoration of God's giving the Torah to the people of Israel.  Shavuot was to be celebrated 50 days after Passover, Pentecost means "fiftieth day".  Passover marked Israel's release from Egypt.  Pentecost or Shavuot, 7 weeks later, marked the receiving of the Torah and becoming a nation committed to serving God.  Shavuot marked the end to the Passover season.  Is it coincidence that seven weeks after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell His own...on the day of Pentecost?  Certainly not.

Four Spring festivals or sacred rehearsals, Passover - the blood, Unleavened Bread - sinless, First Fruits - resurrection, Pentecost - indwelling.  Four rehearsals, four events in the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Three fall festivals yet to look at, three events in the ministry of Jesus Christ yet to be fulfilled...stay tuned.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Well this just ticks me off!

Fox news is reporting that first responders, fireman, policeman, paramedics and rescue teams have NOT been invited to the Ground Zero 9/11 10th anniversary ceremony.  Ironic that so many died there that day running into what was almost certain death would not be invited.  Maybe Mayor Bloomberg didn't invite them because he didn't think there were any left alive...though I doubt it.

THEN, as if to throw gas on the fire, Bloomberg has decided that there is no place for religion during the ceremonies and thus no clergy have been invited. WHAT!  Apparently there is room for a mosque at ground zero, A MOSQUE, a house of worship for those whose religion incites hatred toward ALL non muslims...but no room for clergy at the ceremony.  Well, at least no room for living ones, most will remember the picture of FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge being carried from the rubble, his lifeless body gently borne by fellow fire fighters.  I guess the Mayor does not want people to remember that Christians were there ministering with love and compassion where muslims fueled by the Qur'an's hatred had just made so many widows, widowers and orphans.

It just doesn't get any STUPIDER than this.  I promise to get back to the "Holy Rehearsals" tomorrow, but I just needed to blow off some steam.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We take a break from our regular postings for this breaking news...

The Obama administration has just confirmed that the DC earthquake occurred on a rare and obscure fault-line, apparently known as "Bush's Fault". Obama also announced that the Secret Service and Maxine Waters will continue their investigation of the quake's suspicious ties to the Tea Party. More on this story as additional innuendo and baseless claims become available...stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And now for Yom HaBikkurim...huh?

Leviticus 23 is God's divinely directed calendar.  God tells Moses and the nation of Israel to celebrate His appointed "holy convocations" or sacred rehearsals to proclaim Him among the nations.  The first is the Sabbath or Shabbat, a weekly reminder of rest.  The remaining 7 feasts are annual.

The first of the annual festivals is Pesach or Passover, a remembrance of how the angel of death spared the Israelites who obediently covered their doorposts with the blood of a lamb.  However, it also pointed forward to a NEW passover lamb, Jesus Christ whose shed blood would redeem all who accepted it back into fellowship with God.  The second annual feast is HagHaMatzot or the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  This was celebrated the day after Passover began and was a reminder of the unleavened bread that the Israelites took with them as they escaped Egypt, unleavened because there was no time to let it rise.  It also looked to the future, to the Bread of Life, to the one who was sinless (no leaven), whose body would be broken, just as the bread was, to provide for our salvation.

Which brings us to the third of the annual festivals, the Feast of Firstfruits or Yom HaBikkurim.  Pesach began on the 14th of Nisan, the 15th of Nisan was HagHaMatzot and on the 16th, the 3rd day of Passover Israel was told to celebrate Firstfruits.  They were to celebrate the first part of the harvest in the Promised Land, the land God promised them.  Firstfruits was also meant to be the future celebration of the Messiah's resurrection.  Jesus blood was shed on the first day of Passover, His sinless body, the bread, was broken and in the grave on the second day of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Then, against all odds Jesus is resurrected on Firstfruits, the third day of Passover.  Three festivals, holy rehearsals that God had ordained centuries before suddenly given new life.  Jesus was the first of the resurrected, the first of many, a firstfruit.

These three plus one more are Spring festivals and then there are 3 Fall festivals.  What could these remaining 4 point forward to?  Wasn't Jesus' earthly ministry completed in His resurrection?  Check back to find out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And now for another Holy Rehearsal...

Leviticus 23 challenges Israel to rehearse God given holidays or festivals as a way of proclaiming Him to the rest of the world.  That rehearsal can look back, forward or both.  The first festival was the Sabbath or Shabbat, a weekly reminder that God created in six days and rested the seventh and so should we.  The remaining seven festivals are annual and the first was Passover or Pesach.

Pesach was a reminder for Israel to look back and remember how God "passed over" Jewish homes, marked with the blood of a lamb, as he brought judgment on Egypt.  It was also a rehearsal for what was to come, a passover lamb, Jesus, that came to die once for all.

The second annual festival that God ordained in Leviticus 23:6 was the Feast of Unleavened Bread or HagHaMatzot.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th day of Nisan, just 24 hours after Passover.  It is a reminder that there was no time to allow bread dough to rise as they escaped Egypt after the angel of death destroyed Egypt's first born.

The leaven that was left out of the bread was a picture of sin, just as a little leaven will cause a lump of dough to become puffed up, so to just a little sin causes us to become puffed up and prideful in our own eyes.  So the leaven (sin) was purged from the home and the bread they took with them was flat.

A reminder for the escaping Jews that God directed that they be sustained with a bread without leaven AND a promise that one day he would provide a sinless sacrifice, Jesus, whose body would be broken just as the flat bread was broken to feed the entire family.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back to Leviticus...

The opening verses of Leviticus 23 tell us that " Holy Convocation" in the original Hebrew is kodesh mikraw, a sacred rehearsal.  God is telling Israel to celebrate or rehearse these Holy holidays to proclaim or reveal Him to the world.

The first was the weekly Sabbath or Shabbat.  God created in six days and rested on the seventh...and so should we.

The remaining seven feasts or holidays are annual and the first is Passover or Pesach.  Verse 5 tells Israel that on the 14th day of the first month at twilight they are to rehearse the Lord's Passover.  The first month in the Jewish calendar is Nisan.  The timing was to commemorate Israel's exodus from Egypt.

The Israelites were to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts so that death would passover them.  Remember now, rehearsal can mean a look back, a look forward or both.  While the obedient Jew was to use Passover or Pesach as an opportunity to look back at what the Lord did, it was also meant to be a look forward at what the Lord WOULD do, send a NEW passover lamb, whose shed blood would cover their sin, our sin and cause death to passover.  Are you covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb?

Friday, August 19, 2011

And now for something...completely ridiculous...

O.k.  On camera presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry responds to a little boy's coached question, "Evolution is a theory that's out there, it has some gas in it" meaning it is one of many and has some credibility, then continues, "in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution because I believe you're smart enough to figure out which one is right." Great response right?  Answers the young boy's question honestly and accurately.  In fact the boy seems satisfied as he listens intently nodding his head.  That's when the boy's evolutionist mom prompts her son to ask Gov. Perry, "why don't you believe in science?"

I wonder is she is talking about the science of the NASA scientists?  You know the ones who Obama added to the ranks of the unemployed...except for the ones who came up with this:

NASA Study: Global Warming May Prompt Alien Attack, Commentary Magazine.

Yeah Gov. Perry, why dont you believe in the science of these kinda scientists?  By the way, I use that term scientist EVER so loosely.  More on this later I am sure...unless either Jesus comes back or the aliens attack.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And now for something different...

Just a momentary break from the serious stuff for a minute.

Rick Santorum finished 4th in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday behind Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Tim Pawlenty and then had this to say, "I feel we're positioned EXACTLY (emphasis added) were we want to be."

Now there is a lot I like about the guy.  I haven't decided who I am going to vote for yet, though I am sure it will NOT be Obama, but I was considering Santorum along with the other runners...until now.

Seriously, being FOURTH is "exactly" were you want to be?  You didn't mean it's "acceptable" or "o.k." or "we'll live with it" or "we can do better" or "we're still in it"?  Do you get the picture?  Fourth is EXACTLY were he wants to be.  I'm sorry but I need a candidate with a better strategy than that. Because come November 2012, fourth is third loser, 4th doesn't pay at the track, there is no medal for fourth in the olympics.  Fourth means there were TWO losers who did BETTER than you.

I would even be disappointed to here Michele Bachmann, after getting 30 something percent of the vote say this is EXACTLY were we want to be at.  I would hope that 100% of the vote is EXACTLY were you want to be at.  That may be impossible or improbable, but it would be accurate.  Being EXACTLY someplace, ANYPLACE, means no where left to go, no room for improvement.

So, I've written Santorum off, sorry Rick.  I will be looking for the candidate who will be satisfied with nothing less than first place through the primary season and nothing short of the White House come November 2012.  Otherwise, we as Americans better get used to saying of our countries economy, strength, military might, and general overall standing in the world, "Fourth is exactly were we wanted to be...because from here fifth is very achievable."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Rehearse is one of those words that can go either way, it all depends on the context in which it was used.  You can rehearse a past event or story so as to celebrate or commemorate what DID happen.  But you can also rehearse so as to prepare or practice for some future event that WILL happen.  Or, I suppose, it is entirely possible that it could be both, looking back and looking forward.

For instance, in Leviticus 23:3 God institutes the Sabbath, or in Hebrew, Shabbat, which means to cease.  It certainly looks back to creation, six days of creating and a day of rest.  It's very celebration can be a reminder, rehearsal, that God worked six days and then took a break.  But it can also be a rehearsal for us to take a break once in a while...every seventh day, this week, next month, next year.

Verses 1 & 2 make it clear that the reason we are to "rehearse" the Sabbath or Shabbat is to proclaim it, show the world, set the example by rehearsing what was and what is to be.

Stand by, there are 7 more feasts or holidays Israel was to rehearse so as to proclaim...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Old Testament Awesome...

Leviticus 23:1-2 says, The Lord spoke to Moses , saying "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, they are my appointed feasts."

A Holy Convocation, the original Hebrew is kodesh mikraw.  Kodesh is translated to holy, sacred, set apart, solem.  Whatever this "convocation" is it must be important because it is set apart, not common, very important.  Mikraw is translated to called out, public meeting, rehearsal.  Rehearsal?  A sacred rehearsal?

God appointed some holidays and they are to be a sacred rehearsal...what do you suppose that's all about?

Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

And now for something spiritual...

I heard many years ago that the entire Bible could be summed up in two short passages.  The first is Genesis 22:7 when Isaac says to his father Abraham, "where is the lamb?"  Indeed, where is the lamb, the sacrifice, that thing that will make us right before a Holy God?  The Old Testament, at it's heart, is there to show us that we have a need and we can't meet it.  The second passage is John 1:29 when John the Baptist says of Jesus, "Behold, the Lamb of God."  The perfect sacrifice.  God provided Abraham with a ram to offer in place of Isaac.  God commanded Aaron to offer a goat to atone for Israel's sin.  The atonement for sin had to be made over and over again.  It was what God commanded but it was not perfect.  It wasn't supposed to be perfect.  In fact it was supposed to be imperfect, lacking, insufficient so that Israel would be watching for the promised Messiah who would make the perfect sacrifice once for all.  The Old Testament shows our need, the New Testament shows God's perfect provision.

"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"  John 1:29

Thursday, August 11, 2011

They meant well...

Todays Rant & Rave in the Valdosta Daily Times has this entry: Thank you to Starbucks on St. Augustine! I somehow (stupidly) walked out of the house without my wallet on Friday and they gave me my order on the house!  It is nice to see some Southern hospitality!

Now, I think that was awesome, kind, good business...just plain good PR.  The world needs more people like that barista (coffee server).  However, I think the world is primarily full of people who will now show up next week...also having mysteriously forgotten THEIR wallet or purse.  My question for many people will walk away with a free one before Starbucks says enough is enough.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Presenting this Sunday at 1st Baptist Quitman...

I will be sharing "Jesus in the Tabernacle" and "Jesus in the Fall Festivals" this Sunday at 1st Baptist of Quitman Georgia at 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  Light of Messiah Ministries is an outreach to the Jewish community in the Greater Atlanta area, Georgia, and throughout the South East.  The ministry is two fold.  1.  We spend our time helping the God's chosen people to come to know His Son, Jesus as Messiah and Saviour.  2.  We also spend our time in the local church helping Gentile believers gain a deeper understanding of the rich Jewish heritage of our faith AND bring them to a point where they have a greater burden for the Jewish people who gave us Jesus.  Check us out at:

Mmmm, just coincidence?

Obama makes a BIG speech revealing that his plan is simply to blame the tea party who LOST the debt debate and the result was: the market crashed.  Jump forward just one day.  The White House is silent, Congress is on vacation and the result was: the market soars.  I'll decide.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

File this under stupid...

Fox News is reporting on a guy who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and Medicaid is refusing him coverage...because he is a male.  HUH!?!  Apparently it is Medicaid's position that because he is male his breasts are not susceptible to cancer.  It will probably take a woman getting testicular cancer before they wise up and cover a breast NO MATTER WHO IT IS ON!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Imagine this for a moment...

You hire a servant, for $10 a month.  Out of that $10 he/she is supposed to take care of certain necessities around the house and keep a little for themselves to live on.  At the end of the 1st month they point out to you that they have spent the $10 and obligated you to an additional $5.  Home security, green energy and their wages were all a bit more than anticipated.  You make a $100 a month, the house is secure, the lights on and they seem to be doing a good job so you give them $15, you still have $85, that seems fair and sufficient.  Halfway thru the 2nd month your hired servant tells you they are gonna need a total of $20 for the month.  You're not real keen on this because there are some things missing from the house, the lights flicker...and they, the servant, are getting kinda arrogant.  Two days into month 3 you are informed that costs have doubled for feeding the people from across the street who visit your home to look at what's left of YOUR stuff.  Green energy is so wonderful it requires you to underwrite it's further development so that energy companies don't have to spend their profits and the servant has increased their own salary AND retirement package.  You start month 4 by giving your servant $30, you have figured out how this works. While you have never been bothered by the neighborhood across town, they now own the mortgage on your home, the folks across the street have robbed you blind while you have fed them, you are spending a lot on candles and your servant is now ALLOWING you to keep almost half of what you earn.........It's time to get a new servant.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And So It Begins...

     Well, I have felt for sometime that I needed to start blogging.  I'm not sure why, I just thought I should.  I must confess that I am torn between 2 themes.  Do I write about spiritual matters, which are always swirling around in my brain?  Or, and I realize this is a HUGE leap, write about stupid things which are always trying to distract me from spiritual things?

     I suppose there is nothing wrong with doing both, besides, quite often the lines between the two are blurred.  Who knows, it may float off in other directions but at least this gives me a place to start...and so I shall, start that is.........