SHEVAT FIRSTFRUITS

At sundown on January 22nd, we begin the celebration of the eleventh month of the Hebrew calendar called “Shevat.” This month is associated with the tribe of Asher, the eighth son of Jacob. Asher means “happy” coming from the root word “ashar” which is translated: to be straight, level, right, to go forward, be honest, prosper, bless, guide, lead, and relieve. Asher was known as a blessed tribe with land that produced many natural resources providing food and delicacies fit for a king.

Asher was known amongst the tribes to share their resources. In the Promised Land, Asher was located between Tyre and Carmel, which was some of the most fertile land in Canaan because it had low temperatures and much rainfall. Resources were a blessing, but Asher’s true happiness came from giving to others. “It is more blessed to give than receive.” (Acts. 20:35) With such an abundance of goods, Asher exported goods to supply to the other tribes and became known for its olive oil.

Jacob prophesied over Asher these words, “Bread from Asher shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties.” (Gen. 49:20) The Hebrew word for bread in this scripture is “lechem” and means “food you eat to obtain nourishment.”  In the natural, Asher was blessed with rich food fit for kings, but in the spirit, God is saying prophetically that the gift of Asher brings rich, strong meat (revelation) of God’s word.  Asher has a gift to pull out the treasures hidden in God’s Word.

 “Rich” can also be translated as “fat.”  The Hebrew word for fat is “shamen” and means “greasy, plenteous, oily and rich.”  Oil is typically symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The bread or “word” of Asher will not only be meaty, but richly anointed by the Holy Spirit! (The fruitful olive tree is actually the symbol for this tribe).

Moses further prophesies over Asher in Deut. 33:24 “Asher is most blessed of sons; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil.  Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; as your days, so shall your strength be.”

Asher “dips” or “plunges” his foot in oil is not a small prophetic word.  In order for Asher to fulfill his call, his foundation needs to be the “Word” and to spend time in the presence of “The Word” to share God’s revelation with His people. 

Psalm 1:1-3 describes Asher: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he mediates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Asher’s sandals being of iron and bronze describes the nature of his gifting.  Shoes of iron are God’s judgments, and the word God gives them to share can shake the world. Signs and wonders will follow!

The first miracle recorded in the gospels takes place in Cana of Galilee, where Jesus turned the water into wine. This land was the inheritance of Asher and the beginning of miraculous signs of provision. (John 2:1-11)  This land is also where Jesus revealed himself as the “bread of Life” which is symbolic of the gift Asher would share.

Matt 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Bread is symbolic of the word of God.

 Anna, the prophetess from the New Testament, came from the tribe of Asher and was one of the first to recognize Jesus as the Savior when He was born.  Her faithfulness and dedication to serve the Lord for 84 years made her “fat” with God’s revelation about the Savior.

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, and this woman was a widow of about 84 years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting’s and prayers night and day.  And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to ALL those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38).

In the Bible, Asher is spoken of by Moses as the most blessed of the sons and favored by his brothers.  This tribe was blessed with numerous children and lived in peace with all the other tribes.

Asher is set around the tabernacle on the north side between Dan and Naphtali.  These three tribes had the assignment of being the  “rear” guard and were generally not ones to be warriors in battle.  Avoiding battle when needed can be Asher’s weakness and downfall. Asher chose not to help during Israel’s national crisis when called to battle by Barak and Deborah. However, they did come when Gideon called as well as King Hezekiah.

God wants to reveal His Covenant in a “meaty” way so we can move in His heart ahead as the bride of Christ. Seek God’s presence and expect to receive His revelation.  He wants to bless you in this season of “rest” in knowing Him and why He created you.  God wants to revive and awaken your “roots” to be vibrant and alive in Him.  Rivers of living water shall flow through your roots system and spring forth life in areas that have appeared dead.  Expect to hear and see His oil! 

In 2023, the remnant is poised to receive the increase of His anointing to break forth light in a dark season and pressure by the enemy who want to destroy God’s people and execute an anti-Christ agenda. Trust that heaven has prepared the solution and increase for us. We all must REST in that knowledge. This is the hour and set time God will use His remnant for His service and to connect them in unity in their community. The rich resources will be released as we will need God’s increase alone to navigate and walk in His miracle provision. So while the world is taken away by the fear and drama of the anti-christ agenda, the remnant is thriving and alive with God’s providential help.

God is also preparing us to sow the seeds of revelation He gives us this month when His spring season begins with Nisan.  Whatever the circumstances bring up ahead, His revelation will carry us through, so it is vital this year to take time to get His Word.

So the key this month is to REST and receive His anointed Word! And if you have the gift of Asher, God’s people need that “meaty” word bathed in His oil!

TEVET FIRSTFRUITS

The tenth month of the Hebrew calendar, known as Tevet, begins this Friday, December 23rd. Ten is the number associated with godly order, authority, and testimony. Tevet is a great month to reflect how your year has been lining up with God’s order and authority.

Tevet begins the winter season of “rest.” The next three months are suited to spend time “resting” with the Father, digging into His Word and prayer. This time of intimacy gives us a renewed strength that is critical to a healthy and fulfilling relationship with the Lord.

This month is also associated with the tribe of Dan. Dan was one of the tribes that formed a branch on the north side of the tabernacle, along with Asher and Naphtali. These tribes were the known as the “rear guard,” and chosen to protect the tribes from any enemies coming from behind. Dan in particular had a gift of discernment to recognize the enemy coming in through the “backdoor.”

Dan teaches us that even though we are in a season of “rest,” this does not mean we are to let our guard down to the enemy’s schemes, but rather, a time to heighten our discernment. As a matter of fact, the “backdoor” is usually not a place our natural eyes can easily see, so we can be surprised by the attack of the enemy, especially when it comes through family and friends.

Genesis 49:16 -18 says, “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, and adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backwards.”

Dan’s name in Hebrew means “to judge, to rule, or to execute judgment.” Dan was said to be “a serpent by way,” so God equipped Dan with a gift of wisdom to rule righteously and establish God’s path.

To “judge” is our high calling to exercise Gods authority, but to do so with a heart of humility that is yielded to the Holy Spirit. As we step into a situation with righteous authority, the witness will be Godly order, justice, deliverance, healing, and peace in the midst of chaos and confusion, which is a valuable asset.

Dan’s gift can bring about a “holy anger” when injustice occurs. “Holy anger” can be used in prayer effectively to seek God for His judgment and action plan. However, anger left uncircumcised can lead to destructive behavior outside of Gods authority. King Saul was an example of a ruler with jealous anger toward David that led to authorizing his troops to kill him.

The Pharisees were also an example of uncircumcised authority, rooted in their need for power and control. The doctrine imposed, which was a “mixture” of God’s truth and ways, resulted in a “holy”enslavement system to keep the people under their rulership. These legal systems made way for these “judges” to become bullies and tyrants.

Samson was from the tribe of Dan, and his story shares the ups and downs of the characteristics of the tribe of Dan (Judges 13-16). God chose to raise up Samson to be a “judge” to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

Samson had grown up to be smart, cunning, and had a love for justice. His supernatural gift of physical strength was given with one condition of not cutting his hair. Nothing more. Later in life, Samson became quite head strung because he didn’t have to lean on anyone to help him succeed. Sadly, this included God.

Samson fell into the trap of the “sins of the flesh,” which can happen easily when we are gifted, yet lack humility. Samson leaned into his gift to acquire assets and feeding his own desires. (Judges 14:12). Many judges today exemplify this fault.

Samson also chose to disobey God’s laws and statutes. The Israelites were not to have relations with a harlot, marry a Philistine, or eat from the carcass of an unclean animal. These are just a few things Samson chose to do despite Gods instruction. However, each of these choices opened up the door for the “destroyer” to cut off his anointing and weaken the nation to their enemies.

Betrayal summarized much of Samson’s love life, igniting ANGER in his heart that fueled revenge and killed many (Judges 15:7). As a result, Samson mimicked the traits of his enemy rather than a righteous witness for God.

Samson managed to have 20 years of leading Israel to help them live peaceably with the enemies around them because this was Gods purpose in anointing Samson. But as he continued to compromise and follow his own ways, the consequences of these actions caught up to him and left him to deal with them in his own strength.

The judgment came after Samson fell prey to his lust for Delilah (Judges 16). The Philistines soon sought to hire Delilah to obtain the secret of Samson’s supernatural strength. Delilah agreed to the lucrative deal, and set forth to use her charm to try and get the intel. Samson became worn down with her persistence, and finally shared his secret to her. While he was sleeping (unaware), she “cut off” his hair (his anointing) and handed him over to the Philistine leaders. This was a classic “back door” sneak attack scenario that came through betrayal but brought on by Samson’s disobedience to God.

Samson’s story speaks loudly today that we cannot just lean on the grace of God to further His kingdom cause. We need to line up with His truth and ways because the compromises over time steal our ability to exercise Gods authority, and leave us vulnerable to the enemy who waits until the opportune time to strike a blow. Not only did the Philistines de-platform Samson as leader, but they ripped his eyes out and shackled him to prevent him from leading again.

Although Samson was captured and imprisoned, eventually, the gift grew back (his hair) in his brokenness before God. Out of his “fiery trial,” Samson received spiritual” eyes to see Gods kingdom cause, which later gave him the ability to wipe out the Philistines while sacrificing his own life. Samson found a measure of humility to judge righteously.

God’s gift in us all can appear to be swallowed in darkness because of our pride, but it is never snuffed out. In humility, God will allow His gift in us all to rise to a greater measure when we submit to His authority. Samson’s strength was the greatest in his last act before his death.

Coincidently, this month of Tevet is associated with the Hebrew letter AYIN, which is a picture of an eye. Like Samson, God wants us to learn to see through our spiritual eyes what is happening in our lives and in the world around us. Hopefully, we can take some pointers from Samson’s story this month so we don’t have to learn this the hard way!

This month, ask God for His discernment so you can judge yourself righteously and those around you with the help of the Holy Spirit. What or who has the attention of your eyes and tugging on your heart? What does Our Father in heaven, the great JUDGE, see when He observes you? These are great questions to ponder as you examine your heart to prepare for the new Hebrew year.

KISLEV FIRSTFRUITS

The next Firstfruits celebration coincidentally falls on Thanksgiving this year at sundown. The ninth month of the Hebrew covenant calendar is known as Kislev, which means, “security, trust, and coming full circle.”

Kislev is the last month of the “harvest” season in the Hebrew calendar which is associated with the tribe of Benjamin; the youngest son of Jacob. He was the only son born in the Promised Land.

Benjamin was actually given two names. The first came from his mother Rachel. Having great difficulties in giving birth, Benjamin’s mother died right after seeing her son born. Rachel named him “Benoni” which means “son of my sorrow (or iniquity). The name of her son was a death confession of her stealing the family treasured idols (Gen. 35:18).

As much as Jacob loved Rachel and wanted to honor her request, Jacob saw his newborn son through the eyes of God’s heart and was obedient to change his name to fit His destiny. Jacob named him “Benjamin,” which means “son of my right hand.”

The meaning of a person’s name reveals clues to their God given identity and destiny.  Name changes in the bible are not insignificant. Abraham’s name (Father of many nations) was changed from Abram (exalted father), to fit Abraham’s prophetic destiny in God’s Covenant Story.

God changed Jacob’s name as well to ISRAEL. Jacob’s birth name means “supplanter, or deceiver.” His name fit him because this name identified his nature before encountering Father God heart to heart. But after Jacob wrestled with God and understood His Covenant heritage, God changed his name and nature to fit his God appointed identity and purpose; ISRAEL, meaning “ruler or prince with God” (Gen. 35:10).

Benjamin was the only son born after Jacob’s divine encounter with God. Jacob’s first fruit in this new identity change happens when he renames his son Benjamin because he saw his son through the Covenant lens of his identity.

Incidentally, Jesus went through this process with Abba Father as well when Jesus was being baptized and the Father said, “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). From that moment on, Jesus was not identified as a carpenter, but as the son of God sent to save man from sins.

Before Jacob/Israel dies, God uses him to give the prophetic Covenant blessing to all his sons. Genesis 49:27 are the prophetic words over Benjamin. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.”

In this prophetic word, God shares that Benjamin has two sides: One that is self absorbing and will fight for his food at all costs sparing nothing for anyone who is hungry. The other is the matured Benjamin who has an understanding of God’s Covenant who will fight for what is right in order to give out what has been given him. The first nature is life without understanding the Father’s heart. The second nature comes through the wrestle with God, understanding our identity in Him, and the maturity to carry out His Covenant.

We see these two natures of Benjamin and conversion throughout the Bible. All of the disciples of Jesus, minus Judas, were Benjamites. When Jesus called on each of them to be His disciples, each one of them received a new identity. After spending time with the Lord and going through a transformation process, God was able to use them as His light.

God had already prophesied that the tribe of Benjamin would be a light when God decided to split the kingdom in two in 1 Kings 11:36 “And to Solomon’s son I will give one tribe (Benjamin), that My servant David may always have a LAMP before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I chosen for Myself, to put My name there.

Saul who converted to Paul was also a Benjamite (Romans 11:1). We read about his encounter, identity change, and how he was used a “light” in Act. 9:1-22. Saul believed himself to be so righteous as a Pharisee and one who persecuted the Christians UNTIL His encounter with the Father. Then he went from being a “son of sorrow/iniquity” to that “son of God’s right hand” (Gen. 35:18).

The generations of today are the “Benjamites” who will bring in the greatest Harvest for the King. But in order to fulfill their call, most need an “encounter” to understand their identity and purpose through the lens of the Father. America will need this encounter as well as we have forgotten our identity and purpose as a nation established by God.

As times get difficult, God has prophesied over the Benjamites who are his “son’s of His right hand,” protection and covering. Moses adds to the prophetic word for Benjamin: “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, who shelters him all the day long; and he shall dwell between His shoulders.” (Deut.33: 12) This is comforting to know as we are faced with difficult times ahead that the Benjamites have God’s special protection.

We can learn from the Benjamites in the bible how God used them mightily when they put their trust in Him. Benjamites such as Esther and Mordacei saved God’s people from destruction and God exalted them. However, King Saul did not, and he lost his throne.

God’s Covenant sign of the rainbow after the flood is associated with the tribe of Benjamin. (Gen.8,9). The rainbow, which has all the colors, is very symbolic of the heart of the Benjamites who have a heart for ALL of God’s people to know the King. They will be God’s sign in the earth of the truth of His Covenant.

Kislev is the ninth Hebrew month, and nine is the number associated with the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Galatians 5:22,23 gives us all nine fruits: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  This is divine completeness in manifesting the character of Christ, which the Benjamite disciples had first hand training.  When the world can see the manifestation of the “sons of light,” the heavens and the earth will rejoice!

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19).

11-11-22 Prayer for America

“O Great and Awesome Judge, we boldly come to your throne of grace on this appointed day of the signing of the Mayflower Compact, as well as the celebration of all of our military men and women who have sacrificed and shed blood for the cause of freedom and liberty in this land.

We bring our petitions up before the courts of heaven to remind You of the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; perfected through Jesus Christ, multiplied through Your remnant who bear witness of You.  This witness is our nation’s birthing story in America, dripping with grace and mercy over her land and people because of Your faithfulness to Your covenant with a people who chose to honor You as King over this land.  

We believe that God Almighty moved on our Founding Fathers, who were carried here by the wind of Your Spirit, to establish a covenant with You in this  “promised land” (2 Sam. 7:10), to make way for the multiplication of Your Stone Kingdom the prophet Daniel spoke of in Dan. 2:34. 

America was prophesied to bear the torch of the Joseph birthright in the latter days.  In Gen. 48: 19, America was prophesied to be a “great nation” that would receive the double portion of blessings.  In Gen. 49: 22-26, America was prophesied to be strong and have rich resources.  In Deut. 33:13-17, America was prophesied to push the peoples to the ends of the earth, spreading the good news of the Gospel and a torch of hope to the nations.  God Almighty, You prophesied of a day that the remnant who landed in the coastlands of America in Is. 41 needed to be silent and come near You to renew their strength before judgment was given.

Almighty Judge, we remind you that the Mayflower Compact was a covenant made by man before Your court to honor Jesus as LORD and KING and to give the peoples living in the land the opportunity to freely worship and serve the KING.  The Mayflower Compact was drafted off the shores, in unity of heart, that witnessed that it was by divine providence they found the land to fulfill scriptures in Gen. 48, 49 and Deut. 33, saying:

In the name of God. Amen! We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, a voyage to plant the first colony . . . do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God combine ourselves into a civic body politic.”

The Articles of Confederation were birthed out of this understanding as well to establish America in the blueprint of God’s governmental truths and ways written in the LAW.  They wrote:

Whereas, we all came in to these parts of America with one and the same end, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity, we therefore conceive it our bounden duty… that as in nation and religion, so in other respects, we be and continue as one.”

Later, the Declaration of Independence agreed with God’s divine providential purpose of establishing America to reflect His heavenly government, when these words were written:

“WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”   

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence made America “One nation under God.” George Washington declared America “the second land of promise.” A fellow Christian wrote this song, ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS NAME. One verse read:

“Ye CHOSEN seed of Israel’s race,

Ye ransomed from the fall.

Hail Him who saves you by His grace,

AND crown Him, Lord of All!”

These men and women knew this land was CHOSEN BY GOD!

The Mayflower Compact was the beginning of our POLITICS. The Articles of Confederation made America a PEOPLE.  Then in 1775, the Declaration of Independence made America a NATION. 

The signers of the Declaration said: “For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

It is evident that the Mayflower Compact, the Articles of Confederation, and the Declaration of Independence were a three-fold cord that bound America in a Covenant relationship to the Law of God. 

Almighty Judge, 403 years later since our Covenant was birthed before Your courts, we are pleading our case again today for You to render a verdict in favor of the remnant, prophesied in Dan. 7:22, and a greater release of Your provision and glory to carry the torch of Your covenant plan forward.   

We thank you for keeping Your covenant promise to bless America with your bounty and grace.  We recognize and have confessed that America has strayed from Your plumbline of truth and ways over the generations that have led us to this day of darkness in our land.   We are grateful that our prayers of intercession and the blood of Jesus Christ, sanctifies and redeems our sins, and gives us hope that we can be restored back to You.  

We have, and continue to ask, that you forgive the remnant for partnering with the spirit of anti-Christ, either knowingly or unknowingly, who continues to work behind the “Mystery of Babylon,” stealing and killing America’s freedom, foundational heavenly governmental blueprint, and kingdom purpose to witness your truth and hope to the nations.   

We also petition that you forgive the remnant for coming under the spell of compromise, lethargy, media, idolatry, and apathy for our nation’s covenantal blessings to fulfill her heavenly calling.  We apply the blood of Jesus over our ungodly agreements and ask that we would be severed from their destructive tenacles.  We petition you to lose the remnant free of the anti-Christ grip and entanglements and help them to abide in the shelter of the Almighty.  

We petition that the remnant would be freed to arise and shine to be a torch of hope and healing to the nation.  We are believing for a release of Elohim’s glory to be seen upon the remnant, and their hearts swell full of joy because of the abundance of the wealth of the Gentiles released to them to perfect Your covenant plan. 

We petition for angelic hosts to be released as well to assist and shield the remnant from the hand of the enemy who has infiltrated all of the mountains of influence in our nation.  

We are thankful for Your Judgements that have already been released to help Your remnant mature and shift so that as judgment continues to shake our nation, the remnant can be used to arise on eagles’ wings and help America come into her prophesied destiny.  

We petition for mercy on the body of Christ who have not awakened yet, nor come out of the spell and entanglements and slavery of the enemy. 

We also petition for Your judgment against our adversary, the spirit of Anti-Christ, who has infiltrated America. We ask for Your kingly leadership and the hosts of heaven to take charge of our nation, to come with an iron fist to judge the corrupt leaders according to Is. 2, and to cut off the agenda to kill, steal and destroy Your people.

We petition that You would restore a seven-fold return for all that the enemy has stolen from America’s kingdom purpose, and bless the remnant with greater authority and glory to take back what was stolen.

We thank you for hearing our case, and trust You to oversee and rule on behalf of the case presented here this day of 11/11/22, and for restitution for all that has been lost or stolen to be determined as well.  Until said day the judgment is released upon our adversary, we petition for grace to tarry until justice is served.”

AMEN!

CHESHVAN FIRSTFRUITS

At sundown on October 25th, the eighth month of the Hebrew Calendar, known as the month of “Cheshvan,” begins. Eight is the number for new beginnings, and perfectly describes the events associated with this month in biblical history.

Cheshvan’s name stems from the word “flood.” During the days of Noah, the flood began on the 17th of Cheshvan and ended the following year on the 27th of Cheshvan. Although Cheshvan marked the execution of God’s judgment and hardship, it was also a significant month of new doors opening to a shifted landscape!  When Noah opened up the door and left the ark, he began the same covenant mission of multiplying and fulfilling the earth in a world that was completely different!

This month is also associated with the tribe of Manasseh; which was one of sons of Joseph.Joseph’s sons were grafted in to Jacob/Israel’s Covenant blessing. “Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them. And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Gen. 48:16)

Manasseh means, “one who makes to forget, one who forgets the toil.” The character of Manasseh was to forgive and not carry a grudge. The forgiving nature gave Manasseh the ability to fulfill their calling. This tribe shows us the character of forgiveness to the point of forgetting the wrong, and it is this character trait that brings healing to the nations.

The prophetic blessing given to Joseph (which would now go to his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim) was the crowning best! “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall.” In Genesis 49:22-26 and Deut. 33:13-17, God declares that the sons of Joseph will have hidden resources, rich heritage with God’s favor and blessing upon the land given with rain and produce. In addition, these two tribes would push the peoples to the ends of the earth.

Manasseh’s prophetic destiny in the latter days resembles the nation of America. Manasseh was the thirteenth tribe grafted in by Jacob to the family inheritance of Israel (Gen. 48), and America began with thirteen colonies, she has 13 stripes in her flag, and has 13 identified in many of her symbols on the Presidential Seal. This month is connected to America and her destiny in fulfilling her role in God’s kingdom redemption plan.

In studying Manasseh, there was a pivotal time in their history in which there were no men to carry on the inheritance of the tribe according to the laws that had been set forth (Numbers 27:1-11). But there were five single women of Manasseh who dared to believe God for a new thing! They petitioned to Moses to take possession of their inheritance so that their tribe would not be wiped out or their inheritance lost.

Moses took their request to the Lord, and the Lord made an amendment to the law and granted their request. I think this story is so relevant that is tied to women stepping through doors of leadership like “Deborah.” Women sometimes need to fight for their portion of the inheritance given to them by the King that is challenged by culture and tradition. They will be granted access to places the “legalistic law” wouldn’t let them go to before. Women will find their biggest battle will be in breaking through religious traditions.

In the Old Testament, we read one hero from the Tribe of Manasseh named Gideon, a “mighty man of valor. (Judges 6:12.) At the time Gideon is “chosen” by God to do a mighty work, he was threshing wheat to hide from the Midianites who were impoverishing and oppressing the Israelites and destroying their produce and livestock.

The Angel of Lord appeared to him. Gideon asked, “Why are all these things happening to the children of Israel?” He was looking to the Lord for answers, and the Lord’s answer was to use Gideon.  And the Lord said to Gideon, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:14)

Gideon didn’t believe God had the right guy, because the odds were against him and he didn’t “appear” to be the best candidate. (Even today, some of us can believe we disqualify to do God’s work because we aren’t “schooled” to share God’s message or are equipped to minister). ”O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

But the Lord replied, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

When God finally convinced Gideon He was chosen, Gideon did the logical thing and gathered as many resources as he could to fight the Midianites. The Lord instructed Gideon that he had too many resources…too many soldiers to go to battle. This was key to God’s strategy in turning the hearts of His people toward Him. The children of Israel needed to see His sovereignty to cut to their heart and depend on the resources “flooding” forth supernaturally.

God is preparing a remnant of Gideon’s today that understand they cannot have victory in their own strength or resources, but in God alone! God will choose these Gideon’s as His Firstfruits to enter into the fullness of His glory so that the nations can experience righteousness and justice; placing people in government, business, education, finances, arts, etc. who He has prepared for such a time as this.

Today’s “Gideon “Firstfruits” Army” has been hidden much like Gideon was until the Lord called upon him to step out.   This “remnant army” has learned through tests and trials to surrender to the Lord’s command, and the least likely to be chosen to rule in positions of prominence both in and out of the Church according to our “worldly standards.” They will be chosen to be “kings and priests” in the Age of Tabernacles when Jesus returns as King (Rev. 5:9).

It is no coincidence that Gideon was threshing wheat when He was called upon.  God’s role for this Gideon army He is raising up today will have the wisdom to discern between the wheat from the tares that have grown in the field (world). This wisdom will even plumbline the Church in establishing His Kingdom here on the earth. Over these past 2,000 years, the Church at large has produced wheat (good) and tares (bad), and she doesn’t look like a unified body at all.  The “Gideon army” will be the ones God equips to bring the body together to look like His Bride.

The month of Cheshvan is associated with the Lord’s flood that brings death and life.  When the Lord flooded the earth in the days of Noah, there was death that resulted. Death always proceeds God’s resurrection power and new beginnings. Even before the children of Israel were getting close to the time when the Lord would finally take them out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, Moses died first.  The Lord then said to Joshua, “MOSES IS DEAD!” (Joshua 1:1). “Be Strong and of Good Courage!”

Moses was a great leader, and God used him to move His Covenantal purpose forward.  But when it was God’s timing, Joshua was chosen to pick up the baton and move the Covenant forward differently than his predecessor. God created Joshua with the purpose in mind to lead and conquer the Promised Land.  He didn’t create Joshua to replicate Moses, but only to glean from Moses the wisdom, knowledge, and leadership of God’s heart, plan and character.

We are about to see a new generation who will take the deposit of the “Pentecostal (church) Age” and move it forward into the “Age of Tabernacles.” They will take the wisdom and truth we have gained in advancing the Kingdom of God these past 2000 years, but will move God’s Covenant plan ahead differently.  The “old wine skin” will die.  The “traditions of old” will die.  The flesh will die.  But His Spirit will flood the earth and bring newness of life.  The Gideon’s will advance into the “Promised Land” with the King leading them and establish His government in the land.  It is an exciting time we live in!

In order to experience “newness of life,” we have to close doors to open new ones. We have to let go of old ways and mindsets that aren’t producing life any longer. We need to let go of past successes as well so we can embrace the newness of the season ahead. Ask the Lord, “What door do I need to close so I can enter in the new door ahead?” Enjoy the flood of His Spirit bringing new life!

FEAST OF TABERNACLES – The Feast Pattern Foreshadowed through Jacob’s Sons

The Jacob/Israel’s story continues mirroring the Feast pattern through his family after Jacob becomes “Israel.” The name “Israel” had been sealed over Jacob’s forehead after wrestling with God, landing him in the city of Succoth, which means, “booth/dwelling/tabernacle.” 

It was after Jacob crossed into the Promised Land, in Succoth, that he built his first house (Gen.33:17). Up until this time, Jacob had lived in temporary dwellings.  This “permanent house” was a prophetic picture of Jacob receiving his promised “permanent house;” i.e., glorified body, that would never be removed from the Lord’s presence:

“For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor.5:4)

Having met God face to face at Peniel, the transformation process began for Jacob/Israel. This encounter was symbolic of the process that will occur for the “Firstfruits” remnant during the first resurrection when Christ returns: 

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.  Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

The Firstfruits remnant is mentioned again:

“They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders, and no one could learn that son except the 144,000 who were REDEEMED from the EARTH.  …These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.  These were redeemed from among men, being FIRSTFRUITS to God and to the Lamb” (Rev. 14:3,4).

Jacob’s life mirrors the pattern and purpose of the Millennium reign, and the role of this “Firstfruits” remnant, as the Lord’s “priests” as He rules over the nations (Rev. 5:10).

“But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God” (Is. 61:6).

After Succoth, Jacob/Israel led his family to the city of Shechem, where he purchased land for the first time. This is significant, because when Christ comes back to earth, He takes dominion over the LAND (kingdom) as King, with His “Firstfruits” remnant assisting Him (Gen. 33).

The name Shechem has two meanings; one means, “shoulder” as in the “responsibility or right to rule.” In Isaiah, God uses a verse to describes the government (leadership) upon the Lord’s “shoulder.”

“And the government will be upon His shoulder.” 

Shoulders are also used to describe the governmental authority of those God chooses to reign with Him: 

“The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one will shut…” (Is. 22:22).

Shechem was the first place God put His mantle of authority upon the shoulders of Jacob/Israel to carry out the Abrahamic Covenant.

Shechem’s name also means “unity.” Shechem was the place God established His Covenant (UNION).  For example, Shechem was the first place the Lord appeared and spoke to Abraham after he entered the land of Canaan for the first time.

“There Abraham built an altar and called on the name of the Lord” (Gen. 12:7,8; 13:4).

In Joshua’s farewell address, Joshua gathered all the leaders in Israel in Shechem and made a Covenant (UNION) with the people that day, representing the multiplicity of the Abrahamic Covenant (Joshua 23:2).

“So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem” (Josh. 24:25).

In the story of Jacob/Israel, it was at Shechem that his family would be tested to rule in God’s righteousness, or rule recklessly; to be in UNION with God’s character or not (Gen. 34). 

How did this test come about? Shortly after arriving in the city of Shechem, the prince, whose name was Shechem, raped Dinah, the daughter of Jacob.  Jacob’s sons were outraged, and decided to take revenge.  So they tricked the men of Shechem, and killed them all when they were unable to defend themselves.

This vengeance was led by two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi.  Afterwards, all the brothers joined the “evil” deed and plundered the city, stealing the possessions of the people because they felt justified (Gen. 34:25-29).

These actions did not represent the righteousness of God, but resembled the sinful actions and character of their earthly father, Jacob.  Jacob had been a schemer, and one who took possessions unlawfully.  Jacob had never gone so far as to kill anyone, but sins left un-dealt with can lead to death. (Today, our nation has become a divided nation, which has produced death to our Christian foundation.  Because our nation has compromised and not dealt with the iniquity, it is hard to distinguish who is right (good), and who is wrong (evil).  By the actions and words presented by both sides, ALL look evil because of their retaliation and “justification,” much like the Jacob’s sons do at Shechem).

Jacob/Israel, now transformed as a “priest unto the Lord,” knew these actions would open the door for the Lord to raise up an adversary against them as well:

“…You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land…” (Gen. 34:30). 

So Jacob spent time interceding and communing with God. The Lord said to Jacob/Israel:

“Then God said to Jacob, ‘ARISE, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God’…” (Gen. 35:1). 

Jacob/Israel is being used to awaken the family to righteousness because the government of God rested on his shoulders.  His job was to help prepare the family, lead them through a sanctification process, so that they were in right standing with God.  This is the same blueprint that resembles God’s purpose of His “Firstfruits” remnant in preparing the Bride throughout the Millennium.

The “wake up” call to arise is also a picture of the BRIDE’S FEAST OF TRUMPET “awakening” (Rev. 20:11).

God then instructed Jacob/Israel to have the family (Church) examine their sin, to get rid of their idols, and to repent and cleanse their hearts. He commanded them to “change their garments” that were filthy rags (sins) to garments that were symbolic of the “righteous acts of the saints” (Rev.19:8).

This is a similar blueprint of the BRIDE’S TEN DAYS OF AWE before the Day of Atonement.

“And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ‘Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments” (Gen. 35:2).

Afterwards, God appeared to Jacob again.  Given that the family had repented wholeheartedly, they were about to enter into their DAY OF JUBILEE instead of DAY OF ATONEMENT.

“Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but ISRAEL shall be your name” So He called his name Israel” (Gen. 35:10).

In Revelation, this moment is spoken of at the Great White Throne of Judgment:

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Rev. 20:12).

God had already changed Jacob’s name to Israel back in Peniel. So why did he come again and say the same thing?  This always nagged me before I understood the Feast’s blueprint and the fulfillment of the first and second resurrection.  This second time God came to Jacob and told him that his name was no longer Jacob but Israel wasn’t to once again seal Jacob’s identity.  God was calling forth the identity change for the UNION of the whole family/nation. 

Now the whole family/nation/bride became God’s double witness of His Covenant promise, following the first witness of the “Firstfruits” remnant.

Jacob set up a pillar of stone in the place where God talked to Him, and poured a drink offering and oil on it (Gen. 35:14,15). This was symbolic of the blueprint up ahead, of the 1st Day of the Feast of Tabernacles for the Bride, when the 7-day cleansing process begins, as represented by the drink offering.  The water represents purification.  The oil represents the bodies being transformed into His glory.

“You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

The place in which this occurs is called, “Bethel” which means “House of God.

“For we know that if our earthly HOUSE, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).

This happens to be the same place Jacob met God for the first time.  Coincidently (not really), the Covenant promises were now being extended to His family as well (Gen. 28:19).  

In addition, this event symbolically confirms the blueprint of the beginning of the transformation process of the Bride’s members being removed from death (which is the wages of sin), and glory dwelling in the corporate body (city), which the Bible refers to as the New Jerusalem:

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the TABERNACLE of God is with men, and He will DWELL with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God”(Rev. 21:1-3).

Jacob’s story mimics this death/life purification process.  

Shortly after Jacob/Israel and his family left Bethel, Rachel (Jacob’s wife), went into labor.  This was going to be Jacob/Israel’s 12th son, and the ONLY one to be born in the Promised Land.

“…And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor”(Gen. 35:16).

Rachel dies giving birth. Upon Rachel’s death, she confesses a secret sin that she hid from Jacob and her father.  Rachel had stolen her father’s idols and took them with her when they departed from Laban’s home.  Even when Laban caught up to Jacob and accused him of being a thief, Rachel said nothing, and continued to hide the idols (Gen. 31:14-37).

When Rachel died, this hidden sin became exposed as she confessed when she named her newborn:

“And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called name “Ben-Oni,” but his father called him Benjamin”(Gen. 35:18).

Rachel’s death represented the finality of the struggle with our Adamic sinful nature that produces sorrow.  Rachel named her child “Ben-Oni,” which is translated, “son of my sorrow.”  Rachel’s death marked the end of the 7-day cleansing process of the Feast of Tabernacles, described in Scriptures as “death swallowed up in victory” (1Cor. 15:54).  Her death was the final cleansing of the “sins of the family” before “immortality.”

Jacob would have probably honored his wife’s dying wishes and agreed to name the newborn “Ben-Oni.”  Most men would in that situation.  But, JACOB/ISRAEL could not honor his wife’s dying wishes.  Jacob/Israel had the government of God’s rulership on His shoulders and was directed by God to rename the child according to who the child represented in the Covenant blueprint.  So Jacob/Israel named his son, “Benjamin,” which means, “son of light!”

“While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them”(John 12:36).

Benjamin was the ONLY son born in the Promised Land. He was the fulfillment of the Promise of God for the “sons of God” to arise and be seen in the earth as God’s light (glory) (Rom. 8:19).

Keeping in mind what we have already learned about the Feast of Tabernacles blueprint, which is 8 days long, 7 of those days were set aside for “cleansing.”  But, the 8th day was a “sacred assembly.”

For the Bride, the 8th day is the revealing of God’s glory dwelling amongst a corporate people with incorruptible bodies.  Having finished the cleansing process, the Bride is able to rise and stand before His throne.   

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).

The Bride is also now able to fulfill the vision of “Jacob’s Ladder” as well as being able to go from being in the presence of God’s throne and transported back to the earth as “sons of His light.”

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev. 21:9).

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits each tree yielding its fruit every month.  The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.    And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads” (Rev. 22:1-4).

Incidentally, all the disciples of Christ came from the tribe of Benjamin, called the Galileans in the New Testament because they settled in Galilee after being released from the 70-year Babylon captivity. They received only a deposit of God’s glory, so the manifestation of the “sons of light” could not be FULLY seen in the earth until the Lord fulfills Tabernacles up ahead.

Benjamin’s birth prophesies of the promise of the NEW JERUSALEM, the Body of Christ, transformed into His glorious bride, full of His glory where His presence dwells:

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).

 “I am God Almighty.  Be fruitful and multiply; a NATION and a company of NATIONS shall proceed from your and kings shall come from your body.  The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land” (Gen. 35:11,12).

FEAST OF TABERNACLES – The Feast Pattern Foreshadowed through Jacob

During the week of the Feast of Tabernacles, reflecting (dwelling) upon the Lord and His Covenant promises were a part of the fabric of what God’s people did each year.  

Let’s take time to do the same by reviewing Jacob’s family’s history and journey with the Lord and identify the pattern and purpose of the seven Feasts reflected in his own life.

BIBLICAL HISTORY PRIOR TO JACOB

After the flood of Noah’s days, wickedness began spreading throughout the earth once again with the help of Nimrod’s reign that birthed the “anti-Christ” government (Gen. 10,11). The Lord decided to choose one of Noah’s great, great grandsons to establish the next covenant with that would usher in the solution to stop the cycle of evil (sin) that was separating mankind from the Lord (Gen. 12).   

God determined that this next covenant could not be dependent on man’s ability to keep his promise to the Lord in order to fulfill the covenant.  God would not only initiate the covenant, keep it and perfect it in Himself, but also “set apart” a people to perfect the process that would bring forth the “Son of man” in the earth.  The person God chose to initiate this plan through was Father Abraham:

“I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.  And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant…” (Gen. 17:6,7).

It was through Abraham’s lineage that God would multiply His people to the ends of the earth like the sand of the sea and the stars in the sky. Abraham later gave birth to Isaac, the chosen “Seed” used to fulfill the Covenant promise.

“And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your SEED all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 26:4).

In a moment that did not make sense to the fulfilling of those Covenant promises, Abraham was commanded by God to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice (Gen. 22:2).  Of course, we know the story of how God stopped Abraham and provided a ram, but I am pointing out this part of the story to show how Isaac was a symbol of Christ, offered up for our sins.

Afterwards, Isaac had two sons: Esau and Jacob. Jacob, the younger son, would end up being the son who would inherit the Abrahamic Covenant promise, multiply it, and through his family, form a nation. When it was time for Isaac to bequeath the inheritance of the Covenant, Isaac blessed Jacob and charged him:

“May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; And give you the blessing of Abraham, To you and your descendants with you, That you may inherit the land In which you are a stranger, Which God gave to Abraham”(Gen. 28:3-4).

Through Jacob, the Covenant would multiply into an “assembly of people.” Given that Isaac represented a foreshadowing of Christ, Jacob represented a foreshadowing of the Early Church (Christ-ians), that would multiply to the ends of the earth.

Jacob’s family, who become known as the Israelites, were a nation “set apart” for the Lord as God prophesied.  Likewise, the Church has been chosen to be a “set apart” people to be witnesses for Christ.

“Therefore may God give you Of the dew of the heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you.  And nations bow down to you…”(Gen. 27:28,29).

IDENTIFYING THE PATTERN OF THE FEASTS IN JACOB’S LIFE

Now that we have a little background of Jacob, let’s identity the pattern we have learned of the Spring and Fall Feasts fulfilled in Jacob’s life, starting when he received the Covenant blessing from his father Isaac.

At the place that Isaac was going to pass the covenant blessing to Jacob, the Bible says that this occurred in the city of Beersheba, which is translated to mean, “well of the oath.” This blessing was Jacob’s “PASSOVER” experience because he inherited the covenant blessing of his father and great grandfather, Abraham, and was “set apart” and “justified” to carry it forward.

Jacob’s name means “deceiver,” which was inherent in his character.  Jacob received the birthright by tricking his brother Esau as well as his father Isaac (Gen. 27).  Once that blessing was given, it couldn’t be revoked.  This deception didn’t surprise the Lord, for he understood Jacob’s weakness.  Jacob’s motives at the time were seemingly based on self-gain rather than service to the Lord.  Esau hated his brother for stealing the birthright and wanted to kill him.  But God had a redemption plan that included working through these issues in Jacob’s life.

In the Book of Jasher, one of the lost books of the Bible that is mentioned in Joshua 10:13, we learn that Jacob spent much of his time feeding the flock and learning “the instruction of the Lord and the commands from his mother and father” (Jasher 26:17) There is no mention of Jacob having a personal encounter with God as a child, but rather, taught about the God of Abraham.  We could surmise that Jacob desired the benefits of the birthright because he understood its inherent value, or he wouldn’t have taken advantage of his brother’s weakened state to seize the opportunity to take it (Gen. 25:31).

Most of us today have a similar story.  We hear and learn about God, but we don’t necessarily have a personal relationship with Him. When we do accept Christ as our Savior, many are motivated out of desperation, afraid of hell, or wanting the benefits of eternity.  Rarely do we first come to the Lord to lay our life down for servant hood, becoming a “bondservant of Christ.”  This heart change comes through a process of tests and trials for the purpose of sanctification.

Not long after receiving the birthright, Jacob had an encounter with God through a dream, which most refer to as “Jacob’s ladder.”  In the dream, he saw a ladder that was set up on earth and its top reached heaven.  Angels were ascending and descending on this ladder, and then the Lord stood above it and spoke to Him:

“…I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.  Also, your descendants shall be spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed ALL the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 28:13,14).

This was Jacob’s “PENTECOST” experience, with the promise revealed of “Tabernacles” to come.  Jesus Himself mentions this same “Tabernacles vision” that He Himself would experience after His resurrection:

“And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (John 1:51).

Jacob’s vision happened at a place called “Luz,” which means, “the place of almonds.”  Almonds in the Bible represent “awakening.”  There were 22 almonds on the lampstand in the Holy place of the tabernacle.  Jacob was “awakened” in his spirit, and then renamed the place of his encounter with God “Bethel,” which means “house of God.”  This name change was a foreshadowing of the deposit of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the house (tent/body) of a believer after encountering (accepting) Christ.  

Jacob encounter with God empowered (awakened) him to believe in the God of Abraham, and to begin trusting for the promises that came with the birthright.  Jacob made a vow:

“…IF God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, THEN the LORD shall be my God” (Gen. 28:20,21). 

Notice that this vow was conditional on God meeting Jacob’s needs.  It was topped off with this understanding as well:  IF God does such and such…THEN Jacob would believe God for His Word.  Most Christians are no different than Jacob when we first come to Christ.

Jacob’s “Pentecost experience” lasted 21 years. Working for Laban was training to learn how to become an obedient servant while living in a place not his home.  Jacob married Laban’s daughters, Leah and Rachel, and had 11 children while working for Laban.  Through it, God was working on Jacob’s character that was prone to deception, as well as taking things into his own hands to make things happen (Gen. 28-31).

Jacob was close to the finality of his “Pentecost” testing time when the Lord spoke to him through an angel to leave Laban’s and begin the journey back to the land he was called to, which was Jacob’s Feast of Trumpets call:

“I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me.  Now ARISE, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family”(Gen. 31:13).

Jacob obediently left, but his sinful nature led his actions once again. Instead of being upfront with Laban of his departure, he left deceptively, taking the whole flock and possessions he had gained, as well as his family with him (Gen. 31:18-20).

Jacob left in fear of Laban taking all he had worked for. God had to work out this root issue in Jacob so that he would fear the Lord more than the people or about the possessions he had.  Jacob had learned much from being Laban’s servant, but the gain was still self-serving.  God had “proven” His word faithful as Jacob was blessed during this time with great wealth.

A final process of sanctification was needed in Jacob so he could rest in the knowledge of who God was in order to carry the Covenant forward, much like that of the “Firstfruits” remnant today.  God Himself raises up adversaries to get our attention when we stray from His ways, or when we rely on ourselves instead of the Lord’s leadership.  BUT, God will also cause our adversary to be subdued when we turn from our wicked ways:

“But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Ex. 23:22).

“When a man’s way pleases the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov. 16:7). 

God wasn’t going to allow Jacob to return home without giving him an opportunity to confront his sin. This is the pattern of occurrences during the “ten days of awe” that follow the Feast of Trumpets, when we are examining and preparing our hearts to come face to face with the Lord. In Jacob’s case, he had to enter into Esau’s territory (literally let go of everything he had acquired working and what he stole), and make things right with his brother.

Esau had been angry, revengeful and willing to kill his brother for stealing his birthright. The Bible says he had a great army of 400,000 men ready to confront Jacob to take him out. And so the story goes, the night before this encounter, Jacob got on his hands and knees and prayed with all his heart, wrestling with an Angel until the breaking of day.

“And He said, ‘Let Me go, for the day breaks.’  But he said, ‘I will not let You go unless You bless me!’  So He said to him, ‘What is your name?’  He said, ‘Jacob.’  And He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but ISRAEL; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed'” (Gen. 32:26-28).

Jacob had finally come to a place that all his tricks, all his strength, and all his planning couldn’t get him out of a position of losing everything he worked for.  But instead of scheming out a plan, He cried to the Lord for help.  This caused Jacob to wrestle with the Lord to contend for the promise.

As Jacob wrestled the angel, the angel asked him what his name was. It seems like a strange thing to ask since the angel obviously knew who he was.  But God set Jacob up to give him an opportunity to come clean, repent, and to confess his sin.  By telling the angel his name, Jacob was confessing that he was a deceiver.  This was Jacob’s DAY OF ATONEMENT.

In the midst of the wrestling, Jacob let go of the fears He was holding on to so tightly.  He was ready to exchange the old identity of being a thief and deceiver and submit to the Lord’s leadership.

Because Jacob allowed the sanctification process to work in his heart, this day became Jacob’s Day of JUBILEE because it was God’s set time to birth the new man in Jacob.  This was when Jacob became a “Firstfruits” remnant set apart to do the Lord’s work in the earth, meeting God face-to-face.

“They shall see His face, and HIs name shall be on their foreheads’ (Rev. 22:4).

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (which means “God rules”).  Jacob/Israel understood he did not rule over his life anymore…God did.   Jacob/Israel understood that he was chosen to carry forth God’s inheritance, serving a greater purpose beyond his comfort or will, which required him to become a “bondservant” of the Lord’s.

Jacob/Israel then called the name of his wrestling place “Peniel,”

“For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Gen. 32:30).

Peniel comes from the root word Panah-el which means “face” or “presence,” which is why Jacob called the wrestling place Peniel.

Just as Jacob/Israel crossed over Peniel, the sun rose on him. This was the first sign of the “TABERNACLES” transformation process for Jacob.

Jacob/Israel then “bowed himself to the ground seven times” before meeting Esau.  This represents the 7-day “cleansing process of TABERNACLES” that purifies our body from “the wages of sin.”

As a result, instead of attacking Jacob/Israel, his enemy was subdued, and healing took place.

“But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept”(Gen. 33:4).

Jacob/Israel offered Esau a “firstfruits” offering of his possessions to Esau.  This act confirms that Jacob/Israel’s heart had changed.  Jacob no longer held on to his possessions in greed or self-gain.  Now he was stewarding his possessions with the Lord’s principles of blessings, and truly, this offering was “unto the Lord.”

Afterwards, Jacob/Israel stopped in Succoth, which is translated as “tabernacles/booths.” There he built himself a house and made booths for his livestock (Gen. 33:17).  This was the FIRST permanent house that Jacob/Israel had build since his “Passover” experience, representing the new glorified bodies we receive after the “purifying process” so we can permanently “tabernacle” with the Lord.  

“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation”(Heb. 9:11).

Notice this first permanent house was in the Promised Land here on the EARTH.  This also represents the work of the “Firstfruits” remnant, serving as a “priest” for the King and His Kingdom on earth during the Millennium.

“…You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9,10).

FEAST OF TABERNACLES – The Meaning of the 1st and 8th Day

During the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, the first and the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles are said to be “HOLY.” What is their significance?

God declared that the first and eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles were both “Sabbath rests.”  However, there is a notable difference between the two Sabbath’s.  The first day was more like a “firstfruits” offering to the Lord.   The head of the family gave the firstfruits of their harvest, and no one was supposed to work.

“On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it (Lev. 23:35).

As a reminder, the three corporate gatherings God commanded all the heads of the household to attend and contribute their firstfruits harvest was Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Ex. 23:14-17). 

But the second “Holy Day” was a “sacred assembly,” and was corporate in nature celebrated on the 8th day with ALL celebrating with joy, much like a wedding reception.

“For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a SACRED ASSEMBLY and you shall do no customary work on it (Lev. 23:36).

The first and eighth day of the Tabernacles celebration were “HOLY DAYS,” and confirm the blueprint found in the New Testament of how the Lord will redeem His corporate covenant blueprint through the two resurrections written in Rev. 20:4-12. One is at the beginning of the Millennium that calls forth the Lord’s “Firstfruits” remnant, and the second at the end of the Millennium that calls forth His “Bride.”

When it is the Lord’s time to fulfill these Fall Feasts, the first day of Tabernacles will commence the “promise of our glorified bodies” for those chosen to be His “Firstfruits” remnant.  This includes the “dead in Christ” and those alive during this time who are chosen to reign with Christ in the Millennium (1 Cor.15:52-54).

God’s Word instructs how our bodies will go from corruptible to incorruptible. According to the Law in Numbers 19, while we are in our mortal bodies (which the Lord symbolically refers to as “tents” to describe our bodies), we are “unclean.” This is because we have inherited the sins of Adam, which is why believer’s bodies still get diseases and die (Rom. 6:23).

But during the fulfillment of Feast of Tabernacles, the process of “death being swallowed in victory” begins with the “Firstfruits” remnant (1 Cor. 15:54; Rom. 8:19; 2 Peter 3:13). In order for the “Firstfruits remnant” to receive immortality, they must go through a lawful “purification process:”

“This is the law when a man dies in a tent; All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days”(Num. 19:14).

God required a 7-day cleansing period, which is the same length of time of the Feast of Tabernacles before the 8th day of the “sacred assembly.” On the 3rd and 7th day, the “clean person took hyssop and dipped it in water and sprinkled it on the tent.” Afterwards, the body was considered “purified.”

When this Feast is fulfilled, Christ, as our High Priest, will be the One who is “clean” and able to cleanse us (Num. 19:11,12).  On the 8th day, the remnant will be able to lawfully present themselves to the Father:

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb”(Rev. 7:9)!

During His ministry on earth, Jesus appeared at the Feast of Tabernacles in the middle of the week, perhaps the 3rd day as it would then coincide with the Law of Purification” (John 7:2-14;37-39; Num. 19). 

A blueprint that coincides with this “cleansing” and ready as one “set apart” is found in the laws concerning circumcision.  Circumcision was a SIGN of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 17:10-12).  On the 8th day, every male was circumcised (set apart).   In the New Testament, this is a circumcision of the heart (Gen. 17; Rom. 4:11,12).  In the Millennium, it will be a complete body circumcision (set apart from death):

“For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor.5:4).

The 8th day was also the “law of presentation of the “firstborn” (Ex. 22:29.30).

“They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim (whose name means fruitful which is the “Firstfruits” remnant) is Myfirstborn” (Jer. 31:9).

And finally, the “law of the priesthood” required 7 days to consecrate a priest before they could go before God on the 8th day:

“And you shall not go outside the door of the tabernacle of meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are ended.  For seven days he [the priest] shall consecrate you (Lev. 8:33).

Through the order of Melchizedek, Christ was confirmed as our “High Priest,” sitting on the right side of the throne next to His Father, making a way for us to become “priests.” Christ was not born of the tribe of Levites, who were assigned the priesthood. He was born of the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7).  However, Melchizedek sets the example of the ability to enter into a “Holy” priesthood that did not come through the Adamic lineage, but a holy lineage of the Father and His firstborn:

And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood, Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us KINGS and PRIESTS to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9,10).

EZEKIEL 44 gives us a clue to the difference between the holy “Melchizedek” priesthood, and the sinful “Levite” priesthood that continues to wrestle with sin because of our Adamic nature.  Ezekiel describes the “idolatrous” priests who are limited to minister to man in the outer court.

But Ezekiel also describes the priests called the “sons of Zadok,” who could minister to man in the outer and inner court, as well as the “Holies of Holy” (Ez. 44:15-20; 48:11).  These are the “priests” of the Melchizedek order, who are “set apart” first, and chosen to be a part of the first resurrection. They have access to minister to God in heaven and earth, going back and forth as Jesus did after His resurrection.

The wool and linen garments written in Ezekiel 44 are symbolic of the garments made of the flesh (earth) and the spirit (heaven). The wool garments come from animals and signify the flesh, or earth. Wool makes the body sweat, which is a sing of labor.  Linen is made from plants and signifies the spiritual realm.  Linen does NOT cause sweat, thus symbolizing a rest from labor.

Having the ability to go from heaven and earth, with “linen garments,” as well as “wool garments,” is the fulfillment of the dream of Jacob’s Ladder in Gen. 28, and later fulfilled through the resurrection of Christ (Acts. 1:3; Luke 24:37-39; 2 Cor. 5:1-5; 1 Cor. 15:35-50).

On the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the “Firstfruits” Remnant will be “caught up” or “Harpazo” and presented to the Father. This will be a firstfruits “sacred assembly.” The Firstfruits Remnant (overcoming “body” of believers described in Rev. 2, 3, and 14:4), will be joined to the “Head,” Jesus, and become united. The “Firstfruits” Remnant will have the ability to go back and forth from heaven to earth as Jesus did after His resurrection in linen and wool garments. Why? So they can “reign as priests” with Christ in the Millennium (Rev. 5:9,19;Rev. 20:6).

FEAST OF TABERNACLES – An Overall Look at the Blueprint and Meaning

On 10/10/22, five days after the Day of Atonement, the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles commences. Tabernacles is the seventh and final Feast of the Hebraic Covenant Calendar. The number seven means blessing and completion and is so fitting that this Feast is all about celebration, joy, and “REST from works.

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.  On the first day there shall be a holy convocation [dress rehearsal].  You shall do no customary work on it.  For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.  On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation (dress rehearsal), and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. (Lev. 23:34-36)”

The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as the “Feast of Ingathering,” as it is celebrated at the final gathering of the harvest season, signifying the mark of the end of the agricultural year (Ex. 23:16). Whereas the Passover offering is associated with the barley harvest, and Pentecost is associated with the wheat harvest, Tabernacles is associated with the grape harvest.  Since Tabernacles concludes the “blessings of the land” to be reaped for the year, God’s people can REST from their labors and REJOICE, which is the heart of this Feast.

“And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall REJOICE before the LORD your God for seven days” (Lev. 23:40).

Historically, on the first day of Tabernacles, the Israelites sang Psalm 105 when the priests poured their offerings of water and wine on the altar.  Psalm 105 is a brief history of how God redeemed the children of Israel from Pharaoh and slavery.  This kicked off the celebration.

The Israelites were also instructed to take fruit of beautiful tress, branches of palm trees, willow, and rejoice before the Lord 7 days, which is why the Feast of Tabernacles is referred as a season of joy (Lev. 23:40).

The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as “Sukkot,” which when translated means, “Feast of Booths.” This is because the Lord commanded the children of Israel to live in temporary houses, or “tents/booths,” during the Feast so that they would remember how the Lord provided covering and dwelt with them, even in their 40 years of testing through their wilderness wanderings.

“You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 23:42.43).

The “temporary tent/booth” today is symbolic of a New Covenant believer’s mortal (temporary) body, where God’s presence dwells because of the Holy Spirit deposited in us. 

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).

This deposit is a guarantee until we receive our immortal (permanent) bodies. 

“who [speaking of the Holy Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:14).

The Tabernacles blueprint also required drink and wine offerings to be given 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles.  The drink offering was symbolized as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit (water) that prophesied of the manifestation of the promised inheritance.   At God’s SET TIME, our mortal bodies will be free from death and we will be clothed in God’s glory.

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9).

The wine represented fruitfulness, but also the overthrow of evil because of the wrath of God that produces righteousness in the earth.  A similar pattern is found in Revelations 16, as the “7 bowls of wrath” are poured out, confirming this transformation process of light overcoming darkness.  

“Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth” (Rev. 16:1).

God warns in Rev. 14 that those who worship the beast will be affected by God’s wrath:

“If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation” (Rev. 14:9,10).

In addition to the offerings, at the end of every seventh year, the Lord commanded the Israelites to read the LAW each day of the Feast:

 “And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing” (Deut. 31:10,11).

By opening up the Law and reading what God spoke in His Tablets of Covenant, the hearts were reminded of God’s love and promise for each of them.  

It is interesting to note that the Feast of Tabernacles was not properly celebrated for over 900 years between Joshua and Ezra (Neh. 8:17).  But just one week after the completion of the wall of the second temple in Jerusalem, the people gathered together for the Feast of Trumpets and stayed through the Feast of Tabernacles.  They re-established reading the Law so their hearts could hear the Law, His Promise, and respond to the Word and worship Him (Neh. 9:3; Rom. 4:15; 7:7).

“Therefore, by the deeds of the Law, no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:21).

In reading through Jewish Feast history, the Jewish people mark the 7th day as “Hoshanah Rabbah, which means, “The Day of the Great Hosanna.”  The name translates, “save now” or deliver us,” because the Israelites would pray during this time for God to send the latter rain so that the ground would be ready for the spring season.  They also prayed for Messiah to deliver them.  Today’s Jewish traditions include reading 7 liturgical poems. and beating willows on the ground to get rid of sin. However, these traditions are not found in Scriptures.

The eighth day of Tabernacles was “set apart” and is much like a wedding celebration, in which the bride and groom are united as ONE, and because of the Covenant made, ALL rejoice, dance, and toast to NEW BEGINNINGS.  

The Feast of Tabernacles blueprint primarily focuses on God perfecting His promise of immortality, through His Son returning to the earth as our Kinsmen Redeemer and releasing us from the debts of sin (Book of Ruth). The 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles fulfills the laws of cleansing (Lev. 13,14).  This lawful process of purification rids us of our sinful flesh so we can receive our “immortal and glorified body (a permanent dwelling) and fully “tabernacle with God (Num. 19).”

“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body [inheritance of a glorified body]” (Romans 8:23).

Until Christ returns, we celebrate like our forefathers, with great anticipation of the “promises” to come.  And like the children of Israel in the days of the Old Testament, who were known as a “Church in the wilderness” (Acts. 7:38), the “Church at large” for the past 2,000 years has been living in temporary booths (bodies), with the presence of God (deposit of the Holy Spirit), hoping to enter into the Promised Land (“New Jerusalem” which is an immortal corporate body).

“For we know that if our earthly house, this TENT, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.  If indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 5:1-5). 

The fulfillment of this Feast will mark the beginning of the New Millennium reign of Christ here on the earth.  The Church at large will then be able to “REST” from the war with Satan as He is “bound” for a thousand years while Christ judges the nations and restores the earth with His righteousness.

“He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished….”(Rev. 20:2,3). 

DAY OF ATONEMENT MARKS KINGDOM SHIFT

Through my research, it is believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist on the Day of Atonement. Let’s revisit that SHIFT in history as we head into this year’s Day of Atonement.

EVERYTHING shifted after that day.

John the Baptist was outside the confines of the city… in the wilderness proclaiming, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matt. 3:2).

SUDDENLY, Jesus came up from the water and the heavens split opened and they heard a voice from Heaven saying.“This is My SON, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

This was an announcement from Heaven that God was enacting His next plan of redemption through His Son. This was the FIRST time Jesus was announced as the SON OF GOD rather than known as a son of man.

Everything SHIFTED from that point on.

Afterwards, John the Baptist had to decrease while Jesus increased as the SON OF GOD, rather than the son of Joseph. No longer were the disciples going to follow John the Baptist.. a man and ministry, but the SON of GOD Himself.

John the Baptist’s job shifted as well. No longer was he called to gather a people to himself to tell them about the SON of GOD, but now, he was called to point everyone to HIM so HE could lead, teach, cover, and save them.

The leadership of Jesus was so unique to what the people were familiar with that it offended many who were not teachable.

The Pharisees and Sadducee’s questioned everything, and because their hearts were hardened, they chose to ridicule and destroy whom God chose to lead the people with His Spirit. They were unwilling to let go and to submit to Whom was before them.

Today, the remnant of God has been in “training” to be willing to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit as we are all shifting into what God has in store up ahead. And it may offend many without a just cause.

“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause'” (John 15:24,25).

HE will be the premier leader of us all, not man.

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you” (John 15:13-16).

Our obedience to follow His command will be different for each, but it will require us all to walk where we haven’t gone before, think differently than we have, and have a willingness to lean into the Holy Spirit as our helper, comforter, teacher and counselor.

The Holy Spirit may lead us each into uncharted territory, and to step into things by faith that don’t make sense in the rational mind.

Some may need to stand alone, apart from the crowd, separating themselves into a new place and position and embark on a new trail.

Whatever it is, Gods grace will be sufficient for our wobbly knees while we all take steps of faith to be obedient. As we do, we will hear these words from the Father spoken over us, “THIS IS MY SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.”

Our fears may want us to try to paralyze us which happens we we spend too much time analyzing rather than stepping into something new with unknown factors.

But God is raising us up to rise above our fears and to be strong and courageous.

We are learning to trust Gods ways are higher = maybe not understood for now, but always understood later that it was for our own good and the good for His kingdom cause….

… than our own ways = what we have become familiar with doing, leaning into in our own strength, and rationalizing ourselves out of the stirring God is moving in our hearts.

His truth and ways will produce the needed life and life more abundantly the world is waiting for … and it will most certainly come with His great power and authority.

Jesus began His ministry and merely SPOKE.. and power and authority immediately healed, raised from the dead, and delivered from demons.

His WORDS were so powerful that those who heard had to write them all down so they weren’t missed, which is why we have the Words of Jesus in the Gospels that are still speaking and powerful today. We are called to do greater works than Him…with Him!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and GREATER WORKS than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).

The landscape up ahead is about to SHIFT from what we have known in the past.

I can feel the shift coming.

Having the gift of a prophet allows me to see ahead like John the Baptist.

John the Baptist was called to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the greatest gift to come: THE SAVIOR!

And now…. The gift God is sending is through HIM WORKING THROUGH AND WITH THE SONS OF GOD.

They will do nothing outside of the Father:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

They will have such great authority and power up ahead… it will change the world from where we are to where HE promised to take us so the world will witness through them there is only ONE SAVIOR, YAHSHUA!

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Day of Atonement is the day history of covenants shift into a NEW DAY…

Hope this encourages you all to come into this dress rehearsal with great expectation that on the other side of this day, we too step into a new day of awakening in what God purposes to do with each of us.

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of TRUTH who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (John 15:26, 27).