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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Timing is Everything (Friday, March 27th, 2009)

Happy New Year! (Shanah Tovah!!)

Huh? You heard me. Today, after sundown, marks the first day of the Biblical month of Aviv (“ripe” in Hebrew) which, like all Biblical months, starts upon the sighting of the “new moon”. Biblically speaking, the word for “month” in Hebrew is the same as the word for “new moon”, and is defined as the first visible sliver. In Genesis, the Word says that the Moon was set in the sky to determine times and seasons, why have we let it become simply a decoration? The “ripe” or “Aviv” reference is regarding the state of the barley in Israel, an important element in the Spring Feasts. When the new moon is sighted, and the barley is sufficiently ripe, this is what determines the official first day of the Biblical year. This is not simply Biblical trivia—Watching the moon is the YHVH designed method for keeping track of time, in use from Genesis up to the final destruction of the Temple. Ps 104:19 "He created the moon for His appointed times". The Rabbinical Jewish leaders created a more predictable and man-made system, just as the gentiles did. However, Yahshua himself used the Biblical system for His calendar while He was here in the flesh. If you will stick with me, I will try to show how this timing is still relevant today.

Personally, this coming new moon marks the completion of one full year, for my family and I, of studying and rejoicing in the celebration YHVH’s commanded Feasts. The word “Feasts” does not necessarily mean a pile of food and a huge party—in Hebrew the word is “Mo’adim” and literally means “appointed times”. Imagine YHVH has a huge daily planner (whose pages are running out), and these “Feasts” are days he is particularly interested in. Leviticus 23 describes these seven appointed times in order, and in great detail. Many today think these Feast’s were done away with after Yahshua’s final and perfect sacrifice, but Paul calls these Feasts in Col 2:16-17 “a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” And in Hebrews 10:1 he says the same thing of the entire Law of Moses “For the Law having a shadow of the good things to come…” The seven Feasts of the LORD (note the Scriptures do not say the Feasts of the “Jews”) were not only prophetic for YHVH’s people before the coming of Yahshua, but continue to be shadows of good things that are yet to come. Additionally, they represent the spiritual journey all of us must take as his people (assuming that we are walking with Him daily). I strongly encourage all believers to step outside of the traditions of your denomination or family, and enter into the shadow of the Messiah himself Ps 36:7 “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O YHVH! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” Amen.

According to Exodus 12, the 10th of Aviv is the day the Passover lamb was chosen, with the actual sacrifice of the lamb occurring in the evening (before sunset) on the 14th of Aviv. It’s no coincidence during the time of the Messiah, the Passover lambs were actually raised in Bethlehem. When Yahshua entered in Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday”, this was actually the 10th of Aviv... the people were rejoicing (whether they knew it or not) for their selection, endorsement, and the setting apart of the Holy Lamb of YHVH. As we shall soon discover, this actually puts “Palm Sunday” on a Saturday the year Yahshua died as the Passover sacrifice. (See Foot Note Below.)

The next scheduled Feast is the weeklong Feast of Unleavened Bread, which occurs on Aviv 15, and actually begins at sundown, typically shortly after the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb and often during the meal where that lamb is eaten. Passover and Unleavened Bread are so closely connected that even the Gospels interchange the phrases “Passover” and “Unleavened Bread” to refer to the entire eight-day period. The commandment is to search and empty your home of all leaven --yeast, baking soda, baking powder, beer (sorry)-- all of which are symbols of sin (the word for “leavening” in Hebrew is the root of the word for “oppression”). What did Yahshua do the first time He entered the temple in John 2:13, the week of preparation for Passover the year before his death? He cleansed the Temple (His Father’s house) with a scourge of cords, and kicked all of the money changers out. Note what He did in Luke 20:45, again, just before Passover...He again purged the leaven from His Father’s house!!! Besides the clear command in Exodus 12, Paul too exhorts us in 1 Cor 7-8, to celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the same way Yahshua did: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Regardless of the modern Church’s opinion on “The Law of Moses”, why ignore this instruction from Paul?

I am getting ahead of myself….we know Yahshua ended up on the cross before sundown on the 14th, the required time for the lamb to be sacrificed. How did He really spend these final 4 days? Let’s work backwards. The entire 24 hour period before the crucifixion, Yahshua is in the custody of the High Priest and is being dragged around town as they are trying to find someone to determine Him guilty (John 18). According to the laws of Passover in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23, the lamb must be inspected and declared to be without blemish for it to be worthy of sacrifice. Unknowingly (I love when that happens), the High Priest himself, along with Herod, and Pontius Pilot, were all being used by YHVH to officially declare the Holy Lamb to be found blameless and wrinkle-free. Since, Yahshua obviously spent the entire day of the 14th in custody, then the evening of the 13th must have been the “Last Supper”.

Many people mistakenly believe that the final meal Yahshua spent with His disciples was a Passover “seder”--the meal commanded by Scripture. This is technically possible if you imagine Him eating the Passover at the very beginning of the 14 (sundown on the 13th). However, the Scriptures report Messiah and His disciples reclining during this lengthy meal, when the Torah clearly commands the Passover meal to be eaten standing up, and quickly. John chapters 15, 16, and 17 detail the events and teachings during the final meal. It seems like a leisurely meal with several long and deep discussions, not to mention the washing of all of the disciple’s feet. The only three foods mentioned as requirements for a Passover Feast are unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and lamb (Ex 12:8). Looking closely at the Greek, the bread of the Last Supper is not the word for unleavened bread (as it is in other places), and there is no mention of either of the other two required elements for the fulfillment of the Passover Feast. There seems to be a better explanation for this last meal. Firstly, there is a custom to have a se'udat-mitzvah (graduation celebration) for a Rabbi’s disciples when their discipleship was coming to a close. Additionally, and more interestingly, it turns out that there was a custom amongst the Jews in the Galilean region to have a somber dinner called “seudah maphsehket” on the evening of the 13th of Aviv, in honor and remembrance of the “first born sons” who died in Egypt on the eve of the original Passover. The Hebrew translation of this Feast’s name is “The Last Supper”. Wow. Sounds like a match to me.

If the “last supper” was not the required Passover meal, and if the Messiah did not actually perform the scriptural requirements of the Passover, does that mean He sinned? Seems like a technicality, but let’s briefly take a closer look. As discussed above, the 3 elements of the commandment to celebrate Passover are unleavened (sinless) bread, a blemish-free (sinless) Lamb, and bitter herbs. Obviously, Yahshua Himself is the Bread (John 6:48) and the Lamb (John 1:29). Where do the bitter herbs come in? Since this evening is remembering the time of slavery in Egypt, the rescue from that bondage, and the beginning of the time in the wilderness, the Feast itself is both celebration and lamentation. The bitter taste is a reminder not only of our former bondage, but of the lives of the people we are leaving behind, and the first born that died while we gained our freedom. In John 19:28-30, Yahshua is on the cross, about to die, and says “I Thirst”. What is He given? Sour (bitter) wine. All at once, just as the original shadow picture prophetically painted—the Bread, the Lamb, and bitter taste all come together on the evening of AVIV 14—right on time. He then said “It is finished”, and gave up His Spirit. Furthermore, Exodus 12 requires the lamb’s bones not be broken, as we read in John 19:36 the other men crucified on that day did have their bones broken, but not the bones of the Lamb of YHVH.

One reason most of the disciples were not at the foot of the cross (other than being terrified of being arrested and punished themselves) was because they were eating the Passover meal, likely in the same upper room where Yahshua celebrated with them the night before. This may be why He said in Luke 22:15, “He said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of YHVH." He was telling them that He would have loved to eat the Passover with them, but He could not (He had other plans that night).

Moving on--A very interesting bubble burster is found in Matt 12:38-40 “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The Messiah is obviously predicting (hindsight is 20/20) the details of His resurrection. If the crucifixion happened on “Good Friday” and He was resurrected on “Easter Sunday”, that clearly does not match the predictions of Yahshua Himself. I don’t know about you, but I would rather examine how our calendar and traditions may be misleading, rather than believe that Yahshua was a fraud. How and when did these three days and three nights occur?

The confusion comes with the word “Sabbath” found in the Gospels. We are told of a rush to get Yahshua off the cross and into the tomb before the Sabbath begins. Usually, the word Sabbath referrers to Saturday, the only biblically sanctioned and commanded day of rest, however, the first (and 7th ) days of the weeklong Feast of Unleavened Bread are also considered Sabbaths. These are days of rest, in addition to the weekly day of rest. If you really want to upset your boss, start following the Biblical calendar. There would always be Sabbath starting after sundown after Passover (i.e. the 15th of Aviv), hence the rush to get Him down from the cross, prepared for burial (albeit hastily and clumsily by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea), and entombed. This Sabbath was the first night and day prophesied in Mathew 12.

The day following that special Sabbath was a regular (non-sabbatical) day that year (Thursday at sunset to Friday at sunset). During this day, the female disciples would have prepared the proper spices and treatments for the Messiah’s body. Knowing fully that Yahshua was not just any man, but not quite understanding His impending resurrection, the women would have spent ALL DAY Friday getting these herbs and salves prepared. After helping my wife create tinctures and salves from scratch, this is easily a full day process. This day was the second full day for Yahshua in the tomb. Friday night marked the start of the weekly Sabbath, and although the women were anxious (can you imagine?) to go to the tomb and properly prepare the body, they would have to wait until the Sabbath was over. The evening of this Sabbath was the end of the 3rd and final day.

There is a third Biblically commanded Feast, called the Feast of First Fruits. This Feast floats a bit during the month of Aviv (Lev 23:11). It occurs at sundown on the day after the weekly Sabbath that follows the first day of Unleavened Bread. Feel free to reread that last sentence. The year Yahshua was crucified, First Fruits occurred at sundown after his Third Day in the Tomb! This Feast celebrates the beginning of the barley harvest, and is the day the farmers would begin to bring in their first fruits to the temple to be blessed. In Matt 27:52-53 “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Yahshua was not the only one raised from the dead that day—He was simply the sweetest fruit from the first harvest! 1 Cor 15:20-24 “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
I can’t pass up the point that the Gospel of Mathew clearly says that “saints” who were dead BEFORE Yahshua’s ministry was over were resurrected. This is no small thing. The scriptures say that Yahshua “is THE way and THE truth, and THE life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him.” I completely agree. However, here is clear evidence that those who were faithful and obedient even BEFORE He came in the flesh were saved. These saints were Hebrews, not “Christians”—no Gospels, no epistles, no “Holy Communion”--all they had was trust in YHVH, faithful obedience to the Torah, and a unending belief that the Messiah would someday come! I strongly believe that Yahshua is the Torah made flesh. Those who follow the SPIRIT (not just the letter) of the Torah, are following Yahshua, and probably more closely than most “casual Christians”. The church did not start in the second chapter of Acts! Sorry to rant…now back to the story.

We are told that Mary arrives early (before the sun rose) on the “first day of the week” and finds the tomb empty. This makes perfect sense, since Yahshua was raised by the Father 10 hours or so earlier.
To recap…
· He entered into Jerusalem on Saturday, the 10th of Aviv, as the officially selected Lamb.
· He was crucified on a Wednesday that afternoon, on the 14th of Aviv. The Feast of Passover.
· He was placed in the tomb before sunset, which starts the 15th of Aviv, The Feast of Unleavened Bread (a Sabbath).
· He was risen as the First Fruits of the Resurrection on what we would call Saturday night (the start of First Fruits and the end of the Third Day). As was witessed by the women coming to the tomb shortly before dawn on the first day.

These days of the week and dates line up with the Year 28 CE. This was the very year Yahshua was crucified. Note that if that year was 28 CE, and we know he was killed after he turned 30, even our own Gregorian calendar (created and spread worldwide by the Catholic Church) is off by at least a few years. I think we all just got just a few years older. Sorry about that.

There is still another Feast, commanded in Leviticus 23, called the Feast of Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks). The command is to count 7 weeks (7 sets of 7 days) from the day of First Fruits (First Fruits being the day to begin counting). On the fiftieth day there is a requirement to travel to Jerusalem and visit the Temple for a sacrifice. This Feast remembers the day the Torah was given to the Hebrew people 50 days after they crossed through the Red Sea. This was also the day 3,000 members of Moses tribe were killed for leading the worship of the golden calf! 50 days after First Fruits after Yahshua’s resurrection, the disciples and millions of other Jews from around the region were in Jerusalem as The Law required. Right on schedule, just as the shadow picture prophetically painted, the Holy Spirit was poured out (Acts 2) and 3,000 people were saved. Those ignorant of the Feasts of the Lord call this day “Pentecost” (which simply means “50th Day” in Greek), but as you can see the true and loyal followers of YHVH were in the right place at the right time and were blessed because of their obedience!

Knowing where to be and when to be there all started with ripe barley, and the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon. Isn’t easy to see why Satan would want to disturb our understanding of YHVH’s timing and YHVH’s calendar? What other blessings does he have in store for those who take the time to understand His ways, and are obedient to His Word. The entire time I called myself a follower of Jesus, Easter was always my favorite time of year. When I learned that Palm Sunday was on Saturday, Good Friday was on a Wednesday, and Resurection was actually a fulfillment of a centuries old Hebrew Holiday--one of YHVH’s appointed times, I was forced to change my worldview. “Easter” is named after Ishtar-- a Babylonian Fertility Goddess, who is closely tied to eggs and rabbits (I’ll leave it at that…the actual legend of Ishtar is ancient and horrible and should never have been blended with Yahshua any reason). All of these facts really woke me up to the lies and distortions twisted tightly into our Christian traditions. Why has the church chosen to replace YHVH's Appointed times with new names and traditions NOT AT ALL associated with our Messiah or our Creator's original context and instructions???

For we believers, these Spring Feasts are more than historical remembrances, and prophetic shadow pictures. The Feasts also show a spiritual road map to our walk with our Messiah with the help of His Spirit. Passover marks the beginning of our walk, our repentance, our turning our backs on “Egypt” and trusting Yahweh to lead the way to true freedom. Moses and the Hebrews were baptized at the start of this journey (in the Red Sea), just as we are baptized at the beginning of our walk. We too have trusted in the saving blood of the Sacrificial Lamb and have eaten his flesh, usually after trial and desperation. Unleavened Bread gives us guidance in purging our lives, our houses, our holy temples, of “leaven”. This week is spent breaking multitudes of habits by prayerful self-examination. We fast all food and drink that contain leaven of any kind. First Fruits is about thankfulness—for our new lives, for new beginnings, and the beginnings of the harvest of the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives. Shavuot (Pentecost) marks our real spiritual awakening. We have been on this journey for 2 months now, and are ready for a deeper relationship. The Torah was given to His people at Mt. Sinai on this date, in order that they get to know Him in a deeper more tangible way. The Hebrews said “I DO” collectively to Yahweh’s marriage proposal to be their God, if we would be His people. Shavuot is a wedding anniversary! Therefore on this day, we stay up all night long celebrating and reading scripture, thanking Him not just for His Word, but for the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth.

There are 3 more Feasts that occur in the Fall, after the 7th new moon is sighted each year--The Day of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the week of Tabernacles. Like the Spring Feasts, these also project Messianic prophesy. The difference is, these three Feasts are focused on the final harvest and have NOT YET BEEN FULFILLED. Let us learn from the Pharisees and Sadducees whose own traditions blinded them from seeing the Messiah for who he truly was. Let us wake up from our hypnotic trance induced by Church traditions that are based in pagan practice and man’s imagination. Let us long to be in the right place at the right time, like the loyal believers in Jerusalem, as the mighty wind rushed in and tongues of fire rested upon their heads. May we all open our hearts and minds, keep our heads up, synchronize our lives with His calendar...and watch for the moon.

***Note: We have studied this extensivly, but so have thousands of people who have gone before us. We share our conclusions humbly with regards to the EXACT days/years of "Passion Week". The two biggest controversies with scholars are whether Passover was Friday or Wednesday that year and whether His "Last Supper" was a Passover Sedar or not. We can be confident that Yahshua participated in the Passover Supper every year of His life, but this year...this year it would change the world.

Either way, let us be clear: the Feasts of The LORD are all relavent to our walk if we serve the God of Israel. They are HIS and they are an intricate part of His plan. There will always be things to learn from them as we walk them out each year, layer by layer - Yahweh reveals Himself and His plan for us through the Feasts and walking out His calendar as He has taught us to. He tells us in His Word; If we love Him , we will follow His commands (whether we understand them fully or not). Along the way, we trade ways of man for His and we will see more and more and He will be glorified.

1 comment:

The Author said...

Whoa, definitley alot of info.