Month 7:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year 5935:193 AM|
Shemini Atseret SHABBAT 7:3, Sukkot (8/8)
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 19 October 2011
Shemini Atseret 2011
Simchat Mashiach and Out With the Old
Continued from Part 7
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el, Chag Sameach Shemini Atseret and blessed by the Name of our Master and Deliverer, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), whose Day this is!
"On the eighth (shemini) day [of Sukkot] you shall have a sacred assembly ('atsareh). You shall do no customary work" (Num.29:35, NKJV).
This eighth day of Sukkot is regarded by some as an 'extra' festival to the Feast of Tabernacles (though it is not), and Judaism has added a ninth day that follows this one which it calls Simchat Torah or the 'Joy of Torah' Day because this is the day they start their next annual cycle of Torah readings. However, this is a purely man-made tradition. Worse, it breaks divine Tavnith (pattern) because the Day of the Torah is at Shavu'ot (Pentecost/Weeks) for it was then that Moses received the 10 Commandments and the rest of the mitzvot (commandments). There is no such thing as 'Simchat Torah' in Yahweh's Calendar, and we are not only not required to observe it but we should not observe it! Because to observe it is to short-out the symbolic meaning of the whole Plan of Salvation. Today is the 'Day After Time' (7+1), the beginning of the Millennium, Simchat Mashiach or the 'Joy of our Messiah' - we cannot return to Shavu'ot once the fullness has come! So again I have to issue this warning, no matter how 'nice' and 'sctriptural' the names of these extra festivals may sound - stay away from Jewish traditions (the false, anti-Messiah, Talmudic 'oral law') and stick to the simplicity of Yahweh's revelation in the Bible. If you don't, you will find yourself in the courtyard of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) again and again for disobedience.
One day the Judeans were gathered celebrating Shemini Atseret (also known as Hoshanah Rabbah or the 'Last Great Day') not knowing that the One all the festivals had been pointing to was standing there in their midst:
I would not be at all surprised if Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke these words at the very moment the cohenim (priests) were emptying a golden flagon of mayim (water) into a basin at the foot of the altar while his assistant poured measures of wine into another bowl. And what does this remind us of?
"On the last day (Shemini Atseret), that great day of the feast [of Sukkot], Yah'shua (Jesus) stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his lev (heart) will flow rivers of living mayim (water).' But this He spoke concerning the Ruach (Spirit), whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) was not yet given, because Yah'shua (Jesus) was not yet glorified" (John 7:37-39, NKJV).
Tragedy of tragedies, that Great Atsereh (Gathering) in Jerusalem, caught up in all the splendour of the shadows and types, missed the whole point altogether: He would have gladly supplied them with living mayim (water) and the imminent blood of atonement was standing there right in their midst. And instead of viewing Simchat Mashiach they chose, once again, as they have for two millennia, Simchat Torah instead.
"This is He who came by mayim (water) and blood (= eucharistic wine) -- Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ); not only by mayim (water), but by mayim (water) and blood" (1 John 5:6, NKJV).
The very next day after this event, Yah'shua (Jesus) was talking to them on their man-made festival of Simchat Torah, just as He did on the man-made festival of Hanukkah.
Remember, this was the day after Shemini Atseret. And just at the time the Pharisees and Torah-teachers (Scribes) were boasting of their Torah-knowledge and their 'Simchat Torah', Yah'shua (Jesus) was teaching His own flock. The carnal, false tradition-laden religious leaders tried to trap Yah'shua (Jesus) with this famous trick question:
"Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them" (John 8:2, NKJV).
You see, the great idolatry of the Scribes and Pharisees was that they had elevated themselves into the Living Torah. They, like Catholic priests and Mormon prophets today, alone claimed to be able to understand and therefore intepret it. Therefore, the people had to come to them as 'living oracles' of the Davar (Word), the ones alone able to release chayim (life) and emet (truth) to them. This is priestcraft in its most basic manifestation - men setting themselves up as gods. And that is why Simchat Torah is such a blasphemy, because it was designed to ensure that the religious leaders were the Final Word. They're not, whether they are Jewish rabbis, Messianic rabbis or charismatic 'prophets' and 'apostles'. The Final Word is always Yah'shua (Jesus), the Living Word, the Gold Flagon of living water, our Cohen Gadol (High Priest).
"Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the Torah (Law), commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?' This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Yah'shua (Jesus) stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.' And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Yah'shua (Jesus) was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Yah'shua (Jesus) had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, Master.' And Yah'shua (Jesus) said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.' Then Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of chayim (life)'" (John 8:3-12, NKJV).
What Yah'shua releases to us as His teachers in the New Covenant is supposed to be released to His talmidim (disciples) until they have learned to obtain it directly from Yahweh for themselves. A few days ago I was shown a vision of stone flagons of crystal clear water that I did not fully understand until today. Yah'shua is the Gold Flagon and those of us called to minister and teach are the stone flagons. We are kepha or peter, the little stone or pebble, and we are - if we are true - built on the Rock which is Messiah (Mt.16:18).
The Pharisees and Scribes did not, of course, want Yah'shua (Jesus) to have the final word for this would show them up as not being competent expositors of Torah, and therefore of lesser authority than Yah'shua (Jesus) and therefore dispensible. Their entire claimed toqef (authority), along with their Simchat Torah, rested on their being accepted as Yahweh's Divinely Appointed Interpreters. So they argued on to save face.
Yah'shua (Jesus) is exposing all those who operate out of divine tavnith (pattern), showing who the real author of anti-tavnith is:
"The Pharisees therefore said to Him, 'You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered and said to them, 'Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your torah (law) that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.' Then they said to Him, 'Where is Your Father?' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered, 'You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.' These words Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come" (John 8:13-20, NKJV).
All those who reject the Son are from "beneath", because they believe in the lie, and the lie originated from Satan who is from beneath. These religious leaders, these custodians of the Torah, these teachers of the Torah, these self-professed experts were not only in the courtyard of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) but - with few exceptions - they were in outer darkness too.
"Then Yah'shua (Jesus) said to them again, 'I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.' So the Jews said, 'Will He kill Himself, because He says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?' And He said to them, 'You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.' Then they said to Him, 'Who are You?' And Yah'shua (Jesus) said to them, 'Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.' They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Yah'shua (Jesus) said to them, 'When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him'" (John 8:21-29, NKJV).
As you can see, these early Judeans were locked into the racial superiority myth that the religious leaders had propagated. They seem, in saying what they did, to have forgotten that they were in bondage to the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and even their own Hasmonean leaders! They were prisoners of sin and they didn't know it. The false teachings of their rabbis had wrongly absolved them so that they were blind t emet (truth).
"As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Yah'shua (Jesus) said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My davar (word), you are My talmidim (disciples) indeed. And you shall know the emet (truth), and the emet (truth) shall make you free.' They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed'" (John 8:30-36, NKJV).
But Shemini Atseret is not about blindness or sin. It is about freedom. It is about that Napthalian deer let loose, it is about that golden flagon of water pouring freely, it is about chayim (life) welling up in the lev (heart) of a true Messiah-trusting talmid (disciple), the Living Torah, not the dead letter.
And so we come to the end of a season of festivals once more. We have been viewing Yahweh's Seven Thousand Year Plan, a great improvement, you will agree, on Communism's short-sighted and ineffective Five Year Plans. The whole of mortality was mapped carefully our by Elohim (God) from the beginning to the end. And here we are almost at the end of the first 6,000 years. We have our parts to play in making sure that believers understand the symbolic types and shadows to that they can walk in the reality of the Living Mayim (Waters) in proper Torah-conforming divine tavnith (pattern).
I do not want us to go away from this atseret (gathering) thinking and believing that all we have been doing is acting out some dead ritual. Then it will all have been in vain. When I awoke this morning I felt ill again as I have now for the past two or three weeks - drained and weak from the 'flu, and frustrated that apparently no power was breaking forth at this time to raise me out of it. Yahweh did not call us to live in defeat and the superstitious belief in carnal inevitabilities. We are called to partake of the Living Mayim (Waters). If we are the same old miserable sods we were last Shemini Atseret then we are to be greatly pitied as dead, religious cardboard cut-outs.
Last year I was given a vision that I want to remind you of, and then I want to share what was given me this morning too:
Shemini Atseret is not a time to sleep. It's a time to be wide awake. Looking at the exhaustion on some of your faces this must, I know, sound like a forlorn hope. Now I know that we have made progress since last year but at the same timne we have not made enough. Good things have happened but far better awaits. From taking slow, hesitant steps, we must be prepared now to take bigger leaps. Old, repeating defeats must be turned into victories. Things we have stagnated in for years must be given new chayim (life). This coming year is to be a year of restoration and of comings home.
"I was given a rod or a staff and with this rod or staff I was beating the homes of friends and enemies alike, so that they quaked. I was not allowed to touch any individual or person of my own choosing. I was only allowed to beat their false, demonic coverings so that there would sufficient shaking to allow the light of truth to enter in, and only because I had been given authority over them by Yahweh. I was prevented from touching several people and was told to simply pray for them instead. Indeed, this was not a matter of my will, but Yahweh's. Accordingly, when it came to one man, instead of venting my anger on him for the grief he has caused me and my family through leading others astray, I laid my hand on his forehead and blessed him with a deep, penetrating beam of light and truth so that he could see and know Yah'shua. A smile appeared on his face, a knowing, and he walked away".
Like I said I awoke this morning weak and drained again. I had had a dream which revealed an open door to the enemy and I at once went into intercessory prayer, again one of the hallmarks of Napthtali, you will remember, and I felt this chayim (life) coming into me - not a full healing but an equipping. And the message was very clear: Yahweh wants us, over the next months leading to Pesach, at the Table of Incense facing the Holy of Holies. Battering-rams will not work for then the veil becomes brass and impenetratable. Prayer and praise is the order of the day!
May this set-apart day of Shemini Atseret not be the 'end' of anything, for that is not what it is at all - it is the New Day, the New Reality, the New Direction, that Day Beyond Time, the New Chayim (Life). And forget Simchat Torah if you have been observing it, Yahweh does not want you back on the 'same old' any longer. He wants you to break out in Messiah. Let's all do that. Amen.