The Creator of the universe has a rhythm, a calendar if you wish, in which he made specific appointments with man.
It is His story of salvation, sanctification and preparation for His Kingdom enacted over and over so that we might get a better understanding of Him and become more set apart to Him.
These appointments are like rehearsals of real and important events to come, so that we will not miss the time of His visitation.
We read about these special appointments in Lev 23:1.
The LORD [YHVH] said to Moses,
“speak to the Israelites and say to them:
These are My appointed Feasts,
The appointed Feasts of YHVH
Which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
The Lord [YHVH] makes it so clear that these assemblies are set apart to Him, appointments that He Himself made with His called out community, His obedient Bride. However, we were incorrectly taught that they are Jewish Feasts. Well, we need to thank the Jewish people for at least obeying the above instruction in keeping the feasts for centuries until we, the Body of Christ finally awaken and stepped into our mandate.
The Creator of the universe, who is also our Bridegroom and is seeking for a Bride who will follow His instructions for righteous living, because she loves Him and because she wants to please Him by all means and in every way.
1 John 5:3
This is love for God: to obey His commands.
And His commands are not burdensome.
Whilst it may seems a strange request from the Creator to ask of His promised Bride, it is actually a very wise and interesting way of leading her into His rhythm: His cycle of sanctification or set apartness.
The first appointment mentioned, is the Sabbath
It is a weekly cycle of rest on the seventh day, as we read in Gen 2:3
By the seventh day God had finished
the work that He had been doing
so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.
And God blessed the seventh day
And made it holy [set it apart ]
Because on it He rested
From all the work of creating that He had done.
The Sabbath [or Shabbat in Hebrew, which means He rested ] is the only day God specifically blessed and set apart for Himself.
He is a loving Father who created us and knows that we can only go so far before we need a break. What better way but to spend the day in His presence and resting from our common occupation or employment. A day dedicated to God, where we can also catch up on the family and enjoy nature which God made for our enjoyment. Time out with Abba!
And so we are preparing for our time with Him in the Millennium.
The seven other Feasts are celebrated on a yearly cycle.
The first one is Passover or Pesach, which starts the cycle of seven Feasts.
The shadow picture is that of the Israelites who had to slaughter a spotless lamb, apply the blood on their doorposts, eat the lamb [partaking of it ] together with unleavened bread, wine and bitter herbs. Then they left Egypt [the bondage of slavery] and came out of bondage through the blood of a spotless lamb. Ex 6 and onwards.
The second Feast is Unleavened Bread, which is celebrated for seven days and the third Feast is First Fruits, celebrating Yeshua as the First Fruits out of the dead. We will not go into detail concerning Pesach or the other Feasts as we are going to celebrate Pentecost shortly [Sunday 12 June 2016 ] and we need to talk about it for a while. The first three Feasts, celebrated for one week, all fall under Passover or Pesach.
Pentecost or Feast of Weeks
The next one is Pentecost or Shavuot, which means the Feast of Weeks. It is celebrated 7 weeks later. We count seven weeks or 49 days and the day after is Pentecost, which means 50.
Historically it is about a nation of slaves, the Israelites, who came out of bondage and are now gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai. They are going to meet their Creator, Saviour and Bridegroom. We read about this vivid account in Ex 19. They are going to receive His instruction for holy living and preparation for His Kingdom. After He showed Himself powerful and mighty with the signs of thunder, earthquake, fire, lightning and the sound of the shofar, that grew louder and louder, He spoke to them and gave them His wedding contract, His covenant as we know it : the 10 commandments. And in case they would forget, He wrote them on the stone tablets Moses brought to Him.
As we know Passover was fulfilled in the most beautiful detail by our Lord and Saviour Yeshua [the Hebrew Name of Jesus ] of which we will write later.
The fulfilment of the Feast of Pentecost happened in Acts 2 where Yeshua again came with signs of fire and wind, baptising the worshippers in the Holy Spirit, empowering them to preach the Gospel and to teach the Word and to live set apart lives and to do miracles in His name.
On Mount Sinai the Law [or the Torah in Hebrew] was given written on stone, but on Pentecost YHVH wrote it on the believers’ hearts by His Spirit.
In Jer 31:33
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my Law in their minds
And write it on their hearts
I will be their God and they will be my people
Now they were empowered to do His will. [His Word]
So how are we going to keep or celebrate Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks?
Traditionally people count off the 50 days from Passover to Pentecost by reading portions from Ps119, which is all about the benefits of the Torah.
A portion of grain is called an omer in Hebrew. So we are counting the omer, John 14:15 meditating on the benefits of the Torah for 50 days in anticipation of a new infilling by the Holy Spirit, for more empowerment and understanding of the Word.
We celebrate getting endued with power to do His will, His Torah, His covenant, His Word, just because we love Him.
Therefore Pentecost is a time of worshipping God and waiting on the Holy Spirit to turn up and to do all He wants.
We will continue to update you regarding the remaining three Feasts closer to the appointed time. For further study, you may want to read the book on the Feasts of the Bible, which will be available for all members of GBR soon on the GBR Intercession micro site.
Enjoy Feasting with the Lord!
Marinda du Preez