Kislev: Trust, Rest, Provision, and Victory

This evening at sundown begins the 9th month of Biblical Calendar and 3rd month of Israel’s civil calendar, Kislev. Kislev is the month of rest and trust. It is the month to rest in all that God has promised and trust Him to bring to fruition. The name Kislev derives from the Hebrew word kesel1 (כֶּסֶל), which means either “security,” or “trust.”

Kislev is the month of dreams. During the Torah reading of this month the Torah refers to more Dreams than at any other time. Joseph was a dreamer and the Torah tells the story of Joseph dream and the drama with it but finally the fulfillment.

Kislev is the month of sweet sleep. It is the month to develop sweet peaceful sleep patterns. Sleep depends on the tranquility and restfulness that comes from feeling trust and security in God and His Divine providence. At the end of Leviticus, we find the blessing, “And you shall dwell securely in your land. And I shall give peace in the land, and you shall lie down without fear….”

To have a sense in sleep suggests something we all ascribe to achieve. The word “sense” (חוּשׁ) itself is cognate to “quickness” (חִישׁ) implying that a person who has a well-develop sleep and fall asleep quickly.

Kislev is the month of a Rainbow. Last month was the month of Noah and the flood. The Rainbow was the Covenant promise from God that He would never flood the earth again. This is the month to remember God’s covenant through Yeshua His son.

Kislev is the month when MARY was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Yeshua was born at Tabernacles. Chanukah is on the 25th day of Kislev which is nine month prior. Kislev is the month of the Holy Spirit birthing In you. Birthing new promises, business, ministry, hope, or faith. Birthing that which has laid dormant in your life.

Kislev is the month of Chanukah and the miracle of restoration and divine provision. The story of a small priestly Jewish family that resisted and over threw the Greco Roman Empire. After they cleansed the temple of the Roman’s worship of Greek mysticism, the Macubees re-established the worship of Elohim. There was only enough oil to light the lamb stand in Holy of Holies for one day until they could press enough olives. God provided oil supernaturally for eight days. This is the month to trust and rest in God’s supernatural provision and victory.

Kislev is the month of the tribe of Benjamin who were skilled archers. Like the artillary or snipers in this day, they could handle the bow and arrow decisively and quickly. They were skilled in warfare defeating the enemy. This is the month of using the word of God and prayer to defeat your enemy.

May God sanctify you and set you apart to accomplish all He has for ordained for you and your family this month of Kislev, 5779. Shalom

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As A Disciple of Yeshua We Must Desire The “Red Stuff”

This week’s Torah Reading is found in Genesis 25:19 thru Genesis 28:9

I confess I don’t like this portion of Genesis where it deals with Jacob’s manipulation of Esau and the stealing of his birthright. While reading this passage this morning my spirit was agitated. Could it be because that attitude of manipulation, hiding ones motives, and not being forthright in all ones relationships at times is self centered? After all, we all have sinned and come short of God’s best. So, after reading Genesis 26 this morning, I asked God why does this passage bother me? Because if we are not careful we all have the propensity to be like Jacob, conniving and manipulative. Last November I posted the following Blog in my Wellspring Israel Blog page. I think it answers this Dilemma.

Jacob made a stew. Esau returns from hunting, exhausted and famished. When he sees the stew he exclaims, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished!” The Hebrew is even more comical. He uses a verb more appropriate to describe “slopping the pigs.” In his desperation, he cannot quite formulate the word for soup, so he stammers around calling it, “red, red stuff.” “Quick, slop me some of that red, red stuff!” he begs. Jacob, on the other hand, replies calmly and deliberately and in clear legal terms, “Sell me as this day (from this day on) your birthright.” There are no hidden terms, no fine print, and no deceitful bait-and-switch. It is a straightforward and honest offer.

Esau should have refused. He should have been insulted that Jacob would suggest such a sacrilege. Jacob asked him to forfeit everything that Abraham and Isaac had cherished—the entire covenant, the land of Canaan, the blessings and the promises, the future destiny of the nation, all for the price of a bowl of soup.

Instead of refusing the offer, Esau briefly considered it and accepted the terms. He said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” This was hyperbole. His life was not in danger; he was not about to die. He let his appetite dictate his will. His desire for red, red stuff, at the moment, outweighed the value of being Isaac’s firstborn.

Whenever we allow our appetites to rule us, we follow in the footsteps of Esau. A disciple of Yeshua should not let his desire for “red, red stuff” dictate his decisions. Opportunities to honor or despise his birthright in the kingdom pass before him on a daily basis. He is constantly placed in positions where he must decide between what he craves and what is right. A man controlled by his appetites is a godless man. All forms of materialism and greed fall into the same category. Some people desire power, control, and prestige. Others will find that physical addictions and substance abuse dictate their decisions in life. For many men and women, sexual temptation is the “red, red stuff” for which they are willing to compromise their spiritual birthright. All of these are signs of the spirit of Esau. The writer of the book of Hebrews warns us:

Let there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears. (Hebrews 12:16-17)

Disciples of Yeshua are children of Jacob, not children of Esau. Our animal nature does not rule us. We belong, not to our appetites, but to the Master. Our heads must rule our hearts: “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

Esau accepted Jacob’s offer. The Hebrew of the Torah artfully describes Esau’s cavalier exit with a succinct series of one-word verbs: “He ate; he drank; he rose; he left, and he despised his birthright.”

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Love and Marriage Goes Together Like Horse and Carriage

This past week’s Torah Reading was in Genesis 24. It shares the difference between a Hebrew Understanding of Love and Marriage and a Greek understanding.

Isaac took his bride into his mother’s tent. All this time Sarah’s tent had been empty and forlorn, symbolizing the absence of the eishet chayil (virtuous wife). The Torah portion began the story of Rebekah by telling us of the death of Sarah. Since his mother’s death, Isaac had been in mourning. He keenly felt her absence. Isaac taking his bride into Sarah’s tent symbolizes Rebekah stepping into Sarah’s role as matriarch over the house of Abraham. In the language of the rabbis, Rebekah became the house of Isaac.

Abraham loved Sarah, and Isaac loved Rebekah. Genesis 24:67 says that Isaac took Rebekah, she became his wife and he loved her. Notice the order. This seems backward to us. We would expect the opposite. He should have fallen in love with her, married her and then taken her into the tent. The Bible has a more sober (but no less romantic) view of marriage. Isaac did not marry Rebekah because he loved her; he loved Rebekah because he married her. Considering the folly of the human heart and the fickle ups and downs of emotions, this is the proper order of things. We should love our spouses because they are our spouses.

Love followed be marriage seems like the natural order, but it’s a bad plan. It is possible to fall in love with the wrong person. It is possible to fall in love with many wrong persons. Falling in love is a terrible criteria upon which to base a marriage. It would have been easy for Isaac to fall in love with any number of Canaanite girls.

As children of Abraham and followers of Messiah, we are to love our spouses. Paul tells men to love their wives as themselves—and more than that, to love them as Messiah loved the assembly. He warns husbands not to become embittered against their wives. It’s not a matter of the whims and inclinations of the heart; it is a duty of every husband to love his wife.

If a man or woman bases his or her marriage merely on love, it is doomed from the start. Feelings are unpredictable. They rise and fall. They come and go. Marriage must not be based upon love. Love must be based upon marriage. (Taken from FFOZ weekly portion commentary)

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The Eighth Biblical Month of Chesvan

Tonight at sundown begins the eighth Biblical month of Cheshvan. Eight is the Hebrew number for New Beginnings. Two weeks ago I had a headache for 7 days. Little did I know I was experiencing an aneurysm. We went to the emergency room on the 8th day. It was a miracle that I did not die nor have any loss of memory, speech impairment, seizures, or paralysis. On the eighth day God healed me.

This is the month of the story of Noah. Noah’s parents named him because Noah means “REST” in Hebrew. They wanted to rest from their labors.

Did you know that this was the month The Holy Flood began. Do you ever wonder about the reason for the story of Noah and the Ark? We sometimes tend to think of it as a children’s story. But the lessons are so much deeper. Here’s a short poem capturing 11 wonderful lessons.

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark…

1. Don’t miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build your future on high ground.

7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

9. When you’re stressed, float a while.

10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

May this month be for you and your family a month of rest, new beginnings, and miracle signs and wonders.

Jim Laymon

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Shabbat and Millennium Reign of Christ

The Day that is Entirely Sabbath:

God created the heavens and the earth in six days, and on the seventh day He rested. Each Sabbath may be likened unto a down payment on the Messianic Era. We rest on Shabbat to symbolize the peace that we will have in the days of the Messiah.

In the Talmud, some of the sages viewed the seven days of creation as a broad outline for human history, as the Scripture says, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by” (Psalm 90:4). Accordingly, they compared each of the six days to a millennia of history. Different rabbis offered differing opinions, but they generally agreed that the seventh day, the day of the Sabbath, corresponds to the seventh millennium—the thousand-year Messianic Era. In the poetic words of the sages, the Messianic Era will be a “day that is altogether Sabbath.”

Tz’enah Ur’enah says, “Man was created on the sixth day, for within six thousand years the Messiah will come.” The apostolic community held a similar view of redemptive history. The book of Hebrews compares the age to come to the Sabbath and speaks of the Sabbath as a foretaste of final salvation and the Messianic Era. The book of Revelation speaks of a coming millennium of peace—a thousand-year reign of Messiah during which the adversary is bound in chains. The Apostle Peter reminds us that “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

Why doesn’t it say in regard to the Sabbath “and there was evening and there was morning” like it does for the other days? Because the Sabbath alludes to the world to come, and it is called the day that is completely Shabbat, and there is no night. (MinchahBelulah)

Though the Messiah may tarry, we eagerly await the coming return of Messiah, who will initiate that seventh millennium, a thousand-year era “that is altogether Sabbath.” May He come speedily, soon, and in our lifetimes.

Copied from First Fruits of Zion

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Feasts of Tabernacles Is a Reminder of the Eternal not Temporal

It has been difficult for me to focus this week on Feasts of Tabernacles since I continue to deal with an intense headache with pounding throbbing pain of 8-10 level unless I lay down in a dark room. It has been debilitating for me. I think of all the people who are dealing with health issues and consumption they have on pain, suffering, and lack of health.

My mind is reminded that during Feast of Tabernacles it is tradition for us to read Ecclesiastes. Tabernacles is a time in the fall of the year when we are to remember what God did for Israel in the wilderness. How He provided for them as they lived in Tents. Tabernacle means booths or tents. It is a time for us to be reminded that God took care of all their needs. He provided everyday manna and quail. The dew was what provided the taste. If they were hungry for lamb chops, or sweets, or a filet the dew was what caused it to taste. As they lived under and open heaven, we are reminded during this 8 day Feasts that we live under and open heaven too. It was amazing fact they never had their clothes or shoes wear out. Nor did they have any disease. They lived totally upon the Covenant Faithfulness of God.

So for these 8 days ending on this Sunday, September 30th at sundown we are reminded about God’s faithfulness in provision and blessings upon His people. Our focus should be not on material things but upon God our provider. Solomon the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote in chapter 1: 1-9,
“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher.
“Vanity of vanities! All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity [futile, meaningless—a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes, merely chasing the wind].”

What advantage does man have from all his work
Which he does [a]under the sun (while earthbound)?

One generation goes and another generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.

Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And hurries to the place where it rises again.

The wind blows toward the south,
Then circles toward the north;
The wind circles and swirls endlessly,
And on its circular course the wind returns.

All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.

All things are wearisome and all words are frail;
Man cannot express it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.

That which has been is that which will be [again],
And that which has been done is that which will be done again.
So there is nothing new under the sun.”

What Ecclesiastes shows us is not that life itself or the pursuit of happiness is meaningless, but that the pursuit of pleasure simply for the sake of it is a vanity like chasing the wind. What we should strive for is not the fleeting and temporal but the eternal; we can use this life and our toil here as means to bring us to the eternal. What Ecclesiastes does is show us that the material nature of this world lacks meaning when compared to the eternal nature of the World to Come. Meaning is not found in the temporal but in the eternal.

We love our cars, food, houses, and toys. Yet, Ecclesiastes snatches them from our hands and flips them inside out to reveal their guts. By doing this he shows us that their essence is meaningless and that to pursue them for happiness for its own sake will lead to aimless wandering and depression.

Perhaps that is why we read Ecclesiastes during Tabernacles. Just as our Tent/Booth is temporary and unstable, so too, the things of this world are fleeting. But the Tent/Booth, while temporary, reminds us of and points us to the eternal nature of God and how he protects us.

During this time of Tabernacles may we be filled with life and joy from the eternal things of God.

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Yeshua at the Center of Feast of Tabernacles in Old and New Testament

Last night at sundown/moon up began the Feast of Tabernacles which goes for 8 days through September 30th.  This is the Great Feast which John refers to in John chapter 7, the one where Yeshua/Jesus is attending with His disciples.   This Feast is also mentioned in Exodus 23.  Interesting, in Exodus 23,Jesus is mentioned in the Feasts as an Angel in verse 20. We know that angels are ministering spirits for God’s people.  They were created lower than Adam and Eve/Humans.  Angels do not have the power to forgive or remove transgressions.  This Angel mentioned in Exodus 23 has the authority to pardon our transgressions.  Who is that? God says, “My name is on Him”, who is that?  This is Yeshua.  He is the Angel mentioned here in verse 20.  Yeshua is the one who leads us into honoring and celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles.  Verse 21 says, “beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him for My name is upon Him.  That is Jesus/Yeshua.  He is leading us into Tabernacles. Watch this:

 

Exodus 23: 14-33

14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); Passover 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; Pentecost and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.Tabernacles

17 “Three times in the year all your males (families) shall appear before the Lord [c]God.

Eight Promises of Honoring and Obeying Tabernacles: God promises that He will bless us if we honor His High and Holy Days.

20 “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. (1)22 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. 23 For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will [e]cut them off. 24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; ((2)but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars.

25 “So you shall serve the Lord your God, (3)and He will bless your bread and your water.  (4)And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. (5)No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; (6)I will fulfill the number of your days. (7)27 “I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn theirbacks to you28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. 31 (8)And I will set your [f]bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the [g]River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no [h]covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

Not only does God promise this in Exodus 23 but the prophet Joel declares this in Joel 2.  In Joel 2 Tabernacles is mentioned as a Wedding Covenant where the Bride Groom(Yeshua) and the Bride(One New Man/Jew and Gentile/Body of Christ) come in Covenant together.  Joel 2: 15-16, 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.(Tabernacles)

Yeshua/Jesus is the center of our Feast of Tabernacles celebration.  He is the Bride Groom.  This is significant to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb when both Jew and Gentile will celebrate as One New Man mentioned in Ephesians 2. The Feast of Tabernacle is a eight day Festival when we worship God for his faithfulness to us during the/our wilderness journey.  It is a time of open heaven.  God has and is blessing us with His open heaven of protection, provision, victory, land, and redemption.  It is a celebration to REMEMBER, ENJOY, AND ANTICIPATE God’s Glory and Presence.  Yeshua’s first miracle of turning the water into wine is another prophetic significance of the Feast of Tabernacles because Tabernacle represents the grape harvest in the fall of the year.  Tabernacles symbolism is one of harvesting grapes and allowing the new wine to flow.  Yeshua’s miracle came at the end of the wedding celebration which is for 8 days.  This is when His miracle was established. Remember, the servants said, “you have kept the best wine for the end.”   That is referring to Tabernacles and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  How prophetic.

Not only are there 8 Blessings Promised in Exodus 23, But God says if we will honor His Holy Days and meet with him He will do 7 Things in Joel 2.  May you experience these in your life in this new year of 5779:

  1. A Double Portion- v. 23 The former and ladder rain coming together
    2. A Financial Abundance- v. 24 Threshing floor be full and the vats of wine (overflow)
    3. Divine Restoration- v. 25 God will restore what the locust have eaten.
    Angels like an Army to Restore
    4. Special Miracles- v. 26 Wonders will begin to happen on your behalf
    5. God’s Presence- v. 27 You will know that I am in your midst
    6. I Will Pour Out My Spirit v. 28 On all Flesh and your sons and daughters
    7. A Spirit of Deliverance v. 32. Whoever calls on the Name of The Lord will be Delivered.
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