Resurrection Day and First Fruits

Feast of “Firstfruits”?

The day following the first day of Unleavened Bread is called Reshit Katzir (רֵאשִׁית קָצִיר) the “beginning of the harvest” (sometimes confusingly called the Feast of Firstfruits). In ancient times, on this day a sheaf (omer) of barley (the first grain crop to ripen) was waved before the LORD in a prescribed ceremony to mark the start of the counting of the omer, thereby initiating the forty nine day countdown to the harvest festival of Shavuot:

 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf (omer) of the first (reshit) of your harvest (katzir) to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD.’ (Lev. 23:9-12)

It is all together remarkable that on this day a unblemished male lamb was to be offered along with the bread and the wine- the very symbols Yeshua used to recall his sacrifice.

Mashiach Yeshua our First Fruits:

Although not happening coincidentally, the Wave Offering and the Resurrection of Yeshua are linked together prophetically by the Apostle Paul:

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. (1 Cor. 15:20-23)

Here the apostle clearly links the firstfruit offering with the resurrection of Yeshua our Mashiach. Yeshua’s resurrection was like a “wave offering” presented before the Father as the “firstfruits” of the harvest to come! Moreover, Yeshua presented His firstfruits offering to the Father on this day:

The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matt. 27:52-53)

Our Lord offered to the Father the “early crops” of what will be an overwhelming harvest at the end of the age (acharit hayamim).

Yeshua is the first-begotten of the Father (Heb. 1:6); the Firstborn of Creation (Col. 1:15-16); the first-begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5) and is the Firstfruits of those who are to be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Baruch HaShem. And just as He is our Firstfruits, so “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created” (James 1:18).

 

 

Seven Supernatural Blessings Commemorating Passover

Seven Blessings for those who commemorate the The Passover Feast of The Lord: Exodus 23:14, “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.  Exodus 14-15

1.  God Promises to Send An Angel to Protect you and Escort you to the Place God has Prepared:  Exodus 23:20

2.  God says, “I’ll be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries:  Exodus 23:22

3.  God will Give Prosperity To You:  Exodus 23:25

4.  God says, “I’ll take sickness from you.”  Exodus 23:25b

5.  God will Give You Longevity and Keep You from Premature Death:  Exodus 23:26

6. God will Give You an Increase and an Inheritance:  Exodus 23:30

7. God will Give You A Special Year of Blessings.  What the enemy has stolen from you God will return:  Exodus 12:35

Two times in Leviticus 23: 2 and 4, God told the Israelites that The Feast of Passover was The Feast of The Lord.  Passover is not an Israel’s Feast, nor a Jewish Feast.  It is the Feast of The Lord.  Every year it is to be commemorated as a Holy Convocation, to be watched for and celebrated.  It is a appointed time and season.  Don’t miss it.  Yeshua is our Passover Lamb and he is to be Worshipped, Praised and Honored.  People tell me that they don’t celebrate the Old Testament Feasts because they were done away with at the Cross.  Really?  Then why in the New Testament Jesus’ parents celebrated Passover, Luke 2:41-42 is this reference.  Every year Mary and Joseph would take Jesus to Jerusalem from Nazareth to honor the Lord’s request to Celebrate the Feasts of The Lord.   So Jesus was accustomed to commemorating the Feast of Passover.  

Jesus celebrated the Passover even though He was the Passover Lamb.  in Luke 22:7, Jesus told Peter and John to go and prepare for the Passover Seder in the Upper room.  The way I see it is, if Jesus celebrated the Feast of Passover as the Passover lamb, then I’m going to celebrate and remember The Feasts of The Lord.  

The Apostle Paul celebrated the Feast of Passover and even instructed the New Testament believers in Corinth to do the same.  Now, wouldn’t you think that of all the New Testament writers it would be the Apostle Paul who would instruct that we are not be under the law, but under grace?  So then why in 1 Corinthians 5:7 does he tell the early Christians to commemorate this feast?  Because he knows it is The Feast of The Lord.   They were not to celebrate it with the old leaven, but it was to be a new lump, an unleavened lump, not with malice or wickedness, but with life, love, and passion for Yeshua, the Passover lamb. 

Are we under Law?  No, we are under Grace.  And that gives us the Freedom to celebrate Yeshua as our Passover Lamb.  The Old Testament is the Physical History of the Spiritual dynamic for us to walk out.   First the natural, then the spiritual.  Passover is the foundation of all the other Feasts of The Lord.  Feast of Passover, Feast of Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles.  Since Passover is the first mentioned and the foundation, then the Law of First Mention is in effect.  Thus it sets in order the rest of all the Feasts of The Lord.

As you commemorate the Feast of Passover this season, may the Seven Supernatural Blessings Promised by God be upon and you and your family.  Baruch Ha Shem and Shabbat Shalom.

 

 

 

 

What Is This Significance of Blood Moons?

Please pass this on to others! Alert the church to pray!
Footnote:

The April 15th eclipse begins at 2 AM Eastern time when the edge of the moon first enters the amber core of Earth’s shadow. Totality occurs during a 78 minute interval beginning around 3 o’clock in the morning on the east coast, midnight on the west coast. Weather permitting, the red moon will be easy to see across the entirety of North America.
Introduction
“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Joel 2:31)

As the days draw closer to the timing of the first Blood Moon, which will appear across the globe on Tuesday, April 15th, many of us are looking with great anticipation to that date . . .

The appearance of the blood moon also coincides with the beginning of Passover, 2014.
This Special Alert should serve to:

1) Provide a brief history of events that have befallen Israel in times past, when a tetrad (four blood moons in two years) fell on Hebrew Feast Days.

2) Provide a plan of prayer for Israel at this time.

3) Invite our readers to join in a nationwide “Prayer Surge” on the night of Passover (April 14) and

4) Invite all of you to join CHPP in all-night intercession from midnight to 6:00 a.m. (Tuesday morning, April 15) via a conference line, to pray for the safety of the Israeli people.

Submitted by: Laura Densmore, Hebrew Nation News

Something very special will be happening this coming Passover 2014,Monday at dusk 4.14.14

Pattern:

The Blood Moons have been associated with war against Israel and . . . a resounding victory!

There have been two other times in this century when a cluster of four blood moons (total lunar eclipses) have happened. And, they did not happen on just any random dates but on the biblical feast days of Passover and Sukkot!
Background:

On 14 May 1948, Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel to be known as the State of Israel. Several hours later, at midnight on 15 May, 1948, the British Mandate of Palestine expired, and the State of Israel came into being.

Within hours, the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq and immediately attacked Israel. The First set of blood moon tetrads happened during this time frame. Let’s take a look more closely.
The Arab/Israeli war wrapped up during Spring to Fall of 1949:

Feb-June 1949: Israel and Arab states agree to armistice in separate agreements. Israel gained about 50% more territory than was originally allotted to it by the UN Partition Plan.

What did the BLOOD MOON TETRADS mean in 1948/49? They served as a warning (a “harbinger” or sign of a war) with Israel’s enemies who wanted to ABORT the birth of the new nation of secular Israel. What was the result? A RESOUNDING victory . . . against all odds!

Now let’s look at the NEXT set of blood moon tetrads which occurred in 1967/68: Truly these blood moons are set to Yahweh’s PRECISE CLOCK. Yahweh is using the blood moons as SIGNPOSTS for us to UNDERSTAND WHAT TIME IT IS!
The six day war was fought between June 5 to June 10, 1967.

Notice WHEN the war took place: sandwiched right in the MIDDLE between the Spring Feast of Passover and the Fall Feast of Sukkot.
In the 6 day war they captured: the Sinai, the Golan Heights and the West Bank of the Jordan River, The Western Wall was recaptured AND Jerusalem was reunited and taken back under Jewish control and became the capitol of the Jewish state of Israel.
WHAT DID THE BLOOD MOON TETRADS MEAN IN 1967/68? They served AGAIN as a WARNING (a “harbinger” or a “sign”) of the 6 DAY WAR with neighboring Arab states. What was the result? Another RESOUNDING victory . . . against all odds!

Now let’s turn our attention to the upcoming blood moon tetrads which start this April . . . During Passover 2014 we see our first BLOOD MOON Total eclipse on April 15, 2014, which falls on the FIRST day of Passover on the Aviv/sliver moon and Jewish Hillel calendar.
What does this mean? Will the pattern hold true? I believe that the blood moons could be a signal to us MARKING and DELINEATING a window of time for a coming WAR against Israel over the dividing of the land of Israel to establish a Palestinian state. The 9 month TIMELINE for coming up with a FRAMEWORK for a peace plan ends officially on 4/29/14. As of this writing, that deadline has not been extended. The Palestinians are threatening to start another violent intifada against Israel after this date. They are also threatening to go to the UN Security Council and get a unilateral decision through them to grant Palestine full member status.
Will there be another prophetic war against Israel over the dividing of the land to establish a Palestinian state? If the pattern holds, we know that there will be a RESOUNDING VICTORY again, as there has been the last two times. But, there will be TERRIBLE consequences to the nations that come against Israel to divide her land. Abba warns us of those consequences in Zech 12 and in Joel 3: 1-2:
“For look, in those days and at that time, when I turn back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, then I shall gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I shall enter into judgment with them there for My people, My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and they have DIVIDED up MY LAND.” (Joel 3: 1-2)

The Biblical Month of Nissan

The Hebrew month of Nissan or Abib is the first of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar.  Abib is a Hebraic term for the stage of growth of grain when seeds have reached full size.  The harvest was waived before The Lord this month.  Lev. 23: 4-11.  AS YOU PRAY FOR YOUR FIRST FRUITS giving and other offerings during this month, wave your gift before The Lord declaring that the fullness of your harvest is being secured and that every seed you sow will prosper in new ways.

This month is “Passover” month, when we trully cross over into a new season.  We are standing at our Promise land.  The old patterns of life, Pharoah, Egypt, wine skins, and ways of thinking have been holding bondage to the covenant promises of God.  This is the time to PASSOVER  into the new inheritance. Allow The Lord to deliver you from every hindrance that would keep you from entering into you place of blessing.

Every month of the Hebrew Calendar is linked to the twelve tribes of Israel.  The month of Nissan is linked to the Tribe of Judah.  Judah goes first in all the battles of Israel.  They are the apostolic tribe, warring tribe, who knew how to operate with sound and praise.  Judah goes forth in the battle with a sound of PRAISE!  Note:  This is also the time in the spring when Kings go off to war (2 Sam. 10:1)  When David should of been celebrating the Passover season and preparing for the Feast of Passover, he was looking at Bathsheba and fell into Adultry.   Allow this season to war for your covenant promises; do not hesitate to loose a sound of praise that will loose you a new dimension of victory and wholeness.  Chuch Pierce says this is a season, “to arise your faith, declare power in the blood of Jesus has set you free, and declare the path of healing and miracles.”

Traditionally the Hebrew Calendar first month was the month of Tishrei at the fall of the year during the Feast of Tabernacles.  But Exodus 21, says on the 14th day of Nissan God recalbrated the calendar.  This is because the month of Nissan is the month of Redemption and sacrifice in which the Israelites are saved from the death angel by the blood of the lamb.  So Yeshua is the spotless lamb, the passover lamb, giving the believer the newness of life and promise of eternity.

Nissan is associated with the Hebrew letter “Hei”, which signifies violent praise.  In the Hebrew alphabet, each letter represents a word picture.  Hei pictured is a violent wind blowing through a lattice over a window.  The wind of God blowing down on us every year.  Our mouth can be the lattice to the window of our soul.  It needs the wind of God’s spirit to blow through us this month.

Nissan is associated with our speech; the ability to express our deepest feeling and insights.  Be careful about making negative confessions during this month.  The negative confessions of this month are linked to the rest of the year.  Don’t let those negative confessions take seed in you.  Speak for the thankfulness of God for deliverance and miracles.  Thank God for delivering from past and be greatful for the miracles of this season.  Crossing over from bondage into promise land.  Make sure you thank him for continuing to deliver you.

The Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar or the Moon.  The reason for this, is God told Israel to bless the moon because in Egypt their gods and seasons where based on the Sun.  God was teaching His people to recalibrate on His time table, His seasons.   So it within the heavens and the galaxies that the Hebrew sages watch to declare God’s glory.  What better way to look to the constellations.  This month constellation is Aries, the ram (lamb), which is the very appropriate for the Passover.  The heaven’s delcare the God’s glory!  

Nissan is to put your best foot forward.  Israel was ready to leave quickly and follow the cloud of God and the pillar of fire.  They did not delay.  So step forth in strength and praise and consider where The Lord is leading you.  It is a time of the “New Year of Kings.”  This a month of political change.  

Nissan is a controller month.  A controller in a business enterprise or institution  is the chief accounting officer who has the authority to guide or manage economic acitivities or performance.  The fact that the tax system of our nation is linked to this month is no coincidence.   This is the month to learn to fish.  Jesus said that if you can’t pay your taxes, go catch a fish and get your tax payment out of the fish’s mouth..

 

Does God Need Sacrifices?

Sacrificing the Self
He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf. (Leviticus 1:4)
In Romans 12:1, Paul urges us to present our bodies as “living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.” What does this mean in practical terms? Is Paul asking us to build altars and literally sacrifice ourselves upon them? Of course not. Paul is using the sacrificial language as an illustration for obedience. He is urging us to set aside our stubborn wills, our wayward flesh and our self-centered egos and force them to submit to the commandments of God. When we set aside our own personal desires and inclinations for the sake of obeying God, we are sacrificing ourselves for the sake of heaven. Instead of offering a bull, a goat or a lamb to God as a gift, we are offering ourselves. This is why the prophet Samuel declared that obedience is better than sacrifice:

Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)
Through the prophet Hosea, the LORD declared, “I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). Yeshua was fond of quoting this verse to prove that God was more concerned with ethical behavior than perfunctory ritual obedience. This is an important principle for all religious people. The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “Do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).

In today’s world there is no Tabernacle or Temple in which a person might offer a sacrifice. If we desire to give God a gift today, what can we give Him? We can give no better gift than our own humble submission to His will. We can give Him the simple sacrifice of grateful obedience.

As the Torah describes the sacrificial service, it says that when the smoke of the offering rises to heaven, it will be a “soothing aroma to the LORD” (Leviticus 1:9). At first this seems strange. Does God really like the smell of burning meat?

Rashi interprets the “soothing aroma” as a metaphor for man’s obedience. He explains that the aroma of the sacrifice is pleasing to the LORD because it is a token of His children’s obedience. When God “smells” the aroma of the sacrifice, He says, “I have given commandments and my will has been obeyed.”

In the same line of thought, the pleasing aroma of the sacrifice symbolizes God’s acceptance of man’s gift. When God “smells” the sacrifice, He delights in the human being who has gone to such effort to draw close to Him.

Work is Worship and Worship is Work

Ten Years ago I began to teach on how the Body of Christ mission is in the work place. Little did I know that God was setting me up. After Pastoring for many years, I found myself called to the Market Place. My Mission field is the business community. In 2011 Debbie and I answered that call. This weeks Torah Reading the Hebrew Mindset toward work and worship.

“And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing.” (Exodus 36:4)
The building of the Tabernacle required each person to contribute to the work from his own skill set. The tanners did the tanning, weavers did the weaving, carpenters did the carpentry, metal smiths did the smithing and so on. Each person had something to offer from his own unique vocational skills.

The Torah life is not just a life of religious rituals and scripture study. God encourages all of us to develop our own unique vocational skills so that we can each be self-sufficient and contribute to the common good of the community. Paul instructs each believer to lead a quiet life, attending to his vocation, working with his hands so that he may win the respect of those outside the community and not be dependent upon anyone.1 He teaches us to find some productive field of work so that we will have adequate resources to share with others who might be in need.2 These guidelines teach us that making a living is part of living out Torah. The early rabbis agreed with these sentiments. Consider the following rabbinic quotation from the Mishnah about the value of combining Torah study with an occupation:

The study of Torah is excellent when it is combined with a worldly occupation because the effort required by both keeps sin out of a person’s mind. But where there is no worldly occupation the study of Torah amounts to nothing and leads to sin. Let everyone who works in the community work for the sake of the Name of Heaven. (m.Avot 2:2)
According to this view, a person should always combine his pursuit of spirituality with the pursuit of an income. To concentrate solely on religious matters is out of balance and will eventually lead to ruin. Instead a person should regard his job a religious duty performed for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Paul illustrated this principle in his own life by supporting himself with his work in tent making.

The building of the Tabernacle illustrates the “tent making” concept well. The combined efforts of the people of God as they labored in all their respective fields resulted in the building of God’s house.

The Good Heart

When Moses announced the plan to build the Tabernacle, he did not hire any fund-raising consultants. He did not need a high-pressure pledge drive. Moses asked only those with willing hearts to give to the work of the Tabernacle. The building of God’s holy house was not to be sullied with contributions that had been pried loose from people who were reluctant to donate to the work. “Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him” (Exodus 35:21) contributed freely.

There were probably many among the children of Israel who did not contribute to the work. Some had a willing heart and others did not. Those who were unwilling to give excluded themselves from the privilege of having a share in building God’s house.

This story teaches us that there are two types of people, those with willing hearts and those with unwilling hearts.

Once a rabbi named Yochanon ben Zakkai (John the son of Zaccheus) asked his disciples, “What is the best kind of character that a person should try to be like?” The first of his disciples answered, “A man with a good eye.” By this he meant a generous person. The second disciple answered, “A man who is a good friend.” The third disciple said, “A man who is a good neighbor.” The fourth disciple said, “A man who looks ahead to consider the consequences of his actions.” The fifth disciple said, “A man who has a good heart.” Rabbi Yochanon replied, “I like the last answer the best because it includes all the other answers.” 3
Endnotes

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.
2. Ephesians 4:28.
3. m.Pirkei Avot 2:9.

The Desire of the Father

In parashat Chayei Sarah, Abraham seeks a bride for his son Isaac. Isaac serves as an illustration of the One who was sent to die according to the will of His father in heaven. Just as God decreed, before the foundations of the earth were even laid, to send the Messiah to die as the sinner’s substitute, so also was it willed ahead of time by God that Isaac should also be offered as a sacrifice. First Abraham decreed that Isaac should die as a sacrifice. Then Abraham, the godly father, desires to find a wife for the one whom he offered as a sacrifice.Continue reading “The Desire of the Father”

SIN OF TRIANGULATION

The Sin of Triangulation

Thought for the Week:

“Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites; afterward you will be gathered to your people.” (Numbers 31:2) Why did God want the Israelites to take vengeance on the Midianites?

In an effort to ensnare the Israelites, the Midianites and Moabites had sent their daughters to entice the men of Israel into worshipping Baal of Peor. The plan worked. Many Israelite men were led away by the seductive allure of the Moabite and Midianite women. They committed fornication with them and worshipped idols. Their wickedness incited the wrath of the LORD, who struck Israel with a devastating plague.Continue reading “SIN OF TRIANGULATION”

The Tale of Two Wives

Torah Portion week 38, Numbers 16:1-18:32

The Two Wives

Thought for the Week:

A proverb says, “Woe to the wicked, and woe to his neighbor.” This applies to Dathan and Abiram, the neighbors of Korah. Dathan and Abiram were neighbors with a contentious man. That is why they were punished with him and were swept from the world. (Numbers Rabbah 17:5)Continue reading “The Tale of Two Wives”

The Passover Lamb

This was taken from Don Finto blog who is the founder of Caleb Company:

“Remember this day!”  Exodus 13:3

 

March 25, 2013 – Passover begins at sundown

 

God is into calendar.  We are drawing near the most historic, the most significant day of the entire year.

Yesterday was March 21, the 10th day of Nisan on the biblical calendar. This is the day the lamb would have been selected for slaughter, and it is also the anniversary of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The crowds were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the King of Israel!”

For the next four days, lambs were examined to see if there were any flaws.  Only a perfect lamb could be offered as a sacrifice.  And it was on these next four days that Jesus was examined by the chief priests and elders of Israel, by Herod, and by Pilate.  Pilate’s final conclusion was, “No basis” for His execution.  In other words, He is flawless, a perfect Lamb.

So on the 13th of Nisan, at 9 o’clock in the morning, Jesus was placed on the cross.  Six hours later, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the soldiers pierced His side and His blood flowed.

Israel was told, “Remember this day!” Jesus said, when taking the Passover wine, “As often as you do this, remember me.”

Gather the family together on Monday and Monday night and know this is the anniversary (on the biblical calendar) of Jesus’ death and Israel’s deliverance.

Always look at the moon.  Pray for good weather and look at the moon.  It is always full on Passover night.

Have a blessed season and a glorious life!  Because of the Lamb.

Blessings