Thank you for bearing with me in my absence. I didn’t get everything read I’d hoped to, but I’m still working on it, and back online…
It’s an exciting time of year! Almost upon us is the first month in YHVH’s calendar – the month of Aviv! Which means, Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits are coming soon! There is such a richness in the feasts. I learn something new about the plan of Salvation, about the heart of God with every feast I attend, every study I embark on, every event I attend!
The downside, this year, is Passover/Pesach falls between now and April 15, which, means I have a LOT of work to do, so my posting isn’t going to be as thorough on the subjects most deeply on my heart as I would like…
First off tho – Aviv Barley was found in Israel yesterday, March 19! (Thanks to Nehemiah Gordon for making that sighting, and providing the pictures!) Which means that in approximately 2 weeks, it will be ready to harvest in order for the Feast of First Fruits to be celebrated. This is big news. Just a week ago, it was looking iffy, which would have put an extra month into this year also (last year was a 13 mo year) and would have put the Karaite Calendar and the Orthodox Calendar off by an entire month. Both have happened in history, but point being, the jury was very much out until just yesterday on whether the coming new moon would start the new year.
Since Aviv Barley was found, when the crescent renewed moon is sighted in 2-4 days, it will begin the 1st Month in YHVH’s Calendar, and set in motion the feast cycle for this year.. (Added 3/24 – New Moon sighted in Jerusalem at 6:14 PM 3/23 from the Mount of Olives! We also sighted it here atop our mtn! ) YAY!!!
Some friends and I recently watched the following message from Jim Staley of Passion for Truth Ministries. It gives a nice overview of why learning about the feasts would be something we’d want to do, as well as gives a brief overview of each feast. The one thing to know is when he speaks of Israel vs Jews, he is referring to the fact that Jews are not all of “Israel”, but only from the Southern Kingdom tribe of Judah (as well as Benjamin & some of Levi). They are the only ones who returned from exile, and became the Jews we know today. The Northern Kingdom of Israel (referred to in scripture as Israel, Ephraim or Joseph) encompassed the other 10 tribes who were scattered amongst the nations where they still remain today. They became the literal “fullness of the gentiles”(multitude of nations) as Jacob/Israel, the man, prophesied over Ephraim, the child of Joseph. If you hear Israel and think Jews, or think the country of Israel, you may be a bit confused 🙂
This last Sabbath I participated in a small home church. We shared some favorite songs, and then read and studied some of the Passover references in the OT. Below is a list of all the OT references to Passover, with a brief summary beside each one. I’ll then talk a bit about some of them in depth – sharing some of our observations. I encourage you to take time to read thru each as we enter the month of Aviv, and head toward Passover – which starts on the 14th day of the month of Aviv – so it’s just a bit over 2 weeks away 😀
Here is the list of the larger references to Passover and Unleavened Bread in the OT, to get you started:
Exodus 12 – The first Passover.… Most of us know the story – so I won’t repeat it, but if you are unfamiliar, read thru Exodus 4-12 for the full story. A few details jumped out at us…
1. Some variance or reference of verse 14 seems to be repeated almost every paragraph (4 times) :
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to Jehovah: throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. ”
2. The lamb was to all be eaten – and if your family was too small to eat a lamb then you needed to join with another family. (vs 4)
3. The lamb can be taken from the sheep OR the goats. (vs 5)
4. The blood formed the points of the cross on the door. (vs 7)
5. The entire lamb was roasted head, legs, inner parts and all… (vs 9) (doesn’t sound so tasty)
6. Unleavened Bread only is to be eaten for 7 days… Leaven represents many things but can be summarized in Sin – it was to be completely cleaned out of the land, and we were only to eat unleavened bread … May our hearts be cleaned, refreshed & renewed, and may we eat only the unleavened bread of Yeshua’s sinless life and sacrifice!! (vs 15)
This is My Body, Which is Broken for You….
7. The first and last day’s were “High Sabbath’s” kept as Sabbath would be except that meals could be prepared, these days were Holy Assemblies. (vs 16)
8. I noted that as the Hebrews were fleeing Egypt, they stopped in Succoth (which means tent/tabernacle)… A place which now has ruins which seem to be capable of holding vast amounts of grain, and was next to an immense open space capable of holding many tents of travelers. Potentially where Joseph had stored the grain, and distributed it, and was eventually entombed. They stopped to pick up his bones which were carried to Canaan, in accordance with his request. (vs 37) (See Michael Rood’s presentation “The Sinai Connection” – Episode 1 found here (be sure to watch them all, but the first 2 or 3 cover the Exodus from Egypt): Sinai Connection, Episode 1 for more on the archaeological finds in Succoth)
9. A foreigner, if they were circumcised, could partake in the Passover Seder. The New Testament says we must be circumcised of heart. Interestingly, vs 49 says, “One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you,” which, frankly sounds remarkably like the NT idea that we are “grafted in” to the promises of Abraham! 😀
Exodus 34:5-27 – The giving of the 2nd tables of stone, God declaring who he is, and God’s instructions from Mt Sinai regarding the feasts, including unleavened bread/Passover…
vs 6, 7, 8
“Yehovah, Yehovah, an Elohim (a God) merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth, keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.”
And, in coming away from this meeting, Moses’ face shines…
2 Cor 13:15-18
“But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart. But whensoever their hearts shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.”
Leviticus 23 – the List of the Feasts
The largest point of interest here is a bit of news to SDA Sabbath keepers… at least it was to me when I first saw it, and to those I was fellowshipping with on Sabbath..
See if you can find it:
“2 …. The set feasts of Jehovah, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work: it is a sabbath unto Jehovah in all your dwellings.
4 These are the set feasts of Jehovah, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed season.”
Sabbath is the first feast mentioned. It is a mo’ed, a set apart time, date, feast, convocation.
I always knew Sabbath was special… it was instituted in the Garden, at creation, and found itself firmly in the 10 commandments… but, here we find it at the head of the list of Feasts of the Lord, at the top of His List of Celebrations. 😀
Numbers 9:1-14 – the Second Passover
This discusses both the second Passover that the Hebrews observed, AND a potential 2nd Passover, for anyone who was traveling, or had been made unclean due to a death in the family, and therefore unable to keep Passover in the first month. The ruling from YHVH allowed such a person to be able to observe Passover in the same manner, but in the 2nd month of the year. There was grace….
I pray that you are deeply blessed, this Passover season, in the month of Aviv!
The following song is by Andrew Peterson. Click the hyperlink to hear it sung by him from his Album, “Behold the Lamb of God” or listen below to a great live rendition by Jason Handy & James Keith Posey