Category Archives: Traditions / Holidays

Give Thanks To The LORD, For He Is Good; For His Lovingkindness Is Everlasting

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Saving Goodness.

     1Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      2Oh let Israel say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      3Oh let the house of Aaron say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      4Oh let those who fear the LORD say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      5From my distress I called upon the LORD;
The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.

      6The LORD is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?

      7The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.

      8It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in man.

      9It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in princes.

      10All nations surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      11They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      12They surrounded me like bees;
They were extinguished as a fire of thorns;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      13You pushed me violently so that I was falling,
But the LORD helped me.

      14The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

      15The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      16The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      17I will not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the LORD.

      18The LORD has disciplined me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

      19Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

      20This is the gate of the LORD;
The righteous will enter through it.

      21I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

      22The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.

      23This is the LORD’S doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.

      24This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

      25O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!

      26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

      27The LORD is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

      28You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.

      29Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Us Give Thanks

We should always seek to be thankful to the Lord for all He provides, but Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves to come together as family and as a community and a nation to give thanks together to our Lord,  YHWH. For those who follow Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), we always have that most important gift of salvation through grace by faith for which to be thankful… no matter what else may be going on in our lives.

I have found it is very easy to lose focus on the Lord as we get busy in our holiday traditions and celebrations… even Thanksgiving. It seems the Lord dropped a surprise in my shopping bag on my recent trip to a store. I want to share it with you. Lifeway Christian store put together a small booklet of scriptures into a “Thanksgiving Table Devotional”. We have it at our table and we read and share as we come together to eat our meals.

Psalm 106:1

1Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:17

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Philippians 4:6

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 9:1-2

1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.

      2I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

As we read these scriptures together we take time to go around the table and ask about examples of things that are specific to us for which we are grateful to our Father who provides. This is not particularly unique, but it sure is easy to overlook. I appreciate the Lord putting these scriptures where I would find them as I was looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more meaningful and focused on Him for my family. Praise the Lord He cares for each of us as His children!

What will you make the focus of this Thanksgiving season? Football, shopping, food, fellowship… or our Creator and Father and a right attitude towards Him? My suggestion is to focus on our Father with a healthy side of family fellowship.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

One Nation, Under One True God…Thankful and Humble Before Him

You will often hear today about “separation of church and state”. Many will claim we must separate our faith and obedience to the one and only God from our government. This is clearly not the intent of our founders and more importantly not the intent and desire of God. Further, it is a lie to say that this is how our nation functioned. “separation of church and state” is nowhere in the Constitution. It appears in some letters from the founders. It is primarily focused on the government not determining which denomination of Christianity we should follow. We see overwhelming evidence in history, if we study it (because schools will not teach it anymore). I have previously shared George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation and also some resources about our history (Silencing God). Today I wanted to highlight another Thanksgiving proclamation from Abraham Lincoln to help us remember how our country should be humble and repentant and thankful before God… and yes how our government should represent our Christian faith in the one true God without apology.

I am referencing below a website by a historian named Bill Petro for Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation and afterwards Fox News for Abraham Lincolns 1864 proclamation. I am sure you can search these out online in many places.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION – 1863

Following the initial Presidential Thanksgiving proclamations of George Washington, John Adams and James Madison, there were no further Presidential proclamations for this day until Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day during the Civil War, but it was not initially in November. Instead it was in the Spring of 1862 and then again on October 3, 1863 for victories in battle. He later established the common Fall celebration of Thanksgiving for the blessings of the year on Thursday, November 26 1863. It was on March 30, 1863 that Lincoln, in his Proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Fasting said the following:

“…It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

“We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subject to punishments and chastisements in
this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

“Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Abraham Lincoln later went on to say on October 3, 1863:

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Editor’s note: The following is a proclamation from Abraham Lincoln on Thanksgiving Day, October 20, 1864. (Fox News.com)

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry and abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on the occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for the return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

(From <https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/abraham-lincolns-thanksgiving-day-proclamation>)

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Time to Give Thanks To YHWH – Not Just Football, Feasting, and Family

Most of the widely recognized cultural holidays in the USA have many elements of pagan beliefs and practices wrapped up inside. Christmas and Easter are two prime candidates which are filled with pagan origins but were later adopted by Christians as an alternative for people to celebrate in place of the pagan celebrations. The result is a mix of pagan and Christian traditions wrapped up so tightly together most do not even realize the origin of many of the traditions and to suggest a Christian stop participating in the pagan traditions is not often well received by them. Halloween is even worse, with scarcely any trace of actual Christian focus.  Commercialism (heavy marketing shifting the focus of the holidays toward spending lots of money on stuff you don’t need) has also grown to an out-sized presence for these holidays.

Thanksgiving has a lot of potential if we focus on our Lord instead of football, feasting, and family… and more recently, shopping. Perhaps it is overly obvious, but people still miss it. It is nonsense to be thankful without clearly focusing on and relating to the one who provided what we are thankful for. In other words, it is even silly to say we are thankful but not complete the thought that we are thankful to whom and have that be a major / primary focus as we celebrate.

Though it is not a Biblical holiday, it was clearly founded as a holiday in the USA by a Christian president, George Washington, who wanted to call the people to a time of thanksgiving to our Lord for all the blessings poured out on this nation and its people. (Text of Thanksgiving Proclamation)

Actually studying this history and the contents of the Thanksgiving Proclamation, for people who will take time to do so, deals another blow to the lies of separation of church and state. We were founded a Christian nation, by the grace of God. That’s just an historical fact, despite how many people want to erase that history and replace it with “separation of church and state” nonsensical interpretations of our founding government documents. The original intent was simply that the state would not choose which Christian doctrine someone would believe or follow. It was never intended to limit someone in government freely expressing their Christian faith.

I encourage all of you to go back to the roots of Thanksgiving to truly come together in thanks and prayers to God. Build this into your traditions and celebrations. Do not let God be erased from yet another holiday, this time in favor of football, feasting, visiting with family, or shopping. Though the Pilgrims were godly people, do not even let them be placed as the centerpiece of the holiday but rather YHWH Himself. I suggest even doing a quick history lesson for your family and sharing the Thanksgiving Proclamation and start including that as a new tradition to celebrate annually.

I have included the text of the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation from George Washington below.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

Washington.

*reference: https://wallbuilders.com/proclamation-thanksgiving-day-1789/

As a side note for conclusion and your additional thought… Congress asked the President to present this proclamation to the people of the USA very recently after founding our nation. Could there be any more obvious evidence that the founding fathers and the documents they created (with God’s help) did not intend to shut down people in government from freely expressing their faith?  There are many more examples for those who wish to study them and educate their children properly on what actually happened and how our government is actually intended to work.

Final thoughts on Thanksgiving… what do you want your family to associate with Thanksgiving? football? big meals? a family dinner? Where does our submission and thankfulness to YHWH fit in? What do you want to be the primary focus? Plan your celebration consistent with the desired outcome.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Appreciating Those Who Serve As We Approach Veteran’s Day

Though we should always first look to the LORD with thanksgiving for our freedom and protection, we can also take time to give thanks to those who serve or have served in the military which protects our nation from foreign threats. Not every person who serves in the military should be stereotyped as some kind of automatic hero, but by and large they provide a valuable service and do so with honor and at personal risk. Most recognize that they serve for something higher than themselves, their country, freedom for themselves and others, a constitutional republic (we are actually not a democracy and there are good reasons for it), and a way of life provided by our Creator.

Thank you to all who serve actively or have served. I pray you would draw near to our Father and be blessed.

This is also a good time to remember that we should also seek to serve in the LORD’s army. We submit to him. We face difficulty and persecution for him when we live his way. We face rejection. We go where others do not wish to go or do what others do not wish to do… for a higher purpose that is beyond ourselves. We celebrate joyfully even when we have difficulty that we can bring glory to his name.

Thank you to all who serve in the LORD’s army, submitting yourself to him and trusting in him! May you also be blessed and draw near to him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Should a Follower of Christ Celebrate Halloween?

Far to often we just go along with whatever “everyone else” is doing when holidays are concerned. We can always rationalize why many of the common “holidays” such as Halloween “are harmless” or even “an opportunity to participate so as to lead others to Christ”. However, never in scripture does God encourage us to in any way imitate the pagan celebrations of others as a way of “getting along with” or “blending in with” or even witnessing to non believers. We are instead called to be set apart from pagan traditions and worship of false gods in every way. We are to do things only God’s way. Being different is an important part of being a light to draw people to Christ. If those who follow Christ blend in with everyone else, why should any non believer accept Christ and change their lives?

The following article is a good summary about Halloween, so I choose not to write my own. I recommend you pray for God to give you an open mind and test celebration of Halloween, not against what your church does or your family has done for generations, but against the word of God.

A few easy questions to ask yourself…  “Does celebrating this holiday honor God and point others to Him? Could it actually confuse others as to what Christ calls us to do and how He calls us to act? If I ignore traditions of men for a moment and test the holiday (and how it is celebrated) against scripture, is there any way I would ever reasonably conclude I should celebrate this based on the Bible itself?” Perhaps one final question, “If I am not sure it is good and honoring to God, should I skip it or celebrate it anyway?”

ChristianAnswers.net – Should Christians participate in Halloween?

The October 31st holiday that we today know as Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan. It is a holiday that generally glorifies the dark things of this world, rather than the light of Jesus Christ, The Truth.

Have you noticed how costumes and masks are getting generally more bloody, gory, and depraved each year? Unfortunately, the gruesome and grotesque and the occult are increasingly glorified in American society, not only on Halloween, but throughout the year in frequent horror movies and television programs.

My family does not celebrate it or participate in it. We do not believe that our children are “missing out,” and neither do they. Other days are used for costumes and parties. Happily, all of our children have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. We have found that Halloween provides an excellent time to remind our children that, as Christians, we are different, and not of this world (Heb. 11:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:11).

What about church “Harvest Festivals” held on October 31? Although we understand the rational and good intentions behind them, we don’t think they are the best approach. Our family tends to agree with the author of an article called “Are ‘Harvest Parties’ for Christians?” (written by a self-avowed former witch and now active Christian). Harvest parties on October 31 tend to assume that “our children need something to take the place of Halloween, since they won’t be participating in the secular and pagan celebrations. It suggests our kids are missing out on something. And indeed they are, if we allow them to spend Halloween in celebration.” There are better things to do on Halloween than partying.

Also, we need to teach our children that “the fight isn’t against occultists, non-Christians, Christians who feel differently than we about Halloween, or institutions that promote Halloween, but” “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).

Click the following link to read the full article: ChristianAnswers.net – Should Christians participate in Halloween?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross

Take Time To Learn About And Celebrate Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles (also Booths), is at first strange to those of us growing up in a Christian church or non Jewish culture because so much of the Old Testament is not taught or not taught as relevant anymore. As the Lord has revealed more to me in my study and prayer it has become quite a meaningful celebration for my family. The celebration is coming up soon, so I encourage you to take some time to learn more and consider participating with your family, or even by yourself.

The Lord wants His people to remember how He led His people out of bondage in Egypt under Moses. He provided for them in the desert and they were in humble accommodations for 40 years.  But even in this He was in control and sustained them, provided for them. He dwelt among them in the Tabernacle in their camp. Even today, we can harvest great value from this celebration if we choose to pursue it. Not only am I reminded of His liberation of His people from slavery, but also of His liberation of us from the law of sin and death through the sacrifice of Jesus. We can leave behind our bondage to sin and He will provide even as the journey may be difficult at times. From a very practical perspective it also reminds me to be thankful and humble, not to take for granted the nice home and secure lifestyle that my family is blessed with.  We are to be reminded that He provides this as well, lest we slip into a bit of arrogance and self dependence and let it begin to separate us from our dependence on the Father. Finally, it reminds us to look forward to the return of the King, when Yeshua returns to dwell among us for His thousand year reign on earth… as the Father dwelt among the Israelites in the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

Leviticus 23:37-44

    37‘These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD—burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day— 38besides those of the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD.

      39‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42‘You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’” 44So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.

We have not taken to live in booths in the wilderness as yet for this celebration, but we do set aside the Sabbath days of rest and break out the tent to go camping… so far in our own family room. It creates excitement for the kids and questions about why and what we are celebrating and it all points back to our Father who provides for us and sets us free.  I encourage you to consider taking steps in this direction that the holidays you celebrate would more and more be the holy days that God instructed and that point back to Him rather than (or at least in addition to) so many distracted man-made purposes associated with the holidays our nation(s) celebrate today.

I encourage you to do some personal study on this celebration. I include a few links below. However, be sure to validate everything you read against the truth of scripture.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement

Over the course of my life I have spent significant amount of time in Catholic, Baptist, and evangelical churches. None of the ones I attended ever even came close to teaching about YHWH’s appointed times, or Mo’edim. They seem determined to stick to popular man-made holidays commonly celebrated by Christians and non Christians alike. As I have journeyed into deeper relationship with the Lord over many years, the Bible has really come alive to me. It is amazing how much rich heritage is being missed by the Christian church today. They typically do not teach the whole Bible as still relevant and true today. They may say it is, but their teaching leaves much untouched and untaught.

My family and I find observing the Mo’edim, God’s appointed times, to be truly enriching in our relationship with Him. I encourage you to join us. You will have to do some study on your own, however, as churches will just not teach it.

The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is a holy day set aside by YHWH annually for us to focus on atonement for our sins. We are to rest and be humble. It is a permanent statute. These holy days are not just for Jewish people and they are not obsolete. They both look back at what the Lord has already done and look forward to what He will do in the future. As a matter of fact, the day of atonement is now even more significant for those of us who follow Christ as we can focus on the forgiveness we receive through Christ and his sacrifice for us.

Leviticus 23:26-32

The Day of Atonement

     26The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27“On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. 28“You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. 29“If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30“As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31“You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32“It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.”

We need not make animal sacrifices for atonement any longer, as Yeshua has paid the price for our sin once and for all. However, we will still face judgment when we die or Yeshua returns. Let us take heed to atone for our sins, repenting and seeking forgiveness from the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:10

10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Of course we can say, but we should seek forgiveness all year long, and that is correct, but then why would one object to a day focused on coming humbly before the LORD and seeking forgiveness and asking him to help us know and turn away from our sin.

I still have more to learn about the Hebrew calendar (really the Creator’s calendar), but I am learning more each year. You can research a variety of websites that provide information on the Hebrew calendar, several even focus on it from a Messianic or Christian perspective. Keep in mind, the Hebrew calendar starts at sundown and ends at sundown and not “midnight to midnight” as our western calendar does.

It can be overwhelming when you first get started, but just take it in bite sized chunks and keep seeking to get closer to Him with every step. Because we have changed away from YHWH’s calendar to the Gregorian calendar, there is some debate as to when the feasts are celebrated exactly. They reference the Creator’s calendar and not what we are used to. It is very clear which day in His calendar are to be recognized, but the challenge comes in converting that into the Gregorian calendar most of us use daily. Which exact date you choose is not the most important aspect to get started, in my opinion.  I suggest researching at the sites below or on your own search and picking one of the dates proposed and get started. Do not get overwhelmed by trying to learn all the history at once. Just get started, seek the Lord, study His word, and and start to experience a deeper relationship with Him.

TheMoedim.com – Yom Kippur

119Ministries.com – Yom Kippur

Hebrew4Christians.com – Yom Kippur

SetApartPeople.com – Yom Kippurim

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

We Should All Humble Ourselves Seeking Atonement

It is easy for us to embrace celebrations that are “fun”. Often, even holidays that had a significant meaning, like Thanksgiving started as a way to give thanks to God, can be overwhelmed by the distractions of celebrating. Most people really breeze over the original purpose of Thanksgiving and now it is about football and turkey and gluttonous eating. Very little time is spent, if any, giving thanks to YHWH for all He provides as was the original intent.

We would truly benefit in our relationship with our Lord if we would embrace the holy days He instructed. We should all humble ourselves before Him often through the year, but certainly have a day set aside to come humbly before the Lord is a very good idea. It is not focused on football or food, but rather on our relationship with our Father. We are to humble ourselves and contemplate our need for atonement, repentance and forgiveness from sin. He does not want us getting distracted during this holy day, and thus sets aside another Sabbath day of rest for it.

Leviticus 23:25-44

The Day of Atonement

26The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27“On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. 28“You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. 29“If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30“As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31“You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32“It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.”

33Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. 35‘On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. 36‘For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.

I encourage each of you to join me in this holy day in which we humble ourselves before God. We should take this opportunity to focus on the wonderful gift God sent in Yeshua. Yeshua died for our sins. Through His perfect life and then death for our sins He has made it possible for us to be reconciled to YHWH. He was the sacrificial lamb on our behalf. Let us not take Yeshua for granted and miss out on our need for His sacrifice due to our sin.

Romans 3

10as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

On our own we can never be made righteous. It would be like trying to jump the Grand Canyon. One may be able to jump further than another, but none can span the gap. We can be made righteous only through Christ, who in this canyon metaphor serves as a bridge to enable us to come before the Lord and be reconciled.

I would encourage each of you to study more about our Creator’s appointed times. I have provided a few links to help you get started, but you can search on your own, of course.

Bible.org – Leviticus 23 study of appointed times

Psalm 119 Ministries – Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

Hebrew for Christians – Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

TheMoedim.com – Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

I hope that studying and learning about our Creator’s appointed times, and then following them, will be as enriching for you and your family as it has been for me and mine.

Yom Teruah – Feast of Trumpets

A few years ago, my family and I began to study about and observe the appointed times of YHWH as laid out in Leviticus 23Growing up a Christian in the United States, I certainly never was taught about the Biblical festivals which YHWH calls His people to celebrate. Most Christians really skip over much of the instruction that our Father has provided in the Old Testament as if it was now irrelevant. It is not! It certainly felt odd or a bit uncomfortable at first as we started to study and learn YHWH’s traditions, which were new to us, but it can be a joyful step in moving closer to YHWH. There is great symbolism and purpose to each of our Father’s festivals. They help us remain focused on Him and His word and bring so much more honor and glory to YHWH and our relationship with Him than the typical holidays we see celebrated today, which are all too often merged with pagan celebrations and rituals from the past.

Yom Teruah, literally “day shouting/blasting”, is the first of YHWH’s holy days (specified by Leviticus 23:23–32) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. It is coming up soon. It has also come to be called more recently Rosh Hashanah and is celebrated as the start of the new year in YHWH’s calendar (often referred to as the “Jewish calendar”).

Leviticus 23 actually does not document a lot of information about Yom Teruah, and it is worthwhile studying elsewhere in scripture. Today you can find a lot of information about it by simply searching online for Yom Teruah. My suggestion is however, to always test what people say about the celebration and traditions against what the scripture actually says. Often people add to YHWH’s instruction or change the emphasis and create their own traditions which they treat as if they were commands from our Father.

Yom Teruah is characterized by a holy day, a Sabbath, which constitutes a day of rest. The trumpets remind us to prepare for the day of Atonement which will follow. As followers of Christ, we are reminded that the trumpets will blast again when Christ returns. We should now prepare ourselves by asking God to convict us of our sin and help us to repent. Let us turn away from the way of the world and to the ways of God. You can have quite an interesting study as well generally about the use and significance of the shofar (ram’s horn) throughout scripture which is what the term “trumpet” means in this context.

I encourage you to do some personal study on this celebration. I include a few links below. However, be sure to validate everything you read against the truth of scripture. Remember, these are YHWH’s holy days not “Jewish” holidays.

TheMoedim.com

119Ministries.com

SetApartPeople.com

Hebrew4Christians.com

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