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Historically, the Nation of Isra’el was to act as a repository of the wisdom and Word of HaShem (God). With his Called-out Ones acting as a “fishbowl,” the surrounding nations were to learn about the Creator, the One True God of the Universe, from the everyday activities of the offspring of Avraham (Abraham). This is one of the primary reasons that the Torah (Law) was graciously given to Isra’el. In both Biblical and Modern Hebrew, the word for “appointment” is מוֹעֵד “mo’eyd,” translated as “designated times” in David Stern’s translation of the bible. Interestingly, the root of the related word מִקְרָא “mikra,” translated as “convocations” by Stern, is קָרָא “kara,” and this root word conveys the sense of “rehearsals.” I like to think that in this way, HaShem masterfully designed the mikra’ey kodesh to act as sort of dress rehearsals for his children. “Of what?” you might ask. The Feasts of ADONAI are dress rehearsals of Messianic Redemption. Our LORD Yeshua (Jesus) has literally and prophetically fulfilled the first four of the seven feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23; it is my belief that the Torah teaches that he will, likewise, literally and prophetically fulfill the final three at his soon to be second arrival. As the children of Avraham willingly and faithfully lived out HaShem’s yearly cycle of “mo-eydeem,” the Spirit of the Holy One graciously opened their hearts to understand that, as his treasured possession, they were responsible to actively pursue a genuine, personal, loving relationship with their Heavenly Abba. It is this type of personal relationship that HaShem has always desired from the nation of Isra'el, and through the grace poured out to Isra'el, the surrounding Gentile nations might also see the goodness and mercy of ADONAI, and seek to become one of his treasured possessions as well (read Deut. 4:5-8). Today, our covenant responsibilities to our Holy God have not changed any more than the covenants made with his Treasured People have changed. He is our God and we are his people! History has demonstrated that in the fullness of HaShem’s timetable he sent his Only Begotten Son Yeshua into the world, to redeem fallen man, and make it possible to have a right relationship with our Heavenly Abba. This Messianic Redemption of ours, which was accomplished through the sacrificial death, burial, and miraculous resurrection of Yeshua our Savior, has been prophetically and historically displayed through the teachings of the Holy Convocations of Leviticus 23. It is, therefore, HaShem’s desire that these teachings become an integral part of our everyday lives, as we walk out the truths of our new identification in Messiah. To be sure, the Torah has demonstrated, “Then he opened their minds, so that they could understand the TaNaKH (Old Testament)” (Luke 24:45, Complete Jewish Bible) The time has now come for all of God’s children to begin to have a unified voice when it comes to the Torah. For too long, we, HaShem’s olive tree (Romans Chapter 11), have been divided over this issue of “Who should follow the Torah? And why?” I’m not ashamed to answer authoritatively up front: the Torah details the lifestyle of a genuine follower of HaShem as correctly interpreted (fulfilled) by Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah)! This means that all genuine believers have been given a divine, covenant responsibility, as it were, to follow as much of God’s Word (‘Older’ Testament and ‘Newer’ Testament) as they can press into, empowered to walk, not by the flesh of course, but by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Ultimately, it is my wish to invite both Jews and Gentiles in Messiah to press into the covenant responsibilities and expectations of HaShem’s divine mandate to participate each year in his feasts.
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