Teaching on Festivals Pastor Caspar McCloud
Upper Room 2010
One of my neighbor’s teenager had a class assignment to interview an "old person" about his life, so she asked one of my other neighbors Mr. Byrd who is in his mid 80’s, "What was the biggest historical event that ever happened during his life so far?"
He looked at her and thought a few moment and then said, "I'd have to say the moonwalk." She looked disappointed, and said "Why was that dance was so important to you?"
Papa God, we love you more than there are words to express. We come today and give you all our praise and worship. We want to come now and enter into your gates with thanksgiving in our hearts. For eternal life and the Gospel, for the Kingdom of Christ which is the power onto salvation. We thank you for removing curses from our life as we line up with your Word each day. We thank you for precious shed blood of our Lord Jesus of Nazareth that covers us now.
For the Holy Spirit and your Word, for the gospel of your Kingdom, and that you want your children healthy and well, that you do not want us sick and beaten up and broken up. I thank you that your heart is that we would prosper even as our soul prospers. Papa God, we want to come today with our whole hearts. We are so grateful that it is by your grace through faith; that it is a gift to us who belong to you. It is not legalism or driveness and perfectionism as we know that is not getting the job done; that is not your way. Show us now your way Lord; a more excellent way.
We are so grateful that you would have a relationship with us. That we can have a face to face encounter with you the one who was and is and is to come again. You are holy and righteous; help us now to come and relate to you in knowledge and responsibility. To be in covenant with you and seek first your kingdom and your righteousness; that you will take care of all the rest of the details of our life. That Jesus said it is your pleasure to give us the Kingdom. Come have your way with us Lord. We pray this in Jesus of Nazareth’s name, Amen.
The Lord JESUS is our soul DELIVERER!!
Why do we feel led to hold hands in a circle and pray? Why did the early church and Jewish traditional dancing consist of circle dancing? Perhaps to show that it is representing unity, being in one accord with each other and the Lord. Traditional Judaic beliefs are that demonic forces could not penetrate a circle. So it appears they danced before the Lord, sowing praise and worship unto the God of Israel.
When you research this the witches and false religions counterfeit this and dance in a circle as well or stand in a circle surrounded by their pentagram. Maybe believing nothing good can get at them; to hell with the devil.
The devil can not create anything he simply counterfeits, so it is vital to know the genuine from the fake, truth from lies, so you are blessed and not cursed. Amen? You know that there is another circle game that is called messenger or telephone and as you give a message and send it round it comes back goofed up almost every time. Praise the Lord we have the Bible so we can see clearly what the Lord said and that we should obey it.
We have gathered together here because we are seeking a deeper relationship with our Lord that we see the early church had before pagan ideas and customs came creeping into the churches 300 years after our Lord Jesus glorious resurrection.
When I have gone back and studied the Scriptures it is so obvious that the new covenant had a decidedly Jewish flavor to it, after all our Lord is still the King of the Jews, whether they know it or not. Why is it that most Christians as well do not make that connection? Who programmed the church with Anti Semitism?
Again as we have said a number of times if you are really going to celebrate the Lord’s birth and resurrection of our Lord at least let us do it everyday. Just as we pray without ceasing. Amen?
I just want to touch on a few things here I find rather interesting, just to paint some background history so we know what we are standing on. Back around 242 B.C., Antiochus IV Epiphanes, was the ruler of Syria, so he gets this idea. I am sure it was not his own that he could invade and conquer Jerusalem. He does so easily and many are killed as he plundered the city, traumatized Jerusalem, and then returned to Syria.
Two years later, Antiochus decided that was so much fun hurting and killing people he did not know that he returned to Jerusalem with his brutish army again and overtakes them and treats the Jews with the great cruelty as an anti-Christ type person would do. It’s just like Hitler did years later; probably the same gene pool.
Antiochus breaks down the walls of Jerusalem, set fire to the parts of the city, and took all the golden vessels and treasures from the temple. Then he commanded that all Jewish sacrifices and worship be stopped. He goes and defiled the altar of the Lord by sacrificing a pig on it and if that is not enough he then erected an altar to Zeus in the temple. Jews were ordered to stop worshiping the God of Israel, cease all Jewish religious practices, and were ordered to stop circumcising their children. Anyone caught not obeying his orders were tortured, mutilated, and crucified. That same horrible spirit must have been in him that we observe now in the Middle East who wants to attack freedom and take and sever the heads of innocent people who do not agree with their demonic theologies.
Next we see this Jewish priest named Mattathias who gathered a large number of men and rebelled against Antiochus and the Syrians, as the tide began to change here. You will reap what you sow as it is a law of the Lord. Mattathias’ men go ahead and break up and push over all the pagan altars they found and start killing the pagan Syriaians eye for eye, tooth for tooth stuff. Sort of sounds like today’s news and headlines. The more things change the more they seem the same. Mattathias’ men also ordered all the male Jewish children to be circumcised again.
He and many of the Jewish people end up hiding in the desert with their families and living in caves. The Syrians find them and killed over 1,000 of them by burning them in their caves and homes.
Then Commander Mattathias falls ill after one year of all these battles and died, leaving his son Judas Maccabeus in charge as the commander.
Judas Maccabeus continues to the fight now and drives back the Syrian army in regaining the land the Lord gave the Jews.
Commander Maccabeus tells the Jewish people their Lord God has given them favor and to go back into Jerusalem and purify the Temple and offer sacrifices.
The people go and rebuild the altar and restore the sacred Temple Implements; just as the Jewish people are preparing to do right today when they rebuild the temple, before the glorious return of our Lord.
But back then as they were preparing to rekindle the Temple Menorah they could only find enough oil to last one day. Now here is where it gets really supernatural.
These Jews had faith; they knew the Word of the Lord. They had all the miraculous stories of their fathers, so the Menorah was kindled and the one day supply of oil miraculously burned for eight days until new oil could be prepared. This is the 8 day Miracle of Lights. This is the reason Hanukkah is also called the festival of lights. Now people say the Bible does not address this that only the Catholic bible with their extra books speaks about the Maccabeus. I am certainly not going with anything except the Word of God.
But we can gleam some information here as we keep searching, knocking, and asking the Lord to teach us a more excellent way. Just as we do from ancient secular writings like the Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews where Josephus helps validate from a secular perspective in his famous statement about Jesus of Nazareth who went about performing miracles, was crucified and rose up back to life and appeared to hundreds of his followers.
When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German back in 1534 his Bible was the first major edition to have a separate section called Apocrypha. The Books and portions of books not found in the Masoretic Text of Judaism, they were moved out of the body of the Old Testament to a section in between the old and New Testament. Dr. Luther called them the inter-testamental books. The books 1 and 2 Esdras were omitted entirely.
We do not accept these extra books as part of the Bible yet may gleam some insights here with the bits that do line up with the Word of God.
I just want you to see there is a common thread between this story of the Miracle of Lights or what is called Hanukkah and Elijah in I Kings 17: 10-16 “So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.”
Elijah arrives at the gates of the village, and sees a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, ‘Would you please bring me a cup of water?”
While she starts to go to get him a drink, he calls out after her, “Please bring me a piece of bread, as well love.”
But she turns around and said, “I tell you the truth and swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread left in my house. In fact I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, because this is the end we are in such a bad way here surely my son and I will die as we have no more way to provide for ourselves.”
Now the man of God, the Prophet Elijah responded to her this way, “Don’t you entertain that silly stinking evil spirit of fear here. Take a step of faith and just go ahead and cook that last meal. In faith bake me a little loaf of bread first. I prophesy to you right now that as you do there will still be enough food for you and your son.”
In other words give it all to the Lord’s work and watch how the Lord will provide back for you. How many people want to trust in things and hoard stuff? Why? Because they simply do not trust the Lord to take care of them! Do actions really speak louder than words?
Brother Elijah tells her, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be plenty of flour and oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!’ So she did as Elijah said, and what happens, she and Elijah and her son continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil for many days because her faith mixed with the Word of God. No matter how much she used those containers, just kept refilling themselves in a supernatural way just as the LORD had promised through Elijah.”
I tell you again Papa God is not short of cash and always has enough and always supplies to those who obey and listen to His voice! He will provide everything you need as you obey His commandments! Now I just want to point something out here our Lord, Messiah Yeshua, King of the Jews, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, our Lord and Savior, who covers all our sins as his born again followers with his precious shed blood, it sure looks like he celebrated Hanukkah as we read John 10:22-23 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.”
Any way you come at this from any perspective, here is the Lord Jesus talking about the light of the world at the festival of lights. Now seems to me as I look at the world stage and the landscape today we have entered into the last of the last days here. But that is good news friends because restoration will happen, signs and wonders will happen more as we are preparing for the return of our Lord Jesus to planet earth and that we get our hearts right and die to ourselves and live for Christ. Amen?
How many people all around the world want to recover the integrity of the first century church? Reports of miraculous healings and miracles are coming in from all over the world, even arms and legs growing out, blind eyes seeing, diseases vanishing out of people, supernatural provision, and moving in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We need to believe it to receive it. The church has not been teaching that. The church has lost some really important things. There are some blessings, some treasures that Papa God had given to the church that he had wanted us to have that he knew we needed to benefit from, but over the years we have lost it or misplaced it. Some of us are searching for them now as we are at the Upper Room like that woman in Luke 15:8-10 “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
Here is this lost coin. This is a picture of the Holy Spirit coming as this woman lights a candle and sweeps clean a dark and dirty room to find a lost silver coin because it is a great treasure to her.
Here in Luke chapter 15 the Lord Jesus gives a parable with three illustrations which illustrate Papa God’s concern for every person. Because yellow, black, red, and white we are precious in his sight we are all his treasure.
In Luke 15:4-7 there is the lost sheep parable. The good shepherd here is another name for the Lord Jesus going after that one sheep gone missing from the flock of 99 sheep to bring him back into the flock.
Then we have Luke 15:11-32 with the lost son, actually both sons were goofy.
Clearly the father pictured here shows understanding of our Heavenly Father who continues to love us, and waits patiently for his son who had basically abused him in his attitude and rejection. Asking for his share of the inheritance while his father is alive and then spending it all on worldly living until he ends up living in a pig pen and starving. The other son was just as goofy in his anger towards his brother who returns. Of course in the end Papa God’s love breaks through and he receives back his sons and the family is again restored. This is a picture of us in the last days.
We are all illustrations of the lost treasure that is found. This is amazing grace, I once was lost but now I am found and covered in the blood of Jesus. Everyone who is found and saved is a reason to party down and have a merry “Christ–Day”, every day. When we come to Papa God, the host of heavens and all the angels rejoice.
We are living in a time of restoration and I am seeing here in the Scriptures that the Festivals are Papa God's cycle of blessings.
The feasts of the Lord seem to be part of what is being restored by Papa God. A lot of people seem to try to celebrate the feasts by reproducing some type of legalistic ritual and they never experience what Papa God intended.
Just as people perishing from lack of knowledge. I am asking the Lord to help us put this into proper perspective here, because clearly there seems to be seasons or cycles in this world and in our lives.
Papa God’s given us the keys to enter into his blessing. We have the access code now. I told someone on our staff the other day that I woke up with this revelation, just the way they change the access code to this building every few weeks it seems and sometimes someone forgets to tell us. Fortunately we have always gotten to church early enough and have been able to contact Dr. Mike and Ellen for the new access code and get the doors open before the meetings start. But then I saw how that many men simply do not understand that women change their access codes from time to time and then expect the man to know and understand the new code.
The classic line women say to men, “If you don't know I am not going to tell you,” well maybe the devil been messing with our access code to Biblical understanding here with the festivals.
Yet we have the code right here in the Bible. In fact there are books written about the Bible codes. But there seems one code that works all purpose and that is found in Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Mind you the key here is forgiveness and love people even when they are being unlovable; even when they reject you. The Lord Jesus even tells us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) Mind you it’s not easy to love someone who says mean things, hurts your feelings, and rejects you, but it is a commandment.
I told someone a while back who was trying to justify their outburst of anger, telling me they just explode for a minute or two and then it’s over. I said, “Yeah, just like a atomic bomb only last a few moments before it devastates a place, same as those ungodly words leave behind a lot of damage in your soul and spirit.”
Who here has been hurt or hurt someone with words? Whoever said stick and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me was delusional. Words can bless or destroy; they are very powerful. What goes around will come around. Your words release blessings or curses.
I see here in the scriptures there are cycles of destruction.
A cycle is something that goes around, but it also leads you to a destination like the cycle of life. You’re born, you grow, and you die, hopefully your final destination is Heaven and not hell.
I mean surely there are many kinds of cycles in this world. The prince of the air messes with things in nature, and we have tornadoes and hurricanes. When we lived in Florida we had to go through hurricane season.
Hurricanes always seem to bring destruction. There are many kinds of destructive cycles in our lives and all people are caught up in them at times even God kids: We surely have seen people in cycles of addiction, times of poverty, people getting double minded even after the Lord has done great things for them they still cycle with spirits of unbelief and doubt which leads to defeat, which brings sin whose wages are death. You have people cycling in old programming, stuck in old stinking thinking, replaying conversation as if the outcome will somehow change if only they would have said it this way. But it was already said; move on with your life. Let those Glial cells work; those little vacuum-type cleaners the Lord put in you that prune off those toxic thought branches of your neurons, your thoughts. It allows you to forget about stuff you should forget. You can forgive and forget about them while you sleep, so you can grow some positive thoughts to replace those toxic ones the devil wanted you to take and grow.
But when you do not follow and obey the Lord’s instructions you allow that lying devil, Satan, to give you his filthy imaginations which cycles in you to wear you down and beat you up. It’s time we saints start imagining things the way the Lord imagines them. John 14:12 “This and greater things shall you do in Jesus all powerful name.”
One of the things here is that the devil wants you in his destructive cycle that will just ware you down a bit more every year. So you don’t even notice those changes. It’s like the frog that is alive and you turn the heat up slowly and it ends up boiling to death, instead of jumping out of the pan.
So as years go by you find that you are more and more of mess, until you finally cry out to the Lord, repent, and end in curses and all the destruction.
I mean how many people do we minister to that have something in your life that brings you to defeat over and over again? As in all addictions the person is not receiving the love of God. Somewhere there is a disconnection.
Here in the Bible we see that with the people of Israel on the 9th of Av. which would be round July or August.
When Israel sinned against God in a place called Kadesh Barnea in places like Deuteronomy 2 it talks about it in Hebrew 3:8 “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” You see the people of Israel refused to go into the land, that took place on the 9th of Av. Disobeying Papa God’s instruction causes them to go into the wilderness for 40 years.
Then He brought the next generation in, but they never really repented of the sins of their fathers, did they? And the result it seems that is every year on the 9th of Av, in the spiritual realm, there is a window of destruction that opens in the natural realm for the Jewish people.
For example on the 9th of Av 587 B.C., Babylon destroyed the Temple of Solomon. On the 9th of Av A.D. 70, the Romans destroyed the second Temple. There are examples over and over again in history of terrible things happening to the Jewish people on that date. There must be something to this, something we need to learn here.
Israel refused to enter God’s promise and they never repented of it. You can tell they never repented, because when Papa God sent the promised Messiah, they did the same thing obviously.
They refused to enter into the promise; they refused the Lord Jesus. Why? He went about healing the sick, and doing miracles.
When you don’t repent of a sin from your past, you may tend to repeat the same sin and it’s like a door of destruction that stays opens or become a revolving door. Every year it’s like Satan lies in wait and gets his demonic forces ready to attack again because he knows on the 9th of Av a door will be open for more curses to come. I know that may seem strange to say, but I am beginning to see a pattern here we need to examine before anyone jumps to conclusions.
I know when I was a professional heart patient before I ended up at PVC that I started to dread September because every year for some time when September rolled round it seems something worse happened to me, to my heart. Until I found out where the devil had gotten legal right to try and destroy me and went before my God and dealt with it. I am just telling you there is something to all this and to take it seriously.
Tisha B'Av (help·info) (Hebrew: תשעה באב or ט׳ באב, "the Ninth of Av,") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 656 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Accordingly, the day has been called the "saddest day in Jewish history".
Tisha B'Av falls in July or August in the Gregorian calendar. When the ninth of Av falls on Saturday, the observance is deferred to Sunday the tenth. While the day recalls general tragedies which have befallen the Jewish people over the ages, the day focuses on commemoration of five events: the destruction of the two ancient Temples in Jerusalem, the sin of ten of the twelve scouts sent by Moses, who spoke disparagingly about the Promised Land, the destruction of Jerusalem following the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the failure of Bar Kokhba's revolt against the Roman Empire. We have simply replaced the Lord’s calendar with a secular one.
Now I know this seems a bit strange but think about it and see there just seems to be something to this that certain people, during a certain month of the year, tend to get in some sort of trouble. Some tragedies overtake them over and over again at a certain time of year.
For example how many Christian seem to fall into that cycle of unbelief, and stay stuck in their stuff? The Lord Jesus said if you’ll believe, you’ll receive.
Mark 16:16-17 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”
John 14:13 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
You will have to believe it to receive it. Unbelief is a major block to Papa God’s blessing. It appears then that a lack of blessing confirms people are entertaining a spirit of unbelief. What holds us in an old cycle? Keeps that old strong hold going?
Maybe it’s because it seems to be a sense of security for them. People will stay in a miserable situation; keep cycling through old programming simply because it is very familiar. Just ask anyone stuck in addictions, and it’s because they are disconnected with Papa God’s love.
How many couples just put up with each other? They both want things to get better and change but they are stuck; they are trapped by the enemy of your soul. They don’t like it but believe the lies that it can not change. You know that definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Has anyone dared to ask Lord, how do you want me to do this? What happened to learning to take every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord? In 2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down all those toxic devilish thoughts the enemy tries to project into your mind.
We know from the Word of God the Lord wants to help us recover ourselves and learn his ways of thinking, his ways of talking, his ways of relating, staying in that Agape Love. So we can break on through to the other side! Break out of that old stinking thinking cycle.
Since we explored cycles of where the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy, let’s explore some cycles of blessings.
Papa God created the planets in the universe to cycle around the sun. There are cycles of seasons for growth, for harvest, for resting, and places where we have cycles of increase to bring us into the blessing of the Lord. Papa God seems to uses cycles to move you from a lower place to a higher place spiritually speaking and physically speaking as well. The Lord seems to have put us on an upward spiral so that each time we travel around the New Year you are raised up a little more just as you grow older you are supposed to grow wiser; ever moving into a closer relationship with him. You can look back retrospectively and see how much the Lord has worked in your life already.
More and more Papa God begins imparting revelations to us born again spirit-filled believers as we truly seek him, seek his kingdom and righteousness. It’s like the Lord gives you an insight here and a revelation there. Something you read a million times in the Scriptures suddenly jumps off the pages and you discover a deeper meaning a deeper truth then you had before. Until you just really totally submit to the Lord and suddenly miracles happen in your life. Signs and wonders follow you.
As you respond to the call of the Lord on your life, and enter into that word, you enter into a cycle of blessings that lifts you up to a higher level every time you go around the cycle. As long as you keep on the path of holiness and stay in that revelation, you will stay in that cycle of blessing and move into greater and greater blessings and increase in all good things.
I tell you the truth here there are cycles of blessing. Remember what happened at the victory at Jericho. Papa God told Joshua to circle the city seven times. As they cycled the city, it didn’t seem like anything was really happening. Like when people pray sometimes and nothing seems to have happened yet, but you must keep pressing in.
After they cycled seven times and the trumpets blew, the power of God was released and walls came tumbling down to give them a supernatural victory.
I tell you there is something to this sowing and reaping thing and it starts in your thought life. Just like if you plant corn in a garden do not expect to receive lettuce from it.
See that is another cycle isn’t it? A seed time, a growing time, a harvest time; you plant that seed. Then you need to fertilize it, and you must keep weeding, and watering it. The devil loves to plant seeds of doubt and unbelief in our thoughts and grow weeds around the thoughts the Lord has planted in us. Weeds come to kill, steal, and destroy the seed once it starts to grow.
In a garden at harvest time, after you finally you come to the place of harvest and out of your harvest you have something else to plant for the next season. Unless the enemy is able to mess with the DNA and so a seed can not reproduce as the Lord intended it to.
But truly in our lives as we go through these cycles, Papa God releases an anointing for multiplication because every time you go around that cycle, again there’s some sort of increase. You always harvest more than you planted.
John 12:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Now there are certain Festivals of the Lord that I believe Papa God wants to help you break out of every trap and cycle of destruction the devil has brought you to. He wants to break you into a cycle of blessings.
Now please understand my heart in all this but I am seeing something rather important here in the Scriptures and it’s a yearly cycle called the festivals of the Lord. But the Church does not seem to teach it or want it taught. Why, because we can by pass the instructions in the new covenant and been programmed to reject the Jewishness of the whole Bible. I do not want anyone to go back under the law because if you do you have to keep all of it or you’d be guilty of all of it. I am simply saying the Lord is showing us something here to consider, as it seems the Lord designed this all for a reason.
As we cycle through our lives, the strategies of the enemy of our souls can be broken; you can be restored back into the place of his blessings which chase you down and overtake you.
Think about it. The feasts of Papa God are also called God’s appointed times. They are not supposed to be just rituals. They are not just holidays if we are really going to go after the reason for the season.
In the Bible we see there are actually times that are set by Papa God where he wants to meet with us. I think it’s safe to say to accomplish some specific things in our life. For example Exodus 12:17 “And ye shall observe [the feast of] unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.”
Does forever in your generations apply to us as believers? I will let you and the Lord talk that one over.
So quite literally, there are certain appointments with Papa God and it’s always a blessing to meet with the Lord. What an awesome privilege it is.
Here the Lord God said every year on this day I want to meet with you because there are some ways I want to bless you. He says meet with me three times every year like this. Only we no longer seem to have an understanding of it. We have a hard enough time just meeting with him a few hours each week. It’s the truth, isn’t it?
We have learned many other ways to celebrate instead like the 4th of July in America where we all seem to know all about our traditional holidays here. Nobody has to teach us that on July 4th you’re supposed to have a picnic and watch fireworks. That is what you do on Independence Day and those other holidays some of which seem to have replaced the ones the Lord instructed us to do.
In Exodus 23 I suppose I could sum them up like this: The Lord is saying “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to Me.” Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is Passover. Celebrate the Feast of Harvest, which is Pentecost. Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering, which is Tabernacles. Why have we as the church lost touch with these and setting up these appointment times?
Acts 2:1-4 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
This is describing the "birthday of the church" – the day the Holy Spirit came to stay with believers, after the sacrifice of or Lord Jesus Christ .
All of the Biblical Holy Days served a dual purpose; the earlier as symbols for what was to come later. Their observance, and fulfillment, occupies much of Bible history and prophecy.
In the Old Testament Pentecost was after the Exodus of the Feast of harvest, in Leviticus 23:15-21 and Deuteronomy 16:9-12. This came 50 days after the cutting of the first grain offering after the Passover. In the Greek the word Pentecost means fiftieth.
Is it any coincidence here that in the New Testament Pentecost occurred 50 days after the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus? There is a dual meaning here that Papa God-commanded Biblical Holy Days.
The Spring Holy Days symbolize the events related to the First Coming of Jesus Christ of Nazareth:
- We have The Christian Passover – The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay for the sins of all humanity (Exodus 12:13, John 1:29).
- We have The Christian Feast Of Unleavened Bread – the removal of sin from the lives of converted, repentant people (Exodus 12:15, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
- The Christian Pentecost – the "first fruits" harvest, the coming of God's Holy Spirit upon conversion (Leviticus 23:16-17, Acts 2:1-4).
The Autumn Holy Days symbolize the events related to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
- Then we have The Christian Feast of Trumpets – The Return of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 23:23-25, Matthew 24:30-31).
- The Christian Day Of Atonement – the final judgment and sentencing of Satan after his removal as "the god of this world." (Leviticus 23:26-32, Revelation 20:10).
- The Christian Feast of Tabernacles – the first 1,000 years after The Return of Christ in which the harvest of salvation will truly begin. (Leviticus 23:33-36, Revelation 20:2-4)
- The Christian Eighth Day – the 8th day of the Feast of Tabernacles picturing the resurrection of all those who did not have an opportunity to hear (physically and/or spiritually) the Gospel in all the ages prior to the millennium (Leviticus 23:39, Revelation 20:5,11-15)
The "First Harvest" Of Salvation
Are you seeing this with me? I mean this is really amazing. Here in the Old Testament festival of First Fruits celebrated the first harvest of the grain crop, while it actually symbolized the New Testament "first harvest" of humanity, the "first fruits of salvation":
Romans 8:23 "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [that we are Spiritual Adopted when we are born again], to wit, the redemption of our body."
I Corinthians 15:20-23 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
The first fruits were chosen for a purpose, not as any sort of favoritism. They will serve and teach, not just the unconverted physical people who will be alive at the return of Christ, but those of the great resurrection (which will be vastly larger than the first) that will occur after the 1,000 years.
Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."
Revelation 20:5 "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished"
The Holy Bible, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, speaks of God's Plan of Salvation – a plan with a definite element of timing. The simple reality, as expressed so often through your Bible, is that not everyone is called to repentance, is able to repent even when they hear the words of the Gospel, at the same time. There is a definite order of calling, which is the reason that Jesus Christ often used the term "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15 KJV).
It seems the Apostle James refer to the "first wave" of Christians as the "first fruits of creation"
James 1:16-22 “Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
It goes on to say do not forget who you are in Christ as a born again believer and not to go out and become religious. If you do not walk, act, and speak with mercy, grace, and love, controlling your thoughts, and what words leave your mouth, you are deceived deep in your heart, and your religion is vain.
As we study the feasts of the Lord, I am amazed at what we are finding here. Papa God had given us literally a detailed yearly calendar. He had a cycle that he wanted us to go through every year. These feasts were not just for the Jewish people. Zechariah promises blessings for Gentiles who will observe the feasts. So it’s for all believers.
Our Lord Jesus and the apostles followed the feasts. Just look at all the New Testament events took place in the context of the feasts. Only the Lord could orchestrate all this and we have neglected to even look at it, because the church 300 years after its birth tried to stamp out anything that looked Jewish. You can paint a horse and dress it up as a reindeer but it’s still a horse underneath that disguise.
I mean our Lord Jesus could have been crucified any time of the year, but it happened on Passover. He could have been raised from the dead any time, but it just happened to be on the Feast of First Fruits; that was symbolic of the first fruits of a new creation. The Holy Spirit could have fallen any day of the year, but it happened on the Feast of Pentecost. I am going to say this a clearly as I know how, this surely means Papa God celebrates the feasts and keeps it exactly to his own timetable.
These feasts were an important part of the early church for 300 years. Papa God intended for these feasts to be a blessing for us and we were supposed to keep them. Maybe its time we get serious about recovering the truth and leaving the paganism that crept in behind. Nudge, nudge say no more!
Why didn’t we understand Leviticus 23 when it said do this forever for all generations?
Maybe we are still in the Dark Ages, even if we think we are so enlightened. History shows a certain group of religious men in fancy robes, (so you know they were special) pressured from the ancient Roman government. The church simply abandoned Papa God’s cycle of appointed times.
We got a Roman church calendar instead of keeping the biblical calendar. Listen Papa God always knows what he is doing and wants done; he goes with his calendar.
We can keep any calendar we want; you can celebrate your birthdays any time you want, you have freedom, but if we want to stay in step with Papa God we are going to need to find out what is on his calendar; his timetable. Amen?
It seems Papa God’s appointed times are designed to create the rhythm of the Holy Spirit in our lives so we can be in sync with the rhythm of Lord. These are so we are at the right time at the right place and we don’t miss out on his blessings. Like the Israelites who refused to meet and follow the Lord by one day and ended up wandering 40 years as a result in the desert.
Hear me on this, I am just saying if we could celebrate these feasts as the Lord intended us to, not as a religious ritual, not as just a traditional observance, but if we could celebrate these as times to meet with Papa God, and really give him access into our lives, as we should be doing each day moment by moment, wouldn’t we be moving in the holy cycle he intended for us? A cycle that allows us to continually draw closer to Papa God like the planets do in their seasons. We could be made free from the enemy’s oppression.
How many of you have some oppression from the enemy you would like to be broken off of your life? Why not try it Papa God’s way. It’s Yehvey or the Highway.
Remember how Israel missed their window of opportunity by one day? Papa God said, “Go into the land.” But instead they rebelled and said, “No, we won’t do it!” They woke up the next morning and said to each other “Maybe we made a mistake here.” They go back to Papa God and said, “Okay, God, we’re ready to go in now.”
The Lord God says, “Kids you’ve missed your window of opportunity here like missing a train or plane. The next window will open in 40 years.” How important is it that we line up with the word and obey the Holy Spirit? It seems rather vital if we want to stay in sync with our Lord and his perfect timing.
Again this is really amazing when you consider it all like Passover is about Redemption and Cleansing. Passover seems to have all three feasts built in it — Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits.
Pentecost is also a feast with three dimensions. #1. It is a celebration of Papa God’s provision in the natural realm, #2.The first fruits of the wheat harvest. #3. Pentecost was the day Papa God chose to give the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
It’s about provision in the natural realm for our physical sustenance, and in the spiritual realm, Pentecost is when the heavens opened and Papa God released his teaching to all who have ears to hear the truth. Then in Acts 2 Papa God releases another level of provision as the Holy Spirit of God was poured out.
The Feast of Tabernacles has three important appointed times: the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. We can go deeper into this later.
Passover is a feast of deliverance. I recall Derek Prince saying that the most powerful testimony you can make for deliverance is “I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy.”
Come say that with me now. “I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy.”
Every time you celebrate Passover, which is what the early church celebrated, (not the pagan version of the goddess Easter the church has replaced it with) Passover is really you making this declaration I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy.”
It’s a time for spring cleaning and removing impurity from our lives and homes. Every year at this time Papa God said, “Search out your houses and look for leaven, look for anything impure, get it rid of it get out of the house right now.”
Pentecost is a celebration of provision, when the heavens open and Papa God pours out his goodness. It’s a time he wants us to learn faith to trust him, that we are able to receive from him. It’s the provision of the wheat harvest in the physical, the law, the Torah in the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit of God in the New Covenant.
As we shared a few weeks back Tabernacles is really us coming into Papa God's presence and standing in awe of his Glory. We have Passover and Pentecost, and then we go sweat it out through the hot summer months until we enter into the autumn; we come to the Feast of Tabernacles, a time of thanksgiving unto the Lord.
Tabernacles come from when Israel had come out of Egypt and they were dwelling in the desert in little tabernacles; maybe like little pup tents. Papa God looked down and saw his people in these tabernacles and he said, “Build one for me also and I’ll come down and live among you.” It was like hanging out with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. The Lord loves his kids and wants to fellowship with you.
They built a tabernacle and the glory of God visibly came down and dwelt in their midst. That’s what we celebrate at Tabernacles or rather Thanksgiving; coming into his glory.
Do you see there is process of cycling through every year? Giving us times to make sure we stay under the Lord protection, covered by Christ’s blood; that we are washed clean and stay cleansed of impurities. That by our faith all the provisions and the blessings of the Lord can be released into our lives. As we move around in his presence and experience his glory.
You see there is a cycle of the Lord that we go through every year, because, no matter how you we may drift away from the Lord it is He that is able and will draw you back into His circle. Just as the prodigal child returns to the Gospel truth.
Do you see the bigger picture here? In the Old Testament the Tabernacle of Moses there are three courts. The outer court is all about redemption and cleansing. There is the blood of the lamb spilled out at the altar, but then there is the laver where you are cleansed of impurity; the inner court and then the Holy of Holies.
Once you are cleansed, covered in the blood, you are able to enter into the Holy Place, which is really a celebration of Papa God’s provision isn’t it.
There is the table of shewbread as the sign of Papa God’s gracious forgiveness. The Bread of Life, because the Lord loves us so much he brings forth bread from the earth to sustain us; to provide for us like a good father should do.
The menorah the Jewish people have symbolizes the provision of the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The altar of incense pictures the provision of access to Papa God in prayer. Of course you recall there was that veil that was torn top to bottom giving us access to the Lord. On the other side of that veil is the Holy of Holies where the glory of God dwells. Are you seeing the amazing similarities here?
We have this clear picture of church history. In our Lord Jesus’ ministry we have redemption and cleansing. Then in the early church we see the full provision of Papa God in his power pouring out the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit. Then we went through the dark ages when the church lost many of the things God gave us up until recently. Now just as the Bible prophesied we are seeing we are in the last days and that in the end-time church the glory will be restored. You ought to be cheering the Lord here.
The Jewish believers and the early Christian church believers seem to understand this yearly cycle of the feasts; that is was designed to help you on your journey into the presence of God. Because it really takes you from wherever you are, whatever kind of sin and mess you are in, and draws you back into the circle of the Lord until you are back standing in awe in his glory at these appointed times every year.
Because this world wants to pull you down but the Lord wants to be pulling you up higher taking you to places you have not even been able to imagine.
Have you ever gone swimming in a lake or the ocean and the current made you drift away from where you should be? I rest my case.
It’s rather easy to backslide; you don’t really even have to try to drift away from Papa God. Most people that end up drifting away from the Lord didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll rebel against God today.” Or a man says, “I think I will go try pornography today”, or a women says, “I think I will have an affair.”
No, they listen to the devil over a season. They did not test the spirits to see who was talking to them; they did not take every thought captive to Christ.
Just living in this fallen world has you drifting. Papa God understands that and has appointed times to help us. Every year as we keep growing it should draw us closer and closer into his presence.
Maybe as we really enter into them every year, we will end up closer and higher than you were the year before.
The feasts are deigned to help us be delivered, as they are built upon biblical principles that will break off demonic oppression in your life. As you study the biblical feasts, you discovered the steps that are built in here for deliverance. All the key deliverance principles are all included in the feasts. The major one being forgiveness, mercy, grace and love.
As God’s people take a spiritual inventory of their life and confess any known sins most demonic oppression can’t stay after that because this is the pathway to healing and restoration included in the cycle of feasts. It’s what we do in ministry. Confess your sins to one another that you may be healed.
James 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Searching your hearts and your homes for impurities, casting out those idols or things that are impure that have come into the home, stuff your TV set may have given you, etc. It’s good to search and get them out because that takes away the foothold of the enemy in your life.
Any way the enemy tries to get a foothold in your life over the course of a year, if you’re walking in that cycle of appointed times, Papa God is going to make you free. If you really want to recover the integrity of the early church we need to start somewhere. If you really want to get a revival going we need to start with ourselves.
We will need to be careful here because the devil would love for you to fall into making this a legalistic ritual so there would be no benefit, and legalistic rituals really turn off people around you.
It is not a sin and you will not go to hell for not observing an appointed time. But under the New Covenant, we are free to celebrate a feast if we want to just as we are free not to celebrate a feast. Don’t get legalistic on me here or anywhere.
All I am trying to say here is that if you don’t celebrate the feasts, you miss a blessing. But we are not going to get down on people who don’t celebrate them if we do or tell people what to eat. “Just make them wonder what you got and wish they were not on the outside looking in,” to quote my mate Peter Furlers and the Newsboys.
It’s not a sin to celebrate the Lord Jesus on December 25th. This is the still a day the Lord has made so rejoice in it. I would just avoid the pagan trappings best you can as the Lord will work with you.
But what I am trying to say here is that when you really experience Papa God’s festivals as he intended, entering into his appointed times and see what they accomplish throughout history, those traditional festivals don’t seem so important and seem rather pale in comparison.
I do not want to keep missing the Lord on anything He has for us; I do not want Him having to withhold any blessings. If we miss our appointed times, we seem like a drummer playing off beat or someone singing out of tune.
We seem to fast when we should feast. People think and I hear people say, “If I would fast more I’d be more spiritual.” If you love the Lord, you would just keep his commandments.
Fasting is important, but it’s just as spiritual to feast in the Lord as to fast. Papa God designed his appointed times to be times of joy and fellowship. We can not become a legalistic here if we don’t get it just right.
These celebrations do not seem intended to take place in a church building so much as just some family time celebrated to draw us the family together. It’s supposed to be a joyful time to experience the goodness and the presence of the Lord. The feasts are designed to bless you and we have been cheated out of them for far too long now. The Lord our God is in the business of restoring; restoring us back into supernatural in his appointed times.
There is certainly a new movement here in these last days, and it’s the Holy Spirit of God creating a hunger in his people to worship him in Spirit and in Truth.
Did the Lord Jesus celebrate the Festivals? Did the Apostles celebrate the festivals; did the early church celebrate the festivals? Are we supposed to go after truth or the traditions of men?
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Thank you Lord. Please reveal to us and tell us how to celebrate these biblical feasts; how to walk in the old pathway, the good way so we can find rest for our souls.
Did Jesus celebrate the Festival of Lights? (John 10:17-27)
I just want to encourage you as a fellowship of believers that we consider these things that we may begin to learn to celebrate the feasts this New Year and we can enter into Papa God’s cycle of blessing without restraint. You can experience all of the joy and fulfillment Papa God wants to give you through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let us pray together. Thanks to you Papa God. We thank you for always being so willing to help us and to forgive us of our sins and iniquities. That you want us blessed not beaten down and oppressed; that you want to take us up higher and deeper into your holiness, into your Word.
We understand now Lord from your Word, from your instructions that you want us to come before you just as any good loving father wants his children to come to him. You want us to celebrate, to feast, and even dance in your presence. That we are able remember all your benefits and experience your goodness.
We pray that by your Holy Spirit an anointing would be released right now. We ask that we can break off every ungodly religious mindset, every antichrist, Luciferian, stinking, unclean spirit that would try to mess with our celebration of you. We thank you that where ever we go your Holy Spirit is with us; that we can enjoy the liberty, joy, and freedom you have given us a joint heirs with Christ!
We ask you and thank you that you release an anointing to enter into the joy and freedom and celebration of the cycles of God; to enter into every blessing you have for us. We thank you for that in Messiah Yeshua’s Jesus Christ of Nazareth’s name. Amen.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
“For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: you shall weep no more: he will be very gracious unto you at the voice of your cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer you.” – Isaiah 30:19
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” – Psalms 145:18-19
Then came Hanukkah in Jerusalem; it was winter. John 10:23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the temple area, in Shlomo’s (Solomon’s) Colonnade.” Yeshua is the “Light of the World and the focus in this season of Miracles!
How do we celebrate Hanukkah?
The Hanukkah celebration is a time for family and prayer. Hanukkah is a time to focus on the light of the world, Yeshua. The Hanukkah (9 branch) menorah should be placed in a window or outside to publicize this great miracle. The candles are placed in the menorah from left to right and the candles are kindled from right to left. The center candle is called the Shamash (caretaker/helper). The Shamash is removed, lit, and used to kindle the other candles then returned to its holder.
The first night of Hanukkah you will have two candles in your menorah, the Shamash and one candle for the first night of Hanukkah. The second night you will have three candles, the Shamash and two candles on the far right of the menorah representing two nights of Hanukkah and so on through the eight days!
On the last night of Hanukkah you will have all nine candles in the menorah. You will need a total of 44 candles for the entire Hanukkah celebration. The candles should be lit at sundown and the whole family should be gathered (it's acceptable to wait past sundown so that the entire family can gather around the menorah). The candles should remain lit for at least 30 minutes.
The following blessings are recited when kindling the candles:
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech ha’olam, Asher Kid’shanu b’mitsvotav vitsivanu, Le-had-lik Ner Hanukkha.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has set us apart by your commandments and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkha.
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech ha’olam, She-o-so Ni-sim La-avo-sei-nu Ba-yo-mim Ho-haim Bi-z’man Ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.
Shema, Yisrael Adonai EloheynuAdonai Echad. Baruch shem kavod, malchuto, l’olam vayed.
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Blessed be His name, His glorious kingdom forever. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech haolam, asher natan lanu et Derek ha’Yeshua, b’Miashiach, Yeshua.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us the way of salvation in Messiah Yeshua.
After the blessings, kindle the candle or candles. The following scriptures may be read, followed by prayer and family fellowship. This is a quiet time, a time focused on our heavenly Father. Spend time with your family and God! Shut off the television, turn off the radio, block out the things of this world and enter into the presence of the most high!
Isaiah 60:19, Psalm 27:1.
Psalm 119:105, 119:130, Proverbs 6:23.
Matthew 5:16, Luke 11:30.
Luke 11:34, Acts 26:18.
John 1:4-5, John 8:12, John 12:35-36.
I Peter 2:9 Ephesians 5:11-15, I John 1:5-9.
Caspar McCloud Ministries Face Book
The Upper Room Fellowship Face Book