These last two nights the people of Israel have sat in their sukkahs (booths), on their balconies or in their gardens to share a dinner meal for the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles. As the sun set in the west, a beautiful full moon rose from the east, lighting the evening sky. The air was a degree or two below room temperature, perfectly comfortable and refreshing.
The Jewish calendar is based on a lunar system: the first day of each month having a new or invisible moon; and the 14th-15th day of the month showing a full moon. The biblical yearly calendar starts at the beginning of the spring; the first month at the first buds (April), and the seventh month (September-October) comes at the end of the harvest season.
There are two perfect opportunities for the evening meal: the full moon in the first month and the full moon in the seventh month. That is exactly what the Bible commands for the two great holyday meals: Passover and Tabernacles. A month before or a month after would be too early or too late. On these two dates, the agricultural season, the weather conditions and the moon’s appearance all coincide perfectly.
The Christian world bases its holydays on the solar calendar and the Jewish world on the lunar. God has combined both in His schedule. The festivals also have levels of spiritual significance concerning the events of the Exodus; of the Gospels; and of the End Times yet to come. God is weaving all these elements, both earthly and heavenly, into His great plan.
The biblical word for “festival” is mo’ed, which means “an appointed time to meet.” This root is the same as found in Amos 3:3, “How can two walk together unless they agree (on an appointed time to meet).” God is working all things together for His pre-destined plan. His plan is fulfilled in Yeshua (Jesus); recorded in the Scriptures; revealed by the Holy Spirit; symbolized in the feasts of Israel; and even coordinated to the patterns of the moon, sun and nature.
- Prayer for this Feast of Tabernacles season: There is much controversy and spiritual warfare concerning:
- Messianic outreach at the New Age festivals,
- Messianic congregations celebrating the feasts,
- Messianic presence at the Christian Embassy feast celebration (Asher will be speaking on Sunday),
Ahmadinajad in the U. S. and U. N.
Many were surprised at Iranian President Ahmadinajad’s approach and tone of voice when speaking in the U. S. In my opinion, he came to evangelize. He sees himself as a Muslim prophet, even the potential Muslim messiah, Al Mahdi. This was like Billy Graham coming to speak to the Iranian parliament. Ahmadinajad wants to convert the people of America to Islam.
Revelation 13:11 tells of one coming who appears like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon. II Corinthians 11:14 and Matthew 7:15 speak of false prophets coming in gentle appearance. If someone knows the real Lamb (Yeshua), then he will not be fooled by a counterfeit lamb. However if one does not know the real one, he is susceptible to be deceived.
Karnit Goldvasser, wife of Udi Goldvasser (one of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hamas or Hizballah), posing as a reporter, confronted Ahmadinajad at a press conference in New York. She challenged him on the refusal of the Muslim kidnappers to allow basic humanitarian care to the captives or access to them by the Red Cross.
Pray for the spirit of Islamic Jihad to be divided and destroyed; and for the visit of Ahmadinajad to backfire and cause people to search for true faith in Yeshua.
Schneerson is God
Speaking of false messiahs, a sect of the Lubavitch movement placed an advertisement in the largest Israeli Hebrew newspaper, Yediot. The ad stated not only that their rebbe, Schneerson, is indeed the Messiah, but also that he is God! Not only is he God, but it is permissible to pray to him. (II Thessalonians 2:4 refers to the anti-Christ “calling himself God”.) I had to read the advertisement twice to make sure my eyes were not betraying me.
About two years ago, there was a theological conference in Israel among Messianic leaders as to whether we should call Yeshua “God”, and whether we should pray to Him or just to the Father. (90% affirmed total divinity). It seems that the Lubavitch movement has solved the problem for us by such a bold statement that their rabbi is God, bringing the idea of a divine Messiah into the forum of Jewish rabbinic dialogue.
Pray for God’s preparation of the hearts of orthodox Jews in Israel for a revelation of the true Messiah.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.