Are you interested in learning about the Festivals of Leviticus 23?
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“The Lord’s Feasts”
Are you interested in learning about the Festivals of Leviticus 23?
Download this free booklet!
“The Lord’s Feasts”
Credit: The Exploratorium
Downloaded from NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/eclipse/eclipseimages.html
Can God use the Heavens to Speak to Us?
By: Kelly McDonald, Jr.
We do not think much about the heavenly bodies (the sun, moon, and stars) and their special place in God’s creation. I think we tend to overlook it for two main reasons. One, we are so far removed from the Heavenly realm, even though it affects us greatly. Two, there are people who have perverted God’s creation and worship these entities. Astrology is the religious perversion of the Heavenly Realm. This is where people worship the sun, moon, and stars. They have calendars called the zodiac, and people live by the zodiac predictions. People are trying to spiritually connect with a created thing instead of connecting to the Creator. Because these people have twisted God’s creation, many believers have run away from studying the creation at all. Astronomy is the scientific study of the heavens. Astronomy is Biblical.
The Magi knew that Jesus was born because of a star they saw in the east (Matthew 2:1-10). The Bible actually tells us that they knew the EXACT time the star appeared. This means that they could calculate when the star appeared and where the star was. The Messiah was found because the Magi knew astronomy.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (emphasis mine throughout)
The Hebrew word translated as “pour forth” is naba, and it is the same Hebrew word used for prophesying! The Hebrew word for Speech can mean promise. To summarize these revelations, the Heavens inscribe the prophecies or promises of God! They can even reveal intimate knowledge to us. The Magi could have only known that a specific star was a sign of the Messiah unless that star was assigned to a specific promise from God!
The Hebrew word for “voice” in verse 4 is “measuring line”. It can mean a line stretched forth for measuring or a line stretched for judgment. It is a unit of measurement. For God, the Heavens are a form of measuring where things are versus where they should be. Sometimes, things measure up perfectly. Sometimes they do not. The Heavens are how God sends this message to humans.
Genesis 1:14-19 reads, “14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
The sun, moon, and stars serve as signs for season, days, and years. The Hebrew word for signs is oth, and it means a banner or beacon. Have you ever seen a light house? It is a beacon of light on a tower to guide you. In other words, the behavior of these heavenly bodies was meant to get our attention. A banner is a rallying point or a flag of representation. A beacon is meant to guide us. How do these bodies do this?
The sun is how days begin and end in the Bible. At sunset, one day ends and another day begins. This is why the Bible tells us that “…And the evening and the morning (or day) was the fourth day” (Gen. 1:19). This is why the Bible tells us not to let the sun go down on your wrath or anger (Ephesians 4:26). The Hebrew word for seasons is moed, and it literally means a fixed appointment. Throughout the Bible, this word refers to the Lord’s Feasts in Leviticus 23. The moon is so important in the Bible because the Hebrew Calendar is based off of the moon. Because months are determined by the moon, it helps us determine the festivals.
As we see the solar eclipse occur across the United States, let us not forget that God DOES speak through the creation He made. Let’s have ears to hear what He is saying to us in this hour. As we see our nation being torn apart, let us humbly seek His face. Pray for God to use this sign in the Heavens to get the attention of our nation that we would turn back to Him.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:9)
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
When we look at the world today, there are many problems. There are wars, famine, and disease. The world seems unstable; human governments seem to be ineffective. Despite the seemingly hopeless situation, there is GOOD NEWS!
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is coming back to establish a reign of peace and righteousness! There will be no more war, famine, or disease. The Government of God will operate with perfect efficiency.
While the world situation seems hopeless, but we can have hope through Jesus. Jesus came once to bear the sin of the world; he will come a second time to rule the earth. If the first coming of Jesus was the good news, then His second coming is the GREAT news!
To learn more about the return of Jesus and this Kingdom of Peace, come to the Future Hope Conference 2017!
Date: June 23 and 24
Location: Citipointe Pine Rivers – 138 Old Gympie Rd, Kallangur, Queensland, Australia 4503
To register, click here: FUTURE HOPE CONFERENCE
New Booklet Release!
The Feast of Pentecost: Past – Present – Future
The Day of Pentecost is mostly known for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2. Due to this, many consider it a ‘fulfilled’ day. Did you know that this day has a rich meaning in the past, present, AND future!
In this booklet, you will learn the basics and more in-depth items concerning Pentecost. It will give you a powerful understanding of this special day!
To read this booklet, click the picture above or CLICK HERE!
Our country is at a tremendous crossroads. We have internal strife between conservatives and liberals. There is strife within the Christian community, with some wanting to conform to culture and others wanting to conform to the Bible. We have $20 trillion in debt and our birth-rate is at an all-time low. There is instability in the world with wars and rumors of wars, just as Jesus foretold.
At the end of the day, the President is a person. He has authority to direct the affairs of the government, but he has to work with congress and the judicial system. He has limitations. He can’t fix all these problems. Only God can turn the nation around (with His people seeking him daily). Having said that, God can direct this man’s heart and mind to act wisely and in a manner that pleases God.
There are a few presidential prayer strategies the body of Christ needs to apply right now.
1) Pray for protection.
Our country is extremely divided. Those who oppose Donald Trump are more violent than ever. During the inauguration, parts of Washington, DC were destroyed by protestors. This included establishments like Starbucks that opposed Donald Trump! This level of recklessness and destruction is from satan. If the plans of Donald Trump are allowed to succeed, then he will ‘upset the apple-cart’ of politics. He is causing individuals world-wide to hate him because he wants other countries to deal fairly with America.
We need to pray for his protection. He is proposing items so drastic to the left-wing media (like fighting terrorism and promoting pro-life, which who knew would be a drastic idea?), that radicals in our country may attempt to harm him. An attack on him would be even further devastating to the unity of our country. We also want to pray for his family, as terrorists could try to harm them in a way to discourage him.
2) Pray for Wisdom
As mentioned earlier, there are a multitude of national and international problems. We need to pray for God to give him WISDOM to direct him towards policies that are constructive. Trump has to work with Congress and the judicial system. There are elements in both areas that are very hostile to anything in his agenda. Pray for the wisdom and tact in speech and action so that constructive policies can be approved. Pray for his heart to be soft to the will of God; pray for him to know how to properly respond to opposition.
3) Pray for Encouragement
The media has been bombarding this man for months with the hateful and virulent reports. Pray for his eyes and ears to be closed to their assaults. Pray for God to shield his eyes and ears. Ask God to give him a surge of confidence and encouragement as he implements the items that God puts upon his heart. Ask God to increase his sense of purpose as he fulfills his duties. Moreover, pray the same items for his family. The media has even attacked his ten-year old son, which is terrible and should never happen. Pray for the family to be unaffected by satan’s attacks. Lastly, pray for the media to have their narrative transitioned to such a degree that they only report the truth and not lies.
The Body of Christ needs to act quickly to stem the flow of the outrageous attacks against our country. God has given us a second chance in this election; let’s make the best of it.
The background for the celebration of Purim is found in the book of Esther. Interestingly enough, God’s name is not found one time in this book. Instead, we see God working behind the scenes to protect His people. In this process, we can see God’s plan to reveal His Bride to the entire world.
The Jewish people were taken captive to the land of Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. They remained there for 70 years. While they were there, they were subject to the Babylonians and then the Persians. The story of Purim starts with the King of the Persians, Xerxes, throwing a tremendous celebration for his princes and nobles. This party lasted about six months.
At the end of this time, he had a seven-day celebration for all who live in the citadel of Susa. On the seventh day, he called forth his bride, Vashti, to display her beauty before the nobles. She refused to come, which embarrassed the king. After consulting with his officials, it was determined that she should be removed from her position as queen.
The king then searched his entire kingdom looking for a queen to take her place. Beautiful virgins from across the vast empire were brought to him. They were treated with special ointments and food, and each one was given an opportunity to please the king. One of these beautiful virgins was named Hadassah or Esther. She was a Benjaminite descended from Kish. Her uncle Mordecai advised her to keep her family and national identity a secret. Unlike many of the other girls who sought to dress the way they pleased, Esther sought only to please the king. She won his heart. Her uncle Mordecai even uncovered a plot to kill king Xerxes.
In the meantime, a man by the name of Haman (who was an Agagite) was lifted up and exalted by King Xerxes. Despite this promotion by the King, Mordecai refused to bow down to him. This caused Haman to seek the destruction of not only Mordecai, but all the Jewish people throughout the entire kingdom! He cast the pur (or lots) on the 13th day of the 1st month on the Hebrew Calendar. The lots determined the date that they would try to destroy them. Haman even offered to pay for this destruction to happen! The King approved this destruction and sealed their fate. In his pride, Haman even had a gallows built to hang Mordecai when the opportunity was right.
Once news of this decree was made known, Mordecai pleaded with Esther to go before the king to ask for mercy. Normally, no one was allowed to go before the king without being summoned. You could be punished with death if you came to him on your own accord. If the king held out his golden scepter when you approached him, then you would be spared. Esther and all the Jewish people in Susa fasted for three days and three nights so that Esther would have favor. After seeking the Lord during this time, she went before the king.
With humility, Esther went before the king. I can only imagine the immense pressure she felt; but we serve a God who answers prayers. The king reached out his golden scepter and she was spared. The king asked her what she wanted, but she refused to speak about it at that time. Instead, she suggested a banquet be held with the king and Haman in attendance. She offered to prepare the banquet.
At this banquet, she requested a second banquet. The evening before the second banquet, the king could not sleep. He had the records of the kingdom brought in and read in his presence. In it, he found where Mordecai uncovered the plot to kill the king. He decided to reward Mordecai and made Haman honor him before the people!
Then came the second banquet. Haman thought he would be honored, but the opposite happened. AS Psalm 23:5 reads, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Esther finally revealed to Xerxes the plot of Haman to kill her people. She asked that they be spared. In doing so, she revealed that she was Jewish. The king was enraged!
He ordered that Haman and his sons be hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai’s destruction. He then made a decree that the Jews were allowed to defend themselves against their enemies on the same date that Haman had planned to destroy them! The Jewish people took vengeance this day, but did not take plunder from their enemies. Purim was decreed as a celebration for the people of Israel; on the 14th and 15th of Adar (the 12th month of the Hebrew Calendar), it was to be celebrated.
The bride-elect Hadassah, named Esther, is a picture and type of the Bride of Christ. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that there is a time for everything under the sun. In addition to what is listed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a time for concealing and a time for revealing!
Joseph was concealed in slavery and then revealed in time for the harvest. He saved his people. God hides people because in the process of hiding them, he is preparing them to fulfill their purpose. Esther’s identity was hidden. This does not mean she was ashamed. It just was not time for her to be revealed.
In the same way, all believers are preparing to be the Bride of Christ. However, only a certain group of believers will be elected to be the Bride. Jesus said, “Many are called, few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14). Those who are called, chosen, and faithful will ride back with Jesus at His return (Revelation 17:14). Among the called are those hidden away – a remnant – who are chosen. How many will remain faithful?
Before a girl could go before the king, she had to complete 12 months of beauty treatments. She was treated for six months with oil and myrrh and another six with perfumes and cosmetics (Esther 2:12). These ointments would literally soak into her pores so that when she sweat these scents were released. The goal was to please the king.
Some women dressed and were treated in the way that they liked, hoping that the king would also like it. Esther only did what Hegai, the head eunuch in charge of the women, suggested (Esther 2:15). She won the favor of everyone, even the King! Hegai’s name is very similar to the Hebrew word for annual festival, chag. The Feasts of Leviticus 23 give us special food. Food determines health; special food is special, spiritual health. The oils can refer to the anointing poured out on us to serve Him (see John 12:1-10). The wonderful fragrances represent our worship of Him. Our works become the cosmetics that adorn us spiritually (I Timothy 2:10). Our beauty to Him is based upon these things. How attractive are you to Him? As Jesus said, He wants us providing meat in due season (Matthew 24:45). The festivals are when this happens. During the holy days we receive special revelations about our Kingdom assignments. We are given direction about what we need to change to be in conformity with the Will of God. We are to be preparing and helping others prepare to be the Bride.
Purim occurs at the time almonds bloom. An almond blossom represents the concealed will of God being revealed. In Jeremiah 1:11-12, the Bible reads, “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.” In Numbers 17, God confirmed the priesthood through an almond blossom! In Exodus 25, God gave the instructions concerning the seven branch menorah. God commanded that each branch have almond blossoms!
Almonds represent God’s covenant to fulfill all that He has promised. God accomplishes His promises by His Spirit – “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). This verse is just after Zechariah saw the seven-branch lamp stand in Heaven!
Almonds prophetically represents the Bride of Christ. God is going to present to Jesus His Son a bride that is without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27). This does not happen through human effort. “Quench not the Spirit’s fire. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:19-23, KJV). Our sanctification starts by submitting to the Spirit of Christ within us. We then begin to obey His commandments and serve in the Kingdom. He will cause the Bride to blossom at just the right time.
When an almond is being formed, a hull is formed around the almond to protect it and ensure its growth. We can see from the story how Esther kept her national identity concealed and protected until just the right time. At our present prophetic time period, the Bride is currently hidden, being formed by the Godly character she is allowing God to bring into her. She is concealed from the entire world. At the right time, the almonds will bud and blossom, and she will arise. When the harvest for almonds comes, the outer hull peals away. The almond becomes revealed. Just as Esther’s identity was concealed until just the right time, so will the True Bride of Christ be concealed until she blossoms before the entire world. There is a meaning of Purim even beyond the revealing of the Bride in Revelation 19!
Revelation 21:1-2 reads, “1 Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.’”
The final prophetic fulfillment of Hanukkah is found in verse 1 when the New Heavens and New Earth are revealed. The final fulfillment of Purim is when the New Jerusalem appears as a BRIDE adorned just as Esther appeared as a bride adorned. This is the full revelation of the Bride’s glory. The bride appears once in Revelation 19 to the whole world alive at that time; this last time is for the entire Universe. There was a first Eve; she is the last Eve just as Christ is the last Adam.
What is the gospel of the Kingdom of God?
by Kelly McDonald, JR.
When our Savior, Jesus Christ, came to earth, He said, “The time has come…The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) Jesus talked about the Kingdom. That was the central focus of His ministry. His sermons and teachings give us details about that Kingdom. What does the gospel of the Kingdom of God mean, and how do we experience that Kingdom today?
Before we can really understand this good news, we must understand the historical background behind Jesus’ words. The Roman Empire ruled the Promised Land (and most of the Mediterranean world) in Jesus’ lifetime (approximately 3 BC to 31 AD). The ministry of Christ began around 27 or 28 AD.
Just before His ministry began, the Romans had a time of peace and prosperity under the Emperor Augustus, who ruled from 27 BC to 14 AD. There was plenty of food in the empire. They had peace from all of their enemies. This led many people to call Augustus “Savior”. People began to proclaim the “good news” of the Roman Empire. The Greek term they used for good news was euangelion. There were songs written about Augustus, and his fame spread far and wide. Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom of God. He used the same Greek word, euangelion, to describe God’s Kingdom. The term gospel is a word which simply means “good news.”
The gospel was not just a message with spiritual meaning; it also carried political ramifications. It stirred up the Romans because this gospel was about a different kingdom. This is why so many Roman Emperors over centuries have tried to destroy Christianity. They saw the gospel message about the Kingdom of God and its supreme ruler in opposition to their own kingdom. This was a true assumption on their part! The gospel message is in opposition to the idea that human governments can be supreme.
Today, the world thinks that it can solve all of its problems by human intervention. We think that by human government and effort, we can make the world a better place. We are trusting in man. Our political leaders are trusting that other nations will solve their problems peaceably and not resort to war. The Romans wanted to spread the message that the Roman Empire would take care of all their needs, provide military protection, and give them hope for their future. When the gospel of the Kingdom of God was being proclaimed, it was a challenge to Roman dominance in the lives of people. Instead of looking to people and human effort to provide for our needs, we are to look to the Almighty God. Instead of relying on human government, we are to rely on the Government of God.
Jesus was trying to focus people’s thoughts away from the earthly toward the spiritual, Heavenly realm. As Paul wrote, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2, NKJV). By accepting Jesus Christ through repentance of our sins, we enter into a Kingdom where our needs are provided for. Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-33, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
When we seek the Kingdom of God, our needs will be provided for. We also learn from Jesus’ words a proof of God’s existence: God exists because He knows our needs and will meet them. People in other religions (which Jesus called pagans), have to run after and search for food and clothing. They are worried about their daily needs. Why is this? They do not serve the one true God that created all things. They are trying to achieve these things by human effort alone to meet their needs. We should always do our part (faith without works is dead –James chapter 2), but those that belong to God’s government receive supernatural intervention for their needs!
Human governments obtain legitimacy by offering to provide for basic human needs. Instead of forcing you to run after basic needs, they want to be your provider! Think for a moment about the things that human governments promise us. 1) food or money (food stamps and welfare); 2) healthcare for those times when you are sick; 3) protection from foreign enemies; 4) freedoms defined by law. God’s Kingdom provides all of these things as well. Jesus made the promise in Matthew 6:25-33 that our physical needs would be met. There is a built-in healthcare system in His Kingdom where we can pray for the sick and they are healed (Matthew 4:23). He promises to protect us from our enemy, Satan the devil (Luke 10:19, John 17:15). He also has a righteous body of laws that guide our daily lives (James 1:26-27, Isaiah 2:1-5).
Human governments want to take your children and teach them right from wrong. They want to train us to think a certain way so we can be subject to the state. The Lord promises to teach us all things through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). Part of Jesus’ gospel message is that we no longer have to put our trust in human governments when it comes to our needs. Our focus is re-directed to the Heavenly Father. Being citizens of the Kingdom of God means that we are a part of a different world entirely that defies the natural realm; it defies the normal way of doing things. Our provision, our behavior, and our lifestyle will be opposed to the world as it is today. God is preparing us for the world tomorrow!
New Booklet now available!
Prayer and Fasting.
Jesus said, “When we pray…” and “When we fast…” (Matthew 6:5, 16-18). There is an expectation from God that we will pray and fast. It is a powerful spiritual discipline that has delivered entire nations from the brink of destruction and prepared people for powerful encounters with God. In this booklet, you will learn the practical application of fasting and the powerful spiritual benefits that come from it.
To download this free booklet, click the picture below!
We now have three new booklets to download for free!
Click on any of the pictures below to download these booklets for free! These can also be found on our “Free Booklets” page.
Five Traits for the Younger Generation
Throughout history, there has been the back and forth dialogue between the younger generation, full of zeal, and the older generation, full of experience and wisdom. The youth tend to be excited and desirous for action. The older tend more circumspect and cautious because of life experience. At times in history, the differing perspectives of old and young have caused strife with each other.
For a Biblical example, consider Rehoboam. Rehoboam was a younger king who needed wise counsel. He sought the counsel of the older generation first and then that of his companions. Unfortunately, he choose the counsel of his companions, which led to ruin.
On the other hand, we consider the example of Timothy. Timothy was a young man, yet a leader among older people. Paul instructed him on how to work with others: “1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (I Timothy 5:1-2). Timothy responded to Paul’s instruction. Paul and Timothy worked together as a spiritual father/son in the Kingdom of God.
I have worked with older people much of my life. When I was in high school, they called me a “young man with an old soul” because I tended to identify with older people. This is even more true now that I am in the insurance industry. There are qualities in the older generation I have come to admire and specifically target in my own life for improvement.
The younger and older Generations don’t have to be at odds with one another. In this segment, I point out five things that younger people must do to gain the confidence of the older generation. It requires that younger people recognize the values and experience of older people.
I believe this is a huge key in seeing the younger and older generation work together for the Kingdom of God. These five traits are valuable in all aspects of life, even outside of the gospel work.
I think it is imperative that the older generation encourage younger people in these areas and affirm them when they see progress. Use both correction and affection in appropriate measures and at the appropriate time.
While the young want to act, they need the direction of someone older. The younger must listen. At the same time, the older cannot act in a way where caution leads to inaction. Don’t be so afraid of releasing the youth to action that they become disinterested. Find ways to channel it.
I want to affirm that this blog is not a polemic against the younger generation; I am not bashing or coming down due to a specific event. No external event has triggered this blog. It came by revelation. I am simply pointing out characteristics the older generation values to help younger people and older people connect in a more meaningful way.