Why do we as Non-Jews believer in Messiah Yeshua need to study about biblical feast?
Each of the biblical Jewish holidays teaches us something unique and wonderful about our relationship with YHVH Elohim, our creator, sustainer and provider. Without Him we are ruined - spiritually and even physically.
What Is Sukkot?
The Biblical description of this festival can be found in : Leviticus 23:34-43, Deuteronomy 16:13-15, and Numbers 29:12-40. It occur in the season of Autumn also known as harvest feast. In the Biblical Calendar it falls on 15 Tishri that is when you will see a full moon. Every of His People much not come with empty handed. We are to " gathered in the fruit of the land" "keeping the Shabbat" (give your time specially set aside for Him). It can be more joyous for those who have harvest of soul; discipleship and service for the Messiah. That would mean "you have brought something for the Lord" an empty hand would pretty embarrassing
On that day you see Men carry the traditional lulav and citron to the synagogue to wave as they rejoice before the Lord, as commanded by the Lord in Leviticus 23:40 "on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before YHWH your ELOHIM seven days". The lulav has three branches tied together: a palm frond, a willow branch, and a myrtle branch. The citron is a citrus fruit that smells like a lemon. Jewish tradition provides us with a practical understanding of a truly spiritual life based on the characteristics of the lulav and citron.
Spiritually, we are not to be like the PALM, as it can only bear fruit (deeds), but is not fragrant (spiritual blessing). We have all met folks who live their lives by the letter of the law but have no love or compassion in administering it, for themselves or others.
Pronounce the word Citron
Click here to read the biological description
PS: This seem parallel to Matthew Chap 13:18-31|Mark Chap 4:3-9|Luke Chap 8:5-18 The parable of the sower and also Revelation 2. This points to us how do we response to God's Word. Is just the head knowledge; outward rituals, lip service but no life changing effect? Or do we seek to obey and response to God's word in our life.
Article written byby Clarence H. Wagner, Jr. Bridge for peace
The sukkah is four-sided with an opening on one side. Almost any building material will do for the sides, so long as it is not of a permanent nature. The top is loosely covered with branches from "goodly trees," taking care you are able to see an occasional star. The sukkah is usually decorated with fruit dangling on strings from the roof, since Sukkot is the harvest festival of God's provision, which also signifies the ingathering of all the fruit of the earth (Lev. 23:39). It is thus a festival of the end-times. The children also like to add tinsel, streamers, paper-chains, and pictures depicting Bible stories.
Meals are eaten in the sukkah, accompanied by singing and rejoicing. Some very observant families like to spend leisure time and even sleep there. It is also a place to discuss and meditate on the lessons from this flimsy dwelling of Israel's past. Spending time in your booth is a reminder that God brought the Children of Israel out of the bondage of their Egyptian taskmasters into freedom. As Christians, we can celebrate that God redeemed us from a life of bondage to sin and brought us into His freedom in the Kingdom of God. This is a joyful celebration.
Each year my family and I join in this festival and build our booth on an outdoor porch. Ashley and Allison, our girls, really look forward to the preparation and decoration. Each night for a week we eat our meals there and retell the story of how God provided for the Children of Israel in the desert and discuss how He provides for us. We sing songs of praise to the Lord, just as our neighbors do. We can feel the night breeze as it rustles through the leaves, occasionally catching the twinkle of the stars above our branches. Each year we learn and understand more about our Lord and His ways.
This exercise is much more than a cultural or historical exchange. It is a biblical experience that can teach us new insights about the Lord as we do it.
Some Lessons From The Sukkah
Lesson #1: We Are All Sojourners
From the days of our father Abraham, we have been strangers and pilgrims in the earth. God seems to desire it this way.
It has also spelled disaster when God's people grew too comfortable. This was undoubtedly one of the reasons God issued a command for the Israelites to dwell in booths for one week each year, and why the custom is to continue as a "statute forever" (Lev. 23:41).
As SOJOURNERS (I Pt. 2:11), we must learn to hold all things loosely. This is especially difficult in our materialistic age. We are constantly held by the tyranny of "things." Things control and manipulate us; they become gods, or idols, over us. As the people of Israel were about to enter the land, God impressed upon them the message of Tabernacles, lest they be drawn away by the very affluence of the Promised Land. The message is still a good one today.
Christians also must learn that this life is only temporary. We, too, are on a pilgrimage to a Promised Land in eternity. We need to seek God's kingdom, not earthly comfort. As we seek first the kingdom of God, our material needs are provided for by the Lord (Lk. 12:31).
Finally, sojourning is a great EQUALIZER. When the Israelites were wanderers in the desert they all lived in tents - rich and poor alike. The book of Deuteronomy speaks of all the people going to their tents. After the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, the book of Judges mentions tents and houses. By the time of the books of Kings, the author speaks of tents, houses and palaces. During Tabernacles, all men are equal before God and one another. Each one sits in his flimsy sukkah and considers God, not his own special status.
Most of us have been sojourners as we traveled on vacation or business trips. Certainly those of you who have joined us on Israel tours know that when you are with a group of people, everyone is vulnerable to circumstances beyond their own control. Everyone in the group travels with only their basic needs. They are not in their usual "societal roles" that might intimidate others. Traveling as a group brings down barriers. Instant conversation and newfound friendships are possible with people you might have been too intimidated to talk with in your home community.
During Sukkot, temporarily "sojourning" in your sukkah gives you an annual opportunity to reflect on how you relate to God and to others.
Lesson #2: Faith Requires Flexibility
We must be able to move when God moves. Christian history is filled with those who had vested interests that prevented them from moving when God moved. The tabernacle is a flimsy structure. It is almost a tent and can be put up or taken down in a few minutes. It is sensitive to the wind of the Holy Spirit. It is open to the heavens. It is indefensible and cannot be closed off.
Throughout the Bible, it seems that the struggle has gone on between the concept of # tabernacle (sukkah or mishkan) and the concept of house (bayit). The whole episode of Stephen's stoning seemed to revolve around this issue. Stephen told his hearers that David "desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob, but Solomon built Him a house" (Acts 7:46-47).
Certainly, the house is a more attractive, comfortable, durable and appealing human habitation. Yet in the house, we lose the flexibility to follow the cloud, we lose the sensitivity to the wind and we lose that intimate contact with the creation and the Creator.
The Bible looks forward to a time of purer and simpler faith. The prophet Amos says that at the end of days the Tabernacle of David will be restored (Amos 9:11). That flimsy tent with its glorious worship and fellowship with God has probably touched both Judaism and Christianity more than any of us realize. David's worship, his Psalms and his ecstasy before God, has surely influenced many outbreaks of revival in both Jewish and Christian history. It is noteworthy that some of the great revivals actually were held in tents and brush arbors, closely resembling the ancient tabernacle.
With this in mind we can better understand John's prophecy in Revelation: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Rev. 21:3).
The tabernacle may have been a fragile and unsightly structure, but it enabled the Israelites to look out the tent door and see the glory of God hovering over them in the pillar of cloud and fire. Throughout subsequent history, both Israel and the Church have traded away spiritual reality for human security.
Lesson #3: We Must Remember The Frailty Of Our Own Lives As you sit in the sukkah and watch the wind rustle the leaves overhead, some will fall around you. Early in the week of Sukkot, the leaves are fresh and green, but soon they are dry and dead. The verse of Isaiah 64:6 becomes especially clear, "We all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away."
With the "house" concept it is easy for us to feel permanent and self-sufficient and to lose sight of our brief sojourn on the earth. As the flight attendant announces on a short stopover, "Our ground time here will be brief." The tabernacle also speaks of our frailty, that we are but flesh. Yet in our frailty, we are reminded that God provides (Jehovah Jireh), for which we should be thankful. However, the very consistency of God's provision and blessing sometimes dulls our gratitude. The greatest thing about God's blessings is they are fresh each day (Lam. 3:23). They are new every morning - Great is His faithfulness. We didn't do it ourselves.
The New Testament writers often refer to our bodies as a tabernacle (II Pet. 1:13). Paul reminds us that "... if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven" (II Cor. 5:1).
Like the Tabernacle, we too are flimsy and frail, and soon begin to fade. Life is short. Our hope is not in what the world offers, but in what God has already provided for us to serve Him here and now, and for eternity. Yeshua (Jesus) said, "In My Father's house are many mansions - I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am" (Jn. 14:2,3). The place for our permanent "house" is in eternity.
The second main element of Sukkot, one that is hardly ever mentioned, is the admonition to sacrifice, found in Leviticus 23:37-39 and more fully described in Numbers 29:12-20. The Israelites were supposed to bring burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings EACH DAY of the week of Sukkot! This was costly and time-consuming.
Imagine if we had to fulfill these daily requirements? Would we do it? Do we have that much commitment to the Lord? Would we be willing to sustain the cost of these rich sacrifices or would we find an excuse to avoid participating? If it is so hard, then why did God require the sacrifices?
The underlying purpose of the offerings was to be purified from sin so that the worshipper could enter into fellowship with God. The requirements were stiff. The basic principle is obedience. God provided for the sacrifice, but were His people faithful to lay it on the altar? That took faith.
Without obedience and faith, the offerings were valueless. It was not enough to go through the motions of making a sacrifice, if there was no repentance and a subsequent effort to live a Godly life each day. We can forget the sacrifice if we are not willing to be obedient and faithful.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
Likewise for Christians, without faith and practice, the sacrificial, atoning death of the Lamb of God is valueless. It is not enough to know the facts of the story. If we don't appropriate it personally and act upon it by faith, then we will not have the promised salvation. It is God's gift, but we have to receive it and then live it. "For by grace we are saved through faith. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9). Yet James 2:17 tells us that,
"Faith without works is dead, being alone."
This is not a contradiction, but a qualification. If our faith does not yield fruit through works of faith, then the faith is not true faith, and it is dead. It is the obedience of acting on our faith, even sacrificially, that proves it to be true.
To Sacrifice Is To Give, Not Just Get
Another lesson of the sacrifice focuses our attention on what we can, and should, give to the Lord. Too often in our late, 20th century evangelical Christianity, particularly in some of the North American groups, the emphasis is on what we can "get" from the Lord, and not on what we should be giving. Certainly, we are blessed by the Lord as we are faithful to give. Yet, the blessing should be the fringe benefit, not the sole motivation for giving.
Sukkot reminds us of God's sovereignty and majesty. It also reminds us of the need to honor Him with our lives and give back to God from the provisions and blessings He has given to us. The tithe is a requirement of God (Mal. 3:10) that even predates the Law (Gen. 14:20; 28:22).
For Christians, Romans 12:1 asks more of us than a grain or drink offering. God requires our lives. "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship." We have so much to give to the Lord:
God's Blessing, Our Response
We need to be producing spiritual fruit and fragrance and by this be storing up our treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt. Treasures in heaven are laid up only as treasures on earth are laid down.
Sukkot is more than just sitting under decorative fruits of His creation. It is to consider that we are His creation. We are to gather up our personal, spiritual fruits of faith and celebrate by giving ourselves in God's service.
In 1961 John F. Kennedy said in his inauguration speech as President of the US, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Today, we can ask ourselves, "Ask not what our God can do for you, ask what you can do for our God." The message of Sukkot is total commitment to the Lord and His service.
The final holiday of the fall festival cycle is SIMCHAT TORAH, meaning, "celebrating the joy of God's Word." This holiday is the day following Sukkot when the people finish the annual Torah reading cycle with Deuteronomy 34 and begin it again by reading Genesis 1. There is great celebration because it is the Word of God that provides us with life's instruction book for righteous and abundant living. In Israel, the neighborhood streets are filled with people as whole congregations pour out of the synagogues carrying their Torah scrolls high in the air as they sing and chant in celebration. Can you imagine the effect on the neighborhood if your congregation did the same thing with your Bibles raised in the air? People would ask a lot of questions, and you could share with them the joy of serving the Lord God of Israel.
Are we ready to put our lives on the line for God? He is inviting us to a celebration. Let's start today.
The Feast of Tabernacle Sacrificial System (Number 29:1-34)
Church of God celebrates the Feast of Tabernacle 2000
Read Leviticus 23:33-44 ÀûÎ´¼Ç 23:33-44 Bilingual Bible
Sukkot: A Reminder Of God's Majesty written by Clarence H. Wagner, Jr. Bridge for peace
Feast of Tabernacle - written by AMFI.org
Timothy Gibson's website
The Seven Blessings Recited At A Traditional Jewish Wedding
in Hebrew (Audio)
Messianic Jewish Wedding (presented by Yeshua Yisrael Congregation) With detail scriptural explanation.
Bride Message Jewish Wedding
Mystery of the Bride Message Revealed in Ancient Jewish Marriage Customs. A good insight study.
The Jewish Wedding and the Bride of Christ
by Arnold Fruchtenbaum Ariel Ministries
A Jewish Wedding -
Glossary of Useful Terms for Jewish Weddings
The Bride of Messiah and Jewish Wedding Customs
By Edward L. Chumney
Other Feast Carmel Communication (Asia Center) Mount Carmel Ministry Center - Singapore
Rosh Hashanah: The Wedding of the Messiah by Eddie Chumney, Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup
Paul Wilbur Website
The Mishkan studies (Tabernacle)
Prayer for Israel Meeting
Every Last Saturday of the Month
at Kuehn Hall, Fairfield Methodist Church
Time at 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Enquiries: Derrick Jacobs 538 2425 email@example.com
Also Singapore Representative for Christian Friends of Israel
Ebenezer Emergency Fund
Asia Center (Singapore site)
P.O Box 7231, Haifa 31073 ISRAEL
Tel: (972) 4-839-1347
Fax: (972) 4-839-0578
3 Shenton Way
#07-01/ Singapore/ 068805/
Tel: (65) 6836-2136/ Fax: (65) 6836-2136
It is a community of Jews, Arabs and other Gentiles living and worshipping together, committed to the "one new man" of Ephesians Chapter 2.
Asia Center - Japan Director Peter Tsukahira pastor of Kehilat HaCarmel Assembly
Carmel Communication (Asia Center)
Mount Carmel Ministry Center - Singapore
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