As we prepare for the Fall Feasts at House of David, we are waiting in anticipation to celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. This festival is held on the first or second day of Tishri (Jewish Calendar), which falls on October 2nd of this year, and ends at sundown on October 4th. The blowing of the shofar is heavily significant during this feast, signaling the beginning of the ten days of awe, or repentance, prior to the most holy day of the year, Yom Kippur.
As many of you know this past year, 5776/2015-16, has celebrated Jubilee, a time of debt cancellation and freedom from slavery. Now as we prepare to enter in to 5777/2016-17, it is a new day. Many of us are transitioning from who we were, into greater revelations of who we will be in Christ.
Webster’s Dictionary defines transitions in this way:
Transition. 1a : passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change b : a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.
We are about to embark on the greatest shifts of our lives, and as I contemplate what that looks like I am reminded of the early pioneers who helped to settle much of the Wild West.
When I read historical accounts of these early settlers, what amazes me is just how unprepared they were for their new assignment. Many of these men and women were raised in a civilized city, a far cry from the backbreaking work and hazardous perils of settling the unknown territories out West. Still, many of these travelers chose to band together, with plans to develop new cities and new towns, leaving behind forever what they had always known in exchange for the hope of a brighter future.
Many account that they had no idea just how difficult it would be. Most were not prepared for new climates, fierce predators, or the extreme loneliness. After the thrill of the adventure had worn off, they stood blistered and broken, surviving, but many times not thriving.
The Body of Christ is preparing for a similar transition. One where the call of the Holy Spirit will be very strong, inviting us to partner with Him to accomplish something greater than ourselves. We will have to leave behind the old mindsets that developed the cities of the past. This will be a new day, with new technologies, and new opportunities. If we stay behind, we will remain comfortable for a time, but eventually those who go on before us will reshape the coming world in which we live, thus making change inevitable.
God is preparing to do something incredible.
“…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”—Ephesians 5:25-27
It is His heart’s desire to see the Body of Christ come into its full identity in Him. Many of us have desired this, but few have understood just how significant or life changing that will be. Much like the pioneers had to rely on one another for survival, despite how they may have interacted in their old lives, so too, the Church is being called to unify as one Body in Messiah.
So many ask us at Curt Landry Ministries why we study the Jewish roots of our faith. Specifically, why do we think it’s important to participate in the Feasts of the Lord? But what so many do not understand is that our returning Messiah, Jesus, is the very same Jewish Rabbi who fulfilled the scriptures through death and resurrection. This very Jesus or Yeshua, upon His ascension to the right hand of the Father, released His Holy Spirit as a Comforter and Friend to Believers. That selfsame Holy Spirit inspired the words of Paul in Roman’s, Chapter 11:
“I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, ‘Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life’? But what does the divine response say to him? ‘I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
“What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: “‘God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.’
“And David says: ‘Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a recompense to them. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always.’
“I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
“For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
“For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
“You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’
“Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
“‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?’
Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?’
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
We are about to embark on the greatest harvest of souls in the history of mankind. The scriptures promise that the nation of Israel will come to know Jesus as their Messiah, and that they will be saved. The Church must set aside the doctrines and theologies that have held them back from truly understanding the Word of God in its fullness.
We must understand that it is the Father’s heart to see His people come to know His love and faithfulness to them. We must transition out of the manmade traditions of the second day, and begin to reach deep into the Word of God, asking the Lord to reveal the mysteries of the Third day, through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.
We must catch the vision. We must endeavor to set our course, pack our bags in the spirit, and not look back.
It is time, oh pioneers, to embark on this great adventure as we prepare to usher in the coming of Messiah. Although historically the pioneers of the past were almost defeated by the journey, we know as Believers that we will overcome any obstacle by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. What an exciting time to be alive!