1. The Fall Feasts Are Approaching
When August arrives, that means the Fall Feasts are approaching. August is also filled with wonderful memories for me, because it was also when I gave my heart to Jesus in 1979, and the most beautiful romance began. I didn’t know it at the time, but long before I was born again, or even born, God had set this amazing season apart.
About mid-August, the month of Elul arrives on the Biblical Calendar [this year it’s tonight the evening of August 20th – September 18th]. Elul is all about romance. It arrives just two weeks after a marriage holiday. Even the Four Letters that Spell Elul [alef, lamed, vov, lamed – are an acronym for the phrase in Song of Songs: “Ani L’dodi v’dodi li,” ah-knee lid-oh-dee vid-oh-dee lee] which translates, “I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine.” (6:3)
Since Song of Songs is both the story of two people in love and a beautiful allegory of our Bridegroom Jesus and us, the Bride of Christ, it has a double meaning. The aleph or the “I am” can refer to the beloved as being God, or it can refer the person you love. Lot’s of couples get this verse as a tattoo or on jewelry (I actually have it on my wedding ring).
Whenever we draw close to God with a humble heart seeking to follow, we are saying, “I am my beloveds”. God’s response, as He pours out mercy and forgiveness, is always, “And my beloved is mine”. Elul is considered, “Thirty days to prepare the soul, search the heart of God, and awaken the heart.” It’s a look at two kinds of love. Since the summer month of Elul is related to the spring month of Nissan and Passover, it looks at the Passover type of love in which you “fall in love” or are rescued and carried away. As opposed to Elul type of love which goes beyond “I am my beloveds” to “My beloved is mine”, which is to ask from a more mature place, “How am I doing at loving God and loving this person – How can I grow, do better, be closer?”
As I have come to explore the Biblical Calendar with its Feasts, Fasts, and Holy Days that God asks us to remember, I feel an urgency to be faithful to not just remember, but to set them apart. In my on-air teaching times this year, I’ve been trying to reveal His heart, in hopes that you will come to find the romance of God too difficult to resist.
Elul is the beginning of a 40-day period of repentance. It was on Elul 1st that Jonah left for 40 days to tell Nineveh to repent; Moses went back up Mt. Sinai to get a new set of commandments after he smashed the first ones when he discovered the Golden Calf; and it was on Elul 1 that Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days. Moses came down from Sinai on Yom Kippur, and that’s just when Jesus returned to begin His ministry. Why does this month get so much attention?
The month of Elul was when God first discussed creating man in His own image and then spoke the universe into being with His first words on the 25th day of Elul. At creation we find Him hovering over the waters speaking light into existence and separating it from the darkness. Then separating the waters above from the waters below. He formed the land and seas and caused seed bearing plants and trees to grow. He made the sun, moon, and stars, and created sea creatures and birds.
These activities all occurred during the final week of the Summer month Elul. All this activity was just preparation. As the 6th day began, God created all the land animals and most importantly, mankind on Rosh Hashanah.
Most nations use the Gregorian Calendar, so it’s still four months to the New Year, but if you follow the Biblical Calendar, the Hebrew year of 5781 begins with Rosh Hashanah in just 30 days. What’s rather amazing about the Biblical Calendar is that it has two distinctly different New Year’s Days that take place six months apart. Why?
The oldest calendar, called the Civil Calendar is 5,780 years old and literally began at creation on the day now called Rosh Hashanah during the Fall Season and this calendar is still used to count years and time. The other calendar is called the Religious Calendar and it began at Passover, about 2,500 years after creation, when we were redeemed from slavery in Egypt, and when Jesus was crucified at Calvary on Passover to enable us to be born again.
The Gregorian, which is determined by the movement of the sun, is quite different than the Biblical, which changes with the moon, which marks the dates of feasts, festivals, fasts, or holy days to encounter God in repentance, or to thank Him for the harvest and His blessings.
These two calendars are much like two parts of a poem, or a reverse mirror image of each other that are separate but also connected to each other. They don’t just move in a cycle one after another to make a full year. Instead, they transition slowly during their final month with a long fast. In the winter this happens with a Fast (called Purim), and here at the end of summer it happens with two separate events, a 21-day Fast (called The Three Weeks), and a month-long fast during the month of Elul.
And that is exactly where we are today, at the 1st of Elul. My first goal is to help give you prophetic eyes that will help you grasp how this amazing Biblical Calendar works, so you can better encounter Jesus every day. My second goal today is to help you get ready for the change from this year of 5780 to 5781, which will happen in one month.
Many of the difficulties of 2020 will begin to fade and transition into a much different season during September and October. But we will continue to have glimpses of the 4 Horsemen, who will be wreaking havoc like they did in the Spring. In fact, the 2nd Horseman Glimpse will take place this month, with the 3rd and 4th glimpses next month.
2. The King Is In The Field
This forty-day period that begins on Elul 1st includes the beautiful imagery of “The King is in the field”. Which is to say, God has drawn near to look closely at how you are tending the fields – the specific blessings and responsibilities that He has given you. Elul is when you are preparing to meet God for judgment – But He comes to the field to be most approachable so we can truly know Him in His mercy.
We in turn are to show mercy and forgiveness to others. “Teshuvah” or “turning back around to face Him” is shown not only by repentance, but also by intentionally finding ways to do good to others.
The journey out of Summer into Fall is the same journey we took to get into Summer thanks to the chiasmus structure of the Feasts and Fasts. After the 1st Passover, it took seven weeks, or 49 days to walk from Egypt to Mt Sinai where they received the Torah from God on Shavuot, (the Festival of Weeks or Pentecost). Each year, that journey is retraced by the “Counting of the Omer.”
Right after Passover, on Firstfruits or Resurrection Day, Israel begins “Counting the Omer” (counting the fifty days until Pentecost arrives). After the resurrection, the reason for all this counting became clear when Jesus remained on the earth in His risen glorified body for 40 days before He ascended, and ten days later poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Thirty-three years earlier Jesus had laid down his crown and glory and came to earth as a baby. He had spent 3 ½ years doing miracles, preaching, and revealing Himself to His people. But now He had been crucified and was raised to life again. He took up His crown and His glory and walked the earth. For the first time since the Garden of Eden, the King was in the field, walking amidst His people.
During Elul, Torah study and prayer are the focus because they are both associated with the verse, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.” (Song of Songs 1:2) which alludes to God’s words being in one’s mouth.
Sabbaths – Holy times are compared to a Lookout Tower, where we rise high above our labor to see the purpose of the work from a higher perspective.
This is a time to be nurtured, to allow Him to fix what has been broken and to nurture us back into a place of health and prosperity. There are some things that have been recorded in our life’s history that are now incorrect because God has come and dealt with them. There are accusations and condemnations that need to be removed, and mistakes that need to be reconciled.
God wants to rewrite our story and change the way we see it.
Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
3. Why These Glimpses of the Tribulation?
Mark 13:28-37 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come…WHY MUST THEY HAPPEN… These are the beginning of birth pains…
These glimpses of the Four Horsemen are also Glimpses into the Great Tribulation in the end times.
There are reasons that these spiritual battles “must” take place.
The Book of Revelation (1:1-4, 22:6) describes these battles as being inevitable and scheduled; they are: “things which must take place swiftly…things which must take place after this…things which must take place shortly.”
“We walk by faith not by sight;” or perhaps, “we walk using spiritual sight, not physical sight.”
The test of 2020 will be how well our spiritual sight functions. “This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” Matthew 13:13-14
- All the Feasts and Fasts of the Biblical year take place for one reason – so that God’s people will truly repent and turn fully to God. Sadly, most won’t. Revelation 9 and 16 say it four times: “…they did not repent.” You can see it in the streets of the world this year very clearly. There is no sense of right or wrong, truth, or morality. Evil is called good and good is called evil. It may not be fun to watch, but hopefully your spiritual eyes can see.
- “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
- “But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” 1 John 2:11
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door… Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come… “Therefore keep watch…What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Why are we watching?
- Because like Moses, we have a role to play in God’s judgment, and He doesn’t want us to miss that role. Look around us as all the demons of hell have made 2020 a time of fear and terror that has swept the world away. The church has not looked very good.
- These events and experiences are training. It’s spiritual CrossFit. There are strategies, instruction, and battlefield dynamics that only come from hands-on experience.
- There will be a baptism of fire in the End Times. This fire will be judgment and glory. Our passion must arise for consecration and prayer.
- And much more than tribulation is coming. We win because He already won.
This time will also see unparalleled revival, evangelism, and so much more.
We are His prize. He leads us in a procession of victory!
From the beginning of time, God set apart special days throughout the year called mow`ed or appointed times. They were practical times such as when the harvest was gathered or when sacrifices were made for their sin. These days were also a roadmap that marked how and when Jesus would save the world and judge the world. He began the work of saving us when Jesus was conceived during the Festival of Lights and when He was born on the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus “became flesh and made his dwelling [tabernacle] among us” and identified himself as the Messiah at the Feast of Purim.
He died on Passover, rose again on Firstfruits, walked with his disciples for 40 days during the counting of the Omer, then ascended and poured out the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Likewise, scriptures tell us His work of future judgment will occur on these appointed times as well including, The Second Coming, Tribulation, Rapture, Judgment, Wedding of the Bride, and every other event in eternity. Feast Days are future-facing windows that allow us to peer into the end times and gain prophetic understanding. As a result, glimpses or previews of the Great Tribulation often coincide with these Feast Days.
For instance, The February Revolution in Russia began at Purim in 1917 leading to the Czar abdicating his throne within the week. Lenin and Trotsky returned from exile just after Passover during the Counting of the Omer. Just before Pentecost the Kronstadt rebellion began. At Purim, the Bolsheviks were 24,000 strong; by Feast of Trumpets they were 200,000. In WWII, German troops invade Austria at Purim in 1938. At Feast of Trumpets in 1938, Hitler signed the Munich Agreement by which Czechoslovakia surrendered its border regions and defenses to Nazi Germany. At Yom Kippur the Nazi’s invalidated all German passports held by Jews. At Purim 1942 the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp was established.
4. Sacred Times
Genesis 1:14 describes the creation of the sun, moon, and stars. “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times [some translate that as seasons], and days and years.”
Notice that all these heavenly bodies have two primary jobs: to provide light in the night sky, and to mark sacred times / or seasons. The Hebrew word there is mo-ad and it means appointed times, which is only used for the Feasts of the Lord, which are determined by the appearance of the new moon.
If God created the night sky to help us identify His appointed times, it should not be a surprise that He cause His scriptures to be written in such a form as to help us understand those same appointed times.
The Hebrew scriptures are filled with poetic and musical forms that employ paradox, irony, contrast, and idioms. Entire chapters and books were written in an ancient poetic style which is often easier to see in Hebrew and Greek than it is in English. Two of the more common styles are “chiasmus” [kigh-az-muss] and “antimetabole” [an-tee-met-ab-oh-lee], where the concepts in one phrase are inverted in the phrase that follows it, or a phrase is repeated, but with the order of words reversed.
For instance: Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath”, and “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed.” In Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” That’s not just casual writing, that is a complicated grammatical structure. It’s easy to spot in individual verses, but scripture has whole chapters written in chiasmus form, and entire books like Lamentations are profound poetic structures within their verses.
God, through Jeremiah, weeps as Israel goes into exile. To show His profound judgement, the book is divided into 5 chapters, each with 22 verses. The first verse begins with letter Aleph, the second with Bet, and this continues for 22 verses until the final verse begins with Tav, the final letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Just as Jesus identified Himself as “the first and the last”, “the aleph and tav” (alpha and omega in Greek), so His judgment is total even by the language.
In nearly every book of the Bible God uses numbers and word-pictures as a story beneath the story and a thread that is woven from beginning to end. As we begin a New Year, we literally step onto a new path with opportunities and dilemmas for each of us to choose between. As it turns out the very structure of the Biblical Calendar is designed in poetic form as a song, and each Feast and Fast is a repeating chorus, verse, or bridge. It’s crucial to understand the actual flow of a Biblical Year if we are to encounter Jesus as we number our days.
At creation, God set apart appointed times (Fasts and Feasts) or Sacred Times in every season, in which He would draw near to us and we could draw near to Him. Even though Jesus now dwells inside us, He still uses these Sacred Times to reveal Himself in more intimate ways, to share vision, to encourage us, to celebrate all that Jesus has done, and so much more.
He assigned five of these Sacred Times in each of the halves of the year. It’s easy to see how the Winter and Spring Times connect from Passover/Pesach through Pentecost/Shavuot. And it’s easy to see how the Summer and Fall Times connect from Rosh Hashanah thru Sukkot. But unless you study them carefully, the two halves seem to be revealing two separate aspects of God’s plan. But that is not the case. They were not intended to be understood in a linear fashion, but as a song, in a chiasmus way.
If you stand up the two year-halves so that their facing each other in a chiasmus form, so that the appropriate Sacred Times of one season is facing the appropriate Sacred Times of the opposite season, suddenly it becomes clear that the Feasts of Winter and Summer are almost identical. And it becomes clear that the Feasts of Spring and Fall are revealing similar stories about Jesus.
This becomes even more important when you understand that they also reveal a lot about the End Times. I’ll break this down partly as I teach about Elul, and then add more details as I break down each of the upcoming Feasts or Fasts.
5. Winter Summer and the White Horse
The Biblical Calendar is much more than a series of days, weeks, and months. It’s a well-crafted song that God has been singing over us for nearly 6,000 years. The song is meant to woo us to draw near and to see that He is with us and for us. Since we’re looking at the Biblical Calendar as a chiasmus, I will be grouping the three Winter months together, beginning with the 10th month Tevet, which is split between Dec-Jan and then we’ll compare these with the Summer months we are in right now.
The 25th of Kislev is the beginning of Hanukah, which continues for 8 days, so Tevet always begins during this celebration. Originally, Hanukah was an eight-day festival celebrating the Maccabees’ recapture of the second Temple from the Syrian Greeks, and its miraculous rededication when one day’s oil lasted eight days, marked by the kindling of lights on a menorah. Two hundred years later, it was when Gabriel first appeared to Mary, and Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. He most likely was born nine months later on the first of Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:34-35
The 10th of Tevet is a fast day, commemorating the start of the siege of Jerusalem in the year 589 BC, which led to the destruction of the first Temple two-and-a-half years later on the ninth of Av.
So amazingly, the conception of Jesus is right beside a foreshadowing of his crucifixion. Zechariah includes this fast day among three others that will become days of “joy and gladness and good festivals” in the time of the Messiah.
Tevet not only links backward to the month of Kislev, it links forward with Shevat and Adar as Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus’s palace “in the 10th month, which is the month of Tevet.”
Shevat is the 11th month counting from Nissan. The high point of the month is the holiday of 15 Shevat, known as the “New Year for Trees.” This is the day when the sap begins to rise in the fruit trees in Israel—the start of a new growing season.
Adar is the 12th month counting from Nisan. On the 14th we celebrate Mordechai and Esther’s triumph over the wicked Haman. The spirit of Purim makes Adar a time of unmatched rejoicing and good fortune for all Jewish people. The Talmud says “when the month of Adar arrives, we increase in joy” to welcome a season of miracles. Adar denotes strength and power. During leap years a second month is added to the calendar, and appropriately they chose Adar as the month. The 7th of Adar is the day Moses was born, and the day he died. Adar was also the last month the Jews spent in Egypt before the Exodus.
To sum up the events of the Winter months of Tevet, Shevat, and Adar, there was the long-fought Maccabean war with the much stronger and more powerful Syrian regime who defiled the Temple. We fast and mourn Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem which would end in destruction, and we fast because of Haman’s murderous attack on the Jews. But there is also room for celebration. The war ended in victory for the brave Maccabees and so we celebrate Hanukah. And thanks to Haman’s miraculous utter defeat, we celebrate Purim. Most importantly, we welcome the conception of Christ the long-awaited Messiah.
The Jewish Summer Months of Tammuz, Av, and Elul include a three-week time of mourning called Bein haMetzarim. There’s lots to mourn for: the golden calf, the broken tablets, the bad report of the 12 spies and Israel’s 40 year death sentence in the desert, both destructions of the temple and Jerusalem (650 years apart), World War I began and paved the way for the Holocaust years later, and so much more bad news.
After the exile in Babylon, the Jews used the names of months common in Babylon as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in delivering them. They even deliberately included Tammuz, which was the name of idol, to remind themselves of the judgment that came from their idolatry.
At the end of winter, during Purim in March we experienced the 1st Horseman Glimpse.
Then as midsummer arrived in mid-July and the fast of Bein haMetzarim began, the 1st Horseman Glimpse returned.
Revelation 6:2 tells us, “Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.”
Why did the 1st Horse glimpse occur during Purim and Bein haMetzarim? Purim and Bein haMetzarim are the only Appointed Days specifically about a crown (a king) and a conqueror that is bent on conquest and destruction.
This isn’t a second wave, it’s a second opportunity to fight and win. The church and the world lost the first wave in the Spring during the 1st Horseman Glimpse.
Deception won. Division won. Separation won. It’s still winning every day. The thief, in the form of this 1st Horseman, is stealing, killing, and destroying – at will – and we seem to be powerless to stop him – because we are demanding our rights, justice, and not walking in peace.
The church cannot afford to have any purpose other than to shine His light, to love, to forgive,
to do everything Jesus did. To those at the cross, it looked like He was losing.
Remember the 12 spies and Caleb and Joshua’s bold stand. Remember Mordechai and Ester’s faith.
Their confidence wasn’t in themselves, but God.
Even as the rest of the Horsemen arrive, the First Horseman does not exit or stop. He will continue conquering on a grand scale. He will attack authority, rights, freedom, and justice.
But this wave will be different. He will be conquering the areas of our individual compromises where God hasn’t been given authority.
***Since I just did an extensive teaching on the 1st Horseman last month, I’m not going to dig in much today. My teaching on The 9th of Av last month is on our blog or podcast on victory.radio.
6. Mercy and Beginnings
It’s the first day of the month of Elul on the Biblical Calendar, and 30 days away from Rosh Hashanah and the New Year of 5781. We are on a journey through the Biblical Calendar to understand how God established the seasons with Feasts and Fasts and caused each season to relate to each other in the realm of End Time prophecy.
In 2020 (5780) we have been experiencing brief Glimpses of the Four Horsemen of Revelation. I just looked at Winter and Summer and the 1st Horseman. Before we compare the month of Nissan with Elul and see why the 2nd Horseman Glimpse is back, let’s delve deeply into Elul and journey back to creation.
Elul is the Sixth Month
Elul is also the 12th and final month of the calendar that begins with Rosh Hashanah.
It is called “the month of repentance,” “the month of mercy” and “the month of forgiveness.”
It was on the first of Elul that Moses ascended Mount Sinai for the third 40-day period in a row. The first time Moses ascended was to receive the first tablets; 40 days later – on the 17th of Tammuz, Moses descended to find Israel sinning with the golden calf and he smashed the tablets. So, Moses returned for a second time to ask for forgiveness for the Israelites. So, on the 1st of Elul, Moses ascended Sinai for the third time, and he would receive the second set of tablets, and then descended with the second tablets 40 days later – on Yom Kippur.
Since God did answer Moses’ request, the month of Elul is set apart as a time to remember when God revealed His great mercy. They honor God by both repenting and showing mercy and forgiveness to others, which I called “teshuvah” or repentance and doing good to others.
Long before Moses, Elul was all about beginnings. The last week of Elul includes the first five days of creation when God spoke the universe into being. His first words on the 25th day of Elul were [in English], “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
In Hebrew there is quite a bit more revelation, “Bereshit [beh-reh-sheet] bara [buh-raw] Elohim et [silent] ha-sha-ma-yim [ha-sha-ma-yeem] ve’et [vey-et] ha’aretz [ha-ah-retz].”
The fourth word, which is sometimes pronounced “et” is actually a silent or unspoken Hebrew word made up of two letters Aleph Tav. Aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet [it’s like saying A and Z in English].
Aleph Tav is one of the most common words found in the Hebrew scripture. Why is it here in His first breath? At the beginning of creation, before God could establish anything, He needed to create language, specifically the 22 Hebrew letters/numbers from Aleph to Tav that He would use to speak everything into existence.
At creation we find Him hovering over the waters speaking light into being and separating it from the darkness. Then making a separation for the waters above and the waters below, making the land and seas and causing seed bearing plants and trees to grow. He made the sun, moon, and stars, and created sea creatures and birds. These activities all occurred during the final week of the Summer month Elul. All this activity was just preparation. In 30 days, Tishrei will begin on the first day of the civil year, called Rosh Hashanah.
It’s important to recognize here that though Rosh Hashanah, which literally means the Head or Beginning of the year, isn’t the actual beginning, because the month of Elul was an intricate part of the foundation. As the 6th day began, it was the first day of the month of Tishrei, when God created all the land animals and most importantly, mankind. The 25th of Elul is the 1st day of creation (Rosh Hashanah is the 6th Day when man was created).
The month of Elul connects the past year with the coming year and so it is a time to reflect on where we are, where we are headed, and where we should be going. It is customary to blow the shofar every morning (except on Shabbat). The blasts are meant to awaken one’s spirit from the slumber of sin and inspire him to begin the soul searching which will prepare him for the High Holy Days.
It is also customary to recite the 14 verses of Psalm 27 every day till the end of Sukkot.
1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
7. A Chiasmus Spring Back & The Spirit of Fear
It’s the first day of the month of Elul, and we are on a journey through the Biblical Calendar following the idea that it was built using the form of a chiasmus. A chiasmus is where the concepts in one phrase are inverted in the phrase that follows it. So, in a calendar, the appointed times of one season would connect to those in another season, and also have some significance in the realm of End Time prophecy.
In 2020 (5780) we have been experiencing brief Glimpses of the Four Horsemen of Revelation. I just looked at Elul and creation. To get a picture of what to expect from the 2nd Horseman Glimpse this month we need to look back at what happened around Passover and the month of Nissan.
Nisan is the First Month
Of course when we arrive at the month of Nissan, we arrive at the other month that begins with a New Year’s Day. The Torah calls Nissan the month of Spring because it marks the beginning of the spring months. On the first day of Nisan (about 2,500 years from creation and 1,500 BC), God told Moses, “This month shall be for you the head of months, the first of the months of the year” (Exodus 12:2).
So, already the month of Nissan relates to Elul and Tishrei because they are part of new beginnings. Nissan is when we celebrate the eight-day Feast of Unleavened Bread (featuring Pesach/Passover and Firstfruits or Resurrection Day. It was their redemption from slavery in Egypt, and the birth of the Jewish nation. And most of the “counting of the Omer” takes place in Nissan.
Since the month of Nissan and Passover relate to the month of Elul, the 2nd Horseman Glimpse that began then should begin now as Elul begins. Let’s look back at the what the Red Horse Glimpse looked like in Spring.
The 2nd Seal & The Red Horse: “Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.” Revelation 6:4
The most important elements were:
Peace was taken and people are made to kill each other – the instrument is a large sword.
In the judgments of Revelation, you see the sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus.
Revelation 1:16 “…coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.
Jesus is the Word made flesh. His judgments are words. His breath is a weapon.
Likewise, the Devil was a liar from the very beginning. Just as he deceived 1/3 of the angels into following him with his words, and deceived Adam and Eve with his words, his warfare is with words.
Spiritual Swords are not for stabbing – Words penetrate separating soul from spirit.
How do you take peace from the whole earth? Lies and Fear! The “power to take peace from the earth” is the spirit of fear. Are we walking Caution, Wisdom, or Fear?
“…For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Everyone experiences fear, but there is a fear that literally overcomes you, that comes from the demon – the Spirit of Fear. This spirit is opposed to God and His kingdom.
If you entertain him, he will control your heart and mind (your courage and decision making).
What shifted from March to April?
If you remember back around Passover/Easter, what seemed temporary and manageable became unstoppable.
The rule of law was placed into the hands of the medical community hierarchy to determine our response. Our freedoms were removed.
We were called essential workers or suddenly labeled non-essential.
Businesses everywhere were no longer asked to close but forced to close.
Fear and panic were mandated. It was no longer optional how we were to respond.
There was rage and hatred and people reporting each other.
2020 is the biblical year 5780. The number 80 in Hebrew is Pey. It means mouth, speech, and breath.
The corona virus pandemic was and is spread by breath which can kill, but it is the words spoken that take away peace.
The Lies and deception about how dangerous it could be to everyone, how it was spread,
the only response permitted was masks, quarantine and closing the economy, etc.
There was no peace.
Is it even reasonable that a plague could blanket the entire world, yet it would have no spiritual, biblical meaning? It’s very unlikely. Then add in riots and lawlessness worldwide. Then add in worldwide economic collapse from quarantines and questionable political policies.
One of the many agonizing attacks that accompany these Horsemen Glimpses – specifically the fourth – is attacks from wild animals. Since the Pale Horse Glimpse, this reality has been brutal across the third world which has faced the Covid plus plagues right out of the Exodus. Over the last few months, clouds of locusts have devastated vast areas of Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, India, and Pakistan. This plague has left millions exposed to extreme poverty and in danger of starvation.
Good News – Bad News
Sometimes good news in these Glimpses comes with a subtle reminder that the same news in the End times will be very bad news. I think the treaty between Israel and the UAE this week is one of those. God has asked us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and this treaty is wonderful, long-awaited news that will save lives and enable many to be blessed, and it will very likely knock down a very resistant wall for other Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia and Oman to be the next in line. It’s not just good news, it’s great news. But it’s also a reminder that the Feasts of the Lord are greatly linked to the End Times. And when that season comes upon the earth one day, the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9 will be signed, quite possibly in these summer months between the Spring and Fall Feasts.
8. Passover Elul & The AlephTav
We looked at the months of Nissan and Elul and what happened in our world when the 2nd Horseman Glimpse occurred. Why did the Second Horseman ride at Passover and Elul?
2020 is the biblical year 5780. The number 80 in Hebrew is Pey. It means mouth, speech, and breath. The meaning of Hebrew letters comes from the first time they are used in Scriptures.
The 1st use of the letter pey in the Torah is Genesis 4:11 when Cain kills Able
“Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
So mouth (pey) is the grave. There is death and curses and a last breath.
This Passover is very significant because pey is the first letter of Pesach and Passover is all about death and graves.
So, why does this horseman ride again during the month of Elul?
What does that have to do with Passover or pey?
Jesus is the Passover Lamb who hung on a cross to take our sins upon Himself for our salvation, but He is also the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. That foundation occurred during Elul.
Elul was when God first determined to create man. To do this He first creates a world for them to live in and causes Himself to be slain for them. At creation, we find Him hovering over the waters speaking light into being and separating it from the darkness. Then making a separation for the waters above and the waters below, making the land and seas and causing seed bearing plants and trees to grow. He made the sun, moon, and stars, and created sea creatures and birds. These activities all occurred during the final week of the Summer month Elul.
When He spoke the universe into being His first words on the 25th day of Elul are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In Hebrew “Bereshit [beh-reh-sheet] bara [buh-raw] Elohim [El-o-heem] et [silent] ha-sha-ma-yim [ha-sha-ma-yeem] ve’et [vey-et] ha’aretz [ha-ah-retz].”
In the chart above, reading right to left – you will notice two Hebrew letters together as a stand-alone word after the name of God (Elohim). These are the first and the last letters of their alphabet Aleph and Tav. In Hebrew, it’s transliterated as “et”; there is no English translation.
The Aleph Tav “combined as a word”, occurs around 7,000 times in the Tanakh (Old Testament), most often as part of covenant events where God is directly involved. Aleph Tav is silent, meaning it’s not spoken. It’s often used in a grammatical way to point to the object of a sentence.
But mostly it’s used with the name of God (Yahweh), to indicate the presence of God, specifically intended to reveal the Messiah. So first, Passover and Elul/Creation are both times Jesus is slain (one physically and one spiritually). And second, Passover is all about the true Passover Lamb, Jesus or Yeshua, which means our salvation. And the first breath of creation which came from the lips of Jesus was to establish the name and title that would exclusively identify Him as, the Anointed One who would come and save us from our sins, Aleph Tav, the Messiah
The Jews don’t speak the name Yahweh because they believe it’s too holy to say. Rabbi’s don’t recognize Aleph Tav as the name of the Messiah, yet they treat Aleph Tav the exact same way, refusing to speak it.
The Aleph-Tav is one of the most important concepts in the Hebrew scriptures. It’s always near the name of God, and it means “the Strength of the Covenant.” It’s in Zechariah 12:10 “and they shall look upon me ALEPH-TAV whom they have pierced…”
When Jesus spoke to his old friend John in Revelation 1:8 and 22:13, The Passion Translation, which is translated from the Hebrew and Aramaic, reads, “I am the Aleph and the Tav,” says the Lord God, “who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty… I am the Aleph and the Tav, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Completion.” His name is normally taken from Greek by translators, so Jesus is called the Alpha and the Omega.
Interestingly, Rabbis call Genesis 1:1 “the first Menorah”. Each word is a candle and aleph-tav is the candle in the middle which is called the helper which you use to light the others. Which brings us back to Revelation 1, “I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.”
In Genesis, when we are introduced to Jacob and Esau, the Aleph-Tav are in front of each of their names. But after Esau sells his birthright and blessing to Jacob, the name of Esau is used another 78 times but the Aleph-Tav are never there again, because his birthright and covenant are gone.
The presence of the Aleph-Tav is the same with Ruth. The first 10 times her name is used, there is no Aleph-Tav. But when Boaz redeems her, the Aleph-Tav is added in front of her name.
When we take communion, we are literally taking His name as ours, and putting our hope in the strength of His covenant – like a Jewish couple at their wedding sharing a cup of wine and then smashing the cup so no one else can ever enter that covenant. When you drink the wine of communion you are saying “I do” to His proposal. And He is adding the aleph-tav to your name.
9. Death and Life are in the Tongue
What is the Churches Response?
“Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord. Isaiah 54:16-17
“He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver. He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will display My splendor.” Isaiah 49:2-3
The sword sets the agenda: Legal governments are elected to keep us free from tyrants, not viruses, because decisions are colored by politics? What if the government experts are wrong and reducing immunity by face masks and quarantining hundreds of millions of healthy people for months makes no medical sense? What if more credible scientists and physicians disagree with the government than agree, but they silence or listen only to those who tell them what they want to hear, stoking fear because it produces compliance?
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them – this is the glory of all his faithful people.
Praise the Lord.
Whatever happens will end with God’s will being done.
So, what should the end result be?
It’s the biblical year 5780. The number 80 in Hebrew is Pey.
It’s the 17th Hebrew Letter which symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.”
Where Two or Three Are Gathered…I Am There
The Church Cannot Shirk Its Calling When The World Becomes Dark
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;
The Holy Spirit dwelling in Christians is helping restrain lawlessness
(iniquity, disobedience, sin, violation of law or wickedness) –
So we must speak out so that the blind have a chance to see truth
“Only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2
It is an interesting irony that when the devil wreaks havoc with his breath, Jesus destroys him with His own all-consuming breath. Also notice the things we are seeing in the streets this year and the description of lawlessness: lying, deception, refusing to accept truth. God’s response is to make them completely deluded and unable to not believe lies. Don’t let this second wave of the 2nd Horseman Glimpse frighten you. God is completely in control.
Why did antichrists shut down meetings for the church, even the staff gathering at first?
God is in the midst of His people when they gather together to bring judgment in a matter.
Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18
Who May Ascend The Mountain Of The Lord?
Moses was an amazing faster and intercessor. When he arrived at Mt. Sinai he climbed up to be with God, but it didn’t go quite like he imagined.
Trip 1 – Moses spent 40 days to receive the 10 commandments then smashed then by the golden calf.
Trip 2 – After destroying the golden calf and judging the guilty, Moses went back up Mt. Sinai for 40 more days to intercede for the Israelites.
Trip 3 – Moses came back to camp and one day later on Elul 1st God called him back up the mountain to receive the 2nd copy of the 10 commandments.
After a total of 120 days, Moses came down the mountain on Yom Kippur with the new tablets.
So, the month of Elul (plus the first 10 days of Tishri in the New Year) is used for repentance in preparation of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Repent – sins are removed – times of refreshing come
We want to get our way and be refreshed by people (spouse) or things
If we turn to God, He will remove the things that are hindering us from being refreshed
He is our Bridegroom – when we submit to Him everything changes
Teshuvah – often translated as repentance but it’s much bigger than that.
Shuv means to return or to turn back (to God and from evil).
Since God is the means by which we turn from evil, shuv is more about turning back to God with all of your heart, soul, and strength to change your direction or destiny.
1 forsake the sin (agree with the Truth or saying the same thing);
2 regret the break in your relationship with God;
3 confess the truth and make amends;
4 accept forgiveness;
We all make choices, some good and some bad, but we can’t choose the consequences of our choices. Those are inherent in the choices. We are all becoming something and someone beyond ourselves. No one is shocked when they harvest tomatoes unless they planted something else. Still, we all hope to escape the fruit of our worst decisions.
Scriptures & Prophetic Aspects
Psalm 24:3-7 “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”
Isaiah 1:16-17 “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Lamentations 5:21 “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old.”