Issue 9 Fall 2012
Hungry Hearts: A Ministry of Spirit & Truth
Do You Know God? By Elder Bill Shults God created you for a very special, intimate, personal relationship. He made you just the way you are, because He loves you. He is calling you today to return to Him, to enjoy that close relationship that comes from Knowing Him. Come learn how to get acquainted with the Living God. Come and learn how to â€œwaitâ€? on the Presence of God Almighty.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
Book Donation: $10.00 To receive a copy of this book, please contact: Hungry Hearts Ministries: PO Box 10334 Jackson, TN 38308 (731) 736-1055
Come to Jackson, Come to the Feast &
Change Your Viewpoint. Feast of Tabernacles 2012 2
(See page 12 for details)
...the WORD is very near you; it is in your MOUTH
Table of Contents
and in your HEART so you may OBEY it. Deuteronomy 30:14
Inside this issue: From Pastor Bill: An update on
things happening within the ministry.
Missions Update: An update on the status of our 5 work overseas.
Prophesies coming to pass right now before your very eyes!
The Feast of Trumpets: An overview of the Jewish
Traditions concerning the Feast of Trumpets and how they correspond to our celebration of this Holy Day.
Commonly Asked Questions: What is Teshuvah?
The Government of God: An 13 overview of the Millennial Reign of Christ and our place in it as children of god.
The Intimacy of Atonement: How to reverence the Day of Atonement and have an intimate encounter with your Savior. The Power of Attitudes: A powerful article explaining how understanding attitudes is a vital key to changing your life. Pursuit Magazine is published by Hungry Hearts Ministries PO Box 10334 Jackson TN 38308. (731) 736-1055. Editor, Evangelist Kelly McDonald Design, Kelly Vonner
Contributors, Elder Bill Shults, Evangelist Kelly McDonald, Deaconess Sandy Clifford, Freda Sims Published at Allegra Print and Imaging, Jackson TN. Pursuit Magazine is published for FREE Distribution in the Public interest. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. Fall 2012 3
From Pastor Bill As the summer gets hot and the days are long, we are turning our attention to the Feast of Tabernacles. At HHM we think about the Feast all year long. It is the best time of the year; it is the time we all long for. To prepare ourselves mentally, financially, emotionally and spiritually for the Feast of Tabernacles, we undergo the season of Teshuvah. Teshuvah is a Hebrew word meaning to make the turn. Rosh Hashannah means the head of the year, the time when the turn is made. During the sixth month, Elul, we go through a process of repentance, introspection and financial analysis. We make goals for the upcoming year. We go on a juice cleanse so that the Fast on Atonement is not so harsh. We analyze our personal income statements and balance sheets. The idea is to prepare for the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. We go through a four week process during Teshuvah, one that we have developed over many years. During the first week we really do a deep internal spiritual repentance towards God. We make a sin list that we will burn just prior to the Day of Atonement. This is not a cursory examination, we really take the time during the first week of Teshuvah to take a hard look at ourselves and come clean with the Lord. It is relatively easy to stop the sins of the hands, those things that we do to displease God. It is considerably harder to really get into the thinking process in our mind that causes us to do those things. It is even harder still to examine the emotional component inside of our subconscious ness that causes the poor thinking. We recognize our flaws as human beings to the God of All Creation, desiring that He clean us and wash us and make us holy. This coming clean with God is what opens the door for intense, personal Presence from the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows that we do/did all of those things. Our willingness to admit our faults to Him really improves our relationship with Him. The second week we devote our attention to pray for our unsaved family members. We have an open window in Heaven during this time, so once we have re4
pented, we press in to help others. The third week we pray for the Presence of God during the Feast of Tabernacles. That He will show up in a real and tangible way for the people who come to the Feast. That He will make such a move in their life that they will be changed forever. The fourth week of Teshuvah, we seek His face for the personal encounter of a lifetime on the Day of Atonement. We are commanded to bring an offering on the Holy Days according to how the Lord has blessed you. How can we do that if we never look at our finances to know if we have been blessed? We set up and analyze income statements and balance sheets. We set up budgets and analyze what is good and what needs to be better. We figure out how and where God is blessing us, and make our offerings accordingly. It is truly amazing how much stress it relieves to straighten out your finances. We also set up goals for the year. We live our lives on purpose to serve the Living God. Serving God includes but is not limited to: nurturing our families, working well at our jobs, building our homes, and building wealth. It is not wrong to work hard, save and invest for the future. If we are unwilling to care for ourselves and our families, how can we expect others to help us in our time of need? We have Brethren in hunger and deprivation all over the world, if we in the USA, are unwilling to work to build wealth, who is going to help those overseas? We are organized around and focused on the manifest Presence of Jesus Christ. We work the last month of summer before the Feast Days to make it the best Feast ever. We strongly desire the manifest Presence of God during the Fall Holy Days. We are fully devoted to prepare ourselves for His Presence in our lives during the Feast and over the course of the upcoming year. God Bless. Bill Shults
HUNGRY HEARTS MISSIONS UPDATE The drought in Kenya is very severe.
For several years our brethren have experienced total crop failure. This year the crops failed even in Meru County, which has previously produced food during the drought. June 18-23 Josphat held missions in Erimet to rebuild the church destroyed by Islamist terrorists. The Pastor in Erimet still is in need of all the basic necessities of life. Josphat has been given land to build a church, but they are lacking the funds to do so. In Kenya land is available for free, if the recipient will build on the land and develop it. The church in Kisii is doing well and is growing. I did not get an update from Pastor Moses.
dom Under the Law of God, and 2000 copies of Clean and Unclean. I finally heard from Pastor Whitworth. The Chaplain of the prison retired and two new people have been assigned the job. One of them, an Episcopal cleric, does not like the Messianic movement and is responsible for banning multiple copies of our magazine. She is making it hard for the men to operate the congregation in the Prison. Pastor Whitworth explained that he had written me twice, thanking me for the Passover funds. We did not get those letters. He also wrote that he is up for parole soon and may be released. We are directed to work with Sandy’s friend Ron McKown. These men need prayer urgently to keep this congregation together.
These brethren will need food aid through January 2013. They are in need of funds to build churches, and to print books. If you are led to help please mark your donation: Missions, Kenya. Pastor Mohanarao in India is doing well. He suffers from a lack of funds, and with some health issues, but he continues to “get it done.” He is requesting funds for 100 Bibles in the native language of Telegu, this will require $300.00. They had a great Pentecost, and even had one lady baptized into the Faith. It broke my heart when he wrote that they did not have the funds to eat. They could not even eat a meal together for the Holy Day, yet were joyous over one baptism. That is dedication to the Kingdom of God.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20
Pastor Mohanarao wrote me over the weekend and told me that the printing of Clean and Unclean is finished in India and that he has sent me two copies. So from the Feast of Tabernacles, we have printed in India, 5000 copies of Holy Time With God, and FreeFall 2012 5
Our World: Prophecy Now! (Add description)
The borrower is servant to the lender. As this debt crisis unfolds in Europe this adage from the Lord is proving more and more true everyday. There are ramifications in Europe, Asia and America from this explosion of unpayable debt. In Europe almost half of the economies are weighed down by huge debts built up to pay fantastic wages, benefits and retirement pensions to their government workers. The other half of their economies is less indebted and has undergone structural reforms to increase the productivity of their economies. So roughly half of Europe is growing and strong, and the other half is brittle and unwilling to change. This sounds very much like Danielâ€™s prediction of half iron and half miry clay.
taken our debt from $10 trillion to $16 trillion in just under four years. We are insolvent. Sixty nine percent of this is being financed on a very short term basis, which means that any increase in our interest rates will render us unable to pay our debts. This will result in the collapse of our currency and will result in hyper inflation. Our personal debts in the USA are not doing any better. US households still owe nearly as much as we did at the outset of the crisis. Much of the decline in US household debt has been defaults by those who were unable to pay them.
As all of this unfolds, Europe is arming for war, Russia is arming for war and China is arming for war. These three power blocs are building and fielding next generation weapons systems. The USA is scheduled to undergo sequestration budget cuts on Jan 1 with half coming out of our defense budget. We are curtailing our weapons development and procurement. America is war weary and ready to stick our head in the sand. The EU, Russia and China are the main The strong economies are being asked to bailout the weak half. As they are persuaded to provide the loans military players listed in the Battle of Armageddon and it seems like we are stepping out of their way. for the weaker economies, the stronger ones are demanding control. Germany is consolidating Europe under its control in a way it never could by force. The In the United States over the course of my life, I have old territory of the Holy Roman Empire is coming un- seen an astonishing decline in morality. Sin is raging everywhere and very few seem to mind. Even in der German control financially. Germany made the required changes to not only avoid the debt crisis, but church it is considered judgmental to confront sin. We break Godâ€™s Laws and Commandments in ways also to put its National Corporations on the cutting completely consistent with those of the ancients. How edge of productivity and innovation. Germanyâ€™s recovery is export driven and driven by the kinds of ex- can we believe that we will not receive the same fate? The Leaders and officers of any and every church are ports not easily copied by lower cost rivals. charged by God Almighty to confront he sins of the people and to turn them back into compliance with His The combined economy of the EU is slightly larger than that of the US. Germany is the fourth largest na- Word. Yet, the people refuse this kind of leadership, preferring instead to be comforted in their sin. Ameritional economy and it is growing over 5% a year. This German economic engine will drive the EU into a cans seem to want a religion without consequences, a dominant position. Germany as the lender is requiring God who does not mean what He the kinds of structural changes in all of Europe that it says. God is not going to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. made in the nineties. This will further put the economic growth of Europe on overdrive. The USA by contrast has merely stumbled along. We Bill Shults have not solved our debt crisis in fact, our debt is not altogether different from that of Greece. We have 6
The Feast of Trumpets By Deaconess Sandy Clifford probably have some good thoughts on this since they have been celebrating it for so long! In Judaism, as in aving been asked to write an article on this Christianity, there are many differing opinions about the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets. But there are High Holy Day, the first question I pondered is “Where to begin”? One of the things I love so much some that seem to stand out more than others. So we about the Holy Days of God is that there are so many will just skim the surface of some of these. First of all, Jewish thought has four names given to this layers of meaning to each one. This is true of all of Day. They are: Rosh Ha-Shannah (literally meaning God’s ways. They all have layers like an onion. If “the head of the year”), Yom Teru’ah (Day of Blowing you go through one layer, there are still many more layers to go through. If you are observing a day that is the Horn, Day of Trumpets or Feast of Trumpets), Yom ha-Din (the Judgment Day), and Yom harecognized as a traditional “Christian” holiday like Zikkaron (the Day of Remembrance) (from Jewish Easter, ask yourself how many layers with that day Virtual Library, in the article called “Rosh Hahave to do with God? If there is only one or maybe Shannah”). The Jewish people observe this Holy Day two layers of meaning and then some strange traditions to that day, do more investigation into the actual on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishri, which usually falls in September or October. In the origin of it. You may be surprised by your findings. Bible, the Feast is to be celebrated only one day; the The first mention of the feast of Trumpet is in two-day Feast arose out of the difficulty of determining when the new moon actually appeared. Some say Leviticus 23:23-25: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, that this can go on for as long as three days. saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you How did the Jewish New Year come to be shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of celebrated in the fall, on the first day of the seventh trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no cusmonth? According to the Mishnah, Adam and Chavah tomary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord’” (NKJV). This day is sup- (Eve) were created on Rosh Ha-Shannah. Jewish Sages came to this by rearranging the Hebrew letters posed to be a memorial but a memorial of what? Is not a memorial about remembering something? Well of the very first word of the Scriptures: Beresheet it just does not say what we are to remember! Perhaps (Bet, Reish, Aleph, Shin, Yod, Tav) into Aleph a word study on these verses can help us gain under- B'Tishri (Aleph, Bet, Tav, Shin, Reish, Yod) meaning standing. Strong's Concordance lists the word memo- “on the first of Tishri”. This is how this date became rial as zikron, number H2146. It means a memento [or associated with the celebration of creation from memorable thing, day or writing]; - memorial (17X), Adam's perspective. In other words, Trumpets is the anniversary of the sixth day when man was created. I remembrance (6X), records (1X). That was really can see where Adam would have been created on this helpful! The word translated as “Blowing of Trumpets” is teruah, number H8643 and it means, “clamor, day, but maybe not Eve (this is my personal opinion). I will hold this thought for later. i.e. acclamation of joy or a battle-cry, esp. clamor of trumpets, as an alarm: - shout (11X), shouting (8X), alarm (6X), sound (3X), blowing (2X), joy (2X), jubilee (1X), loud noise (1X), rejoicing (1X), sounding (1X). (Yes, at this point my eyes are crossing too!)
We now know that we are to celebrate a day, blowing trumpets as a memorial. Now my curiosity is peaked, and I began to think: Who might have some idea about what this Day means? The Jewish people
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Fall 2012 7
tiny of the wicked, the resha'im, are written in the Book of Death. However, people have ten days from As stated earlier, this Day is also called the Trumpets until Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to Day of Remembrance in reference to the commandrepent before their fate is sealed. Once Yom Kippur is ment to remember to blow the shofar to coronate God over, a person’s fate is said to be decided for the entire as King of the Universe. The blast of the shofar is upcoming year. We know that God has the Book of meant to jolt us from our sleep. We are to remember Life. Exodus 32:33, Psalm 69:28, Luke 10:20, Hewho we really are by remembering that the Lord is our brews 12:23, Philippians 4:3, Revelation 20:12-15 all King. I'll quote part of a paragraph from the Jewish mention or reference this Book. Virtual Library article. “The theme of God as King is particularly stressed on Rosh Ha-Shannah because of This is all very interesting. How do we as the day's association with His judgment. During the Christians connect to these things? I have already prayers of the day, it is necessary to recite ten Biblical mentioned several New Testament Scriptures. So that texts which have the theme of God as King is a start. We know that when we accept the forgive(malkhuyyot); ten which have the theme of God as He ness of God and we repent of our sins we are washed Who remembers (zikronot); and ten which have refer- clean by the precious blood of Jesus. At this point we ence to the shofar (shofarot). These are explained as make Him King of our lives. We are to repent of our God saying, "Recite before Me on Rosh Ha-Shannah sins as we commit them. We need to always stay malkhuyyot, zikhronot and shofarot: Malkhuyyot so mindful of our spiritual condition at all times, not just that you may proclaim Me King over you; zikhronot once or twice a year. Now we all should know this so that your remembrance may rise favorably before already, but we become forgetful throughout the Me; and through what? Through the shofar.” There year. But why not get deeper during this time of the are so many places in Scripture, where Christ is called year? King. A few references include Psalm 2:6, Psalm 44:4, Psalm 47 (which is recited 7 times on Rosh HaThere are several jewels in a book by John D. Shannah). In I Timothy 6:15 and Revelations 19:16, Garr, Ph.D, called “Living Emblems, Ancient SymHe is called King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In He- bols of Faith” in his chapter on the shofar. Dr. Garr brews 7, He is called a priest forever according to the states that the binding of Isaac by Abraham (called the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek in Hebrew means akedah) is the foundation of the sacrificial system King of Righteousness. given in the Torah. As Christians we understand the akedah looks forward to God our Father willingly sacFrom the Jewish Virtual Library article: rificing His Son, Jesus (Yeshua), on Passover to pay “Maimonides (Yad, Teshuvah 3:4) writes; ‘Although it the penalty for our sins so that we can have access to is a divine decree that we blow the shofar on Rosh Ha- Him. Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac Shannah, a hint of the following idea is contained in on the altar, God sent an angel to stop Abraham. God the command. It is as if to say: 'Awake from your then provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice inslumbers, ye who have fallen asleep in life, and reflect stead. For the Jewish people, hearing the sound of the on your deeds. Remember your Creator. Be not of shofar is to remind them of God’s mercy toward Fathose who miss reality in the pursuit of shadows, and ther Abraham and Isaac. For Christians, it should rewaste their years in seeking after vain things which mind us of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. neither profit nor save. Look well to your souls and improve your character. Forsake each of you his evil According to ancient Jewish thought, it ways and thoughts.’” was God who blew a shofar made from the left horn of that ram at Mt. Sinai. A strong theme of repentance and judgment This particular event happened on Feast are connected with this Day. Our goal should be to of Weeks or Pentecost when God gave make sure that we are right with God and not counted His holy Torah (teachings or law). At among the wicked. According to Jewish tradition, on this time, He was also calling Israel to be a separate Rosh Ha-Shannah the destiny of the righteous, the and a holy people. We are also called to be a separate tzaddikim, are written in the Book of Life and the des(Continued on page 9) (Continued from page 7)
(Continued from page 8)
and a holy people. We are not to be a people hiding out from the world, but instead we are to be a people who bring the light of Christ to a lost and dying world. We are to sound the shofar, the alarm, and to call others to a holy life.
Lord of lords, we can cast our crowns at His feet as we worship Him! He is worthy! He paid the ultimate price for us. He brought us out of darkness and into light!
Now it really should not take us forty days to get right with God and to search ours hearts. As a How does this relate to the Feast of Trumchurch and individually we do this during the first pets? According to Dr. Garr, beginning in the previ- week of Teshuvah. The next week is praying for ous Hebrew month of Elul, the shofar is sounded daily unsaved family members. During the third week we except on the first day, the last day and each Shabbat, make plans for the upcoming year and ask God’s help urging the people to examine their conduct and their and blessings during the upcoming year. Why not add relationships with God and man. If you add the thirty praying for reaching new people and for God's guiddays of the month of Elul and the ten days from Trum- ance for church growth to that list? During the fourth pets to Atonement called the Days of Awe, you arrive week, we spend time in the presence of God. This at the number forty. These are forty days of repenshould be a very special time between God and ourtance and soul searching which line up with Israel's selves. forty years in the wilderness and the time given for Ninevah before God's judgment. The trumpets blown The sounds of the shofar are very important, during Elul are an alarm blast to “stop!” and reflect on and there are four of them. The first blast is teki’ah our own mortality and morality. Moreover, it is a time and it is a long blast. The next blast is called shevarim to shema, which means to hear and obey. The thirty and it is three medium blasts signifying rependays prior to Feast of Trumpets is also referred to as tance. The third blast is called teru'ah and it is nine Teshuvah, which means to return. short, staccato blasts of alarm to awaken the soul. The last blast is called the teki’ah ha’gedolah (the great In our church, we go through a serious time of blast). Quoting Dr. Garr, "...the teki'ah represents the Teshuvah. During this thirty day season we go through blast that enthrones the King. The enthroning of God deep, personal reflection and repentance. We strive to as King must always outweigh the sobbing repengo into this season with our robes washed clean in the tance, for it is only through the grace and mercy of the blood of Jesus. We look into ourselves to see where Eternal that the penitent is forgiven and given life.” we fall short and where we need to work to get sin out of our lives. The Feast of Trumpets represents judgEarlier in this article, I mentioned the tradition ment so we want favorable judgment passed on us. that Adam was born on the Feast of Trumpets. This In I Corinthians 11:31 Paul writes, “For if we would reminded me of a video put out by Perry Stone of judge ourselves, we would not be judged.” We need Voice of Evangelism (VOE). The title of the video is to stay focused on being right with God, doing His “Prophecy in the Heavens”. Perry Stone concluded work, and striving towards the goal. What is the from extensive research and evidence that Jesus was goal? We are called to be “a kingdom of priests to our born on Feast of Trumpets in either 2 or 3 B.C. The God” and we shall reign on the earth according to first Adam and Second Adam born on the same date? Revelation 5:10 and I Peter 2:9. According to Paul in Fascinating! Let us also consider this: if Adam was II Timothy 4:8 we are destined to receive a crown of created on trumpets, that means the earth was given to righteousness, “which the Lord, the righteous Judge, man to tend and to keep on Feast of Trumpets. We will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but have not done a very good job. The earth’s history is also to all who have loved His appearing.” According filled with nations that had righteous leaders and also to I Corinthians 9:24-27, we are to be striving for an wicked leaders. It seems like history has had more imperishable crown. We need to strive to live up to wicked leaders than righteous ones. God has helped His standards. This does not mean salvation by works mankind by giving us His Torah so that we can gain but letting Jesus do His work in us and through wisdom in righteousness. God sent His only Son to us. Why do we need this crown of righteousness? We die for us so that we can be saved from God’s need this so that, when Jesus (Yeshua) is reigning on wrath. As humans we have basically done things our this earth for one thousand years as King of kings and (Continued on page 15) Fall 2012 9
Commonly Asked Questions: when God judges your year. On the feast of Trumpets every human alive has their name written in the book of the righteous, the book of the wicked, or the book shuvah is that it is simply just a Jewish thing that we of the intermediate. . If a person did not properly reas Christians should not observe. However, nothing could be farther from the truth! The setting of Teshu- pent during the thirty days of Teshuvah, then they have ten days’ grace to make things right with God. vah begins in the Holy Bible. In Haggai 1:1-11, God These ten days, beginning with Trumpets and going speaks to the Israelites on the first day of the sixth month on the Hebrew Calendar, which is called Elul. through the Feast of Atonement, are known as the In these verses, God commanded the Israelites to give days of Awe. During this time period, a person has the opportunity to have their name changed from one careful thought to their ways. The Israelites had nebook and put in another book. Because each of us glected the work on the house of the Lord and occuwants to have our name written in the book of the pied themselves with their own projects. God even righteous on Trumpets, we follow steps to get espeexplains that they planted much but harvested little. cially close to God during this time Their harvest was reduced because they did not give of the year. the proper attention to God’s house. He tells them that He sent a drought on their crops and on their labor so At Hungry Hearts, we actively purthat they were not blessed in what they did. What is it sue the Lord’s words through the God is asking them to do in these verses? God is askprophet Haggai to “Consider your ing them to return to him! The root word for Teshuvah ways” during the month of Elul. For is shoob or shoov and it means to return to where you this reason, during the four weeks of came from. Each of us has been made a new creature Teshuvah, we spend serious time in Christ and has become members of God’s heavenly considering our ways this past year. temple. The problem is that we have gone astray since being made new. We have to turn around and go back During the first week, we repent by writing our sins on a piece of paper (called a sin list). We spend time exto the one who made us new. We have to go back to amining our actions and going through our heart to dig the new, Christ-like creature we are supposed to be! out the sins buried deep within our intent, mind, will, The month of Elul in Jewish culture is a time of com- and emotion. We burn these lists on the weekly Sabbath before Atonement so that we go into God’s presing back to God. In the land of Israel they used to ence fresh and clean from our past year’s sins. During blow the shofar during this month as a reminder to the second week of Teshuvah, we pray for our lost people to “wake up” and return to God. Throughout the year we have been giving attention to our own per- family members. Each of us has family members that are not as close to God as they should be, and we want sonal affairs and we have not been tending to the house of the Lord as we should. The house of the Lord them to repent so their names can be written in the book of the righteous. During the third week we exis not just the physical house, but also the spiritual house of believers. By not serving in our spiritual gifts amine how we have been blessed by the Lord since as we should, the body of Christ has suffered neglect! the previous year’s Feast of Tabernacles. We write This is something we must return to doing - tending to down all of our assets and all of our debts on a sheet of paper and look at our net worth. We review how the Body of Believers! Because we have neglected much money we made this past year and we make Christ’s Body, we have lack in our lives. Whenever we are not living right or not operating in our gifts and goals for the upcoming year. There is Biblical evitalents we are neglecting the work on the house of the dence, found in the Torah, for doing this. In Numbers Lord. We wonder why we do not have the harvest of 13, Moses sent out 12 spies throughout the Promised people living God’s ways as a result! The first day of Land to explore the land and bring a report about the Elul is when the days of Teshuvah begin and they con- good things in the land. The interesting thing is that tinue for 30 days until the Feast of Trumpets. It is said the 12 spies went out to explore the land at the time of in Jewish thought that the Feast of Trumpets is the day the first ripe grapes. The grapes first ripen in Israel
A big misconception people have about Te-
What is Teshuvah? during the summer months and are harvested just before the Fall Feasts. Since the spies were gone for forty days, it is likely that some of their expedition occurred during the days of Teshuvah! We are to go through the promised land of our life and find God’s Kingdom provision just as the spies went through the land and found a single cluster of grapes that took two people to carry! We should be able to identify the blessing of God in our lives and give a good report as to what the Lord has done. While we look at our physical blessings from this past year, we should also look at our spiritual blessings. Did you grow in your walk with Christ? Do you have more word in you this year than last year? Did you fulfill your Kingdom assignments passed down from your Pastor or other church leader? Did you overcome sins in your life? These are equally important parts of God’s Kingdom provision in our lives. We also ask God for the things we need during this third week. We ask for things such as a higher salary, more net worth, and greater spiritual growth. We make goals to achieve these things because faith without works is dead (James 2:20). The Feast of Tabernacles is the feast when the Israelites would give God thanks for the harvest he gave them during the year. One of the purposes for making a physical and spiritual inventory of our lives is so that we can show up before God at the Feast of Tabernacles and give him thanks for the physical and spiritual harvest in our lives this past year! During the fourth week of Teshuvah, we spend time in intimate worship with God Almighty. We spend time in the secret place of the Most High mentioned in Psalm 91, preparing to encounter Him during the Fall Festivals. The time of Teshuvah is also called the days of the Open Windows of Heaven. It is the time to ask God for things, whether it be for your family to turn to God or for financial prosperity. In Isaiah 55:6 God said, “Seek God when He is at hand; Call upon Him when He is near” (The Holy Bible, New International Version). During Teshuvah, you are closing in on the Fall Feast Days. The Lord is at hand and He is near. It is the time when we can call to Him and He will especially hear our prayers.
The Ten Days beginning with Trumpets and continuing through the end of Atonement are known as the Ten Awesome Days or the Days of Awe. During this time a person who did not repent during Teshuvah has the opportunity to return to God. For those who made the necessary steps, the ten days of Awe are days where God will show his awesome provision in your life. During these ten days it would be wise to write down the things that happen to you. The days of Awe are a picture of what your upcoming year will be like. If you experience car trouble during the days of awe, then you can expect that you will have car trouble this upcoming year. If you have a breakthrough at work, then you can expect good things to happen at work. Even if something negative happens during the days of Awe, it gives us an opportunity to guard ourselves from unnecessary trouble. Consider the example of the car that had problems. Having this trouble during the days of Awe gives you the warning to take extra special care of your car during this time. This again shows God’s awesome power and grace - that he would warn us of events before they happen! In some instances, God is showing us the attacks Satan will use against us this upcoming year! Teshuvah is a Biblically based time of the year for us to return to God. If you will simply follow these simple steps, you will have a renewed Spirit and a tremendous outpouring of God’s Spirit during the Fall Feast Days! Works Cited All Scripture notations, unless otherwise noted, come from: The Holy Bible. The New International Version. International Bible Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 2002. Print.
Evangelist Kelly McDonald
Fall 2012 11
Feast of Tabernacles 2012
Change Your Viewpoint Join us as we Celebrate with GREAT JOY BEFORE THE LORD!!!! All Suites Hotel 541 Carriage House Drive Jackson, Tennessee Come to Jackson, Come to the Feast! September 30th to October 8th O c t ob e r 2 01 2 Sun
For seven days celebrate the Feast to the Lord at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. Deuteronomy 16:15 12
The Government of God By Evangelist Kelly McDonald
The Feast of Tabernacles is an annual cele-
people in democracies (which is what the U.S. currently has). The officials who run for office in democracies usually make great promises to the people to get elected. Many times they do not fulfill the promises they make, or they make promises that are impossible to achieve! The conditions under other forms of rule like Monarchies and Dictatorships are only as good or bad as the person who is ruling. Even in our society where we are supposed to be a nation of laws and not a nation of tyrants, appointed and elected officials can be bought with bribes or bought through lobbyists.
bration held from the 15th day of the seventh month on the Hebrew Calendar, called Tishri, until the 21st day of the same month. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He commanded them to live in booths or temporary dwellings. The Hebrew word translated as booth is sukkah. During the Feast of Tabernacles, God asked the Israelites to build sukkahs to remember their journey out of Egypt. They were commanded to dwell in these booths for the entire seven-day celebration. In John 1:1-3, John records that, “In the beginning was Where has man’s rule gotten us? It has the Word, and the Word was with God, only given us strife, poverty, war, and and the Word was God. He was with God Much has been given to unrest throughout the world. There is in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (The you and I to accomplish the political instability throughout the world based upon religious and ethnic Holy Bible, New International Version). task of getting the gospel differences. There are impoverished The word translated as “dwelling” is a out. Christ is demanding people throughout the world. Many of word that refers to the temporary booths these people have no hope to advance God had the Israelites build in the wilderthat we use our gifts to their situation because there is a serious ness. Christ came down and dwelt among spread the gospel about lack of employment opportunities in us in a fleshly body, which is a temporary the third world! However bleak this dwelling! He will come again and dwell His law. situation may seem, there is GOOD with us for a temporary 1,000 year reign! NEWS! A Kingdom is coming where For Christians, the Feast of Tabernacles everyone will have plenty of food to eat, water to is a celebration of Christ’s reign on planet earth. This time period will be a time of peace, joy, and unparal- drink, and opportunities to better their situation! This leled prosperity because God’s Government will be in Kingdom will be ruled by Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind, and alongside Him will be His children, control. We will participate in that government and the FAMILY OF GOD. help administer it on planet earth. For the last 6,000 years man has been ruling the world his way. There are different types of governments, ranging from monarchies to dictatorships to democracies. The key theme of each of these manmade governments is that they are focused on man and not focused on God. The laws of man’s governments are arbitrary and unpredictable. Democracy, for instance, allows for the people to choose the individual or individuals that promise them the most ‘stuff’. For the average voter, how his or her vote might affect others is usually irrelevant. Even worse, as new officials are elected in a democracy, they change the laws to undo the work of people who were in office before them. This makes life unpredictable and unstable for
The Family of God is the government of God, and we will help Jesus Christ administer God’s Government on this planet for 1,000 years. When God created Adam He was trying to establish His Kingdom on earth at that time. The problem is that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden and gave that throne back to Satan the devil. God told Adam that he would die in the day that he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After he ate from the tree, he did not die that same day. However, the Bible informs us that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years (Psalm 90:4). (Continued on page 19)
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The Intimacy of Atonement by Freda Sims When those of us in the Sabbath community think
We, who are now living at the end of the age, have of feast days or “Holy Days”, we think of good been offered a better and preaching, good food, good fellowship with the brethren, and even giving gifts to friends and family. This more perfect way for the foris certainly not the case with the Feast of Atonement. giveness of our sins: the preActually, the Day of Atonement is not a “feast” day at cious blood of Jesus our Savior. all; it is a “fast day”. The King James Version of the Heb. 9:11-14, “But when Christ came as high Bible calls the feast days holy convocations. This day priest of the good things that are now already is truly a very holy day before the Lord and we are here, he went through the greater and more required to treat it as such. In Leviticus 23:27-32, God perfect tabernacle that is not made with human shares how we are to observe this most holy day. hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of Lev. 23:27-32, KJV “Also on the tenth day of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy this seventh month there shall be a day of Place once for all by his own blood, thus obatonement: it shall be an holy convocation taining eternal redemption. The blood of goats unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify And ye shall do no work in that same day: for them so that they are outwardly clean. How it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who for you before the LORD your God. For whatthrough the eternal Spirit offered himself unsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in blemished to God, cleanse our consciences that same day, he shall be cut off from among from acts that lead to death, so that we may his people. And whatsoever soul it be that serve the living God! (The Holy Bible, The doeth any work in that same day, the same soul New International Version) will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute forThere is a period of approximately thirty days from ever throughout your generations in all your the first day of the sixth month on the Hebrew Calendwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth dar up to the Feast of Trumpets called Teshuvah. This day of the month at even, from even unto even, is a Hebrew word meaning to repent or turn back. We shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (The Holy Bi- have to repent of our transgressions and turn back to the law of God. As you know, sin is actually transble, The King James Version) gressing the law of God. We at Hungry Hearts Ministries utilize this time to do serious examination of ourIn verse 32 of Leviticus 23 the word afflict means to humble, chasten, or abase one’s self. For this particu- selves. We ask God to show us any areas of our lives that need to be worked on. The more time you spend lar day, this means you are to fast food and drink for with God during these days of Teshuvah, the more He the whole 24 hours from evening to evening. will reveal areas of your life that need your attention. The whole chapter of Leviticus 16 describes in The more you repent the more forgiveness you will great detail as to how Aaron, the High Priest, was in- receive, thus making you cleaner and cleaner. This is structed by God through Moses to offer the sacrifices the necessary protocol to prepare you to enter into this for the atonement for himself first, then his household, most holy day so that you can have a great encounter and finally for the whole nation of Israel. This Day of with your maker, the Lord God of all creation. Atonement was the holiest day of the year, performed During this time of Teshuvah when God reonly once a year behind the veil in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle of Moses by the High Priest. (Continued on page 15) 14
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(The Feast of Trumpets...Continued from page 9)
veals a sin to you write it down. At Hungry Hearts, we make a sin list and burn it the Sabbath before Atonement. When we do this, we all close our eyes and see bright red which we feel represents the blood of Jesus covering our sins one more time. This is one of the most precious things I have the experienced through the years at Hungry Hearts Ministries.
own way. We have told Him that we do not want or need Him. The results are obvious.
Recently I watched a television show on the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990's. One million people were tortured and killed When the time arrives for Atonement to begin, within one hundred we all arrive at our meeting place early. We gather in days. This is why we ultithe building wearing plain, mately need Jesus to return white garments for purity. We and reign on this earth. These things have continued also wear white because the all through history and will continue to happen. HuHigh Priest wore white on the mans without God are cruel and do not know how nor Day of Atonement. Prior to sun- do they want to rule justly. We need the fulfillment of set we take communion and the Feast of Trumpets when Jesus' feet hit the Mt. of then finish off the last of our Olives and He rules and reigns for one thousand water. We each find the place years! we want to sit and everyone is very quiet and sober. The only light we have in the hall is a seven-branch The shofar was blown at the coronation of menorah. Intimate music is played as we all enter into kings and even in modern times at the inauguration of worship. Some lay prostrate on the floor, while others presidents in Israel. The great trump in Isaiah 27:13 may lie on their back or kneel or sit in their chair. Dur- may be blown on the Feast of Trumpets for the ultiing the evening portion of Atonement, we will wormate change in the earths’ rulership. This is when the ship for three to four hours. During the day portion of coronation of Jesus as King of Kings to rule from Jethis Holy Day, we meet the same way, dressed in rusalem will take place! Let us make Him King of our white. This time we do not take communion or drink lives now! Zechariah 9:14 says, “The Lord God will water because we have all been fasting. We will then blow the trumpet (shofar)”. The Day of the Lord will worship our creator God for approximately five hours be horrible. But as with a woman in labor, who, after until sundown. she has given birth does not remember the pain at the joy of a new child in her arms, so will be the returning During this special and most intimate time of our Lord Jesus Christ! Let us prepare ourselves, some of our members have seen and heard things in look for His soon return and keep the Feast of Trumthe spirit that are most magnificent. Anyone that will pets with great joy! follow the protocol mentioned in this article to prepare themselves for the Day of Atonement are sure to have Works Cited a wonderful and intimate experience with their creaHoly Bible. New King James Version. Thomas Neltor, the Lord God of all creation. son, Inc. 1994. Strong’s Concordance. Strong, James. Nashville: Abingdon, Works Cited 1980. The Holy Bible. The King James VerThe Mishnah. “Sanhedrin 38b”. sion. Holman Bible Publishers. NashLiving Emblems. Garr, Dr. John ville, Tennessee: Holman Bible PublishD. Restoration Foundation: Aters, 1979. Print. lanta, GA, 2000. The Holy Bible. The New International Version. International Bible Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 2002. Print. Fall 2012 15
The Power of Attitudes By Evangelist Kelly McDonald Webster’s Dictionary defines the word attitude as “a mental position with regard to a fact or state; a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state; an organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as an object, concept, or situation). In the Greek, a word for attitude is phroneo, and one of its definitions according to Strong’s Concordance is “to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction).” From these definitions, we can see that an attitude is a mindset or perspective that predisposes us to act a certain way. In other words, an attitude determines what actions you are likely to either take or not take. For an example, consider a laid-back attitude. If you are operating in a laid-back attitude then you are less likely to be easily angered or overreact to a situation. Your attitude determined your action. Understanding attitudes is extremely important and can help us overcome the attacks of the evil one.
hearts, minds, and spirits. In Ephesians 2:1-2, Paul wrote, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Some translations say in verse 2 that Satan is the “Prince and the Power” of the air. What we have to realize is that Satan the devil is not just the prince and power of the air, but he is also the prince and power of the air waves. Satan is constantly broadcasting attitudes into your mind like a radio station broadcasts radio waves into the air. How do these attitudes begin to manifest in our lives and how can we recognize them? Paul says in these verses that Satan is the spirit at work in those who are disobedient. The Greek word for disobedient literally means a lack of faith. Satan begins by broadcasting into your mind disbelief about God. Satan may put things into your mind, such as: “Is the Sabbath really true?”; “Does God really care what day of the week we worship on?”; “Do I really have to be filled with the Spirit and speak in tongues?”; “Are the Dietary Laws necessary for me to keep?”; “I’m not sure if those resurrections are really true”; “Is second tithing really necessary today?”; or “God does not care if I keep Christmas or Easter.” Each of these is designed to do the same thing that Satan did in the Garden - doubt God. The serpent started by making Eve question whether God’s spoken word was true! He was also questioning whether God’s word was necessary for their lives! The whole purpose of these attitudes that Satan broadcasts into your mind is simply an attempt to get you to step backwards. When you give up one vital truth of the Bible, you will give up another, then another, and others until you have given up all of them. Your actions will follow and then you will start to disobey. You will start to break the Sabbath, keep easter and christmas, stop praying in tongues, etc. This is why the Greek word for disobedience can mean disbelief. The attitudes that Satan broadcasts into your mind cause you to lose faith in God’s word and they lead to disobedience.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent spoke to Eve and tempted her. The Bible records, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Gen.3.1-5). We have a tendency to think from the text that the serpent only spoke to Adam and Eve. While Satan did speak to Eve with words, he actually was conveying an attitude to them. The attitude or mindset that Satan conveyed to them was a mindset which believes that you do not have to do what God wants you to do. You can do whatever you want. You can become your own god and choose for yourself. You can do things your way and still have God’s blessing The Spirit of Disobedience begins with an attitude! at the same time. The same attitude Satan put forth to Adam and Eve This example in Genesis shows us the way that Satan still exists today! We still want to disobey God. We attacks us. He attacks us by speaking attitudes into our (Continued on page 17) 16
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want to do the things that look wise to us but not to God. This attitude believes that God does not really mean what he says. You can still do things your way and his way. Practically apply this to your life. When the Federal Government tells you that you owe 15% in income taxes, you will pay 15% in income taxes. We all obey this (or we go to jail). However, when God says to keep the Sabbath on the seventh day, we like to say “Well, He did not really mean that way” or “Well, God changed it” (when clearly He has not). This is an attitude of disobedience! It all starts with questioning whether God said what He clearly said. The Bible says that God does not change (Malachi 3:6). People even get very emotional when they talk about a truth of the Bible like the Sabbath. Why? Because they have been influenced by an attitude! Our attitudes make us very emotional even when we are presented with a very easy decision logically. If someone asked us if we were hungry, we could easily answer by saying “Yes” or “No”. When someone shows us that God made the seventh day the Sabbath, people want to argue that it really does not mean what it clearly states. An ungodly attitude can rob you of logic and lead you into grievous sins. King David is an example of this. If you look at David’s life, he was very focused on God and God’s Kingdom work. After all, he was a man after God’s own heart. Part of his Kingdom work was subduing other nations. You have to understand that in the Old Testament going to war was part of doing God’s Kingdom work. The events in the Old Testament were for our learning today, so David’s warfare in the natural is a picture and type of how we should fight spiritual warfare. David had an incident where he allowed an attitude to creep in and lead him into disobedience. In II Samuel 11:1, David sends the men to go to war and fight against the Ammonites. David, however, stayed behind. He got out of bed one day around sunset and decided to go up on his roof. He then saw Bathsheba and sent for her. He committed adultery with her and later had her husband, Uriah, killed. All of David’s sins in this example came from his decision not to go to war with his men. He did not pursue God’s Kingdom work! His decision not to go with his men came from an attitude. It is not clear what attitude made David stay behind, but it could have been an attitude
of laziness. Whatever attitude it was, it led him into disobedience. David knew the Torah just as Adam and Eve knew God’s command concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. David’s attitude made him forget easy, logical decisions and pursue emotional, fleshly interests. The devil then used his flesh and his emotions against him and he committed several sins. It all began with an attitude. Another example in the Bible would be King Saul. He was an individual who constantly operated in a Spirit of disobedience. Most people do not realize this, but Saul actually received the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and displayed the power of a changed life (I Samuel 10:5-13). The problem is that King Saul allowed attitudes to overtake him and lead him into sin continually. Saul began by rescuing the people of Jabesh Gilead. Later, King Saul thought that he could do whatever he wanted and still say that he was doing God’s will. He erected a statute of himself and even brought back plunder after God told him to completely destroy the Amalekites (I Samuel 15). His attitude was always one which was focused on pleasing people and pleasing himself, but he did not please God. He had attitudes of fear, doubt, and pride. He was so overcome by these attitudes that he eventually lost the Holy Spirit (I Samuel 16:14). The problem is that we want to see things our way and still have God’s Blessing. Saul sinned against God and still wanted Samuel to honor him in front of the people. This is one aspect of what I call the Pharaoh Spirit. First of all, understand that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by God so that God’s mighty power would be displayed in Egypt. At the same time, we can see his attitude as an example for us today. Pharaoh disobeyed the word of the Lord through Moses many times, resulting in ten plagues. After the tenth plague, he decided to finally let them go. The strange thing is that he asked for a blessing on the way out. Exodus 12:31-32, “During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” This is the way most of us act. We want to do things our way, like Adam and Eve, and still enjoy God’s blessing (the tree of life). The problem is that sin blocks the way to the tree of life. If God had allowed Adam and Eve to (Continued on page 18)
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eat from the tree of life after partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would have been like Satan the devil who lives forever in a state of sin. Satan cannot repent. We are purposefully blocked from the tree of life so that we are not condemned to a permanent destruction. The attitudes in your life are a powerful concept to realize. You need to recognize the attitude you have at any given time and ask yourself: “Is this an attitude from Satan?” If you are loosing focus of your Kingdom Assignments and not taking care of your personal business, you can rest assured that the attitude you have is from Satan the devil! Two typical attitudes are laziness and pride. When you have an attitude of laziness, you fail to recognize the things that are important in your life such as paying the bills on time, taking care of your family, and reading your Bible. This attitude can lead you into sins such as sexual immorality, stealing, and lying because you are operating in your flesh. When you have an attitude of pride you see the entire world as centered on yourself and how you can gain and acquire for yourself irrespective of others’ wants and needs. Anything you might do for others that appear positive is only coincidental. When a person has an attitude of pride, he says things to please people that they really do not mean. It is only an attempt to get his way. Even his repentance can be faked. Saul shows us this. After failing to destroy the Amalekites in I Samuel 15, Saul told Samuel that he repented. The problem is that he really did not repent based on what he said after his admission of sin: “Saul replied, ‘I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God’ ” (I Samuel 15:30). Saul seems to admit his guilt but he then asks Samuel to come with him so that he can be honored in the sight of the people. When the wicked King Ahab repented and the righteous King Hezekiah repented, God forgave them and relented judgment. Even David was told by the prophet Gad that he was forgiven. God did not forgive Saul because he did not genuinely repent. It is as simple as looking at his words. The whole purpose of his admission of guilt was so that Samuel would honor him and he could still look important to other people. He was still focused on what he wanted even after he committed a grievous sin against the Lord. Laziness and pride are two of the most destructive and dangerous attitudes, which led 18
David into sin and Saul towards losing the Holy Spirit. When Adam and Eve partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the Bible says that their eyes were opened. Their eyes became open to attitudes which lead to disobedience. By listening to the serpent, all of humanity was now vulnerable to the attitudes that Satan might broadcast into their heart and mind. When you look at the lives of Saul and David, they were polar opposites. Saul sinned much and obeyed a little, David obeyed much. The one thing they have in common is that they were swayed by attitudes. If an attitude can sway a man after God’s own heart to sin, then how much more are you and I vulnerable to this today! The key to overcoming these attitudes is found in what David confessed once he had sinned. When David sinned, he said, “I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). The word translated iniquity in these verses is the Hebrew word âvôn, and it means perversity. David asks the Lord to forgive the iniquity of his sin. In other words, he asks God to forgive the perverseness inside of him that lead him into sin. Iniquity is when we twist or pervert a situation in our mind to justify why it is permissible for us to sin at that point in time. Attitudes cause us to pervert situations in this way. Our eyes then become open and we eat of the fruit. The only way back to turn from attitudes that lead to disobedience and gain access to the tree of life is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and change the attitude of your mind (Romans 12:1)! You must repent and turn back to God! The word repentance means a change in your mind. We have to change our minds from attitudes of disobedience to attitudes of trust and faith. During this season of Teshuvah, examine your attitudes and weed Satan’s attitudes out of your life so that he no longer has a foothold. Works Cited: “attitude” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2012. Web. 24 June 2012. All Scripture notations, unless otherwise noted, come from: The Holy Bible. The New International Version. International Bible Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 2002. Print. Strong’s Concordance. Strong, James. Nashville: Abingdon, 1980. (accessed via e-sword application)
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Adam did not live one day according to the Lord, which is 1,000 years. He died at age 930. Christ came as the second Adam. He will finish the one day that Adam did not finish by establishing God’s government on planet earth for 1,000 years. This is why Christ’s reign is for 1,000 years. How will this government be administered? This government will be administered through the law of God found in your Bible. In Isaiah 2:2-5, God says, “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” God’s Law is going to go out from Jerusalem to the other nations of the world to teach them how to be holy, happy, and successful. God wants every human being to be happy, but there is a certain way of life we must live for us to be happy. That way is known as the Law of God! The Law of God, found in Genesis and Deuteronomy shows us how God’s Kingdom will be administered. First of all, every person will be given a plot of ground as their permanent family inheritance. When the Israelites entered into the Promised Land, God asked them to divide up the land for each tribe in Israel. Then each clan was allotted territory within their tribal inheritance. A larger portion of land was given to the larger tribes and a smaller portion to the smaller tribes. That means that the land was divided evenly based on what a person needed! In God’s Kingdom there will be no more buying up land so that only one person has all the land and power, as Isaiah 5:8 points out, “Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land”. In our nation, we have added house to house. If you look at any populated area, houses are joined very close together. In some large cities like New York City, some areas have blocks of buildings
joined together with no space between! The reason why this is so detrimental is because people do not have enough land to find enjoyment and fulfillment in life. People then get frustrated and start stealing, vandalizing, and joining in other forms of sin. Images of people walking the streets in dirty clothes or living in card board boxes are still very much apart of our modern world. Many cities even have slums and, due to the poverty, high crime rates. In God’s Kingdom, such a depravity will not exist. In the Kingdom of God, every person will be given a tract of land. It will be the perfect size of land for every person to find joy and fulfillment in life. You will be allowed to do on your plot of land whatever brings you the most joy in life! Land can be used for whatever you wish to pursue. You must have land for farming, to have a building for a business, for office space, and many other pursuits. If you look at your desires for this life, it involves needing land. Every person will have an equal opportunity to make a living doing whatever brings them the most happiness. The land was permanently given to these tribes and the clans within each tribe. This means that it could not be taken away! The verse from Isaiah 5:8, which mentions houses being joined together and land being bought up can also refer to the nationalizing of property and industry. When the government begins to nationalize something, they are literally buying up houses or industry so that no private individuals are free to develop that particular area. This means that they alone own it all, which is what the verse says - “…till no space is left and you live alone in the land.” Nationalizing industry means that the government’s ideas alone are left in the land. Some foreign governments (like Russia) have nationalized the oil industry, which removed private development and discovery of oil. This process takes away the ability of people to independently develop ideas. Personalities and ideas will not be squelched in the
Mark Your Calendar: September 30th-October 8th Request a copy of the Tabernacles 2012 Feast Planning Guide today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Kingdom of God. Ideas and free thinking will be promoted! This means that you will have the freedom to create inventions and develop ideas that you believe will bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people. And, you will have plenty of room to do it! If for some reason you squander your family inheritance and are forced to sell it, you will get it back in the Jubilee year, which is every fifty years. This prevents generational poverty, which has plagued even American society. God’s government will be a government of plenty and give people opportunities to climb out of poverty. First of all, there will be no prisons. In God’s government, if a person cannot pay a debt or he steals money, he will be required to work as a servant until he pays the debt he owes or repays what he stole. This means people who owe money will have to work alongside people who are successful. This will allow them the opportunity to learn how to be successful themselves so they no longer have to resort to stealing! No more will people go to prisons and learn how to become more criminal. When criminals hang around other criminals it makes people worse criminals because our companions influence our behavior (Proverbs 13:20). God wants us to spend time around people who have wholesome thinking and who are successful so that we can be successful ourselves. This means people will not be isolated. Thieves, for instance, will be working alongside the people they steal from so that they can have an appreciation for what it takes to acquire goods. The whole purpose of treating criminals this way is so that they can be rehabilitated through hard work and personal relationships. Other laws will promote prosperity and help people climb out of poverty. Every seventh year the debts of fellow Israelites will be cancelled (Deut. 15:1-11). This will keep families from being poor from generation to generation due to debt. Moreover, there will be no interest charged to fellow Israelites. This will prevent people from lending excessive amounts of money to make a profit on the interest. Even Hebrew servants will be allowed to go free in the seventh year! These laws promote freedom and prevent people from taking advantage of others. There will be no welfare in God’s Kingdom, but the poor will be allowed to glean the edges of the fields 20
and whatever is left behind by harvesters. This means that the poor will have food to eat, but they will have to work to earn it. There will also be a third tithe taken up in the third and sixth year of a seven year cycle. This will prevent people from having a continual dependence on others every year or from having a dependence on the government. Third tithe will simply be a boost to help you get your life back on track. You will have to appear to collect it and meet other people. It will not simply be a check impersonally mailed to you. It will be amazing to see Saints of God, perhaps even Ruth and Boaz, waiting at a place where third tithe is distributed and choosing people to come back to their farm to learn how to be successful! But that is the attitude of the Kingdom of God: “Find someone else who needs to be taught God’s way and teach them.” God’s Kingdom is all about finding other people who need to be trained to be successful and teaching them how to be! The purpose of these laws is so that thieves, debtors, and the poor will be able to interact with successful businessmen and become successful themselves, just like convicted prisoners. With these laws, you can see that God is trying to develop relationships, which is a basic human need. Many criminals, debtors, and malcontents in our society have been isolated, neglected, or had a lack of meaningful relationships. During the Kingdom of God, all humans will have the opportunity for meaningful relationships with other people and with their Creator. These social safety nets will be vital to the prosperity available in the Kingdom of God. The rule of law will also be consistent so that people can prosper and justice is administered. Penalties will be carried out swiftly and judges will rule fairly. Judges will not take bribes thus rulings will be based on the facts of the case. Christ will also require judges to render decisions consistently based on the facts of the case. There will not be huge lottery-type lawsuits for people who are injured. Every person will be compensated justly and properly for their losses. The punishment will fit the crime. One of the biggest problems in American society is frivolous lawsuits. If we would eliminate them, then all of our lives would be easier! Christ will oversee the entire system of law so that it is administered properly! As you can see, all of these laws are designed for freedom, happiness, and fairness. (Continued on page 21)
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What role in His government will you and I play as His children? Revelation 20:4-6, reads, “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” This passage in Revelation is about the resurrection of those Christians who were beheaded during the Tribulation. Just before the Kingdom of God begins, all who partake in the first resurrection, whether resurrected before the Tribulation in the Rescue or after it, will sit on thrones with Jesus Christ. We will rule with Him during the thousand years. We are DESTINED TO REIGN! That is your destiny as a child of God. You have to accept that destiny by yielding to His will for your life. You see, Christ is going to use two factors to determine your position in HIS Kingdom. The first is your commandment keeping and what you taught to others about God’s Commandments. The second is how well you used your Kingdom talents and gifts to spread His word. In Matthew 5:19-20, Christ said, “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Since God’s Kingdom is going to be a Kingdom of laws administered by Jesus Christ, then those who have lived His laws in this current sinful age will be exalted while those who did not live His laws will be considered least. We will not all have the same authority and position, as is sometimes taught. Those who break the least of the commandments and teach others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom. What are some of the least of the commandments? Having tzit-tzit or fringes on a garment (also
known as a tallit) would be considered one of the least commandments. Another commandment that might be considered least is not eating the fruit off of your fruit trees until the fifth year (Leviticus 19:23-25). Those who keep the commandments and teach others to do the same will be called greatest! These are people who were not ashamed of God’s ways before others. They went through trials in their lives and stood strong for God. They did not just teach the word - they lived it! The Kingdom of God will be the rule of Christ over the entire earth and that rule will be established through God’s law. A person who does not know God’s law cannot be given a high-level position because they will not know how to administer the ruling law of the earth! Notice that Christ does not mention those who break the greatest of the commandments. A person cannot enter into the Kingdom of God until they repent of their transgressions of God’s Law. Even the Pharisees kept the Sabbath, Holy Days, Dietary Laws, and First and Second tithe. We must exceed their law keeping by getting down deep into our hearts and minds so that we keep God’s law with the attitude of Christ. The second factor that will determine a person’s place in the Kingdom of God is how well they used their Kingdom talents. In this parable, found in Luke 19:11-27, Christ gave ten of his servants a mina each. One went out and gained ten more. Another went out and gained five more. Finally, a third hid his in a cloth. The one who earned ten more was given ten cities, the servant who earned five more was given five cities, and the one who hid his mina was given nothing. His only mina was given to the man with ten. The mina in this parable represents the Kingdom talents Christ has given each of us. Producing more minas represents a person’s productivity with their mina or talent. A person who takes what God has given them and produces much more will rule over a larger area than those who produced little. If you have been given a Kingdom talent of writing, how much are you writing? Are you writing books or in multiple magazines or other avenues? If you have a Kingdom talent of preaching and teaching, are you answering that call? What if your gift is service? Are you serving in multiple avenues? To have a high position in God’s Kingdom, you must be productive with what God has given you. Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the (Continued on page 22)
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(The Government of God...Continued from page 21)
one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Much has been given to you and I to accomplish the task of getting the gospel out. Christ is demanding that we use our gifts to spread the gospel about His law. Your productivity in using your talents and gifts to promote the gospel of His lawful Kingdom is the direct measure of the amount of territory in which you will govern His Law. Christ will not have a government of inefficiency displayed before the nations. He will have a government that is highly organized and highly efficient so that the nations will marvel at the productivity and lifestyle of His Family. This is similar to the way the Queen of Sheba marveled at Solomon’s wisdom and the manner in which his kingdom operated. This excellence is so the nations will desire to be apart of God’s Kingdom. The whole purpose of Christ’s reign is to bring the nations into God’s Family, and we have 1,000 years or one day in God’s timing to do it! Christ will appoint you your territory in God’s Kingdom based on how well you can handle your Kingdom gifts now. He will not give you more than you can handle, so get on it now! For those who refuse to use their Kingdom gifts, you need to understand that Christ will not be shamed before the nations by people who refuse to use what has been given to them. Rather than have poor rulers and territories filled with neglect and lawlessness, He will re-distribute their gifts to those who have the highest efficiency with what has been given them. This is what the parable of the minas informs us! We have to be creative and go out and produce with what has been given us!
place do you want to serve? Throughout human history, human beings have strived for greatness. God placed a desire for greatness in us because He wants us to strive for the highest position in His Kingdom. We do this by humbling to His ways by how we live, yielding to His Spirit by serving, and by laying down our lives for His Kingdom. In Luke 14:11, Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” As you humble yourself to God’s will, you will be exalted in God’s Kingdom. The things we do NOW will count THEN! Christ sacrificed everything He had in this world - including leaving a throne in HEAVEN to come down to EARTH and DIE for US. It is a little thing for us to sacrifice our time with 30 minutes a day to read our Bibles or giving up hours every week using our gifts for God. It is worth pleasing God and being great in His Kingdom.
The 1,000 year reign of Christ will be the greatest time of peace and prosperity in recorded history. His government will be a rule of righteousness, equity, and perfect rule because it will be ruled by the law of God. God’s government will be highly organized and efficient so that the greatest numbers of people are brought into His family. God wants us to participate in His government, but we must be prepared to reign. If we really have faith in Him, we will prepare now to rule with Him then. We must have a desire to help spread that prosperity over this world. We must ask God to put that desire within us. It will be a government worth serving, whereas the governments of this current age are not. Do you want to share in the rule of your Messiah? “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his What has God given you? Are you using it? throne” (Rev. 3:21). We must overcome our attitudes This is the time to examine your commandment keep- of laziness, lackadaisicalness, apathy, pride, and selfing and study the law of God so that you can be ishness if we want to sit on a throne with Him. I do among the greatest in God’s Kingdom. A King over not know about you, but I want to side right beside Israel had to hand-write out for himself a copy of the Him and reign. You and I were DESTINED TO book of the law (Deut. 17:18). He was required to read REIGN in God’s government on this earth. it every day. I believe that we as Christians should hand write this law if we want to rule in His Kingdom Works Cited (I am working on mine now). This is the time to deAll Scripture notations, unless velop your Kingdom gifts and start using them with otherwise noted, come from: The fervency so that you can rule over a large territory in Holy Bible. The New InternaGod’s Kingdom. Once the kingdom of God begins, tional Version. International Bible your place in the Kingdom will be set for 1,000 years. Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: How high up do you want to serve? How low of a Zondervan Bible Publishers, 2002. Print. 22
s e l c a n r e b a T f o t s a e F . â€Ś s r a e Y Over the
Celebrating the Kingdom of God with great JOY!!!
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