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Tishri: A Month of Blessings

Each year since January 2010, I have been watching the Head of the Year live webcast on Glory of Zion ministries website. They have two, one is the Head of the Year, starting the first of January and the other is for the Biblical or Hebrew New Year, starting in September. Since I live in Uganda it has not been possible for me to attend either of these conferences in person because I usually visit my two daughters and two grandchildren, during June and July.

This year the Head of the Year Conference began on September 5th, the first day of the Hebrew New Year 5774. The Hebrew Feast of Trumpets began at sundown on Wednesday, September 4, through sundown, Thursday, September 5, 2013 and began the Hebrew month of Tishri. This year as usual, I watched the Head of the Year Conference on the live webcast. For some reason this year, as only the Holy Spirit knows, I was greatly impacted by what the Lord was saying. First I want to thank Chuck Pierce and Glory of Zion Ministry for making the live webcast and webcast replays possible.

Last weekend after watching the live webcast, I also watched the replay. Sunday morning I sensed the Lord wanted me to speak on this topic at a church in Kampala, Uganda where I had been invited to speak. As I began to speak the Holy Spirit was so powerful upon me as I preached and brought so much of what I had heard to my remembrance. It could only have been the Holy Spirit.  Not only was I amazed at how the Lord was speaking through me, I could see that the people were also very touched and attentive. We also had a powerful ministry time after. Then on Wednesday this past week I was to teach at ATK Bible College in the village of Nakivumbi.

Again, I sensed the Lord wanted me to teach on the same topic. This time I had prepared some notes and again I was amazed at how receptive the bible students were and how God was using me. The students very much appreciated this teaching, as they had not heard this before.  One student came to me later to tell me he had been praying for Israel for the past couple of years. He also mentioned that he was eager to learn more about Christianities Hebrew roots and we exchanged contacts.

With that said, I again sensed the Lord wanted me to put this teaching into a written format. So in obedience to the Lord, I have done what He as asked me to do. So let me begin by saying, the month of Tishri begins the autumn or fall season which includes three months, Tishri, Cheshvan and Kislev. Every month in the Hebrew Calendar is linked with one of the twelve tribes of Israel and the Lord works in seasons of three months, corresponding with the twelve tribes. Therefore these three autumn months are linked to three autumn tribes; Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin known jointly as the camp of Ephraim. However, according to God’s cycle of life, the Feasts of the Lord as were established by God, mark His yearly cycle. Therefore God’s New Year begins in the spring (Mar/April) with the Feast of Passover and all of the consecutive feasts are actually connected to and flow out from the first Feast of Passover.

The Feast of Trumpets is the first of three fall feasts and takes place on the first day of the seventh month on God’s calendar, known as Tishri. The month of Tishri (Sept/Oct – Autumn) is a vey important month in the life cycle of the Lord. First the number seven (7) in Hebrew means completion and perfection. This is very significant because the last three of the Lord’s yearly cycle of Feasts are celebrated during this month and as I mentioned above is linked with the tribe of Ephraim, which means double fruitfulness. It is the most blessed month of the year, yet it is also a crucial time of transition.

This Feast of Trumpets is considered to be a trumpet call, to wake up. It is a time to wake up and pay attention to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to you. “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2-3).  It is a time, if we wake up, to have access to double fruitfulness as we realign ourselves with the Lord during this season.

The second of the fall feasts is Yom Kippur and is known as the Day of Atonement and for the Jew, is a day of fasting, repentance and reflecting upon the Lord. This year the Day of Atonement began sundown, Friday, September 13, to sundown, Saturday, September 14. Yom Kippur is the Highest Holiday to the Jewish people.

The ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement is also known as the ten days of AWE! These ten days are to be set aside for reflection and repentance. This is an appointed time to inquire of the Lord as to what has crept into his or her life and heart that may have caused a drifting away from the ways and heart of the Lord. It is a time to reflect over the past year and examine your life to rid yourself of any sins committed against God or man. It is a time for every believer to draw close to God and ask Him to cleanse us of all impurity so we can return to ‘first love’ of God and of His Word.

Our Lord provides opportunities for all believers, not just the Jewish people, to receive cleansing of all filthiness, “therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the God” (2 Cor. 7:1), and return to the Lord in repentance, thus receiving forgiveness, restoration and refreshing in the glory of the Lord. Therefore, the significance of this seven-month of completion and perfection is to prepare every believer for the last of the fall feasts, The Feast of Tabernacles.

This year the Feast of Tabernacles began with a special Sabbath at sundown on September 18 and ends with a special Sabbath at sundown, September 26.  This feast is a 7-day celebration of rejoicing, and remembrance for all that the Lord has done. It is an appointed time set aside to set our minds, and our hearts on the Lord and bless Him, for He alone is worthy “to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev 5:12).

The Feast of Tabernacles is also known as Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, the Feast of In-gathering (Ex 23:16) and the Feast of the Lord. This feast can be likened to the celebration in the book of Revelation, of the marriage of the lamb. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and His wife (all believers) has made herself ready, and to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. “…Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:7-9) (emphasis mine)!

As I write this we are in the midst of this great celebration as we come together to tabernacle with God and others. It is a time of rejoicing and basking in the glory of the Lord for He is great and greatly to be praised. As time is spent in the glory of the Lord we become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and we are now prepared to move forward, especially as we enter into the next month in the Hebrew calendar, which is the month of Cheshvan. This month is linked to the tribe of Manasseh (Oct/Nov), the older brother of Ephraim.

Cheshvan (Oct/Nov) is the eighth month, which means new beginnings and revelations. It is a time of revelation and renewing of our minds, as we look forward to what new thing the Lord is doing in us, and through us in this season. It makes sense that this month of Tishri is both a month of blessings and a crucial time as we move forward into what God has for us this year. During this month of Tishri and next month of Cheshvan, it is especially important to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying. It is necessary to get in step with the Holy Spirit so we will be blessed this year. We as believers need to be more serious in our partnering with the Holy Spirit. For it is through us that the power of God upon us, outflows from us to touch the hearts and lives of other people, especially as this world is full of hurting and dying people.

Kislev (Nov/Dec) the nine-month is the last month in this autumn season and is linked to the tribe of Benjamin. The name of Kislev in Hebrew represents trust and security. This month Hanukkah is celebrated and reminds us that the light will never go out. Yeshua is the light and He is always with us. This month is a time to deepen our trust and our security in the Lord so we can enter into His rest. Benjamin was the only son of Jacob to be born in the Promised Land and means ‘son of my right hand.’ Benjamin was the most skilled with the bow and considered to be a fierce warrior, so it is significant in this month to develop and strengthen our warfare strategies. We are still in the awakening season as we seek for revival, but we must strengthen ourselves in the Lord to walk in the new season and blessings during this year.

The seasons of the Hebrew Calendar and the Feasts of the Lord are not only for the Jewish people, for they are appointed times set by God, which have great significance for all believers.  Leviticus 23 37 says “These are the Feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations…”  And Zachariah 14 says “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of ALL the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, The Lord of Hosts and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zach 14:16-17). All the Feasts of the Lord are blessed appointed times for us to draw close in intimacy to the heart of God.

I believe it will be helpful for you to have an overview of the Lord’s Feasts and some background information on Ephraim, Manasseh, and Joseph their father. Even so, as we continue it is important that you understand that God is always present – future. Therefore each feast of the Lord is about moving forward from one season to another towards a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him.

Each weekly, monthly and yearly cycle is designed to bring us closer and deeper into the knowledge of and heart of God: to know the love of the Father, the grace of Yeshua His Son and the fellowship of Holy Spirit at a higher level as we move from glory to glory. According to God’s calendar or cycle of life, He has established holy appointed times set apart to meet or fellowship with Him. You can find them listed in the book of Leviticus 23. They are defined by the weekly Feast of Shabbat, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday; the monthly Feast of Rosh Chodesh or First Fruits, and the yearly cycle of appointed times. The first yearly-appointed time begins with the Feast of Passover.

  1. The Feast of Passover (Mar/Apr) is in early spring, the first month, on the 14th day of the month at sundown. This feast is also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which begins on the 15 day and lasts for 7 days. The first day of Unleavened Bread remembers the Exodus from Egypt, and the seventh day remembers the crossing of the Red Sea, It is a time of redemption and cleaning house, both physical and spiritually. It is a time for you to seek the Lord, asking Him what it is that you need to be delivered of this year.

Passover is a time of celebration redemption and deliverance. Passover also remembers the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb and I have a message on my website titled Jesus the Passover Lamb. After redemption and cleansing you are now ready to move into the blessings of the next feast.

  1. The Feast of Pentecost or Shavuot (Weeks) (May/June) begins in late spring 50 days after the Hebrew monthly First Fruit offering. Shavuot is known as the Feast of Weeks or the counting of Omer, which is the counting of the 50 days as you look forward to the Feast of Shavuot. The counting of Omer recalls the days before the giving of the Torah at Sinai, and Shavuot remembers the giving of the Torah exactly seven weeks after the Exodus.

It is also a time to bring the first fruit offering of the wheat harvest, a ‘new grain’ offering. For the Jew it is the celebration of the giving of the Torah and for Christians it is a time to return to ‘first love’ of the Word of God. It is a time of provision both physically and spiritually. It is also a time of renewing and refreshing of the Holy Spirit, which was given at Pentecost. It is a time to seek new revelation and passion for the spreading of the Gospel. It is only through the Holy Spirit upon us, that we can ‘go’ in power, authority and boldness to fulfill the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.

  1. The Feast of Tabernacles (Sept/Oct) begins in the seventh month and is comprised of three feasts. First of the fall feasts is the Feast of Trumpets of the first day, followed by Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement on the tenth day, and the last feast of the yearly cycle, the Feast of Tabernacles starts on the 15th day, which I have described above. The Feast of Tabernacles is a time of celebration of the glory of God and His goodness. This feast is also called the Festival of Booths for each Jewish family makes booths outside their home to tabernacle with the Lord for 7 days and to remember the time they spent living in tents after the lord bought them out of Egypt. (Leviticus 23:39-43)

It is also customary for Jews to read the book of Ecclesiastes and the Psalms, especially Psalms 113-118 during the Feast of Tabernacles. For the believer we celebrate God’s dwelling within us as His spiritual tabernacle and what better way to praise and worship the Lord than to read through the Psalms. Better yet why not sing them aloud to the Lord, spending extended time in His presence.

During this season I am reminded of Moses in the book of Exodus, when he told the Lord, that he would not go up from here if God’s presence did not go with him.  And the Lord said His presence would go with him. Then later Moses asked the Lord “Please show me Your glory” and the Lord said “I will make all My goodness pass before you and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.” I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Ex. 33)

Continuing in Exodus 32 the Lord says “And the Lord passed before him (Moses) and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Then Moses bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped the Lord. Then the Lord says “He will make a covenant and before the people He will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are, shall see the work of the Lord. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”

Our God is a great God and He has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! God has done awesome things through the Israelite people and He continues to do awesome things through them, as well as through all those who believe in His Son, Yehsua our Messiah. You may remember that it was at this time that Moses went up to the top of the mountain and spent 40 days with the Lord taking no food or drink.

When he came down his face was shining with the Glory of God. Not long ago, three different people told me, after different times of fasting and praying, lingering in the presence of the Lord, that they could see the glory of the Lord upon me. The feast of Tabernacles is an appointed time set by God, for us to linger in the presence of the Lord, celebrating His goodness and to experience His glory upon our lives. How long are you willing to wait and linger in the presence of the Lord so that the Glory of God is shining so brightly upon you, for others to see and be touched?

We read in I Kings 8 “Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim (means to have enduring strength), which is the seventh month.”  Then, further down starting in verse 10, “And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priest could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon spoke: The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud. I have surely built you an exalted house, and a place for you to dwell in forever” (I Kings 8:2; 10-13) (emphasis mine).  This month ‘of the strong’ and season gives us an opportunity to realign with the Lord and to be strengthened in the Holy Spirit.

The Feasts of the Lord begin with Passover, and is a yearly cycle of redemption, repentance, deliverance, cleansing, forgiveness, restoration and refreshing ending with a time to tabernacle with God in order to experience His glory upon your life. When you have finished the yearly cycle of the Feasts of God you cannot help but to look forward to starting the process again. You may ask why! I will say because they are designed to fill you with more love and more joy of the Lord. For it is the joy of the Lord that is our strength to overcome in each and every circumstance along our life’s journey. Apostle James says that as “we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.”  Celebrating the feasts are great ways to draw near to the Lord.

Now lets talk about Ephraim, Manasseh and their father Joseph. As you may know, the story of Joseph begins with many great troubles and ends with God’s favor upon His life. You may have heard the saying, ‘from the pit to the palace.’ That is a great description of Joseph’s life and you can read about His life in the book of Genesis.

While in the palace as the second in command, Joseph was given a wife from among the Egyptian people. He did not marry her out of rebellion, but only because that was the land where he was living. The time came when Joseph’s wife gave birth to their first son and named him Manasseh. The name Manasseh means ‘causing to forget,’ for God has made me to forget all my troubles. We too have had many troubles during our life and through the blood of Jesus Christ and fellowship with the Holy Spirit He will help us to forget our troubles and move forward into the fullness of God’s glory and what He has for each one of us.

Joseph’s second son was born and was named Ephraim, which means double portion or double fruitfulness. Even as God blessed Joseph and turned His situation around He can do the same for you. Jacob, Joseph’s father, took both Manasseh and Ephraim as his own sons. They were the only brothers of the Patriarch’s family line that did not quarrel with each other. Maybe that is why Jacob loved them so much. We know that when Jacob blessed these two boys, he switched his hands and gave Ephraim the first-born blessing instead of Manasseh.  Both were blessed but Ephraim received the greater blessing.

Ephraim was the most blessed tribes.  Joshua was from the tribe of Benjamin. The tribe of Benjamin also settled in the most spiritual areas in the land to include Shechem and Shiloh, where the ARK was kept for many years. In Psalm 108, the Lord calls Ephraim the “helmet of His head.”  Eventually Ephraim became the dominant tribe in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

However, despite all of their blessings, they messed up and rebelled against God. These 10 northern tribes made Jeroboam king and he reintroduced the worship of the golden calf. In fact he made two golden calves and eventually they all walked away from God. (I Kings 12: 25-33).  I ask you, how many times have you walked away from God for one reason or another, to worship other gods? I don’t mean gods made of images; I mean anything or anyone who has taken your focus away from the One True God. This month for you to walk in the joy and blessings of the Lord you must tear down the idols in your life through repentance.

Some of the people returned to God, but just like some of us, it was only temporary. Soon the “pride of life, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes’ drew them away again. As a result God allowed the 10 northern tribes to be captured and taken away by the Assyrians and eventually they intermarried with the pagan gentiles.  But the good news is that those who returned to Jerusalem eventually returned to worshiping God, because revival broke out, they were revived and awakened and repented.

In 2 Kings 22:1 we read that “Josiah was eight years old when he became king and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem…And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.”  Later in the same chapter we find the when King Josiah at age 16, the Book of the Law was found. Then the book was brought to King Josiah and he said in verse 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

Let me pause for a moment and say this sure sounds like our world today. How many have failed to obey the word of the Lord in our so-called “Judeo Christian nations? Our nations are in a mess and it is time to hear the trumpet call and wake up from slumber and return to the ways of the Lord.

King Josiah gathered all the people in Judah and read allowed the Book of the Covenant and as a result Josiah restores true worship to the Lord. They restored the temple; they recommitted themselves to obey the word of God; they humbled themselves and repented before the Lord. They destroyed all their idols and idolatrous priests and King Josiah commanded all the people to “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.”

We also read the account of King Josiah in 2 Chronicles 34 and as a result of his obedience to the Lord, revival broke out in the land of Israel and Judah, to include the tribe of Ephraim 2 Chro. 34:6-7. The tribe of Ephraim had been restored fully to the Lord and is rejoicing before Him.

Now in the New Testament Ephraim is called Samaria, and is populated with Israelites who married the gentiles, known as Samaritans. They worship the one true God but did not follow the traditions of rabbinical Judaism. Therefore, they were not accepted and hated by the Jews. The Pharisees considered the Samaritans as unclean and impure. Now you can understand why Jesus met with the woman at the well in John 4:3-4.

During the Head of the year conference, Dr. Heidler talked briefly about this woman who was from the tribe of Benjamin. I found it interesting that after she and her family got saved they became evangelists. The woman was later sent to Carthage in Africa to make known the Gospel.  She was even martyred under the persecutions of Nero. But was honored as the first evangelist and apostle.

Jesus would often retreat in Ephraim and in John 11; Jesus takes the disciples to Ephraim for safety until Passover, when the Jews were trying to kill Him. The hero in the story of the Good Samaritan was from the tribe of Ephraim. The point here is that even though the tribe of Ephraim messed up greatly, God did not give up, and Ephraim was greatly restored. Just as God did not give up on Ephraim, He will never give up on you. Only repent, receive forgiveness and believe you have been forgiven and that Jesus will never leave or forsake you.

As we now connect this story of Ephraim to the Feast of Tabernacles and the month of Tishri we can see that this is a month that we need to hear the trumpet call and wake up. Ephraim sinned, fell away from God, but they had a wake up call when the Assyrian army captured them. However, they repented of their sins and returned to worshiping the One True God.

This month let the Holy Spirit wake you up and lead you into a time of reflection and repentance so you can enter into a time of joy and celebration during this week of tabernacles and beyond.  Tishri is a month of double fruitfulness as it is linked with Ephraim.  Take time during to position yourself before the Lord so you will be rightly aligned to receive the blessings God wants to give to you this year.

During the Head of the Year conference, the word of the Lord came forth that this year a door is opening and a new path is forming for you to go through. However, you must seek and inquire of the Lord as to what it is that you need or have, to assist you in going through the door.  There is an anointing in this season for what you are about to go into.

I pray you have received a greater understand of the importance of participating in the Feast of the Lord. For more information on the Head of the Year Conference and the Feast of the Lord and the Hebrew months you can visit the Glory of Zion website: www.gloryofzion.org. Also check out book A Time to ADVANCE by Chuck Pierce with Robert and Linda Heidler and the book Messianic Church Arising, by Robert Heidler. Another website I recommend is Hebrew 4 Christians. www.hebrew4christians.org.

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you, May the Lord make His face shine upon you; May the Lord lift up His countenance (favor) upon you and give you much shalom (peace). (Num. 6:24-27)

 Jo Anna Watson

Touchinghearts Int. Ministries

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