HEBREW ROOTS OF THE END TIME CHURCH
There has been a recent resurgence in the Christian Community to embrace our Old Testament Hebrew roots. Many Christians initially respond with a mixture of bewilderment, indignation and even anger at the suggestion that perhaps some of the practices, more often found in Judaism, are not only relevant to the Christian faith but essential to its overall understanding.
We urge repentant Christians to research this issue with their own hearts and to re-read the portions of the Old Testament where God commands us to observe certain dates and festivals. For example, in Leviticus 23: 41 the Lord states; “It shall be a statute forever in your generations.”
Without our Hebrew roots, we have lost much of the awe, majesty and mystery of God. In the Old Testament, God Almighty uses striking symbols to paint images foreshadowing the Coming of the Messiah— both in His past and future appearances.
Once we understand and begin to incorporate some of these practices, we will come “full circle” in our faith walk. The first century Church was comprised mainly of Jews, and, of course, our Messiah was born a Jew. Yeshua/Jesus personally observed the Sabbath and the Jewish festivals/feasts during His time on earth. Should we not earnestly desire to follow in His footsteps?
We encourage you to join us during our periodic days of Fasting, Prayer and Observances, correlating with our Hebrew roots in the Old Testament. We know you will begin to experience the joy and wonderment of walking closely with our Living God. He is truly the God of both the Old Testament and New Testament; the Covenantal God of Israel and of America.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob reveal all Truth to you, as you diligently seek Him.
Tu B’Shevat: The day that marks the beginning of a “New Year” for trees. This is a picture foreshadowing of the reforestation of the repentant Church.
Purim: Celebrates the victory of God’s people over evil rulers as told in the story of Esther. Purim offers a picture foreshadowing the Bride of Christ.
Passover: Celebrates the deliverance of God’s people from bondage and captivity in Egypt. The Passover is an image of our freedom from spiritual bondage and captivity through the spilling of Christ Jesus’ blood. He demonstrated his great love for us when he became the Spotless Lamb and sacrificed his life to spare us death.
Lag B’Omer: Thirty-third day of the “Counting of the Omer,” which begins immediately following the Passover. Fifty days are then counted out until the arrival of Shavu’ot. The thirty-third day is highly significant in the spiritual realm. It is a day that God “flips the tables” on evil. This foreshadows Jesus’ Crucifixion at the age of thirty-three. On what seemed to be humanity’s darkest day, our greatest victory was won.
Shavu’ot: Marks when God delivered the Torah on Mount Sinai to His people. Shavu’ot is also known as the Festival of Weeks. “First Fruit,” (or Bikkurim) offerings are given at this time.
Rosh Hashanah: The beginning of the Jewish civil calendar, and the New Year. It commences the “10 days of Awe”—a time of spiritual reflection leading up to the most holy of Jewish Holidays: Yom Kippur. It is during this time that the traditional blowing of the Shofar takes place. This cycle is a picture representing true and thorough repentance. It is important to take “spiritual stock” of the condition of our souls during this 10 day period.
The 26th of September is Shabbat Shuvah or Shabbat T’shuvah (“Sabbath [of] Return” שבת שובה or “Sabbath [of] Repentance” שבת תשובה) refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance, but is between (i.e. not including) the two consecutive Days of Rosh Hashanah, and the Day of Yom Kippur. The name Shabbat Shuvah comes from the first word of the Haftarah that is read on that day, a combination of Hosea 14:2-10, Joel 2:11-27 (Ashkenazim only) and Micah 7:18-20, and literally means “Return!” It is alternately known as Shabbat T’shuvah owing to its being one of the Aseret Y’may T’shuvah (Ten Days of Repentance).
Yom Kippur: Also known as “The Day of Atonement” or “Day of Reckoning.” If there were truly one particular day that could be best described as a “National Day of Repentance”, this would be the day. It is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar; foreshadowing the eternal atonement Yeshua/Jesus’ provided for our sins.
Sukkot: Also known as “The Festival of Booths” or “The Feast of Tabernacles.” This is a joyful festival, taking place five days after the Day of Atonement, where the Lord says; “You shall rejoice” (Leviticus 23:40). The Jewish people were instructed to create flimsy dwellings (sukkah) and abide in them for one full week, as a reminder that there is no safe place except under the Shadow of God’s Wing. This is yet another picture of Yeshua/Jesus providing a “covering” for us under His sacrificial blood.
Chanukah: Also known as “The Festival of Lights” and the “Feast of the Dedication.” This is a commemoration of an amazing miracle; when God kept the oil burning in the lamps of the temple for eight days. The New Testament shows that Yeshua/Jesus celebrated this festival during His time on earth. This festival is yet another picture speaking of our Messiah, He who is truly “the Light of the World.”
In addition to these major holidays, one may observe the traditional Sabbath that lasts from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. It is our heart-felt desire to avoid the obstacles inherent in legalism. We ask that you search scripture and your own heart on these matters. However, we humbly believe that God desires his people to avoid any personal profit-making or activities of personal during this time each week. Sabbath is a time to enjoy friends, family and our awesome God. Sacrificial activities such as public service, family service and volunteer work are encouraged as well.
From time to time, we may also note some traditional (yet recent) Hebraic observances, such as the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz. These were not required by God in Old Testament scripture, however, they are rich in symbolism and are powerful fasting/prayer dates.