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Shalom in the name of Yeshua HaMaschiach, Jesus the Messiah, to each of you, my dear friends and supporters. As the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) 5778 is ushered in, I have found, and am excited, that interest has increased among believers who want to know more about the seven feasts of Israel and the Jewish high holy days, as outlined in Leviticus 23. Perhaps it is because the world is changing so drastically that we are earnestly looking forward to the return of our Savior.
The Fall Feasts of Israel
As we approach the fall months of 2017, I rejoice and look forward to celebrating the final two feasts of Israel—Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement and Succoth: Feast of Tabernacles. By the time you receive this letter, our Messianic fellowship, Tikvah BaMidbar (Hope in the Desert) will have observed these final two fall feasts. God’s entire plan of redemption will be fulfilled through the seven feasts of Israel. These remaining two feasts (and the previous fifth feast, Rosh Hashana) are yet to be fulfilled by Yeshua. Also, especially meaningful this time of year is the sweet remembrance of my beloved husband, Barry, whom the Lord called to his heavenly home on Yom Kippur, September 24, 2015. How befitting for a Jewish believer whose name had already been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Barry leaves a void for those of us who knew him and loved him—but the celebration in Heaven for every believer will be beyond anything we can think or imagine—as will be our reunion. Until then, may we share his passion for the lost.
God’s Perfect Sacrifice
Yom Kippur: The sixth feast of Israel falls 10 days after Rosh Hashanah: the Feast of Trumpets. The 10 days in between are known as Yomin Nora’im, the Days of Awe. During these 10 days, the Jewish people are introspective. Personal relationships are evaluated; forgiveness, restitution, and reconciliation are attempted in order to be more pleasing to God. Leviticus 23:27 states, “you shall afflict your souls.” For the most part, rabbis have concluded that “the affliction” is the prohibition of eating and drinking. Hence, everyone ages 13 and older begins a fast following the meal on the day prior to Yom Kippur and continues until sundown on Yom Kippur. Present-day worshipers believe that the annual atonement for sin is necessary so that, through prayer and good deeds (mitzvot), their names may be written in the Book of Life.
In contrast, the biblical teachings in Leviticus 16 to the nation of Israel centered on the blood sacrifice to God. Yom Kippur is derived from the Hebrew word kapparah, meaning “to cover,” i.e., God “covers” Israel’s sins through the sacrificial blood of the offering. However, the animal sacrifices did not put away sin—they did not pay for it. The Old Covenant believer was pardoned, but not justified. The blood of the animal sacrifices merely pointed forward to the “blood of reconciliation” and propitiation of Yeshua HaMaschiach, Jesus the Messiah—God’s perfect sacrifice.
Yeshua’s sacrifice is not only a substitution but is sufficient for everyone who will receive Him by faith. The future fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will come for Jewish people at the end of the Great Tribulation (the Time of Jacob’s Trouble). At the close of that period, Jesus will return in all His glory at the Second Coming (see Zechariah 12:10) and a permanent cleansing will take place when Israel’s sin is removed (see Romans 11:26-27). When Jesus was hung on that tree, He was displayed as our sacrifice, our atonement, and our mercy seat. God sent His Son, Yeshua, to provide the only real atoning and acceptable sacrifice.
Tikvah BaMidbar (Hope in the Desert)
During the month of September, our Messianic fellowship, Tikvah BaMidbar, met twice, for Rosh Hashanah: The Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur: The Day of Atonement, respectively. The previous month, David Wimbley’s teaching was “Jehovah’s Testimony.” A young man, whom David had invited to attend, prayed to receive the Lord that night. Since he works for the same company (David hired him) David sees him regularly and is encouraging him in his new walk with Jesus. Our friend Peter Wilson, who also participates in our annual Passover Seder, taught “The Call of the Shofar” for our Rosh Hashanah service. The door to the Student Center, where we hold our meetings, was ajar. At the end of our service, we heard the account from a young man who entered and stood in the back during the entire service. “J” heard the sound of the shofar as he was driving through the parking lot and followed the sound of the shofar to our meeting. He had recently renounced his previous lifestyle—was now “clean,” following years of addiction. In his brokenness, he prayed with David to commit his life to the Lord. We praise God that he responded to the call of the shofar and the Gospel message. Please pray for J’s spiritual growth and healing.
I praise the Lord that six people I invited to Tikvah BaMidbar’s meetings attended our celebration of the feasts. I continue to meet with my unsaved Jewish friends and have invited them to our Succoth: Feast of Tabernacles service. Please pray that my ongoing conversations with them would continue and come to fruition to His honor and glory—and for wisdom in sharing the Gospel with both Jewish and Gentile individuals the Lord brings into my life—and in enlightening them to the Jewish roots of Christianity. A new Jewish believer, who saw our website, also attended our Yom Kippur service for the first time. He had lived in Israel for seven years, and after moving back to the USA was looking for a doctrinally sound Messianic fellowship—and found us. Praise God!
I am so grateful to each of you for your faithfulness. You are an integral part of our ministry to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Your love, prayers, and financial gifts have graciously sustained and blessed me as I travel this uncharted road without Barry. By the grace of God, your loyalty and support have enabled me to continue bringing forth the Gospel message “for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Thank you, to each of you, for being my partners in ministry. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account (Phil 4:17).
Since this is my last ministry update letter for the year, I wish each of you and your families Happy Chanukah, Merry Messiahmas and shalom (peace), joy and blessings in the New Year. Please pray that our Lord would bless all aspects of Tikvah BaMidbar’s monthly Bible studies and begin preparing hearts, even now, for our 25th Citywide Messianic Passover Seder on Friday, March 23, 2018, at the Orange Tree Golf Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona (call or email for details).
In Messiah’s love and mine,
PO Box 14616
Scottsdale, AZ 85267
Phone: (800) 926-5397