When God’s Son Shakes Up the Feast

When God's Son Shakes Up the Feast

The Pharisees staged a Feast about “God With Us”—and He showed up!
Dramatic ways Jesus owned it at the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). 

This is it—the feast that “hooked” me. Learning about the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles or Booths) added so much dimension to my understanding of John 7-9, which takes place against the backdrop of the Great Feast, that I got excited to learn about the other Feasts as well. And I haven’t been disappointed!

I think this is particularly relevant this year. It’s a story about how God broke into a situation where people were engaged in a lot of religious ritual that gave them an inflated sense of self-righteousness… and did a completely “novel” thing.

As I believe He’s doing in our day with all these lockdowns and shake-ups! Don’t be fooled! It may look for the moment like our Adversary and his many minions have us under siege, but God will always have the upper hand. And He is busy directing all these circumstances to work to together for ultimate good (Rom 8:28)!

There’s so much to talk about related to Yeshua at the Great Feast that I’ve broken it into two posts. You’ll find more information here, and it kicked off an entire series on the “I Am’s” of Jesus.

Sukkot is the seventh and final Feast of the Lord given in the Mosaic Law. It lasts seven days, with the first day designated as a “Shabbaton,” a day of rest. (It’s followed by an eighth day, another day of rest, but that isn’t technically part of Tabernacles and dwelling in booths is not required.)

In eschatology, the three Fall Feasts furnish a fascinating picture of end-time events as many students of prophecy understand them.

  • The Feast of Trumpets on Tishri 1 appears to be a picture of the “snatching away” of the Bride
  • The Day of Atonement on Tishri 10 is a picture of Messiah’s Second Coming
  • The Feast of Tabernacles is the “Happily Ever After” finish to the story of Messiah and His bride! Starting on Tishri 15, this one pictures Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom, when He will dwell or “tabernacle” with His Bride

In this post on the Feast of Tabernacles, I’ll lay out the story largely in the words of others–because I’m not sure you’d believe me otherwise.

There is a quick transition from the somber time of the Jewish High Holidays (Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) to the week-long festival of Sukkot (i.e., “Tabernacles”). If the High Holidays focus on the Lord as our Creator, our Judge, and the One who atones for our sins, then Sukkot is the time when we joyously celebrate all that He has done for us. Prophetically understood, the seven days of Sukkot picture olam haba, the world to come, and the Millennial Kingdom… In ancient Israel, the joy of Sukkot was so great that it became known simply as “the Feast” (1 Kings 12:32). Later it was known as z’man simchateinu, the “Season of our Joy.”

– John J. Parsons, Hebrew4Christians.com

You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. (Deut 16:14-15)

The feast is also called “the Feast of Ingathering,” since it celebrates the fruit harvest, the third and final harvest of the year. (Ex 23:16; 34:22)

It fell on a time of year when the hearts of the people would naturally be full of thankfulness, gladness, and expectancy. All the crops had been long stored; and now all fruits were also gathered, the vintage past, and the land only awaited the softening and refreshment of the ‘latter rain,’ to prepare it for a new crop.

– Alfred Edersheim, The Temple–Its Ministry and Services

On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days… You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Lev 23:39-44)

Sukkah in Wilderness (Neot Kedomim)Sukkah in wilderness re-created (Neot Kedomim park)

Sukkot was one of the three “pilgrim festivals” which all Jewish males were required to attend in Jerusalem (Deut 16:16). While only males were required to come, entire families would often travel from great distances and arrive days or weeks early to prepare, to fulfill the central commandment to “dwell in booths.”

Colorful booths made of olive, myrtle, palm and other branches (Neh. 8:15) filled every available space on the streets and roofs of Jerusalem.  A family would construct its booth then move into it on the first day. They would hang out there for the duration of the feast, eating and entertaining and, weather permitting, sleeping.

Sukkot in Israel

Sukkot in Israel
Photo credit: Yoninah via Wikimedia

This was the Feast Yeshua’s brothers urged Him to go up to:

Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” (John 7:3-4)

Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee. But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” (John 7:8-11)

In addition to the booths, the Feast had a number of other unique features.


“If Anyone Is Thirsty”

Throughout the seven days of Sukkot a special cohen [priest]… carried water in a gold pitcher from the Pool of Shiloach (Siloam) to be poured into a basin at the foot of the altar by the cohen hagadol [High Priest]. It symbolized prayer for rain… and it also pointed toward the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] on the people of Israel. The rabbis associated the custom with Isaiah 12:3, “With joy shall you draw water from the wells of salvation.”…

On the seventh day the water pouring was accompanied by [priests] blowing gold trumpets, [Levites] singing sacred songs, and ordinary people waving their lulavs and chanting the [Messianic] Hallel (Psalms 113-118), which includes in its closing verses:

Adonai, please save us! [Hebrew: Hoshia’ na or Hoshana]
Adonai, please prosper us!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!
We have blessed you out of the house of Adonai.
God is Adonai, and He has given us light.” (Psalm 118:25-27)

The words, “Please save us!” led to the day’s being called Hoshana Rabbah, the Great Hosanna.

– David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary

Talmud recorded that “one who had never witnessed the Rejoicing at the Place of the Water Drawing had never seen true joy in his life.”

– The Water-Drawing Festival, myjewishlearning.com

Water Drawing Reenactment

Water Drawing Festival reenacted (on Youtube)

The second half of John 7 takes place as the festivities of the Week of Tabernacles drew to a close.

‘It was the last day, that great day of the feast.’ … It was on that day, after the priest had returned from Siloam with his golden pitcher, and for the last time poured its contents to the base of the altar; after the ‘Hallel’ had been sung to the sound of the flute, the people responding and worshipping as the priests three times drew the threefold blasts from their silver trumpets—just when the interest of the people had been raised to its highest pitch, that, from amidst the mass of worshippers, who were waving towards the altar quite a forest of leafy branches as the last words of Psalm 118 were chanted—a voice was raised which resounded through the temple, startled the multitude, and carried fear and hatred to the hearts of their leaders.

– Alfred Edersheim, The Temple–Its Ministry and Services

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)

It was in the midst of this water pouring, trumpet blasting, palm waving, psalm chanting and ecstatic joy on the part of people seeking forgiveness—and in the presence of all twenty-four divisions of the priesthood (Luke 1:5)—that Yeshua cried out in the Temple courts, “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! Whoever trusts in me, as the Tanakh says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!”… In effect Yeshua was declaring, “I am the answer to your prayers.”

– David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary

The impact on the people was profound.

Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” (John 7:37-41, referencing the Prophet like Moses from Deut 18:18)


Why Believe Such Claims?

As Jesus left the temple after this discussion, He encountered the man born blind. He uttered the claim, “I am the Light of the World” (John 9:5), then applied a mud-and-spit mask to the man’s eyes. Jesus sent him to wash at the Pool of Siloam, specifically—the very pool from which the priests drew water for their ritual the night before. The man “went away and washed, and came back seeing” (John 9:7).

Yeshua demonstrated the truth of His claims by using the WATER of the same sacred pool to give LIGHT to the eyes of a man born blind!

“Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.” (John 9:32)

Yet the Pharisees reviled the man who’d received his sight, saying, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.” (John 9:28-29)

But… didn’t Moses tell them to look for another Prophet like himself? (Deut 18:18)

So. Here’s another radical claim Jesus made that day.

Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death. (John 8:51)

These people had just spent seven days observing every minute detail Moses captured about Sukkot. Down to what they were supposed to carry. (The specified fruit–a lemon-like citrus called an etrog–and branches–palm and myrtle–arranged according to rabbinic specifications into a lulav). And quite a few rules they added, such as exactly how they were supposed to wave the lulav while rejoicing.

 

Sukkot In The Synagogue. Leopold Pilichowski (1869-1933). Oil On Canvas.

Sukkot In The Synagogue. Leopold Pilichowski (1869-1933).
Via Wikimedia.

Has their elaborate Sukkot ritual saved anyone from death? No.
Has it given anyone back his sight? No.

No wonder the Pharisees were torqued at Jesus. And afraid. And no wonder “the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.” (John 9:22)

Sadly for them, His indisputable proof of His claims made their position untenable!

It appears Jesus remained around Jerusalem through Hanukah (the Feast of Dedication referenced in John 10:22). (Yes, Yeshua is recorded celebrating Hanukah and not Christmas! It often surprises people to hear this.)

Then Yeshua retired to the Jordan wilderness to escape the Pharisaical manhunt. When He returned to Jerusalem again, it was for the next “pilgrim feast”: Passover.

Did the people remember His dramatic claims at Sukkot?

Absolutely they did. Which is why, when He reentered Jerusalem a few months later, they greeted Him with waving palm fronds and the very same Messianic hymn they sang at the Feast of Tabernacles:

On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” (John 12:12-13)

Of course, by that time Jesus had another extreme miracle to His credit. He’d raised Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:43) No wonder the Pharisees felt threatened! And no wonder Caiaphas stated prophetically,

“It is expedient for us that one man should die…” (John 11:49-51)


Sukkot: The Season of Our Joy

Summing it up….

At Sukkot, the Jewish people celebrate the “Season of Our Joy.” In Yeshua’s day they did so with elaborate light shows and water ceremonies. Yeshua demonstrated He is the focus of that joy!

He who believes in Me,… ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:38)

I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)
(I’ll talk more about this statement in my upcoming series on Yeshua’s “I Am’s”)

They also celebrate God’s sheltering presence–past, present and future.

The Lord Himself sheltered the Jews with Clouds of Glory and supernaturally provided for them during the forty years of wandering in the desert…. The purpose of the sukkah [booths] is to remind us of the type of huts the ancient Israelites dwelt in as they made their trek through the dangers of the desert…. The sukkah is meant to remind us of the Clouds of Glory that protected the Jewish people while they sojourned.

– John J. Parsons, Hebrew4Christians.com

Yeshua is that “Sheltering Presence.”

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matt 1:22-23)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… (John 1:14)

The word for “dwelt” here is σκηνόω, skenoo, which is the verb form of σκηνος, skenos, a tent or tabernacle! The same word appears in Rev 21:3: “… the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell (σκηνόω) among them…” So according to John 1:14, in Yeshua the word became flesh and “tabernacled” among us!

It’s even likely Yeshua was born during Sukkot.

The Feast of Tabernacles has abundant prophetic significance:

He attended the festival but did so “secretly” (John 7:8-10); when He comes again… it will be openly, with the “Clouds of Glory” (Matt 24:30, Rev 1:7)… He will once again “tabernacle” with Israel in Jerusalem (Ezek 37:27-28, Rev 21:3). The visible manifestation of the Lord, the Shekinah glory, will be seen as a shining fire over all of Mount Zion (Is 60:1,19, Zech 2:5) and all of the nations of the earth will journey there to celebrate Sukkot (Zech 14:16-19, Is 4:5).

– John J. Parsons, Hebrew4Christians.com

Finally, Sukkot reminds us that we are sojourners, too, just passing through… Like father Abraham, we live in a foreign land as “strangers and sojourners,” looking forward to the City of God (Heb 11:9-10). We do not need the so-called securities that this world can offer us… to be happy and provided for, chaverim—not if we truly understand we are surrounded by God’s sheltering Presence.

– John J. Parsons, Hebrew4Christians.com

 

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven… Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 4:17-5:2,6-8)

 

Brothers and sisters, when you are “absent from the body,” will YOU be “at home with the Lord”? God’s “Ingathering” has never been nearer. You want to be in the barn!

If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23) that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)

The decision that saves you is that simple!

Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now.

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8 Comments

  1. Edith says:

    This is good. I can now understand why the people came out to receive Jesus with palm fronds. Thank you for making the Bible stories come alive. Remain blessed.

  2. Manjula J Klavara says:

    Beautifully written Linda. I love how you weave in and out of the Old and new testament, the present celebration innovations, smoothly tying it in together with the implications and applications. Insightful. I am blessed. Thank you again.

  3. Cindie Haese says:

    Powerful, concise and full of hope for what is yet to come. God is always right on time and keeps His Word to fulfill it. I appreciate this inspiring teaching! Thank you.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to share some very important news that has been spreading around the internet concerning our future well being.

    We are approaching a future of a one-world cashless society in which they will mandate us to have an RFID microchip implanted in our body. This chip will contain all our personal information and we will lose much more of our privacy because of the tracking capabilities.

    More importantly, did you know that this was all prophesied almost 2000 years ago by a man named Jesus? Don’t believe me? Keep reading…This may be the most important thing you will ever read.

    “He (the false prophet) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).

    Revelation 13:16-18 is speaking of the end times, and this could only be speaking of a cashless money society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Why? Because we could still buy or sell without receiving the mark among one another if physical money was still currency. It logically deduces itself to this reason.

    This mark could not be spiritual, because the word references two different physical locations stating one “OR” the other.

    This is where it really starts to come together. It is shocking how accurate the Bible is concerning this RFID microchip. These are notes from a man named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID microchip in the 90’s.

    “Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

    Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

    Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places Revelation says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip.”

    Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appear in that location. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first(Angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    The Bible tells us we cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast, or the number of its name. This number is identified as 666. The Bible tells us to calculate the number 666. How do we calculate 666?

    This is where it gets really interesting. Calculating the number 666 has been long debated throughout the centuries, but has now been revealed in these last days by God. What I will show you confirms itself with the Bible the true meaning to calculate 666.

    Throughout the Bible, God uses the number 3 as confirmation of things. Here are a few examples:

    “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7 NKJV).

    “and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4 NKJV).

    “…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8 NKJV).

    Now what is interesting is the the mark of the beast is described in detail in three separate verses (Revelation 13:16,17,18), and each verse lists three different examples of the given topic. The last three being the number 6 being used three times in a row. This is a key point to unlocking how to calculate the number 666.

    What does it mean to count? It means to add up. So how could we add up 666? Remember my previous point about God confirming in threes. So logically, what would be the best way to count the number 666? To count it equally in threes based off the number. We cannot count it equally as 600+60+6, this would also bring us back to the start. We cannot count it as 600+600+600, or 60+60+60, because there are no zeroes in between or at the end of 666. The only logical option is 6+6+6=18. What is interesting is that the verse that reveals for us to count the number itself is verse 18, being the third verse out of three verses that describe the mark of the beast. What is 18 divided by 3? 6. So 3×6=18, or 6+6+6=18.

    Another interesting point is the only two other combinations (making a total of three possible combinations) for placing a “+” symbol in between the 6’s are 66+6=72, and 6+66=72. Add both 72’s together and you get 144. Why the number 144 is interesting is because the verse following Revelation 13:18 is the first time in the Bible where the 144,000 are being described in detail:

    “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads…” (Revelation 14:1).

    Now if you add up all three numbers by counting 666 by moving the “+” symbol around in all three possible combinations, it would be 72+72+18=162. What is interesting about the number 162, is, if you divide 144,000 by 162, you get 888. The name of Jesus in Greek gematria adds up to 888. The New Testament was orignally written in Greek. Revelation 14:1 not only mentions the 144,000, but also the Lamb who is Jesus.

    Now what is interesting about the number for Jesus, 888, is that if you apply this same formula, you get 8+8+8=24. Why the number 24? Revelation chapter 4 tells us there are 24 elders seated around the throne of God. This is the same throne where Jesus sits:

    “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:2-4).

    Now if you take 8+8+8=24, and 8+88=96, and 88+8=96, you get 24+96+96=216. Take 144,000 divided by 216 and you get 666. Remember that this was the same exact formula to get the number 162 out of counting 666 that brought about the number 888 when dividing 144,000 by 162. It is perpetual.

    With using the same formula of counting by adding the “+” symbol in between the numbers, why do all these numbers relate in such a way?

    Another interesting point to note is that if you add up all the numbers from 1 to 36, it totals 666. The number 36, as in three sixes? Could this be a hint that we should add up three sixes instead of perceiving the number as six-hundred sixty six?

    So what could this mean? Well we know in this world we are identified by numbers in various forms. From our birth certificate to social security, as well as our drivers license, being identified based on a system of ruler ship. So it is possible that this RFID microchip will contain a new identification that has a total of 18 characters.

    Could this be the name of the beast, the number of its name? The one-world beast system that is identified by 18 characters? This would fit scripture that speaks of a mark that we must have to buy or sell in our right hand or forehead, and that it also contains the number of the beast, during a future cashless money society.

    Go to: http://voice-truth.com to see all the proof!

    The Bible warns us in the end times that a false prophet will rise up doing miracles to deceive many to receive this mark:

    “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image” (Revelation 19:20).

    No matter the cost, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    We are living in very prophetic times with major Biblical prophecies being fulfilled. When Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel in December of 2017, this was a big step to bring about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Bible tells us that the Antichrist will seat himself in this temple:

    “…and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

    In the Islamic religion, they have man called the Mahdi, known as their messiah who they are waiting to appear. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist. I myself have had strange dreams about him. He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith, but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

    His real name is said to be Barry Soetoro, and he had his name changed to Barack Obama. But why?

    Jesus says, “And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'” (Luke 10:18).

    In Hebrew, the word Barack means “lightning”, and the use of Bama (Strongs Hebrew word 1116) is used to refer to the “heights” of heaven.

    The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama’s home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

    Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

    Regardless, whoever seats himself in that Third Temple in Jerusalem declaring himself to be God IS THE ANTICHRIST. DO NOT BE DECEIVED.

    Why do we need Jesus?

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

    Our good works cannot save us. If we step before a judge, being guilty of a crime, the judge will not judge us by the good that we have done, but rather the crimes we have committed. If we as fallen humanity, created in God’s image, pose this type of justice, how much more a perfect, righteous, and Holy God?

    God has brought down His moral law’s through the 10 commandments given to Moses at Mt. Siani. These laws were not given so we may be justified, but so that we may see the need for a savior. They are the mirror of God’s character of what He has put in each and every one of us, with our conscious bearing witness that we know that it is wrong to steal, lie, dishonor our parents, and so forth.

    We can try and follow the moral laws of the 10 commandments, but we will never catch up to them to be justified before a Holy God. That same word of the law given to Moses became flesh over 2000 years ago in the body of Jesus Christ. He came to be our justification by fulfilling the law, living a sinless perfect life that only God could fulfill.

    The gap between us and the law can never be reconciled by our own merit, but the arm of Jesus is stretched out by the grace and mercy of God. And if we are to grab on, through faith in Him, He will pull us up being the one to justify us. As in the court of law, if someone steps in and pays your fine, even though you are guilty, the judge can do what is legal and just and let you go free. This is what Jesus did almost 2000 years ago on the cross. It was a legal transaction being fulfilled in the spiritual realm by the shedding of His blood, with His last words being, “…It is finished!…” (John 19:30).

    Now why did Jesus have to die for us?

    Because God is Holy and just, the wrath that we deserve could not go unnoticed. Through the perfect righteousness and justice of God’s character, it must be dealt with, it must be quenched and satisfied.

    For God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23). This is why in Isaiah chapter 53, where it speaks of the coming Messiah and His soul being a sacrifice for our sins, why it says it pleased God to crush His only begotten Son.

    This is because the wrath that we deserve was justified by being poured out upon His Son. If that wrath was poured out on us, we would all die and go to hell. God created a way of escape by pouring it out on His Son who’s soul could not be left in Hades, but was raised and seated at the right hand of God in power.

    So now when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), God no longer see’s the person who deserves His wrath, but rather the glorious image of His perfect Son dwelling in us, justifying us as if we received the wrath we deserve, making a way of escape from the curse of death.

    Now what we must do is repent and trust in the savior, confessing and forsaking our sins. This is not just a head knowledge of believing in Jesus, but rather receiving His words, taking them to heart. Where we no longer live to practice sin, but rather turn from our sins and practice righteousness:

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

    By doing so we may become transformed into the image of God through faith in His Son Christ Jesus Who is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask of Him:

    “Most assuredly, I (Jesus) say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7).

    “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9).

    What are you waiting for? Our Father in heaven only wants the best for us, restoring everything this world has stolen from us. This is what it means to be “holy”. To be made whole.

    He is waiting to hear from you. That God given tongue to speak language, through faith, pray to Him, ask Him to forgive you by confessing your sins and be willing to forsake them; that you accept the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross, and that you want His Holy Spirit living inside you transforming you into a child of God.

    Jesus says, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him (the Holy Spirit) will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    Did you know that Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone else, even more than He spoke about heaven?! For this very reason He came to die for us, to rescue us from this place that we deserve.

    He describes hell as a real place where,

    “Their worm does not die
    And the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44).

    And where,

    “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…” (Luke 13:28).

    Jesus tells us who to fear,

    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

    “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’

    Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’

    And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8).

    Out of all the world religions, how can we be sure the Bible got it right? The scientific data has established and continues to support that the universe once had a beginning in which space, time and matter were created. Many know this as the big bang.

    “The non-biblical religions tell us that god or god’s create within space and time that eternally exist. The Bible stands alone and says that time and space don’t exist until God creates the universe.” – Astronomer (Phd) Hugh Ross

    The Bible not only got it right that space, time and matter all came into existence at the beginning of the universe, it also states in 7 different places that the universe is expanding thousands of years before scientists discovered these things.

    Did you know that the real Noah’s Ark was discovered in the location where the Bible told us it would be, as well as having the correct dimensions? As well as proof for the destruction of Sodom Gomorrah and the Exodus account of the Red Sea crossing?

    The Bible is the most translated and read book in the history of the world, full of predictive prophecies, matching what we find in the book of nature. Wouldn’t you expect God’s word to be so?

    This information and more can all be found here: http://voice-truth.com

    God loves you!

  5. Judy Lovins says:

    Dear Linda, I have never written to you, but have been enjoying your blogs for a few years. I have read before about Jesus calling out on the last great day of the Feast for thirsty souls to come to Him. So amazing, so courageous! But I have never seen John 8,9, and even 12 tied together with chapter 7. Thank you so much for opening the scriptures up so well. I am truly blessed.

    • Hi, Judy! Thank you SO much for the kind words, and I am sorry I didn’t see your comment and respond sooner. 🙁 (You wouldn’t believe how many spam comments blogs get, and it can be a challenge to find the real ones!) I am VERY heartened by your reaction–I’m so glad you were blessed, and I thank you for blessing me back! In His love, Linda

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