Honey & Hyssop from the Holy Land
Continuing with the last of the fall feasts (see God’s Prophetic Fall Feasts Part One):
The Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur foreshadows the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. The Jewish remnant will “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36). It is the day that Jesus is revealed as the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10 & 6:20).
The restoration of Israel is celebrated on the Day of Atonement, and it is the day that the world will be judged.
The Day of Atonement was a day for confession (Leviticus 23:27). It was considered the highest of the holy days.
The name for this day was written in the plural in the Torah: Yom Kippurim. Three possible reasons for this are:
- It is the day to atone from all our many sins.
- The two great atonements for the faithful gentiles and for the faithful of Israel.
- Kippurim can be read as Ke-Purim, a day like Purim (as in the book of Esther), which is a celebration of deliverance.
The Day of Atonement was the only day when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and call upon the most Holy Name of God, (spelled יהוה in Hebrew) to offer the blood in atonement for the sins of the people.
God’s Name is considered too holy to be pronounced otherwise. So He is referred to or called Elohim (a generic word for God), Adonai (Lord) or Ha-Shem (the Name). Even when reading the tetragrammaton (the four lettered Name of God) from the Torah in the Synagogue, the reader will substitute the word Adonai. In our English translation of Scripture, everywhere that you find the word LORD (written in small caps like this), it is where the original Hebrew script shows the tetragrammaton (יהוה).
The Day of Atonement was the climax of the Days of Awe (Yamim Nora’im), the ten day period between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. During the Days of Awe, people were encouraged to consider their sins and repent. According to Jewish tradition, the names of the righteous were written in the Lord’s Book of Life at the Feast of Trumpets, and the wicked were written in the Book of Death. During the Days of Awe, people were given time to repent before it was too late.
Tabernacles – Sukkot is a foreshadow of the Millennial Reign of Jesus over the earth, in which He will once again “tabernacle” with His people (Ezekiel 37:26 & Micah 4:1-7), and the whole world will come every year to worship Him (Zechariah 14:16-17).
Tabernacles is also called the Feast of In-Gathering, celebrating the harvest. Tabernacles is seven days long, but an extra day is added to celebrate the end of the agricultural year. Every man, woman, and child was expected to come to the Temple in Jerusalem and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. During the Millennial Reign of Jesus, we will all be expected to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, too (Zechariah 14:16-17). Since we will be celebrating the Lord’s feast days during the Millennium, shouldn’t Christian believers in Messiah begin to do so now?
I began celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles quite coincidentally—or at least that’s how it would appear. The reality is that there is no coincidence, only God-incidence. I was going on my first prayer trip with Operation Capitals of Europe (OCE). We usually choose two or three geographically close capitals to visit and pray for. On this trip we were supposed to pray in Berlin, Warsaw, and Prague. Berlin was canceled at the last minute because of a miscommunication (this was another God-incidence that I may write about later). But since I had already bought non-refundable tickets to Berlin, I went to Berlin. There I met a couple of German intercessors who were also coming with OCE.
Between Berlin and Warsaw, we were to meet up with the rest of the team in Kalisz, Poland. So we took a train to Kalisz and found ourselves as members of the French worship team at the Feast of Tabernacles. The church in Kalisz hosts worship teams from all over Europe, and the entire seven days of the feast is celebrated with 24 hour worship. They do this by dividing the days into two hour time slots. So they will have two hours of worship in Polish, then two hours in Russian, then two in English, then Czech, then French, etc. The best part is the tangible presence of God, who shows up in group meetings, and also in very intimately personal ways.
I was hooked, and have returned to the Feast of Tabernacles every year since that first time. But this year, I knew in my spirit that I wasn’t supposed to go to Poland for Tabernacles. I didn’t feel saddened by this, as I would have expected. I just waited to see what God was going to do. And what He did was even better than Poland.
One day I mentioned rather flippantly to Nina (my best friend) that instead of going to Poland, maybe I would go to Israel for the Feast of Tabernacles. She jumped all over that, and said, “Yes! Let’s go to Israel!” Then I said, “If we go to Israel, we should also invite Marta (Nina’s sister) and Pastor Fabio (Marta’s husband), and bring Joshua (Nina’s son), too.” She burst into tears of joy.
When I called Pastor Fabio and invited him and Marta, he also burst into tears of joy. All these tears made me cry, too. So we all got together and made the arrangements. I had gone to Israel for the first time a year ago in March. That was with a tour, and it was very informative and interesting. But we were so rushed around that I have never been able to process the whole thing. (Well, partly it was being rushed around, and partly it was the overwhelming emotions of the place.) I process things by writing about them (thus, the real purpose of keeping a blog). So I had made myself a promise never again to go to Israel on a tour. This time I want to take my time, go only to the places that interest me, and give myself time to write and reflect. The others are all in agreement on this. Pastor Fabio is the only other one who has ever been to Israel before, so between the two of us, we know the places that are really worth seeing, and others that can be left to another time.
Now, if Jesus comes to Rapture us at the Feast of Trumpets this year, then our trip will be put off for seven years. But either way: in Israel or in Heaven, this year’s Feast of Tabernacles will be unforgettable! God is good!
 Jesus appears in the air at the Rapture, but He physically returns to touch the earth at His Second Coming (Zechariah 14:4).