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Leviticus 23:23-25 (The Memorial of Acclamation)

Jan 14, 2018   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Leviticus, Leviticus (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Leviticus 23:23-25
The Feasts of the Lord
The Memorial of Acclamation

We are given rather sparse information concerning this particular feast day. Just three verses to explain it, and not much detail is provided. It is short, concise, and will require a lot of back and forth to try to figure out what it was intended to reveal to the people of Israel.

One thing is for sure, this day – known as the Feast of Trumpets by some, Rosh Hoshanna by others – is not a picture of the rapture of the church. How do we know this? Well, are we members of the church? And are we still awaiting the rapture? Then this feast day is not a picture of the rapture.

It has become popular since the time of the early dispensationalists to state that the spring feasts of the Lord were fulfilled in Christ’s first advent, and that the fall feasts will be fulfilled in His second advent. CI Scofield, an early dispensationalist, says that this date “is a prophetical type and refers to the future regathering of long-dispersed Israel.” John Darby, of the same period, agrees with this.

This is the beginning of error. Eventually, other such error crept in, assigning this day to the rapture of the church. Along with that have come so many false teachings about this particular day that it is almost impossible to know what is true and what isn’t. People make stuff up all the time and each false teaching gets passed on so many times that eventually, it appears to be true.

The best way to correct this is to simply ignore pretty much everything that is out there about this day and start from scratch. One good starting point to correct such things it so understand that this feast is a part of the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses is fulfilled in Christ. It is, according to the book of Hebrews, annulled, set aside, and obsolete. Paul says it is nailed to the cross. A law which is all of those things is no longer in effect. We are now under a New Covenant. The old is gone.

As we are the church, and the church is still here, and as the Law of Moses is done away with, then this cannot be something future to us now. This is how heresy starts. Logically, if the feasts aren’t fulfilled, then we should be observing the feasts. Along with that then comes tithing, giving up pork, requiring circumcision, Sabbath observance, and other pick and choose items from the Law of Moses. Why heresy? Because this mindset says that Christ is not the fulfillment of the law for all who believe, and that we must continue to work deeds of the law in order to be pleasing to God. A little yeast, and the whole loaf is leavened.

Rather, the feast we will look at today is fulfilled, in Christ, and in a splendid way. This doesn’t mean the rapture won’t happen on this day. Maybe it will. But it could happen on any of the other 364 days of the year as well. We’ll leave that up to the Lord, and not attempt to usurp His right to choose, and we won’t be disobedient to His word which tells us to not bother doing so.

Text Verse: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16, 17

GK Chesterton said the following about New Years –

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective. Unless a man starts on the strange assumption that he has never existed before, it is quite certain that he will never exist afterwards. Unless a man be born again, he shall by no means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Charlie, if we are looking at a feast which occurs in the seventh month of they year, then why are you citing something about the new year? Well, the reason is that there are several things going on in the annual cycle of Israel which need to be figured out in order to properly understand why the Lord selected the first of the seventh month to be the day of this particular feast. In the end, the term “new year” applies to it as well. We’ll see that soon enough.

As the law points us to Christ, then we need to look for Him in the things of the law, including this which is described in the Bible as Yom Teruah, or the Day of Acclamation. It was a day, according to Jewish tradition, of sounding the shophar, or ram’s horn trumpet, and rejoicing in the Lord. The only thing is, Israel wasn’t told why they were doing this. They were just told to do so.

Though only three verses, it is a rather complicated study, but it is one which will explain why the feast was given, and how it is fulfilled in Christ. Understanding this, anyone who has their mind set on a future fulfillment of this feast will probably never agree that it is fulfilled, despite what the Bible says about the law actually being done away with. I would hope this wouldn’t be the case, but time and experience have shown that minds are not easily swayed, even when things are made explicit.

As far as introductions go, we’ve gone on too long already. Let’s jump into these verses and look for Christ. He is there, ready to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. The Memorial of Acclamation (verses 23-25)

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

As with the Feast of Firstfruits, an entirely new section is introduced, implying that the feast now to be described is logically disconnected from the previous one. As the feast following this one also begins with such an introductory statement, it is a stand alone feast. This is in contradistinction to the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Weeks which were united in a particular way. No independent introduction was given at the announcement of the Feast of Weeks, showing the connection between the two.

24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying:

The words of the Lord are to be transmitted to all of the people. This is a Feast of the Lord, to be observed by all to the Lord, and so Moses is directed to speak to the people concerning it. This is no different than the public proclamations made by presidents when calling for days of national fasting, holidays, etc. The Lord is their sovereign Ruler, and He is now mandating the next feast in the year to be observed. It is specified as…

24 (con’t) ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month,

It is important to understand that there are two distinct calendars in the Bible. The first is the creation calendar, and the second is the redemption calendar. This same pattern of creation/redemption is seen throughout the Bible. God creates and then He redeems. The reason for giving of the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments in Exodus is based on creation, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth…” (20:11). However, it is based on redemption in the giving of the Ten commandments in Deuteronomy, “And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm” (5:15).

The same pattern of creation and redemption is seen in Revelation when praises to God are based first on creation in Chapter 4 –

You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11

They are then given based on redemption in Revelation 5 –

You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9, 10.

Throughout the Bible, one must properly track the calendar which is being used to avoid confusion in what is going on and when. This seventh month in the redemption calendar today is known by the Aramaic name, Tishri. However, it was originally known by its Hebrew name as Ethanim. This is recorded in 1 Kings 8:2. The name Tishri was adopted after the Babylonian exile when the names from that calendar were assimilated into the Hebrew culture.

The seventh month was originally the first month of the year based on creation, but that was changed at the time of the exodus when the Lord declared the first month to commence in the springtime in the month of Aviv (later known as Nisan). That is recorded in Exodus 12:2, and it is based on redemption.

Further, despite being the seventh month of the calendar year in Judah, it was also the first month of the royal, or civil, year in Judah, matching the creation calendar. In other words, the beginning of the reign of the kings of Judah are aligned not with the ceremonial, or redemption, year beginning in the first month of Aviv/Nisan (in the spring time), but with a royal year beginning in the seventh month of Ethanim/Tishri (in the fall time).

To more fully grasp this dating system, one can refer to the book The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings by Edwin R. Thiele. His work resolves many once-believed errors in the biblical chronology. And, as the seventh month was originally the first month since the time of creation, we can know that Adam was created at this time. Though not in the Bible, the commentary on this from Chabadba provides us invaluable insight into this –

The 1st day of creation, on which G-d created existence, time, matter, darkness and light, was the 25th of Elul. (Rosh Hashanah, on which we mark “the beginning of Your works”, is actually the 6th day of creation, on which the world attained the potential for the realization of its purpose, with the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Rosh Hashanah is therefore the day from which the Jewish calendar begins to count the years of history; the 1st day of creation thus occurred on the 25th of Elul of what is termed -1 from creation.” Chabadba

This commentary is actually supported by an anagram which occurs between the first word in the Bible, which concerns creation, and the first day of the month of Tishri. They are both spelled with the same letters, but when rearranged the letters reflect one or the other. bereshit or “in the beginning” is simply rearranged into aleph b’tishri, or “the first of Tishri.”

Understanding that this is both the day of the creation of Adam, and the commencement of the regal, or kingly, year is important in understanding the true meaning of why the Lord chose this day for this particular feast. Three other times in Scripture, this particular day, the first of the seventh month, is mentioned. In Genesis 8:13, it is the day that the waters were dried up from the earth, and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked upon the new world. At that time it was exactly 1657 years after the creation of the world. Man had been in the world 596,520 days.

Ezra 3 mentions this same day as the day that Jeshua and Zerubbabel, after their return from Babylon, built the altar of the God of Israel and began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. And one last time this day is mentioned is in Nehemiah 8 when Ezra brought forward the Law of Moses and read it to all the people.

In these three occurrences of this month, we can see several readily apparent pictures of Christ. Noah looking upon the new world signifies new life in Christ who is our ark of safety in this life. The building of the altar and sacrificing on it signifies Christ our Altar of sacrifice, and our Sacrifice. And the reading of the Law of Moses pictures Christ, the fulfillment of the law. Each occurrence on this date points to the Person and work of Christ.

24 (con’t) you shall have a sabbath-rest,

The word translated here is shabathon it is used only 11 times in the Bible, all in Exodus and Leviticus, and all but three are conjoined with the word shabath, or “sabbath.” That would then indicate a sabbath of complete rest. Because this is not conjoined with the word Sabbath, it is not a Sabbath per se, but rather simply a rest. This is explained later in this same verse. It would better be translated as a “solemn rest.”

The reason for using this word shabathon here is because the seventh month of the year, like the seventh day of the week, and the seventh year of the Sabbatical year cycle, is considered a month of resting. In other words the entire month is consecrated as a special month to the people. On the tenth day of this month is the Day of Atonement. Later in the month is the pilgrim feast of Ingathering which encompasses the feast of Sukkoth. And the 50th year jubilees were to be proclaimed during this month as well. Everything about the seventh month has an elevated sense to it. However, unless this day fell on an actual Sabbath day, it was simply a day of rest, and not a Sabbath.

24 (con’t) a memorial of blowing of trumpets,

ziqaron teruah – “memorial acclamation.” The Hebrew doesn’t say “blowing of trumpets.” It is true that this is surely what occurred, but that isn’t what is stated here. The words simply mean that the people were to raise a tumult of joy. The name of the day is actually stated in Numbers 29 where it is called Yom Teruah, or Day of Acclamation. In Job 38, the root of teruah, the word rua, is used when speaking of the angels rejoicing at creation –

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7

This is the sense of the word, and of what is to occur. Teruah can be a war cry, an alarm, a shout of joy, the blast of the trumpet, and so forth. In this case, it is a memorial of acclamation. The Greek translation of the Old Testament specifically translates this as the salpiggon, or “trumpets.” This day has been variously labeled in history as the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of the New Year. In modern Israel, the day is known as Rosh Hoshana or “Beginning of the year.”

24 (con’t) a holy convocation.

miqra qodesh – “convocation holy.” The entire day was to be a day of festive occasion. As this is the first of the month, it would coincide with the New Moon celebrations which are mentioned at various times in the Bible, but this day in Leviticus, the first of the seventh month, is surely what is mentioned in Psalm 81 where the word rua is again used –

Sing aloud to God our strength;
Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.
2 Raise a song and strike the timbrel,
The pleasant harp with the lute.
3 Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.” Psalm 81:1-3

In this psalm, the New Moon solemn feast would be this particular feast of Leviticus 23. The full moon solemn feast would be that of the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened bread which immediately follows the Passover. It was on these holy convocations, and others like them, that the joyful shouts were to be raised.

25 You shall do no customary work on it; 

kal meleket abodah lo taasu – “all work servile no shall you do.” These words show us that the translation of “Sabbath” is not correct. On a Sabbath, no work at all was to be done. However, on this day, no regular work could be done, but people could prepare food and do other things which would otherwise be forbidden on a regular Sabbath.

*25 (fin) and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’”

Three particular sets of offerings were actually to be made on this day. First, the regular daily morning and evening sacrifices already mandated in the law were to be made. Second, as this is the start of a new month, the offerings of Numbers 28:11-15 were to be made. And a special set of offerings were to be made for this particular feast as well. They are detailed in Numbers 29:1-6.

Shout out to the Lord! Shout with acclamation
It is He who is our King, and He who rules over us
Shout out to the Lord you holy nation
Shout out to the King, our Lord Jesus

Let the sound be loud, shout out joyfully
Let the land be filled with noise to herald the King
Don’t sit and be silent, don’t act so coyfully
Get up people, raise your voices and sing

It is He who has created, and He who has redeemed us
It is He who sits as King upon the throne of heaven
It is He who rules, even our King Jesus
So shout aloud at the beginning of month number seven

II. Fulfilled in Christ

Unlike the other feasts of Leviticus 23, this one is a bit harder to pin down what it is pointing to. It needs to be fleshed out of what is provided and pieced together. First, it is the only feast which falls on the first of the month, the time of the New Moon. This is when skies are the darkest, having no light from the moon to illuminate them, the significance of which will be seen as we continue.

Now, not to confuse you, but so you can begin to see the pattern develop, we will go to 1 Chronicles 24. This chapter tells us the order of the 24 details of priests which served at the Temple in Jerusalem. The division of Abijah was the 8th division –

And the scribe, Shemaiah the son of Nethanel, one of the Levites, wrote them down before the king, the leaders, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the priests and Levites, one father’s house taken for Eleazar and one for Ithamar.

Now the first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah…1 Chronicles 24:6-10

We next go to the New Testament, to Luke 1 to see that Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was a member of Abijah and was serving at the Temple and was given the promise of a son –

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his divisionaccording to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’[b] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.

23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” Luke 1:5-25

Later in Luke 1:36 we read that Mary was visited by Gabriel in the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy –

Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” From this point, we can easily see when Jesus was born. It’s not a secret and its right there in black and white –

           Mar/Apr         Apr/May        May/June        Jun/July

Month Nisan             Iyar                Shivan              Tamuz

Division 1 & 2 3 & 4 5 & 6 7 & 8 Abijah

*Zechariah would have been at the temple in Jun/Jul (Tamuz)
*Add 6 months until Gabriel spoke to Mary – Dec/Jan (Adar)
*Add 9 months until Christ the Lord was born – Sep/Oct (Tishri)

We have to make an obvious assumption here, that Zechariah got his wife pregnant rather quickly. But that is hardly an assumption at all. First, he couldn’t speak until the child was born, something that may have made Elizabeth rather happy, but which he would want corrected right away. Secondly, if they had been hoping for a child for so long, they would have wasted no time in fulfilling this prophecy. The assumptions are obvious. Further Luke continues with the timeline in an uninterrupted fashion, asking us to look at the dates based on the other time frames he provided in a united fashion – a very important point to consider. As a point of theology for you to tuck away, Zechariah and Elizabeth were old, but not as old as many paintings of them would have you believe. In Numbers 8 we read this –

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “This is what pertains to the Levites: From twenty-five years old and above one may enter to perform service in the work of the tabernacle of meeting; 25 and at the age of fifty years they must cease performing this work, and shall work no more. 26 They may minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of meeting, to attend to needs, but they themselves shall do no work. Thus you shall do to the Levites regarding their duties.” Numbers 8:23-26

He was under 50 years old. Though moving along, he was not ancient. I for example am 53 and I have tight, healthy skin, and youthful vigor. It would be impossible for me to believe brother Zack was any different. Anyway, based on the Bible evidence, we see that Christ Jesus was born between September and October which corresponds with the Hebrew month of Tishri. From here we can determine that Jesus was born on the first of Tishri. We can do this in several ways.

First, we look to 1 Corinthians 15 to see a pattern based on the tradition showing that Adam was created on the first day of Tishri, the 6th day of creation. It would follow reasonably that Jesus, the “second Adam,” was born on the same day 4000 years later, thereby completing a biblical pattern. 1 Corinthians 15:45-48 tells us Jesus is the last Adam –

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.”

When Adam was created, the Lord who created him became, in effect, his King at that moment. That He is the King is reflected then in the 47th Psalm –

God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.” Psalm 47:5-7

However, there is also the truth that man would turn from his King. This was known to God before He created the world. Both Peter, and John in Revelation, state this unambigulously. Speaking of Christ Jesus, Peter says –

He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:20, 21

And so, in order to redeem man, God sent forth Christ into the world, using the same pattern as is found throughout Scripture – creation and then redemption. He created Adam on the first of Tishri, and He sent the Redeemer on that same day. It was the first of the month of the creation calendar, and the first of the seventh month on the redemption calendar. And, as I said, this is the only feast designated specifically as occurring on the New Moon which is the first day of the month. It is the darkest day of the month, and thus the best day for the “glory of the Lord” to be highlighted –

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.” Luke 2:8, 9

In 1 Kings 1:34 it is seen that the shofar, the ram’s horn trumpet, is blown at the coronation of the king, in that case it was Solomon. As this was the case at coronation, it then becomes obvious why the Lord mandated this feast on this particular day. It is the day when all of Israel would be joyously shouting with acclamation, and blowing shofars throughout the land. On this day, the King of the Universe was being born among men. Little did they know that they were heralding in the true, great King of Israel – Jesus Christ.

The patterns are simply too rich, too many, and too well orchestrated to be by mere chance. Again, in Numbers 23:21 we read these words –

He has not observed iniquity in Jacob,
Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.
The Lord his God is with him,
And the shout of a King is among them.” Numbers 23:21

There the term for “shout of a King” is “teruat melekh.” It is the same word, teruah, used here in Leviticus to signify this particular day in the redemptive calendar. This was certainly fulfilled in the shouting of the heavenly host at the birth of the great King, Jesus! And again, Psalm 47, a psalm read on this same day each year in Israel, it says the following –

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:1, 2

Once again, the idea of rua or shouting to the King, is identified with this day. Three verses later, the psalm then says –

God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.” Psalm 47:5

There the teruah, or shout of acclamation, is combined with the sound of the shofar, all pointing to this one particular day in history when Christ was born and the King of the universe was made manifest among us.

As a marvelous pattern of creation followed by redemption, we have seen that Christ was born on the same day that Adam was created, on the first day of the first month of the creation calendar. This is the first day of the seventh month of the redemption calendar. But did anything happen in the Bible on the first day of the first month of the redemption calendar? The answer is that Exodus 40:17 says, “And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up.”

The tabernacle, every detail of which points to Christ and His ministry, was erected on the first day of the first month of the redemption calendar. Thus we again have, as has been seen many times in Scripture, the pattern of creation being followed by redemption. The Creator is our Redeemer.

The King has come, shout aloud and rejoice
He has come to redeem fallen man
Let your shouts be heard, even with a resounding voice
Blow the trumpets aloud; as hard as you can

He has come! The King of the ages is here
We gather around Him, He the King of the Jews
Yes, all people come, see the sight, draw near
And then go forth and spread the glorious news

The Baby born in a manger is the King of Israel
This Child laying helplessly shall rule all the world
It is the most marvelous news, go forth to all and tell
Spread the word, and may joy from the heart now be unfurled

III. The Significance of Christmas

When you ask a Korean person how old they are, they will give you an answer which doesn’t fit with what we understand as age. The reason why is they consider their age from conception, not from birth out of the womb. Until you get this, it is often hard to grasp why what they tell you at one time doesn’t seem to match with what you find out at other times. At least the Koreans get the idea of sanctity of life within the womb, even if democrats don’t.

Understanding that Christ, the second Adam, and the King of the universe, was born on this feast day, there is one more point which obviously needs to be addressed. If Jesus was born on the first of Tishri as the Bible shows, then what on earth are we celebrating on 25 December? Over the years, people have said this was a Catholic attempt to align the holiday with a pagan festival to accommodate their older beliefs as they became Christianized.

Whether this occurred or not has nothing to do with Jesus. The eqinoxes and solstices were created by God, and they reflect what God is doing in the world of creation and redemption. If this has been misused by other religions, it doesn’t change the true intent for when these things occur. The significance of 25 December is far more beautiful than a crude attempt by the Catholics to harmonize pagan beliefs with those of Christianity.

The human gestation period is approximately 270 days. It does vary, but this is right at the average. If you go back 270 days from the first of Tishri you will quite often come up to 25 December.

What this means, is that Christ was conceived on this day, approximately 270 days before His birth into the world. And so, what is probably the true celebration on this day is not the birth of Jesus from the womb. What we’ve been celebrating is the birth of Jesus in the womb, when God united with human flesh.

Understanding that, 8 times in the past 117 years, both Christmas and Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, have occurred at the same time – 24/25 December. This is the same day as the Feast of Dedication mentioned in John 10:22. In John’s writings, He cites Jesus’ words concerning His fulfillment of this festival –

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

And again –

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. John 1:9, 10

As incredible as it might seem, Jesus was probably conceived on the Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah, and He was certainly born on Yom Teruah. The prophetic patterns of the Bible completely and amazingly support the wonderful fulfillment of the Feasts of the Lord in Jesus!

There is no reason to look for a future fulfillment of this particular feast. It is fulfilled in Christ. And there is no reason to look for a different time of birth for Christ as some have recently done, placing it during the spring time. Incorrect! The Bible has carefully recorded special circumstances which occurred in one particular line of priests, that of Abijah for a reason. It then carefully and methodically gives exactly the other time frames necessary to pinpoint the time of year Christ was born. It also gives numerous patterns which confirm the exact date within this time of year for us to know, with all certainty, that He was born on the 1st of Tishri.

None of this is by chance. Rather, these things are recorded because God is alerting us to the fact that Jesus is the Christ anticipated in all of these redemptive pictures, and that He is the fulfillment of them all. As this is so, then He is obviously asking us to follow through with what the Bible says is necessary for our lives concerning Christ.

It says that He is God’s gift to the world, and that all who believe in Him will be saved. It says that He is the only path to salvation, and that no one can come to the Father but through Him. It even says that He is the one and only Mediator between God and men. In other words, God doesn’t hear the prayers of anyone, except those who come to Him through Jesus.

If you have never accepted Jesus, but think you are right with God, you are wholly mistaken. Think it through, look at what God has done in Christ, and call out to Him for salvation. This is your obligation. God has done all the work. Now He asks you to simply believe that, and by faith receive what He has done. And it is glorious.

He was born on the darkest night of the month, the night of the New Moon. On that night, God’s glory lit up the heavens – it was a picture of the true Light, entering into the spiritual darkness of the world. And then He died just before the start of the brightest night of the month, the night of the full moon. Again, a spiritual picture was given to us – our Hope is not extinguished by darkness. As it says in John 1:5 –

And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”

Let us remember this and carry with us the true Light always. May the Light of Christ shine upon you now and forever. May it be so!

Closing Verse: Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

Next Week: Leviticus 23:26-32 Sins can’t be forgiven by paying off God, even with your very last cent (The Feasts of the Lord, The Day of Atonement) (41st Leviticus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Coming of the Second Adam

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words He was then relaying

Speak to the children of Israel, saying:
In the seventh month, as to you I attest
On the first day of the month
You shall have a sabbath-rest

A memorial of blowing of trumpets is what you shall do
A holy convocation; observe this day as I instruct to you 

You shall do no customary work on it according to this word
And you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord

Lord, You planned it all, and then laid it out
In feasts for Israel to observe each year
To leave us with certainty; without a doubt
Seeing their fulfillment in Christ; it all becomes clear

It is true with the Day of Acclamation, we now know
We see that the angels praised God on that marvelous day
When Christ came into the world, there was a heavenly show
While the trumpets of Israel were blowing away

Thank You, O God, for the giving of Your Son
Thank You, O God, for the coming of our King
We praise You for the marvelous things You have done
And to You, forever, we shall shout aloud and sing

Hallelujah and Amen…

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