The Time of Our Rejoicing

Sukkot has come – halleluyah!

Sukkot, also called the Feast of Booths of Feast of Tabernacles, is called the “time of our rejoicing”, and rightfully so: it is a time for us to look forward to its fulfillment in Messiah, when God tabernacles – dwells – with His people. The last chapter in the Bible paints the awesome picture:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

The prophet Zechariah prophesies that, in the coming Messianic Age, all nations – even the crazy gentiles – will be divinely invited mandated (ahem) to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with Messiah King:

Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.

On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light.

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses.  It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

What’s more, a number of scholars have suggested that the Feast of Tabernacles is when Messiah was born, thus explaining the large crowds and that there were no rooms available when Yeshua was born.

And how fitting that would be, yeah? Immanuel (“God with us”) being born on the Feast of Tabernacles, when God will dwell with us.

Happy Feast of Sukkot! It’s a week-long feast, with rest commanded for the first and last days of the feast. Later this week, as part of our commandment hierarchy mapping project, we’ll blog about Sukkot-specific commandments.

As a little Sukkot gift to you, fine blog readers, please enjoy the following Messianic music from Steve McConnell, where he puts a traditional Jewish sukkot prayer to a joyful praise song:

17 comments:

  1. Dear anti-missionaries,

    Bug off, and work on improving Judaism rather than shaming it through persecution of others.

    Thank you.

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  2. I really like this post Judah. And the scriptures you gave are encouraging. Shalom, shalom achi. Be Blessed man. You, yours, and all of us, until we kneel before the feet of our King.

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  3. Wow, I didn't make a single statement that a Bible believing Christian would be required to disagree with. You have a pretty loose definition of persecution.

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  4. You're all over the web, man.

    Regarding persecution, yeah, you know, anti-missionary groups never persecute Jews. Ever. Honest.

    I will not allow this blog to be a soapbox of hate and persecution by Messiah-hating, Jew-persecuting anti-missionaries.

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  5. Guilt by association, how nice...

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  6. Nah. When I saw you sneaked in a link to an Messiah-hating website via your commenting name, I knew where this was headed.

    I welcome debate. I do not welcome covert conversion tactics. You're welcome here if you choose the former.

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  7. "Sneak" a link?

    You've got a funny definition of sneak.

    And a funny definition of "welcome debate" if you think that my site does anything other than disagree with you.

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  8. An Orthodox Jewish forum recently held a public discussion on Passover.

    In strolled a Messianic man, who, not identifying himself as a Messianic, came in and posted a little blurb about the Passover lamb.

    Intrigued, several forum members clicked his name, and -- to their surprise! -- it linked to an article about how Yeshua is the Passover lamb.

    Orthodox members of the forum were infuriated.

    Do you think the Orthodox forum moderator allowed him to speak any further? Do you think the Messianic man was allowed to return to the forum?

    Jeremiah, unlike that forum moderator, I am allowing you to speak and debate. But conversion tactics are not welcome. Having your name link to an article that discredits Messiah's role in Sukkot is covert proselytism. I won't allow you to do that here.

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  9. Again, I apologize, but just for clarity, did that last comment get axed or did I mess up posting it?

    If it was axed, just ax this one as well and I'll figure it out. :)

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  10. Nope, I only axed the first comment you made here.

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  11. Thanks for the heads up. I had probably run my errands before I reconstruct my articulate comments.

    If I run out of time though, I hope you and your family enjoy your holiday.

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  12. All right, I apologize that my apparent inability to properly push enter has led to several superfluous comments.

    I realize that the "evidence" is now gone but I think you would concede, that I began my initial comment by apologizing if I was being intrusive and clearly stating that I was coming from an opposing view point but without indirectly challenging your fundamental beliefs by spelling out my primary disagreements.

    As is customary on blogs (they actually have a function for doing so built in) I left the URL to where I elaborate further.

    The page argued, not against Christianity, but against a position "a number of scholars have suggested" (emphasis mine, your words seemed to imply you felt the evidence was debatable and not a fundamental Christian belief).

    The remainder of the article, and the point made in my post, was to point out the incongruity between the said inferred symbolism (which is not articulated in the Apostolic Writing) and the theological view of incarnation/condensation. Again, nothing which requires one not to believe in Christianity.

    I have a couple other thoughts, on why I don't think the analogy you gave is sound (if you don't think that would take these comments too far off topic) but I think Danny's had enough of me for today already.

    Just for the record, Yirmeyahu is not my "commenting" name, it is my name, Jeremiah isn't. (But to be fair in person I'll usually answer to just about anything :) )

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  13. Yirmeyahu,

    If you are concerned about Messianics/Christians taking Jews away from Torah in the name of their messiah - your concern is valid.

    If Christians would listen to the one they supposedly know and proclaim, they would realize that the Torah is life for all who take hold of it because according to the historical Yehoshu`a ben Yosef the Pharisee:
    "And behold, a Scribe stood up to try him, and said: Teacher, what must I do, to inherit eternal life? And Yehoshu`a said to him: How is it written in the law? How do you read it? He answered and said to him: You shall love the Lord your God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all your might, and with all your mind; and your neighbor, as yourself. Yehoshu`a said to him: You have said correctly; do this, and you will live."
    (Luke 10:25-28)

    Actually what missionaries are doing is opposite to the words of Yehoshu`a, and what they are doing is detrimental to life and truth. The more done to stop this, the better.

    Before the argument is made "but Aaron, there's lots of good in proclaiming Yeshua", let me respond to that line of thought. Actual proclaiming of the great Ssadiq Yehoshu`a ben Yosef the Pharisee is done by upholding his teachings which means doing just as he said for inheriting eternal life: do the commands of Torah with all heart. Of course, proper halakha--needless to say. Which Hhakham did Yehoshu`a agree with almost exclusively? Hillel. Do the math; I know Yirmeyahu knows what I'm talking about (and I know this ain't popular to say).

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  14. Again, if this strays too far off topic, I understand. You have to do what you have to do.

    First while you and I disagree with what is the "truth" in this area, I think that we both would agree that no one has the "right" not to confront the truth. I think we both would also agree that one's method of presenting the truth can be counter-productive. Someone who shows disregard for effectively communicating their position isn't really out to change peoples minds or influence others.

    As I believe I have already indicated, without your objection, I clearly identified myself on my initial comment as someone who disagreed and might not be welcome.

    Other than the fact that the individual you mention did so covertly I think that there are a couple of other reasons why this situation is different.

    1. I too am a blogger (under a pseudonym on a different but similar topic) and while I am very picky about who I hyperlink to (even when I cite their webpage), I have yet to remove the same bloggers when they comment to my site. While I am not entirely comfortable with the set up, by blogging I have turned over this aspect of my content to my readers. While I have not had any issues with off-topic posts etc. I have had commenter's who run heretical blogs and their blogs are linked by default.

    2. Judaism has a right of response to the Messianics that I do not believe exists in the converse. That is not to say every response is useful or should be utilized, but try to understand: Christianity is like someone coming along an adopting your name. At first it can cause difficulties, and there is always the occasional inconvenience, but in the end everyone figures out which Judah is which. The Messianic movement is like someone claiming to be a resident of your house.
    Whether or not you are correct, you have to understand why we would object. Our holidays, customs, and writings have all been appropriated by the Messianic world. The Torah is "the heritage of the congregation of Jacob" not the world. I understand that you may understand things have changed but there is an established chazakah which places the burden on you.

    3. I think that, insofar as we are able, the Torah expects us to defend its integrity. Would it be right for us to turn a blind eye out of a non-Torah, I'm ok your ok, attitude? Again, with full understanding that you obviously believe your views are correct, let me propose the following:

    Thirty five years from now you have succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. You are on the "Messianic" Sanhedrin in Jerusalem which is in charge of safeguarding the spiritual purity of all of Israel.

    You are presented with upstanding Messianic witnesses who charge that an offender has been identified who not only has claimed that the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt'l was the Messiah, the claim [G-d forbid] that he was the creator himself!

    You yourself know the punishment for such idolatry...how would you rule?


    I'm posting this against my better judgment. It is very difficult for most people to see things from an outside perspective, and I'm not sure I have been as articulate as necessary.

    Be well

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  15. Heh, I'm in late as usual, and regretting it more for this post!

    I love the subject of Sukkot.

    Surely the issue of Yeshua's birth at Sukkot is a no-brainer. The evidence is in the scripture. The scholars who suggest it simply point to the evidence. We know when John the Bap's conception was. We know Yeshua's conception was 6 months later.

    Counting from there lands you suspiciously close to 15 Tishri. Unless, as my (nurse) wife says, Yeshua came prem or post! I don't think G-d would have allowed that...

    I hope you enjoyed Sukkot. I'm doing a presentation on it at our next Aussie Christians Supporting Israel meeting in November. Yep, I'm late for everything...

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