Its that time of year again!
In a few days the Jewish month of El-ul arrives which heralds the approach of the three remaining Feasts of the Lord, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacle.
BLOW THE TRUMPET IN ZION!
From now until the Feast of Trumpets (September 17) the ritual trumpet, called the shofar, is blown every day to awaken the souls of people to the importance of the season. Jews refer to this month as the "season of seeking." The word "El-ul" itself means "to seek." The Jewish letters in "El-ul" also form an acronym which stands for "I am my Beloveds and he is mine." Jews also call this pivotal month the "days of preparation" because it is a time set aside for preparing oneself to meet with God.
THE NARCOTIC EFFECT OF LIFE
The routine of daily life has a narcotic effect on our spirit. Jesus even warned about how the cares and distractions of life could lull our hearts into a drowsy kind of spiritual lethargy.
"But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth." Luke 21:35 (Amplified)
This is a troubling portion of Scripture for those who believe that everyone who is saved will automatically be taken away in the Rapture. If that is true, then why would it be necessary to take heed and guard ones heart?
The words of Jesus continue:
"Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man."
Accounted worthy? I thought what Jesus did on the Cross on my behalf made me worthy! This verse can only be properly understood by observing its narrow focus. Jesus was not talking about eternal salvation when He spoke these words to His disciples. He was referring specifically to those who would be spared (saved) from the event called the "tribulation." And, according to what He said, not EVERYONE will be counted worthy to escape the horrors that will come upon the world.
WATCHERS AND PRAYERS
According to the words of Jesus, only those who are spiritually alert by watching and praying at the critical time when He returns will be taken out of the way of the Tribulation. That raises the question: "How can we be watching and praying every hour of every day?" The answer is: "we can't" and God never expected us to do so.
In the Old Testament, God did not meet with His people at all times. He established certain "appointed times" or feast days when He would come to meet with them. When those days drew near, the people knew to prepare themselves. Today, we know that God's Spirit dwells inside of us at all times. We can essentially
"meet" with Him at any time. That is not the kind of "meeting" the Feast Days represent, however. Three significant Feast Days remain to be literally fulfilled by Jesus in the future. Each year, when those Feast Days roll around, we are to prepare for the possibility that this year might be THE year when Jesus returns. And thus begins the season in which we are to "watch and pray."
JESUS, THE FULFILLMENT OF THE FEASTS
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Feasts of the Lord.
He fulfilled Passover by literally becoming the Passover lamb.
He fulfilled Unleavened Bread in His burial
He fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits by His resurrection from the dead.
He fulfilled Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit.