Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.  But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:11-17 (NASB)
We have been sharing about how God made us with a need to be fulfilled in our self-worth. Yeshua when He was ready to begin His ministry came to John to be prepared, which He called “fulfilling righteousness. Righteousness means the way things are supposed to be.
First we saw that God declared the worth of Yeshua as the Beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. There is a God designed vacuuming in all people, a search for significance that is only fulfilled by the declaration of value from the Father. If we don’t receive our affirmation from God we will be forced to create a religion to try to find it. The only other alternative is works. Works can be the car we drive, the house we live in or what people think about us that drives our choices in life. We need to feel “right” about our lives. (for complete context - refer to "Self Worth. The New Man blog 9/26/2016)
Second we looked at that we were created for fellowship. God declared in Genesis that it is NOT good for man to be alone. (Gen 2:18) We were created to need one another. We say that we don’t care what people think of us but we were created to need approval. This is why we need to fill our lives with balcony people, those who pull us up and not down. We will become like the birds we flock with.
(for complete context - refer to "Self Worth. The New Man, Part 2 blog 10/1/2016)
Third we looked the baptism of Yeshua itself. Baptism is the process of death of the old man. The old man, known also as the flesh, is the self-sufficient pride based ego that ran our lives in performance mode. It is the heart of sin, which is living life from a self-centered perspective versus a perspective of worth given by the death of Yeshua. He died to set us free from ourselves. We, through His death and resurrection, are who He says we are and have what He purchased for us. In this context, last week we looked at the Day of Atonement. We saw that the root of the word atonement is the pitch on the ark of Noah, the first baptism of scripture. Baptism was the method of death to the sin of the world through the flood. The ark which was built of wood was water-proofed by the pitch or “Kaphar” which is the Hebrew word also for atonement. The atonement is the substance which protects us from the judgment on sin. It is exemplified by the Blood of Messiah. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission, no protection for the consequences of sin. Look at Hebrews 9:22:
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 (NASB)
Blood is where the life is and represents passion. It was Yeshua’s passion to give His life which is the purest of love.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13 (NASB)
So it is love that actually is the power of the Day of Atonement. It is love that covers or atones for sins. (Proverbs 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8). We are called to love one another with this kind of love. So on the day of atonement, we activate the atonement prophetically by sharing our sins with one another and then praying the prayer of faith for one another as the prophetic declaration of God’s promises in the area of our sin. (James 5:13-16).
(for complete context - refer to "Self Worth. The New Man, Part 3 blog 10/8/2016)
Today, I want to go now to the final feast, the feast of Tabernacles. Succoth which is the feast of dwelling with the Lord. This also present at the Baptism of Yeshua because His baptism fulfilled righteousness. In the baptism the Holy Spirit descended from heaven and dwelt in Yeshua. His earthly body became a dwelling place for the Spirit of God. The baptism of the Holy Spirit then is the prophetic activation for Succoth.
Let’s set a little scriptural background for Succoth and why it is important going forward. Turn to Leviticus 23 the Feast chapter:
Leviticus 23:39-43 (NASB)
‘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 thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. ‘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.’”
This is a Feast about provision and joy. The picture of living in absolute dependence on the Lord and rejoicing in His faithfulness. The Feast activates His Kingship in our lives and our joy in being His children. It is a feast of thanksgiving and is most likely the feast our national Thanksgiving is patterned after. Shavuot, the spring feast we call Pentecost is a time for grain ingathering and thanksgiving representing the Torah given on Mt. Sinai. This is the feast of the Word of God made alive by God’s Spirit of Fire. We will speak about this at another time.
Today we are looking at Feast of Succoth also known as the harvest of fruits feast or the ingathering. The fall is when the fruits are gathered. Fruits we know occur when the seed is good and there has been an abundance of rain which produces the sweet crops of the fruits. The Succoth Feast is depicted in this richness that comes into our lives by His Word watered by His Spirit.
When Yeshua came out of the waters of baptism, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove landed on Him.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. (Matthew 3:16 NIV)
The dove is a reference to the dove of Noah that brought the sign of the new world that was prepared through baptism of the flood.
Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. (Genesis 8:8-12 NIV)
The Holy Spirit then is the sign of the new covenant. We see this in Acts where Peter was confused about the Gentiles becoming part of the covenant.
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, "Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. (Acts 10:44-48 NIV)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit then is the new covenant activation for Succoth. Let’s go little further before we end with that.
Succoth is the Feast that is prophetically declared to be kept at the end: We know that there will be a final battle where Jerusalem will be surrounded by the armies of the anti-Christ. Luke 21:20. Yeshua prophesied the attack. He also declares that He is returning to Jerusalem. When He does, the remaining nations come to Jerusalem and they do it at Succoth. Look at Zech 14:
"Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths." Zec 14:16 (NASB)
Succoth is the Feast that declares the abiding Presence of the Lord. It is the final feast of the 7th month which is the month of His restoration of peace or shalom. We build sukkah’s temporary shelters to show the abiding Presence of the Lord.
Succoth is the Feast of ingathering or harvest of fruits. It is the picture of John 15.
""I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." Joh 15:1-11 (NASB)
This is Succoth. It is the abiding Presence which is the holy Spirit indwelling us through the Baptism. One final reference that I think makes this clear is Transfiguration:
"Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"" Mat 17:1-5 (NASB)
This is the key to the Feast. Moses and Elijah show up and Peter thinks it is Malachi 4:1-6
""For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. "You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the LORD of hosts. "Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse."" Mal 4:1-6 (NASB)
Peter thinks this is it! He knows Elijah and Moses is final. So what does he want to do? Build a Sukkah. But what happens to Yeshua? 2 Things. 1, Transfiguration, the baptism of the holy Spirit. 2. The declaration again of value, worth. This is a picture of Succoth. We need the baptism and the empowerment of knowing who we are.
Baptism Activation: We are going to use the Tallit as a picture of the Succah. Then we are going to ask the Lord to speak who we are to Him. We are also believing for a new impartation of the holy Spirit.
Partner up Activation: Review Galatians 5:22 and 23. Find someone to partner with. Allow the Lord to reveal to you which of the fruits of the Spirit you feel you are not producing His BEST fruit in. Confess to partner which ones you are weak in and desire to improve in that fruit of the Spirit. Partner should pray and bless prophetically over you. Swap and do the same for partner. Allow the Lord to reveal a plan to grow in fruit in that area over the next year.