FEAST: Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus. 23:33-43, John 7:2)

THis Feast Commemorates:  

Israel's wanderings in the wilderness and final arrival in the promised land.

 Prophetic message: The Wedding Feast.

 Description of Feast:

 During the seven-day celebration of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) the people gave thanks for divine protection and harvest blessings. For seven days they lived in shelters made of branches, demonstrating their vulnerability to external elements yet confident in God's care, to celebrate when God tabernacled amongst them and looking forward to when He will do so again. The celebrations of a wedding take place at this time.  There is much rejoicing in the Scriptures and also in the dance of the groom.

 The third and final Feast of the Lord when the people were required to go up to Jerusalem is the Feast of Tabernacles. It was the end of the harvest season and is also called the Feast of the Ingathering. Exodus 23v16. It was a time of rest and celebration. We read in John 7vv 37-38 that our Lord Yeshua not only attended this feast but He took an active part in it.

 Passover teaches us about the grace of God, the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) shows us God’s power and the last major Feast of the spiritual year, the Feast of Tabernacles, is about God’s rest.  This is the place we should come to when we are secure in our salvation and in knowing who God is.  This feast occurs after a long hot summer, nearly six months without rain.  Three months have passed since Shavuot, the gathering of the first fruits, the first gathering to the Father; now it is time for the great or final harvest.

 The one thing we can be sure about is the total plan laid out by the Lord for all humanity will take place.  It has long been a teaching of the Jewish teachers,  that when the Gentiles go up to the Feast of Tabernacles the Messiah is about to come.  This act of recognising the Feasts as God’s Feasts is to show that Gentiles as well as the Jewish people are part of God’s plan. Ephesians 3:4-6 All the things of God are interconnected, so if we want to be part of that plan then we must be part of the things of God.  The Feasts laid out by our Lord God in His Word, have a place and a purpose.  If we move one to a time and place to suit us, if we leave one out, if we change them around, the whole order of events is gone and God’s plan of sacrifice, knowledge of the scriptures, time for repentance and the second coming of our Lord Yeshua, the wedding, is all hidden from us and we may not be ready when it happens.

 Yeshua said many things and also did many things, each one important as regards our salvation.  He prophesied and fulfilled prophecy in what He said and did and also declared in many ways that He was someone special.  When the Scriptures were translated into Greek from the Hebrew and then into English they lost the Hebraic meaning behind many of the sayings and teachings.  Much is lost in the translation that would have been very clear in Hebraic times and no explanation to the meaning would have been required.

 Hebrew was the language in Israel at the time of Yeshua.  More and more scholars are coming to this conclusion.  The Dead Sea Scrolls and lists, written at the time of Yeshua (Jesus) were all written in Hebrew, and are in the Israel museum in Jerusalem for all to see.  The Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud’s were written in Hebrew.  When Mary said “Rabboni” it says this was said in Aramaic, however this is also a Hebrew word which means ‘my teacher’ John 20:16. Yeshua spoke Hebrew from the cross,  Eloi Eloi (my God my God) lama (why) sabachthani (forsaken me). This is strong evidence in itself that Yeshua spoke Hebrew.  To proclaim that Yeshua only spoke Aramaic is one way of removing His Jewishness.  The next step, as has been implied through the centuries, is that He was not Jewish.  His birthplace alone attests to His Jewishness, He was born in Bethlehem, which is in Judea, Judea being the base word for Jew.

 In John (Yochanan) chapter four we read one of these teachings. Yeshua was talking to the Samaritan woman; “but whoever drinks of the water that I give him, will never thirst”.  Just about everyone understands that Yeshua was talking of abundant life, everlasting life, as we have had it explained to us over the years.  But in those days no one understood what Yeshua was saying, not even His disciples.  However our God understands we need a picture painted for us to make things clear.  There are things carried out within these festivals that we need to look at and see what God is saying.  It is amazing how man’s practices within the worship, can be used by God for his purposes.

 One of those practices was the wine and water drawing ceremony (Simcha Beit HaSho`eva).  Each morning of the Feast of Tabernacles water was taken from the Pool of Siloam (peace) and was poured out on to the Altar (Mizbe`ach) with much fanfare. The water was a symbol for the coming rains and for the coming year to be blessed. At this time much prayer, even today, goes up to God for the rain to come to water the land.  Water is life, without it there is no life. The water pouring ceremony five days after Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, in the third and final harvest period.  We are reminded that when things are going well and the harvest is plentiful we may forget HaShem, God. Whether we are farmers, business people or academics we might start to think that we are superior to others.

 At the Day of Atonement we all stand before God as equals and are judged and ask for forgiveness.  All we have is from God, we are all the same to Him. Yeshua died for us all, He died to give us life. John 14:6

 As part of these Tabernacle celebrations it was usual to pour with the water pure wine on the altar, fine wine, top quality wine, from vines carefully nurtured, the grapes tenderly picked and the wine masterfully produced. Only the purest red wine was used for pouring on to the altar.  Scriptures are full of how we should keep ourselves pure before the Lord, be pure if we are to stand before the altar of the Lord. Psalm 24vv3-4.  ‘For He made them white (pure) in the blood of the Lamb’.  Revelation 7v14.

 In this act of pouring of the water and wine on the altar we can see the prophetic in relationship to our Lord. The pure blood of Yeshua who was without sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) was poured out on the “altar” of the Lord, where the Passover sacrifice took place.

 At Tabernacles the water poured out on the altar was, plain, pure water; nothing added.  No work went into producing it, yet it was accepted upon the altar. Water is the source of all life. This water is also a symbol of being saved by the grace of God, as no work went in to producing it. It is a free gift of God.

 The water ceremony on the altar is a symbol of how our lives should be  before  God: pure and uncomplicated. 1 John 3v3 - Hebrews 10v22  A symbol of HaShem, God, accepting our service that is given with clean hands and a pure heart. Psalm 24.

 To the Samaritan woman Yeshua said that He was the living water, living as in eternal life, not soul life but spiritual life, the eternal life that comes from the Father in heaven.  When the Word tells us not to be afraid of the one who can kill the ‘soul’ here Yeshua used the Hebrew word, neshmah, which means soul life, physical life.  Matthew 10:28 Whereas when He spoke of the river of life He used the word, Hai’im  meaning Spiritual life.  This is the life that comes from the Father when we accept Yeshua as our Saviour, our Messiah.

 During this water pouring (Shimcha Beit HaSho`eva) there was great celebration,  Hag HaGadol.  People would wait up all night to see and be part of the ceremony.  There would be music and dancing in worship to our God; lights lit, enough to light the whole of Jerusalem.  It was a time of much rejoicing and of giving thanks for God’s goodness, His forgiveness and praying for the rains to come. The rains of the next harvest the rains that would bring life to the land and the people, from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12v3

 John 7:4 Yeshua’s  brothers  wanted Him to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast. Yeshua replied that the right time for Him had not yet come.  If He had gone with His brothers He would have most likely been welcomed as the conquering King but it was not time.

 First He had to come as Messiah Ben Joseph, the suffering servant and then later come as Messiah Ben David, the conquering King.

 Later, after His brothers had left He followed them to Jerusalem and entered the city quietly. He was there for the great celebrations, which built up as the days passed until the great finale.  When the worship was at it highest point on the last day of the Feast, the same day as they have the Dance of the Torah and the Dance of the Groom, as the music grew to its highest point and the celebrations were reaching a climax,

 Yeshua stood up and shouted:- If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believes in me as the scriptures have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Mayim Hai’im). John 7:37–38. This also a picture of the out pouring of the Holy Spirit, the one that Yeshua would send, John 15:26, to reveal all to us so we can see the Kingdom of God. John 3:3.

 This was a greater message to the people than when Yeshua stood up in the Synagogue at Nazareth and read from the Scriptures. (Luke 4)  Can you see the look on their faces as Yeshua stood amidst all these celebrations and cried out to them - “Ani  Mayim Hai’im,”? - I am the living water, the water of the spiritual life that can only come from God. Yeshua was showing His countenance in all its glory.

 It is interesting to note the one leading  the music at these celebrations was a flute player and was known as  “The Pierced One”.

 When we look back in to our Hebraic roots and  look at the context in which these things were said, the Word does come alive.  So can our faith in the Father and the Son He sent for our redemption from sin, so that we, too, can experience that celebration of Mayim Hai’im, living water in and over our lives.

 At the end of the Feast of Tabernacles but separate from it, is the last part of the religious year.  This is when the Torah is taken out of its holder (the Ark) and is paraded around with singing and dancing, this is SIMCHAT TORAH, the dance of the Torah also known as the dance of the Groom, the dance at the end of the wedding.

It is at the wedding that the Groom hands his Bride the cup of wine to drink from. After she drinks from the cup she hands it back to her Bridegroom and then he drinks from the same cup. The marriage is complete, or is it? There is one last act to be carried out. The Groom then takes the cup, places it on the floor and smashes it with his foot. In this act we can see;

 The marriage is complete.

Nobody else can drink from that cup.

There is nothing else that can be done all is completed.

And finally, the marriage will last as long as that cup is broken. Forever Amen.

 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Revelation 3:3

Yom Kippur THe Day of Atonement

 Dear Friends and Family, we have celebrated The Feast of Trumpets, and we blew up a storm. But now it is time to look forward to the next feast, Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement and what a day this will be. And the multitudes will gather from every tribe, tongue and nation and they will praise the Lord in one voice.

 “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12

 It will be a day like no other that has occurred since the beginning of time. However before the celebrations begin there is a time when we have to come before the Judgment Seat of God to explain what we have done with the lives God gave us. [2 Corinthians 5:10] Yes, every life is different and every life may take a different path but along that path we have choices. God has given us free will and sometimes we choose wrongly and then have to endure the consequences of that decision. The good news is God is always there to help us and when we turn to Him He is always there to forgive and this is where this feast comes in. [1 John 1:9]

 To understand what happened here we have to go back to the beginning where the process of our salvation began - Passover. We have all heard the story of how Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, but have we considered the first people Jesus died for? Most people have heard of the thieves on the cross. The first thief abused our Lord as He hung there in agony. "If you are who you are you will save us."

 One of the criminals who were hanging there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” … But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” [Luke 23:39-43]

 Jesus heard his cry and answered with such a wonderful promise: "Today you will with Me in paradise." The thief saw repented and was forgiven, Halleluyah.

 But there was another that day that was saved from the horrible death of crucifixion and his name was Barabbas. [John 18:40] In Hebrew this actually means Son of Abba or son of the father. Jesus was all so known as Bar Abba, Son of The Father. [2 John 1:3] Sounds a lot like the story of the scapegoat found in Leviticus 16:8. The people cried for the release of Barabbas the criminal and insisted that the Romans crucify Jesus the innocent one. The one full of guilt declared innocent and the one full of innocence declared guilty. Through this we can see hat we who are full of guilt are declared innocent because Jesus the Son of God, the innocent one, [2 Corinthians 5:21] took our sins upon Himself and died in our place. [1 Corinthians 15:3]

 So when we stand in front of the Lord giving account of our lives we know there is judgment for we all have to give an account of ourselves before God [Romans 14:12] and having run the race we will then receive the prize. [Philippians 3:14] We can receive the prize because we have confessed Jesus as Lord and Saviour and we know there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. [Romans 8:1] The innocent one was condemned in our place and we who were deserving of being condemned are set free. He has opened the way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies - our Father’s house. [John 14:2] Before this, of all the thousands of people that went to the Temple in Jerusalem, there was only one- the High Priest- who could enter the Holy of Holies. [Exodus 30:10] But now because of the sacrifice of one man, the Son of God, all who confess Jesus as Lord can enter and stand before the throne of God. [Hebrews 10:19-20] Can we just imagine what that will be like? I don't think words could ever try to describe something we have never seen. Paul saw it [2 Corinthians 12:3-4] and John saw it and neither were allowed to tell of what they saw. My Penny was once, when she was a low point, given a glimpse of Eternity. She said it was just a glimpse but in that moment in time all her cares were lifted from her because of that one very small glimpse. I have felt the love of God like a cloud over me several times and the power of God so strong you find it difficult to stand in that power.

 This is the Power that forgives all sins, the power that heals the sick and makes the blind to see and the deaf to hear. [Isaiah 61:1] This is the same power that rolled the stone away from the grave [Luke 24:2] where they had laid our Lord and it is the same power that raised Him back to life. [1 Peter 1:21] With our names written in the Book of Life, we will be able to stand before our Lord, we will be standing in the presence of the One who has created all things. [Colossians 1:16] I am sure it will be with head down, eyes full of tears and hearts beating more than they ever have throughout our lives. One day we will enter His heavenly kingdom where there is no more pain or tears. [Revelation 21:4] This is the promise we have when we know Jesus in our lives, when we stand before Him on the judgment day that will come, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Kippur means covering, which I believe is the same word used for the covering of Noah’s Ark, a covering that kept Noah safe when God was destroying the sinful world. We too have God’s covering when that judgment day comes, when we confess Jesus as Lord. It is the blood of our Lord and Saviour, as we are washed clean in His blood sacrifice [1 Peter 1:19] and through this we are the children of God [John 1:12-13] who as all fathers should, will protect His children from what is to come. [Psalm 20:5]

 Standing in Heaven we will be able to look into His face and then all the pain of the life we have had will be worth it as it has brought us closer to Him. [Romans 5:3-5] The good times, the bad times, all in the past as we stand in our glorious future singing the song Moses and standing in the love and glory of the Lord. [Revelation 15:1-4]

 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

 “Great and marvelous are Your works,

 O Lord God, the Almighty;  Righteous and true are Your ways,

 King of the nations!   “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?

 For You alone are holy;

 For all the nations will come and worship before You, Revelation 15:1-4

 For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah)

Rosh HaShanah, meaning the head of the year, the Jewish New Year, is with us again. It is interesting to note that some Orthodox Jewish people state that man was created on this day while others say the World began at this time. This comes about by the fact that in Hebrew the word Genesis is Berishit (Be, in the, and rishit (resheet) beginning. How they come to this conclusion is that the letters in the name Rishit are the same letters as in the month it occurs, the month of Tishri. That aside, this feast of the Lord is the fifth feast in the cycle of God’s Feasts.

 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. Leviticus 23:23-24

 It is a feast that is very different from the other Feasts in the fact that it occurs on the first day of the Jewish month, the first day of Tishri, whereas all the other feasts occur a set number of days into the month. This feast, also known as the Feast of Trumpets, which occurs as I said on the first day of the month creates a problem. Which is the first day of this month of Tishri? This may be easy if we work by the orbit of the Sun but the Biblical day works by the orbit of the Moon, as the Biblical day goes from evening to evening. [Genesis 1:5] Not to get too scientific, the orbit of the Moon is not as even as the Sun so nobody knows exactly when the day will begin if we work by the orbit of the Moon. To determine the point at which the day began, the ancient Rabbis had people watching for the rising of the moon to report when they had seen the moon rising in relation to the sun setting. So nobody really knew the hour or the day at which the day started.

 Within this there is some very interesting information for us as believers in the Jewish Messiah, Jesus. Let us look at the name of this feast - Feast of Trumpets. It is the only Feast where the Lord commands the trumpet to be sounded. Not only is it to be sounded, it is to be sounded one hundred times leading up to this feast. There is also a time of preparing ones self to come before the Lord and on this day the greeting is: L'shanah tovah tikatevu meaning "May you be inscribed for a good year" to paraphrase this term - "may your name be written in the book of righteousness for the coming year." This is because ten days later comes the Day of Atonement, which I will look at next week. So let us go back to the sounding of the trumpets and the statements of our Lord Jesus.

 Our Lord Jesus said very clearly when asked that He would return on the great trumpet blast. [Matthew 24:31] In Isaiah 27:13 the trumpet blast will call the people to worship on the Holy Mountain in Jerusalem. The Jewish community reads psalm 47 at this time because they see that it speaks of kingship and resurrection. Psalm 45:13-15 is also read at this time as it speaks of marriage. Is this time of Feast of Trumpets going to be heralding the arrival of the King of kings on His return for His Bride? Is this the time that the Book of life will be opened? [Revelation 20:12-15] We have another clue in this mystery and that is that it is common knowledge that Jesus was talking to the Jewish people. So they understood anything He said and Jesus did not have to explain every word He spoke. When He said: “Nobody knows the hour or the day” they would have understood His meaning. They knew that nobody knows the time of the rising of the moon to signal a new day in relation to the setting of the Sun.

 The question about this statement is what was Jesus trying to tell the people? Was He saying something that the people of the time clearly understood or was He trying to confuse them? I believe that Jesus was saying what they all knew.

 In 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 we read that at the sounding of the trumpet we will all be changed in the blink of an eye. Then we have 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, a scripture that also talks of the ingathering at the sound of the mighty trumpet blast.

 Whatever the answer there is one truth, Jesus is returning and when He does He will come with much fanfare for His Bride who has made herself ready. [Revelation 19:7] His return will be heralded much more than His first coming. At His first coming He came as babe and wise men and shepherds came to worship Him. When Jesus returns He will return in His entire splendor as a conquering King [Revelation 17:14] and every knee will bow and confess Him as Lord. [Philippians 2:8-11] We will be able to look upon the Saviour of the World, the one we have read about and been taught about. This time we will be there either by being raised to be with Him or to be raptured. Either way we will see Him in all His glory, [Revelation 19:11-16] the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the World. [Revelation 5:6] He was raised the first fruits from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:20] and sits at the right hand of the Father. [Hebrews 1:3] One day all who confess Jesus as Lord will see our Lord and Saviour at the sound of the trumpet. [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18] Whether or not He is returning at this time we do not know for sure but it is a strong possibility looking at the scriptures.

 The Lord’s return will remain a mystery until He comes, but in the words of Derek Prince a mystery is not something that is hidden forever but something that can be searched out and acted upon. Yes, there is plenty of evidence to His return at this time as The Day of Atonement is but ten days after this feast and then comes the Feast of Tabernacles, the big party and the wedding feast. The trumpet call is both a warning and an ingathering. It is a time to search our hearts as to our standing with Jesus as the Day of Judgment approaches. Yes there is no condemnation in Messiah Jesus [Romans 8:1] but we are to stand before the Judgment seat of God to give account of our actions, either good or bad. [2 Corinthians 5:10] The main thing to remember in all of this is that Jesus is coming for His Bride and we will be taken to the room He has prepared for us. [John 14:2] Therefore let us ask the question of ourselves - are we ready to stand before our Lord? Have we made ourselves ready? Are we dressed in the wedding garments ready for His return? [Revelation 7:14] Are we truly children of the living God? [John 1:9-13]

 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. Matthew 24:29-31

The Lambs are rescued

Last week we stayed on a sheep farm far from the main road. It was great to see the stars in the night sky and to see the animals in the field, just like when I was a boy. As we were leaving the property a ewe with two lambs decided it was better to jump the cattle stop than move to the side of the road. The ewe just managed to make it to the other side but the two lambs did not. One lamb was lying on the cattle stop so I picked it up and put in in the paddock with its mum. The other lamb slid through the stop and was running around under the rails of the cattle stop and every time I thought I had it caught, it dashed past my outreached hands. So by the use of a piece of cardboard and my poster for my book sales I trapped the lamb in a corner and was able to lift it out to be with its twin and its mother. As we were leaving it was once more running freely in the fields.

 Later I was thinking of this situation and the parable that Jesus spoke of:

“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine, which have not gone astray. “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish”. Matthew 18:12-14

 Now here was a little lamb that had fallen through the cattle stop and in big trouble. I had three options, first I could have just driven on thinking the owners would find the lamb and rescue it. Or I could have turned around and driven back to the owners and told them they would have to get the lamb out. But this would have taken time and the lamb could be very stressed by the time they got back to the cattle stop. Finally I did what most people would do and that was rescued the Lamb and set it free. This, I believe is a picture of our Father in Heaven. He looked down and saw all the lost sheep of the world and knew what had to be His next move. [Ezekiel 34:15] God saw that we were sinners and needed rescuing. [Romans 3:23] God had used a Lamb as a symbol of His love to rescue the Israelites from Egypt [Exodus 12:4-6] so it was time to act again. He could have just kept on walking and hope sometime, someday we would come to our senses and repent and turn from our wicked ways. [1 Chronicles 7:14] But how long would that take and what sort of condition would we be in by the time we cried out to Him to save us from ourselves and from the things of the world? Hear my cry oh Lord! [Psalm 39:12]

 God could look for someone to come and help but how long would they take to get their message to us and would we listen?  Moses was given a message to take to the people but when things got rough the people were quick to return to their old ways. [Exodus 32:1] Isaiah told the people of what would happen if they did not obey the Lord but they did not listen. [Isaiah Chapter 1] Jeremiah wrote a scroll to give to the King but the King tore it up and threw it in the fire. [Jeremiah 36:20-24] Ezekiel was stirred to talk to the people of what they had done wrong, [Ezekiel 36:16-21] some listened and some did not. The only answer was for God Himself to do something.

 God had told the people many times that it would be Him and He alone who would save us with His outstretched arms. [Exodus 6:6] Scripture tells us He is our salvation, He is our only hope and when Moses had the encounter with God on the mountain his face glowed. [Exodus 34:29] Moses had seen the glory of the Lord and he was changed forever. Moses had a life changing experience as Abraham had, [Genesis 15:1-6] as did many of the Prophets. It was time to bring this change to the people of the world.

 There was a Temple in Jerusalem where only one man a year could enter into the Holy of Holies. It was time to allow all who repented to be able to enter the Father's House not here but in the heaven, to come in a new and living way. [Hebrews 10:19-22] It was time to take matters personally into His own hands.

 On a cold dark night a couple huddled in a manger in a little town called Bethlehem in the Judean hills and the wife was heavy with child. Sometime during the night the promised Saviour to come, came into the world. [Luke 2:11]  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

 The final plan of salvation had been put into motion and the lost lambs of the world were on the way to being rescued. Kings came [Matthew 2:1-2] and servants came [Luke 2:15-16] and saw the glory of the Lord. Simeon [Luke 2:25-29] and Anna [Luke 2:36-38] saw and knew this was the one promised to bring forgiveness, the one as it turned out that was the light of the world, [John 8:12] the bread of Life [John 6:35] and the first fruits [1 Corinthians 15:20] presented to God. God incarnate, the Word made flesh, [John 1:14] who walked among us. The One that Abraham saw and was glad, the One David spoke of and the One who Micah said would come out of Bethlehem. [Micah 5:2] Yes God himself had come and walked the earth to rescue that little lost lamb – you and me, who were trapped in sin, running around in circles not able to find our way out. But Jesus came to set the captives free [Luke 4:18] so we could run freely in the fields knowing our sins were and are forgiven once and forever because the Great Shepherd cared enough to come and rescue us. His lambs were lost but now are found because we are set free to worship Him knowing that He alone is worthy to give us that freedom.

 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12