jay dockins’ october 2011 rock of israel newsletter

Shalom Haverim! (Hello Friends!)

September was a time of busyness. Rock of Israel was involved in two major outreaches, the conclusion of our outreach at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and the Fair in Los Angeles, California! It was also a time, personally, of getting adjusted back to the schedule which is mine during the school year. It is an exciting time of year at which we begin to look forward to our annual Staff Conference at the end of October.  And this year, the last two of the Feasts of the Lord, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) are celebrated in October!  I will briefly cover these two feasts.

Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the sixth of the Feasts of the Lord, the second of the Fall feasts, and the most solemn day of the Jewish year. It is the last day of Teshuva (repentance) and occurs on the tenth day of Tishrei each year. Instructions for this day are given in Leviticus 23:26-32, and include:
1. A day of rest, a Sabbath in which no work is to be done.
2. A day of humbling oneself before the Lord.
3. A day when the sins of the people (Israel) could be atoned for (covered).

Briefly, this day featured the offering of a bull and two goats, one as a sacrifice and the other as a scapegoat who would carry away the sins of the people. The bull is killed and its blood is offered in the Holy of Holies for the sins of the High Priest. The two goats are brought before the Lord and the role that each one will play is determined. The goat which is selected to be offered is killed and it’s blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle. The scapegoat is taken and the sins of the people are confessed as the High Priest lays his hands on its head. It is then led into the wilderness and left where it will never return to the camp, symbolizing that the sins of the people have been removed, never more to return!

Yom Kippur has a few names which it is known by:
1. It is the Day of Atonement, the day when the sins of the people were covered.
2. It is called Face to Face because the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies and was literally in the manifest Presence of God, thus meeting God face to face!
3. It is called the Fast because the people were to fast completely on that day to show their mourning for their sins.
4. It is also called the Great Shofar (trumpet). There were three trumpets in the Feasts of the Lord: the First Trump at Shavuot (Pentecost) symbolizing the voice of God which sounded like a trumpet, the Last Trump at Rosh HaShanah which symbolized the awakening blast which will sound to bring forth the resurrection and catching up of the righteous dead and the catching up of those who are alive and in Christ, and the Great Trump at Yom Kippur to proclaim that sins have been atoned!
5. It is also called Neilah, the closing of the gates of heaven. The time of Teshuvah (repentance) is over and the gates of heaven are closed!

In summation, Yom Kippur reveals the glorious truth that God deals with sin, both requiring and accepting sacrifice and that sin that has been atoned for is removed to never return! Yom Kippur begins this year at sundown on October 7 and ends at sundown on October 8.

Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, is the seventh and last of the Feast of the Lord and occurs on the fifteenth day of Tishrei. (A sukkah is a temporary dwelling place.) It is a picture of the future when God will dwell with His people as He did when He led them through the Wilderness after the Exodus! During this time, the LORD dwelt with His people, providing for their every need (feeding them, clothing them, cooling them during the day and warming them at night). During their wandering in the Wilderness, the Lord literally dwelt with His people, even to the place of having His own tent (the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting) in the camp!

Sukkot has several names.
1. The Season of Our Joy- The people were to rejoice because they had repented, their sins had been atoned for, their every need was being supplied and God dwelling with
them! The rabbis have famously stated that if a person has not seen the joy of Sukkot, that they have never seen rejoicing in their life!
2. The Festival of Ingathering- This feast came at the time of the harvest when the fields, orchards and vineyards are gathered in! All that has been worked for during the year has come to fruition and was gathered in. It is a tremendous time of joy and celebration.
3. The Feast of Dedication- Solomon dedicated the Temple at the time of Sukkot.
4. The Feast of the Nations- This feast will be required of all nations during the Millennial Kingdom.

There is much Messianic meaning in the Feast of Tabernacles. I will share just a couple of things which I hope will cause you to dig deeper!

1. It was at this feast, during the Water Pouring ceremony on the seventh day, that Jesus made His famous statement in John 7:37, 38 Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

2. It is believed by many Christian scholars that Jesus was born during Tabernacles. (more on this in a later post)

3. There was a special day at the end of the celebration of Tabernacles called Shemini Atzeret and another celebration called Simchat Torah which were celebrated simultaneously. The first is an invitation from the LORD to stay with Him one more day and the second is the celebration of the Torah which had been given! (If Jesus was born on the first day of Tabernacles, would this not have been the day when He was taken to the Temple to be presented before the Lord?)

There is much more to share about Yom Kippur and Sukkot. I think that I should send out more information in the next few days concerning these two festivals. Watch out for a possible bonus in the next few days!

Jewish Vocabulary!

Kippur- this word means, “to cover “or “to atone”. It is related to the word “kippa” which is another name for the yarmulke, the head covering which Jewish men wear to cover their heads because the Divine Presence is always over their head.

Simchat- this word simply means, “rejoicing”!

I am currently scheduling services for 2012! Contact me for information and dates!
1-800-207-7780 or 1-800-544-0829
@JayDockins (on Twitter)
Jay Dockins (on Facebook)


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