Hebrew Roots
Exploring the Hebrew Roots of the Faith 
Issue 96-2; Vol 1, No. 2   July/August, 1996

~ Featured Inside ~

The Feasts
of the LORD

Tisha B'Av

Repentance, Judgment,
Awe & Reconciliation

Food for Thought

In the Beginning

Jerusalem: A Cup of Trembling

Iron Sharpens Iron

Endnotes

A View From
Beit Shalom
Go up in peace to your house. 
1 Sam. 25:35; 

Shalom Aleichem,

         Peace be unto you through our Father in heaven, and His Son, our Saviour, Yeshua HaMashiach.
         We sincerely hope you found the first issue of Hebrew Roots to be spiritually nourishing and uplifting. A primary purpose of this publication is to be of assistance in feeding the flock of God. However, this publication is not, and should not be, your sole source of nourishment. That would be like eating only one kind of food all of the time, very tiring and not very healthy. Your first, and best source of nourishment is daily study of the Scriptures, both Old and New. After the scriptures comes Messiah centered fellowship. Following that are other articles, books and tapes. We hope Hebrew Roots will be, for you, one of these other sources of spiritual nourishment.
         Initially we sent out over three hundred letters offering a newsletter and/or taped messages. By the time we were ready to mail our first issue we had seventy subscribers. This is a nice Biblical number (if you are into that kind of thing). There were seventy descendants of Jacob that went to Egypt: “...all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.” (Ex. 1:5). Millions came back out; “...about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them...” (Ex. 12:37.38). Israel had seventy elders that made up the great tribunal. (Ex. 24:1; Num. 11:16). It is said, that when God gave the ten commandments at Mt. Sinai it was heard over all the earth in the seventy languages (in Biblical terms there are considered to be seventy nations) that were extant after the tower of Babel experience. The Sanhedrin (the supreme court of justice in Judea) had seventy members. The Greek version of the Old Testament is called the Septuagint because it was translated from the Hebrew by seventy Hebrew scribes. Also there were seventy disciples that Yeshua sent out to the various cities of Judea. (Acts 10:1). So, we are pleased that the first mailing included seventy of God’s people.
         Initially we printed 150 copies of the first issue so there would be plenty of extras. Soon additional subscriptions came in along with referrals. It was not long before we had to go to the printer and get an additional 100 copies. We pray that God will continue to add to our mailing list as it pleases Him. If any of you would like to have a sample issue of Hebrew Roots sent to a friend or relative, please let us know. We will be happy to oblige. Our desire is to provide a publication and tapes that will draw people closer to our Father and Saviour.

         One rather troubling aspect of entering into this venture is to learn how very hurt so many people are from their past church experiences. Some are biter. Some are angry. Some have taken up with doctrines that promote hostility towards other groups of people.
         A good friend of ours, who has been in the Body of Messiah for most all of his adult life, keeps telling us; “We are all abused children.” We hear from people who have experienced abuse from many sides. We see that damage has been done, not only by individuals against their brethren, but also through some of the dogmas that have developed within the various organizations. In some cases these dogmas were not even sanctioned by the Church organizations themselves, but seem to have grown up as ‘folk dogmas’ within the Body. Some of these dogmas may have been good advice, others were not. The real problem was that they seemed to take on lives of their own and became “articles of faith” to many of the brethren. Those who did not go along with these ‘folk dogmas’ were branded as “liberals” or even worse. It was sometimes even said; “They probably never were truly converted.” It is time to put that kind of rhetoric behind us.

         “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
(II Con 5:17)

         “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
(Col. 3:12-13)

         On the positive side, we have also heard from a number of people who are feeling much like they did when they were first baptized. They are full of the Holy Spirit and are bubbling with joy and love. They are drawing close to God and their lives are improving as a result. As one person told us; “I feel like God is with me all of the time now. I didn’t use to feel that way. But now I know He is there, ready to help me whenever I need it.” Praise God! We pray tat all of you will allow our Father in heaven to be with you in this same intimate manner.
         This issue features a number of articles on varying topics. We start off with The Feasts of the LORD, a brief introduction to the Festivals of God which the world forgot. This is followed by The Ninth of Av, a non-biblical fast day of the Jews that has had an incredible number of events take place on it, all of which arc of great importance to the Jewish people; and a day which may be significant in the fulfillment of prophecy. In Repentance, Judgment, Awe and Reconciliation you will find a lengthy article about a season that begins with the Hebrew month of Elul; includes the Feast of Trumpets; and ends on the Day of Atonement. Because of its length, you may want to study a section at a time. Food for Thought takes a look at worship and then focuses on some of the words of King Solomon, said to be the wisest man to ever live. This is fob lowed by The Roots of Our Faith, Part I: In the Beginning, which begins an abbreviated scriptural story of God’s chosen people. (Maybe you know someone who would like to be introduced to the Hebrew roots of our Faith, though this type of condensed scriptural story. If so, please pass it on.)
         The regular features; Jerusalem; a Cup of Trembling, Iron Sharpens Iron and Endnotes round out issue number two.

         Some of you have asked about Feast sites for this fall. The Endnotes section lists a number of ‘non-aligned’ sites. It is our understanding that the organizers of many of these sites are seeking to provide a full opportunity for learning, fellowship and worship on a more intimate level.
         We cannot comment on the style or format of any of the sites mentioned except one, but we believe they are all striving to provide a full range of activities for their attendees. The site we attended last year (and God willing will attend again this year) was at Sis-Q-Meadows near Cave Junction, Oregon. It was totally different from the traditional Feasts we had attended in the past. Sis-Q-Meadows is a Church of God, Seventh Day camp located in the coast range mountains of southwestern Oregon. The setting is beautiful. We all stayed on the grounds, either in the dormitory rooms or in recreational vehicles. We ate our meals together, helped prepare the meals and cleaned up afterward. There were activities scheduled all day long plus in the evenings as well. While no one was required to attended anything, almost everyone attended practically everything. Because there were so many opportunities for learning and fellowship, no one was ever in the position of having excess time on their hands, and since there were not large numbers of people, we were able to become better acquainted with everyone.
         It is our prayer that each of you will find a Feast site that can provide you with a true spirit of love, joy and peace, and an opportunity to grow in grace and knowledge.
         This month we are again offering two taped messages. Part II of The Roots of Our Faith series is subtitled, The Ten Trials of Abraham. According to tradition, Abraham endured ten different trails during his lifetime. Most of these are mentioned in scripture, but some are not. The purpose of this teaching is to help us understand more fully the life of the one called; “..the friend of God.” (Jas. 2:23). The second tape is entitled, Why Do You Love God? In it we explore the range of motives that propel people into that most important relationship of their life, the one with God Almighty.

         “Who hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
(Col 1:13,15-17)

         We have many things for which we should bless God. The foremost is that He has called us into His very family. But, the earth itself is also a very great blessing. There is so much beauty in the natural world. God did not have to create such a beautiful place. He did it because He loves us and wants us to be able to enjoy life!

                  May the shalom of God
                  be with you always,

                  Dean & Susan Wheelock

      Hebrew Roots is supported entirely by the prayers and freewill donations of it’s subscribers. It is published several times a year by Dean & Susan Wheelock. Subscriptions are free (based on availability of funds) to anyone who sincerely desires to "...grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..."
(II Pet. 3:18)

      Those wishing to assist financially in this teaching ministry can do so by sending a check or money order, payable in US funds, to:

Hebrew Roots
P0 Box 98
Lakewood, WI 54138
1-715-757-2775

Copyright August, 1996
All rights reserved.

 

Feasts

The Feasts
of the LORD

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
(Lev. 23:1-2)

 

         Every nation has holidays that are special to its people. In the United States of America we observe a number of special, non-religious, national holidays such as Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day.
         In ancient Israel, seven special days with religious significance were given by God to the Israelite people. However, these days were not called holidays of Israel but rather “...the feasts of the LORD,...” (Lev. 23:2). The word ‘feasts’ is translated from the Hebrew word moed (mow’-ed) which is Strong’s #4150 and is defined as: “an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; spec. a festival; (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting...” Most of our readers are familiar with these special days. They include the first and last days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and the ‘Last Great Day’. These are called “holy convocations” and are considered to be high Sabbath days, similar to the weekly Sabbath, during which no servile work is to be done.
         Every year, many of God’s people take time out from their daily lives to observe the annual “Feasts of the LORD.” (Lev. 23:2). This year, the first of the Fall Festival days, (based on the traditional Hebrew lunar/solar calendar) is the Feast of Trumpets, and it falls on September 14th. In the Jewish world it is called Rosh HaShanah (Rowsh Hah Shah-nah’) and means “head of the year”. Next in line, on September 23, comes the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur (Yohm Key-poor’). Finally, there is the eight day Festival known as the Feast of Tabernacles, which this year runs from September 28th through October 5th. In Hebrew it is called Sukkot (Sue-coat’).
         The fall Festivals, along with those held in the spring are, in reality, rehearsals. They actually rehearse events relevant to God’s plan of salvation. For Believers, the spring Festival days (Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost) have all been fulfilled in the first corning of Yeshua HaMashiach and the sending of the Ruach HaKodesh (Rue-ach Hah Koh-desh’ = the Holy Spirit).. These days are now observed as ‘memorial rehearsals’, so that we might remember the things God has done for us on each specific day. The fall Festivals look forward to their fulfillment in Yeshua’s second coming, making these days rehearsals of events yet future.
         Even though the Festivals themselves are considered to be rehearsals, it was also the practice in Yeshua’s day (as it is today in the Orthodox Jewish community) for an individual to prepare one’s self for these ‘rehearsal’ days. Sort of like learning your lines before you go to play practice, or practicing your music part before going to choir rehearsal.
         The Festivals, are also called ‘appointed times’. God has set these days to be special appointments in the working out of His plan here on earth.
         The article, Repentance, Judgment, Awe and Reconciliation, explores both the ‘appointed time/rehearsals’ as well as the traditional preparations, for the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The Jews have carried these understandings and traditions down to the modern day from antiquity. Much can be learned by understanding the traditions passed down from before the days of Yeshua.


 

Special Holidays of the House of Judah

         There are several other days that were anciently (as well as today) observed by the house of Judah, or as we know them today, the Jews. These holidays are not commanded by scripture, but many of them do have religious significance. One is quite familiar to most all the world, and that is Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, or Festival of Lights. It falls in our Gregorian calendar month of December. Many Believers have not noticed in the scriptures, that Yeshua (Jesus) is mentioned as observing this festival; “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter, and Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.” (John 10:22-23) (More about this in a future issue.)

         Another festival of the Jews that is somewhat familiar to many non-Jews is the Feast of Purim. It is based on the book of Esther and is held one month before Passover, usually about early to mid-March. It is a festival that is primarily directed toward the children.
         The Jews, however, observe several other special days which have national significance, four of which are fast days. These fast days are referenced in scripture as being days that will eventually become feast days.

         “And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.”
(Zech. 8:18-19)

         It is interesting to note that this passage concludes with a verse indicating the Jews will one day be the teachers of the world about the things of God.

         “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We ivill go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”
(Zech. 8:23)

         Just what are these four fast days of the house of Judah, and why are they observed? The fast of the fourth month is held on 17 Tammuz (Tahm-mooz’), this day falls in late June or early July. Several historical events occurred on this day. First of all it is said to be the day that Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and found the children of Israel worshipping the golden calf It is also the day the Roman army succeeded in breaching the walls of Jerusalem, the day the daily sacrifices came to an end because there were no more available animals, the day the Torah scroll was burned by a villain, and the day that Jewish traitors erected an idol in the Temple. The fast of the fifth month is held on 9 Av (Ahv). This day falls in late July or early August. It will be discussed in detail in the following article and it is called Tisha B’Av (Tish-shah Bee-Ahv) in Hebrew. The fast of the seventh month mentioned here is on 3 Tishri (Tish-ree), seven days before the Day of Atonement (another fast day), and is called the Fast of Gedaliah. It commemorates the assassination of Gedaliah who was the last governor of Judea. He was appointed governor by the Babylonians after they had destroyed the first Temple in 586 BCE. The story is told in Jeremiah 41. The fast of the tenth month falls on 10 Tevet (Teh-vet’) and marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian forces. It falls in late December or early January.
         Three of these fast days are minor’ fast days. That means fasting is only practiced during the daylight hours, from sunrise to sunset. However, the 9th of Av is a full fast day, just like the Day of Atonement. Fasting on both the 9th of Av and Atonement goes from sundown the previous day to after sundown of the given day.
         While all four of these days are in some way related to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the reason the 9th of Av is a full fast day, is because it is by far the most profound of them all.
         Tisha B’Av commemorates a great number of tragic events in the history of the Jewish people. The fact that all of them fall on (or very near) the same day cannot be attributed to mere coincidence. (An expression in Judaism states; “there are no coincidences”). Because so many tragic events took place on this date it behooves us to be aware of it on our calendars and to watch it carefully. It is quite possible that God will again use this day to bring special events to pass for the house of Judah. In fact, some believe He recently communicated pending prophetic action by what took place on this very day in 1994 as noted in the article below, Tisha B’Av.

                  DEW

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