PART 2 - WHY EKKLESIA REPLICATES “THE LORD’S APPOINTED TIMES” BY Doug Krieger (Another in a Series on Ekklesia) This 9/24 Feast of Dedication is AMPLIFIED TO THE UTTERMOST in the “Ultimate Dedication” of the Latter House
And, although the Second Temple was altogether inferior to Solomon’s majestic First Temple, the LORD so encouraged His “Two Sons of Oil” (Zerubbabel the Governor and Joshua the High Priest – Haggai 2:4) that He declared this far-reaching prophecy regarding the ultimate manifestation of the Holy District and New Jerusalem’s Temple/House as seen in Ezekiel 40-48 and Revelation 21; to wit: “For thus says the LORD of hosts; ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS, and I will fill this temple (house) with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter temple (house) shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give PEACE; says the LORD of hosts’” (Haggai 1:6-9).
The Glory of the Latter House Shall be Greater than the Former
This is a marvelous prophecy—it does NOT refer to the Second Temple, nor the glory of Solomon’s Temple nor of Herod’s “redo” of the Second Temple—but of the ultimate manifestation of the Oneness of His people who shall constitute the very Temple of the Lord—this is the PEACE, the Good News of the Gospel of Peace which would ultimately resound in the bringing together of the TWO (both Jew/Judah and Ephraim/Gentile) to be ONE NEW MAN—SO MAKING PEACE through the “blood of His cross” – THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS, our Lord Jesus Christ, HAS COME . . . for we read: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation . . . that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross . . . and He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near . Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a DWELLING PLACE OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT” (Eph. 2:14-22, excerpts). And again . . . “Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth…I will shake all nations . . . and I will fill this house with glory” (Haggai 1:6-7). And the prophecy is repeated in Hebrews 12:26-29: Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire. No, this is NOT far-fetched – this is God’s ULTIMATE INTENTION and PURPOSE! This is the “Glory of the Latter House shall be greater than the former!” “Behold the TABERNACLE OF GOD is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God . . . But I saw NO TEMPLE IN IT [i.e., the Holy City, New Jerusalem], for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:3, 22). This is the eternal relationship wrought between YHWH and His people for eternity! This has always been His Eternal Purpose: “I will set My tabernacle among you . . . I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Lev. 26:11-12); “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer. 31:33); “‘Thus they shall know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,’ says the Lord God. ‘You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,’ says the Lord God” (Ezk. 34:30-31); “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore” (Ezk. 37:27-28) It is after the Lord’s final statement: “‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Hag. 2:9) that the three 9/24s are mentioned in Haggai 2—connecting the Feast of a future Feast of Dedication with the Temple and its association with the Antichrist archetype, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (which automatically connects to the final Antichrist who “shall sit in the Temple declaring himself as God in the Temple of God” as found in 2 Thess. 2), before the final Feast of Dedication is celebrated, I believe, prior to the Millennium and the manifestation of the Holy District with Holy City found in Ezekiel 40-48 whereby the fulfillment of this prophecy found in Daniel 9:24 shall come to fruition: “To seal up vision and prophecy, and to ANOINT THE MOST HOLY PLACE” (which is His Temple and Messiah in absolute union). Jesus at the Feast of Dedication juxtaposed to Antichrist In John’s gospel (John 10:22-42) Jesus declares: “I and My Father are one” (vs. 30). By this He declared His divinity. He was NOT saying, as some ignorantly extrapolate: I and My Father are in agreement! The Father and the Son agree but more so: The Father and the Son are ONE! Jesus came to the Temple and declared this: “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter (24/25 Kislev – the ninth month is always around the Gregorian Christmas time). And Jesus walked in the TEMPLE, in Solomon’s porch . . . then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, ‘How long do You keep us in doubt (lit “suspense”)? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’” (John 10:22-24). The Jewish leadership (religious) obviously knew the implications of the Lord’s statement: “I and My Father are one.” For we read: “The Jews answered Him, saying, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, MAKE YOURSELF GOD.’” (John 10:33). Please notice – not “equal with God” but “make yourself God!”
Jesus at the Feast of Dedication in John 10
Dancing around reinterpretations of the text is naught but eisogesis to the extreme – how else can one interpret Jesus’ final statement recorded by John in Solomon’s Porch, in the temple: “. . . believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:38). It was shortly thereafter that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead—that WORK was incomparable to all His other works during His earthly ministry . . . and many believed in Him (John 11). What we have here, in essence, is JESUS DECLARING HIMSELF AS GOD IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD! That is precisely what Satan incarnate into the spirit of the Antichrist shall do. Thus, the Man of Sin will be revealed as the Son of Perdition, the Lawless One who with at his coming shall perform: “ . . . according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (Ref. 2 Thess. 2:3-10) . . . and as “Satan entered into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve” (Luke 22:3) . . . . . . to commit his dastardly deed of betrayal, even so shall Satan enter into the body/temple of the Antichrist and commit not only the desecration of a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem but the desecration of the human spirit—from thenceforth this final Antichrist shall be entitled THE BEAST, for a beast cannot fellowship with the Living God—for a beast is NOT made in the image of God . . . animals have no spirit. And where shall this Abomination of Desolation transpire? “. . . the Son of Perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:33-4). Yes, this understanding of Jesus’ divinity took place at the Feast of Dedication—Kislev 24/25. The Feast of Tabernacles is Tied to the Feast of Dedication Yes, both the Feast of Tabernacles–the dedication of the Solomonic Temple in the year 958 BC (some 7 years in its building and being completed in the eleventh year of King Solomon’s reign–2 Chron. 3:2; 1 Kings 6:1, 37-38--i.e., between 965 B.C. [480 years after the first Passover in Egypt in 1445 BC unto 965 BC in the fourth year of King Solomon’s reign] and 958 BC (7 years in building from 965 BC unto 958 BC) and the ultimate Feast of Tabernacles celebrated at the dedication of the Solomonic Temple in 958/7 BC . . . AND . . . the Feast of Dedication celebrated in 165 BC on 24/25 Kislev (the 24/25th Day of the Ninth Month) and connected by the Prophet Haggai . . . thus, we must see the New Testament’s recording of Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles! In John 7:2-39 the Triune God–Father, Son and Spirit are revealed. The ultimate revelation centers on these passages: “Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught . . . On the last day, that great day of the feast [the Feast of Tabernacles’ Seventh Day of the Feast], 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 innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:14, 37-39). I bring to our attention Jesus’ arrival at the Feast of Tabernacles “about the MIDDLE OF THE FEAST.” Why? Because this was a seven-day feast and He did not show up until “the middle of the week” (7 days or at the mid-point at 3 1/2 days). Is this somehow a reflection of both the final week of Daniel’s 70th Week and, as well, of our Lord’s 3 1/2 years of earthly ministry? Is this a possible reflection of the very Passion Week in which from Nisan 10–His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday unto His crucifixion on Nisan 13, Passover Preparation Day–Wednesday (morning) or 3 1/2 days of the Week–i.e. Sunday (morning only); Monday Evening/Morning; Tuesday Evening/Morning; Wednesday Evening/Morning unto Nisan 13/14–and from thence, Thursday Passover Evening/Morning; Friday Evening/Morning; Saturday Evening/Morning; Sunday (evening only) unto Nisan 17–thus, 3 1/2 days for a complete 7 days total or one week? I believe so–for when Jesus came mid-way during the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles He was declaring his opposition to Satan’s inhabiting the spirit of the Antichrist (as well) by declaring that at the end of the 3 1/2 days left in the Feast of Tabernacles (i.e., at the end of 7-days) He would shortly be glorified and from thence, all who would believe into Him would receive the Holy Spirit and all the Promise of fellowship within the Triune God! Whereas Satan would “enter into the body/temple of the Antichrist” akin to that of entering into Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3) – deadening the spirit of man – this same Jesus, when glorified, would declare: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink . . . out of his innermost being (the spirit of man) will flow rivers of living water . . . He spoke concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39). DEATH vs. LIFE and life more abundantly! That is precisely why Jesus participated first in John 7 at the Feast of Tabernacles as the Life-giving Spirit and secondly, at the Feast of Dedication to declare His Divinity in the Temple of God which Temple today we are! Thus, the Life-Giving Spirit of Christ resides in His Holy Temple–His Life infuses the Temple of the Lord, the Latter House with GLORY – for He is glorified in His saints! Even His ultimate glory: “On the day He comes to be glorified in His saints” (2 Thess. 1:10; Eph. 3:21–“Unto Him be glory in the Ekklesia“). Thus, will the future Antichrist present himself “in the middle of the week” of Daniel’s yet future Seventieth Week in the Temple of God, declaring that he is God at some future Feast of Tabernacles, Nations, Weeks? The probability in contrast to the Life-Giving Spirit of Christ is most likely! What is Haggai really saying? Now, with the aforementioned remarks as a backdrop, the THREE uses of the Twenty-fourth Day of the Ninth Month made by Haggai in Haggai chapter 2 take on profound consequence: “10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, 11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the Lord, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean.” (Haggai 2:10-14) At issue here is the defilement of the people of Judah who have returned—they were condemned by Haggai for their mixture. The “holy” and the “profane” were NOT separated—neither were they. Because they were contaminated by these mixtures “every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean” (Hag. 2:14). It is a sad commentary upon God’s people who “offer unto the Lord” that which has become unclean. Yes, it starts out as “holy meat” and kept from anything dead—but then the Lord’s servants contaminate the holy with the profane and vainly attempt to offer it unto the Lord . . . but now it is UNCLEAN! Yes, you have received the “holy meat” as from the Lord but then you place it in the “fold of your garment” and then the “edge” of that garment “touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food” and you think that by so touching you can make these items “holy”? Answers the priest: NO! No, because the SELF has gotten into the mix and destroyed the purity of the message. The message is pure, but the vessel conveying it is impure—and everything that “selfish garment” touches will be considered unholy for it was NOT holy to begin with! We think that since we bear “holy meat” that everything we touch will somehow bear witness to the original “holy meat”—but such “transference” is contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot distribute holiness akin to a commodity. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit—it is not gained by osmosis or “being around” someone . . . it is sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God and cannot be contaminated by the flesh, nor by the soulish man. Be aware, God Almighty has been known to speak through Balaam’s ass! His preference is to speak through you and me – but is the vessel out of whom He pours His Living Water prepared for the Master? Sure, we can offer all we want—“and what they offer there is unclean.” 15 Now then, consider from this day onward.[a] Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the Lord, 16 how did you fare? When[b] one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the Lord. 18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider: 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.” (Haggai 2:15-19) Now, the “TEMPLE OF THE LORD” (vs. 15) comes into view. We are to consider the “diminishing results” of our own futility because we have not taken to heart the Temple of the Lord . . . and we must consider this in light of “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former” . . . for “In this place I will give peace” (Hag. 2:9). Again, NOT to extrapolate this to the ONENESS (peace) of God’s people—the ultimate TEMPLE, the foundation, place of ONENESS with the Almighty—well, in a word, one is simply spiritually MYOPIC! FOCUS: “The latter house shall be greater than the former” (Hag. 2:9) . . . For “From the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid—consider it” (Hag. 2:18). Indeed: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11) . . . “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22). It is only then that our barns shall be filled; only then will there be an abundant yield of fruit . . . BUT FROM THIS DAY (9/24) I WILL BLESS YOU. Really, do you actually think without the laying of the foundation there can be any blessing? Is it possible, without standing together upon such a foundation being laid in Zion—signaling our ONENESS IN MESSIAH, in His One Body (the “latter house”) that there can be any blessing? It is only when we take this definitive stand with His People—FOR THE LORD—that we hear: “from this day I will bless you.” What day? “Consider now from this day forward, FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH DAY OF THE NINTH MONTH . . . from the DAY that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid—CONSIDER IT!” How many of us have labored “outside of this reality” – outside the Temple – we have built upon false foundations, sadly so, “wood, hay, and stubble” and not “gold, silver, precious stones” – why? Because even that which we have built upon and the materials we have utilized have been incapable of building the House of the Lord IN SPIRIT—these temporal items will be BURNED on that day. Is the seed still in the barn? Before we move to the final 9/24 (the third in the set of 9/24s), we must: “‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid–CONSIDER IT: IS THE SEED STILL IN THE BARN? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.'” (Haggai 2:18-19) It is abundantly clear that since the prophetic vision given through the prophet Haggai pinpoints “the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former…and in this place I will give peace” (Hag. 2:9) it, therefore, bespeaks beyond the laying of the foundation of the Second Temple–it projects into the future reality: “Unto Him be glory in the Ekklesia by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen” (Eph. 3:21). In Ephesians 3:1-20 the great Mystery concerning the Messiah (the Christ) and His Ekklesia (aka, “the Church”) is amplified: “That the Nations (aka, the Gentiles) should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . . . that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the DISPENSATION OF THE MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the EKKLESIA to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the ETERNAL PURPOSE which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:1-12, excerpts). This is the LATTER HOUSE–GREATER THAN THE FORMER…This is the bringing together of Judah and Ephraim/the Nations. Therefore: IS THE SEED STILL IN THE BARN? No, EACH ONE HAS been given a portion of the “riches of the land” – There are vine seeds, fig tree seeds, pomegranate seeds, and olive tree “seeds” – they cannot yield their fruit aside from being on this foundation! Brethren, don’t leave your seeds in the barn–bring them forth–plant vineyards, orchards–your seeds need to yield fruit that remains! This is the LATTER-GREATER HOUSE! 20 And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: ‘I will shake heaven and earth’ 22 ‘I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots And those who ride in them; The horses and their riders shall come down, Everyone by the sword of his brother. 23 ‘In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the Lord, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:20-23) Yes, now the fruit of blessing pours forth from the Almighty – we (Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah) is/are expressing the KINGDOM. This IS Kingdom Living at its utmost! All authority is given to them who will take such a stand with the LORD OF HOSTS. He repeats Haggai 2:6: “Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS (Messiah) and I will fill this TEMPLE WITH GLORY.” Do we see it? “I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms . . . I will make you like a SIGNET RING; for I have chosen you” (Hag. 2:22-23). Why would the Almighty commit such divine authority to Zerubbabel (representing the Kingship)? Why would He give such as to overthrow kingdoms—destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms? Why would he place the SIGNET RING upon Zerubbabel? Because He chose him? More so, I believe, because Zerubbabel is upon the right foundation—the TEMPLE OF THE LORD! The SIGNET, normally placed in a ring, is used as a STAMP OF OWNERSHIP and is used instead of or with a signature to give authentication to an official document. Zerubbabel is given authority to place the SIGNET RING of the Almighty upon that which he would declare as His/his own! This is MY SIGNATURE . . . My ownership . . . My Kingdom! The SIGNET upon the head of Joshua, the High Priest, bears the very NAME OF YHWH!
The Crowning of Joshua the High Priest - Bearing the Signet of the Lord’s Name on the Triple Crown
That same SIGNET, as we later view, is placed in the frontal of the three braided crowns placed, not upon Zerubbabel’s head, but upon the head of Joshua, the High Priest—the other, of the “two sons of oil” (Zerubbabel, the Governor . . . and Joshua, the High Priest). “Take the silver and the gold, make an elaborate crown (lit. “crowns”), and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest . . . ‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He SHALL BUILD THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He (Joshua, the High Priest) shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between both offices (Kingship and Priesthood) . . . Now the ELABORATE CROWN shall be for a memorial in the temple of the LORD . . . even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the LORD” (Zechariah 6:11-14). The SIGNET is so profound and its association with BOTH the Kingship and Priesthood (Zerubbabel and Joshua) breathtaking, because it so overtly declares the personage of the Messiah of whom we read in the Revelation: And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. (ASV – Rev. 19:11) The King of kings, and Lord of lords, yea, THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS, unto Him shall all the nations of the earth come! He is our KING-PRIEST – our Melchizedek: This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. (Hebrews 7:1-3 NIV) But He bears the TRIPLE CROWN – for not only is He our King-Priest, He stands in the midst of His People—in the midst of the Seven Golden Lampstands (Revelation 1), as the BOWL in the midst of the Two Sons of Oil (Zechariah 4), pouring His anointing oil into their offices—for He is our PROPHET – He is our PROPHET, PRIEST AND KING – THE TRIPLE CROWN! These be the meaning of the three sets of 9/24s found in Haggai surrounding the Feast of Dedication of the Temple, the Foundation, the Priest-King and the Triple Crown with Signet thereon – TO GOD BE THE GLORY . . . may our spirits be stirred up by the Holy Spirit to FOCUS, CONSIDER IT—all of IT! Alas! This IS a fight to the finish line – but He “Will shake all nations, and they shall come to the DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS . . . and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Hag. 2:7). Yes, “The Man, whose name is BRANCH, He shall bear the GLORY . . . From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the LORD” (Zech. 6:12-13). Laboring on Christ as the “Good Land” & Bringing Your “Labors” to the Feast Days It is of “Calendric Interest” to this author regarding the following on the Hebrew Sacred Calendar: Nisan 10 - Joshua 4:19: “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month [now the Month of Nisan]” Nisan 10 - Ezekiel 40:1-2: “In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year [the month of Nisan - beginning of the religious year - for Ezekiel was a priest himself], on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the LORD, was upon me; and He took me there, in the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city.” Nisan 10 - Zechariah 9:9-10; Matthew 21-22; Mark 11-12; Luke 19-20; John 12 (Reading from Zechariah 9:9-10 concerning Messiah’s First and Second Comings and from John 12 only): “‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. “I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.’” ”Then , six days before the Passover [Note: Passover evening at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday/Thursday or on 14 Nisan], Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead [NOTE: We must count back from Wednesday 13 Nisan; Tuesday, 12 Nisan; Monday, 11 Nisan; Sunday, 10 Nisan; Saturday, 9 Nisan; Friday, 8 Nisan - this would been 6 days before the Passover on 14 Nisan or Nisan 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and then 14 Nisan being the Passover - Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, to celebrate the Passover on Friday day (morning portion) and by that evening of 9 Nisan it was Saturday, the Sabbath) - NOTE: Any portion of the “morning/day” constitutes a 12-hour time frame - this is precisely why Jesus drew our attention to this 12 hours by stating in John 11:9: “Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day?” The children of Israel crossed the Jordan River on 10 Nisan; Ezekiel saw the vision of the Holy City/Holy District (Ezk. 40-48) on 10 Nisan; and the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (aka Palm Sunday) too place on 10 Nisan. How are these three events not connected? The Land of Canaan is referred to as the “Good Land” (Ex. 3:8; Num. 14:7-9; Deut. 8:7) as found in the Hebrew Scriptures; however, in the Christian Scriptures we find that the “Good Land” (aka, “Entering into His REST”—Hebrews 3:11, 18; 4:1, 3, 5, 8-11) is an abundantly clear picture of Christ Himself upon we, as believers in Yeshua (Jesus), are called to labor—to secure the produce of the land: “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear least any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: ‘So I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world . . . there remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His . . . Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:1-11, Excerpts). Once believers have entered into the “Good Land” - into “His rest” - then the “manna and the quail” will cease: “And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year” (Joshua 5:11-12). It is altogether obvious, in order for the Good Land (Christ, our Rest) to continue to produce sustenance—the land must be “worked” and/or labored upon . . . no labor, no sustenance! THIS is what the Feasts of the Lord—the “Lord’s Appointed Times” were all about—a CELEBRATION of harvests—OUR EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST AS OUR REST—wrought by earnest labor upon the Good Land where Christ is one’s Passover—derived from the Land; Christ is our Feast of Unleavened Bread, without sin or any such mixture; we bring to the Feast of First Fruits of His resurrection Life in our lives to the Feast; we celebrate the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost as a great harvest festival in the late spring; and finally, the three final feast days of the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles in the fall season. These are the “Lord’s Appointed Times” - they are intrinsically connected to our “Ekklesia experience” as brethren bring the harvest of their experience with Christ, for EACH ONE HAS! He Shall Bear the Glory Allow me to expand upon the Man, Whose Name is BRANCH: “I am the True Vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit . . . abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, 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, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing . . . By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8, Excerpts). This IS the where the Man, Whose Name is BRANCH - Who bears the Glory - then the Father is glorified when we, His disciples, abide in Him Whose Name is BRANCH and bear MUCH FRUIT. Therefore, how much more is this confession of Who He is and how He will defeat His enemy? “‘You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God’ . . . ‘And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Ekklesia, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it’” Allow me to conclude by saying: Joshua entered the Good Land—but to secure the Good Land, the Rest, there was the “taking of the Good Land”—the battle for the Land! If we are going to labor upon the land, to gain experiences of the Lord to bring to the Feast, today’s corporate feast—the Ekklesia of the Lord—then we must come to grips with “fighting the good fight” of faith. Likewise, we must come to terms with fighting such a “fight” as His Corporate Body (Eph. 6). You don’t “take the land” by yourself—but with others in the Body of Christ! That’s what we see in Joshua on 10 Nisan—they crossed on over the Jordan together with the Ark of the Covenant in the midst of the Jordan River. Then, Ezekiel saw the Holy District/Holy City on 10 Nisan—THAT is what God’s ultimate plan and purpose for the ages is all about. Today, we are the “Temple of the Lord” with the “ultimate manifestation” of God’s eternal plan and purpose witnessed in the New Jerusalem (from heaven) and the Holy District (from the earth)—the New Jerusalem is this glorious “heaven and earth” manifestation of multi-dimensional glory! Finally, His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on 10 Nisan bears His Witness: THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS, which is the very spirit of prophecy. Zechariah 9:9-10 is recorded in all the gospels—it speaks of the First AND Second Comings of the Messiah. Verse 10 of Zechariah 9 speaks of His First coming and Zechariah 9:10 speaks of His Second Coming where the King’s “dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” The Lamb of God was slain for us and our salvation in Zechariah 9:9 and is the Worthy Lamb yet to come to manifest His Dominion in Zechariah 9:10. HAPPY NEW YEAR & HAPPY HANUKKAH