Saturday, March 22, 2014

Here in North Carolina. There in Jerusalem. What's that all about you ask?

As believers, we participate in the Feasts of the Lord. Here are some photos from North Carolina and Jerusalem that I took, and then an excerpt from my book, Why Israel?, on why we do delight in the Lord's celebrations.

Steve Martin
Love For His People

David's Harp in North Carolina

David's Harp in the City of David

Mezzuzah on door in NC

Mezzuzah at Western Wall entrance
- in Jerusalem, Israel - Nov. 2013
(My right hand with the Star of David ring.)

Shabbat candles in North Carolina 2014

Shabbat candles in Jerusalem home 2013

Aaronic blessing in North Carolina

The Lion of Judah 
- the fulfillment of Aaron's blessings.

Photos by Steve Martin - in Jerusalem (2013) and North Carolina (2014).

The following chapter, taken from my book Why Israel? (Martin Lighthouse Publishing, 2014) shares why I, as a Gentile believer in Jesus (Yeshua), celebrate the feasts of the Lord with my Messianic and Jewish friends.

Why Is a Gentile Like You
Celebrating the Feasts of the Jews?

“These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. (Leviticus 23:4 English Standard Version)

“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…” (Rev. 7:9 NAS)

Growing up as a Roman Catholic, I don’t recall reading much of the Old Testament, or even the New Testament for that matter. I can’t even remember if I had a Bible myself. There was that big, fat white one that sat on our living room table. We must have bought it from the door-to-door salesman one summer. It was filled with family genealogy and had a few photos in it. Mostly it was for looks I think.

We left it up to the parish priests to read a few passages during the Sunday Mass, or the daily Mass for those rare people who attended. We saw it as his job – to read the Bible.

Our priest at St. Patrick’s in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Father Thomas Purtell, did speak to us in the eighth grade of Catholic traditions and rituals every week, but that really didn’t interest me much. Though I was even then considered a “religious” boy, by some standards, it was history, football and baseball, and that cute, petite Lisa which were my main interests. (You should read the story I share about Father Purtell in my book, The Promise. We had some moments with him! Lisa was another story.)

For the most part, what the Catholics did in and out of church, or the Orthodox Greeks in the domed building across the street, the Protestants which seemed to be on every other corner, and the Jews, who I didn’t really know at all - well, it was pretty much known in town as each group “doing their thing” - whatever that thing was. Probably because of their culture, upbringing, and country’s history, as I thought.

It wasn’t until my only year in college did I begin to seek more, by getting out of my box. The box I had been in for those years in grade school and high school. A nice box, but a box. I discovered that there was more truth to be known, and now I was given the opportunity to seek it further.

Over the years, as I became involved with first a college campus Christian group, then the charismatic church meetings, moving on further to the Messianic Jewish gatherings many years later, I understood that all of the Bible is for all of us who know Jesus (Yeshua) as our Lord and Savior. It is not just the Old Testament for Jews and the New Testament for Christians. Knowing this helped me see that the Jewish feasts/holidays are NOT only historic and prophetic, but they are the Lord’s Feasts, which definitely point to Israel’s and our Messiah.

Learning from Bible teachers and ministers like Derek Prince, Zola Levitt, James Goll, Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda, Barry Segal and others from the 1970’s onward, I grew tremendously in my appreciation of how the Lord revealed Himself throughout history, primarily through the Jewish people. I learned that even Gentiles, as I am, now get to be included in the Lord’s love for family, fellowship and feasts. I learned how He has taught through living examples in the Scriptures, the Torah and the Tanakh, the Old and New Testaments, all primarily to reveal Yeshua, Jesus, as the Christ (or in Hebrew, HaMashiach, the Messiah) for all nations and people groups. Being grafted in, as believers, and knowing of our Jewish roots, is thus life changing.

My good wife Laurie and I enjoy getting with others who celebrate the Lord’s feasts – Passover (Pesach), Shavuot (Pentecost), Purim (remember Esther and Haman?), and especially the fall feasts of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets/New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and the biggest of all, Succot, or Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths, which is a seven day celebration time!

I encourage you to “discover” your Jewish roots as a Christian. The entire Bible was primarily written by Jews, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh), for all of us who believe. Jesus, who was, and is, and is to come again, is a Jew. He celebrates His Feasts. I guess that is good enough for me, and so I will too!

You can buy my book, Why Israel? on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Or direct from our Love For His People office. Please see the side bar for more details.

For Amazon purchases, click here: Why Israel? by Steve Martin

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Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your head from the Lord Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach.

Steve Martin
Love For His People
Charlotte, NC USA