The Fast before the Feast

Lion and LambGreetings to all out there who are keeping the Day of Atonement tomorrow! Are you motivated to drink a little extra water today? Subconsciously? I freely admit that I feel that urge. I feel that way before every fast, except for those emergency fasts that sort of sneak up on you the day before.

What a remarkable day tomorrow is. It’s often easy to overlook the significance of the Day of Atonement, with the Feast coming so quickly on its heels, but the Feast could not happen without the Fast! That remarkable Millennial rule of Jesus Christ and the glorified saints and all the beautiful things the Scriptures say in describing that reign and that time would not be possible without the binding of Satan the devil during that time, as described in Revelation 20:1-3.

I remember when I was first studying the Holy Days as a teenager, and of all of them it was the Day of Atonement that fascinated me the most — chiefly because the ceremony of that day, depicted in Leviticus 16, pictures the removal of Satan by a “suitable man” so perfectly, showing, too, that even though man may have no excuse for his choices, the devil will bear his guilt for the part he has played. I read those passages in awe back then. For the first time, I began to get a glimpse of a God who had lovingly woven the details of His incredible plan into the religion of ancient Israel thousands of years before those events would happen. I know this is just as obvious in other days, such as Passover, Pentecost, and Trumpets, but it hit me in a way the others didn’t as I studied the Day of Atonement and its fulfillment. The reality of God’s plan came into sharper view — and, perhaps more importantly, the reality that He really did have a plan, at all.

God has a plan. It is a plan that has been in place since before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20). And it is a plan in which you and I have a part.

It’s hard to overstate just how amazing that realization was to me. And when I begin to slip and think of God’s Holy Days as just part of the annual “routine” it does me good to remember those days of discovery, when the spark of that first love began to be blown and fed into flame. After all, first loves are important (Rev. 2:4).

No, the Millennium, the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ and the Children of God in peace, truth, and abundant blessings for the entire world would not be possible if the roaring lion that is Satan the devil were allowed to continue roaming among the nations — deceiving, lying, poisoning, and seeking to devour all he can. No, that lion will be replaced by the Lion of Judah, and He will ensure that…

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

“The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

Isaiah 11:6-9

As the next verse says, “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”

Amen to that.

What a world it will be with the predator, the deceiver of the nations locked away. So, bring on the Fast! — and thank God for the beautiful truth it represents.

4 thoughts on “The Fast before the Feast

  1. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    Yea verily, I shall hie me to the oasis and take in water and fodder like the proverbial camel before heading out across the desert. As a friend of a friend once said in a restaurant just before the DOA: “Let’s get out of here and fast!” 😀

    > “What a remarkable day tomorrow is. It’s often easy to overlook the significance of the Day of Atonement, with the Feast coming so quickly on its heals…” An understandable pun, but y’all might wanna tweak that… 🙂

    I can hardly overlook the Day’s significance; the affliction of my soul alone won’t let me. And as I hear concerning the title of a recent sermon by you, “the Fast must precede the Feast”. Amen.

  2. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    Yea verily again. God has a plan, That plan as expressed in the Holy Days was one of the major things that brought me to the true faith, as it has been for so many others.

    Many others keep the Sabbath, Festivals and Holy Days in a pseudo-Christian sense (e.g., Messianic Jews, once self-described as Hebrew-Christians), but they make their understanding pseudo-Christian because they misunderstand (in effect) Colossians 2:16-17 – as if these days are a shadow of the Person of Christ rather than of the Work of Christ (never mind the subject of misunderstanding which verb should be inserted into the ellipsis in the Greek, which we alone or almost alone seem to understand).

    Let me double back to what I’ve learned about how the carnal human pysche works. It seems that for us to gain genuine faith, God’s Spirit has to work its way down to where our decision-making based on personal and universal values is. For someone like me, that subjective decision-making process is close to the surface – just below my objective intuition. So all – all! 😀 – God had to do when He called me was to paint the Big Conceptual Picture (through the outlines of prophecy and of God’s Master Plan through the Holy Days), and then nail me between the eyes with regard to the Ten Commandments (on the level of personal and universal values).

    Surrender is never easy on that level, and it wasn’t for me, but I’ve gained a good measure of compassion since for temperamental Theorists and others who have that kind of decision-making so much further down in their psyches than temperamental Catalysts like me. For Theorists, the capacity for faith really is a “gut feeling” naturally speaking – which unfortunately has led some psychologists (recently cited by LiveScience.com) to conclude that it is for everyone else too. Satan has really done a number on them as on the rest of us, and that’s why he needs to be put away.

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