©2017 by Amazing Grace Assembly

The Feasts of the Lord (Part 2)

February 17, 2019

 

How did the holy feast of the Lord become the feast of men?

 

Because the Glory of the Lord departed from Israel.

 

Leviticus 23:1-2 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them:‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”

 

The Lord Jehovah established seven feasts for the children of Israel to celebrate before their God, who brought them out of their Egyptian slavery.

 

He said the following comments about these feasts:

  1. These are the feasts of the Lord

  2. These are Holy convocations

  3. These are My feasts

As the years passed by, some serious changes happened to these feasts.

 

After almost 1500 hundred years, God came to this world as a man.

 

John 5:1 - “Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.”

 

The God who initially established the feasts stating “these are My Feasts”, now says, “these are not My feasts anymore.”

 

Why?

 

Because it is no longer a holy feast – the Holy One of Israel is not in their midst – Holiness is not pursued in their celebrations.

 

They have all received the blessings of the Lord, but they have lost their God, their source of all their blessings, just like when we see honey bee boxes left empty without bees or honey. They are merely empty boxes.

 

Once, those boxes were active and full of life, with thousands of bees, filled with honeycombs. But how has it now become empty?

 

Because somehow the queen bee no longer is present in that box.

 

The prophet Balaam said about Israel in the book of Numbers:

 

Numbers 23:21 - “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them.”

 

It was costly to keep the Lord in their midst. They needed to live holy and very carefully to keep God in their midst.

 

Being a nominal Christian is easy, but keeping Christ in your life is costly.

 

Joshua 24:19 – “Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.”

 

God commanded his people to fear him.

 

Deuteronomy 10: 12-14 – “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

 

  1.  Fear the LORD your God – eventually they lost the fear of God.

  2.  Walk in obedience to him – they turned back and walked away in disobedience.

  3.  To love him – they loved the world and everything in it. 

  4.  To serve the Lord your God - they did not serve their Lord faithfully.

  5.  With all your heart – their hearts became hard and full of deceit.

  6.  With all your soul - they became hypocrites.

 

Deuteronomy 5:29 - “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”

 

Leviticus 26:2 - “Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.”

 

  1. The Lord wanted his people to fear Him – but they had no fear in their hearts.

  2. The Lord desired that they would keep His commands always – but they failed to keep all his commands.

  3. The Lord desired that they would give due reverence to His sanctuary – instead, they turned his house into a house of thieves.

 

Hebrews 12:28: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

 

Israel disobeyed God’s commands and did not fulfill the demands of their Lord stated above to keep the Lord in their midst, but instead, traditionally continued in their religious rituals.

 

See the scriptures below:

 

1 Samuel 15:22-23 - But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices   as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

 

Isaiah 1:11-19 - “The multitude of your sacrifices — what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!16 Wash and make yourselves clean.  Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

 

The Lord told His people that before they did all these meaningless rituals, He wanted them to come to Him first, repent from their wicked lifestyle, He was ready to clean you.

 

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;

 

Why did the Lord’s Holy feast turn into merely a Jewish feast - a men’s feast? Because the Lord left their camp as a result of their wicked lifestyle.

 

The Israelites still had their traditional religious functions and rituals: they had Bible reading, they sang songs, they gave tithe, they celebrated the feast on time.

 

They were doing all the right things, just in the wrong way - in an ungodly way – in an unscriptural way - instead of trying to please their Lord, they tried to please men.

 

Isaiah 29:13 -“The Lord says:“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

 

How did the holy feast of the Lord become the feast of men?

 

The people of Israel lost the spirit and life of their feasts and worship.

 

Their feasts and their worship were no longer holy feasts or holy worship – because the Holy One of Israel was no longer in their midst.

 

When a butterfly flies into a spider web, it becomes trapped and eventually the spider kills it and slowly removes its flesh from the inside. After two days, all you see is a frame of the butterfly, which looks like a butterfly, but it is only just the frame.

 

In the same way, when a child of God falls into temptation, we must overcome and runaway before the devil and the world slowly sucks away our spirituality, our fear of God, our sincere faith, our obedience, our personal prayer life, our hunger for God, and our passion for souls until ultimately we are left with a simple skeleton, which looks like a believer, but really, it’s only an empty frame.

 

Isaiah 29:13 - "The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught."

 

How did the holy feast of the Lord become the feast of men?

 

They lost the spirit and life of their feasts and worship.

 

Because the Glory of the Lord departed from Israel.

 

1 Samuel 4:22. –“She said,“The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

 

The glory of the Lord should never depart from our lives,  from our homes, or from our churches.

 

At any cost, we must keep the Lord always in our hearts , our homes, and our churches!

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