The Clarion, Aug. 2021
Here are some fun facts about August. It also shows why you can not trust putting your faith in days and months and years. August was once the sixth month of the year. In the original ten-month Roman calendar, the month went by the name of Sextilis, meaning “the sixth month” in Latin. It wasn’t until around 700BC that August was rudely shoved back in the order of months when January and February were added to the beginning of the year by King Numa Pompilius. August has also changed its number of days multiple times. In the ten-month Roman calendar, the months all had either 30 or 31 days, totaling 304 days in the year. Not only did Pompilius add January and February to the calendar, but he also reduced the number of days in August down to 29. It wasn’t until Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar that it was left with 31 days, and it’s stayed the same ever since! Also on the 6th of August 1762 the first-ever sandwich was created, at least with such a name. It was named after the Earl of Sandwich when he requested a dish involving meat between two pieces of bread. As the story goes, he requested it as he was in the middle of a gambling game and didn’t want to interrupt it. We are going to see why August is also important in our teaching.
Preparing for the Second Coming of Messiah
The time between the Spring Feasts of Passover (crucifixion), Unleavened Bread, First Fruits (resurrection), and Pentecost and the Fall Feasts of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, is called the preparation time. It is a time when we prepare for Yeshua’s second coming. Now Messiah has told us that we need to be ready at any time for we do not know the day or the hour. ( Matthew 25:13) But all the more reason to take time every year to make sure that we are ready for such a time. We want to take a closer look at what the Bride needs to do to meet her Bridegroom. We want to look at a teaching that we did several years ago on this subject. Anyone who has ever prepared for a wedding knows just how much work there is in preparing. First you have to become engaged or as they said years ago betrothed. We see in Exodus 19:4-6 that God proposes to His people : “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle’s wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The word here for “possession” in Hebrew is “Segulah,” which is a word of endearment. God is saying to Israel that they will be someone who will be cherished by God.God loves us, we are His Segulah. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, so that we who believe may have everlasting life. Isn’t that why you marry, for life? There are several Scriptures that refer to Yeshua as our Bridegroom, Matthew 9:14-15, John 3:29 and of course the kingdom is compared to ten virgins in Matthew 25:11-13. Even the New Jerusalem is compared to a bride in Revelation 21:2. Yeshua tells us in John 14:3, that He was going away to prepare a place for us, for this was the custom of the groom. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am.”
We know that invitations are to be sent out. Revelation 19:7-9 and 22:17 tells us this, “ Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
So we see that our Bridegroom is off preparing a place for us, the Bride and the invitations have been sent out. But what about us? We need to prepare ourselves for such an occasion, life with our Bridegroom. It’s no small task when you are marrying your Messiah. So it’s time to prepare and that is what we do forty days each year before the day of Atonement, which represents having your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, or you could say, “ Is your name on the invitation list?” This year that would be August 8th. It is here that we start what is called the “Days of Repentance.” It’s a time to wake up from your slumber. Remember the ten virgins who fell asleep waiting for the Bridegroom to come. (Matthew 25).
We must have a spiritual awakening to prepare our souls for His coming. If we do not wake up inside ourselves, we will not wake up to open our spiritual eyes to see or our spiritual ears to hear. God says this to Isaiah and is quoted by Yeshua in Matthew 13:14-15, “ He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
You see when you go day after day, year after year, and you are not growing in the Lord, well Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?”
Colossians 3:1-15 sums it up, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[ life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Messiah is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” If we are truly waiting for our Bridegroom and preparing ourselves every day, filling our lamps with oil, and our hearts to receive from Him, then we will be spiritually awakened and maturing, having our mind only on Him. I have to say, most people are not at this point and that is why we must every year make it a point to examine ourselves and awaken our souls and that is what the Fall Feasts do.
Recipe Corner: In honor of the Earl of Sandwich, we have some great Panini Recipes for you from the Food Network.
How to Cook Panini: In a panini press: Preheat the press. Add your sandwich and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. On the stove: Preheat a skillet with butter or oil to medium low. Add your sandwich, then press a heavy pan on top to weigh it down. Cook until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Grilled Veggie: Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with slices of grilled eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and roasted red peppers. Add 2 slices of fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves. Press and cook until golden.
2. Mortadella-Ricotta: Mix 2 tablespoons ricotta with some salt, pepper, and chopped thyme and parsley. Brush the insides of 2 slices of crusty Italian bread with olive oil. Fill with the ricotta and sliced mortadella; press and cook until golden. Add marinated artichoke hearts if you like.
3. Spicy Steak: Lightly spread mayonnaise on the inside of a split onion roll. Fill with thinly sliced cooked steak and season with salt; top with shredded pepper jack cheese. Press and cook until golden.
4. Reuben: Spread Thousand Island dressing on 2 slices rye bread. Layer sliced Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut and more cheese between the bread. Press and cook until golden.
5. Steak-Gruyère: Mix equal parts mayonnaise and horseradish. Stir in some chopped parsley. Spread on the inside of a split piece of baguette. Fill with thinly sliced cooked steak and sliced Gruyère. Press and cook until golden.
Hebrew Corner: This month’s letter is Samech. ס
Samech (samehk) is the fifteenth letter in the Hebrew Alphabet and has the sound of an “S”. It has the numerical value of 60. The sages have noted that this is the same number of letters found in the “Priestly Blessing” which is found in Numbers 6:23-27. Samech looks like a picture of a shield. Samech means “to lean upon” or “to support.” According to the sages Samekh represents the circle of life in creation and the feast days. Samekh is also the letter in Sukkot, which represents “God with us”, by showing His omnipresence as our support and shelter.
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