It has been quite a while since I have posted on this blog. The Fall feasts have come and gone, and this year they were more meaningful to me than any other year since 2001 when I first became aware of them. For all these years I've attended many different feast celebrations - even some in Israel. Often I've been invited to teach and lead worship in these gatherings, ranging from 1300 people to 13! We always knew we were rehearsing. With so little written in Leviticus 23 about keeping the Feasts of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), we tried to be creative, and prayed that our Father was smiling down on us, knowing that His Bride has been faithfully rehearsing for the Great Wedding yet to come, when Yeshua returns for us.
This year was simpler, quieter, deeper. We were 26 people gathered at the edge of the lake on Yom Teruah, shofars in hand, great anticipation in hearts. We would faithfully go down to the edge of the water and cast our stones (symbolic of our sins) into the "sea," as far as the east is from the west. But then something happened that drew us all into a holy hush. My husband John tossed his stone into the water, and then knelt at water's edge, his head bowed low before the Lord, in deep repentance. All chattering stopped. The fiery orange and gold of the sunset danced like flames across the water, and we knew we were on holy ground.
I looked around me and 26 pairs of eyes were riveted on the western sky, in great expectation. We were all looking for the new moon so that we could blow our shofars, as commanded in Scripture. However, the sky was almost black, completely shrouded in thick, storm-laden clouds. The thing that touched me was that no one stopped looking. Despite the dark cloud cover, all eyes remained watchful, and not a word was spoken. For at least fifteen minutes we stared into the night sky, and I began to be aware that what we were really looking for so intently, with such deep desire, was the appearing of our Glorious Messiah! What people would be so crazy as to gather by a lake on a week night, with shofars and ram's horns in hand, watching and waiting with such excitement unless they were consumed with the desire to see His coming on the clouds on the Day of Blowing?!
God did not disappoint us, even though Yeshua did not choose to come. Suddenly He pulled back the black clouds like the great velvet drapes of a theater, and there, framed right in the middle of the parted drapes, was the magnificent silvery new moon! He had framed it for us, given as a gift to those who are looking for Him, yearning for His appearing!
In the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, I had a dream that I feel is to be shared with the corporate Body of Messiah. In this dream I was in a lovely bridal gown. I kept going down long hallways and "aisles" with an escort on either side of me. I did not know any of the people in this dream, so I knew it was meant for all of us. At the end of each aisle I kept expecting to see my bridegroom, but he was never there. Once at the end of a long hallway I glanced in a mirror and saw that my backside was exposed! Then people ran over to me with white tights for me to put on and cover myself. Then at the end of another long aisle, someone brought me glasses and said they knew I'd need to read things to understand. Often in the long corridors I tripped and my two escorts would help me up. I got to the end of the last long aisle - and after going up a long staircase and then down a long staircase, I was so devastated to see that my bridegroom still wasn't there!
I awoke from the dream and almost immediately the Holy Spirit gave me the interpretation. He said, "It is a picture of the Bride's journey. First she realizes that her past has been shameful and uncovered. As she surrounds herself with righteous people (the two escorts or two witnesses), they help to "clean up" her life and bring her into a righteous way of living. But often she still trips and makes mistakes along the way, and others help to lift her back up and get her back on the path. A three-fold cord is not easily broken (Ecc. 4:10, 12). She does not yet have full understanding and so others help her by bringing "glasses," which means they are helping her to read and understand My Word. Throughout her journey her heart yearns for her Bridegroom - the One she loves (Song of Solomon 3:2) and she does not yet find Him. He does not yet reveal Himself because He wants her to keep seeking, keep knocking. She climbs up higher (the staircase up) as she gains wisdom and she goes down lower (the staircase down) as she learns humility and purity. Finally she comes to the end of the Bridal aisle and she feels desperate because her Bridegroom has not yet come for her."
"This is where you are," said the Spirit, "staring into the sky on Yom Teruah, your hearts overwhelmed with anticipation of His Coming - soon, but NOT YET."
Matthew 24:27: For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
After this last debate I found myself sinking into feelings of despair. "Really, Lord? These two immoral, corrupt, ego-driven, power-hungry people are the only choices we have?"
I know I'm not alone. I know so very many of God's people feel at a loss because there is no one Godly to vote for. So I am compelled to share with you what He spoke to me when I cried out to Him.
He said, "I have told you these things so that in ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world."
I went to John 16:33, where I knew those words to be - and then He said to me, "Read on and I will show you more." I have read John 17 so many times - but never before have some of those verses been so powerfully quickened to me - perhaps because never before have we been in a time where we so desperately needed to understand what He was saying to us. This time, reading John 17, His words were spoken DIRECTLY to me, so that I would come to the full knowledge that I AM NOT OF THIS WORLD. Neither are you, brothers and sisters in Messiah. So hear these words anew as Yeshua prayed them to His Father:
"I have revealed You to those whom You gave Me OUT OF THE WORLD. They were Yours, You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your Word. Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I AM NOT PRAYING FOR THE WORLD, BUT FOR THOSE YOU HAVE GIVEN ME, FOR THEY ARE YOURS." (John 17:6-9)
"I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them, for THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD ANY MORE THAN I AM OF THE WORLD. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one. THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF IT." (John 17:14-16)
I sat in astonishment thinking about this: I am not of the world anymore than the Son of God is of it! I am one of those who has accepted His Word with all my heart. Now I am just asked to stand on it and believe His promises. I am still IN this dark world, but I can no longer have my focus there. Yeshua does not even have HIS focus there - as He said in these verses; He is praying for those the Father has given Him! He is praying for US! He is protecting us! He knows EXACTLY what is going to happen in this election, and He is not concerned about us, for we are not of the world. He is our King - and we are His.
As these truths began to be deeply inscribed on my heart, everything seemed to change - and then the words of an old hymn that I love came flooding back into my soul and bringing me total peace:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the Light of His glory and grace!
"I have told you these things so that in ME you may have peace."
Kelly Ferrari Mills