Elul for the Final Generation

ELUL

The month of Elul is the sixth month of the Jewish religious calendar, but the last month in their civil calendar.  It is the last month of the year in preparation for the fall festivals in Israel.  We can learn much regarding time of the end events by studying the fall festivals celebrated by Israel and commanded by God. 

The month of Elul is a thirty day call to repentance observed by Jewish believers in preparation for Rosh Hoshanah (The Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).    The mood of repentance builds during Elul, escalates during The Feast of Trumpets and reaches a crescendo on the Day of Atonement. 

For most of the month of Elul a shofar is blown.  The sound of the shofar is very piercing and is designed to wake up believers.  The church is like the ten sleeping virgins and must be roused from her complacency.  The focus is on forgiveness during the entire month of Elul.  Jewish tradition claims that God can not forgive us for wrongs done to one another; therefore, much consideration is given to righting the wrongs done to your fellow man during Elul.  Elul represents a time when believers will set aside their primary concerns for themselves and will become more concerned about the unsaved condition of others.  They will feel a great burden to become willing servants to those that God would reach with the final altar call. 

The tradition of Elul also includes prayers of forgiveness.  These prayers are lengthy and participants are moved by the urgency of these prayers.  During these prayer vigils, time is dedicated to remembering God's list of thirteen attributes.  Ha-shem [1], Ha-shem [2], G-d [3], merciful [4], and gracious [5], long-suffering [6], abundant in goodness [7] and truth [8], keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation [9], forgiving iniquity [10] and transgression [11] and sin [12], who cleanses [13].  Ha-shem is the name given to God when He is being merciful.  Mentioning it twice represents the notion that God is abundant in mercy.

The word Elul means to search as in search your heart.  The name of the month (spelled Alef-Lamed-Vav-Lamed) is said to be an acronym of "Ani l'dodi v'dodi li," "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine."  This period of time is set aside for the loved ones of God to search their hearts and return to their first love condition when their love for God was fresh and brand new.  The letter to the church of Ephesus contains a call to return to their first love.  This theme of restoring your relationship with God so that it is brand new is central in all the letters to the churches.  This call of repentance to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 is our season of Elul.  I pray that the church knows the time of her visitation.  Luke 19:41-44

During Elul God will restore believers by filling them with His Spirit which renews their relationship with God.  The time of the end is a time when natural affection between family is waning; however,  God will bestow a supernatural affection upon those participating in Elul.  God will gift them with His love for the world.  This love will become a flame burning within each of them to deliver the message of reconciliation to the world even in the face of great resistance.

During Elul many Jewish believers visit cemeteries.  According to tradition, it is because the time of Elul reminds them of life and death and their own immortality.  I will suggest one more reason, the season of Elul should cause us to consider those we have loved that have proceeded us in death.  Consider the promise made to resurrect the faithful ones at the coming of Christ.  In the time of the end, the saints will hear the trumpets of Elul.  Not everyone will know what they mean because they are foolish in the ways of God, but the saints are wise and will realize that the fulfillment of all promises is upon us, even nigh at the doors.  Matthew 25:1-13

During Elul Jewish families prepare their garments.  They use special care to ensure that these garments are clean and white in preparation for the coming of God on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  The church should also be engaged in preparing her garments to meet Christ.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:  for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:  for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  Revelation 19:7-8 

"It is a tradition in all Jewish communities to wear a large tallit on Yom Kippur evening. The white of the tallit also serves to suggest purity and mercy.

The story is told of a great righteous man who stood before the congregation one Yom Kippur eve, and addressed his fellow Jews, who were all clad in white garments and wrapped in their white tallitot.

My brothers and sisters, children of Israel! Take to heart that it is in white garments like these we are wearing now, that we shall ascend to the World to Come to be judged and give our accounting before the King of all kings, the Holy One, blessed is He.

Let us then imagine that we are standing in this clothing before the Throne of Glory to be judged and give our final accounting. We should have true remorse, for one who stands before the Throne of Glory is truly remorseful. But, my brothers and sisters, repentance does not avail after death-only now does it avail! Let us truly regret all our sins and accept upon ourselves that we shall sin no more, and let us ask the King who grants forgiveness that He grant us forgiveness and atonement."

Source: www.Chabad.org High Holidays
http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/4829/jewish/Wearing-White.htm

According to the apostle Peter judgment begins in the house of God with the professed people of God.  It is the desire of God that at His coming all the people of the world would have washed their robes in the blood of Christ making them white as snow.  However, when the judgment of the final days is offered, the church will know it first.  The ten virgins represent the entire congregation of professing believers.  The month of Elul represents their opportunity to receive the empowerment of the Spirit of God so they can do the work of God during the Days of Awe (Feast of Trumpets).  

This will be an invitation to the church to work in the fields calling the world to reconciliation.  Many will answer the call shining like stars and leading many to righteousness.  Many will not because their vessels will run out of oil.  Why will that happen?  They will not hear the sound of the shofar that is blown daily during Elul.  They do not have spiritual ears to hear the trumpet and will not receive the annointing of God preparing them for the ministry of reconciliation.  The pews of the church are filled with spoiled, entitled children of God that want to stay around the banqueting table receiving the blessings of God, but they do not want to work in the fields.  

 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20

 

 

The Ceasing of the Daily

 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.  Matthew 24:32-35

 In Matthew 24 Jesus told His disciples of many signs pointing to His imminent return.  We do not know the day or the hour, but He commanded us to know the season in which we live.  We will recognize the end when we realize that the earth is in the fall of its existence.  As the world waxes old we will consume the rich resources of the planet until it is near depletion.  The world will become less of a haven.  The foundations of the world will begin to rumble and become less stable.  The nations will become angrier and war zones will become more and more prevalent.  Our daily bread will become less certain as our economies become more strained from our greed. 

As the world struggles to deal with all these issues, while crying for peace and safety, destruction will come upon us as suddenly as birth pains come upon a woman heavy with child.  These early birth pains mark the season of Elul which is the beginning of sorrows and is signified by earthquakes in diverse places.  Matthew 24:8;  Mark 13:8 

The world will be devastated, but clueless.  They will acknowledge the earthquake as an act of God, but they will not understand the great significance.  The church should not be clueless.  We should read and study the letters to the churches today so we will have understanding.  Revelation 2-3  The letters to the churches will help us prepare for the season of Elul.  I pray for the church to recognize the time of her visitation.  Luke 19:41-44  The quaking of the earth is a sign to the church that the time of the end is beginning, and God has removed His protective hand.  He will no longer corporately intercede on behalf of the world through His daily divine presence and protection.

11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.  Daniel 12:11

The time of the end opens when the daily sacrifice is abolished.  The daily was a sacrifice commanded by God.  Every morning and every evening a lamb was offered for the sins of corporate Israel.  In addition, the incense that was offered on the altar of incense was replaced and burned to give a sweet savor in the holy place each morning and evening.  In a twenty-four hour period, two daily sacrifices were offered, one in the morning and one in the evening. 

The sin offering differs from the daily because the patriarch of the family would bring a sin offering on behalf of his loved one that had sinned against God or man.  The daily was for all of Israel and demonstrated God's mercy and great love for the entire nation.  The daily in Heaven is going on right now.  Jesus, as our priest, is interceding on behalf of the whole world including those that are indifferent and disinterested.  However, there will come a time when intercession will cease to be offered for corporate entities, including the family, and will only be offered to the individual. 

17 “Or if I bring a sword against that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass throughout the land,’ and I kill its people and their animals, 18 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men (Noah, Job, and Daniel) were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.  Ezekiel 14:17-18

It is Ha Satan, the accuser of the brethren, that always resented the daily.  Once judgment begins, he is the one that demands that the daily cease on behalf of godless men and women.  He has through the ages discovered that the daily, which was implemented from the foundation of the world, is the reason Adam and Eve did not die in the garden.  He knows it is the reason God put His mark on Cain saving this murderer from his just punishment of death.  He knows that the daily care of a benevolent creator is the reason the earth has not already self-destructed.  He hates the daily that allows for the innocent to take the place of the guilty.

The ceasing of the daily will be marked by a massive global earthquake on earth.  Just before the daily ceases, much incense will be offered on the altar of incense in Heaven.  This large dose of incense is offered up with the prayers of the saints.  This incense gives a sweet savor to the prayers of the saints as their intercessory prayers ascend.  The hearts of the saints are full of the love of God toward their fellow man demonstrating to the entire cosmos that the daily works as it fills mortal men and women with supernatural affection.  Of course, this will earn them the ire of Ha Satan.  

The censor is filled with fire and cast to the earth indicating judgment is quickly coming upon the earth.  This judgment is not the judgment of the plagues because the plagues are judgment without mercy.  The judgment that comes as a result of the censer being thrown down is mixed with incense indicating it is judgment mixed with mercy.  The judgments are warnings designed to get the attention of all men so God can have an opportunity to reconcile them to Himself before the plagues are poured out.  During this judgment, humanity can repent and be saved.  Once the plagues begin to fall, the door to probation is closed.

 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

 Revelation 8:2-5

 

The Sealing of God's Servants

Once the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) begins, the trumpets herald great devastation and havoc upon the earth, the sea and the trees.  These natural disasters will bring much destruction to people and property; therefore, the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is also known as the Days of Awe.  We are helpless without the hand of God holding back the winds of strife.  The only thing holding back the wind is God's desire to anoint a people ready to proclaim His message of salvation to the inhabitants of the earth.  Once God's servants are sealed, the winds will blow marking the beginning of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) and the days of awe full.  However, it is also a time of joy mixed with awful because when we see all these things, we know our redemption draws nigh.  Luke 21:28

God is a Creator and He desires that the world understands why He engaged in destruction when it is against His nature to destroy.  The trumpets during Elul are for the church because judgment begins in the House of God.  1 Peter 4:17  God is raising up a people, the wise virgins, to declare His intentions during a time when the old devil will be actively deceiving the world.  

During the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) the trumpets are louder with greater urgency because they wake up the world warning mankind to forsake the things of this world that are soon to pass and invest in His vast kingdom.  Therefore, He has prepared prophets to serve humanity by faithfully delivering the final altar call so mankind can avoid destruction and participate in God's recreative acts. 

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”  Revelation 7:1-3

The month of Elul marks the beginning of uncertain times on this planet.  It will be a time of trouble for the whole world.  However, the world loves its own.  During the Days of Awe, Satan will make war against the saints; but God is our provider, protecter and our peace.  Beginning with Elul and all through the fall festivals it is customary to read Psalm 27 daily.  I leave you with these words of comfort from this Psalm written by David and dedicated to the Lord and believers of all generations.

Psalm 27

Of David.

 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?

 2 When the wicked advance against me
   to devour
me,
it is my enemies and my foes
   who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
   my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
   even then I will be confident.

 4 One thing I ask from the LORD,
   this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
   and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
   he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
   and set me high upon a rock.

 6 Then my head will be exalted
   above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
   I will sing and make music to the LORD.

 7 Hear my voice when I call, LORD;
   be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
   Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
   do not turn your servant away in anger;
   you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
   God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
   the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, LORD;
   lead me in a straight path
   because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
   for false witnesses rise up against me,
   spouting malicious accusations.

 13 I remain confident of this:
   I will see the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27

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