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October 7, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Shemini Atzeret

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Shemini Atzeret is taken from Numbers 29:26-28. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he beautifully describes the pattern that can be found in the building/dedication of the Temple, the Presence of ELOHIM, and the celebration of Sukkot, all coming together in the person of YESHUA, with the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh, and what it means for us today!


Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:


Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Shemini Atzeret - Numbers 29:26-28


We have arrived at the 7th day of Sukkot. Since Sukkot is celebrated after the final harvest of the year, the “not yet” component will be celebrated after the final harvest of souls. We will celebrate this feast after the Day of Judgment when we finally enter into the Promised Land with Yeshua as our King. And since it is a celebration of Elohim’s protection and provision during Israel’s wandering in the desert it will be the greatest feast in our lives as we celebrate Elohim’s protection and provision during our own earthly journey.


There are four places where we see Elohim’s command to celebrate the Feast of Sukkot and they all say pretty much the same thing (Ex. 23:14-17; Ex. 34:18-24; Deut. 16:13-17; Lev. 23:39-43). However, there are other places in Scripture that also talk about the Feast of Sukkot. When Solomon built the first Temple- you can find the story in I Kings 8 and II Chron. 5-7, and you can also read the HafTorah Portion about it, HERE. After Solomon completed the Temple and placed all the furnishings inside, we see all the families of Israel gathering in the 7th month and the priests bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the Temple. Solomon prays a prayer of dedication (II Chron, 7:1-2). As soon as the prayer is concluded- fire came down and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices and the Glory of Adonai filled the Temple. The Glory of Adonai was so present that the priests could not enter the House of Adonai, because the Glory filled the House.


Solomon sacrificed thousands of oxen and sheep to Elohim. The musicians sang songs of worship accompanied by all kinds of instruments. They spent 7 days celebrating and dedicating the altar to Elohim, and then spent another 8 days celebrating the Feast of Sukkot. Do you see the sequence unfolding? They dedicate the altar, the Ruach shows up and then they celebrate the Feast of Sukkot.


Let’s fast forward to about 125 years later after the kingdom was divided and the northern kingdom is sent into exile by Assyria and the southern kingdom was taken to Babylon. Seventy years later they were given permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the altar of Adonai that had been destroyed. They begin offering sacrifices to Elohim again. In Ez. 3:1-6 – in the 7th month- they built the altar of Adonai. So, this was after the altar had been built, but before the Temple was rebuilt. At the end of exile, once they restored the worship of Elohim, they immediately celebrated the Feast of Sukkot. In Neh. 8:13-18, we see the same things happened.


Can you see the pattern? Solomon builds and dedicates the Temple, the Presence of Elohim fills the Temple, and they celebrate the Feast of Sukkot. In Ezra we see the exile is ending. They rebuild the altar, reestablish the worship of Elohim, and they celebrate the Feast of Sukkot. After the Temple was rebuilt, the people of Elohim gather for the celebration of the Feast of Sukkot.


In all three instances, after the place of worship is built, true worship is reestablished, and then the celebration of the Feast of Sukkot is observed. In John 7 – Yeshua extends and enhances this pattern during the Feast of Sukkot. On the last day of the feast, the great day (8th), Yeshua stood up and cried out…” If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” We know Yeshua was talking about the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh.


What do we know about the Ruach HaKodesh? We know that buildings cannot contain the Presence of Elohim. We also know that Paul and Peter declare (at least 5 times) that the people of Elohim have become the Temple of Elohim. They become temples of Elohim where we see tongues of fire and the sound of a rushing wind representing the Presence of Elohim that has come to rest on His people. We have become a “tabernacle” – the place where the Ruach of Yah resides.


Let’s take a look at Ezekiel who has a series of prophetic visions about the Glory of the Presence of the Ruach Hakodesh leaving the Temple- really leaving the entire city of Jerusalem. And then, after returning, a new vision declares what happens when the Ruach returns.


In Ez. 1-8- we read several unique moments when Ezekiel encounters the “likeness of the Glory of Adonai” and “the Ruach enters into him.” In Ezekiel 9-10, Ezekiel sees the “Glory of the Yah of Israel” move from its place above the Ark of the Covenant inside the Holy of Holies to the doorway of the Temple. In Ezekiel 11- he sees the “Glory of the Yah of Israel” move from the threshold of the Temple and leave the city and rest on the mountain that is east of Jerusalem- the Mt. of Olives! In Ezekiel’s vision the Glory not only left the Temple but the entire city of Jerusalem.


In the following chapters, Ezekiel hears Elohim pronounce several prophecies of judgment and destruction. He hears Elohim declare the destruction of Judah, Jerusalem, and its leaders as well as Israel’s enemies and the destruction of the Temple itself. Then there’s a pivot point. Elohim says in Ezekiel 36:27, “I will put My Spirit within you (sounds like Acts 2) and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.”


Elohim also pronounces to restore Israel and that He will. “Pour out His Ruach upon the House of Israel” (Ez. 39:29). In Ez. 47:1-12, the prophet talks about a wasteland that leads to a dead sea, that will change as living water rushes in and changes the land completely. We have heard this language before…about a river of life flowing and the trees on its banks producing fruit year-round. Over and over again in Scripture we see the Presence of the Ruach of Yah being associated with living water!


We look back for a second to the Garden of Eden…where rivers of living water and a Tree of Life was given to the new couple. In spite of all the advantages- they both chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil over the Tree of Life. It wasn’t something magical that took their lives but instead it was as simple as disobeying Abba. Instead, they obeyed a created being- someone they were designed and commissioned to have dominion over. We must make good decisions to maintain the “Glory of Adonai” in our lives. His Glory gives us LIFE!


John 15:4-6 says, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine: you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in Him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” If we are not connected to Yeshua we will shrivel up and die, because He is LIFE!


The rivers of Living Water flow from Yeshua! Everywhere the Living Water flows, the Ruach of Yah will bring life, and fruitfulness, and nourishment, and healing! As a child of Yah, being passive in the face of the 2nd coming of Yeshua is not an option! We need to be proactive sources of Living Water bringing life, and healing, and nourishment, and restoration, and fruitfulness everywhere we place our feet.


You and I are Elohim’s stewards! His grace should extend to those who are still wandering. We can provide the life-giving waters that bless and nourish and heal and deliver. There’s work to be done! We are tabernacles of His Presence. Look around-where are the dry, barren, fruitless places in our community and in our families? We can, through the power of the Ruach, transform those situations into life-giving, fruitful places of healing by allowing the Living Water to flow through our lives! What could that look like in our lives? Imagine the possibilities!


Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

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I pray that you have enjoyed your Feast of Sukkot. Be ready for Yeshua to return. Let this truly be a Season of Joy! Let the Glory of Adonai rise and shine upon you and let His Glory be seen by others in you as you live your life in obedience to His Word! See you at the altar!


Shalom Aleichem

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