When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).
Blow the trumpet [shofar] in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.
Let the priests, who minister to the LORD,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach (Joel 2:15-17).
This past Saturday (September 26th) was the Sabbath before the Day of Atonement. The Sabbath before the Day of Atonement is known as Shabbat Shuvah ("Sabbath of Return" שבת שובה or Shabbat T'shuvah "Sabbath of Repentance" שבת תשובה). Three important events happened on Saturday in our nation’s capital.
The "Washington Prayer March 2020," was led by evangelist Franklin Graham, and "The Return — National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance," was led by Jonathan Cahn, the Messianic rabbi known for his New York Times bestsellers, including The Harbinger and The Oracle. In addition, Focus on the Family (founded by Dr. James Dobson) held a virtual pro-life event called "See Life 2020.”
Many thousands of believers took part in the events in Washington, D.C., while millions more joined them by live stream. It was an awesome day! Dr. James Dobson and Dr. Ben Carson among many others spoke at “The Return” along with Jonathan Cahn who organized the event. You can hear the message that Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn delivered on Saturday. It is called, A Prophetic Word to America.
This is a Must See one hour and twenty-two minute video of his message. You will be thrilled to see the size of the crowd gathered and will be inspired and encouraged by the message of this man of God. You can view the video here:
President Donald Trump surprised everyone by sending a written message to those gathered for The Return — National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance. The message is titled,
Presidential Message on the National Day of Prayer and Return, 2020
The Presidential Message was read to the people who were deeply moved by the President’s words. You can hear it read at about the one our and fifteen minute mark of the hour and twenty-two minute video.
You can also read the Presidential Message on the National Day of Prayer and Return, 2020 on the official White House website. Here is the link:
Hours after issuing the Presidential Message on the National Day of Prayer and Return, President Donald Trump nominated to the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett, a mother of seven and a Constitutional Originalist, with impeccable pro-life, pro-family and pro-America credentials. Now it will be up to America to accept or reject her. Will America choose to return to the LORD our God, or will the nation choose to continue going deeper into the culture of death?
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you… I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days (Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19-20).
Saturday was the Sabbath of Return and Sunday evening began the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is one of the seven annual Holy days of Leviticus chapter 23. These Holy Days are not merely “Jewish feasts” as many Christians think. They are, The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My [God’s] feasts (Leviticus 23:2).
Sunday evening at Holy Cross we joined tens of thousands of fellow believers in America, and hundreds of thousands around the world, along with millions of our Jewish brethren in observing the Day of Atonement. You could feel the presence of Almighty God as we worshipped before the throne of grace, confessing our sins, turning to the LORD, interceding for our congregation, our families, and our country and its civil authorities. The Day of Atonement is also the Biblical “All Souls Day,” and we lighted a Memorial candle and remembered the departed as we look forward in sure and certain hope to the resurrection of the dead.
It was one of those Services that you just didn’t want to end as we longed to remain where we could feel the presence of God. Thankfully, this Holy Day continues today until evening. We are still in sanctified time. May we all continue in prayer and Scripture reading, in a spirit of repentance, return, and renewed commitment to live as intentional disciples our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Messiah and — as we see so clearly on the Day of Atonement — our great High Priest, our only Mediator and Advocate,
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Timothy 2:3-6).
Today is a day of strict fasting as we humble ourselves and seek to put aside the world and its cares and pleasures, and to grow closer to our God and Father. Continue the Fast until evening. If infirmity, age or other factors keep you from fully keeping the Fast, then do what you can, but do all that you can to make this a day in which your focus is on matters spiritual,
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
If we want to see revival in our families and in our nation, then revival must begin with us. Let our prayer be, “Lord, send a revival and let it begin with me.” Let us pray with the Psalmist,
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Revive me, O LORD, for Your Name’s sake! (Psalm 143:10-11).
Historically the Book of Jonah is read today. I hope that you will read it from beginning to end. It is a short and easy read of only four chapters, but it has a powerful message. It is all about God’s love even for those who do not yet recognize Him.
It is a story of compassion and mercy. God sends the Prophet Jonah with a message, not to His people Israel, but to Assyria, a pagan nation that was an enemy of God and His people. Jonah was very reluctant to go, but God used him to bring repentance to the great Assyrian city of Nineveh. Do read the Book of Jonah today. You will see the love, compassion and mercy that God has for even His enemies,
for He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).
May God bless and keep you on this Holy Day, and may God send a spirit of repentance and return to the country we love so dearly.
This coming Saturday is the last of the Fall Feast Days — the Feast of Tabernacles. Biblically, the day begins in the evening. We will have Services for the Feast of Tabernacles Friday evening, October 2nd at 6:00 PM. Do be sure to invite family and friends,
The Feast of Trumpets looks forward to the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and the Day of Atonement reminds us that with his return there will be a judgement, but comforts us in the knowledge that atonement has been made and that we can be united to God through repentance and faith. Yeshua, Jesus, is our High Priest, our Mediator and Advocate, a bridge that can take us to our Father.
The Feast of Tabernacles looks forward to the coming of the Kingdom of God on this earth with the Return of the King. I look forward to celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles with you this Friday evening, and soon (please God!) rejoicing with you in the Millennial Kingdom. As Justin Martyr wrote in his Dialogue with Trypho (c. 160 CE):
“I and every other completely orthodox Christian feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, followed by a thousand years in the rebuilt, embellished, and enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced by the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and others.”
Let us eagerly await the Return of the King, and pray “Maranatha — Come Lord!”
May God grant you a holy and spiritually profitable Day of Atonement. Fast, repent and pray. Intercede for others, and pray that America will yet return to the LORD and that God will bless America again.
See you on Friday evening to celebrate the great Feast of Tabernacles!