Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mysteries and Confounding Ironies: Elijah's Wine at the Passover, and The Feast of Tabernacles

There is a subtle correlation between the prophecy of the Kingdom Age's "Feast of Tabernacles" and the solution to the riddle of Elijah's glass of wine at the Jewish Passover. I pray I have the finesse to explain it sufficiently.

The birth of Christ is probably the most celebrated event in Western civilization. Yet, most of us know that Christ wasn't actually born in late December. The winter solstice festival was an ancient and revered tradition in many kingdoms of the world thousands of years before Christ. It had a variety of stories, depending on the culture where it was practiced.

To the Egyptians, it was correlated with their deities, and the Romans carried on in a hedonistic week of partying.

The ancients associated with this solstice event, primarily fueled by their superstitious beliefs in the return of the sun, and the gods and goddesses woven into the story line.

When Christianity was introduced to the Roman Empire as the superior religion, thanks to Constantine, certain concessions were made to adopt Christian names and rites to their beloved festival days, and this was how Christ was fused with their pagan beliefs. It's more complicated than this, of course, but, this is sufficient knowledge to expound my theory of the real birth of Christ.

While the winter and summer solstice events were sacred to the pagans, it was the opposite with the Hebrew people, who were given instructions on the sacred days, by Moses, and these consisted of Spring and Autumnal equinox dates, maybe to deliberately set them apart from the pagans, or for other reasons, related to resurrection, transformation and rebirth associated with the harvest schedules of planting and sowing.

In the Spring, Passover is king. It is even the first Hebrew month, where it all begins, contrasted with the pagan calendar. In the Autumn, the most solemn, joyous and grace-filled celebrations are joined. First, Rosh Ha Shana, the "New Year" (which is totally confusing because the Hebrew calendar has a secular and spiritual first month, one in the Spring, and the other in the Fall.) Eight days after the New Year, is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, where all sins are pardoned by God's grace. Five days following this, the festival of Tabernacles commences, or Succoth.

In the Book of Zechariah, a very perplexing prophecy is ordained for the future, for the Kingdom of Messiah. In Zechariah 14:16-19, after the Kingdom Age begins, there is a commandment for the world to acknowledge the rather minor festival of Tabernacles. I say "minor" because, as a Jew, Tabernacles is not as widely observed or weighted, coming after the Holiest days of Yom Kippur.
Yet, Yom Kippur is not the date of celebration.

Zechariah 14:16-19
And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that [have] no [rain]; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

In Luke 1, the key to Christ's birth is hidden in plain sight. We are told that John the Baptist's father, Zacharias, the priest,  was ordained to serve in the Temple in the course of Abijah, which was a specific fortnight service dedication: 

 1Chronicles 24:7-19 explains the 24 courses of the priests. It is a logical assumption that the Course of Abijah took place as the eighth service, and took place in early June. Following these days, he impregnated Elizabeth, Mary's relative (probably mother's sister), and that would bring John the Baptist's birth to the week of the Passover.  Mary becomes pregnant six months later, according to Luke, and that would make Christ's birth between the holy days of Rosh HaShana and Tabernacles.

The Gospel tells us that Mary and Joseph traveled to accommodate the census, but, it seems reasonable to assume that this would correspond with the Holy Days when the order was issued. It was the "New Year" and that's when a census would be ordered, and it would account for tribes going to their family tribal lands, just like at Christmas, when people go home to their families. Instead of Christmas, they had Tabernacles, the most fun-filled of the Jewish holidays which followed the somber Day of Atonement fast of repentance.

This makes perfect sense, because, this would be why Joseph took a nine-month pregnant teenager on a long journey to Bethlehem, the City of David, to partake in the Holy Days. We know they did this on a regular basis because we have the account of Christ as a boy staying behind in the Temple teaching the elders.  

So, by John the Baptist's birth, we can deduce Christ's most probable birth. Now, what does this have to do with the glass of wine for Elijah?

John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy in the last book of the Hebrew Tanakh, Malachi 3:1
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Elijah's mantle was passed on to Elisha in 2Kings2:11
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
And Elisha saw [it], and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;

Elijah's mantle passed to Elisha, who in turn became as anointed as his mentor. Elisha performed miracles that were very similar to the ones that were witnessed in Christ. In this parallel and metaphoric event, it foreshadows John the Baptist, as Elijah, and Jesus, who came after him, as the Messiah. 

Christ himself tells us that Elijah was John the Baptist. This is a very difficult concept for us, because, are we to assume that he is reincarnated? And if not reincarnation, then, what is it? I have a variety of thoughts, and have been taught in a way that explains this rebirth as a ministry, not reincarnation, but, that's not what Christ says. Also, he brings Elijah and Moses back in the Two Witnesses, in the Revelations of the Apocalypse. We all need to adjust to this learning curve and not assume we know, but, one thing we know is that Christ informs us that John is Elijah. And the Gospel of Luke tells us that John was conceived in late June and born at Passover.

I realize how convoluted this sounds, but, it is a mystery that cannot follow a straight course. Elijah's days of prophecy were during the Kings of Israel, and that was over a thousand years after Moses and the first Passover. According to the Old Testament, Elijah had nothing to do with the Passover, and yet, the Jews offer him a glass of wine each Passover. We even open the door for him to join us for desert.  I think it's God's trick on us to acknowledge the great John the Baptist, whether we like it or not. It is our blind way of celebrating his birthday, and it gets us to think about Elijah and who he was, and why he was the precursor to the Messiah's advent, as told in the final book of the Old Testament.

Jews may not acknowledge Christ, but, God is infinitely more clever than our tiny brains can comprehend.

 Before Christ's birth, Jewish genealogy and inheritance was determined by paternal lines. Even in the Gospels, the two lineages and genealogies are masculine, even Mary's could not be directly accredited to a female, so, it is given to her husband, in spite of it being her family. 

After Mary's manger miracle and the fuss it caused, and after the 70 years following the crucifixion of Christ, and the diaspora of the Jews, the entire heritage structure was revised to be a maternally dominated genealogy, which makes sense, since you always know who the mom is, but, as in Christ's case, his father was not who was married to Mary, but, God. 

Even if you don't believe that, the Jews are pragmatic and reckoned that until DNA was discovered, only a mother's genealogy was certain.

So, Christ was born in the Fall, and John the Baptist, as Elijah, was born at Passover. in the SPRING.

 Gentiles celebrate Easter with pagan eggs and bunnies, vestiges of the fertility gods and goddesses of their ancestors, while Jews are obedient to the Passover and Elijah's coming, and are still the only ones who celebrate Christ's birthday on the right dates, in the right time of year, at the HARVEST. Unwittingly, and unwillingly, Jews are the only people who may be observing the birthday of Christ, while the Gentiles hang mistletoe and deck trees with crap... purely and truly pagan to the core.

We're all mixed up. That's where grace will win the war in the end. It's our only HOPE.
It should unite us now that the world is breaking apart into two factions: The Judeo-Christians and the AntiChristians.

Choose wisely and stay away from computer chipping your kids.

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