ELUL 5780: MAKE WAY FOR THE KING

Elul is perhaps the most important month of the year, not because it has an important Biblical feast, but because it doesn’t. This is the time when we are preparing for no less than the return of Yeshua. It is a month of incredible expectation, introspection, personal preparation, and upgrade. It was during the entry into Elul that Moses ascended Mount Sinai the second time for 40 days and nights for the forgiveness of Israel and the second ten commandments. The timing of YHWH is perfect, and from the beginning of Elul to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is exactly 40 days. On the 30th day, we celebrate Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets), followed by ten days known as “The Days of Awe”, ending on the 40th day with the celebration of Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). This first 30 days we have entered into is not to be taken lightly.

Expect this month, around the globe to see and hear about things that have been done in the darkness being brought to the light, and justice being served on a massive scale. It is a time for us to shine the Light inwards, asking ourselves, what is paralyzing our personal and corporate relationship and walk with Adonai, to expose it, and be done with it forever. Pride, specifically is the obstacle we must stare down and tear down this month as it is what gets in the way of true repentance, referred to in Hebrew as teshuvah, meaning to turn back.

In English we always hear to turn away from sin, sin being the object, but in Hebrew we turn back to Adonai, our Savior being the object. Sin and death are not the focus, but rather as we focus on Adonai, the sins become apparent, and as we do teshuavah, Yeshua wipes sin clean in an instant so that no division remains between us and Him. The Biblical blueprint is amazing, but whether or not we apply it is up to us.

DARKNESS TO LIGHT

There are three passages of Scriptures that took place during this month of Elul, the sixth Biblical month, that paint a clear picture of how we can go through a critical transformation and preparation to make way for the King.

Ezekiel 8 begins on the fifth day of Elul with Adonai taking the prophet Ezekiel in the Spirit to witness the idolatry of the leaders and people of Jerusalem who had turned their backs on Him to worship false gods. Adonai saw everything, just as He sees everything we do, but instead of doing teshuvah they continued down the path they knew was wrong. In the end, it led to the deaths or exile of all of them and the destruction of the temple. This begs the question, are there things in your life, old or new habits that are taking you down a path away from the King? No matter what you have done, when you repent and turn back to the Father, He is waiting for you with a robe, a ring, and a feast just like the parable of the prodigal son.

He is weeping because of your absence at His table and will rejoice at your return, not punish you. As we all go through our process of teshuvah this month let us also be intentional about reaching out to our neighbors and the ones Abba puts on our hearts to pray for and speak to. Take action not worried about getting out of your comfort zone, and remember that the fear you feel telling you not to approach that person or pray for that person, is not the fear of the Most High, it is the enemy trying to keep you from releasing the blessing and message Adonai has put on your heart to release. Let’s be sure to step on the enemy every time he tries to stand between us and teshuvah, as well as any soul that needs Yeshua, salvation, and everlasting life.

REBUILDING THE RIGHT HOUSE

In Haggai 1, the Holy Spirit rested upon the prophet Haggai on the 1st day of the sixth month (Elul) and rebuked the newly returned exiles now living in the ruins of Jerusalem. They had all rebuilt their own houses and planted their fields, but they lacked everything. Why? Because they kept telling themselves it is not yet time to rebuild the Temple, the house of YHWH. They were so worried about everything else, they couldn’t imagine spending time to rebuild the Temple, there was too much to do and not enough time as it was. It was a struggle just to keep food on the table even working longer hours. A full generation of exile without worship had set in, but now it was time to break old habits. “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! Go up to the hill country, bring lumber and rebuild My house (temple), that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says Adonai [accepting it as done for My glory] (Haggai 1:5,7). Unlike in the time of Ezekiel, they listened, repented, and began rebuilding the Temple together on the 24th day of Elul.

Nothing we have, do we actually own, it has all been given by the Great I Am as it is all His in the first place. Let’s get the order right, and our perspective straight. Our house is not our house. It is our responsibility, but we didn’t buy it, Yeshua did. We inherited a broken and derelict house where thieves would come and go as they pleased, now our house has been bought by the Righteous One, the Redeemer. Yeshua bought us with His blood so that we would be rebuilt from the ground up on a solid foundation, and expertly fashioned to glorify His Name even going so far as to give us the keys to His House to come and go as we please. None of the physical things we have matter to Him, except for our worship in Spirit and Truth, as the Father is Spirit (John 4:24), and as we worship together, we are rebuilding the Tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11), a prophetic declaration by the Body of Messiah, a global declaration of, “Make way for the King!” Not only that, but He wants to make sure that we would be so grateful and transformed that we would add more living stones to the Tabernacle of David by telling as many people as we can so they can have a new house too, and realize this whole time they had a Father who loves them unconditionally, and brothers and sisters in a global family that love them as well who are all helping each other to be more like Dad. Let’s rebuild the right house

SWORD AND HAMMER IN HAND

On the 25th day of the sixth month (Elul), the people living in Jerusalem finished rebuilding the wall around the city (Nehemiah 6:15). What happens when our defenses against the enemy are strong, and when we come together in one accord strengthened by Emmanuel (God with us)? Nehemiah 6:16 gives us a hint. “When all our enemies heard about it (the wall), and all the [Gentile] nations around us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.” That’s what the demonic army of satan does when we get saved, baptized, re-born of the Spirit, and put on the armor of God daily. They lose confidence in trying to steal our salvation, knowing YHWH is with us because our restoration is only possible with Him. Then the enemy’s sole purpose becomes keeping you from bringing restoration (Yeshua/salvation) to other ruined cities (unsaved and backslidden people). Our ability to weather any storm, to love and bless our enemies, to live and die every day for Yeshua, is not possible without the King of glory being in our midst, literally within us and with us.

Evidence, the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem were evidence to Israel’s enemies that YHWH had forgiven them, they were still His people, and He was with them. He is with you, but unlike the Old Covenant, He is not judging you. This is the age of grace, so if you are in a moment right now where you feel like there are holes in your wall that the enemy is using to infiltrate, causing you to turn away from Adonai, now is the opportune time to identify the intruders, kick them out, patch up the holes, set watchmen on the walls and guardians at the gates 24/7. With a sword in one hand and a hammer in the other make the enemy flee and repair the breach from whence the enemy came.

FACES LIKE LIONS

The tribe of the month of Elul is Gad. If you don’t know much about the tribe of Gad it might be your favorite tribe after this. “Courageous men from the Gadites came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and who were swift as gazelles on the mountains” (1 Chronicles 12:8). These are the kind of soldiers you want on your side, but not the ones you want to oppose. Is this the army the fallen kingdom of darkness sees when it looks at the Body of Messiah? There was a reason that Gad was so prepared though, a very simple reason that we as the remnant are taking more seriously than ever. When Jacob prophesied over Gad he said, “As for Gad—a raiding troop shall raid him, but he shall raid at their heels and assault them [victoriously]” (Genesis 49:19). He was prophesying about when Gad would inherit its portion in the promised land, and Gad and his descendants did not forget. They knew Jacob had spoken from God, so they did what any God fearing people would do, they prepared for those who would inevitably attack them when they inherited their land. They were such fierce warriors that 1 Chronicles 12:14 says the sons (descendants) of Gad who joined David in the stronghold “were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred, and the greatest was equal to a thousand.”

So the question for the global remnant is this, Gad knew what to expect when the enemy came and how to react, but do you? Let’s get to the root of this one. The best question that will inevitably prepare you for the previous question is this, if Yeshua comes tomorrow, are you be ready? He already told us He is coming soon, and gave us very detailed instructions on how to prepare, but have we? Are you taking Him serious on this promise? The last day of this month is Yom Terruah, the Feast of Trumpets, a reminder of His inevitable return. It is tradition that on each day of this month to blow the shofar, a reminder for every believer in Yeshua that He is coming soon, and a terrifying prophetic declaration to the kingdom of lies that their time is running out. Numbers 10:9 tells us, “When you go towards in your land against an adversary who is oppressing you, you are to sound an alarm with trumpets; then you will be remembered before Adonai your God and you will be saved from your enemies.” Numbers 10:10 then goes on to tell us also to blow the trumpets in gladness, in the appointed feasts, and on the first day of the month. If you have a shofar then remember, blow it every day, not for tradition’s sake, but to remember to live like Yeshua is coming tomorrow and to remind the enemy that they are encroaching on Adonai’s land, and it isn’t for sale or for the taking.

BETULA

Betulah is the Hebrew word for Virgin. It is the constellation visible above Israel during this Biblical month and is part of understanding the appointed times, and seasons along with the Sun and Moon (Genesis 1:14-16). This is not astrology, as stars are not meant to be worshipped, only YHWH the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and this is definitely not a horoscope as that is just the enemy twisting and polluting the purpose of YHWH’s creation, to glorify Him. For example, the wise men were not aware of the constellations in order to worship them, but to know the times and seasons, using them also to find Yeshua the Messiah to worship Him, not the stars. We aim to do the same here, to glorify Adonai, and equip ourselves for this Biblical Month.

Interestingly enough, the letters of Elul form an acronym for the words in the verse Ani le‑dodi ve‑dodi li–“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3). This is directly parallel with the constellation Betulah, continuing the very clear theme of this month, to be prepared as the Bride of Yeshua before entering into Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles), a foreshadowing of Yeshua coming for His bride. When we think of the virgin in Scripture we immediately think of Mary the mother of Yeshua, but we rarely think about her reply when the angel Gabriel visited her with the big news in comparison to Zachariah’s reply when Gabriel told him his wife Elizabeth who was past child bearing age, also Mary’s relative, would give birth to John the Baptist. If you want to know the correct way to respond to a Word from YHWH do not follow the example of Zachariah. Oddly enough he is the one who we would think would know exactly how to respond being a priest in the Temple chosen to go into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, the one time a year a priest could go in, to give the sin offering for all of Israel. Gabriel shows up out of nowhere, poof, at the right of the altar of incense (Luke 1:11) then Gabriel calms him down and prophesies about Elizabeth getting pregnant and tells him in detail who his son will be and what he will do. How would you respond? An Angel comes to you and says your prayer has been heard and God says He will do it. Maybe a Hallelujah, or thank you Abba would be in order, but Zachariah standing at the altar of incense with an angel in front of him who just appeared out of thin air, doesn’t believe what the angel says. Gabriel then makes Zachariah mute for the whole duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy because he did not believe (Luke 1:1-24).

IMary on the other hand on during the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (Luke 1:26) was just having a regular day in a not so special place going about her business when Gabriel shows up in a not so special way looking no different than a man according to her initial response to him. “And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was.” Basically a random guy shows up and creates an awkward moment. Gabriel then goes on to tell her the most ridiculous thing you can think of, you are going to give birth to the Savior of the world, and the Holy Spirit (God) is going to be the Father. How would you respond? Mary’s response was perfect, “Behold, I am the servant of Adonai; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her” (Luke 1:26-38). Do you think there was a reason the Ancient of days chose Mary for one of the most important tasks in all of history? Clearly she was willing, not just at synagogue where everyone puts on their best face, but by herself at a time and place unexpected for one of the greatest messages ever sent by an angel to a human. This is how Yeshua will return, and we must be prepared. We already know He is coming, and we have Adonai to guide us and teach through His word and all of this time to personally be with Him in the Holy of Holies through the blood of Yeshua. How will you answer Him?

THE CALL

As we blow the trumpet daily, it is a wake-up call to the world saying make way for the King! We are being called to do teshuvah and shine the light inward so that we can be the light shining in the darkness of the world, causing the things done in secret to be uprooted and brought to the light.

It is time to focus on rebuilding Adonai’s house during these turbulent times especially, focusing on Elohim knowing that He prospers us when our priority is our relationship with Him. As we rebuild the right house we also look to the perimeter repairing any breach in our walls with sword and hammer in hand. We remember that we are warriors of the Lion of Judah, preparing for the day when Yeshua returns with faces like lions, so the world knows we are the King’s sons.

We are the Bride of Yeshua, and like Mary the Mother of Yeshua, our answer to the call of YHWH for our lives, and as the Body of Messiah is “Behold, I am the servant of Adonai; may it be done to me according to Your word.” Let the skies erupt with shofar blasts around the world and back to Jerusalem and watch the enemies of YHWH try to run knowing their time is up with nowhere to hide. Arise, victorious bride, prepare and be ready, the King is coming soon!