- The Eighth Day of Assembly
- A familiar pattern
- Messiah ascended into heaven to secure for us Living Torah
- Messiah Teaches at Shemini Atzeret
The Eighth Day of Assembly:
Immediately following the last day of the Feast of Booths, Sukkot (Hoshana Rabbah), is the “Eighth-day of Assembly,” Shemini Atzeret. This festival along with Simchat Torah are celebrated together in Israel on one day, Tishri 22; and outside Israel on two days Tishri 22 and 23. As it is written (Numbers 29:35):
בַּיֹּום הַשְּׁמִינִי עֲצֶרֶת תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם כָּל־מְלֶאכֶת עֲבֹדָה לֹא תַעֲשֽׂוּ׃
On the eighth day you shall hold a solemn gathering; you shall not work at your occupations.
The rabbis interpret the Numbers 29:35 Scripture verse to mean that HaShem asks all who made a pilgrimage for Sukkot to atzeret (עֲצֶרֶת-“assemble” from-עָצַר to hold back, refrain, stay, detain), to “hold back” and extend their assembly with Him one more day. Therefore, the rabbis consider that Shemini Atzeret is an additional festival, independent from Sukkot.
A familiar pattern:
To understand the fall festival of Shemini Atzeret we must first remember the familiar spring season pattern of Pesach. As you recall after Pesach we begin the time of HaBikkurim and the forty-nine day period of Counting the Omer, after which we celebrate on the fiftieth day Shavuot the time when we received the Written Torah from Moses (the promise of righteousness) and Living Torah from the Coming One (Hu Haba’), the Moses to Come (the Messiah, who fulfills the promise; delivering to us the Gift of the Father).
Regarding the fiftieth day of Shavuot the number fifty speaks of grace (five) multiplied by the “sanctifying” Administration of the Spirit of Holiness (ten). In other words the number fifty speaks of our release from legal obligations (Jubilee) under the Administration of the Spirit of Grace.
For more information about the Administration of the Spirit of Grace, search out the sodim (mystery) meanings of the Administration of Mordecai in the study of the Scroll of Esther. Similar to the celebration of Purim (the narrative of Queen Esther), the festival of Pesach speaks of the liberation of our souls from the captivity of sin through our faith in the sacrifice of the Korban Pesach (the once-in-eternity sacrifice of Messiah, Seh HaElohim).
Pesach (the fulfillment of our redemption) is spiritually linked with the ultimate liberation, the giving of the gift of the Father, the Living Torah of the Holy Spirit on Shavuot. This gift of the Father that follows our being cleansed of sin is the gift that will on the day of resurrection perfect us and in so doing fulfill Abba Avinu’s plan that His children one day become perfectly righteous as He is righteous.
The process of our perfection, therefore, starts with our being cleansed from sin (Pesach) and culminates in the gift of the Father who at present is in the process of replacing our sin with His Righteousness by the Indwelling power and Presence of His omnipresent (can be at one place and every place at the same time) Spirit of Holiness. Seh HaElohim (the Lamb of God) became sin on the accursed tree so that we might become the Righteousness of HaShem through the Messiah Yeshua. Regarding this Personified Gift of Righteousness, the Gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. Eight points regarding the prophet Mosheh and his witness regarding the Messiah:
Point #1. Moses gave us the Law of Adonai (the LORD) from the earthly Mount Sinai on stone tablets.
Point #2. Moses’ Torah is a witness to our sins (not our righteousness).
Point #3. Mose gave us the Law to bring humility before Adonai into our lives (not for us to be puffed up with pride).
Point #4. Moses taught us we are sinners in need of a Savior.
Point #5. Moses prepared the Way for the coming of the Messiah.
Point #6. Moses gave us the Torah of Adonai. However, he could not fulfill the Torah.
Point #7. Moses, however, did promise that Messiah would come and do what he could not: Messiah would fulfill all of the Torah of HaShem (the NAME). This would include Messiah restoring Israel to all of the greatness that the Holy One had promised the Patriarchs of Israel so long ago.
Point #8. Moses bore witness that the Messiah was superior to him and all others. Messiah ben Ha-Elohim is the only Yehudi (Jew) who has successfully obeyed (fulfilled) all the Law of Moses. Other than Messiah all other men have sinned and come short of the glory of the Holy One. Moses humbly reported that even he failed to obey all of the Torah that our Righteous Father had given him. For his own disobedience Moses was forbidden from entering the promised land at the close of his mortal ministry.
In contrast to Mosheh: the Messiah our Righteous One never disobeyed God. Not even once.
For this reason, his sinless perfection, the Messiah of God was able to die as a (perfect, blameless, sinless) substitute sacrifice for us—-to atone for our sins. All of the sacrifices prescribed in the written Torah are completely fulfilled in the once-in-eternity sacrifice of the Messiah Seh HaElohim. Messiah, the Resurrection and the Life (Hatekumah v’haChayim), triumphantly rose from the grave that we might have eternal life. The Righteous One ascended into heaven that He might secure for us and send to us the gift of the Father that one day we too might be made perfectly righteous by the unlimited power and immeasurable virtue of the Spirit of Holiness.
Messiah ascended into heaven to secure for us Living Torah:
After Messiah’s atoning death (Pesach) and resurrection (HaBikkurim) He ascended to the top of the heavenly Mount Sinai. There He secured for us the Gift of the Spirit of Grace (Ruach Chen) and Truth (Emet) whom He sent to an assembly of one hundred and twenty Jewish followers, assembled together in Jerusalem, on the day of Shavuot. For these reasons we now may receive the New Heart of flesh (Living Torah) in the place of the old heart of stone (Written Torah). The Living Torah of the Holy Spirit is our guarantee (Seal) that we are not condemned for our sin. Rather, we are not only cleansed of sin on Pesach but on Shavuot we are indwelt in our hearts with the perfect righteousness of the Father through the Indwelling Presence of His Spirit of Grace.
Therefore, this Living Torah of the Spirit is born witness to by the Torah of Moses. The witness to our sin is given by Moses, under the first administration of the Law. The witness of our righteousness that we have received by the Grace of Abba Avinu is given through Messiah, under the second administration of the Law, called the Torah of the Spirit. For these reasons it is important that we first recall the events and witnesses of the Two Administrations of Liberation that lead up to this time (more accurately state) of the Extended Assembly. The first event we must recall is the Administration of the Law on Stone (the glorious Promise). This is the Law that came down from Heaven to the desert country of Mount Sinai.
The second event we must recall is the Administration of the Law of the Spirit (the glorious Fulfillment of the Promise). This is the Law that that came down from Heaven to the Promised Land and the holy city of Jerusalem. This is like a relay race where one runner passes the baton (the will of God) to the next runner at a designated location. In this case the baton is passed on at a specific designated location of time, at the time of Shavuot. Both of these administrations of God converge at the designated time of Shavuot. On Shavuot the Torah of Moses is fulfilled by the Torah of the Spirit. The race is won when both runners finish their assigned portions of the race. Moses runs first. He gives us the Law (written Torah). The Messiah runs second, He fulfills the Torah of Moses through his atoning sacrifice and his sending us the gift of the Father, the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of Holiness (Living Torah).
Messiah Teaches at Shemini Atzeret:
וְיֵשׁוּעַ הָלַךְ אֶל־הַר הַזֵּיתִים׃ וַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וַיָּבֹא עוֹד אֶל־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְכָל־הָעָם בָּאוּ אֵלָיו וַיֵּשֶׁב וַיְלַמְּדֵם׃ וַיֹּסֶף יֵשׁוּעַ וַיְדַבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר אֲנִי אוֹר הָעוֹלָם כָּל־הַהֹלֵךְ אַחֲרַי לֹא יִתְהַלֵּךְ בַּחֲשֵׁכָה כִּי־אוֹר הַחַיִּים יִהְיֶה־לּוֹ׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַפְּרוּשִׁים עַל־נַפְשְׁךָ אַתָּה מֵעִיד עֵדוּתְךָ אֵינֶנָּה נֶאֱמָנָה׃ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם אַף אִם־אָעִיד עַל־נַפְשִׁי עֵדוּתִי אֱמֶת יַעַן אֲשֶׁר־יָדַעְתִּי מֵאַיִן בָּאתִי וְאָנָה אֲנִי הֹלֵךְ וְאַתֶּם לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם מֵאַיִן בָּאתִי וְאָנָה אֵלֵךְ׃ אַתֶּם לְפִי הַבָּשָׂר תִּשְׁפֹּטוּ וַאֲנִי לֹא אֶשְׁפֹּט אִישׁ׃ וְכִי אֶשְׁפֹּט אָנֹכִי מִשְׁפָּטִי אֶמֱת כִּי לֹא לְבַדִּי אָנִי כִּי אִם־אֲנִי וְהָאָב אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחָנִי׃ וְגַם בְּתוֹרַתְכֶם כָּתוּב כִּי עֵדוּת שְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים נֶאֱמָנָה הִיא׃ אֲנִי הוּא הַמֵּעִיד עָלָי וְגַם־הָאָב אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחַנִי יְעִידֵנִי׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו אָבִיךָ אַיּוֹ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ גַּם־אֹתִי גַּם אֶת־אָבִי לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם וְלוּ יְדַעְתֶּם אֹתִי כִּי עַתָּה גַּם אֶת־אָבִי יְדַעְתֶּם׃ כַּדְבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה דִּבֶּר בְּבֵית הָאוֹצָר בְּלַמְּדוֹ בַמִקְדָּשׁ וְלֹא־תְפָשׂוֹּ אִישׁ כִּי לֹא־בָא עִתּוֹ׃
In the morning (on the day of Shemini Atzret and Simchat Torah), he (the Messiah entered the temple again. All of the people came to him, and he sat and taught them. Yeshua spoke to them once more, saying, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will not walk in darkness, for he will have the light of life.” The Prushim said, “You are testifying about yourself; your testimony is not trustworthy.” Yeshua answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, since I know where I have come from and where I am going. But you do not know where I’ve come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh, but I do not judge anyone. And if I do judge, my judgment is true because it is not I alone, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Torah it is also written that the testimony of two men is trustworthy. I am the one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me also testifies about me.” They said to him, “Where is your Father?” Yeshua answered, “You do not know either me or my Father. If only you knew me! For then you would also know my Father.” He spoke words like this in the chamber of the treasury as he taught in the Temple. But no one captured him because his time (hour) had not come.
וַיּוֹסֶף יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם אֲנִי הֹלֵךְ מִזֶּה וּתְבַקְשׁוּנִי וּבְחַטַּאתְכֶם תָּמוּתוּ אֶל־אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי הֹלֵךְ שָׁמָּה אַתֶּם לֹא־תוּכְלוּ לָבוֹא׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַיְּהוּדִים הַיְאַבֵּד עַצְמוֹ כִּי אָמַר אֶל־אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ שָׁמָּה אַתֶּם לֹא־תוּכְלוּ לָבוֹא׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם אַתֶּם הִנְּכֶם מִן־הַתַּחְתּוֹנִים וַאֲנִי מִן־הָעֶלְיוֹנִים אַתֶּם מִן־הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וַאֲנִי אֵינֶנִּי מִן־הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה׃ לָכֵן אָמַרְתִּי לָכֶם כִּי תָמוּתוּ בַּחֲטָאֵיכֶם כִּי אִם־לֹא תַאֲמִינוּ כִּי־אֲנִי הוּא בַּחֲטָאֵיכֶם תָּמוּתוּ׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו מִי־זֶה אָתָּה וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ אֲשֶׁר גַּם מֵרֹאשׁ דִבַּרְתִּי לָכֶם׃ רַבּוֹת עִמִּי לְדַבֵּר וְלִשְׁפֹּט עֲלֵיכֶם אָכֵן שֹׁלְחִי נֶאֱמָן הוּא וַאֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתִּי מִמֶֶּנּוּ אֹתוֹ אֲדַבֵּר אֶל־הָעוֹלָם׃ וְהֵם לֹא הֵבִינוּ כִּי עַל־הָאָב אָמַר אֲלֵיהֶם׃ אָז אָמַר לָהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ בְּעֵת תְּנַשְּׂאוּ אֶת־בֶּן־הָאָדָם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי הוּא וְכִי אֵינֶנִּי עֹשֶׂה דָבָר מִנַּפְשִׁי כִּי אִם־כַּאֲשֶׁר לִמְּדַנִי אָבִי אֵלֶּה אֲדַבֵּר׃ וַאֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח אֹתִי הוּא עִמָּדִי הָאָב לֹא עֲזָבַנִי לְבָדָד כִּי אֶת־הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינָיו אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה תָּמִיד׃ וַיְהִי בְּדַבְּרוֹ זֹאת וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בוֹ רַבִּים׃
Once more, Yeshua said to them, “I am going from here. You will seek me, but you will die in your sins. Where I am going, you will not be able to come.” The Yehudim said to him, “Will He destroy himself? For He said, ‘Where I am going, you will not be able to come.'” He said to them, “You are from the lower regions, but I am from the upper regions. You are from this world, but I am not from this world. That is why I have said to you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.” They said to him, “Who are you?” Yeshua said to them, “I am as I have been telling you from the beginning. I have many things to say and judge against you. Surely the One who sent me is trustworthy. What I have heard from Him I will speak to the world.” They did not understand that he was talking to them about the Father. Then Yeshua said to them, “At the time you lift up the Son of Man [as Mosheh lifted up the copper serpent on the pole in the wilderness; cf. Numbers 21:9] you will know that I am he and that I do not do anything of myself. But as my Father has taught me, so I speak. The one who sent me is with me; the Father has not abandoned me to be alone. For I always do what is good in His eyes.” When He spoke this, many believed in him. (Continued in the next chapter).