Rosh Hashanah 5775: God's Presence Is Coming Through The Open Doors

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The Light of the World, c.1852 (oil on canvas) by William Holman Hunt

The Light of the World, c.1852 (oil on canvas) by William Holman Hunt

As the beginning of the new Hebraic year approaches at sundown on September, 24, 2014, I wanted to share some of what I have been sensing in the last months. I offer this very loosely, but in the hopes that there may be some encouragement to others during this season.

This is a significant time of year and often we may be experiencing much during this season, and again in the Spring as Passover approaches. It helps to be aware of the seasons of the Hebrew calendar because of the spiritual significance associated with God’s movements throughout the year.

The Hebraic calendar has corporate and personal significance. I have noticed that there is a lot of overlap in the liturgical seasons with the Hebraic calendar as well. Right now the church is in the season of Pentecost, in which we pray daily “Come, Holy Spirit!” It’s an active time before Advent in which there seems to be a settling into a lot of stillness and waiting. 

In the Hebrew calendar, this is also an active time. You may be experiencing a lot of transition and also a lot of spiritual activity. You may be experiencing an increase in dreams and visions. You may sense the Lord is revealing things to you in prayer or scripture study. You may be experiencing a lot of spiritual resistance or oppression as well.

As Rosh Hashanah approaches each year, it is a time when God is aligning to release a new season. And it is good to know what the Hebraic years represent so we can be aware of shifts in our lives that may be involved in a bigger picture.

The Open Door: 5774

The current Hebraic year that is coming to a close is the year 5774. The rabbis believe there is great spiritual significance to the numbers and letters associated with years, months, and days in the Hebrew calendar. 

We are currently in the decade of the 70’s and 70 is represented by “ayin” and the pictorial representation is and eye. So we are in a time frame in which God is giving eyes to see and bringing clarity of vision for what God is doing in the earth. The purpose of the revelation is so that we can be in agreement, alliance, and obedience. This is also a season of completion of many things that we have been working toward for many years. 

The year we are completing is 5774 and it is represented as Ayin Dalet, which means, according to the Hebrew, that God has provided a door of deliverance. The letter Dalet is associated with the number 4. You may have even experienced many new open doors in this last year in many areas of your life.

God’s Presence Coming Through the Door: 5775

Rosh Hashanah begins sundown Sept 24 and is the start of the Hebraic year 5775 and is called  “ayin hey”. Originally, this letter was a pictograph of a man standing with his arms out, ready to receive. In modern Hebrew, “hey” is associated with beholding a great sight. It also is connected with breath, God’s presence, and revelation. “Hey” is associated with creative power, because of the power of the proceeding word, God’s breath.

“Hey” also refers to Gods name significantly, it is used in Judaism to indicate “the name”.  In the story of Abraham and Sarah, “hey” is added into their names as God’s covenant and creation enters into their lives. The letter represents the presence of God within the human heart and the transforming power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is a lot of connection to joy in this that we will talk more about in a moment.

“Hey” is about gods presence and breath as Jesus comes through the open doors for those that have seen those doors and are in position. We will talk about how to position at the door.

It's a year of rest for the land, a sabbath year. It is actually a 49th year, and 5776 is a jubilee year (every 50th year) and a leap year. In that year, we will experience the year of forgiveness of debts and properties being returned to people as they receive their proper inheritances. So, we are in a significant season of time in these few years.

Our Posture At The Door

To be in position at God’s open door, we must embrace humility and repentance. Especially at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, this is a time of introspection and repentance.

To go through the tent door, one would have stoop down, there is a posture of humility in the transition. Jesus talks about this when he talks about the pride of the rich young ruler, and says for a rich man to enter the Kingdom, it’s like a camel going through the eye of the needle. Jesus was referencing a gate that was quite small and the camel could not fit through until all it’s burdens had been released and unpacked (Mark 10:17-31). This is a great image of repentance. It’s a time to seek the Lord about what needs to be unburdened so that you can be in the door.

I don’t want to give the impression that God is angry at our sin, because that’s not the point here. Repentance is for us. It clears the stream so that we can flow freely, fully alive and enjoying Who God is and who we are. It’s about coming into alignment with truth and freedom for us. It’s about being able to see God clearly with open hearts free to receive as His presence comes through the door. Repentance brings joy and is always the starting point of any move of God because it breaks us free to respond and move in Him, to see God as He is, and to be who we truly are.

Psalm 126:5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. (NRSV)

Luke 15:7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (NRSV)

Some Possible Prophetic Signs 

Two significant elder leaders within the prophetic stream of the church, Bob Jones and Arthur Burt, passed away in 2014. Arthur Burt just very recently, in August, and Bob Jones on February 14. Bob Jones carried a prophetic message throughout his ministry of a coming renewal in which a billion souls would come into the Kingdom. The movement would be one of love, so many found it significant that he would pass away on Valentine's Day. Many have connected them together in terms of prophecies about a move of God that they were both promised to see the beginnings of in their lifetimes.

The following word of prophecy was given to Arthur Burt in the 1930’s. He is noted to have said that previous moves of God were ebbed by the problem of human pride. Humility is an important key to this season as we enter into the work Jesus is doing.

“It shall come as a breath… 
And the breath shall bring the wind…
And the wind shall bring the rain.
And there shall be floods and floods and floods…
And torrents and torrents and torrents.
…And there shall be no ebb.”

Another friend and prophetic mentor of mine also sensed some connections to these words. Several months ago, after having a significant dream about waves of water, God led her to study Noah and how God prepared him for the coming flood. She received this significant dream the night before Bob Jones passed away. In this dream, we were not afraid and were having fun navigating the waves together, which I think is also related to the joy that is part of this season.

So, we have to hold these things loosely, but I just have a feeling as I am in different environments, and hearing different people as they share what they sense, is that there is a great excitement that something major is going on. Healing is happening dramatically faster for people and they are sensing God’s presence and movement. There is a sense of fun or a desire to enjoy and celebrate. 

I have personally just felt very caught up in something that seems far beyond me. It’s exciting, and also makes me want to curl up with the Lord and be very small. I know for me there is a lot of perseverance, there has been a lot of resistance in the last few months. But, I can honestly say that I have never experienced what I am feeling in these days, and it is a deep and abiding joy that I think God is forming in me more and more.

A Seed Dies And Produces A Harvest

It can be significant prophetically to pay attention to the passing of certain individuals who have carried something significant for the Kingdom or represent certain things. This is not to say that God lets people die to make a point, but certainly to have Bob Jones and Arthur Burt pass away highlights the message about a move of God that they carried throughout their lives and ministries.

Recently, two famous comedians passed away. Even though both deaths were tragic and unexpected, I felt that was confirming to me that there will be a release of joy. Both of them carried an incredible gift to bring joy into the world, which is a gift from God. The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy. 

Joy In God's Presence

John 15:10-11 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. (NRSV)

Graham Cooke speaks about this in terms of abiding, as he says "God himself has put you into Christ. You don’t have to do anything to enter but you have to do everything to remain. The key discipline in the New Testament is abiding. Learn to stay. Learn to dwell. Learn to sit. Learn to enjoy.”

Sometimes we can associate obedience negatively with religious teachings that imply we must earn God’s grace. In Hebraic understanding, the law was not about earning acceptance from God, it was a recognition of what God had done, his faithfulness and salvation of a people. A good Hebrew observed the law in order to stay in the bounds of the relationship and life that God had provided, not to get into covenant. It was a sign of gratitude that covenant had been unilaterally made by God on their behalf. We call that grace. And Christ has put Himself into us all, and so repentance just aligns us with that amazing reality.

Remember we are transitioning from the open door to the God’s presence coming through that door. We should expect to experience joy in this season. Recall that “Hey” is about God’s presence and with Abraham and Sarah there was such a connection with joy as God came into their lives. They both laughed in unbelief at God’s promise, but then the child was named Isaac, which mans laughter. 

Psalm 16:11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NRSV)

Psalm 21:6 You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence. (NRSV)

Double Seasons

As we look at the Hebraic season, I think we experiencing the typical progression of the holy days and feast of this season. But it seems to also be doubled in magnitude because of the significance of the years. Rosh Hashanah is a time of repentance, and so is the year we are in, Ayin Dalet (5774), as repentance is required in order to be in the door. Yom Kippur represents the truth that we are unable to bring ourselves into right relationship with God, but the work of Christ provides restoration of relationship with the Father through the indwelling Holy Spirit. I associated this image with Ayin Hey (5775) as God’s presence comes through the doors. And Sukkot is a time of rejoicing, joy and celebration which coincides with the Jubilee year coming in 5776. We are entering a 49th year, a 7th 7th sabbath year. So, this aspect of doubling might indicate a magnitude of the times in which we live.

Gates And Doors

As we have been in the year of the open door, I believe Psalm 24 (NRSV) is a key scripture for this season. I have made a few connections in italics to the phrases that seem to me to have deep meaning at this time. 

1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, 
the world, and those who live in it;
2 for he has founded it on the seas, (Recall Arthur Burt’s word)
and established it on the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, (Repentance)
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully. (Those in prideful rebellion may not be in a place to see or receive much in this season.)
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
6 Such is the company of those who seek him, (Keep our eyes on Jesus coming through the door.)
 who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in. (Remember the original pictograph of  “hey”, man with arms lifted to receive Him)
8 Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors! (Some Hebraic teachers associate this with a smile as we turn our faces up toward the Lord to receive joy.)
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?    
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory. Selah

Joy In Times of Trouble

I am expectant for a movement full of great joy. Often when we receive a personal prophetic word about something like grace or patience, or any of the spiritual gifts God is forming in us, there can be some situations in which those are strengthened. Those situations often look like the opposite of what was promised, but that is where we receive the true gift that is divine and goes against our natural responses.

Joy is referenced in the New Testament at times in connection to tribulation or times of trouble. If Psalm 24 is an indication, the presence of Jesus may be coming in as a strong warrior, mighty in battle.

In other words, I expect to see and experience the Lord’s presence in this season, possibly in a new way. I am expectant that joy is going to be a part of how God is moving and healing and working in me and others. But, I have no idea what that is actually going to look like. 

I have learned even more in recent months that great resistance manifests when Jesus is manifest. So if there is demonic warfare, look for what God is doing, it should only point us to that so that we can pray into God’s movement and live into the Kingdom. We do not have to be afraid.

Some Final Keys

These are a few insights that God has been highlighting in my own journey as keys for this season.

  • Play.
  • Eyes on Jesus.
  • New authority, less of me, more of him. Humility.
  • Gifts flowing and shifting, pay attention, don’t be dismayed.
  • Courage. The joy set before me.
  • Rest which is not passive but means we are operating as created to, fully ourselves, in our unique identity in Christ.
  • Expectancy without expectations.
  • Hold loosely.
  • Prepared but not preoccupied. Live in the moments. Kingdom is now.
  • Responsive but not responsible.
  • Remember Whose work this is.
  • Ask, seek, knock...workers for the harvest, our place, provisions from a good Father.
  • Healing and prophecy increasing and working together.

I encourage you to pray and ask Jesus if there are aspects of your life right now that may be part of the larger movement of God’s seasons.

Sometimes, we can be swept up into the Kingdom in ways that dismay us if we only think that what we sense is on a personal level. My hope in sharing what I have been feeling may be happening on a larger scale, is that if any of this seems right to you, you will begin to seek the Lord in prayer as well.