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The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2014: Crossing the Jordan (Part 2)

Nisan 10 / April 10, 2014 (Began at sunset on April 9):

          Three days had passed since Joshua sent out the two spies. The long-awaited crossing of the Jordan River by the entire nation of Israel into the Promised Land was about to take place. This was a monumental event for the Hebrew people. Forty years after leaving Egypt, they were almost home.

          At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.” [Joshua 3:2-3]

          So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off.

         So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. [Joshua 3:14-17]

          Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. [Joshua 4:19]

          The spiritual equivalent of crossing the Jordan River is profound. It compares to a time when training and preparation has ended and a full grasping of what one has trained for begins. Joshua and Caleb were effectively sentenced by the unbelief of the prior generation to forty years in a place they did not really belong. These two stalwart warriors had been ready to take the land forty years before. Imagine how ready they were at this time. They were bursting with desire to take the Promised Land.

          Here’s our lesson: When one is given a promise by God one must then prepare for the arrival of that promise. We think it will happen right away, right after receiving the revelation of the promise. But the actual achievement of the promise is often years into the future. It is like a seed that must be activated and generated into a fruit-bearing plant.

          The specific promise God has made to each of us is activated by ongoing prayers of faith.

         Praying in faith—believing the promise will happen and praying for it to happen—is how it does happen.

          One must put in the required effort to show oneself worthy. One must effectively pray it in, call it forth, and walk it out. One must allow for and actively participate in the Lord’s preparation and training for an event that would otherwise be impossible. Our part is to believe and pray consistently so the Lord can continue the preparation.

          It is like the development of a baby in the womb. There is a particular gestation period, but the birth of the promise will never happen without one’s spiritual effort. Ceasing to believe and pray ceases the development. Continuing to believe and putting one’s faith into action through consistent faithful prayer, regardless of circumstances or apparent lack of fruit or progress, is what keeps the promise on track.

          Though Joshua and Caleb understood this, the prior generation did not and would not. The prior generation was a collection of faithless, complaining gripers always looking back to Egypt (the world) instead of forward to the Promised Land (the kingdom). God would have to use Moses and these two men, Joshua and Caleb,  to train and prepare the next generation in belief, so that belief would be established with the nation of Israel, and so that Israel would be victorious when the time of the promise came to pass.

          This is why crossing the Jordan is so important.

         To attain the promise, one must cross over from the old into the new. But this is not possible without a Sinai “crucifying the flesh-establishment of belief” experience. There are no short cuts.

          The next event on the calendar is indicative of covenant. All the men of the second generation, the generation of belief, had never undergone circumcision while wandering in the Sinai. The entire previous generation that left Egypt had died off, except for the faithful and valiant Joshua and Caleb.

         After crossing the Jordan, the men of Israel were circumcised on the first day in the Promised Land. This indicates our own circumcision of heart as we enter God’s kingdom.

          Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. [Joshua 5:7-8]

          Also on this date, the Passover lambs were chosen in preparation for the Passover. The following is the account of the first Passover preparations in Egypt, just prior to the Exodus, and forty years before the Jordan crossing:

          Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel,saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.’” [Exodus 12:1-3]

          The Israelites were commanded to keep and prepare each individual lamb for the next four days.

          It was also on this exact date, Nisan 10, that Messiah Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. He was the perfect Lamb chosen by God and made officially public on the exact prophetic date. Though the people celebrated Him as the King Messiah, it was actually the unveiling of the suffering Servant Messiah, the Lamb of God, four days prior to His atoning death.

          They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple… [Mark 11:7-11] [1]

          Over the next four days beginning Thursday with the Jordan River Crossing, consider what the Lord may be doing in your life relative to these events. There are many important anniversary dates coming up over the next week, but for now, it is time to enter the Promised Land.

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2014 (Part 1)

         [The following begins the republishing of a series of posts I made two years ago. I have done some major updating and also installed the correct dates for this year. I originally began studying the Hebrew calendar with reference to Biblical events many years ago and have written several papers and studies concerning them. Though the spring feasts have been fulfilled, it does not mean these dates do not have current significance. I encourage you to continue studying Gods calendar on your own, and see how this time of year might be applied to a new beginning in your own life.]

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         According to the lunar-solar Hebrew calendar of modern Rabbinic Judaism, Tuesday, April 1 was the first day of the month of Nisan. Historically, this is a very important month and, coinciding with the season of spring, denotes a new beginning.

          Nisan is the first month of the festival, or ecclesiastical year.

          It is most often the seventh month of the civil year.

          In an intercalary year, when there are thirteen months instead of twelve, such as 2014, it is the eighth month.

          The name Nisan is Babylonian, and was named during the 70 year captivity in Babylon in the sixth century BC. In the Old Testament, in the Torah, this month was originally known as Abib (or Aviv) in most Bible versions. The word Abib means, “fresh, young barley ears,” and refers to the time of the year when the barley first becomes ripe.

          Each Hebrew month begins and ends with the new moon. But because the official rabbinic calendar is predetermined, technical problems arise. The calendar is not dynamic but fixed to allow for the setting of dates decades or even centuries in advance.

          For example, the actual new moon which began the current lunar month took place in the USA on Sunday afternoon, March 30, at 1:45 Central Daylight Time.

         However, the official Hebrew calendar did not start the new month of Nisan until Monday, March 31 at sunset. This is in part because Hebrew days always begin at evening, in keeping with the account in Genesis 1:5: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” This is also due to the static nature of the Hebrew calendar, in that the month should have actually began a day earlier.

         So, technically, Nisan 1 began in the USA on Sunday, March 30 at sunset. You’ll have to check your own lunar cycle wherever you may live in the world to discover when Nisan 1 began in your area.

         The following list of dates includes the happenings of this time of year in relation to the days of the ancient calendar of the Hebrews. Since God’s original calendar remains in effect, these days are very important. Each feast day carries prophetic overtones. The spring feasts were all fulfilled two-thousand years ago when Messiah Jesus arrived the first time, and the fall feasts will be fulfilled when He returns at some point in the near future.

          To eliminate confusion, the listed dates are according to the official rabbinic calendar.

Regarding the month of Nisan:

          Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” [Exodus 12:1-2]

          There are several significant events in Biblical history that took place on Nisan 1, the above passage of Scripture being one of them. God still pays close attention to His calendar and His timing for personal events in our lives often involves calendar dates. Many of us are feeling a new spiritual beginning of some sort at this time.

          What follows is a sampling of important dates to orient us to the beginning of this new season.

Nisan 1 / April 1, 2014 Tuesday (Began at sunset on March 31):

          It was on this date that the Mishkan was set up for the first time:

          Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. [Exodus 40:17]

          The nation of Israel had left Egypt after the first Passover almost one full year before this event. The people had been in the Sinai since the Exodus from Egypt, and because of their lack of faith, they denied themselves entry into the Promised Land many months before and were destined to wander in the desert a full forty years. In that time the design was revealed, and the elements needed for the tabernacle were built, including the Ark of the Covenant. It was on this date that the tabernacle in the wilderness was set up for the first time in its history.

          This is indicative of a new spiritual start and a new beginning. It is indicative of the beginning of a new ministry. Since the Great Awakening in America is on course, though in the early stages, the beginning of a new chapter is undoubtedly taking place now. We are in transition to a greater fulfilling of this process, and individual believers are sensing this in their own lives and walking it out. Many are feeling a strong tug on their hearts to get closer to the Lord, whatever that may involve.

          The next section is dedicated to two different eras: (1) The nation of Israel entering into the Promised Land for the first time thirty-nine years after the Mishkan was erected in the Sinai, and (2) The events of Passion Week almost fifteen hundred years later.

          The Mishkan had repeatedly been set up for ministry and taken down in various locations as the nation of Israel traveled about the Sinai. At the end of their wanderings, Israel stood at the precipice of destiny. The prophecy was about to be fulfilled. They were now on the threshold of entering the Promised Land forty years after leaving Egypt, and would soon partake of their first Passover in the new land.

          Notice the similarity of events when compared to Passion Week, to be discussed in Parts 2 and 3, when our Lord first entered Jerusalem as the officially recognized and honored Messiah. Is there any doubt that God creates new beginnings and fulfills prophecy on a specific timetable according to certain dates?

Nisan 7 / April 7, 2014 Monday (Began at sunset on April 6):

          While the nation of Israel was camped on the eastern side of the Jordan, two spies, or scouts, were sent out by Joshua across the Jordan River to Jericho to gather intelligence for the first battle in the conquest for the Promised Land.

          Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.’” [Joshua 1:10-11]

          Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. [Joshua 2:1] [1]

          © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2012: Crossing the Jordan (Part 2)

Nisan 10 / April 2, 2012 (Began at sunset on April 1):

         Three days had passed since Joshua sent out the two spies. The long-awaited crossing of the Jordan River by the entire nation of Israel into the Promised Land was about to take place. This was a monumental event for the Hebrew people. Forty years after leaving Egypt, they were almost home.

         At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.” [Joshua 3:2-3]

         So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. [Joshua 3:14-17]

         Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. [Joshua 4:19]

         The spiritual equivalent of crossing the Jordan River is profound. It compares to a time when training and preparation has ended and a full grasping of what one has trained for begins. Joshua and Caleb were effectively sentenced by the unbelief of the prior generation to forty years in a place they did not really belong. These two stalwart warriors had been ready to take the land forty years before. Imagine how ready they were at this time. They were bursting with desire to take the Promised Land.

         Here’s our lesson: When one is given a promise by God one must then prepare for the arrival of that promise. We think it will happen right away, right after receiving the revelation of the promise. But the actual achievement of the promise is often years into the future. It is like a seed that must be activated and generated into a fruit-bearing plant.

         The specific promise God has made to each of us is activated by ongoing prayers of faith.

         Praying in faith—believing the promise will happen and praying for it to happen—is how it does happen.

         One must put in the required effort to show oneself worthy. One must effectively pray it in, call it forth, and walk it out. One must allow for and actively participate in the Lord’s preparation and training for an event that would otherwise be impossible. Our part is to believe and pray consistently so the Lord can continue the preparation.

         It is like the development of a baby in the womb. There is a particular gestation period, but the birth of the promise will never happen without one’s spiritual effort. Ceasing to believe and pray ceases the development. Continuing to believe and putting one’s faith into action through consistent faithful prayer, regardless of circumstances or apparent lack of fruit or progress, is what keeps the promise on track.

         Though Joshua and Caleb understood this, the prior generation did not and would not. The prior generation was a collection of faithless, complaining gripers always looking back to Egypt (the world) instead of forward to the Promised Land (the kingdom). God would have to use Moses and these two men to train and prepare the next generation in belief, so that belief would be established with the nation of Israel, and so that Israel would be victorious when the time of the promise came to pass.

         This is why crossing the Jordan is so important. To attain the promise, one must cross over from the old into the new. But this is not possible without a Sinai “crucifying the flesh-establishment of belief” experience.

         The next event on the calendar is indicative of covenant. All the men of the second generation, the generation of belief, had never undergone circumcision while wandering in the Sinai. The entire previous generation that left Egypt had died off, except for the faithful and valiant Joshua and Caleb. After crossing the Jordan, the men of Israel were circumcised on the first day in the Promised Land. This indicates our own circumcision of heart as we enter God’s kingdom.

         Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. [Joshua 5:7-8]

         Also on this date, the Passover lambs were chosen in preparation for the Passover. The following is the account of the first Passover preparations in Egypt, just prior to the Exodus, and forty years before the Jordan crossing:

         Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel,saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.’” [Exodus 12:1-3]

         The Israelites were commanded to keep and prepare each individual lamb for the next four days.

         It was also on this exact date, Nisan 10, that Messiah Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. He was the perfect Lamb chosen by God and made officially public on the exact prophetic date. Though the people celebrated Him as the King Messiah, it was actually the unveiling of the suffering Servant Messiah, the Lamb of God, four days prior to His atoning death.

         They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple… [Mark 11:7-11] [1]

         Over the next four days, beginning Monday with the Jordan Crossing, consider what the Lord may be doing in your life relative to these events. It is time to take the Promised Land.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 3] [Part 3 will be posted on April 5]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2012 (Part 1)

         According to the lunar-solar Hebrew calendar of modern Rabbinic Judaism, last Saturday, March 24, was the first day of the month of Nisan. Historically, this is a very important month and, coinciding with the season of spring, denotes a new beginning.

         Nisan is the first month of the festival, or ecclesiastical year.

         It is the seventh month of the civil year.

         (In an intercalary year, when there are thirteen months, it is the eighth month.)

         The name Nisan is Babylonian, and was named during the 70 year captivity in Babylon in the sixth century BC. In the Old Testament, in the Torah, this month was originally known as Abib in most Bible versions. The word Abib means, “fresh, young barley ears,” and refers to the time of the year when the barley first becomes ripe.

         Each Hebrew month begins and ends with the new moon. But because the official rabbinic calendar is predetermined, technical problems arise. The calendar is not dynamic but fixed to allow for the setting of dates decades or even centuries in advance.

         For example, the actual new moon which began the current lunar month took place in the USA on Thursday morning, March 22, at 9:38 Central Daylight Time, though the official Hebrew calendar did not start the new month of Nisan until Friday evening, March 23 (Hebrew days always begin at evening, in keeping with the account in Genesis 1:5: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day”).

         So, technically, Nisan 1 began in the USA at sunset on Thursday, March 22. You’ll have to check your own lunar cycle wherever you may live in the world to discover when Nisan 1 began in your area.

         The following list of dates includes the happenings of this time of year in relation to the days of the ancient calendar of the Hebrews. Many believe that God still honors His calendar and therefore, these days are very important. Each feast day carries prophetic overtones. The spring feasts were all fulfilled two-thousand years ago when Messiah Jesus arrived the first time, and the fall feasts will be fulfilled when He returns at some point in the near future.

         To eliminate confusion, the listed dates are according to the official rabbinic calendar.

         Regarding the month of Nisan:

         Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” [Exodus 12:1-2]

         There are several significant events in Biblical history that took place on Nisan 1, the above passage of Scripture being one of them. God still pays close attention to His calendar, and His timing for personal events in our lives often involves calendar dates. Many of us are feeling a new spiritual beginning of some sort at this time.

         What follows is a sampling of important dates to orient us to the beginning of this new season.       

Nisan 1 / March 24, 2012 (Began at sunset on March 23):

         It was on this date that the Mishkan was set up for the first time:

         Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. [Exodus 40:17]

         The nation of Israel had left Egypt after the first Passover almost one full year before this event. The people had been in the Sinai since the Exodus from Egypt, and because of their lack of faith, they denied themselves entry into the Promised Land many months before and were destined to wander in the desert a full forty years. In that time the design was revealed, and the elements needed for the tabernacle were built, including the Ark of the Covenant. It was on this date that the tabernacle in the wilderness was set up for the first time in its history.

         This is indicative of a new spiritual start and a new beginning. It is indicative of the beginning of a new ministry. Since the Great Awakening in America is on course, though in the early stages, the beginning of a new chapter is undoubtedly taking place now. We are in transition to a greater fulfilling of this process, and individual believers are sensing this in their own lives and walking it out. Many are feeling a strong tug on their hearts to get closer to the Lord, whatever that may involve.

         The next section is dedicated to two different eras: (1) The nation of Israel entering into the Promised Land for the first time thirty-nine years later, and (2) The events of Passion Week almost fifteen hundred years after that.

         The Mishkan had repeatedly been set up for ministry and taken down in various locations as the nation of Israel traveled about the Sinai. At the end of their wanderings, Israel stood at the precipice of destiny. The prophecy was about to be fulfilled. They were now on the threshold of entering the Promised Land and would soon partake of their first Passover in the new land.

         Notice the similarity of events when compared to Passion Week, to be discussed in Parts 2 and 3, when our Lord first entered Jerusalem as the officially recognized and honored Messiah. Is there any doubt that God creates new beginnings and fulfills prophecy on a specific timetable according to certain dates?

Nisan 7 / March 30, 2012 (Begins at sunset tonight on March 29):

         While the nation of Israel was camped on the eastern side of the Jordan, two spies, or scouts, were sent out by Joshua across the Jordan River to Jericho to gather intelligence for the first battle of the conquest of the Promised Land.

         Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.’”[Joshua 1:10-11]

         Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. [Joshua 2:1] [1]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 3] [Part 2 will be posted on April 1]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.