Shevat 5783

This is the month to enter through the Water Gate, receiving refreshing and renewal as we enter into Abba’s promises for this month. It is the month to check our roots to be sure we bear good fruit, and to receive the abundance of blessing that is coming, regardless of the intimidating messages and lies of the enemy that try to keep us from them. It is the month to decide if we will let the enemy steal our inheritance in Adonai, or stand firm in the authority Yeshua has given us to receive His allotted portion for this season and give extravagantly. We must keep the thief out of the garden who wishes to steal all that has been labored over and waited upon. Are your walls up? Are the watchmen on the ramparts?

This month the Father is asking what we see as a watchman seated with Yeshua by His side, not what we see from the world’s perspective even with all that is happening around us. Shevat is the 11th month of the Biblical calendar lasting from January 23rd to February 21st on the Gregorian Calendar. It is the second of the winter months in Israel, and the height of the rainy season, as well as when the celebration of Tu Bishvat (New Year of Trees) on Shevat 15 (February 6th). It is time to enter through the gate of this new Biblical month together armed with the victorious blueprint of heaven.

The Month of Oil and Water

This being the month of the tribe of Asher represented by the olive tree, as well as the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer, there is special revelation this month in Scripture that is rife with deep understanding of the time and season we are in. We know in the natural that water and oil do not mix, but in Scripture they are synonymous with anointing (Mark 6:13), consecration (1 Kings1:28-53), healing (James 5:14), the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39), being set apart from the world (1 Peter 3:21-22), activation (Acts 10:47), and being born again from above (John 3:4-8). This month is a time to remember the promises of Adonai and to live out the reality in which we now live as born again anointed witnesses of Yeshua who have been transformed according to the Spirit. It is unfortunate for the world if we take for granted that which we have been gifted seeing as it is our God given mission to transfer the blessing to those without salvation through Yeshua.

This is the month to shed away all things keeping us from our calling and purpose in Yeshua. Oil and water sit one on top of the other, but spiritually represents our new reality as born again from above and new creations in Christ living both in the world but also seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). We are now in two places at once and the reality of heaven has become our reality here on earth along with every person we come into contact with. If this is not evident in our lives, what is blocking it from being normal? If it is common that we conform to the world despite our new identity as citizens of heaven and sons and daughters of God, then should we be doing more to blend in or stand out for others to recognize that salvation is at hand? May the washing of water and the anointing of oil be your reminder this Shevat to be the person Adonai has called you to be and to shrug off the fear and complacency that hinders others from seeing God in you and Him in us. Remember, Yeshua Himself leads you by streams of still and quiet waters and anoints your head with oil as you sit with Him at the table He has set before you in the midst of your enemies (Psalm 23)

Tu Bishvat (The New Year of Trees)

On Shevat 15 (February 6th) we celebrate Tu Bishvat here in Israel, one of the four separate New Years throughout the Biblical Calendar, but this one focuses specifically on trees and produce as the rains have come and the harvest is soon to come as Spring arrives. Here in Israel in particular we remember Deuteronomy 8:7-10 which says,

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat bread without shortage, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.”

This is not only for Israel in this month of Shevat but also for ourselves individually. We are a fertile ground in the God of Israel, and our produce as temples of the Holy Spirit is bountiful. His promises over our lives are extraordinary, and the fruit of the Spirit is abundant both within and around us. You are a land of plenty, and this month is the time to receive the blessings both in the natural and the Spirit that has been stolen by the enemy, that is ready to be harvested, and to expound on the opportunities Adonai has recently presented. Receive in full the promises of the King of Glory this Shevat, and may those blessings be for the glory of the Most High.

ID DLI

The actual word Shevat refers to the heavy rains of the month as winter draws to a close in Israel. It is no coincidence that the constellation above Israel during Shevat is “Id Dli” meaning Water Urn, otherwise known as Aquarius. So let’s unpack the blueprint of Shevat from the heavens down shall we? Id Dli pictures a man pouring fresh water from an urn for the fish below. As well as it having a natural parallel to the current rainy season, there is also a very spiritual one. In this constellation, the man represents God, the water as the Holy Spirit and the fish as us, God’s children receiving the Holy Spirit. It shows us this month as a month of both natural and spiritual abundance from Adonai.

Id Dli is a reminder that no matter the circumstance or situation, Yeshua has prepared a way for us so that we will never have to worry or be anxious about the next moments and days. His way, the Way does not worry about the giants we face amidst His promises, but instead rejoices over His promise knowing that if He promised it, He will also remove the giants from our path if we choose to cross the proverbial Jordan river into the promised land. We focus on the water (the Holy Spirit) being poured out this month remembering that Yeshua ascended to the right hand of the Father so that we would receive the Holy Spirit, “Who knows the thoughts of the Father…so that we may know and understand the [wonderful] things freely given to us by Adonai” (1 Corinthians 2:11). Isaiah 44:3 characterizes this month beautifully saying, “I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.” The Father is pouring out both His Spirit and His blessings in a double portion this month, but expect to be surprised at how He does it, and don’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen the way you expected.

Just know that everything has already been prepared. Do you think Yeshua’s disciples knew how they were going to spend the Passover with Him in Jerusalem when He was the most wanted man in Israel? No, but they knew they would. “He said to them, Behold, when you have gone into the city, a man carrying an earthen jug or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and say to the master of the house, The Teacher asks you, where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover meal with My disciples” (Luke 22:10-11). Everything had already been prepared beforehand with every detail already taken care of without the disciples knowledge. This is symbolic of any kind of provision we need in our lives. Not only did Yeshua tell His disciples where the man would be, but He also put the word in their mouths for the occasion when they met face to face. He gives us everything we need for the season we are in, but it is up to us to actually take the steps to accomplish the task. When Adonai gives the vision as He did to His disciples, He also gives the provision, everything we will need to fulfill that vision. If Yeshua told you face to face to go and do something for Him, I imagine you would do it to perfection. If you know you have a calling, vision or promise from God, act as though Yeshua is standing right in front of you telling you He has given you everything you need to make it happen, and take a step of faith, then another and, another until it is accomplished. Just as Id Dli is depicted in the night sky, Adonai has poured out His Spirit giving us all we could need to accomplish with Him the task set before us.

The Watchman Tree

The Almond Trees, also know as the Watchman Trees, are blooming in Israel! It is at this time that the sap begins to rise in the fruit trees unseen by the naked eye, but the Almond Trees know what is coming, and acts as the Watchman Tree, blooming before even its leaves grow to let man and the rest of nature know the time and season we are exiting and entering into. In Hebrew, Almond or “Shakay” has as its root word “Shamar” which means to watch over, put a protective hedge around, to protect or defend. It is the same word used in Genesis 2:15 when YHWH told Adam and Eve to cultivate and keep the Garden of Eden. When they were kicked out of the garden, the Cherubim was set at the entrance of the gate into Eden to “Shamar” the entrance to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24). Just like watchmen on the walls who see from the high place what is coming in order to tell the rest of the city what to be prepared for, so too is the Almond Tree. Jeremiah 1:11-12 perfectly embodies what it means to be a watchman of the Kingdom, what we are called to be this month. “The word of Adonai came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see the branch of an almond tree.” Then Adonai said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over My word to fulfill it.” It is time to go up to the heavenly ramparts, the throne room of heaven (Matthew 16:19), to know what is the current situation and what is coming to give a true report to both ourselves and the Body of Messiah for what is to come. This is who we have been called to be, the watchman who know the times and seasons like the Sons of Issachar. Do you know the time and season and what to do? Are you seeing from the heavenly perspective, or from the ground standing behind the gate guessing at what is coming?

Asher: The Tree of Life

Asher was the 8th son of Jacob, the second son of Leah born of her servant Zilpah. The meaning of Asher is happiness. When Moses prophesied over the twelve tribes, he said of Asher, “Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil” (Deuteronomy 33:24). Located in the northwest corner of Israel, Asher had the coast of the Mediterranean Sea as its western border and was very fertile land. They received more rain than most of the nation of Israel with rich pastures and orchards, and were particularly known for their abundance of olive trees that produced huge amounts of olive oil. They had wheat, water, wine and oil aplenty, with more than enough to export as well. Asher produced so much olive oil in fact, that their tribe’s insignia is the olive tree. Psalm 1:3 tells us that “Every righteous person is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Now the question is to ourselves, How are our roots in this season and where are they planted? What kind of fruit are we bearing? Not just financial fruit, but what are my relationships like with the people around me and most importantly with Yeshua? How do I treat myself and others? Are we living from the love of the Father or for the grind of the world? Are you happy? To fix the fruit we have to start with the root, and to know if the fruit is good, we need to know what good fruit looks like according to the Word. If your family crest was the Olive Tree, which looks like the tree of life, you would certainly want to represent that crest with honor, and we are being called to do just that as ambassadors of Christ as one Kingdom family.

Isaiah 11:15 gives us a great start in understanding how we can check and reset according to the Word. Speaking of Yeshua, it says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Adonai shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” The true root of Yeshua is the Father, and as the Branch, He took on the 7 attributes of the Holy Spirit. This is the Menorah, the 7 lamp stands spoken of in Revelation. These are the 7 branches, but what about the fruit?

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

From the roots to the fruit we are being called to examine ourselves before entering through the Water Gate of this new Biblical month of Shevat. Knowing that we all need help in doing so, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Entering The Water Gate

On the very first day of this Biblical month, Moses recited the entire book of Deuteronomy for 37 days. It was both a rebuke and encouragement to Israel. It was a reminder of the fact that 40 years prior, because of their unbelief when they were about to enter the promised land, they were sent into exile. Now a new generation was at the same mile marker, and Moses once again relayed to them the laws given on Mount Sinai, telling them the blessing that would come about if they followed the statutes of God, and the curses if they neglected to do so. Before ascending to Mount Nebo to die, Moses encouraged Joshua and all of Israel before they crossed the Jordan River into the promised land, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land which Adonai has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you will give it to them as an inheritance. It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Joshua 1:9).

This leads us to another great parallel to this moment, when Israel had yet again returned to the promised land after exile in Babylon when Nehemiah had just finished rebuilding the walls and restoring the gates of Jerusalem in the face of great resistance from their enemies who did not want to see the walls go up. The greatest challenge then quickly came from within the walls however amongst the people of Jerusalem. Are your walls up even in the face of your enemies who wish to keep them down? Without walls, the temple of YHWH in Jerusalem was defenseless, and as we are living temples of the Holy Spirit, without our defenses up the enemy can walk right in. Once that is established however, the greatest threat becomes division from within just as the greatest challenge when the walls were finally built around Jerusalem came from within. In Nehemiah 8, after the walls of Jerusalem had been repaired and manned, Ezra, in front of the Water Gate assembled the people and read the law, just as Moses had read it to Israel before entering the promised land. The people’s hearts were convicted and they wept because they realized just how much they had defiled the Law, but on that same day it was a day of celebration, the Feast of Tabernacles, when they would live in tents made of different types of trees and branches, remembering the exile of Israel through the wilderness and how YHWH provided every step of the way. A conviction of heart, but also a joyful awakening took place as Ezra read the Word in front of the Water gate. Recognizing and repenting of our sins as well as rejoicing in remembrance of God’s provision is in store for this Biblical month of Shevat.

Conclusion

The rain is pouring out this month, a rain of blessing, nourishing, and cleansing. His voice will be heard like many waters, like rolling thunder, and the lightning strikes will turn night into day revealing the plans and schemes of satan to the light. It is time to ask for Yeshua to wash our eyes clean like He did to make the blind man see, so that we will stop seeing what the enemy wants to distract us with, and just like the once blind man, see only Yeshua and through His eyes the world around us. When He asks us what do you see, it is a month that we should yearn to hear Him say, you have seen correctly. Just like the tree of Asher, the olive tree, we must look to our roots and our fruits, check what is wrong and right, and even if that means uprooting completely to do it knowing that Adonai our helper is here to make it a successful move. Just like the walls of Jerusalem, which were finished even in the midst of great opposition and outside threat, this is the month to have the same determination as Hezekiah to seal the walls and gates for good.

Instead of letting the enemy take the battle to us, this month we will also win our internal battles with the Word of Adonai that renews our minds through the teaching of the Holy Spirit so that instead of being immobilized we will be empowered to take ground, paving the way for Yeshua’s return. As we are empowered, the enemy’s positions, fortresses, and bunkers are destroyed in the Spirit, and what was once hidden, then becomes exposed. This is what happens when we pray fervently and live our lives according to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. The Lion of Judah is about to roar, and I would much rather be roaring with Him than against Him. Yeshua, the Lion of Judah is in us, and us in Him, so let’s let Him teach us how to really roar and watch the demons flee while the righteous are restored. Adonai bless you and keep you kingdom family!


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