This past Sunday at sundown marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and we are now in the midst of the Ten Days of Awe. This leads up to the Day of Atonement, which this year is celebrated on the evening of September 22nd through sunset on the 23rd. So Happy New Year from myself and staff and team at Encounters Network!
Rosh Hashanah, also known as Yom ha-Din (Day of Judgement), begins the “Ten Days of Awe” (Yomin Noraim), the “Ten Days of Turning or Repentance” or “the High Holy Days” which conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During this period, it is customary to greet one another with the phrase, “L’Shanah Tovah Tikateyvu” meaning “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”
This holiday is both solemn and joyous since it is both the Day of Repentance and the Day of Judgement. It is celebrated for two days. On the first day, some Orthodox Jews practice a custom called “tashlich”, which involves going to a body of water and emptying one’s pockets or casting bread crumbs into the water. This is symbolic of Micah 7:19
, “And you will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
A family meal is celebrated which includes honey cake, wine, and apples dipped in honey to symbolize hope for a sweet and happy year. On the second night, a fruit not yet eaten that season is served. Hallah bread, in a round loaf, symbolizing a crown, is another traditional food. It is both a time of seeking the Lord and feasting in His goodness.
In Jesus, we believe He is the promised Messiah; He has made atonement for our sins and He is the way to the Father for each of us. Every day is a new day in Christ. He is the “Bread of Heaven” which has come down for us. Yet as New Covenant believers we honor the Hebrew calendar and we are invited to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord.
This Jewish New Year is particularly special because it is the Year of Jubilee! On the Jewish calendar, years are observed in seven-year cycles, with a sabbatical year on the seventh year. Then at the culmination of every seven cycles (a total of 49 years) comes the 50th year: the Year of Jubilee, when all agricultural work ceased, all land was returned to its original owner and all slaves were released into freedom! (See Leviticus 25:8-24.) God wants to unload His immeasurable blessings on you in this new year!
My Prophetic Insights for 5776
During the 10 Days of Awe, many prophetic believers receive revelatory dreams and visions from the Lord as they consecrate themselves to seeking the face of God. For my own life, this has annually been a special time during which the Spirit of Revelation has seemed to be greater upon my life. So what should we expect in 5776 (at the Head of the New Year)? Here are some of the things that the Lord has been highlighting to me for this year:
- An unusual movement of the Holy Spirit is beginning among nomads or the displaced people of the earth seeking refuge in the natural – but they will find it in the Lord Himself. Ten of thousands of Muslims will come to faith in Jesus as their one true God!
- The Word of God will be “alive and active” and we will learn to meditate, speak and declare the Word of Life. There will be a revival of the Word of God!
- A fresh wave of equipping the saints will crash in upon the shores of the church empowering believers to be “sent ones” into the fields of Harvest.
- A reset button will be pushed for many people’s lives, marriages, families, economics and a time of dreams being fulfilled. It’s time to dream again!
- It’s a time of reaping the seed sown in previous seasons. God remembers your prayers, labors and tears and He will reward you.
(For more, please listen to my new audio message on Prophetic Perspective for Our Times and pass it on to others. I will be expanding on these themes in the next few months.)
New Beginnings with Encounters Network
The Lord has also been speaking many new things to our ministry of Encounters Network, with its various expressions of Prayer Storm, Compassion Acts and the God Encounters Training eSchool. We have many new things scheduled for release in this New Year! The Holy Spirit is pushing our reset button and we are moving forward to reclaim old ground and take new ground in this new season.
- New Online Classes – including Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today, Hearing God’s Voice Today and others!
- Live web streaming of Prayer Events like the Day to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, National Day of Prayer and others.
- Three conferences hosted by Encounters Network in Nashville, TN in 2016: Finding Hope on February 25-27; Women on the Frontlines on July 28-30 and the launching of Men on the Frontlines in the Fall of 2016!
- EN Ambassadors will launch in 2016 with chosen representatives in Prayer, the Prophetic and Personal Ministry who will spread out across North America and the nations.
A MINISTRY TO THE NATIONS – ONLINE
Years ago when I was the pastor of a small congregation in Missouri, the Lord gave me a profound vision. I could see a man’s hand with a globe rotating in it. A sort of ticker tape with words on it came before my sight, listing the names of nation after nation. I could read the list of nations clearly as they rushed before my mind: Guatemala, Haiti, Israel – on and on.
God told me that He would give to me the blessing of John Wesley – “that the world would be my parish.” It has been so – as our EN Team has ministered in well over 50 nations of the earth thus far. But the now voice of the Holy Spirit is asking me with our EN team to reach out to the nations in fresh new ways.
We are to do this through our empowered EN Ambassadors and through our revised and updated online school and new web streaming service! We will fulfill our mandate by being a Ministry to the Nations – Online!
Would You Join Us in Giving to Reach the Nations Online?
Thanks to each of you who have given thus far! Every gift, small and large, adds up! Our special Ministry to the Nations Online campaign will allow us to reach and equip the nations of the earth through the internet like never before. Our goal is to raise $60,000 to cover our webinars, staffing, equipment, promotions, and media expenses while maintaining our existing programs to the nations!
You Are Giving to a Lasting Work
I have been in full time vocational ministry for over 40 years and through this ministry we’ve been making disciples of Jesus Christ for over 25 years. And Encounters Network will continue to be a life-giving ministry that equips people all over the world with your help.
Would you help us reach the nations of the earth through the power of the Internet? Help us make disciples who are filled with the life of the Holy Spirit. Help us make the world our parish – online.
Click to Donate
Dr. James W. Goll
Founder & President of Encounters Network