Sid Roth - God Wants You on His Calendar
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here. Welcome to my world where it's naturally supernatural. What if Paul, Peter, John came from Heaven to Earth to observe what is going on, and they walked into the average church? They would say, how did what we just started 2000 years ago evolve to this? They would say something like this: oy vey. Oy vey, loosely translated means oy vey. I have gotten to know Dr. Robert Heidler. He's a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and he was a fighting fundy. He hated, you actually hated people speaking in tongues. Am I right?
Robert Heidler: Oh absolutely.
Sid Roth: So what did God do you for you and your wife?
Robert Heidler: He got tired of us doing that and literally overnight, he baptized us in the Holy Spirit. We spoke in tongues. We didn't even know what was going on. We just thought God had invaded our house.
Sid Roth: Okay. I'm going to take you in a time machine.
Robert Heidler: Okay.
Sid Roth: I want to take you back to the very first church. It was very, very different than what we have today. What we have today, a church service is someone standing on a platform and the members looking at the back of someone's head, and then going home to a chicken dinner or something. But what was the early church really like?
Robert Heidler: Okay. Well Sid, picture it this way. You have just parked your DeLorean time machine on the streets of ancient Rome. You get out and you walk down the street to where the church is meeting. It's a home. You knock on the door. The host welcomes you and brings you inside, and in the large courtyard in the center of the house there's a party going on. There's flutes and lyres, and tambourines, and people are singing and dancing, and clapping their hands. And you look around, and you think, am I in the right place?
Sid Roth: So you know what I'm hearing? You don't have to go to church. You want to go to church.
Robert Heidler: You want to go.
Sid Roth: That's the way it was. Go on.
Robert Heidler: Okay. So you say, am I in the right place? This seems like it's a party. And then things quiet down and they bring out food. You have a meal right there in church. As the meal begins the lady of the house will light two candles to welcome the presence of God. Then a man stands and he says a blessing over some bread and over a cup of wine, and they pass it around. That's the Lord's supper in its original context. Then there's someone gives a word of knowledge for healing, and a man says, "Oh that's me". And people gather around and lay hands on him. He's instantly healed. You look and there's a couple, a family toward the back of the area, and you can tell this is their first time here because they seem uncomfortable. But their daughter has contracted a disease that's left her totally blind and they've heard that people can get healed in the church. And so they've come for prayer for their daughter. So the elders of the church come and they anoint her with oil, and pray for her. And the presence of the Lord is there, and suddenly the little girl begins to cry, and she said, "I can see! I can see"! And within minutes the whole family is saved, giving their hearts to Jesus. That's how a lot of evangelism took place in the early church. People encountered the power of God, the miracles of God, and they didn't care if they'd be persecuted for becoming a Christian. They wanted reality. And so that's how the church began to spread. And it was a very Jewish kind of a Christianity.
Sid Roth: You say that the roots of the church were taken out intentionally by Constantine. Why did he do that?
Robert Heidler: Constantine hated the Jews because the Jews, remember, they had rebelled against Rome several times. He viewed them as a hostile people, hostile to the Roman Empire. And so when he claimed to make his profession of faith to become a Christian, he found so much Jewish things in the church that he hated it. And so he called a council called the Council of Nicaea and one of the things he did in that council was to outlaw everything Jewish in Christianity. He said, you may not celebrate Passover any more. You may not celebrate Shabbat any more. And he really reinvented Christianity. He invented the church without its Jewish roots.
Sid Roth: Okay. You say the church, and you get this from Romans, is like a tree. Explain.
Robert Heidler: Okay. In Romans, it describes the church as a fruitful olive tree. And it really is important to understand this if we understand what the church really is from God's perspective. He says there's the root and that's what the church draws its life from. The root is the Abrahamic covenant. It's 2000 years of revelation that God gave to the Jewish people that were the rich sap that fed the church. Then there are the branches. The original, the natural branches of the tree are New Testament Messianic Judaism. They were Jews who knew the Messiah, who drew on their rich heritage and all that God had poured into Israel. But then there's another set of branches and those are broken off branches, and that is rabbinic Judaism. It is Jews who have rejected the Messiah and been cut off. Now the whole tree is theirs. It all belongs to them, and God says, someday they will be returned and re-grafted into the tree. But right now as those that were broken off, God took branches from a wild olive tree, which is gentiles, and then grafted them into the root so gentiles could experience the blessings of God's covenant with Abraham.
Sid Roth: In this restoration of the biblical roots of the church, there's two extremes to avoid. Explain.
Robert Heidler: Well Sid, there are two extremes because there are some people, and they here it talked about Jewish roots and they react against it. They think oh, that's Old Testament and somehow think they're being disloyal to Jesus and rejecting Jesus, and they forget the fact that Jesus was Jewish. The apostles were Jewish. Paul said, "Those things written in the Old Testament are there for our benefit". The other extreme though are those that get into studying Jewish roots and they get very excited because there's a lot of revelation they had not heard there before, and they dive into that to the point where they reject the New Covenant, and they end up in legalism, and they end up really being modern day Pharisees where they hold to the forms of what the Bible describes, but they've really lost the spirit of it. And God does not want us to do either one of those. He wants us to have the truth of God's revelation, but also under the grace and the freedom of the New Covenant. And that's when the power of God is really released.
Sid Roth: But what areas of blessings do you see we have by observing these feasts in the New Covenant style?
Robert Heidler: Well Sid, you get blessed in every area of life. There is blessing for your family. There is blessing for your health. There is blessing in your relationships. There is blessing in your finances. Most of all, there's blessing in your relationship with God because you come to meet him in a whole new way when you meet with him at his appointed times.
Sid Roth: And I'll tell you what. The way Robert explained the first church, maybe that's what Jesus meant when he says, "The first will be last". Maybe there's a restoration of everything. But there is such a freedom in these feasts. I and my staff, they have been believers their whole life and they say, I've never heard these things before. Robert, when we come back, I want you to teach in the New Covenant freedom fashion each of the feasts. Be right back.
Sid Roth: God calls his biblical feasts appointments with him. They're appointments so that you can draw closer to God. That's why some of the feasts, he says, observe them forever. Now Robert, in light of the New Covenant, how do you, how does your family, how does your church family observe these feasts? Let's, like we're in the month of Nisan, which is Passover right now. Let's start with Passover.
Robert Heidler: Well Sid, the first thing a Christian needs to understand about Passover is that Passover is all about Jesus. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he said, "Behold the lamb". The Apostle Paul writes, "Christ our Passover lamb has been slain, therefore, let us celebrate the feast". In the Book of Revelation, "All of Heaven joins together and they praise celebration worshiping Jesus as the lamb that was slain". That's Passover. And so the first thing we need to see is this is a very Christian thing to do. It was the most important feast in the early church. And so as we come together and we celebrate Passover, Passover is really celebrated around a meal. It's designed to be celebrated around a table in your home, with your family, with some friends.
Sid Roth: You know, coming from a traditional Jewish background, I have to tell you what I enjoyed most about the feasts was getting together with family and having that meal.
Robert Heidler: Yes.
Sid Roth: There's a warmth. It actually ties the family together. But had I understood the meaning of the feast and some of the things, revelation that you've had. But go on.
Robert Heidler: Okay. Well when the family comes together the mother initiates the activity, lighting the candles. The father has a section. But even the children have a section. They have questions. Why is this night different from all others? And that really, everything else in the celebration answers the question of the child. So this is a generational feast. We come together and there's bitter herbs that make, bring tears to your eyes and that reminds Israel of the painful bondage in Egypt. It reminds us as Christians of what life was like before we knew Jesus. But then there's the lamb, the Passover lamb that the blood was shed, and because of that we are redeemed out of the hand of the enemy. Somebody said the most powerful confession you can make in deliverance ministry is to say, I am redeemed by the blood of the lamb out of the hand of the enemy. And if you can say that, and say that in faith, and continue saying that it will break off the oppression of the enemy. And that's really what Passover is. It is a declaration that we are redeemed by the blood of the lamb out of the hand of the enemy. And so when you celebrate Passover, you're celebrating Jesus. It's a time to worship him. It's a time to declare your freedom that he's purchased for you and that releases faith. When the devil tries to come and brings some aspect of the curse into your life you just say, no devil, you can't bring that to me because I am redeemed by the blood of the lamb out of the hand of the enemy. So Passover is a tremendous time and it's really the starting point moving forward with the Lord to know that we are redeemed and we're free to move forward into the promise.
Sid Roth: And you know one of things I love, and actually, I say the same thing as Robert, I am so glad we celebrate the Lord's resurrection on Sunday because that allows us to fulfill what the Bible says about the Shabbat. It's a day of rest. How could it be a day of rest if we're running out and putting a suit on or going to church. I think God is brilliant having Sunday worship so we can have a true day of rest. Do you look forward to the Sabbath, the Shabbat?
Robert Heidler: Oh it's the high point of our week. Every Friday morning Melinda and I wake up, and we think, Shabbat starts tonight. And somebody asked me, why doesn't your church meet on Saturday? And I think it's fine for a church to meet on Saturday, but personally, I'm glad ours doesn't because I like my Saturday to be my Shabbat when I can rest, and then I'll worship Jesus as my resurrected Lord on Sunday. And amazingly, that's what the early church did.
Sid Roth: You know what you do on the Shabbat? You enter into such peace. It's, you literally enter in to the atmosphere of Heaven. One more feast, quickly.
Robert Heidler: Okay. Well tabernacles, which is the high point of the feast, and tabernacles is a celebration of the Glory of God. When God saw Israel down in the wilderness, each one living in their little tent, he said to Moses, "Make a tent for me, too, and I will come down and dwell with you". And so tabernacles celebrates the Glory of God coming and tabernacling with us so we can experience his Glory and his blessing.
Sid Roth: The thing that is so important is Robert points out that these are God appointments, that's what it actually says in the Hebrew, and there are cycles. Some of you are in a cycle of discouragement, in cycles of problems. This is a way to break out of those cycles. When we come back, I'll have Robert explain.
Sid Roth: You know, I want to make sure that you understand that these feasts are not a bunch of rules and regulations. This is a New Covenant way. So Robert, you were explaining you have the bitter herbs and things at Passover. Do you know what? You say, Holy Spirit, show us how this year, it's not the same every year, how this year you want us to celebrate this particular feast. It's sort of like it will be exciting rather than ritual. I'll tell you, I used to get bored with the feast, in Messianic circles they were the same old, same old all the time. But this is fresh and vibrant. Now you talk about cycles of blessings. Explain these cycles and how most people are out of sync because they don't understand the cycles.
Robert Heidler: Well God has cycles for our lives. There's a weekly cycle of Shabbat. He wants us to pull aside from our activities and have a day-long feast to celebrate him, to enjoy his goodness, to overflow with praise. If we don't do that we will not experience the goodness of God in our life the way he wants us to, and faith will decrease. Then he has a monthly cycle of Rosh Chodesh, that the Jews would meet at the beginning of every month for a praise celebration and to hear what the Holy Spirit was saying prophetically about the month ahead.
Sid Roth: Now you know, a lot of believers have heard of Passover and Day of Atonement, but they've never heard of Rosh Chodesh. Is this important?
Robert Heidler: Oh it's very important. In the New Testament it was considered one of the most important times because it's really a principle of first root. You know, in the Bible it says, "If you give God the first then it releases favor. It releases blessing". When your crops come in you bring the first sheath, a first fruits offering, your whole crop is blessed. That works with our time as well. Meaning you start the month saying the first thing we're going to do this month is we're going eat together. We're going to praise God for his goodness. We're going to listen to the prophets to hear what they say. It's like that honors God to put him first and that releases his favor and his blessing in our lives.
Sid Roth: So tell me about people that are in the wrong cycle, cycle of problems, cycle of financial woes, cycle of health woes. How do they get out of this?
Robert Heidler: Well Satan loves to trap people in destructive cycles and he'll put you in a cycle where you just, it's like you go around and around, and you get lower every time around, and people, every year seems worse than the year before. But God's solution is to get in his cycle and if you get, if you receive his revelation, if you walk in what he's saying you get in a different kind of cycle that every year you're closer to him. Every year you experience more of his blessing. I like to put it this way. Living in this world is like being on an escalator going down. You don't have to try very hard to end up far away from God. People that are far from God didn't get there because they said, I don't think I want to experience God's blessing any more, I think I'll go off and do my own thing. They just drifted that way. But God's appointed times are designed to be, times where we meet with God and he does spiritual transactions in our lives that lift us up. So it's like getting on an escalator going up. And as the longer you stay on it, the more you experience of him, if you've gotten off tracks, those feasts, those appointed times will give you opportunities to get back on track to move forward in the blessing God has.
Sid Roth: What is your favorite feast of all?
Robert Heidler: Oh that's like asking which of my kids I like best. I think tabernacles. It is just so much fun. It is so joyful. The presence of God comes and
Sid Roth: I mean, you really make it a celebration. The world, some of you, you think New Year's is something. You think Mardi Gras is something. You don't know what a celebration is until you are accompanied by the presence of God, until the Glory of God pours in, all those shofars being blown and the rejoicing, and the fun. Maybe that's what God meant when he said in his Word, "A merry heart is good medicine".
Robert Heidler: Amen. And Sid, you know, I don't preach against the traditional holidays because what I found is when people begin to celebrate the biblical feasts, all of a sudden those traditional holidays just don't seem very important because there's so much joy and there's so much reality in the biblical feasts.
Sid Roth: Did God really want this? Was this his intent for the church in your heart of hearts?
Robert Heidler: Yes, absolutely. It's something that has been stolen from us, but God is giving it back.
Sid Roth: By the way, this is Passover. That means it's the month, the Jewish month of Nisan. You know what means in Hebrew? Miracles. Do you need a miracle? Well God is telling you there are miracles in the hands. In the fingers, arthritis is gone. There's someone with a paralyzed hand. If you'll just open it up you'll see that you just got a Nisan. You just got a miracle. I pray in Yeshua's name that whatever you need is yours. Amen.