New Foundations Ministries
110 High Street
Fort Fairfield ME 04742
BEYOND THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
by George Kirkpatrick
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Glorious Feast Days ....................................... 3
Feast of Passover ................................................... 13
Feast of Unleavened Bread .................................. 27
Feast of Firstfruits ................................................. 39
Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) ................................. 47
Feast of Trumpets ................................................ 59
Feast of Atonement .............................................. 70
Feast of Tabernacles ............................................. 83
THE GLORIOUS FEAST DAYS
Most Christians do not relate the feasts of Israel as having any meaning or purpose in their lives today. We know the feasts in the Old Testament were ordained in ancient times, and were under the law of Moses. So what do these feasts have to do with our walk with Christ today?
As we search out the truths God has hidden in His Word concerning His glorious feast days, we must truly rejoice. We must understand that everything God does, He does in perfection. Everything in His Word relates to this perfection. This is especially true concerning our relationship to Him.
The word feast is the Hebrew word HAG and means "holiday, a season of religious joy". All too often we look at the law as some foreboding set of rules God imposed upon His people to make their lives miserable. We feel He restricted their lives and made it so narrow that they could do nothing without committing sin. The exact opposite is true. All God ever wanted from His people was for them to love Him. If they loved Him, they would do those things that were pleasing in His sight. Jesus stated,
"If you love Me, keep My commandments." John 14:15
The Feasts were given by God to Israel for a time of festivity and rejoicing before their God. All feasts were at their appointed times, and those times were set by God. The two main purposes of the feast were:
1 The assembling of God's people for fellowship
2 The assembling for worship and Praise.
God has never changed His mind as to why His people should be assembled together. These are the same reasons we assemble today. God gave Israel many feast days to rest, refresh, and rejoice:
1. There were the Weekly Sabbaths. Sabbath means "rest". God set aside a weekly rest; a time when man was to cease from all his labor.
2. The Feast of the New Moon. This was celebrated at the appearance of the New Moon, marking the beginning of the month. This was a time of social gathering and much feasting.
3. The Feast of Passover which had 3 celebrations:
-1- Feast of Passover
This was when the sacrificial lamb was killed.
-2- Feast of Unleaven Bread
This was when all leaven was to be removed from the people's lives. Leaven (yeast) was the symbol for sin.
-3- Feast of Firstfruits
This was the waving of the First Fruit Sheaf and was the foreshadowing of a bountiful harvest.
4. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost
This feast was only for one day and marked the beginning of the Harvest season.
5. The Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles also had 3 celebrations:
-1- The Feast of Trumpets
This celebration marked the blowing of trumpets.
-2- The Feast of Atonement
This was the day the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies.
-3- The Feast of Tabernacles
During this celebration all Israel was required to live in booths.
The weekly sabbath, the Feast of the New Moon, The Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles were Israel's main feasts. These were ordained by God at the time of the giving of the law. Israel added many other feasts after Israel returned from their seventy years of Babylonian captivity.
All of Israel's feasts were sabbath days. Again, the word Sabbath means "rest". It does not mean SEVENTH. Many are confused about the sabbath and the seventh day. As we study the feasts, it will become clear that most of Israel's feasts were to be celebrated on a particular day of the month, and not a day of the week.
God ordained Israel's sabbaths or days of rest. Everything pertaining to the sabbath had to be prepared the day before. Absolutely no labor was to be performed on the sabbath, even the lighting of fires was prohibited.
There were sabbaths when no servile labor was to be performed. The word servile means "menial, or unnecessary labor" such as building, repairing or agriculture work. Some feasts God allowed labor necessary for daily existence. These menial tasks could be performed on these sabbaths.
God gave Israel the feasts. These seven feasts had seven special days called Holy Convocations. The word convocation is the Hebrew word MIGRA and means "called out, or assembly". It also means "reading". These were special times of assembling when the law was read as part of the celebration. These seven special days of Holy Convocations were:
1. The weekly sabbaths Leviticus 23:3
2. The first day of the Feast of Passover Exodus 12:16
3. The seventh day of the Feast of Passover
when they were to wave the sheaf of firstfruits Exodus 12:16
4. Blowing of Trumpets Leviticus 23:24
5. Day of Atonement Leviticus 23:27
6. The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles Leviticus 23:34-35
7. And the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles Leviticus 3:36
On these special days, no work of any kind could be performed. Of all the feasts God gave to Israel, the most controversial is the "weekly sabbath". There are two distinct areas of thought concerning keeping the weekly sabbath (rest):
1. Those who keep the sabbath to fulfill the law of Moses.
2. And those who do not keep the sabbath because they are free from the law.
Unfortunately, well-meaning, well-intended, ill-informed people, organizations, and denominations have missed the whole purpose of the weekly sabbath. God never intended the sabbath to be bondage, nor did He intend it to be ignored. The sabbaths were ordained by God strictly and totally as days of rest, days when the family could come together, and be a blessing to one another. All who dwelt in their household could be refreshed. Jesus stated it very clearly:
"... The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath," Mark 2:27
The Amplified Bible states that the sabbath was made on account of, and for the sake of man, not man for the sabbath. Moses recorded God's Words:
"But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou." Deuteronomy 5:14
It was a day of cessation from all labors for everyone in the house, as well as the animals. The question then arises: Was it a day to worship God? Yes, but not in the assembly. It was a day to worship and praise God in the home, by all members of the home. It was a time of blessing for all.
As we search out the beginning of this commandment, we discover it was given under the law. Did the commandment to keep the sabbath precede the law? No! Moses related to the people:
"The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day." Deuteronomy 5:3
The covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai was for those who were there and were alive at that day. It was not made with their fathers. Those who lived before the law were not commanded to keep a sabbath. When God commanded Israel to keep the sabbath, He told them to keep their sabbath on the seventh day. Yet today many denominations use Genesis 2:2...
"And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made." Genesis 2:2
Was Genesis 2:2 our example to take our sabbath on the seventh day? The answer is No, again. Keeping the seventh day sabbath was under the law. Those under the law were justified by works in the keeping of the law. This was the old covenant. But Paul writes we are no longer under the law:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20
Paul went on to say,
"Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:9
Israel was under the law and justified by the law. They rested from their labors on their seventh day and gave thanks to God for His past goodness of the week.
We, who have been justified by Jesus' blood under grace, are people of faith. We ask, expecting to receive. Therefore we assemble to worship and give thanks on the first day of the week in faith as to the goodness God will bestow on us during the new week.
Many call Sunday the Christian Sabbath. When we consider that sabbath means "rest", Sunday, for many families is anything but a day of rest. To many, it is the busiest day of the week. Generally, Sunday means rising early to get breakfast over so the children may be readied for church, making sure all the clothes are acceptable and presentable. This usually brings strain between the husband, wife, and children all needing in the bathroom at the same time. By the time this ritual is over, all are tensed up in the car, heading for church. After an accident or two concerning the children's clothing, a few unkind words, and the unfavorable traffic, the family arrives at church where, in five to ten minutes, they must be ready to worship God.
After church they must rush home to have lunch and maybe company will drop in for the afternoon. After a quick dinner, it is once again, time to go through the same process of the morning, and back to church for the evening service. After service, they must rush home, get the children in bed because there is school the next morning, and as we collapse into our chairs, we proclaim, "Thank God we survived another day of rest."
Was this what God intended when He stated He made the sabbath for man, a day of total rest? We need to realize God did not design the sabbath for the assembling of His people, but He designed it as a day of total rest in the home with the family.
When God instituted the sabbath, Israel had no public meeting place. The tabernacle had not been constructed, and would not be constructed for some time yet. When the Tabernacle was constructed, it was not for public meetings. It was a place of sacrifice to atone for Israel's sin. This was performed every day of the week; not just on the sabbath. God's people were to worship God in their homes (tents) on the weekly sabbath. They only came together to worship God as an assembly on the Feast days.
The typical sabbath in the ancient's homes began the day before, on the Day of Preparation. We must keep in mind that Israel's day began at sundown, approximately 6:00 p.m. in the evening, not at midnight as we are accustomed. Their Day of Preparation was from Thursday evening to Friday evening. Their Sabbath was from Friday evening until Saturday evening. All was prepared for the sabbath the day before. This meant the wife and mother would have no labor to perform on the sabbath. It was a total day of rest for her as well.
The husband was to dedicate this day totally to his wife and family. When the sabbath began, it was to begin with prayer. The father would pray for and bless his children. Then he would pray for and bless his wife. The wife would pray for and bless the children. Then she would pray for and bless her husband. Each of the children would pray for the other children; then pray for their father, and then their mother. When the time of prayer was over, they would sit around the evening meal that was prepared before time. The father would then read from the Word. After dinner was served and the table cleared, the evening was spent talking and sharing until bedtime. The day was spent together as a family. The father and mother spent time with the children, sharing the stories that had been passed down from their fathers to them, and they were to pass them down to their children.
The sabbath was the time God gave to Israel to come out of the world and to spend time with their families. It was a time of rejoicing, rest, and refreshment. It was also the time when the family unit was strengthened and nothing from the outside could touch or interfere with it.
Today, because we have not known the ways of our God and we live in such a busy world, little or no time is allowed for the family. Because of this, the family has disintegrated, the divorce rate is over 50%, and the best of Christian homes are losing their children to all the worldly deceptions.
Should Christian families have a sabbath? That question must be answered by each individual who desires to have a Christian home. When we take the responsibility of rearing our children according to God's Word, then we must teach them the meaning of living Godly. We must teach our children to assimulate God's wonderful blessings in their lives as God has shown them through His Word.
Like so many other blessings of God, the sabbath has been grossly perverted by legalistic and Pharisaical teachings. There are those who hold God's people in bondage to a moral code that is supposed to produce righteousness in a person's life. These teachings proclaim that all that is needed to stand pure before God is their fleshly adherence to precepts and doctrines prescribed by man. They totally misunderstand God's intended purpose for man.
Jesus spoke much about the sabbath. As we study God's Word, we must understand Jesus was born under the law. Jesus lived His whole life under the law, was tried and convicted under the law, and was put to death by the law. Under the law Jesus was commanded to keep the sabbath. Yet, there were many instances when the Pharisees conspired to kill Him because He broke their sabbath. They misunderstood what God's Word taught about the Sabbath, and what the law prescribed concerning the keeping of the weekly sabbath. Many times, Jesus' miracles were not looked upon as mighty works of God because they were considered as breaking the law of the sabbath.
There are 26 healing miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible. Of the 26 miracles, only eleven inform us as to what day they were performed. Of the eleven, ten were on the sabbath.
1. Healing a blind man John 9:16
2. Healing an invalid John 5:9
3. Healing Peter's mother-in-law Mark 1:29-31
4. Healing the withered hand Matthew 12:9-13
5. Delivering a child of a demon spirit Matthew 17
6. Healing a blind man Matthew 12:9,14-15,22
7. Healing the centurion's servant Matthew 8
8. Restoring a demon possessed man Mark 1:23-26
9. Restoring a woman Luke 13:10-14
10. Healing a man with dropsy Luke 14:1-4
Each time Jesus healed on the sabbath, He was accused of profaning the sabbath. Mark recorded a healing Jesus performed in the synagogue. There was a man who had a withered hand. The people watched Jesus to see if He would heal the man on the sabbath day, looking for something of which to accuse Him, Mark 3:1-2. Jesus asked the question:
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or kill?..." Mark 3:4
This question Jesus asked still stands unanswered in most people's minds. Today, they ask, "What do we have to do with the law?"; and "Should we be keeping the sabbath?" Many completely ignore the weekly sabbath because Christ has freed us from the law. When we ignore the sabbath, we completely miss all the blessings God intended for His people concerning the sabbath.
Exactly what is lawful and acceptable to God concerning His sabbath? Jesus is our example of perfection. Yet, on many occasions, He was accused by the religious system of profaning the sabbath.
Jesus and His disciples went through the wheat field on the sabbath and were hungry. They picked some of the heads of wheat, crushed them out in their hands and ate the wheat, Matthew 12:1. The Pharisees were following Jesus to find something of which they could accuse Him. They saw when He plucked the heads of wheat, they accused Him of harvesting on the sabbath. When He loosed the grains of wheat in His hand, they accused Him of threshing out the grain on the sabbath. This was considered as labor, and therefore Jesus was accused of breaking the law of the sabbath, Matthew 12:2.
Jesus began to teach the religious order of His day the true function of the sabbath. Jesus asked,
"Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with Him to eat, but only for the priest?" Matthew 12:3-4
David entered the tabernacle and asked Ahimelech, the priest, for some bread. All the bread Ahimelech had was the hallowed bread, the shewbread. It was the day of the changing of the bread, or the sabbath day, I Samuel 21:1-6. David and his men were given the shewbread that only the priests of God were ordained to eat, Leviticus 24:8-9.
Jesus was revealing the True Seventh Sabbath unto the religious system of His day. His seventh day of creation is when we all will eat of the Hallowed Word, words God has preserved down through the ages to be revealed in His true day of rest; the seventh day of His creation, the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ. Jesus went on to relate to the religious system,
"Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?" Matthew 12:5
The priests were commanded to perform their priestly duties on the sabbath, Numbers 28:9-10. By God's law the priests were to circumcise the child on the eighth day. If a male child was eight days old on the sabbath, then the priest was to profane the sabbath to keep the law. Jesus was trying to show the religious system it was impossible to keep the law as they had interpreted it. The priests were to cease from all labors on the Sabbath. Since the act of circumcision was labor, then the priests had to break the law to keep the ordinance of circumcision which God had commanded for all newborn male children.
As the Pharisees interpreted the law, they demanded that all labor cease. For example, they instituted a sabbath mile; a person could only walk about 1700 feet on the sabbath. As many today, they had taken a time of rejoicing and rest, and made it bondage. They followed people around to see if they would break their sabbath laws that they might accuse them. Jesus told the religious system:
“...In this place is one greater than the temple,” Matthew 12:6.
Jesus was speaking of Himself. They were worshiping the temple more than the One the temple was erected for. Jesus asked the Pharisees if they knew the meaning of the scripture, "I will have mercy and not sacrifice."? He stated that if they had, then they would not have condemned the guiltless. "For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day," Matthew 12:7-8. So many times the religious system, in their zeal to serve God, condemn the guiltless. They condemn those who are guiltless before God because they do not understand the Scriptures.
Many today, because of their self-righteousness, believe that because they follow some religious code this gives them a right standing before God. They feel no need to show mercy because they are so righteous before God. They believe being baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, going to church and holding a position in the assembly is all God requires of them. Therefore, they have a right before God to condemn and belittle those who are less fortunate than they deem themselves to be. Today there is a very great need for God's people to be taught the meaning of the Scripture: "I will have mercy and not sacrifice."
Matthew recorded the healing of the withered hand. When the man with the withered hand stepped forward, all watched to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus asked,
"...What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?" Matthew 12:11
Jesus was asking, "Would you not expend labor to save that which is yours?" All that stood before Jesus was His creation, and that creation was His to heal or correct. His desire was not to condemn the Pharisees. It was His desire that they be convicted and corrected so they could come to the knowledge of the truth. God's desire has not changed toward His people. Jesus stated for all to hear:
"How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath day." Matthew 12:12
The Pharisees, like so many, had made the Sabbath a bondage. Jesus exclaimed, "It is lawful to do well on the sabbath days." God judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. When David and his men ate of the shewbread, they were not trying to replace the priesthood. David and his men were hungry, and the shewbread was the only food available. So the shewbread was given to them to satisfy their hunger.
When Jesus stated the priests profaned the sabbath, He was speaking of their violating the sanctity of the sabbath according to man's interpretation of God's law. When the priest performed labor on the Sabbath to keep God's law, they were profaning God's law as man, in his narrowness, understood God's intended purpose.
When we are obedient to the voice of God, our obedience superceeds all law. When we save our sheep from the pit, we are simply being good stewards of that which God has given us. None of these actions violate the sabbath as God intended the sabbath to be celebrated.
If the families in America, or any nation, had the concept of rest and renewal as God intended, the divorce rate would not be better than 50%, child abuse would cease, teenage crime would stop, and the home would be a place of protection for the whole family. It is because we have violated the statutes that God has given us, that we suffer heartbreak while rearing children.
The True Seventh Sabbath
When God gave Moses the law, His commandment was to remember the sabbath and keep it holy, Exodus 20:8. God went on to say,
"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11
A close examination of this Scripture reveals God rested on the seventh day. He took His sabbath on the seventh day. Under the law God blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed it. The word blessed is BARAH, which means "to endue with power, to succeed". God hallowed the Sabbath day.
The word hallowed is the Hebrew word QADESH and means "to set apart into the sacred realm". God endued the sabbath rest with power, and set that day apart for man to rest and renew his strength. God's day of rest for His people is set apart in a sacred realm. Man is not only to be renewed in his physical strength, but also in his Spiritual strength. He is to come into a new relationship with the Father. We must remember Jesus' words:
"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:" Mark 2:27
When God rested from all His labor on the seventh day, He informed us:
"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." Genesis 2:3
When God rested on the seventh day, He blessed and sanctified the seventh day. The words "blessed" and "hallowed" are again the word QADESH, the same word used when He blessed and hallowed the Sabbath.
As we begin to view the book of Genesis with Spiritual understanding, we discover God was not speaking of blessing and sanctifying the seventh day of the week, He was speaking of the seventh day of His creation.
God endued the seventh day of creation with power and set it apart in the Spiritual realm unto Himself. The seventh day of His creation is the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ (the Holy Spirit). The writer of Hebrews spoke of the seventh day when man would enter into the seventh day rest with God.
"For He (Jesus) spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise (in this way), And God did rest the seventh day from all His works." Hebrews 4:4
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:9-10
The Genesis record of creation reveals the Seventh Day Sabbath unto those who will enter into it. When God gave Moses the law, He used the creation to reveal when God entered into His rest. This was a foreshowing of those who would also enter into His rest on the seventh day of His creation. The writer of Hebrews records:
"...The works were finished from the foundation of the world," Hebrews 4:3
We, as God's people, are to enter into rest with Him. There are those who would try to bring us into bondage. These teach that Saturday is God's seventh day. If this were true, then God would have had to start His creating process on Sunday and end it on Friday, and rest on Saturday. What if He started creation on Wednesday? Then the sabbath would be on Tuesday. God is not bound by man's calendar.
A close study of creation reveals that a full day of creation could not have been twenty-four hour days. The duration of time for each day was more likely 1000 year days based upon the revelation in I Peter 3:8 that one day is with the Lord as a 1000 years, and a 1000 years as one day."
The Word reveals that God created man on the sixth day, Genesis 1:28. God ended His creation and rested on the seventh. The question then arises, on what day was Eve created? Eve was also created on the 6th day. God ended His work on the sixth day. The creating process ended on the sixth day. Therefore, the creation spoken of in the third chapter of Genesis was the explanation of what God created the first six days. Thus, Eve as well as Adam, was created on the sixth day. Adam was given the task of naming all the cattle, the fowls, every beast of the field, everything God had created, Genesis 2:20-22. This would have been an impossible task for man in a twenty-four hour day. There is another interesting fact which eliminates the 24 hour day theory:
"And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He put man whom He had formed." Genesis 2:8
Did God plant full size trees or did the garden grow from seeds? We are informed,
"And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. Genesis 2:5
"And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Genesis 2:9
"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15
God planted a garden of seed that had to mature. When that garden matured, God placed man in it. We must not try to limit God, for He does not violate His creation. God did not mature the garden in six twenty-four hour days from seed. It took Him 6,000 years; again, a day is as a thousand years. It took God six days, or 6000 years to finish His creation.
It has also taken Him six days (6000 years) to complete His creation, man. As we begin to be enlightened as to God's intention for His creation, we begin to understand that the Seventh Day in God was the first day for His creation, man. When man has come to completeness, maturity or perfection, we will then enter the Seventh Day rest with the Father. This is when man has finished the work in God's creation, and will enter into rest with the Father. We are about to embark on God's Seventh Day of power. We need to begin to look up for our redemption draweth nigh, Luke 21:28.
As God reveals the Spiritual meaning of His Feasts, we can all rejoice as He reveals the greatest feast of all, and that is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
FEAST OF PASSOVER
The Feast of the Sabbath was Israel's weekly feast. The Feast of the New Moon was Israel's monthly feast. Israel had no calendar system at the time the feasts were instituted so all feasts were recorded from the New Moon, or the first day of every new month. The time from one new moon to the next is 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. Israel's months were alternated between 29 and 30 days. Their year consisted of 354 days, and every three years a twenty-nine day month was added between Adar and Nisan. One important fact to remember is that all Israel's feast days were on the day of the month, and not the day of the week.
Every New Moon was a feast day in Israel; a time of feasting and blowing of trumpets, Numbers 10:10 and Numbers 28:11. Israel had three yearly feasts: the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. There are three feasts, consisting of seven celebrations. The Feast of Passover was fulfilled in Jesus. The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, was fulfilled by the Holy Spirit, and the Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled in us, His people.
All the men of Israel were to appear before the Lord 3 times in a year, during these feasts.
"Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty." Deuteronomy 16:16
Israel was not to appear before the Lord empty. They were to come with an offering in their hand. We, too, are not to appear before the Lord empty. First, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18. Then we must come with the sacrifice of praise on our lips and in our hearts, Hebrews 13:15. We must then offer our bodies as a living sacrifice: holy, and acceptable unto God, Romans 12:1. When we meet these conditions, we are ready to appear before the Lord for we will not be empty.
The Feast of Passover was the first feast God ordained in Israel, and was initiated the night before God freed them from their Egyptian slavery. Israel had come to Egypt at the time of a severe drought in the Land of Canaan. Joseph, Abraham's great-grandson, the son of Jacob, had been made second ruler in Egypt during this time. The Word records that after Joseph's death there arose up a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph," Exodus 1:8. This king brought Israel into slavery. Israel remained in this slavery for 430 years. This great bondage caused Israel to cry out, and God sent them a deliverer in the person of Moses, the lawgiver. At the time of Israel's deliverance, God had proven Himself through the nine plagues He sent on Egypt. Before the tenth plague, the killing of all the first born, God instructed Israel to take the blood of a lamb, dip a hyssop branch in it, and apply the blood on their door posts and lintel. All Israel was to remain in their homes that evening. The death angel would pass over all that had the blood properly applied. Thus God instituted the Feast of Passover. God gave Moses very specific instructions on how the Feast of the Passover was to be kept.
The Feast of Passover was to have three celebrations: The Feast of Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruits. All of Israel's feasts were only shadows of the real thing. Paul wrote,
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an Holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days; which are a shadow of the things to come but the Body is of Christ. Colossians 2:16-17
A shadow is not the real thing, but a silhouette of the real thing. The feasts were only a shadow of what God is going to do by Jesus through the Holy Spirit in us, His people. The feasts were celebrated 1450 years before the coming of Jesus. When the real thing happened through the coming of Jesus, they failed to recognize Him.
Everything in the Feast of Passover relates to Jesus Christ. The Passover was fulfilled in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Egypt is a type of the world. The Exodus is a type of our deliverance from the world and slavery of sin through the blood of Jesus.
When God instituted the Passover, He started a new calendar for Israel. He spoke to Moses, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you," Exodus 12:2. Passover occurred in the first month. The first month was known as NISAN and ABIB. Nisan means "their flight" and Abib means "a green ear of corn".
The Passover was to be celebrated in the first month. The number one signifies the beginning and is the number of God. Jesus spoke, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the First and the Last", Revelation 22:13.
When Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, came to earth, the world started a new calendar system. All time is measured BC, Before Christ, or AD After Advent; the advent of His birth. The whole Bible is about Jesus Christ, not just the New Testament. The Old Testament is alive with direct prophecies and revelations about Jesus. There are also many types and shadows in the Old Testament that relate to Jesus.
The Passover is the foundation of our whole relationship with God. Israel was told to take a lamb without spot or blemish of the first year. They were to take it from the sheep or goats. Every household was to take a lamb on the 10th day of the month, Exodus 12:3-5. The lamb was to be of the first year, mature and of breeding age, but undefiled. This speaks of Christ, the firstborn. Jesus was the firstborn of the virgin Mary. The virgin birth is very important. Jesus, the undefiled Lamb, was born into the world in an undefiled vessel.
Jesus was the firstborn of many brethren, Romans 8:29. He is referred to as our Older Brother. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, Colossians 1:15.
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made." John 1:1,3
All creation was resident in Jesus before it was created. So all creation has the touch of Jesus on it. Paul wrote:
"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, Romans 1:20.
Everything in creation is signed by Jesus as the Master Designer and Creator. Jesus was the firstborn from the dead, Colossians 1:18. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most monumental event in the history of mankind, and yet many treat it as some insignificant, ancient fact that has little or no meaning in our lives today. Paul addressed this in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some of you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" I Corinthians 15:12
Paul went on to say that if there was no resurrection, his preaching was vain (worthless), and our faith is vain. Then he concluded,
"And if Christ be not raised your faith is vain. Ye are yet in your sins." I Corinthians 15:17
If Jesus is not the firstfruits from the dead, then our faith is worthless, and we are yet in our sins. But praise God for the Lamb of the first year. The lamb had to be without spot or blemish. The word blemish is TAMIN and means "whole, upright, perfect, mature, and blameless". The word spot is associated with leprosy which represents sin in our lives. Jesus is our Passover Lamb. John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God:
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29
Jesus was the Lamb without spot or blemish. Peter wrote that we were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold... "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot," I Peter 1:19. Jesus was the Lamb of God, mature, whole, upright, perfect, and blameless.
The religious system of Jesus' day condemned Him but could find no fault in Him. He stood before Annas, John 18:13. Annas found no fault in Him. Annas sent Him to the high priest, Caiaphas, John 18:24. Caiaphas could find no fault in Him, so he sent Him to Pilate. Pilate, who represented the Roman Government, could find no fault in Jesus. Pilot's words were, "I find in Him no fault at all," John 19:37. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod. Herod and his men of war mocked Him and sent Him back to Pilate. They, too, could find no fault, Luke 23:11. Even Judas, the betrayer, declared Him innocent. When Judas returned the money to the chief priest, He declared, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood, Matthew 27:4.
The thief on the cross knew Jesus was blameless. After admonishing the other thief for questioning if Jesus was the Christ, he said, "We, indeed justly. For we receive the like reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing amiss," Luke 23:41. The centurion at the cross, after witnessing the earthquake at Jesus' death stated, "Truly this was the son of God," Matthew 27:54. Jesus was declared blameless by all who knew Him: without spot (sin), the perfect Passover Lamb of God. Jesus is our example and we are to walk after His example. As Peter, who was given the keys to the kingdom proclaimed:
We look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness and because we look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless, II Peter 3:13-14
We are to stand blameless before God without spot, not in some far off place called heaven, but here in this life and in this existence. John wrote,
"Herein is our love made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment because as He is, so are we in this world." I John 4:17
Jesus was without spot and blameless as the Lamb of God. We are to be without spot and blameless in this life. Jesus is returning for His church that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, (flawless) or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish, Ephesians 5:27.
God's redemption plan for man is foretold in the Feast of Passover. The Lamb was to be a male. Female lambs were not acceptable before God. It could be from the sheep or the goats, but it had to be a male. Many today have done away with Christ's masculinity. They have removed all reference to Him, He, or man from their Bibles, songs, and sermons. They want to make God an "IT" with all reference to sex having been removed. This is in spite of the fact that every reference to God, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, is masculine in the Scriptures. The lamb that Israel was to sacrifice had to be male. Israel was to take the lamb on the 10th day of the month, Exodus 12:3.
"And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening," Exodus 12:6.
When Israel selected the lamb, the lamb's fate was sealed. It would die four days later on the evening of the 14th. As we read in II Peter 3:8:
"... A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day." II Peter 3:8
It was four thousand years from Adam to Jesus. The lamb was hidden four days, then when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law, Galatians 4:4. Jesus came into the earth at the exact time pre-ordained. Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos that He was slain from the foundation of the earth, Revelation 13:8. Israel was to keep the lamb hidden just as God had kept His Lamb hidden until the time of restoration of all things. Jesus was the Lamb for every household, the Passover Lamb of God.
The lamb was to be killed on the evening of the 14th, in the month of Abib, Exodus 12:6. There was a time before every feast called the Day of Preparation when everything concerning the feast was to be prepared. Much controversy surrounds when Jesus, the Lamb of God, was crucified and how long He laid in the tomb. This is disclosed in the Feast of Passover in the killing of the lamb. The lamb was killed on the 14th day of the month of Abib. There is much confusion as to what day Jesus was crucified. Because of erroneous religious beliefs, many believe Jesus died on Friday. They incorrectly put the time of His death before the weekly sabbath, and do not relate His death to the Feast of Passover which is celebrated on a day of the month, not a day of the week. Scripture proves Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation, the day before the feast. John records:
"And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he (Pilate) saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!" John 19:14
"The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (FOR THAT SABBATH DAY WAS AN HIGH DAY,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." John 19:31
"There laid they Jesus therefore, because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." John 19:42
In these three scriptures, John the beloved disciple stated that Jesus' judgment, death, and burial was on the Day of Preparation, before the Feast of Passover which was a feast sabbath, not a weekly sabbath.
The world celebrates Good Friday as the day Jesus was crucified because they know Israel celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday. Therefore Jesus must have been crucified on Friday. When speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said,
"For as Jonas (Jonah) was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:40
Jesus stated He would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. If Jesus was crucified on Friday, and resurrected on Sunday morning, it would have been only 2 days and 2 nights in the tomb. This becomes confusing because we try to understand the death of Jesus without considering the Feast of Passover.
In the year Jesus was crucified, Israel had two sabbaths in a row: the Passover sabbath and the weekly sabbath, the following day. The question arises: How could that be, since the feasts were reckoned from the new moon? In Jesus' time, Israel had adopted a calendar system where their months began and ended by a calendar much like ours today, no longer beginning and ending their months by the new moon. The feast no longer fell on the weekly sabbaths. Therefore the Sabbath Israel was keeping at the time of Jesus' death was the Feast of Passover, not the weekly Sabbath which they would have celebrated on Friday.
Under the law Israel was to keep the lamb four days, and specific instructions were given as to how the lamb was to be killed, cooked, and eaten. All of which alluded to the death of Jesus. Israel was told in the killing of the lamb, and in the preparation of the lamb, they were not to break any of the bones, Exodus 12:46. No bones of the lamb could be broken in the killing, cooking, or eating of the lamb. The Psalmist David prophesied of the time Jesus spent on the cross when he wrote:
"I am poured out like water and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels." Psalm 22:14
David proclaimed all Jesus' bones were out of joint. Jesus was crucified the third hour which was 9:00 A.M., Mark 15:25. He hung on the cross until the ninth hour, 3:00 P.M. It was the ninth hour when He cried out, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach thani, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me," Mark 15:34. They ran and filled a sponge with vinegar and put it on a reed and gave Him to drink. Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost, Mark 15:34-37.
John records the Jews came to Pilate and asked that Jesus and the two thieves be killed by breaking their legs so the bodies could be taken off the cross before the Feast of Passover, John 19:31.
"Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with Him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs." John 19:32-33
"For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken." John 19:36
The Scriptures were fulfilled that no bone would be broken. But, as David recorded, all his bones were out of joint. The Passover Lamb and the Body of Christ that hung on the cross are examples of His body in the earth today. The thieves on each side of Jesus reveal unto us the two days that proceed the day of the Body of Christ. The first thief represents law. The law rejected Christ, proclaiming, "If thou be Christ save Thyself and us," Luke 23:39. The law operated by works and without faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. The other thief was granted grace.
"And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." Luke 23:42-43
The second thief recognized Him as Lord and was guaranteed a place in the Kingdom. God's perfect grace was afforded the second thief. He did not ask for forgiveness of sins nor was he baptized. It was only through God's perfect grace that the promise Jesus made the thief was fulfilled.
The legs of law were broken. Law cannot stand in the day of the Lord. The legs of grace were also broken. Grace will not stand in the Day of the Lord. In the beginning, God proclaimed, "My Spirit will not always strive with man," Genesis 6:3. It is only the True Body of Christ that will stand in the day of the Lord because, not one bone of the Body of Christ was broken.
Although not one bone will be broken in the Body of Christ, at this time the Body of Christ is out of joint, with many schisms and separations and divisions. But God will bring His body together and it will stand in the last days, full of grace and truth.
After Israel killed the lamb they were to catch the blood in a basin, take a bunch of hyssop and dip the hyssop in the blood, applying it to the lintel and the two side posts of the door. No one was to leave that house until morning, Exodus 12:22.
Solomon stated, "...the lowly hyssop springeth up out of the wall," I Kings 4:33. It was an uncultivated, unwanted plant. Today we would call it a weed. And yet, this unwanted plant was used to apply the blood at the time of the Passover. The Psalmist wrote,
"Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean," Psalm 51:7a
The hyssop was used for ceremonial cleansing under the law. It was used to purify the leper, Leviticus 14:4-7; to cleanse the leprous house, Leviticus 14:48-53; and to cleanse those who touched the dead, Numbers 19:1.
Hyssop was also used at Jesus' crucifixion. When Jesus knew all things were accomplished, He spoke, "I thirst." They filled a sponge with vinegar (bitter herbs) and put it
upon a branch of hyssop and put it to His mouth. When Jesus received the vinegar, He proclaimed, "It is finished." He bowed His head and gave up the ghost, John 19:28-30.
The hyssop, tied to a reed, would minister to Jesus' last request. God used this lowly, uncultivated plant as a sign of purity. Only that which God had cleansed could touch the blood of the Lamb. There was no defilement in the blood of innocent animals and there was no defilement in the blood of Jesus. It was not tainted by sin, nor the old, Adamic nature. It was pure. Only innocent blood could redeem man and reconcile him back to the Father.
When the blood was applied to the door post and lintel of Israel's homes, there was a complete covering over that house. Those in the house had come under the covering, protection, and security of God Almighty. When we enter into God's house by accepting the shed blood as the forgiveness of our sin, we enter into God's family. As long as we stay under the blood, we are in His care. Any time we come out of that house, we are no longer under His covering, protection, and security; and we will receive the judgment that will come upon the whole earth. In the world, death resides in every household. Only in the blood of Jesus is there life. Jesus said,
" ...I am the way, the truth and the life..." John 14:6
Without the applied blood, a complete covering in our lives, death is resident in our house. Those Israelites in Egypt, who did not believe in the blood of the Lamb suffered the loss of the firstborn. It is the same with our walk in God. The applied blood is not determined by who we are, but what we are. Many believe, because they belong to this church or that group, they are OK with God, but without the blood covering, they will perish with the world. The applied blood of the Lamb is our security in the days that lie directly ahead.
God gave Israel detailed instructions on how the lamb was to be prepared to be eaten. Why was so much attention paid to the body of the lamb? The Lamb had been slain and the blood applied. In the thinking of many Christians, the applied blood and water baptism are the whole salvation plan of God. Israel's baptism would be taken care of in the Red Sea. So why did God give Moses such specific instructions concerning the body of the Lamb? The writer of Hebrews proclaimed,
"Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared Me." Hebrews 10:5
The writer of Hebrews was not referring to the physical body that Jesus inhabited while He ministered on earth. The body that is being prepared for Him is the Body of Christ. When this Body is prepared, He will set His head upon that Body. Then the body that hung on the cross will be complete. All the joints will have come back together and will be connected to the head.
After killing the lamb, the skin had to be removed. The skin of the lamb had to be broken. Jesus' skin was broken because of the scourging. Jesus' skin was practically taken off His body. The prophet Isaiah recorded,
"I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting." Isaiah 50:6
They pulled handfuls of beard from His face. He was slapped and He gave His back to the smiters, or whippers. Isaiah went on to say:
"As many were astonied at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men." Isaiah 52:14
The word visage is MAREH and means "outward appearance". Jesus’ outward appearance was marred more than any man's. The Psalmist David recorded,
"I may tell all My bones. They look and stare upon Me," Psalms 22:17
They could see Jesus' bones. They were exposed because of the severe beatings. Isaiah said they were astonied at Him. They had never seen any man so beaten, and He hung on the cross with every joint out of place. His appearance was as though He had been skinned as a slaughtered animal. Jesus was laid to open shame before His creation, just as the lamb without its skin.
With us, nothing is hidden. We, too, as His Body, stand naked before Him. All things are open to Him. The writer of Hebrews spoke:
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." Hebrews 4:13
We stand naked before the Lord. There is no facade, no covering. The Body of Christ is laid open before the Father. We have no covering for our sin except the shed blood.
God told Israel how to cook the lamb. It had to be roasted with fire. They were not to eat it raw, nor were they to boil it in water, Exodus 12:8-9. Fire is symbolic of cleansing and purifying. When we are being chastised, many times we will proclaim, "God is turning up the heat." We have God's assurance that He only chastises those He loves, and He is simply dealing with us as sons, Hebrews 12:6-7. He is bringing us into obedience to His will just as Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered, Hebrews 5:8.
The lamb had to be roasted. Jesus was brought through the fire. So must the Body of Christ be put through the fire to purify and cleanse each one, and bring them into the obedience and the will of the Father. God is chastening and correcting, sitting "as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi (the priesthood) and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness," Malachi 3:3. Our offering unto God is to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, Romans 12:1.
The Passover Lamb was put through the fire as Jesus was put through the fire. They could not eat the lamb raw. Raw indicates unprepared. Those unprepared will not be part of His Body.
They were not to boil the lamb in water. Water is the symbol of the Word. Many desire to be immersed in the Word. They desire to have all understanding and possess all knowledge, but they deny the fire. Their desire is to enter into the kingdom by knowledge. But they need the cleansing fire of God to complete His work in their lives.
If the shed blood of the lamb does not bring forth a Body, then the death of Jesus was in vain. But we are assured by God that the shed blood will produce a Body, and that Body will be whole and complete in Him.
Israel was told to roast the lamb, "his head with his legs and purtenance," Exodus 12:9. The word purtenance is QUEREB and means "inner parts". The lamb was put through the fire whole. The head was on the body and was complete. The head of God's Body is Christ, the Holy Spirit. He came as the cloven tongues of fire on the Day of Pentecost, to cleanse and purify His Body by the fire. Then the Body is cleansed and purified by the washing of the water of the Word. When this process is complete, then He will set His head on His prepared Body, and the Lamb will be complete.
After the skin of the lamb was removed, God directed Moses to draw particular attention to three parts of the Lamb: the head, legs, and inner parts. This made reference to the parts of Jesus' body that would be pierced in His crucifixion: His head, by the crown of thorns; His legs, by the nails through His hands and feet; His purtenance, (inward parts) when the Roman spear was thrust in His side. We, too, must come into fellowship with Christ's suffering. Paul stated,
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." Philippians 3:10
We must be willing to come into fellowship with His suffering and death if we are to know the power of His resurrection. Just before his death, Paul stated:
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us." II Timothy 2:12
If we are not willing to suffer with Him, we will not reign with Him. Jesus was sent as the Lamb of God. His death was foreordained by God before He laid the foundation of the earth.
Israel was to eat the lamb with unleaven bread and bitter herbs. Jesus told the multitudes, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you", John 6:53.
We must eat the flesh of the Lamb and drink His blood if we are to have His life in us. We do this when we partake of the communion. Jesus stated that we are to do this until He returns. The bread we take must be unleavened bread made without yeast. Yeast is a fungus that makes bread rise or be puffed up. Leaven represents sin in our lives; that which puffs us up and makes us believe that we are something when we are nothing. We deceive ourselves, Galatians 6:3. (More will be discussed about leaven in the next chapter)
The bitter herbs were to afflict the soul. Jesus' soul was afflicted in the Garden of Gethsemane when He sweat great drops of blood. At this time, He was lamenting before the Father, seeking another way. The sponge dipped in vinegar, attached to hyssop, and raised to Jesus' lips just before His death, was the last affliction that man could minister to Him on this earth.
The bitter herbs in our lives are when we afflict our soul before the Father and our only desire before God is to be pleasing in His sight. We cry out, "Not my will, but Thine be done in my life." And we allow the old, Adamic, sin nature to be consumed by the Spirit of God. This is the cleansing fire of God in our lives.
Israel was told to kill the lamb at sundown, in the evening at the end of the day. Jesus was crucified at the end of the day. This also marked the end of an age; the age of law. The law began when Israel came to the end of their day of captivity in Egypt. They would receive the law 3 months later at Sinai, Exodus 19:1. The day of law would stand for approximately 1450 years, until Jesus came to fulfill the law.
"Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17
Jesus fulfilled not only the law, but He also fulfilled the prophets. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament in its entirety. When Jesus came as the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, He ended the law.
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
The law has ended for those who are walking in the Holy Spirit realm. Those who have refused Christ, the Holy Spirit will be judged by the law, because the law has not come to an end in their lives.
When Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was killed at sundown, the age of law was coming to a close and the Day of Grace was dawning. For the past 2000 years, God's grace, by the Holy Spirit, has been guiding and directing man's lives in the ways of God. But the age of grace is fast coming to an end. Jesus revealed to John,
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11
We are witnessing the end of the age of grace. It has been approximately two thousand years, or two days, since Jesus departed His earthly existence and we are about to enter into the third day, a new age. As Jesus' fleshly existence ceased at the sundown of Law, so will our fleshly existence cease at the sundown of Grace. We face a glorious new day for the Body of Christ when His Body will rule and reign on the earth.
None of the Passover Lamb was to remain until morning. That which was not eaten was to be burned, Exodus 12:10. The old, flesh body that was changed by the fire cannot enter into the New Day. The old body must be destroyed. It will be destroyed through death, or changed into a Spiritual body. Paul wrote:
"Howbeit that was not first which is Spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is Spiritual." I Corinthians 15:46
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (Spiritual)." I Corinthians 15:49
Nothing of the old body will be part of that New Day. A new day for the Body of Christ is about to dawn. Those who are a part of His Body will enter into His presence (His kingdom). These will enter into the high place that God has planned for His people from the beginning. But before that day, there is a Day of Judgment.
In Egypt, God's people were set free by God through Moses, the law giver. We are freed from the law by the blood of Jesus. In the age to come, God's people will be totally freed from all governmental law. It is by and through the Holy Spirit anointing that we will come into total obedience to the voice of God. The Kingdom will come after God’s judgment has been poured out upon the house of God,
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17.
Judgment on the house of God will cleanse His Body from all unrighteousness. Only through this process will we be prepared to enter into His presence. In that day, those who are a part of His Body will make up His True Church.
After Israel killed the lamb and roasted it, they were given special instructions on how they were to eat the lamb:
"And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover." Exodus 12:11
They were to eat the passover with their loins girded. In the time of the Exodus, both men and women wore robes. When they worked or ran they took the hem of the robe and tucked it into their girdle or belt around their waist. The robe then became as pants and did not restrict the movement of the legs. They were to be ready to flee when Egypt demanded them to leave. They were to leave immediately, not looking back, or going back for anything they might have left behind.
These same instructions have been given to God's people today. Paul wrote that part of our armor was having our loins girded about with truth, Ephesians 6:14. Our loins are the regenerative parts of our body. If we are to bring forth life, it must be by and through the truth of the Word. God is truth and in Him is no lie. Truth must be our girdle. Peter also confirmed this "girding up" by proclaiming,
"Gird up the loins of your mind. Be sober and hope to the end. For the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:13
We are to gird up the reproductive portion of our mind, and be ready and prepared, being sober and having hope to know that, at the end of this age, Christ Jesus is going to be revealed unto His people. Now is the time we are to prepare our lives for this revelation.
On that day, Israel was to have their shoes on their feet. Again, this is part of the armor of God. Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, Ephesians 6:15. The gospel of peace is yet to be proclaimed throughout the whole earth. Jesus proclaimed this everlasting gospel to John!
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Revelation 14:6
The gospel of peace and the everlasting gospel is the gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus stated:
"And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14
At Jesus' birth the angels proclaimed, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men," Luke 2:14. There has been no peace on earth, nor has there been goodwill toward men since Jesus came the first time. God has not been given glory in the highest. Jesus, Himself, proclaimed,
"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Matthew 10:35
There can be no peace on earth, no goodwill toward men, nor can we praise God in the highest until the Prince of Peace sets up His everlasting Kingdom in the hearts of His people. We need to have our feet shod with the gospel of peace, ready for God's service in that day.
Israel was told to have their staff in their hands. The staff, or scepter, is a sign of authority. Israel was to have God's authority in their hands. God intends His people to operate in His authority. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority we have in His name that we can overcome. The weapons of our warfare are Spiritual, not carnal, II Corinthians 10:4.
Another part of our armor God has endowed us with is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, Ephesians 6:17. As God's children, we have the right and authority to use His Word:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." II Timothy 3:16
We have God's full authority to say, "Thus saith the Lord" and "As it is written". Just as Israel was to have their staff in their hands, we must know our authority in God and how we are to operate in that authority.
When Jesus sent out His twelve, He gave them power and authority over all devils (demons) and to cure diseases, Luke 9:1. God has empowered His people for the times ahead. We need to begin to move in that power.
When the death angel passed over Egypt at midnight, all the first born of Egypt died. The first born were considered the strength of the house. They were the double portion heir. Jacob proclaimed, "Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength." Genesis 49:3
When the father died, the first born became the head of the family. Jesus was the only begotten of the father, or the first born of the Father. He was the strength and the power of the Father in the earth.
After God had judged Egypt by poisoning their waters, He afflicted them with pestilence (diseases). There was sickness in their animals and the people had boils (skin diseases). There were many attacks by insects, lice, flies, and locust which consumed their crops. There were plagues on the people. Judgment came also in severe storms. Frogs and darkness covered the land.
All these plagues are on the earth today. But the last plague was the taking away of the strength and power in each household. God is preparing this judgment. This judgment will bring forth the firstfruit sons, the strength and power of the Father, Revelation 14:4.
As the world's (Egypt's) strength and power fails, God's strength and power will be manifested in His firstfruit sons. The midnight hour is fast approaching upon all mankind. The judgment of God upon the earth will set His people free from the governmental slavery that Egypt (the world) has brought upon His people.
God set His people free in the month Abib, Exodus 13:4. Abib means "a green ear of corn". The word corn would better have been translated wheat. So he was referring to a green head of wheat. A green head of wheat will not allow itself to be separated from the chaff that holds it in place. When we were freed from our bondage to sin, we were still green heads of wheat refusing to be separated from the chaff in our lives. But when we come to the light of the everlasting Gospel of peace, then our green heads are matured by the heat of summer through trials and tribulation that mature us and bring us again into His image and likeness. These have been separated from the chaff of this life, and are becoming the pure seed, suitable for the master's use.
Many Christians are desiring the things of this world. They refuse to be separated from the chaff which leads to rebellion and judgment. Those who desire to hold on to the things of Egypt will not enter into their promise land. They will die in the wilderness of rebellion and rejection. Only the heat of the summer (tribulation) will bring the immature to maturity that they may be usable by God.
The green heads will not enter in when God takes His winnowing fan in His hand to purge His floor, Matthew 3:12. The green heads will be blown away by the wind, the Holy Spirit.
Those who refuse to be matured are destined to go through the wrath. This will be the final judgment that will destroy the old, Adamic nature in those green ears of corn. In this day, God will bring the strength and power of His firstborn for all the world to see. Those who have applied the Passover experience to their lives will be part of this great company.
Israel would celebrate the next Feast of Unleavened Bread after they fled Egypt, when they were to eat unleaven bread for seven days.
FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
When the blood of the Passover lamb was applied in Israel's life, God freed them from the bondage of Egypt. There were no more taskmasters in their life. They would go out free.
Jesus, our Passover Lamb, proclaimed, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed," John 8:36. He also related that if we know the Truth, the truth will make us free, John 8:32. The Truth is the Holy Spirit of God. We need the blood and the Spirit to be truly free from sin, the world, and the government.
Israel would celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread after they were freed from slavery. No longer would they, as free people, operate in the clay pits of man. "They were free to follow the Lamb wherever He goeth," Revelation 14:4. They would no longer be directed by man, but by the Word of the Living God.
The clay pits of Egypt reveal our position in the world before we apply the blood of the Passover Lamb. Clay represents the flesh. The pit represents our condition as being slaves to sin and the corruption of the world; always serving the desires of the flesh, giving into every whim of man. We lived our mundane lives, day after day, with no hope until someone showed us the way, the truth, and the life. We were shown the way back to the Father through the Son's shed blood and the Holy Spirit of God.
Israel was free, but it would be many years before they would enter into their promise land. When we are freed from the bondage of sin, there is still a long way to go to enter into our promise land, the Kingdom of God. (See "Repentance to our Promise Land" by George Kirkpatrick)
Israel was to celebrate the Feast of Unleaven Bread on the 15th day of Abib.
"And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread." Leviticus 23:6
Many teach, and would have us believe, God intended His people to worship Him on the Saturday Sabbath. They proclaim there is no basis for the Christian Church to come together on Sunday. As we examine the feast, we find ample proof that God exalted the eighth day, or the first day of the week.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was on the 8th day, the day after the Sabbath. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be celebrated on the first day of the week. Israel was to eat unleaven bread for seven days. Seven is God's perfect and complete number. The word seven means "to be full and satisfied, having enough". The number of man is six and the number of God is one. When man adds God, he becomes seven and is "filled, satisfied, and has enough", being complete in God.
Eating the unleavened bread for seven days was a complete and perfect cleansing of the body of all leaven. Leaven in the Bible is what we call yeast. The leaven in the Bible is different from the yeast of today, although the purpose and end result are the same. We know yeast mostly as a purchased substance which is added to bread or fruit juice to induce a fermentation process. In ancient days they used wheat or barley bran mixed with water, added vetch, and allowed it to stand until it soured. This was called sour dough by our ancestors. When added to bread it produced gas bubbles, and the bread dough would rise. After adding the leaven, the dough puffed up. It added nothing to the loaf. In order for this process to take place, the right temperature and moisture had to be present.
When added to fruit juice, the fermentation process produces gas bubbles, an effervescence, and a mildly violent reaction takes place. This is called "working". The fermentation process turns the sugar in the fruit juice to alcohol, thus producing wine.
What leaven does in bread and other substances is to make a general change in the mass by causing corruption. This process expands, or puffs up, whatever it touches by expanding the mass. In the Bible, leaven is generally used as a symbol of corrupting influences in our lives. Israel was to have no leaven in their camp for seven days. This not only pertained to leavened bread, but to all leaven in the house.
"Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel." Exodus 12:15
When Israel left Egypt, they had all the wealth of the Egyptians. They had all the building materials needed to construct the tabernacle in the wilderness. They used their animals and wagons to carry all that was needed in their lives. The only thing they were to leave behind was leaven. God not only sent them out free, but clean from the corrupting influences of Egypt. When we come to Jesus and are forgiven our sin, then all corrupting influences must be removed from our life.
Israel would celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the wilderness. The Feast of Unleavened Bread began the first day of the week and lasted the whole week. Israel was to begin to eat unleavened bread on the Feast of Passover. Throughout the Word, the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were used interchangeably. These were separate celebrations in Israel.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. He is also the Unleaven Bread. Jesus is that bread that came down from heaven, undefiled, uncorrupted, and sinless, the Unleavened Bread from God.
After Jesus fed the five thousand, the Jews came to Him and wanted Him to show them a sign to prove He was who He said He was. They proclaimed, "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat", John 6:30-31.
Jesus began to expound on their statement, informing them it was not Moses that had given them manna to eat, but His Father. His Father also gave them the True Bread from heaven (the Spiritual realm). And that bread of God cometh down from heaven to give life unto the world, John 6:32-33.
Jesus was speaking of Himself as the Bread of Life. The Jews wanted this bread. As many today, they thought the things of God were physical. They wanted natural bread to satisfy the flesh. Jesus states emphatically,
"I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." John 6:35
The Jews murmured because they could not comprehend that He was the bread that came down from heaven, John 6:41. In the natural, bread is called the staff of life. Jesus is the life of the world. Those who believe on Him have everlasting life.
When Jesus declared, plainly, "I am that Bread of Life," John 6:48, He continued to explain:
" ...The bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," John 6:51
" ...Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." John 6:53
Jesus was the unleavened bread. He gave His unleavened (uncorrupted) flesh for the life of the world. When we partake of that bread that came from the Spiritual realm and drink His blood, which is life, we are becoming part of His body. We are becoming an integral part of the life of God. We are to partake of this communion in Him until He comes to be glorified in His saints, II Thessalonians 1:10.
John recorded that Jesus was the Bread of Life. He also recorded that He was without sin.
"And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin." I John 3:5
There was no sin in Jesus' life. The word for sin is HAMARTIA and means "missing the mark or target". Webster says that mark means "target, goal, or intended purpose". We are running on a course predetermined by God with a set goal or target at the end. When we get off course, we miss the intended purpose of God in our lives. That becomes HAMARTIA, or sin, in our lives. Paul stated, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus", Philippians 3:14.
Paul had a goal, a target, an intended purpose in His life. He related it to being in a race. A race has a finish line. No one finishes the race before they cross the finish line. In a race there is also a well-defined course. If we are to qualify as the winner of the race, we must run within the confines of the course.
We have been taught that moral deficiencies such as drinking, smoking, drug use, homosexuality, adultery, stealing, cursing, lying, etc. are sin. These are only the result of sin. The sin was when our minds were allowed to dwell on these things until they became manifested in the flesh. Jesus related,
"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28
The sin is committed when we look upon a woman to lust after her. The predetermined mark God had set in our lives was missed at that moment. The sin of lust must be repented of, and adjustments made in our thinking, so those thoughts go no further. Those thoughts must not enter in again. This is dealing with the old man, the old, Adamic, sin nature. Peter spoke of the hidden man of the heart.
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." I Peter 3:3-4
Peter was speaking of women adorning themselves outwardly. He was relating the adorning should be the hidden man of the heart. The hidden man is incorruptible. Incorruptible means "will not pass away". All the clothes, the gold, and the braiding of hair will pass away. But what will not pass away is the meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Isaiah stated,
"Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee ..." Isaiah 26:3
Sin originates in our mind. If our mind is on God and the things of God, we will not miss the mark, and a meek and quiet spirit will be our reward. Our bodies will not suffer the effects of manifested sin. Paul stated that with his mind he served the law of God; with the flesh, the law of sin (HAMARTIA), Romans 7:14-15. Paul was still dealing with the old sin nature. In Paul's later writings, we witness that he had become victorious over the old, Adamic nature.
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:11-13
"...For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." II Timothy 1:12-13
Paul had become content with his status and calling in Christ. When the desires of the flesh and the allurement of the world has been dealt with in our lives we, too, can come into this place. When we hit the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, we will have a changed mind, no longer serving the sin nature, but serving the living God with our whole being. Jesus revealed,
"...Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh," Matthew 12:34
We speak what is in our mind. Our mouths speak what is resident in our hearts. We talk about what is most important in our lives. It might be our job, possessions, accomplishments, or God. If our mind is stayed on God, then His Word and what He is doing in our lives, and the lives of others, will be all we talk about. In Proverbs, Solomon recorded,
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." Proverbs 18:21
We can speak life, or we can speak death. What is in our heart is what we speak. James records:
"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." James 3:10
James states, "These things ought not to be..", because blessings and cursings, life and death are in the tongue. If we speak death or cursing, we are walking in HAMARTIA or we have missed the mark of God, and are dwelling in sin. If we speak life and blessings, we will be in perfect peace, and the hidden man of the heart will have a meek and quiet spirit. He or she will be great in the sight of God.
John related there was no sin in Jesus:
"And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin." I John 3:5
"Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." I Peter 2:22
Jesus did no sin and no guile was in His mouth. The word guile is DOLOS and means "a snare, a bait, deceit, or subtlty." Having no guile means being free from deceitful ways and perverseness in our actions. Jesus was the sinless one. He was morally perfect because He was pure in His heart (mind). Sin was not conceived in His heart; therefore, it was never manifested in His flesh.
Jesus was the unleavened bread that came down from heaven to give life unto the world. When Israel partook of the unleavened bread, they were foretelling the coming of the sinless one who would take away the sins of the world. Many have failed to apply this unleavened bread in their lives. Peter proclaimed, "Hereunto we are called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps", I Peter 2:21.
Jesus was the bread without leaven, so should our lives be without leaven. In explaining our communion with the Lord, Paul wrote, "For we being many are one bread and one body. For we are all partakers of that one bread," I Corinthians 10:17. When we partake of that one bread, we have become part of the Body of Christ.
The unleavened bread not only portrays the sinless life of Christ, but also the sinless perfection of the Word; the Word being Jesus, the Son. Israel did not recognize the Unleavened Bread when He walked among them. We must not make the same mistake.
God is being made manifest in the earth today through His Body. Those in the Body of Christ must be completely separated from leaven. They must overcome all the corrupting influences of the world, religion, and government. They will no longer be puffed up in their own importance. Paul wrote,
"...That ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written. That no one of you be puffed up for one against another." I Corinthians 4:6
Paul went on to relate that he was coming to the church at Corinth, not to know the speech of them which were puffed up, but the power, I Corinthians 4:19. Many today are speaking great, swelling words, but they do not possess the power. They speak of God with leaven in their hearts (puffed up in self), but they do not have the power (Holy Spirit) in their lives.
In Paul's letter to the Colossians, he spoke of those vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, Colossians 2:18. Jesus warned about leaven, the corrupting influence in our lives. Jesus told His disciples:
"...Beware of the leaven of the Pharisee and of the Sadducees," Matthew 16:6
Jesus clarified that He was not speaking about the leaven of bread. The disciples then understood that He was speaking about the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Matthew 16:11-12.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were the two main religious groups of Jesus' day. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees were of the Jewish religion. At the time Israel returned from the Babylonian captivity, Israel had one religion. Beginning in the time of Ezra, a split began to develop between the priests and scribes. The priests became the Sadducees and the scribes became the Pharisees. (UNGER'S pg 854). They began to interpret the law to suit their own purposes, and brought the people under bondage to themselves. Jesus said the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, Matthew 23:2.
Moses was called the lawgiver. The scribes and Pharisees had become the lawgivers in Israel. All knowledge of the law and all interpretation of the law was in their hands. The name Pharisee means "the separated, the expounders". They separated themselves from all who did not keep the law as they interpreted it. They also separated themselves from all they considered defiled so they, themselves, would not be defiled. Jesus related,
"...Do not after their works. For they say and do not," Matthew 23:3
This is so like the religious system today. They sit in Moses' seat, putting rules and regulations on God's people that they, themselves, do not keep, nor can they keep. It is the old, hypocritical saying, "Do as I say, not as I do." The word hypocrite means "play acting". Jesus was the only one to use that word in the Bible. He is the only one who knows the heart. Jesus stated of the Scribes and Pharisees:
"...For ye shut up the heavens (Spiritual realm) against men. For ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." Matthew 23:13
Jesus called the Pharisees and scribes hypocrites seven times in Chapter 23 of Matthew. Jesus spoke plainly and completely that they were hypocrites. They were only play-acting in their religious roles. This is certainly true today in the religious system. Jesus warns us:
"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees"
Beware of the play acting of the religious system, who operate by the precepts and doctrines of men. Jesus revealed,
"This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9
We are warned to "Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees", the separatists who proclaim, "We are the only ones. What we do and say is the only way, the only truth and the only life." They teach their precepts and doctrines of men, corrupting the innermost part of man instead of bringing forth life. Jesus told them, "Ye blind guides which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel," Matthew 23:24.
Their emphasis is on the external and not the Spiritual. They are more interested in clothes, what they drive and where they live, than the condition of the heart; worrying more about the outside of the platter than cleaning up the inside, Matthew 23:26. Jesus went on to say,
"Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (sin)." Matthew 23:28
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. II Corinthians 11:13-15
Paul spoke of those who transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, but are ministers of satan:
"Beware of the leaven, (doctrine) of the Pharisees"
The Pharisaical system is not dead. It flourishes in the world under the name of Christianity. Luke recorded,
"...Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy (play acting)." Luke 12:1
Those who are serving God after the flesh are only going through the motions. Those who do not have the Spirit of God directing their lives cannot possibly know the will of God, nor the direction of God. They are only playing a part; hypocrites in the sight of God. Jesus also recorded,
"Beware of the leaven of the Sadducees"
The word Sadducee means "the righteous". Their whole religion is based on holiness in the flesh. They also are more interested in the outward appearance, than their Spiritual hope in God. These represent worldly religions.
The Sadducees came from the priesthood. They served God because it was profitable. The priest was the highest paid profession in Israel. There were 11 tribes tithing to the Levitical priesthood. So the priest received 110%: 11 x 10 = 110. This was God's plan to support the priesthood order because they had charge of the tabernacle.
Today, many of the priesthood, the pastors, preachers, and heads of churches are ravished with greed, never having enough. We do not include all in this group. We need to understand there are many, many sold out men of God who have a close relationship with the Father, who are True Shepherds of God's sheep. These do a wonderful job. These are not the ones Jesus said to "Beware of", but those who are filled with greed, lust, and self-esteem. Isaiah spoke of these shepherds:
"His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” Isaiah 56:10-12
These are the Sadducees who expound a doctrine of self and self-exultation. Because they do not have the Spirit, they deny all the Spiritual revelation of God, and refuse to accept anything they cannot understand with their carnal reasoning.
The Sadducees state there is no resurrection, neither angels, nor spirit, Acts 23:8. Everything they taught or believed was from a natural understanding, what they could see, feel, or touch. Jesus told the Sadducees, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, Matthew 22:29. The Sadducees could not know the power of God because they did not know the Scriptures. They depended on the senses. They were fleshly, charismatic, and sensual. In Paul's second letter to Timothy, he addressed the Sadducean type Christian:
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away," II Timothy 3:5
Paul admonishes us “from such turn away” - - - get away, and stay away from those who have religion, but deny the Spirit. Jesus knew the dangers of the leaven of the Sadducees in their so-called worship of God. Their sensual, fleshly expression of godliness was a stink in His nostrils.
"Beware of the leaven of Herod"
Jesus, speaking to His disciples, told them to "Beware of the leaven of Herod," Mark 8:15. Herod was a family name. The Herod name began with Herod the Great. He was a descendant of Esau, Jacob's brother. There were six different Herods spoken of in the New Testament; most were mentioned only as Herod:
1. Herod the Great ordered all the children, two years old and younger, killed at the time of Jesus' birth. Herod the Great was a friend of Rome. He was appointed Procurator, or overseer of Galilee. Mark Anthony befriended Herod and had him appointed Tetrarch (governor) over one fourth of the province of Palestine. Later, Mark Anthony persuaded the Roman Senate to make Herod the Great a king. The Herod rule was established. Although all Herods were not kings, they had much power with Rome.
2. Herod Archaelous ruled when Mary and Joseph returned from Egypt with Jesus.
3. Herod Antipas. Jesus referred to this Herod as the "fox". He was Herod at the time of the crucifixion.
4. Herod Philip II was the son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra. It was Philip's wife, Herodias, that eloped with Herod Antipas. During Herod Antipas rule, John the Baptist said that it was not right he should have his brother Philip's wife. Salome, Philip's daughter, demanded John the Baptist's head at the urging of her mother, Herodias.
5. Herod Agrippa was the Herod that allowed Paul to speak for himself after he had demanded to be heard before Caesar and who told Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Acts 26:28
6. Herod Agrippa II was Herod at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
"Beware of the leaven of Herod"
Beware of the mixing of the righteous with the unrighteous; mixing the government of God with the governments of the world. The Herods represent the pride and arrogance that comes with position and power. It corrupts and puffs up. Many today desire to control people's lives and have power over them. This power is exerted from the pulpit, from the mouth of the prophet, or by financial influence in the lives of God's people. This corrupting influence is the leaven of Herod. Jesus said, "Beware" that their pride and arrogance do not enter in and destroy our walk with God.
In Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he spoke of the leaven of the church at Corinth. Corinth was a very carnal, fleshly, and Spiritually immature church. When Paul wrote to the church, he related,
"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto Spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." I Corinthians 3:1-2
Paul addressed this carnality and sin that had manifested itself as fornication in the church. Paul revealed that one of the men in the church was having a sexual relationship with his father's wife, probably his stepmother, I Corinthians 5:1. Paul wrote, "Ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you, I Corinthians 5:2. Paul goes on to warn them that their glorying is not good.
"...Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" I Corinthians 5:6
The Corinthians suffered from spiritual pride. They assumed because they were operating in some of the Spiritual gifts, they had come into a special place in God. They believed their actions were acceptable, and whatever happened in their midst was OK with God, because they called themselves by His name. How many today are puffed up in their religiosity and walking in sin that has been either ignored or accepted in their midst? Paul's letter to the Romans stated:
"...their thoughts, the meanwhile, accusing or else excusing one another, Romans 2:15
They judged themselves and accepted or rejected sin by whatever degree they chose. The Corinthians were aware of the sin in their midst, but they were puffed up. Many in the churches today believe fornication and adultery are "macho" and that it expresses their godly manliness. God called it sin in the Old Testament and He has not changed His mind. Jeremiah wrote:
"Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?" Jeremiah 7:9-10
Israel became lifted up because they knew that all they had to do was sacrifice an innocent animal and they would be holy before God. Many, today, have this same mentality. All they need to do is confess their sin before the slain Lamb and they will be restored. They use forgiveness as an excuse to sin. Paul was very emphatic as to how to deal with the sin in their presence. He proclaimed,
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness." I Corinthians. 5:7-8
The word malice means "undesirable character qualities, depravity". Wickedness is the Greek word PONERIA and has to do with moral degeneration that plots evil and sin. Our lives are to reveal unto the world the absence of the old leaven: the old corrupting influences of the world, and the old Adamic nature. We are to cry out against sin and lawlessness and not become a part of it.
When we purge out the old leaven, we become that new lump. If we fail to purge out the old leaven, then the whole lump will be leavened, or corrupted by the sin in our midst. The assemblies that fail to deal with sin in their midst will soon be leavened (corrupted) by that sin. They will begin to excuse their sin by saying God understands. But God does not understand. We are commanded in His Word to deal with the leaven in our midst. Leaven that is not dealt with corrupts everything it touches.
The word corruption means "death". The wages of sin is death. If we allow sin to exist in our midst, or our lives, that sin will bring spiritual death. The old leaven must be purged out if we are to be that new lump for which the Passover Lamb was sacrificed. Jesus was sacrificed that He may have a church without spot or wrinkle; a church that will be a praise in the earth, and an unleavened people that will be acceptable in the Beloved.
Paul spoke of leaven also in his letter to the Galatians. Many scholars believe the book of Galatians was the first book written in the New Testament. It differs from Paul's other letters because it was not written to a church or a person. It was written to all the churches of Galatia, Galatians 1:2. Perhaps it was written first because it deals with the first questions facing a new Christian, "Where do we stand in the law, and what is our relationship to the law?" Paul wrote,
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
Christ, the Holy Spirit, has set us free. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, I Corinthians 3:17. Jesus came to fulfill the law, Matthew 5:17. Christ, the Holy Spirit, is the end of the law, for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
Then why do we need the law? For by the law is the knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20. The law is only a guideline to know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in the sight of God. We are not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage of the law. We are to exercise our liberty, yet not abuse the liberty we have in the Holy Spirit. Paul writes,
"For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Galatians 5:3-4
Those who want to keep the law, or any part of it, have not come to Christ, the Holy Spirit and have fallen from grace. Paul adds, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, Galatians 5:9. When we try to mix law and grace, they both become corrupted.
Those who try to keep the law by works, and try to operate in grace by faith, are corrupted and frustrated. This type of corruption permeates whole bodies of believers. They become legalistic and the people are brought again under the yoke of bondage. They become puffed up in their bondage because they believe, or have been taught, that self denial establishes them in the will of God. They reject and separate themselves from those who operate in the perfect law of liberty, James 1:25. This corrupting influence robs them of their inheritance in God.
We are admonished to become that unleavened bread, not having the corrupting influence of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herods, Corinth, or Galatia in our lives. As leaven puffs up bread, so leaven will puff up and make God's people proud. So many times God tells us how He will judge pride. James states, "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble," James 4:6. The word resisteth means "to oppose or to set oneself in opposition to". God will oppose that which the proud tries to accomplish.
God gave the Feast of Unleavened Bread that we may understand the necessity of dealing with the leaven in our lives. He told Israel there could be no leaven in all their house. He is speaking the same to us today. We must deal with any leaven in our home and life. We must remove all the corrupting influences that are affecting our lives. This is speaking of our physical house, and our Spiritual house as well.
Paul said we were to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with sincerity and truth, I Corinthians 5:8. The word sincerity means "purity; with a pure conscience". We must have a pure conscience before God in all we do. We are not to be distracted by any corrupting influences in our lives. We must deal with the sin nature and be totally separated unto God. The word truth has the meaning of "absolute"; not just being truthful, but becoming Truth itself.
Jesus stated, "I am the Truth," John 14:6. We must become that truth. No lies are to exist in our character or make up. We must become God's unleavened bread in the earth. We must operate our lives in sincerity and truth. There must be no leaven in our natural house or our Spiritual house.
FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS
The Feast of Firstfruits was the final feast in the Feast of Passover. The keeping of this feast was different from the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Israel celebrated the Passover in Egypt and the Unleaven Bread in the wilderness. But they would not celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits until they came into their promise land and had grown their first crop.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest." Leviticus 23:10
They were to bring a sheaf of the firstfruit and the priest would wave it before the Lord. This was to assure a bountiful harvest. They were to wave the sheaf the day after the weekly Sabbath.
"And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." Leviticus 23:11
The sheaf was to be waved on the day after the third sabbath of the first month, Abib. When God spoke to Moses and the new month began, there was no celebration on the first sabbath except the weekly sabbath. The Feast of Passover was on the second sabbath, the 14th of Abib. For the next seven days, they were not to eat any leavened bread, nor were they to have any leaven in their houses, until the third sabbath, the 21st of Abib.
Three is the number of completion. Israel was to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits in remembrance of the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God had promised their forefathers a land flowing with milk and honey. They were to offer the first of firstfruits after they had entered into, and possessed their promise. Then, on the day after the third sabbath, the priest would wave the sheaf of the firstfruit. The firstfruits were waved on the first day of the week.
The Feast of Passover was on the Seventh Day of the week. The Feast of Unleaven Bread and the Feast of FirstFruits were on the first day of the week. All three feasts celebrated Jesus. The Passover was a shadow of His death; the Unleaven Bread was a shadow of His sinless life; and Firstfruits foreshadowed His resurrection.
Very little is written about the Feast of Firstfruits. It is the least mentioned of the three main feasts. Yet the importance of it and God's intended purpose for it, is profound when we understand it in our relationship to Christ. Special instructions were given concerning the Feast of Firstfruits. God spoke to Moses:
"And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings." Leviticus 23:14
Israel could not eat bread, parched corn, nor green ears until they brought the wave offering before the Lord. Bread is a symbol of life. Christ is our life. Parched corn is the symbol of the Word, tried by fire. Green ears are a sign of immaturity. The green, immature heads of grain cling to the chaff (symbol of worldliness) instead of being separated unto God.
The word firstfruit has two meanings. It means "the beginning, the best, and the choicest". It also referred to "the firstborn, the eldest son". The firstborns son receive a double portion inheritance and became the head of the family at their father's death.
The firstfruit sheaf was made up of the choicest of the first ripe grain of the barley. At the time of harvest the reapers went through the fields and found the fattest, choicest, and ripest heads. They severed the barley from the earth. The wave offering must be separated from the earth.
When the sheaf was prepared, it was given to the priest and he waved it before the Lord as an assurance of God's blessing on the balance of the harvest. No one could eat of the harvest until the wave offering was presented before the Lord. The first of every harvest and all firstborn sons and the firstborn of the animals belong to the Lord.
"Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the Lord, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be Thine..." Numbers 18:15
Jesus was the beginning. He was the only begotten Son of the Father, His firstborn, His Lamb without blemish, His sacrifice for all mankind. He had to be severed from the earth as the firstfruit to insure a bountiful harvest to bring forth many brethren into the Kingdom.
"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:29
Jesus was the firstborn of many brethren. Jesus was the firstborn, the beginning strength of God. The Father gave the best He had as an example of the abundant harvest He would bring forth in the Day of Harvest. Jesus came as the Firstfruits of the Kingdom of God to bring forth a Kingdom of kings and priests, Revelation 1:6. This, He accomplished when He became the firstfruits of the dead.
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Revelation 1:5
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the single, most important event in the history of mankind. Paul records:
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." I Corinthians 15:20
Jesus Christ was the firstfruits to bring forth a bountiful harvest. When Paul was discussing the importance of the resurrection, he realized that many did not believe there would be a resurrection, as many today have questions about the resurrection of the dead. So he stated,
"But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen?" I Corinthians 15:13
The resurrection of Jesus is one of the basic tenets of our faith. Paul asked the question, "If there is no resurrection, then is the very basis of our faith wrong?" He goes on to answer:
"Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." I Corinthians 15:15-19
If Christ is not the firstfruits of the dead, then all mankind is yet in their sin and mankind has no hope, nor do those who have died in faith have any hope in God.
The word resurrection brings hope to all. The word resurrection means "to restore to life again". We get our word revival from this word. It has another meaning of "arising from sleep", or "to awaken out of sleep". When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he admonished them,
"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Ephesians 5:14
Before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all mankind was dead in their sins. In Paul's letters, he addressed our being dead in sin many times.
"And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." Ephesians 2:1
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)." Ephesians 2:5
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." Colossians 2:13
We were all dead in our sin. There is only one way to escape from death, and that is by resurrection. At the death of Lazarus, Jesus proclaimed:
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25
When most people think of resurrection, they think of the Great Resurrection before the great white throne judgment. It is easy to see this resurrection as it is revealed in the Word. But the Spirit wants us to recognize the resurrection that is taking place all around us, as we witness those who are awakening out of their sleep, and are being resurrected to the newness of life. Hallelujah!
The early apostles taught the people that the resurrection from the dead was through Jesus. When Peter was speaking to the religious system, shortly after the Day of Pentecost, the Sadducees which did not believe in resurrection were "grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead," Acts 4:2. This is the way the King James Version recorded this Scripture. But the Berry Interlinear Greek English New Testament, translated from the original Greek, records this Scripture as:
"Being distressed because they teach the people and announce in Jesus the resurrection which is from among the dead." Acts 4:2
These early apostles taught that, in Jesus, the people were resurrected from among the dead. The early converts, as we today, are a new creation in Christ. The world remains dead in their sin. Our resurrection to new life is from among the dead. Paul wrote to the church at Colosse:
"And He is head of the Body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18
Jesus was the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, the resurrection, the firstfruits unto God, the wave offering of the firstfruit company that God is raising up in the earth. Those who have born the image of the earthy will also bear the image of the heavenly (Spiritual), I Corinthians 15:49. The firstfruit company are those who are part of the first resurrection.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." Revelation 20:6
Many proclaim the first resurrection has already past. They believe it took place at the great earthquake, when Jesus hung on the cross and the graves were opened, and many of the saints that slept arose, Matthew 27:52.
"And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Matthew 27:53
Even though these saints were restored to life at the death of Jesus, they did not come out of the graves until after the resurrection. These saints were alive in their tombs for three days. If they had come out of their graves before the resurrection of Jesus, these would have been the first begotten of the dead, not Jesus.
The resurrection of these saints confirmed the resurrection power in Christ Jesus our Lord. Some in the early church taught this was the first resurrection. Paul addressed this in his second letter to Timothy. Paul warned Timothy about two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus, who were teaching the first resurrection had already past. Paul spoke boldly against the teaching of these two men.
"Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some." II Timothy 2:18
The first resurrection is not past. The first resurrection is evident anytime someone comes to the newness of life through the shed blood of Jesus and the Spirit of God. The resurrection is evident when one begins to walk in Jesus' example of a sinless life. These are those who have been resurrected from among the dead, (the dead being those who are still dead in their sins).
This promise of a resurrected life in Christ, and the promise of a bountiful harvest was illustrated every time the priest waved the sheath of the firstfruits before the Lord. It not only revealed Jesus' acceptance by the Father, but it also illustrated our acceptance in the beloved.
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved." Ephesians 1:6
We have been made acceptable in the beloved. Jesus became the wave offering before the Father. Twice the Father proclaimed His acceptance of Jesus. He stated:
"...This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17
Jesus was always pleasing in the sight of the Father. When we are pleasing in the sight of the Father we will be acceptable in the beloved.
When Jesus ascended off the earth, a cloud received Him out of their sight, Acts 1:9. The cloud was the glory of God, and Jesus returned to the glory He had with the Father before the world began. Jesus returned to the glory of the Father. We have received the promise of coming into this same glory.
To come into His glory, we must become part of the resurrection that is in the earth today. Jesus stated:
"I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25
Jesus was not referring to our physical death, but was referring to the spiritual death we were dwelling in while we were yet in our sin. When we were dead in our sin, we were dead spiritually. When our resurrection came, we were resurrected from among the dead. Those remaining in their sin were still dwelling in death. Paul explained the reason we were to be water baptized. Baptism is part of the resurrection process. We must be baptized if we are to be part of the harvest when it comes. Paul relates:
"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:5-6
The old man is crucified. The old man of sin, or the old sin nature, must be destroyed if we are to walk in newness of life. We are put in a place of death (under the water) that we may be resurrected (brought out of the place of death) unto the new man, that we may be in the likeness of Jesus' resurrected life. The old man of the flesh (the Adamic nature) should no longer desire to serve sin. God ordained baptism that we be awakened out of our death sleep. Paul went on to say to the saints in Rome:
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed, The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." Romans 13:11-12
The night, the time of darkness upon the earth, is about over. Christ, the Light of the whole creation, is about to arise upon His resurrected ones, His wave offering before the Father.
"The night is far spent..." Romans 13:12
Isaiah spoke of the time coming upon the earth:
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee." Isaiah 60:2
God is desiring a people who will awake, for their total salvation is at hand. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." I Corinthians 15:34
God is desiring a people to awake to righteousness and obtain the knowledge of God and of His Kingdom. God is looking for His Firstfruit Company to come forth in the earth. These are His wave offerings to assure a bountiful harvest. James writes:
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above (the Spiritual realm) and comes down from the Father of Lights... Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." James 1:17-18
God has ordained He will have His Firstfruit Company that He has begotten through His Word. These are those who will have allowed the Word of God to change them and bring them to maturity before the harvest. The ones who are the first, ripe fruit unto God are His wave offering before the Father, the ones who have come to maturity before the time of Harvest. Paul relates,
"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." I Corinthians 15:23
The Firstfruit Company will be the Christ (the anointed ones) at His coming. Jesus revealed this company to John on the Isle of Patmos when He showed him the 144,000:
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Revelation 14:4
The Firstfruit Company are those who have been redeemed (separated) from among men and are before the throne. They are the wave offering that was accepted by the Father before the time of harvest. These have awakened unto righteousness. They have been begotten through the Word, and are becoming the anointed of the Father. These will be the acceptable in the beloved. These will not be defiled by women, (the church). This Firstfruit Company will not be defiled by the church system, but will become part of the True Church of which Christ will be the head when He returns. Isaiah spoke of the time when God would arise in His people, and they would arise from the dead and live:
"Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Isaiah 26:19
The dead men are beginning to live. Those who are alive from among the dead are casting out the death they dwelt in because of sin. As Jesus arose from death, we are to awaken from our death. Those who dwell in the dust (the old, Adam nature) are beginning to sing praises unto God and the Lamb. It is a new song that only the 144,000 know, Revelation 14:3.
Isaiah admonished the captive daughters of Zion,
"Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion." Isaiah 52:2
The daughters of Zion are the True Church God is raising up in the earth. We are to loose ourselves from the bands the religious system has put on our necks. Paul called it the yoke of bondage which is the law; not Moses' law only, but the laws of man-made religious systems. God has set us free to go in and out from the presence of the Lord and find pasture (Spiritual food), John 10:9. When we are freed from man's law, the words of Isaiah will ring true in our life:
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isaiah 60:1
Arise, awake and come forth in the power and authority that God has planned for His firstfruit company. Then we, as Paul, will cry out,
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." Phillipians 3:10-11
We are made conformable unto His death when we cry out, "Not my will, but Thine." This will be the end of the flesh. The power of His resurrection will begin to work in our lives, and we will obtain the resurrected life of Christ where death has no more dominion. This is the power of an endless life, Hebrews 7:16. This is the Melchizedek order priesthood. This is when we will have become kings of righteousness unto God.
We must realize the feasts were only shadows of things to come, and that the firstfruit sheaf was not the harvest, but only the preparation for a bountiful harvest. The Feast of Firstfruits was not celebrated in the wilderness. God told Moses that Israel was not to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits until they possessed the land. We cannot become the wave offering before the Lord until we possess the land, (our bodies). We must take control over the inward man, the man of the heart. We must have reaped a harvest in our lives. Then we will have a sacrifice to bring before the Lord. This is the sacrifice of praise. Our bodies are to become a living sacrifice acceptable and holy unto our God, Romans 12:1.
It is not just a matter of presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, but as the Father's sacrificial Lamb was perfect, holy, and without blemish, so must our bodies be perfect, holy, and without blemish to be acceptable unto the Father. This is not speaking of being perfect, holy, and without blemish in the natural, but in the Spiritual; as God sees us, not man. When we come into this place in God, we are acceptable in the beloved. We become the wave sheaf worthy to be presented and accepted by the Father.
We must look, again, at the instructions given by Moses concerning the Feast of Firstfruits. God spoke that Israel was not to eat or partake of bread, parched corn, or green ears until after they had brought an offering unto their God. This offering was a type of their bodies, holy and acceptable unto God. After they had brought this offering, they could partake of these foods. They could partake of the bread; the Life of Christ. They could partake of the parched corn; the Word that has been tried in the fire (Baptism of the Holy Spirit); and the green ears coming into maturity through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. This must be accomplished before the Great Harvest of God. We must come to the place where the wave offering and the cleansing power of God is working to bring us to maturity.
This cleansing must be manifested in every life that will be accepted by the Father. Those who will not accept this cleansing and maturity in their lives in this hour will be cast into the Great Winepress of the wrath of God, Revelation 14:19. This is the harvest of the earth.
It is not necessary to wait until the wrath, the great and terrible day of the Lord, for this to be accomplished in your lives. Christ is wanting to make up His wave sheaves that He may present them to Himself without spot or wrinkle, Ephesians 5:27 This will be the firstfruit company who will bring forth a bountiful harvest in the earth. These are the laborers who are set forth in the earth in the time of harvest. Jesus said,
"...The fields are white to harvest but the laborers are few," Matthew 9:37
We can become the wave offering before the Father. We can become part of the wave offering, the first, ripe fruit in the earth; the choicest, the best the Father has. Only the best will be part of the Firstfruit Company God is bringing in the earth.
FEAST OF WEEKS (PENTECOST)
The second of the three main feasts is the Feast of Weeks. This was the feast the early saints were celebrating when the Holy Spirit came like a rushing mighty wind, Acts 2:2. We are informed when, "...the day of Pentecost was fully come."
The word Pentecost means "fiftieth". When we begin to understand the perfection in God's planning, and His revelation through the times and seasons, we can further understand the importance of the feasts. The Feast of Weeks is measured from the Feast of Firstfruits.
"And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete.
Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord." Leviticus 23:15-16
The time of the Feast of Weeks is very important. Israel was to count seven sabbaths after the waving of the sheaf of Firstfruits. The Feast of Weeks was on the day after the seventh sabbath; the fiftieth day. The Word specifically reveals that the Feast of Weeks was measured from the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits, not from the Feast of Passover. It is most important to follow His exact plan if His truths are to be totally revealed. It was the waving of the sheaf that determined the time for the Feast of Weeks. The Feast of Passover was on the second sabbath, the 14th of Abib; all feasts being figured from the New Moon and not the calendar. The waving of the firstfruits sheaf was the day after the third sabbath; the third sabbath being the 21st of Abib. The Feast of Weeks was the day after the seventh sabbath after the waving of the firstfruits was performed. From the time that God instituted a new calendar in Israel, the Feast of Weeks was the day after the 10th sabbath; it being figured seven sabbaths after the third sabbath.
The Feast of Weeks was not on a designated day of the month as was the Feasts of Passover, Unleaven Bread, and Firstfruits. The Feast of Weeks only designation was the seventh sabbath plus one day from the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits.
The Feast of Weeks was also celebrated on the eighth day, or the first day of the week, the same day as the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits were celebrated. All three feasts were celebrated on the first day of the week.
Since the feasts were only shadows of things to come, we need to study the feasts that we may understand God's intended purpose for His people. God has hidden these truths so they can be revealed by His Spirit in their completeness.
If we are to see clearly, we must search out the revelation God has hidden in numbers, colors, metals, trees, nations, times and seasons, and especially types and shadows. All have special meanings to unlock the mysteries that have been hidden since the beginning of time.
The three feasts in the Feast of Passover are all types and shadows of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Feast of Weeks is a type and shadow of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The Feast of Weeks occurred in the third month called SIVAN. The word SIVAN means "their covering".
Three is a very important number in God's Word. The number three means "complete or perfection". Two is incomplete. Two lines cannot enclose anything. It takes 3 lines to complete a solid. A plane figure is composed of length, breadth, and height. These three make a solid, or cube. Three, then, is the symbol of the cube. Three stands for solid, real, substantial, and entire. All things that are complete are stamped with the number three; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; past, present, and future; yesterday, today, and tomorrow; sun, moon, and earth; thought, word, and deed; animal, vegetable, and mineral. All things are complete in three. Three lines make a triangle, the strongest of all geometrical figures. From Numbers in Scriptures by E.W. Bullinger
The coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) was in the third month. This was the anointing Jesus spoke of when He told His disciples to "tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high", Luke 24:49.
The word endued is ENDUO and means "to be clothed upon or covered as a garment". The Feast of Weeks was in the month, Sivan, meaning "their covering". This covering is the power of God that we are anointed with, the power from on high.
The word anoint is CHRISMA and means "to smear or rub with oil, to cover, to whitewash". It is from the base word CHIRO. CHRISTOS and CHRISTANOS are translated "Christ, or Messiah and Christian". The word Christ means "the anointing". The word Christian means the "anointed ones".
The anointing of the Holy Spirit is our covering of power from on high. The third month was a very important month in the lives of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness. It was in the third month God gave Israel the law.
"In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai." Exodus 19:1
At Sinai God gave Israel the law. But He also made them a promise:
"And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." Exodus 19:6
His promise was to make them a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. God spoke this to Peter, whom He had given the keys to the Kingdom. God's promise to Israel is also for us:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." I Peter 2:9
This promise is given to those who are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Israel witnessed the power and the awesomeness of God in the third month at Sinai. It was in the same month the early disciples witnessed this same power and awesomeness on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came as a mighty rushing wind that filled the house.
God told Moses that He would appear to Israel on the mountain on the third day and speak to them audibly and give them His laws, Exodus 19:11. After God appeared and gave Israel His laws, the people drew back. They did not want to hear from God. They desired that God speak to Moses, and Moses would speak to them. God called Moses into the mount and wrote with His finger on two tablets of stone, the law that Israel was to follow.
Paul declared to the church at Corinth:
"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistles of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tablets of the heart. II Corinthians 3:3
God prophesied through the prophet, Ezekiel:
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
God wrote the law with His finger in stone. Man followed this law for 1450 years. Then God removed our heart of stone and gave us a heart of flesh. Then, with His Spirit He wrote His laws in the fleshly tablets of our heart. This was accomplished through His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in the third month.
The Feast of Weeks was in the 10th week from the beginning of Israel's New Year as God had ordained when He spoke to Moses. Ten is a very important number to understand. God's perfection is shown in the number ten. Ten is the number of divine order. Our number system is made up of decimals: a series of so many tens. Ten means "the completeness of the whole" or "a cycle being complete". Noah was the tenth generation from Adam. God gave Israel ten commandments. Tithe is ten percent of our increase. There were ten plagues in Egypt. All these are representative of the whole, or a complete cycle. 100 and 1000 are expansions of the number ten; 10 x 10 and 10 x 10 x 10.
When God gave Moses directions on how the Feast of Weeks was to be celebrated, He stated,
"...And ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord," Leviticus 23:16
Israel was to offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. The word meat should have been translated "meal offering". It was a bloodless offering, made three times a year before the Lord. Each time, it was presented with wine. Although we are not told how the wine was disposed of, it should be clear that the meal (bread) and the wine are a type of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This new meal offering was to be made with leaven (yeast).
"Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord." Leviticus 23:17
The new meat (meal) offering was to be two loaves of bread. Israel was to bring the two loaves of bread to be waved before the Lord. These loaves were not prepared special for this service. It was the everyday bread that was used in their homes. This bread represented ordinary people that God would use in His service. These loaves were to be baked with yeast, or leaven. Leaven was forbidden in the Feasts of Passover, Unleaven Bread, and Firstfruits. But God commanded the two wave loaves be baked with leaven. This reveals that, at the time of the Feast of Weeks, man had come into a new relationship with God. And God had provided a way for man to deal with the sin in his life.
On the Day of Pentecost, God's salvation plan had become complete, and His divine order had been established through the Holy Spirit. The waving of the two loaves was a foreshadow of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Two is the number of witness. There is a principle in the Old Testament that must be applied in our lives. That principle is, every word must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. God informed Israel:
"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witness, shall the matter be established." Deuteronomy 19:15
God established that no one could be put to death in Israel by the mouth of one witness. This idea was carried forth to the New Testament. In Jesus' Words,
"But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." Matthew 18:16
Any word can only be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. God is bound by His Word when He stated "In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." God, will not operate outside His Word.
The Father confirmed two times who Jesus was. On the banks of the Jordan River the Father spoke, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," Matthew 3:17. He repeated these same words on the mount of transfiguration in the ears of Peter, James, and John.
"...This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. hear ye Him." Matthew 17:5
God admonishes us, "Hear ye Him!". God, the Father, was the first witness. But there had to be a second witness. The second witness was the Comforter:
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." John 15:26
The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, still testifies of Jesus. When we testify to others, it is the Holy Spirit who is witnessing that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus stated,
"If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of Me and I know that the witness which He witnesseth of Me is true." John 5:31-32
"But I have greater witness than that of John (Baptist): for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me." John 5:36
The Father was the first witness of Jesus. The comforter, the Holy Spirit, is still witnessing of Jesus and His works are His witness. Three testimonies. Truly, Jesus was established by three immutable witnesses, to be the Son of the Everlasting God.
Israel was instructed to wave two loaves of bread before the Lord:
"And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord..." Leviticus 23:20
The bread represented the Bread of Life, Christ (the Holy Spirit). The bread that came down from heaven was given for the life of the world through the shed blood of Jesus. The coming of the Holy Spirit endues us with power from on high to bring us, again, into a right relationship with the Father. We are made complete by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our ability in God. Jesus stated,
"Without Me ye can do nothing," John 15:5
Through Jesus we have our authority in God. Paul wrote:
"These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Titus 2:15
We have all authority in the name of Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit we have the power, the power from on High to execute our authority. Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, I Corinthians 1:24. By the Holy Spirit we have power and wisdom.
"If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally..." James 1:5
It is only through the two breads (two witnesses) that we are made complete in God. Jesus, the Lamb, [the physical bread], and the Power from on high, the Holy Spirit [the Spiritual bread].
The Feast of Passover was the beginning of the barley harvest. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) was the beginning of the wheat harvest.
"And thou shalt observe the Feast of Weeks, of the Firstfruits of wheat harvest..." Exodus 34:22
As God foretold in the Feast of Weeks, it was not the complete harvest, it was only the beginning of the harvest. We sometimes cannot relate to the times in ancient Israel because of the differences in agriculture practices. Today, the farmer plants his grain crops all at one time and harvests them at one time. In ancient Israel, because crops were harvested by hand, they were not planted to mature at the same time. Harvest time generally lasted all summer. Another aspect to consider, the land of Israel ranges from the Plain of the Jordan (sea level) to high mountains. So the time of planting and harvesting varied greatly from the valley to the mountains.
As we understand the harvest process, we can relate more effectively to the Day of Pentecost being the beginning of the harvest of the earth. The harvest began on the Day of Pentecost. There were about one hundred and twenty original recipients of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:15. A short time later, there were about three thousand who received the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:41. Then there were five thousand added to the household of God, Acts 4:4. After this, multitudes were added, Acts 5:14. It was reported by Jason in the city of Thessalonica, speaking of Paul,
"...These that have turned the world upside down are come hither, also." Acts 17:6
God was truly reaping a multitude in the harvest of the wave sheaf that was waved before the Lord at the Feast of Firstfruits. The waving of the sheaf of the firstfruits (Jesus' resurrection) and the Feast of Weeks are tied together. It was the resurrection of Jesus that was waved before the Lord to insure a bountiful harvest. Jesus was the firstfruits wave offering. The early church was the firstfruits of that harvest. They were the meat (meal) offering that were waved before the Lord. This began the harvest that will be culminated in the end of the age. The end of the age is represented by the seventh month or the end of the year.
The two loaves show another truth. From the Day of Pentecost forward, God would accept both Jew and Gentile; natural and Spiritual Israel. Jesus stated, "I am not come but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel," Matthew 15:24. Jesus also spoke of another flock:
"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." John 10:16
The two flocks are spoken of as two witnesses in Revelation 11:3: God's holy nation, natural Israel, who have accepted their Messiah (Jesus) and have received the Holy Spirit. The second witness is Spiritual Israel, the Gentiles, who have accepted the Lamb of God and have the Holy Spirit directing their lives.
The acceptance of the Gentiles into the Kingdom was foretold when God let down a sheet with all the unclean animals three times before Peter. Peter was told to arise, kill and eat. But Peter refused to partake of the unclean animals. God spoke, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common," Acts 10:15. As Peter pondered the vision, men sent by Cornelius a Roman centurion (a Gentile) came to inquire of Peter. The Holy Spirit directed Peter to go with them, doubting nothing, Acts 10:20. Because Peter was obedient to go to Cornelius's (a Gentile) house, Cornelius and his whole house were saved and filled with the Spirit. Peter opened His mouth and said...
"Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." Acts 10:34
Cornelius was the first of the Gentiles to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. All those who went with Peter were amazed that the same Spirit they had received at Pentecost fell upon the Gentiles.
The Day of Pentecost opened salvation to "whosoever will". The Holy Spirit is no respecter of persons. Many still teach that God has a chosen nation of people, and He truly does. It is those who have gone by the way of the cross and received the Holy Spirit. These are the household of God, His holy nation, Israel; whether they were formally Jews or Gentiles.
The two houses of Israel are His two witnesses in the earth today. The prophet Ezekiel foretold this approximately 600 years before Jesus came to earth. These are the two sticks in the hand of the Lord that He will make into one stick.
"...And they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms anymore at all." Ezekiel 37:22
The two wave loaves made from the new harvest were to be waved before the Lord for His acceptance. These two loaves (bread) represent the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world and Christ Jesus, the Anointing that came on the Day of Pentecost. It takes both to be acceptable in the Beloved. One loaf was not acceptable in the Feast of Weeks. Nor will one loaf be acceptable in the day of judgment. We must have the Son and we must also have the Father, the Holy Spirit, working in our lives. In order to understand what God is showing us by the two wave loaves, we must understand the two Comforters that we are to have in our lives.
When Jesus was born, the angel told Mary to call Him Jesus, Matthew 1:21. Christ was not a name, but, rather, a title of what He was to become. The word Christ means "anointing, or the Anointed One". On the banks of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit (anointing) descended on Jesus as a dove and sat upon His flesh, Luke 3:22. Only after this anointing did Jesus have a ministry. Jesus related to His disciples,
"...Tell no one that I am Jesus, the Christ," Matthew 16:20
When Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do men say that I am?", His disciples answered,
"And they said, Some say thou art John the Baptist: some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Matthew 16:14
Then He asked, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," Matthew 16:13-16. Jesus wanted all to know that it was the anointing of the Father that made Him the Christ, or the Anointed One. Only by the anointing was He able to do the work He was doing. It was important they understood there was no power in His life to accomplish these things.
Before going to the cross, Jesus promised His disciples that He would send another Comforter, John 14:16. The word comforter is PARAKLETOS and means "advocate, supporter or helper". Jesus promised another Comforter which indicates we already had a Comforter. Jesus was our first Comforter when we were in our sin. He was our Comforter to free us by His shed blood.
Of the second comforter, Jesus said, "...that He may abide with you forever." The first Comforter, Jesus, was only temporary. He would go by the way of the cross. Jesus stated, "For the things concerning Me have an end", Luke 22:37.
Jesus continued to reveal the second Comforter:
"Even the Spirit of truth; who the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:17
The world could not receive the second Comforter because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you," John 14:17. Jesus related that the second Comforter was known of the disciples, and that the second comforter was dwelling with them, and shall be in you. Jesus continued,
"I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you," John 14:18
Jesus spoke in the first person, present when He said "I" will not leave you comfortless. Jesus promise to come to them was fulfilled when He came as the second Comforter on the Day of Pentecost. The Spirit of truth came and sat upon each of them, Acts 2:3. Peter revealed a truth when addressing the multitude who had gathered to witness the phenomenon of the coming of the Spirit. He expounded,
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36
"God hath made that same Jesus..." Hath made was something that was done after Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus had become both Lord and Christ; Lord means "supreme in authority". Jesus revealed before His death, "All power is given Me in heaven (Spiritual realm) and in earth (fleshly realm)," Matthew 28:18. Jesus came as Christ, the Anointing. He was no longer the Anointed One, He had become the Anointing, (the Father).
Jesus promised He would send the promise of His Father upon them, Luke 24:49. The promise was the Father, not something the Father had promised.
Only after the Day of Pentecost was the term Christ Jesus used. The first time it was used was in Acts:
"Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." Acts 19:4
His name was rendered 58 times "Christ Jesus" after that. The fact we have two Comforters, or PARAKLETOS, becomes very clear in the writings of John. John writes, "If any man sin, we have an advocate (PARAKLETOS, Comforter) with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous", I John 2:1.
The writer of Hebrews states that we can "...come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them," Hebrews 7:25. All power is given to Him in heaven and in earth.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26
The PARAKLETOS (Comforter), the Holy Ghost, daily teaches us all things and brings to remembrance the words of Jesus that we may live our lives by our example, Jesus Christ. "It is the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, that is testifying of Jesus in our earth today," John 15:26. Jesus said that it was expedient that He go away,
"...For if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you. But if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment." John 16:7-8
The word reprove means "to convict and expose". All who have come to repentance have come because the Comforter has convicted and exposed their sin. When we realize our need for two Comforters, we can grow in God to become that perfect vessel through Christ Jesus.
As the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, leads us into all truth, then the words of Jesus are revealed through Him. Our understanding and relationship to God becomes clear through the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote:
"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:24
Our complete redemption comes through Christ Jesus.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," Romans 8:1
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
"That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption." I Corinthians 1:29-30
"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:6
It is in Christ Jesus that we sit in the heavenly, Spiritual realm with Him. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
We are created in Christ Jesus. We have become that new creation by the Holy Spirit cleansing in our lives.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5
"Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Colossians 1:28
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." II Timothy 1:9
Our calling in God was in Christ Jesus before the world began. Christ Jesus was in the beginning with the Father. He partook of all the glory of the Father. He left His glorified position, was clothed in flesh, was born of woman, and became the Redeemer to all mankind. When His earthly ministry was coming to an end, Jesus cried out,
"And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." John 17:5
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." Hebrews 3:1
Christ Jesus is our Apostle (one who is sent) and our High Priest, (our representative to God or the one sent to represent us before the Father). Christ Jesus is Jesus in His glorified position. He came on the Day of Pentecost that He may perfect His Body, the church. He came to purify it through the cloven tongues of fire that He might present it to Himself without spot or wrinkle, Ephesians 5:27.
The two wave loaves were to show the two Comforters that we need in order to come into the perfection that God is demanding in His Body.
There was another offering that Israel was required to make during the Feast of Weeks besides the meal offering. This was a freewill offering.
"And thou shalt keep the Feast of Weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee." Deuteronomy 16:10
The freewill offering was a burnt offering that was made before the Lord voluntarily. Its purpose was not to keep an oath or promise. It was made strictly as a freewill gesture of love before the Lord. An animal sacrifice was to be offered willfully. It was to be a male without blemish of the beeves (cattle), sheep or goats, Leviticus 22:19.
"The freewill offering in beeves or sheep shall be perfect to be accepted. There shall be no blemish therein; blind, broken or maimed; or having a wen (sores), or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the Lord." Leviticus 22:21-22
All freewill sacrifices were to be perfect, without blemish of any sort. The freewill offering was always made with fire. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came as cloven tongues of fire and sat upon the flesh, Acts 2:3. The work of the cloven tongues of fire was to cleanse the sacrifice that we make before the Lord. This sacrifice is our lives. The offering of our lives must be made of our freewill, without reservations. This sacrifice can only be made through the Holy Spirit because the cloven tongues of fire is the cleansing power of God in our lives. This will take away our blindness, and open our Spiritual eyes.
The Holy Spirit can heal the wen (sores, wounds) that have been afflicted by the unknowing and the uncaring. He can heal the scurvy (caused by malnutrition) in the Word because we need not that any man teach us, but the anointing that is upon us is our teacher, I John 2:27. The Holy Spirit also heals that which is scabbed; the wounds we have hidden in our hearts we have never dealt with. The Holy Spirit supplies complete healing of the soul.
We must be totally healed if we are to become an acceptable, freewill offering before the Lord. Only by, and through the Holy Spirit, can we become a perfect sacrifice before God.
The Day of Pentecost began the healing process ministered through the Holy Spirit. When we allow the Comforter to begin His work in our lives, then the Day of Pentecost will have fully come unto us. As we examine closely the statement, "...when the Day of Pentecost was fully come...", we discover it was not a matter of a day arriving. It was referring to when the Feast of Weeks had fully arrived as God had ordained.
The word fully is SUMPLEROO and means "had come completely". It was the custom of the Jews to celebrate the Feast of Weeks fifty days after Passover or the ninth week after the beginning of the year. As stated before, God had ordained Israel's Feast of Weeks to be on the 10th week after the beginning of the year.
Israel had adopted a calendar system and the sabbaths were established by the calendar, and not from the new moon. They now counted the extra days of the month. So, the true Feast of Weeks could have been as many as 11 or 12 days after the Jews celebrated the Feast of Weeks.
There was no mention in Acts 2 that the 120 gathered in the upper room were there to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. The Jews had already celebrated their Feast of Weeks. But God knew the exact time of the coming of the Holy Spirit. It would be on the day He had ordained. The coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was the real thing. The Feast of Weeks was only a shadow of it.
Man has devised His method of measuring time. But God does not use man's system. God knows the times and the seasons. We are shown in the Scriptures that Jesus remained on earth forty days after His resurrection.
"To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." Acts 1:3
After Jesus spake to them the many things concerning the Kingdom, He then ascended off the earth. The disciples were told to tarry in Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high.
"Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey." Acts 1:12
God had prepared these faithful few, the obedient ones, to receive the power from on high. This would take place "...when Pentecost was fully come...". The Day of Pentecost was ten days after Jesus ascended off the earth.
When the Day of Pentecost has fully come in our lives, we will have allowed the Holy Spirit cleansing fire to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Many are claiming the finished work of Pentecost because they speak in tongues or get goose bumps. They, like the Jews, are premature in their celebration.
Others are talking about the finished work of the cross. The work of the cross was finished when we received forgiveness of our sins. But when the work of Pentecost is finished in our lives, we will again be in the image and likeness of the Creator. This will be accomplished in the end of the age. We must allow the cloven tongues of fire to finish its work to make us acceptable to the Father: holy, unblameable, and without spot or wrinkle, acceptable in the Beloved. The Feast of Weeks is being fulfilled by the coming and operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is the finished work God planned for His people.
The next feast God has given us in His Word is the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast will be fulfilled in us, His endtime people.
FEAST OF TRUMPETS
The Feast of Tabernacles had three celebrations:
1 Feast of Trumpets
2 Feast of Atonement
3 Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Trumpets was the first of these feasts and occurred on the first day of the seventh month. The seventh month is the sabbatical month. It was the end of Israel's sacred year. Israel's sacred year began in the first month of Nisan (Abib) and ended in the seventh month, Tishri.
The seventh month was also the beginning of Israel's civil year. Their civil year lasted twelve months. The word Tishri means "beginning". The seventh month was also known as Ethanim.
"And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month." I Kings 8:2
The word Ethanim means "strengthen and perpetuity". The word perpetuity means "endless duration, continued eternity". God, in His infinite wisdom, is revealing to His saints that the end of this age is only the beginning of His eternity.
The seventh month was also the end of the summer harvest. Passover was the beginning of the barley harvest. Pentecost was the beginning of the wheat harvest. The seventh month was the grape harvest. The seventh month ended the harvest season. It was also the end of the summer season. Summer is the time of maturing. The harvest must be matured by the summer heat. Those who will not come to maturity in the heat of summer are destined to go through the winter, the time of the Great Tribulation. Jesus stated, "The harvest is the end of the world (age)," Matthew 13:39. God's harvest will come at the end of this age.
The Feast of Trumpets was also a new moon celebration. The new moon was the first day of the month and the first day of the week. So the Feast of Trumpets was on the first day of the week, as was the Feasts of Weeks, Firstfruits, and Unleaven Bread.
The New Moon celebration of the seventh month differed from the other new moon celebrations because it was the sabbatical month. It marked the time of Israel ceasing from their labors. The Feast of Trumpets was declared a sabbath, or rest. Israel was to rest on the first day of the week.
The Feast of Passover was fulfilled by Jesus: His perfect life, the shedding of His blood as the sacrificial Lamb of God, and His glorious resurrection. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) was fulfilled by the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was the second witness of God's salvation plan. He came to endue His people with power to overcome the old man and become a new creation in God. The Feast of Tabernacles has yet to be fulfilled and will be fulfilled in us, His end time generation of people. Hallelujah!
If we are to understand the revelation God has revealed in the Feast of Trumpets, which was only a shadow of things to come, we must understand the trumpets. There were two kinds of trumpets used in Israel: The ram's horn (shophar) and the silver trumpets (Hososia). Ram's horns were made from the horns of sheep or goats. The silver trumpets were made according to the instructions given to Moses.
"Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them..." Numbers 10:2
The silver trumpets were about a cubit long (18 to 21 inches). They were constructed of one piece of silver. The trumpet was a long, tapered cylinder. Trumpets were not generally used as musical instruments but were used to convey signals to the children of Israel. They were blown in different ways to inform the people of what God was directing them to do.
The shophar was used interchangeably with the silver trumpets, but on certain occasions, only the shophar was used. The shophar was used to announce the Feast of Atonement.
There were nine basic uses for the trumpets in Israel:
1 - Calling of assembly Numbers 10:2
2 - Journeying of camps Numbers 10:2
3 - Calling of princes, leadership Numbers 10:4
4 - Blowing of alarms Numbers 10:5-7
5 - Call to war Numbers 10:9
6 - Announcing days of gladness Numbers 10:10
7 - Announcing solemn assemblies Numbers 10:10
8 - Beginning of months Numbers 10:10
9 - Offering of sacrifices Numbers 10:10
God directed Moses to:
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation." Leviticus 23:24
The seventh month speaks of Spiritual perfection. The number seven is God's perfect and complete number. The number seven is spoken of more times than any other number in the Word and always refers to the perfection of God in man.
The book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto John to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass, Revelation 1:1. The book of Revelation is a compilation of the prophetic utterances Jesus gave to John on the Isle of Patmos. Jesus revealed Himself unto John to foretell John the things that would come to pass at the end of this age. John proclaimed:
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Revelation 1:10
John was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day is the Seventh Day. God had translated John through time to the Seventh Day to show His people what must shortly come to pass as we near the seventh day.
The trumpet is the symbol of prophetic utterances. The book of Revelation reveals God's perfection through the use of the number seven. The number seven appears sixteen times in the book of Revelation:
Seven Spirits of God Revelations 1:4
Seven churches Revelations 1:4
Seven golden candlesticks Revelations 1:12
Seven stars Revelations 1:16
Seven lamps of fire Revelations 4:5
Seven seals Revelations 5:1
Seven eyes Revelations 5:6
Seven horns Revelations 5:6
Seven angels Revelations 8:2
Seven thunders Revelations 10:4
Seven heads on the dragon Revelations 12:3
Seven crowns Revelations 12:3
Seven vials, bowls Revelations 15:7
Seven plagues Revelations 15:8
Seven mountains (Kingdoms) Revelations 17:9
Seven kings Revelations 17:10
Jesus' voice was like a trumpet. His voice was the prophetic utterance (the trumpet) of coming events to show unto His people the things that must shortly come to pass. As we come to the knowledge of the Feast of Trumpets we discover the trumpets were only a shadow of things to come. We can relate to the voice of Jesus as a trumpet speaking of the things to come. The trumpet represents the voice of God, spoken by Himself or through man. This includes both the Rhema (spoken) word and the Logos (written) word. The trumpets of God are blowing in the earth today to bring His people unto a deeper knowledge of Himself. His trumpets are declaring, "Come up hither, and I will show you the things that must be hereafter," Revelation 4:1.
The trumpet (God's voice) always gives a clear, distinguishable sound. Paul declared, "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" I Corinthians 14:8
God's people are not answering the call of the trumpet (God's voice) because there are many uncertain sounds going forth into the earth today. These uncertain sounds are from trumpets (man's voice) speaking out of their own hearts when God has not spoken. Ezekiel spoke of these prophets,
"Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the Word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" Ezekiel 13:2-3
Their uncertain sounds have become trumpets of confusion. As Paul related to the church at Corinth, "Our God is not of confusion", I Corinthians 14:33.
As we review the nine uses of the trumpet, we will recognize we are living in the day of the blowing of trumpets. The uses of the trumpets in Israel relate to the prophetic utterances heard in the church today. We must remember what Jesus spoke unto John seven times on the Isle of Patmos:
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit (trumpets) saith unto the churches..." Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22
The first use of the trumpet was the calling to assembly. At the sounding of the trumpet, Israel was to assemble themselves in one place for instructions. God is calling His Body together as never before. The clarion call (trumpet sound) to His Body today is to forget our differences, break down the denominational walls, heal our theological divisions to become one in Him. We are to assemble ourselves as one unto Him that He may instruct us in His ways.
Today, many believe they must be a part of a denominational system. As we consider this we must look at John the Baptist as an example. John was sent to proclaim the coming of Jesus. John was of the old religious order. He was the son of a high priest and was the last of the Levitical priesthood. John had all the rights of the old priesthood order. John chose not to be part of the old religious system. He separated himself unto the wilderness where he lived on locust and wild honey (God's provision). The Word states that John was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Mark 1:3. He was not the one crying in the wilderness, he was only the voice of the one crying. It was the Holy Spirit who was crying, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight." John the Baptist was only the trumpet who was heralding the first coming of Jesus.
The word crying is BOAO and means "a strong voice; one that gives a clear sound". Today, there are many "Johns" who have been called out of the church system and out of their denominational bondage. They are a strong voice in the wilderness, proclaiming, "Make your paths straight and prepare ye the way of the Lord." God is calling His people unto Himself, and those who are answering that call will hear His voice when He says, "Come up hither" to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The second use of the trumpets was for the journeying of the camps. When the pillar of fire or the cloud moved, it was necessary for Israel to move immediately. The cloud cooled them in the daytime, and the pillar of fire warmed them at night. If they did not move at the sounding of the trumpet, they were left behind to perish in the wilderness, alone.
Today, God is moving His camp. He is moving it from Pentecost to Tabernacle. Many who have come into Pentecost have found their fair haven and desire to stay with their tongues and goose bumps. But God is moving His camp into a deeper revelation of Himself.
When it came time for Israel to enter their promise land, they were to follow their ark of the covenant into their promise land by a space of about two thousand cubits, Joshua 3:4. Jesus is our Ark of the Covenant. He is our propitiation (mercy seat) for our sin, I John 2:2. We are to follow our ark, Christ Jesus, into our promise land, the Kingdom of God, by about two thousand years. As Joshua spoke to the Israelites, "Ye have not passed this way heretofore", Joshua 3:4.
God is leading His people in a way they have never gone before. Those who will not be obedient to His voice will perish in their wilderness of confusion. The trumpets are blowing for those who will heed their call.
The third use of the trumpets was the calling of the princes. Princes were the heads of the tribes. With this calling, only one trumpet was used. One is the number of God. God is calling His shepherds together, those He has chosen to oversee His flock. He is not calling the hirelings hired by the church order to keep the sheep in line. He is sounding the trumpet for those who have the calling of God in their lives to teach, train, and mature the ones He will use in the days ahead.
God's desire is to see all walls broken down so the sheep can come together. Jesus is the door, and if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture, John 10:9 - - - not to be trapped by some man-made system. As Isaiah stated,
"But this is a people robbed and spoiled. They are all of them snared in holes and they are hid in prison houses. They are for a prey and none delivereth, for a spoil and none saith, Restore." Isaiah 42:22
There is a cry coming forth to "restore". God is trying to restore the oneness in His Body. His voice, like a trumpet, is crying out for His body to come into oneness. He is speaking to the hearts of His people, especially the pastors whom He has called to minister to His flock to come into oneness. God has one flock, one body, one plan, and one purpose for all He has called.
The fourth use of the trumpets is the blowing of alarms. God is desiring His people to begin to blow the alarm of what is about to come upon the earth. God spoke through the prophet Joel,
"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand." Joel 2:1
It is our job to sound the alarm in the land. We are to trumpet that the Day of the Lord cometh and is nigh at hand. When Jesus was in the synagogue they delivered the book of Isaiah to Him and He read:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him." Luke 4:18-20
When Jesus closed the book and sat down, He proclaimed from the book of Isaiah His ministry in the earth:
1 He was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor
2 He was to heal the brokenhearted
3 He would preach deliverance to the captive (those under demonic depression)
4 He was to recover the sight to the blind
5 He was to set at liberty them that are bruised (broken by calamity)
6 He was to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
When Jesus finished, He closed the book and sat down. When Jesus closed the book, it was to reveal His finished work. When His work was finished, He sat down on the right hand of the Father. This was the work the Father had given Him to do. As we examine these Scriptures Isaiah wrote, we discover Jesus stopped reading in the middle of a sentence. What Isaiah stated was:
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn." Isaiah 61:1-2
What Jesus read was His part of this prophecy. He ended at "...proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord...". The last part of Isaiah's prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. The question is, "Who will fulfill the balance of this prophecy? Whose job is it to proclaim the Day of Vengeance of our God and to comfort all that mourn?" It is the job of those who are called to sound an alarm in His holy mountain. Ezekiel warned,
"If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." Ezekiel 33:3-6
When the judgment sword appears upon the land, we must sound the trumpet. We have an awesome responsibility as watchmen to sound the alarm with a clear sound so that all who hear it may take heed. If we do not sound the alarm, the blood of those who are lost will be on our hands.
The fifth use of the trumpet was to call to war. When Israel was being attacked, or was to attack the enemy, they blew the shophar to alert all Israel to the battle. God is calling His people to the battle.
In Paul's letter to Timothy:
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." II Timothy 2:3-4
We are told to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. As God's soldiers, we are to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, Ephesians 6:11. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, II Corinthians 10:4. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, II Corinthians 10:3. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world and against Spiritual wickedness in high places, Ephesians 6:12.
Our warfare is Spiritual and not carnal. We are to be good soldiers for Christ Jesus and do battle in Spiritual warfare. We cannot arm ourselves for this battle. All the armor for our warfare is Spiritual. Our Spiritual armor only protects our front. If we turn to run from the battle there is no armor to cover our backs. If we are to be protected by the Lord we must go forward:
We need our loins (vital parts) girt about with truth. Jesus said, "I am the truth" and He is the Spirit of truth.
We need the breastplate of righteousness. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Jesus is our Prince of Peace.
We are to have the shield of faith. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22. We cannot have faith without the Spirit of the living God.
We are to take the helmet of salvation. The helmet covers the head. Our salvation must be the foremost thing in our mind.
We are to have the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The Word of God is a defensive weapon. We must always be able to give an answer for what we believe. Many use it for an offensive weapon to kill and destroy. With the Word, we are able to defend the faith.
God is calling His soldiers to war. The trumpets are sounding.
The writer of Hebrews stated,
"But this man (Jesus) after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. From henceforth expecting (waiting) till His enemies be made His footstool. Hebrews 10:12-13
The job of making His enemies His footstool is ours, His soldiers in the earth today. He has empowered His soldiers to rid the earth [our body] of all enemies so we can stand righteous before God. God is calling us to war. Paul stated, "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith," II Timothy 4:7. I pray that our report will be so glorious!
The sixth use of the trumpets is to announce the Day of Gladness. We are informed in the book of Samuel,
"So David and all the house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet." II Samuel 6:15
The trumpet sounded and with much shouting the Ark of God was returned to the midst of God's people. Jesus, our Ark, is returning to the midst of His people. When He returns, it will be with the sound of the trumpet. Jesus spoke of this day,
"And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:31
Isaiah also foretold this great day. The great day of rejoicing was a day of gladness!
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem." Isaiah 27:13
But, before this great day, there is another sound of the trumpet. The seventh use of the trumpet is to announce the solemn assembly,
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly." Joel 2:15
The trumpets will announce the wrath that God is going to pour out upon the earth. God prophesied through the prophet Hosea concerning the great and terrible day of the Lord,
"Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant, and trespassed against My law." Hosea 8:1
God's judgment must begin at the house of God. Then it will go throughout the whole earth. God prepared His angels in the book of Revelation to announce His wrath. He prepared them with trumpets.
"And I saw the seven angels that stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets." Revelation 8:2
These angels (messengers) are sent through the whole earth with the warning of God's coming judgment. Many are not heeding the voice of the messengers of God, and are going their own way.
"And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound." Revelation 8:6
Today, more than any other day in history of mankind, we can hear the prophetic utterances of the trumpet announcing the wrath of God. The vials (bowls) contain the wrath that the messengers of God are proclaiming. These plagues contained in the vials will be poured upon all mankind.
There are seven trumpets that announce the wrath. Six trumpets announce the wrath upon the earth and upon man. When the seventh angel sounds, there will be silence in heaven the space of half an hour, Revelation 8:1. The seventh trumpet brings an end to God's wrath. When the seventh angel has sounded, there will be great voices in heaven saying,
"...The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever,“ Revelation 11:15
This trumpet will announce His Day of Gladness.
The next use of the trumpets was the beginning of months. The trumpets were used to announce a new month or a new day. God's creation is coming into a New Day. Jesus spoke of this New Day, as did all the writers of the New and Old Testament. This New Day comes after the end of the world (age). The age we are living in is the Day of Grace. Jesus spoke of the New Day to the Pharisees, when they warned that Herod was going to kill Him. Jesus informed them, "Today and tomorrow I do cures (healings) and cast out devils (demons) and the third day I shall be perfected (made complete)." Luke 13:32
Jesus spoke of the day that lies directly ahead of us; the third day from His death. He spoke of today and tomorrow; two days. As Peter revealed,
"...A day is with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day," II Peter 3:8
Jesus was speaking of the 2000 years of the Church Age, the time of Grace. This time was to heal the Body and deliver it from the influence of satan.
He then stated He would be perfected on the third day. Jesus was already perfect. He did not need to be perfected. The word perfected is TELEIOO and means "to bring to completion or finish". Jesus did not need perfecting, but His Body needs to come into perfection. This has been the work of the Holy Spirit for the past 2000 years. After Jesus cleansed the temple at Jerusalem the first time, the Jews asked for a sign. Jesus answered, and said unto them,
"...Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in the building and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He spoke of the temple of His Body." John 2:19-21
Most relate this to the physical resurrection of Jesus. But He spoke of the raising up of the Body of Christ. He would bring His body into perfection on the third day; not the second day in which we now live, but the third day when He raises up His temple that He will inhabit for all eternity.
Today, many are claiming we are the temple of God now. But we must realize we are still tabernacles. Peter stated,
"Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me." II Peter 1:13-14
Peter knew his fleshly body was a tabernacle. The tabernacle is flesh. The temple is Spiritual. The tabernacle was made with skin (flesh). In Solomon's temple, the stones were covered over with Gold (God). No wood (flesh) was visible in the temple. The temple was a permanent building. The tabernacle was only temporary made with perishable materials.
God will raise up His temple the third day. The trumpets will declare that day. The prophet Malachi proclaimed:
"...The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple... Malachi 3:1
The trumpets are heralding that new day.
The last use of the trumpets was the offering of sacrifice. When Israel offered their sacrifices, the trumpets were blown.
Paul stated that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service," Romans 12:1. The writer of Hebrews states we should offer a sacrifice of praise to God continually, which is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name, Hebrews 13:15.
Our lives are to be a sacrifice unto God in all things. God has given us an example of our sacrifice in Gideon.
"And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. Judges 7:16
Gideon was going against the enemy that was...
"...Like grasshoppers for multitude and their camels were without number; as the sand by the seaside for multitude," Judges 7:12
God told Gideon to go to war with 300 men. Three is the number of completion and ten is the number of Spiritual perfection. Three hundred is 3 x 10 x 10. Gideon's army is a picture of God's Spiritual perfection in its fullness. Gideon was told to fight this battle in a very strange way. Every man was to have a trumpet and an empty pitcher (earthen vessel) with a lamp lit in the pitcher. Gideon proclaimed,
"When I blow the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” Judges 7:18
“And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon." Judges 7:20
At the signal of Gideon they broke their earthen vessels and stood with their light in their left hand and shouted, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon." The Sword of the Lord is the Word of God.
The earthen pitcher represents our flesh, and these earthen vessels must be broken if the light of God is going to shine forth. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." II Corinthians 4:6-7
The light that God commanded into existence on the first day of creation ( Genesis 1:3) was that same light that shined in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the same light we now have in earthen vessels. It is the Holy Spirit, the power of God. Paul was revealing the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We have the treasure of the Holy Spirit in our earthen vessels. If we will allow these vessels to be broken, the light of the Holy Spirit will shine forth into all the earth. Then we can stand before the enemy in total victory when the trumpet sounds,
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I Corinthians 15:52
God is waiting for us to sound our trumpets and break our vessels that His light may shine forth so all His enemies may be put under His footstool. The Feast of Trumpets is at hand. The trumpets will be blown at the end of summer when the refining fire of God has finished its work, and the time of harvest has come. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, proclaimed,
"The harvest is past. The summer is ended and we are not saved," Jeremiah 8:20
What a sad commentary for those who will not heed the blowing of trumpets in their lives. When the trumpets of the seventh month are blown, the time of the harvest has come. These are the trumpets of judgment. Those who have failed to heed the prophetic utterances will not be part of God's harvest.
The trumpets were blown in the month of Tishri, also known as Ethanim. This will be the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, the beginning of a new day when we will operate totally in the strength of God and have His perpetuity, His eternal life, dwelling in us.
If we are to be part of God's harvest, we must hear the trumpets of God in the earth today. We need to know and understand every trumpet sound in the earth today. By the Spirit, we will know the clear sounds. By the Spirit we will also know the uncertain sounds. God has not hidden His way, nor His voice from His people. Jesus gave us His assurance:
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27
God's people hear His voice. His voice is as a trumpet, sounding its prophetic utterance in the earth today.
The trumpet is the symbol of prophetic utterance. Jesus' voice was as a trumpet. The voices of His messengers today are trumpets in the land, proclaiming His coming judgment. Many have turned a deaf ear, and are listening to uncertain sounds made by those who are speaking out of their own hearts (minds).
Summer is the time of maturing the crop.
Summer is just about past, and time is very short.
FEAST OF ATONEMENT
The Feast of Atonement was, and is, the most celebrated of all the Feasts of Israel. The Jews call this the Feast of Yon Kippur. It is the Jews' high and holy day. The word atonement is strictly an Old Testament word. It is the Hebrew word KAPHAR and means "to cover, to placate", also to set aside". It only appears once in the KJV New Testament and does not appear at all in other translations.
"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Romans 5:11
The word translated atonement is the Greek word KATALLAGE and should have been translated "reconciliation or reconciling". As we come to the knowledge of the truth we realize Jesus' blood did not atone for our sin. His blood did not cover, placate, or set aside our sin. The blood of Jesus totally forgives all our past, present, and future sin.
"To wit, that God was in Christ (the Holy Spirit) reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing (keeping account) their trespasses unto them and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." II Corinthians 5:19
We have the word of reconciliation. The word of reconciliation is the Holy Bible. When we come to the anointing of the Holy Spirit, this word is made life. As the writer of Hebrews stated,
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect." Hebrews 10:1
Even though Israel offered daily, monthly, and yearly sacrifices there was no forgiveness of sin under the law. Their sins were covered by the blood of sacrificial animals. Not until Jesus died on the cross was there total forgiveness of all sins. The Old Testament saints were not forgiven until the Lamb of God became the perfect sacrifice for their sin. These remained in Abraham's bosom, the paradise of God until the resurrection of Jesus, at which time Jesus took them to be with Him after His resurrection. These will remain with the Father to await the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when they will be united with all the saints. Those who were made righteous under the law will sit down with those who are saved by grace in the Kingdom of God.
The Feast of Atonement, as all the other feasts, was only a shadow of good things to come. If we are to witness the real, we must understand the shadow. The Feast of Atonement was on the 10th day of the seventh month. Since all feasts were reckoned from the Feast of the New Moon, the Feast of Atonement was celebrated in the middle of the week. It would be celebrated on our Tuesday. The Feast of Atonement was a one day celebration. It was a day for Israel to afflict their souls; a day of fasting.
"Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord." Leviticus 23:27
They were to afflict their souls (fast) from the evening of the ninth day until the evening of the 10th day, Leviticus 23:32. The Feast of Atonement was a sabbath day for Israel, a holy convocation unto the Lord. No labor could be expended on that Sabbath. Before every feast day, Israel had a day of preparation. There was a special preparation seven days prior to the celebration of the Feast of Atonement. Seven days prior to the feast, the high priest was to move out of his house and move into special quarters prepared for him. He was to be ceremonially clean to perform his duties on the Day of Atonement. These seven days were to be spent alone, before God, to prepare him physically and spiritually before entering behind the veil into the Holy of Holies, the presence of the living God. He was to put from his mind all things concerning his personal life, his home, and his duties before man. His mind was to be totally occupied with this awesome responsibility of entering into the presence of God. He spent the time practicing the rituals he was to perform on the Day of Atonement. Every ritual of the feast had to be performed perfectly to be acceptable before God.
On the morning of the Day of Atonement, he bathed his entire person and put on his priestly garments; the coat, breeches, girdle, and mitre (head dress). All were made of pure linen. Linen is the sign of righteousness. His total being had to appear righteous before God, just as we must be righteous in the eyes of God before we appear before His presence.
In the writings of Ezekiel, when he described the priestly garments, he stated,
"...They shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat," Ezekiel 44:18
Sweat is a sign of labor. The Day of Atonement reveals the time when God's people will be separated totally unto God. They will have ceased from their own labors. They will be completely clothed with righteousness. It is then they will be ready to enter into the presence of God.
The high priest's activities on the Day of Atonement began in the early morning and lasted until the evening sacrifice. No one could help him in the administration of his duties.
"There shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel." Leviticus 16:17
This foreshadows our entering into the presence of the Lord. Our entering in is personal. We cannot enter in by someone else's righteousness, nor someone else's position. It is totally based on our relationship with God. It will make no difference what church we belong to, God only recognizes one church and He will assemble that church Himself. The congregation will be those without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless before God. We can only enter in on one basis, and that is our own personal relationship to God.
We must come into a high priesthood relationship with our Creator. No underling priest can, or will enter in. Only the ones who have all the qualifications of the high priest will be allowed to enter His presence. The priest's first duty was to make a sacrifice for himself and his household.
"And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house." Leviticus 16:6
The high priest was to offer a bullock (young bull calf) for a sin offering. This offering was not only for the sin of the high priest, but also for his house. The young bullock is referred to in other places as an ox. The ox was the only animal used for sacrifice or service; to pull a plow, or to lay down his life. Those who come into this high priesthood realm must be willing to be used as a sacrifice or for service. Their service is to be a sacrifice for their fellowman. This calling is upon all who are called by the name of Christ, not just pastors or leaders.
The bullock was the sin sacrifice for the priest's whole household. His whole household had to be free of sin. And yet, we discover those who claim to be in the service of God, whose households are totally out of God's order. They are not even attempting to bring their households into the order God prescribed for the home.
The home consists of the husband, wife, children, and all that dwell in the house. Many of the men who have been called into the service of God have wives who are not of the same persuasion as their husbands. These go their own way, do their own thing, and have not come into subjection to their husbands. These women sit on the front pew on Sunday, dressed in their finery. Their hearts have been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
So many times their children are going by the way of the world. The parents justify this as the norm because "this is the way children are today."
In Paul's letter to Timothy, he addressed the qualifications for leadership. One of the qualifications the husband is to be is:
"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity:" I Timothy 3:4
Children are not to be kept under control by yelling, threatening, or intimidations. They are to be taught that the parents are the authority in their lives as long as they live at home. Many Godly parents have yielded their children to satan because they have not become the Godly example in their lives. The children have not been taught Godly characteristics to live by. Many pastors and leaders have yet to learn that they are husbands and fathers first. They need to learn their priorities. They will stand before God to give an account of how they raised God's children. We are admonished by Peter,
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." I Peter 3:7
The husband and wife are heirs together and responsible for the souls of all those who live under their roof. The priest was not only to have his personal life clean before God, his whole household was to be in the place God had ordained. Those who will enter into the presence of God must have their lives in order. Their homes must be in the place God prescribed in His Word. Those who have not come into this place will not be in the congregation of the Lord. Only those who are totally clean and have on their robes of righteousness will enter into God's presence.
The Mercy Seat
After offering the young bullock, the priest took the altar of incense full of burning coals, and two hands full of incense in a vase, and entered into the Holy of Holies. He poured the incense on the hot coals and the smoke would cover the Mercy Seat. Incense is symbolic of prayers. The Mercy Seat had to be covered with prayers before the high priest could enter in. John, the beloved disciple, stated,
"And He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." I John 2:2
The word propitiation should have been translated "mercy seat". Jesus is our Mercy Seat where we enter in for the forgiveness of sin. If we are to receive total forgiveness we must cover our Mercy Seat with prayers and praise. We must praise our way into the presence of God. Praise binds the enemy and rends the veil so we may enter into His presence. As we read the book of Revelation, understanding is given to us as to how our prayers are to be presented before the Father,
"And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." Revelation 5:8
The twenty-four elders came before God with harps (harps symbolize praise) and golden vials (bowls) full of odors (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are referred to as incense. Our sacrificial offering before God is our prayers and praise. If we are to enter into the presence of God we must cover our Mercy Seat, the Lord Jesus Christ, with our prayers and praise.
"And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." Revelation 8:3-4
Jesus was revealing to John our day of entering in. Those who have offered much incense (prayers) before the Father are going to be known of the Father. Those who have not come with praise and prayer, the Father will simply state, "Depart from me, I never knew you." Only to those whose prayers and praises are known to Him will God speak this greeting, "Enter in thou good and faithful servant, into the presence of the Lord."
After the priest offered the incense, he returned to the brazen altar in the outer court to get the blood of the sacrifice of the young bullock, and then reentered the Holy of Holies.
"And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mercy Seat eastward; and before the Mercy Seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times." Leviticus 16:14
The sprinkling of the blood was a different application of the blood than the shedding or spilling of the blood. After the animals blood was shed, it was caught in a bowl especially designed for that purpose. The priest then took the blood and sprinkled it into the air. It was sprinkled in various applications. Then the balance of the blood was poured at the foot of the Brazen Altar. The blood poured at the foot of the altar signified the death of Jesus on the cross; the sacrificial Lamb for all mankind.
But when the blood was sprinkled, it typified the Spiritual application of the blood. When the blood was sprinkled it was transmitted through the air. Air is a symbol of the Spirit. After we have applied the blood Jesus shed at the cross, we must also apply the sprinkled blood of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The writer of Hebrews spoke of this when he wrote,
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:22
We are to have our hearts (minds) sprinkled from an evil conscience. This sprinkling is the Spiritual application of the blood of Christ applied by the Holy Spirit. We are also to have our bodies washed with pure water. The pure water is the anointed Word of God. We are to be totally cleansed by the Word. Only then can we draw near with a true heart and come into the presence of God, as did the high priest on the Feast of Atonement.
After the high priest accomplished the sprinkling of the blood, he was to kill the goat of the sin offering. Two goats were selected before the Feast of Atonement to be presented before the Lord.
"And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness." Leviticus 16:7-10
Lots were cast over the goats. One was killed for a sin offering, the other was the scapegoat and was let go into the wilderness. The word scapegoat is AZAHEL and means "goat of departure".
The priest was to kill the goat that the lot fell on to be the Lord's sacrifice. He then brought the blood of the goat into the Holy of Holies, behind the veil, and did with it as he did with the blood of the young bullock. He sprinkled the blood upon the Mercy Seat and before the Mercy Seat seven times, Leviticus 16:15.
Seven is God's perfect number. The sprinkling of the blood seven times upon, and before the Mercy Seat, was only a shadow of sin being totally dealt with before God.
In the Feast of Passover the people could choose between a lamb or a goat. In the Feast of Atonement there was no choice, only the goat could be used.
Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. He lived the perfect life without sin. Therefore He was the perfect sacrifice for sin.
Goats were used in the flock as leaders and protectors. Two goats were chosen for the Feast of Atonement. The goat the Lord's lot fell on was to be sacrificed for a sin offering. This goat represents our Lord Jesus Christ who went before us into the Holy of Holies to show us the way through the rent veil. The writer of Hebrews proclaimed this event:
"By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh." Hebrews 10:20
The rent veil is Jesus' flesh. Jesus is our only way into the Holy of Holies. We are able to do this by His shed blood and the sprinkled blood of the Holy Spirit. The blood must be applied Spiritually if we are to enter in behind the veil.
The flesh of Jesus must also be rent in our lives. Too many are looking at Jesus' physical existence and His flesh. They never look beyond to see Jesus in His resurrected life, sitting on the right hand of the Father. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul admonished the people:
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more." II Corinthians 5:16
We are to know Jesus no more after the flesh. We are to know Him by the Spirit as Christ Jesus our Lord, the resurrected Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father. It is only through the Spirit we can rend Jesus' flesh and put on the mind of Christ. Only by applying the sprinkling of the blood, the Spiritual application of the blood, can we enter through the rent veil into the presence of the Father and dwell with Him for all eternity.
When the priest sprinkled the blood in the Holy of Holies, it was to make atonement for the Holy Place.
"And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness." Leviticus 16:16
The priest was to cleanse the tabernacle of the congregation (Holy Place). When the Holy Place was cleansed, the priest was to go into the Outer Court and cleanse the Altar of Burnt Offering (the Brazen Altar):
"And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about."
And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel." Leviticus 16:18-19
The priest was to put the blood of the bullock and the goat upon the horns of the altar. The horns represent "power". The brazen Altar was where the sin offering was made. This was to demonstrate the power of God to forgive sin. Then he sprinled the blood Spiritually to cleanse and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
As we witness the activities of the high priest on the Day of Atonement we come to a realization. Every step we take in our walk with the Lord has been cleansed by the shed blood and also by the sprinkled blood. Our way has been sanctified before the Lord. The word sanctify means "to set apart in the Spiritual realm". Today, many believe they can enter some other way. They do not believe they must be sanctified before our God. Jesus said,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." John 10:1
Jesus spoke of the door of the sheepfold. In the Tabernacle there were three entries. The gate opened into the Outer Court. The door was the entry into the Holy Place. The veil was closed before the Holy of Holies. The door into the sheepfold leads to the Holy Place. Jesus is the door. We must enter the Holy Place by following in the steps of Jesus. His flesh is the veil, and we must enter through His flesh to go into the Holy of Holies. Anyone who tries to come into His presence any other way is a thief and a robber. No thief will enter into His presence. We must come the sanctified way, prepared by the blood; the shed blood that has been Spiritually applied in our life.
After the high priest sanctified the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place and the Outer Court, the live goat was brought to him,
"And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." Leviticus 16:21-22
Israel had sacrifices for every sin. They had thanksgiving offerings, freewill offerings, meal offerings, drink offerings, offerings for new born children, offerings for the cleansing of lepers; every kind of offering imaginable. And in all cases, the sacrifice was killed except two: One, the dove, in the ceremony to cleanse the leper, and two, the scapegoat.
What made the Feast of Atonement so wonderful was the second goat. Thank God for the second goat. All the sins of Israel were placed upon the head of this goat. This goat was then led away by a fit man into the wilderness (a place not inhabited). The word fit means "timely and ready". God has shown us by types and shadows the day is coming when a timely, ready man, Christ Jesus, is going to remove all sin from His people. Sin will no longer be a problem in any life. We look forward to that day when satan will be bound for 1000 years. No longer will he be allowed to tempt, coherce, and deceive God's people, Revelation 20:2-3.
This time of refreshing is typified by the Feast of Atonement. It is not only a day of entering in, it is also a day of release, being freed from all temptation of sin in our lives. When we come forth from the presence of God, we will shed His light abroad. There will be no interference from the spirit of darkness.
When the high priest was finished with his priestly duties, he entered into the tabernacle and took off his robes of righteousness and left them, Leviticus 16:23. Then, he again washed his flesh with water in the Holy Place. He put on his regular priestly garments and come out of the Holy Place to offer his burnt offering for the people, making atonement for himself and for the people, Leviticus 16:24.
The Day of Atonement was a shadow of entering into the presence of God. When the high priest came out of the Holy of Holies and put on his regular, priestly garments (sign of the flesh), he resumed his normal priestly duties. This was to reveal that, under the law of sacrificial offering, no man could enter permanently into the presence of the Lord. Our Day of Atonement speaks of another day:
"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I Thessalonians 4:17
This is not speaking of a so-called "rapture". The word air is AER and signifies "atmosphere, or breathable air; or, the air around us". The Day of Atonement speaks of the day when we lay aside our regular priestly garments and are changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, I Corinthians 15:52. When we are changed we will have put on our high priestly garments made of pure linen that does not produce sweat. This signifies the time when we have ceased from our own labors and have entered into His rest, Hebrews 4:10. When our earthly existence is changed, and we enter into His Spiritual realm, we will then enter into His presence; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. We will never again leave the presence of God to minister before men. The writer of Hebrew's quotes,
"The Holy Ghost thus signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience: Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation." Hebrews 9:8-10
All the things performed by the priest were only a figure of the time, then present, which was to reveal the future day of entering in. When the trumpet sounds, the way into the Holy of Holies will be sanctified by the blood. Those who have put on their robes of righteousness will enter into the presence of the Lord. They will sit down with all the saints in the wilderness at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This is the Feast of Tabernacles, for those who were prepared in the Feast of Atonement. The Feast of Tabernacles will be completed in the Feast of Booths.
God, in His infinite wisdom, has shown us His way was prepared by His blood. It is our duty to walk in that way. Those who enter in at the door of the sheepfold will enter into His presence unhindered. This is the Day of Harvest, and those He has winnowed with the fan in His hand, He will take into His granary, into His presence, Matthew 3:12.
The Day of Atonement was also the beginning of the Year of Jubilee.
"And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years." Leviticus 25:8
Israel was to number seven sabbaths, or forty-nine years. At the end of forty-nine years the fiftieth year was to be the Year of Jubilee.
"Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land." Leviticus 25:9
The Year of Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement and lasted the whole year. Thus, Israel was to have two sabbath years in a row every fifty years. Israel was to let the land rest one full year every seventh year. God spoke unto Moses,
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord.
Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;
But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard." Leviticus 25:2-4
This was the sabbath of rest for the land. The land was to lay fallow the entire year. The land was not to be cultivated, nor was there to be a harvest. The harvest that seventh year was that which grew of itself. The fruit trees and vines that produced of themselves were not to be harvested.
"That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of the vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land." Leviticus 25:5
This was a total rest for the land. God promised Israel a bountiful harvest the sixth year so they would have plenty to eat the entire seventh year. This was deemed a total rest for the land and for man. It was a time when all debts were forgiven. The debts were not eliminated. Voluntary payment could be made, but foreclosures, and demanding the debt be paid was not to happen during the entire sabbath year of rest.
When the land had celebrated seven such sabbaths, then on the fiftieth year, the Year of Jubilee, the land would rest again; the forty-ninth year which was the regular sabbath year, and the fiftieth year, the Year of Jubilee.
The word jubilee is YOWBEL and means "ram's horn or trumpet". It is not recorded in the Scriptures anywhere that Israel ever kept this feast. But we will keep this feast because it is our promise in God. As we view the shadow, we can discover the reality of God's Word to His Kingdom people. This feast was the restoration of all things to their rightful owners.
"Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." Leviticus 25:10
Liberty was to be proclaimed throughout all the land. The people were completely set free from government, debt, slavery, and oppression. Jesus stated,
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36
We have been freed from sin by the blood of the Lamb. But there is a further freedom that comes through the Holy Spirit. Paul proclaimed,
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
There is another liberty that awaits God's people, and that is being totally freed from the bondage of oppressive government. The end of this bondage is revealed in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When government bound them, hand and foot, and cast them into the fiery furnace, the men who put them in the fire were consumed. Nebuchadnezzar saw four men walking in the fire, free from all bondage the government had applied in their lives. This is an example of our jubilee.
God instituted the year of jubilee so every thing would be returned to man's possession. Everything God had given to Israel would be returned to their original owners in the Year of Jubilee.
God, in His infinite wisdom, wanted to make sure the land and the wealth did not end up in the hands of a few people. Today we witness all wealth of the earth is in the hands of, or controlled by, a few wealthy, powerful families. This was not God's intended purpose for wealth. God ordained the Year of Jubilee, and set strict laws to assure this would not happen in Israel. When an Israelite would fall on hard times and he was forced to sell his land, the price paid was determined by the number of years before the next jubilee.
"And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another:
According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:
According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee.
Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 25:14-17
God ordained His people should not oppress one another, but man has used wealth as the power to oppress since the beginning. Jesus addressed this when He was speaking to His disciples:
"But Jesus called them to Him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all." Mark 10:42-44
God never intended that wealth become an oppressive tool to control mens' lives.
"And thou say in thine heart, my power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:17-18
It is God who gives the power to get wealth, and He gives wealth to establish His covenant. Those who abuse this power, God will cut off. They will not be part of His Kingdom, nor will they enter into His presence. God established His covenant with His people and provided that they would never lose their inheritance in Him.
"The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me." Leviticus 25:23
God still owns the land, but man does not recognize this fact. God will return all ownership of land to its rightful owners on the Day of Jubilee. The Word records that the meek shall inherit the earth, Matthew 5:5.
It is the meek who will be inheritors, not the proud, haughty, and arrogant; but the meek. It is the day God will redeem His land and give it unto the rightful heirs.
"And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubilee: and in the jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession." Leviticus 25:24-28
Any kinsman (relative) could redeem the land. But if the land could not be redeemed, God made the provision of the jubilee year. Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer, our Older Brother. He will redeem the land for us. We are joint-heirs with Christ. God never intended the wicked to be in control of the financial system. Our Year of Jubilee is at hand, and God will restore the earth to its rightful owners.
How different God's system is from man's system. We have bankers and loan officers who collateralize a loan and charge high rates of usury which are an abomination to God. Then, if hard times fall upon the borrower, all of the collateral is foreclosed upon to satisfy the debt. The lending institutions get richer and people get poorer.
God commanded that this was not to be. He owns the land. We are only tenants of the land, and the land was not to be sold forever. The thinking today is, "This will not work." The truth is, the system of usury has not worked, and God's judgement hand is upon the whole system. Man cannot hold it together. The whole system is based on greed and unfair tactics. It has failed, and the financial systems of the world have become a house of cards that will come tumbling down. And the fall thereof will be great because God has not built that house.
"And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." Leviticus 25:10
In the year of jubilee, the man was returned to his family. The man's position in the home has been abrogated. He is no longer respected, admired, or reverenced as the head of the home. Television, books, woman's lib, and the International Year of the Child have stripped the father image from the man. No longer is man in the place God intended for him to occupy.
In the home, or society, the man (husband and father) has allowed this to take place. Many have willingly given up their position God intended them to occupy. They let the wife and children rule over them. The church is also guilty of stripping the headship of man from the home. The church has failed to teach God's proper order in the home. Isaiah spoke of the day in which we live,
"And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them." Isaiah 3:4
"As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12
The last verse in the Old Testament states.
"And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:6
Because the hearts of God's children have not turned back to the Father, God has smitten the earth with a curse. That curse is drugs, illicit sex, suicide, and rebellion. This is the result of the father not assuming his proper place as the head of the home. But God is going to restore the family; and man, again, will be restored to his family for the glory of God.
The Year of Jubilee was the fiftieth year. Fifty is the number of the Holy Spirit. God has revealed that our deliverance and restoration comes by and through the Holy Spirit.
Many are hoping for a "rapture" or "to die and go to heaven". There is no deliverance or restoration in any of these. God sent His Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost to prepare a people who will enter into His rest. He is preparing them to receive their rightful inheritance in Him, the inheritance He ordained from the beginning. The earth and all its fullness was created for man. God created the earth so man could inhabit and enjoy it.
Man is to be a pleasure unto God. But man, in his sinful, Adamic nature, has become rebellious, proud, arrogant, boastful, wicked, evil, and a stink in the nostrils of God. But God has a people who will be a praise in the earth (their flesh). God will restore these to their rightful place in Him. This will happen in our Feast of Tabernacles, of which the Feast of Atonement was the foreshadowing.
God planned the blowing of trumpets to draw these people unto Himself. The Day of Atonement was to prepare is to enter into the sabbath year. The Year of Jubilee is our promise of the restoration of all things. This age will be culminated in the Feast of Tabernacles; the last of Israel's celebrations.
God is preparing His people to enter into His Feast of Tabernacles. This will come in the end of the year (age). The trumpets are blowing and the time is at hand when we will enter behind the veil into the presence of God.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES
The Feast of Tabernacles was the last and most important of Israel's feasts. The feast began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and lasted for seven days. On the eighth day there was a special feast celebration.
The first day (15th) and the last day (22nd) were both sabbath days before the Lord. As the Scriptures reveal, all feast days were measured from the New Moon. Therefore the Feast of Tabernacles and the eighth day celebration were on the first day of the week.
Five of the seven feasts were celebrated on the first day of the week. The Feasts of Passover and Atonement were not. Under the law, Israel had their weekly sabbaths. When Israel celebrated their feasts (which were only a shadow of things to come) they worshiped the Lord on the first day, or the eighth day of the week.
One is the number of God, or beginnings. Eight is the number of new beginnings. When Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, it was the eighth day. Jesus was the new beginning for all mankind. This not only gave man new hope, but provided for him a way back to the Father. Under the law, their sin could only be covered, placated, or set aside. Under the blood, there was total forgiveness of sin, and restoration was complete.
The Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost to cleanse our vessel, to make it an holy and acceptable vessel to present to the Father, a glorified vessel meet for the master's use.
There were five names given to the Feast of Tabernacles:
1 Feast of Tabernacles
2 Feast of Ingathering
3 Feast of Booths
4 Solemn Feast
5 Feast of the Seventh Month
Each of the names used for the Feast of Tabernacles had a special significance in Israel's life. When we come to the revelation of the true meaning of the feasts, we are given understanding as to how God, in His infinite wisdom, has unlocked the mysteries of the ages and is revealing His purposes for His end time people in the Feast of Tabernacles. God spoke to Moses:
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. Leviticus 23:34
The word tabernacle means "a protective covering, natural, or Spiritual". It also has the meaning of "a temporary dwelling place, a hut or pavilion". Israel was to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles seven days. In this respect the Feast of Tabernacles parallels the Feast of Passover. It, too, was a seven day feast.
The Feast of Tabernacles had an eight day celebration. The Feast of Passover also had an eight day celebration. The Feast of Weeks, (Pentecost) was the beginning of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Tabernacles was the time of the gathering of the full, ripe grape harvest.
"Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine." Deuteronomy 16:13
The Feast of Tabernacles marked the end of the harvest season; the gathering of all the harvest into the granaries. In Jesus' words, the harvest is the end of the world (age).
In the Feast of Tabernacles, God revealed the end of the age, or the end of the dispensation of grace. Israel was to keep this feast much different than the Feast of Atonement. In the Feast of Atonement, they were to afflict their souls (fast). This was not to be in the Feast of Tabernacles. Moses directed:
"And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates." Deuteronomy 16:14
It was a time of great rejoicing and praising, not only for the Israelites but for the servants, strangers, fatherless, widows, and all that were in the gates. The Feast of Tabernacles was to be a solemn feast, Deuteronomy 16:15. When we think of the word solemn, we naturally think of something demure, reserved, with no rejoicing. The word solemn does not mean this in the Hebrew. It means "giddy, to reel to and fro, to celebrate with the dance". It also has the meaning of "a sacred possession and showing reverence to God, Deuteronomy 16:15, 2287H". The Feast of Tabernacles was a time of great rejoicing with dancing and praising and showing reverence to our God. As we come to the end of the age, it should be a time of great rejoicing. But to many of God's people, it is a day of dread, fear, and anxiety. Peter reveals,
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" II Peter 3:12
God's people should be rejoicing and jumping for joy, desiring the hastening of that day. Praise the Lord!
The more common name for the Feast of Tabernacles is the Feast of Booths.
"Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths." Leviticus 23:42
God had three reasons for Israel to dwell in booths. One of the reasons was "that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God", Leviticus 23:43. Dwelling in booths was a memorial unto Israel. They were to remind Israel of their glorious deliverance from Egypt and God who had delivered them from their bondage.
The second reason Israel was to dwell in booths was to humble them. God commanded,
"...All that are Israelite shall dwell in booths," Leviticus 23:42
All Israel, no matter what their station in life, were to leave their comfortable homes and build a temporary shelter. The roof was to only cover 3/4ths of the dwelling so the sun would not be hindered in warming it. No matter the weather, they were to dwell in their temporary shelter, from the richest to the poorest, the servants to the masters. This was to humble Israel and to show we are all the same in the sight of God.
The third reason was so Israel could fellowship. The booth was to only have three sides. There was no front on the booth. There was no pretense. Each booth had free access to fellowship and breaking of bread together. No walls or barriers were to separate God's people. God is doing away with all separation in His body.
What was a memorial to Israel is a type and shadow to us of what God's people will do in the end of the age. God speaks throughout His Word about the deliverance of His people from the land of Egypt. He also speaks of another fleeing in the end of this age. Many believe the book of Revelation to be the book of the end of the age. But what we need to realize is that the book of Revelation is the key to the whole Word of God concerning the end of the age.
In the 12th chapter of Revelation we are shown a woman clothed with the sun. The sun is the glory of God (the Sun of Righteousness, Malachi 4:2) and the moon (judgment) under her feet. Upon her head is a crown (authority) of twelve stars (government), Revelation 12:1. This woman represents the true church God is bringing forth in the earth. He clothed this woman with His righteousness. He has given her authority to set up His government upon the earth. These are those who have been judged and found righteous.
"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." Revelation 12:6
The woman fled into the place of protection God had prepared for her. She would be protected there for the three and one-half years of God's wrath which will be poured out upon the whole earth. Jesus admonished His disciples:
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36
This is the time of fleeing, spoken of in Revelation. The time when God's people will live in temporary dwellings. All walls and barriers will be removed that separate God's people. All denominational walls and doctrinal differences will be done away. The language barriers will be removed. The prophet Zephaniah spoke of this day:
"For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent." Zephaniah 3:9
God will have one people. No matter what our position is in this life, it will make no difference. All will be one in Him. God spoke of this wonderful exodus through the prophet, Jeremiah,
"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." Jeremiah 16:14-16
Jeremiah stated God would send many fishers. Jesus told His disciples. "I will make you fishers of men," Matthew 4:19. Jeremiah stated after the fishers were sent, hunters would be sent to hunt them. In the parable of the Marriage Supper, Jesus told His servants to go into the highways and bid as many as you shall find to the marriage, Matthew 22:9. Luke recorded His servants returned after bidding as many as would come to the Marriage Supper. Then the master of the house directed his servants:
"...Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Luke 14:23
The hunters are to compel those in the highways and hedges to come until His house is filled. The last words Jesus spoke to His disciples was that they were to be a witness in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, then Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth, Acts 1:8.
God is going to have a people. Those who are becoming the new creation in Him will be protected in His special place during the three and one-half years of wrath He will pour out upon the whole earth.
Jesus spoke many times of His wrath. His wrath not only will come upon the world, but also on the children of disobedience. He gave instruction to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear,
"Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back." Luke 17:30-31
Then Jesus makes a profound statement, "Remember Lot's wife," Luke 17:32. Why should we, some 4000 years after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plains, remember Lot's wife. Lot's wife is our example of those who will look back and desire what they left behind. Paul revealed to the Colossians,
"Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth,” Colossians 3:2
This will be the beginning of the new day for God's people. The Feast of Trumpets announced the end of the old religious year. The old was ending and the new was beginning. As the trumpets blow to announce the wrath, it is our signal to flee unto the Father, to the place of protection God has provided for us. Matthew records:
"Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." Matthew 24:18
This will be a time of leaving all behind, coming into total obedience to the voice of God. Luke records:
"I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." Luke 17:34-36
The words "men" and "women" were omitted from these texts because they did not appear in the original. Two in bed represents marriage, two grinding at the mill represents industry, two in the field represents those in the world. God is speaking of a time of separation. There is a calling coming, and it will affect every person on the earth.
The word taken is the Greek compound word PARALAMBANO. The Greek root word LAMBANO means "to take to oneself, to receive or collect". The Greek prefix PARA means "to be beside, before or toward". PARALAMBANO therefore speaks of the time God is going to take those who are beside Him, or before Him, or are moving toward Him unto Himself. He will receive and collect them from all nations as He has promised. It is the time the inheritors will receive what God has promised His people in His Word. It is the time He will receive His chosen unto Himself.
As the revelation hidden in the feasts becomes manifested, it is plain why the Feast of Tabernacles is to be a time of rejoicing and praise unto our God. Jesus informed us to,
"Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day." Matthew 24:20
The word winter is the Greek word CHEIMA and means "inclement weather". The time of fleeing will be in the time of the Lord's anger. The ancient prophets prophesied what would come upon the whole earth. Isaiah spoke:
"Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." Isaiah 26:20-21
Isaiah related that we are to enter into our chambers and shut the doors about us, and hide ourselves until the indignation be overpast. The word indignation is ZAAM and means "the intense anger and wrath of God". Isaiah records the Lord will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth. God has promised His people He would call His people into His protected place for the 3 ½ years of His wrath. The prophet, Zephaniah, described this day,
"That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness." Zephaniah 1:15
Zephaniah also warned:
"Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." Zephaniah 1:18
The whole land will be devoured by the fire of His jealousy. He will make a speedy riddance of those whom He has not called unto Himself. After this warning, Zephaniah gives a word of encouragement:
"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment: seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Zephaniah 2:3
God has a plan of protection for His people and there is a place of protection for His elect. Luke proclaims:
"As it was in the days of Noe (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." Luke 17:26-30
What are we to see in Noah? God had prepared a vessel to receive His whole creation. The ark would protect His creation through His wrath which was poured out upon the earth.
In Lot, we see the time of fleeing into a protected place to be preserved during the destruction of the wicked cities.
Today, many are teaching no wrath, that God will save everybody; and the only wrath is in our minds. Peter reminds us that in the last days, scoffers walking after their own lust, will ask, "Where is the promise of His coming? For all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation," II Peter 3:3-4. These are willingly ignorant. They are not just ignorant, but willingly ignorant. These have chosen to deny the truth. They deny the revelation God gave us in His record of the flood. Those who are guilty of this are labeled as "scoffers", II Peter 3:5-6. Peter concluded by writing,
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." II Peter 3:7
The same Word that brought the flood is keeping the earth in store. For what? It is reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
The Feast of Booths reveals a time of fleeing. Those who flee will be preserved in the day of His wrath. Those who refuse to flee will be trapped in the wrath. Only those in the ark (the place of protection in the time of Noah) survived the flood. Only those who fled from Sodom and Gommorah were saved from the destruction. Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she desired those things she left behind.
During the Feast of Booths God will free His people from all governmental bondage. He will call His people unto Himself. He spoke through John on the Isle of Patmos,
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." Revelation 12:14
God gave His people assurance He would grant them supernatural deliverance. He will give the woman (the true church) two wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness. It should be obvious that we are not going to lift off the earth and fly. God gave us an example of this fleeing, in the Exodus of Israel.
"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself." Exodus 19:4
God will deliver His people, just as He delivered Israel from the land of Egypt. God will bring His people through the wilderness again. At this time we will live in temporary shelters. This will be the time of the ingathering. "Ingathering" is another name for the Feast of Tabernacles.
And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field." Exodus 23:16
The seventh month was the grape harvest. It also ended the wheat harvest. The farmers in ancient Israel had two main instruments of harvest: the threshing floor and the wine press. The Feast of Ingathering typifies both of these harvest tools. As was stated, the seventh month not only spoke of the end, but also spoke of a beginning. John the Baptist revealed the work God would do in the lives of His people through the Holy Spirit.
"John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire; Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable." Luke 3:16-17
John spoke of the "winnowing fan". When there was no wind to winnow the grain, a long winnowing fan was used. This fan was five or six feet long and provided the wind that would winnow the wheat. The wheat would be thrown into the wind and the chaff would be blown away. Chaff represents the worthless things in our lives that do not profit God. These must be removed if He is to take us into His garner (granary). The granary is a place where the grain is protected from all outside influences. Nothing but the pure, clean, ripe grain is taken into the granary. All the green heads are removed on the threshing floor. Green heads will mold and rot and will spoil the other grain close to them. There will be no green heads in God's granary, only those who have come into complete maturity.
Jesus gave the example of those who would not enter in. The tares were planted by the enemy and are children of the wicked one. Many have been taught the tares are the people of the world. The tares look like the wheat, but there is nothing in the head. The tares are those who call themselves by His name, but have given place to the enemy. These have perverted the gospel by denying Christ, the Holy Spirit in their lives. They look Christ-like on the outside, but have no power in their lives. The tares and the wheat were allowed to grow together until the harvest. The tares were bundled and burned, and the wheat was taken into His granary. Jesus said,
"The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:41-42
Most teach the furnace of fire is hell. The place of torment spoken of by Jesus is His day of darkness, the day of His wrath. When He brings judgment upon all the earth, there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus uses another example of this great harvest when He referred to the grape harvest. In the book of Revelation, John recorded a vision. He was shown one like unto the Son of man with a golden crown upon His head and a sharp sickle in His hand, Revelation 14:14. The sickle is an instrument of harvest. An angel came out of the temple and cried to the one like unto the Son of man,
"...Thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Revelation 14:15
The one who sat on the cloud, who had a golden crown, and had the sickle in His hand was Jesus. Gold is the symbol of God. The crown is the symbol of authority. Matthew records Jesus' words:
“...All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18
The cloud symbolizes God's glory. Jesus is coming again in all His power, authority, righteousness, and glory to bring forth judgment in the earth. In John's vision, the one who sat on the cloud was told by another angel,
"...Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe," Revelation 14:18.
The full, ripe clusters were harvested. Those who had come to full maturity were taken first. These were fruit fit for the Master's table. These were the choice, select, plumpest, ripest, and the best of the harvest. Only the best is good enough for the Master. These were taken into His house (granary). John was shown another sickle:
"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God." Revelation 14:19
After the full, ripe grapes were taken for the Master's use, the vine was gathered and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Those who teach the vine are the worldly people would have difficulty proving where God refers to the worldly people as the vine. The vine God cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God are those who have brought forth no fruit fit for the Master's use.
In the vineyard the grapes are pruned back each year, leaving only two main branches. These branches are called the vine. These two main branches are tied on wires. From these, the new branches grow. The new branches produce the fruit. The original vine is the main source of strength for the branches to produce the fruit. Jesus stated: "I am the vine, ye are the branches..." John 15:5. Jesus is our vine, our source of strength. We are the branches that produce the fruit. When Jesus revealed the two sickles to John, those who did not produce fruit were cut away and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
"And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." Revelation 14:20
Most teach this is the blood of the worldly people, but this blood belongs to those who have not come to maturity and are not fit for the Master's use. God has His people on the threshing floor to separate them from all things offensive to His Kingdom. The harvest time is near. We need to be separated from all things that bring no profit to God. The winnowing fan needs to complete its cleansing work which began on the threshing floor.
The Feast of Ingathering reveals the great ingathering of God's people at the end of the age. The end of the age lies directly ahead of us. God's New Day, His seventh day, is about to dawn on the horizon. This will be the first day of His Kingdom age. Those who enter in to His Kingdom will have separated all things that offend. These will shine forth as the noonday sun.
At the end of the seven days of celebration in the Feast of Tabernacles there was one more day of celebration. This was the eighth day of the feast, the Day of New Beginnings. After the regular celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, there was to be a great feast in Israel,
"Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein." Leviticus 23:36
The eighth day was another solemn assembly; a day of festive activities and feasting, a time of joy and refreshment. The seven day celebration was to show the end of the age. The eighth day celebration was to mark the beginning of the new day. A new dispensation will begin God's Kingdom Age, the full day, the 1000 year day. This is the day the earth will be cleansed of all satan's kingdom. This is the day of overcoming death, when we will live the full 1000 year day. Until we live that full day, death sill has dominion in our lives. This is the day we will reign with Christ for 1000 years. Hallelujah!
Jesus spoke much of this new day. He also spoke of a great feast He called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Many are expecting the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to take place in heaven after they have passed the physical scene. Jesus spoke to John,
"...Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. And He saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." Revelation 19:9
Our calling is in this life. The Marriage Supper is after the wedding. Jesus spoke of this to the multitude:
"And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately.
Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." Luke 12:36-37
Those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb are those who are waiting upon their Lord. When He comes to the Marriage Supper, He will gird Himself and serve His people. The Marriage Supper is for those who are called and chosen of the Father. Jesus stated, "Many are called but few are chosen," Matthew 22:14. Jesus proclaimed to those who are called and will not come:
"For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper." Luke 14:24
Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to the ten virgins who were called to the Marriage Supper. He referred to these ten virgins as the wise and the unwise. Five were wise and five were unwise. All had oil in their lamps, because both lit their lamps. Jesus revealed the difference between these two groups of virgins:
"But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Matthew 25:4
The wise had oil in their vessels, with their lamps. The wise had the extra vessel of preparedness. These were ready to enter in. These had come to maturity.
The unwise had oil in their lamps, but they took no extra oil with them, Matthew 25:3. Their lamps went out because they relied on their initial experience with the anointing. They had been taught that when they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it was all they needed. They were assured they had all the oil needed to get them through. When the emotion ran out, there was no further oil available to carry them through the difficult times.
When the Holy Spirit experience is not backed by the anointed Word, it becomes an exercise in emotion and not the reality of the Word. When the five foolish virgins returned to get more oil, the door was shut. They cried, "Lord, Lord, open to us! And He answered and said, "Verily, I say unto you, I know you not," Matthew 25:11-12.
While they were trying to get prepared, the bridegroom came and the door was shut. Only the full, ripe clusters went in. Today is the Day of Preparation. Jesus tried to warn His people, "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept", Matthew 25:5.
Some of the virgins are only slumbering. These are not asleep, but unfortunately, they are not wide awake. They are somewhat aware of what is going on around them, but are not alert. God's shaking in the earth is getting their attention and they are beginning to come alive to the times we live in. Jesus revealed,
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." Luke 17:26
Those who had entered into God's provision were protected through the flood. Those who were mocking the words of this preacher of righteousness were destined for the wrath. Those who are unprepared to enter into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
When Jesus knew it was the time of His crucifixion, He was determined to go to Jerusalem. And as He traveled through the villages of the Jews, Jesus spoke these words,
"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God." Luke 13:28-30
Matthew recorded the same words of Jesus a little differently:
"And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 8:11-12
Jesus was not talking about the world being cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. He was talking about the children of the kingdom, those who are called but not chosen; those who were bidden to the marriage, but made excuses. These were unwilling to separate themselves from worldly things to become what God had called them to be. Jesus said of this day,
"And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them," Luke 12:36-37
The ones who open the door immediately are the wise virgins who are prepared for His coming. Their lamps are lit. They have sufficient oil. When He comes to the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb, He will gird Himself, and come forth to serve those who have entered in. He will serve us with the knowledge of Himself and the things of His Kingdom as He did the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." Luke 24:27
Jesus will gird Himself and reveal all things concerning Himself and His kingdom. Jesus girded Himself and washed the disciple's feet at the Last Supper. At the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Jesus will be revealed in all His glory to His elect who have been chosen.
Jesus' ministry began at the Marriage Supper at Cana. At the Great Marriage Supper of the Lamb, God's people will begin their ministry and will rule and reign with Christ for 1000 years.
It was at the Last Supper that Judas was separated from the rest of the disciples, John 13:2. All things that defile will be separated at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:27
The Feast of Tabernacles is the most important of the feasts and is yet to be fulfilled in us, God's endtime generation. At the Feast of Tabernacles God will take His harvest unto Himself. The prophet Zechariah gave an amazing prophecy concerning the Feast of Tabernacles,
"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." Zechariah 14:16-18
During the millennium, there will be no rain upon those who do not keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Those who do not keep the Feast of Tabernacles will be smitten. God has a people whom He will take unto Himself in this time of harvest. He has given us the feasts as shadows to prepare us so He may receive us unto Himself. We can be that people, or we can be cast into the wrath where there shall be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
God has called the multitudes, but only a remnant will be chosen. The door is not yet shut. There is still time to receive a fresh anointing so our lamps, again, may become a flame of fire. There is still time to do away with our lukewarmness so God will not spue (vomit) us out of His mouth, Revelation 3:16.
The trumpets are blowing (Feast of Trumpets). It is the time of fasting and afflicting our souls, (Feast of Atonement). When the harvest comes, it will be the time of entering in. Those who are prepared for the Marriage Supper will go in. We can be in that number if we desire the things of God more then the things of this life.
Jesus proclaimed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets would sit down together in the Kingdom. God made many great and wonderful promises to some of our brothers of old. To John on the Isle of Patmos He stated:
"...Thou must prophesy again before many people, and nations, and tongues and kings." Revelation 10:11
To Daniel He commanded:
"But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." Daniel 12:13
Job boldly stated:
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." Job 19:25
To all the saints in the Hall of Faith, the writer of Hebrews wrote:
"God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." Hebrews 11:40
God made our father, Abraham, many wonderful promises concerning His seed. God told Abraham:
"...I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude." Genesis 32:12
He also related to Abraham:
"...Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be." Genesis 15:5
God revealed unto Abraham that He would have two kinds of seed. Those who are as the sand of the sea (earthly) and those who are as the stars of the heaven (Spiritual). These two seeds are in the earth today. God revealed unto Paul,
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." I Corinthians 15:49
God is raising a people from their earthly existence to be seated with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6.
Paul spoke of two bodies: the celestial, heavenly body; and the terrestrial, the earthly body. The glory of the celestial is one glory and the glory of the terrestrial has another glory, I Corinthians 15:40.
The Day of Harvest is at hand. The fields are truly white to harvest, John 4:35. God is about to thrust in His sickle and take those who have matured in the summer heat unto Himself. The Marriage Supper is prepared and the great last day of the feast is ready. There is a time of great joy, dancing and feasting awaiting those who are taken by the first sickle; those meet for the Master's table. Truly we can state:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." I Corinthians 2:9
We can get a glimpse of what God has planned for those who love Him, by considering the Feasts.
Related books by George Kirkpatrick
The Tabernacle in the Wilderness
Beyond the Feast of Tabernacles (Audio)
Anointed For the Greater Works Ministry
God's Glory Revealed in the Clouds
See also God's Clouds of Glory (Audio)
The Melchizedek Promise
The Melchezidek Priesthood (Audio)
The Marriage Supper Calling
The Marriage Supper Calling (Audio)
Revealing His Generation
The Seventh Day
The Glory of the Celestial
The Coming Day of Restoration
God Preparing a People For Service
The Day of Preparation
The Coming Day of Adversity (Audio)
As It Was In The Days Of Noah (Audio)