Does God have a plan for mankind? Has He revealed it to His people through the words of your bible? Are there prophetic time markers that God has given us, to show what He plans for the salvation of mankind?
2:16 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:
2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ”. (Colossians chapter 2).
God laid down a plan, a chronological plan for the whole of mankind that is sprinkled within the pages of your bible. In Ancient Israel, during the Exodus led by Moses, God instituted festivals, or feasts given to the people of God led out of Egypt by His chosen messenger, Moses. These festivals were given to the nation of Israel and most of the religions of today discount these as “Jewish”, but fail to understand that these were given by God to humanity as a benchmark, or guide to His plan for all of mankind and a fulfillment of His master plan based on prophecy. I will look at them in this message as “bench marks of prophecy” or what God has done for man, and what He intends to do in the near future.
GOD GIVES HIS PROPHETIC PLAN TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL
When our great and awesome God gave them to Israel, the people did not understand them in their spiritual application, but followed them as a rituals for what God expected of them. They were physical representations to them that were carried out without understanding of their final outcome and what they represented. Each of these days pointed to one event, the coming of the Messiah and His redemption of all the earth and His greatest creation, Man.
BEGINNING WITH PASSOVER
In the spring, begins the first of the Feasts, called Passover. In the Exodus, the Israelites were spared the death angel killing their first borne by striking the door post and the lintels with the blood of a lamb. You can read about this in Exodus chapter 12. Sadly, Israel has never gotten beyond this act of sacrificing a lamb on Passover and were observing it during the lifetime of Jesus Christ. But the life and death of Jesus Christ changed this observance for all time.
Jesus during the evening preceding His death, called His disciples to gather together for the last supper meal where our Lord and Savior changed the emblems of this Holy Day from a lamb slain to a memorial of bread and wine. Matthew chapter 26:
26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Jesus proclaimed a new symbol of the Passover, the wine and the bread, a symbol of His broken body and His shed blood. Jesus did this a day before the day the Jews would be observing the Passover with the sacrifice of thousands of lambs in the temple, because He knew that He would be the Passover offering for the sins of all mankind. At the time of our Lord’s death on the cross in the afternoon before sundown, thousands of lambs were being ritually slaughtered in the temple, but the supreme sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world, was being laid down in blood spilled upon a cruel cross at the exact moment of the events going on in the temple. Coincidence? No, God does everything right on time and has a purpose for each of them. When Jesus was laid in the tomb of a rich man, fulfilling scripture to the exact detail, He arose three days exactly from that time of His death. Exactly as scripture proclaimed and He proclaimed to the temple priest when driving out the money changers, He arose three days later.(John 2:19-21)
Upon the first day of the week, when the women came to the tomb to prepare the body for burial, they found the tomb empty and went and told the disciples who ran to find out if this event was true. Afterwards, Mary Magdalene was crying in the garden area of the tomb, when Jesus appeared to her. John chapter 14:
20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Why was this significant, and why did Jesus not want Mary to handle Him? In the temple on that morning was another event that Jesus was preparing to fulfill.
FIRST FRUITS TO GOD
That very morning is known as the “Wavesheaf Offering of First Fruits.” The primary history of this event is found in Leviticus 23:9-14:
And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
Jesus was to ascend to the Father to be the first fruit raised from the dead. The Bible nowhere indicates that the priests understood the ritual they were performing on Saturday evening when Jesus Christ, the archetypical Wavesheaf, was “harvested” from the material world by being resurrected from the dead. On Sunday morning, as the firstborn of many brethren, He was lifted into and through the heavens to God’s throne to be accepted by Him as the sacrifice for our sins and as our High Priest.
FEAST OF PENTECOST
Seven weeks from the time of the Wave Sheaf Offering is the Feast of Pentecost. It is the last Holy Day observed in the spring. When Jesus was on this earth after His resurrection until the time of His ascension to rejoin His Father at His right hand, He commanded His disciples to tarry till He send them the “Comforter”. Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Pentecost is unique among the holy days because it is the only annual feast determined by counting. All the other festivals God commands to observe on certain dates on the Hebrew calendar, but we must count for Pentecost. Whether we count fifty days or seven weeks or seven Sabbaths from the day of the wavesheaf offering, we must still go through the exercise of measuring the time to keep the feast properly. Why? God does nothing without a purpose, and His purposes always include giving His people additional instruction for their ultimately eternal benefit. Counting to Pentecost is no exception. God gives us many numbers in His Word to give us a season to expect His return and unfolding events.
No where in this message, can anyone proclaim that God will do this or that on a specific date in the future. To set dates in stone is to go against what God told us that “no man knoweth the day or the hour, but my Father only” but it can give us a direction to know that events are lining up with what His Word proclaimed.
So let’s recap the symbolic meaning of God’s plan for man that is replayed during the springtime of each year of man’s existence here on earth. Remember, these were symbolic in the days of Israel, but have been made real, as Jesus Christ has been crucified and shed His blood for the remission of sins for all who believe. Passover symbolizes our redemption from this world and the forgiveness of our sins. Unleavened Bread is a week long observance that follows Passover day and typifies our lifelong task of coming out of sin and putting on the new man in sincerity and truth. We begin to count on wavesheaf day, which occurs during this period, and the fifty days extend to Pentecost, a festival that symbolizes the harvest of God’s firstfruits AND the giving of the Holy Spirit for comfort in this Age of Grace we are now in.
These Feasts Days are God’s spring time of prophetic time markers for the redemption of His creation. Those plans have been 100% completed. Jesus has died and rose again. We who have believed have had His blood applied to our lives and we proclaim a memorial of His death and resurrection with the Lord’s supper of the bread and the wine until He returns to gather His church unto Himself. We seek by the power of the Holy Spirit to remove sin from our lives, as portrayed by the Feast of Unleavened bread. Symbolically, we press on to become conformed to the image of the only example we have for being accepted by the Father into His presence, His Son Jesus Christ. We have before the Father, our high priest and the first fruits borne of the dead through resurrection (the beginning of the 1st resurrection), our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to be our guide, our counselor, and the power within us to complete that transformation.
THE CHURCH AGE, OR THE AGE OF GRACE
Between the spring and the and the fall, is the coming summer months that the harvest grows. It is the time that we are now experiencing and fast drawing to a close. We are in the age of grace, the age of the church upon this earth. During this time, many trials come upon any believer, and amongst us grow the weeds amongst the harvest…called tares in your bible. Matthew:
13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
We that have discernment and are following the ways of our God and Savior, know that evil abounds all around us. The tares or weeds, are right among us in the church. During this summer months of the Age of Grace, God allows the wheat and the weeds to grow together, but will separate the true from the false. When will that be?
As the spring time markings of the salvation of our God, brought about by our Savior Jesus Christ has been completed, and we are in the midst of the growing harvest, we await the completion of God’s plan for man, as symbolized by the Feasts given by God and observed in the fall. Symbolically, we are on the cusp of the end of days that I believe, are being experienced right now. Let us now look at the spiritual meaning and application of these prophetic time markers that are called God’s Holy Days beginning in the fall.
GOD’S FALL FEAST DAYS
The first time marker is the Feast of Trumpets. If you study your bible, you will notice that the trumpet was used for many points of communication to the people. Each trump was blown in succession in the wilderness, and during the time of the Temple of God in Jerusalem. In the wilderness, the first trump or the left horn was blown to alert the people, saying “Heads up” Attention, If you will. . The right horn, or the second blast was designed to get the people ready to move. The last trump was used to signal, “Move out”…they were also used in battle as signals.
According to Jewish tradition, the first trump is blown with the left horn of the ram Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac (Gen 22:13). The last trump is blown with the right horn of the ram. The ram represented Jesus. He will sound both the first trump and the last trump. In the book of Revelation, John hears the sound of a loud trumpet.
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
John hears a loud trumpet and turns to see the Lord of Glory, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Paul describes this sound that I believe John heard:
I Corinthians chapter 15:Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
And again in 1st Thessalonians;
4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
A trumpet was also used to announce the coming of the KING. This trumpet that each of the apostles heard was our God, Jesus Christ sounding His coming with a shout that sounds much like a loud trumpet blast and is what, I believe, John and Paul both heard.
Another interesting fact that has been proclaimed by numerous writers, is that the Feast of Trumpets is the beginning of the secular New Year and is called Rosh HaShanah. One writer proclaims:
“The problem of Rosh HaShanah is heightened by the fact that it falls on Rosh Chodesh, the new moon itself. Therefore, even in Jerusalem it would have been difficult to let everyone know in time that the New Year had begun. To solve this problem, a two-day Rosh HaShanah was practiced even in Israel. Creating a two-day Rosh HaShanah was also intended to strengthen observance of each day; in the rabbinic view, the two days are regarded as a yoma arikhta, ONE LONG DAY. It has been called “when no one knoweth the day or the hour”
Recall what Jesus told His disciples? Matthew 24:36,
24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Could our Lord be giving us a clue to His coming? What day, what year, we don’t know.We cannot say with certainty, but there has nothing to happen before the Lord breaks through the clouds and proclaims with a loud trumpet call, “COME UP HERE.” Let me make one bold statement right here. If God has been fulfilling His plan for man in the past, on THE VERY DAY of these Ancient God given time markers, called God’s Feasts, is it not plausible or even wise to conclude that God will continue to do the same for the fall feast on THE very day? If God has done this in the past, is it reasonable to expect Him to do the same in the fall observances? I know one thing, God does not change, and He gives discernment and reveals truths to His people in preparation for His movement.
DAY OF ATONEMENT
Following the last observances of the plan for man and God’s prophetic time markers is that God has given us in His Word, is the “Day of Atonement.”.(at-one-ment with God). Atonement is used in the sense of “a covering,” and therefore as a means of forgiving sin. By contrast, in the burnt offering, sin is nowhere seen because it is not part of what the burnt offering teaches. In it, God is satisfied because the offerer has met His requirement through Jesus blood in his life, and by the righteous way he lives his life by following the example of His Lord Jesus. Thus, the offering shows the offerer accepted.
Many believe that this is the time of the marriage supper of the Lamb, where the saints in heaven are wed to the groom, our Savior being joined to His church. Revelation 19:
19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
19:9 And he saith unto me, 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.
The Jews call this the 10 days of Awe that are the ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, by examining their lives and attempting to get right with God. They greet each other by saying “may your name be written in the book” or another year of life granted because of their good deeds. It is also believed that this period is when the tribulation rains down on the earth in God’s wrath, as we are 7 years in heaven’s realm at the Marriage Feast of our betrothed husband, Jesus Christ.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES
At the conclusion of the time of feasting and being joined to our bridegroom, the Lord returns to complete a prophecy marker, know as the Feast of Tabernacles, or God dwelling with us. Revelation chapter 19:
19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
God will literally tabernacle with us for 1000 years and rule the nations with a rod of iron. All will be set aright and God will return this earth to the time of pristine condition that was in the time of Adam and Eve. Rebellion will be put down, rebellious sinners will be eliminated, and Satan will be bound for 1000 years in a bottomless pit. Satan will be forced to observe a Sabbath rest from tempting mankind, until the 1000 years are completed and he will be loosed for a “little season”.
During this time, God will command that all keep the Feast of Tabernacles as read in the book of Zechariah chapter 14:
14:16 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.
14:17 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.
14:18 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.
14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Why does our Lord command us to keep this time of the Feast of Tabernacles? Because our God is finally with us, and commands us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. All who are mortal during this time and born to human parents, will be introduced, as we were to the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and to believe on/ or not to believe on what He did. All other markers in prophecy mentioned before and written in God’s Word have been totally completed, but God, our Lord and Savior will continue to redeem mortals in the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ. Men will still be of a sin nature, but not to the extent with Satan removed from tempting them. When Satan is unleashed from his pit, then somehow he will deceive a vast number of people that the bible speaks of in Revelation chapter 20:
20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
At the end of this glorious time when Jesus will reign with righteousness and justice, that Satan will be allowed to be loosened for a short season to tempt all who have been born in the past 1000 years. It’s almost unfathomable that men and women who have been in a first person relationship with God Almighty, up close and personal, will follow this “prince of lies”. The bible says it will be so. Hard for me to imagine, but I can’t imagine Israel being in the wilderness and going against the God of miracles performed amongst them and following their sin nature, but so it was.
At the end of this period, when all sin is exterminated, it will prove that man cannot be trusted in his mortal state. God will remove all aliens that are not washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and the remainder will be spirit beings, as God the Father is, and as Jesus Christ is….as they are, so shall all men and women be.
THE LAST GREAT DAY, OR WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
But before that is finished, there is one last Feast proclaimed by God. In the Bible, it is called the “Last Great Day.”…Great because it will be the final judgment of all unsaved men and women from all of human history standing before a “Great White Throne.” in a second and last resurrection to life.
Revelation chapter 20:
20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
How do you become written in the book of life? How do you live with God Almighty for all eternity? What is the one work that you must do that will qualify you to be counted amongst the children of God? How do you become heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ?
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
And the mini sermon that is the essence of what the bible was written for and spoke to me as a boy:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
God’s plan for man embodied in these time markers of prophecy and their fulfillment point to only one Man, the Son of Man….the Son of the Living God, Jesus the Christ.
If you have not found this truth in Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins, as spelled out in these biblical revival messages, I call upon you to let me introduce you to the only name that will lead to eternal life and escape eternal judgment, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The name that is above every name, to the glory of God our Father.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, wishing God’s love in your life. If there is anything I can help you with, counsel you, or just listen to your prayer request, then give me an email firstname.lastname@example.org , OR VISIT ME online at www.churchofgod-usa.org. God bless you, till we meet at Jesus Feet.