Two things I have learned since arriving at the retirement age. One, the reason one must retire at that age of retirement, normally thought of as age 65, is so he or she has time to make all those doctor appointments. Second, in order to do that, we must also write down the appointments! For example, recently my wife had seven in one week, and I had a couple thrown in the mix, too.
The point is, things to be remembered are written down. It’s standard procedure. Civic leaders put a time capsule in the cornerstone of a new city building containing things to be remembered. Perhaps the whole idea of a diary is for that purpose.
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments—written on tablets of stone, of course! And when they were broken, He had Moses bring replacement stone and once again, wrote them down. And, of course, the preservation of the written Scriptures is a testimony of the providence of God. In that Word, too, are recorded in numerous places that first thing to be remembered is what God, Himself, tells us in Isaiah 46:8-10:
“Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure….”
It may be appropriate at this point to mention, that when a nation forgets its fear of God, the impending shadows of coming darkness are closing in. The looming “New World Order,” acclaimed by some with flamboyant grandeur and glorious anticipation, carefully hides the awful price that must be paid by the majority of the world’s population in order to provide that utopia for the global elite. Those folks have long ago forgotten that God even exists, apparently. The cup of God’s wrath has filled almost to the brim, and His appointed time is much closer than the utopia of their dreams.
Another Thing Never to Be Forgotten
If indeed the Lord looks at the whole world through the eyeglass of the gospel, that is, as John 3:16 portrays it, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life,” then there is no other remembrance that could exceed that one.
From the time that God shed the blood of animals to obtain skins for coverings that He made for Adam and Eve, He has directed people—first and primarily the Jews—to an offering for sin that would qualify for the standard required by the eternal justice of God. He had said, and it was recorded in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls, for itis the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
The elaborate workings of sacrificial offerings that was carried out by the Hebrew people exhibits the careful details that God instructed them to follow to show the perfection of that future offering that was being portrayed. A lamb without blemish and without spot, or other animals that were without faults were required. And imagine the importance implied to the people when Solomon was led to such a gigantic offering when he dedicated the new temple to God and brought the ark of the covenant into it. According to 1 Kings 8:63, the offering consisted of 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep. That was not anywhere near like a summer backyard barbeque, in comparison. And yet, that did not, with all of its volume, reach the quality of that future sacrifice that God had planned. In Hebrews 10:1-4 the writer tells about it:
“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
Then the writer speaks of Jesus coming to do the will of God by becoming a perfect sacrifice for the sins of man. He writes, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the essential gospel—is pictured in a church ordinance that is repeated often, just as Jesus had urged the disciples at the time of the “Last Supper” (Luke 22:17-20), and made firmly a matter for remembrance by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:26:
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
Thus God establishes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as an event never to be forgotten. For certain, it is the focal point of all Scripture. Without that event, all else is totally meaningless. Yet, there are many who partake of this communion regularly, according to dictates of their church, and believe it gives them salvation. Frankly, it does not, but it points to the One whom we must go to, by faith, and receive Him as our own personal sacrifice (John 1:12).
Another Critical Thing to Be Remembered
If you want something remembered for the future, you put it on your calendar. If you want it to be remembered repeatedly every year, a proclamation is made for that particular time. Examples in America are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Flag Day, Independence Day—the list goes on and on, and every year those days are marked off and remembered. Back in the days of Moses, when God was laying out the details of the laws to him, there were seven annual festivals placed on the annual Hebrew calendar by the Lord, and they have been on the Hebrew calendar every single year since they appeared in Leviticus 23. Every year there are seven times when God wanted the people to remember those feasts or festivals for what they meant to Him and what they would mean to Israel.
There are seven feast days that were to be remembered and celebrated every year—the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Apparently these feasts represented future events that would occur to fulfill their respective portrayals. The first four evidently have already been fulfilled. Jesus was the Passover lamb; He was the unleavened bread that had no life; He was the first fruit of the resurrection as He rose from the tomb, and the indwelling of the believers by the Holy Spirit was the promise fulfilled at Pentecost.
Those first four feasts show up on the calendar around mid-March to early June, on our secular calendar. A long period of time then spreads across the summer months to about mid-September when the next feast, the Feast of Trumpets appears. Ten days later is the Feast of Atonement, then followed not long afterward by the Feast of Tabernacles. In all these centuries since Pentecost, no fulfillments have occurred. Why not? That next one, the Feast of Trumpets, appears to portray the final harvest of the year and is scheduled roughly at that time. If you were to lay the annual Hebrew calendar down beside a concentrated picture of human history since the time of Christ, those A.D. years, you would see a parallel pattern with nothing happening in Christendom except the spread of the gospel across the nations of the world.
When the disciples wanted to know if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel (provide independence from Rome), He told them that it was not the time and then pointed them back to Jerusalem and gave them that final Great Commission directive in Acts 1:8. The Apostle Paul tells us how long that period of time was to take, in Romans 11:25:
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”
According to God’s plan, Jews were scattered far and wide among the nations, but in the latter days they would be restored to their native land, just as He also had promised. The prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and others, wrote often of this, and now we have seen that the restoration has taken place, and continues to be held in place. And, along with this, we see that the “times of the Gentiles” is coming to its fulfillment. That gap on the calendar has been filled with planting and harvesting, for Jesus had said:
“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
Thus, the Feast of Trumpets at the end of the harvest season, depicting the gathering in of the fruit of the times of the Gentiles, when the dead in Christ and those believers who are alive will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and transported into the presence of Christ. The Feast of Trumpets must have its own fulfillment, just as the first four did, and there can be no other event than the Rapture of the saints that would fulfill its portrayal.
Of the seven feasts, this one is the only one whose start is uncertain as to the day or the hour. It begins on the first day of the Jewish new year, the month of Tishri, but its beginning has to start with the physical sighting of the new moon as it shows up in the fading daylight on the edge of the horizon in Israel, then reported to the leadership. If it is a cloudy sky, the beginning is delayed one day. (Finer details are involved, no doubt, but that is the essence.) Just as Jesus said, “No man will know the day or the hour,” in reference to His coming “as a thief in the night,” so is this parallel event to occur.
The final two are the Feasts of Atonement and of Tabernacles, depicting the recognition of Jesus Christ as their true atoning Messiah by the Jews (Zechariah 12:10), and the return of the Lord in His physical appearance in Jerusalem to tabernacle with His people (Zechariah 14:5).
Much discussion and speculation has been offered in regard to the meaning of the four blood moons in 2014 and 2015. The uniqueness of them being on the dates of the first and last feasts each year leads me to believe that God was calling attention in a special way to the centuries-old plan He has portrayed in those annual feasts, that the plan is drawing to a close. But not so soon will it draw to a close! That final feast, the Feast of tabernacles, is scheduled to be on the annual calendar every year for a thousand years while Jesus is reigning over the earth as King form the throne of David in Jerusalem:
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
Of the things to be remembered, God’s plan for the ages is of paramount importance, so noted by that annual calendar reminder, an “in your face” reality to come. God does have an appointed time when He will wrap up human history and fold it into a completed package where He will reign supremely.