Feasts of Israel and the Menorah

The Menorah was a seven stem lampstand that was the represented light to a dark world and the seven stems portrayed the seven feasts of Israel. There were three feasts in the Spring: the Feast of Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of First Fruits. Then there is a short delay of 50 days and you have the Feast of Pentecost. Then after another delay, about four months, there are three more Feasts, which include the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles.

The feast of Passover involved 1) the killing of the lamb and 2) the Passover meal or seder. The lamb was set aside on the tenth of the month of Aviv (biblical) or Nisan (modern). It was tested for four days to make sure it was without spot and without blemish. On the fourteenth day the lamb was killed for the Passover meal. The next morning, another lamb was used as the Passover sacrifice. The Passover meal included three things: 1) the paschal lamb, the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs.

The time was during the month of Nisan. If one household was small, they would join with others, so one lamb might suffice for several different family groups and nothing of it remained until the morning. There are 15 parts of the meal. For example, there are three pieces of bread, which represent the Trinity. There are four cups of fermented red wine, each of which have meaning of blessing, plagues, redemption and praise.  The shankbone, the forearm of the lamb, represented the outstretched arm that God brought the Jews out of the land of Egypt (Deut 26:8). The salt water, in which several items are dipped represent the tears of the Jews serving in Egypt. There is much else to learn, but let’s apply this.

When Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey, many teach that it was the last offer of kingship to the Jews. It was really that Jesus set Himself aside as the Passover Lamb. It was on the tenth day of the month. For four days, Jesus was tested by the Pharisees, Sadducees, the Scribes and the Herodians. Jesus ate the Seder meal on the first night of the Passover, the same night that all Jewish people ate it, the 14th of Nisan. Jesus died on the first day of Passover, crucified at 9:00 am, the same as Passover lamb. Just as blood was sprinkled on doorposts, so Jesus shed His blood for the world. As the Jews purged their homes of leaven, the believer purges his life of leaven or sin, or the church of sin, which would be church discipline.

The second feast of Unleavened Bread occurred for eight days in conjunction with Passover. It lasted for seven days, in which the Jews could not eat leaven. Passover lasts eight days. Passover was observed in Egypt and the day after Passover, Israel began their journey out of Egypt. The New Testament application is from 1 Corinthians 5:6ff and the Messianic implication is explained in Hebrews 9:1-10:18. This passage explains the cleansing of the heavenly tabernacle, the removal of sins of the OT saints and the application of the blood to the New Testament saints.

The third feast of First Fruits began the counting of 50 days until the Feast of weeks or Pentecost. It was on the Sunday, first day of the week according to Lev 23:11, “the day after the Sabbath.” It was for one day and a sheaf of the first grain on the 16th day of Nisan. It was always on a Sunday, after the Sabbath after the Passover. This marked the two month spring harvest. In AD 30, the 15th of Nisan was from Thursday evening until Friday evening. 16th Nisan, Friday evening to Sat evening was 2nd day and Sat evening to Sunday evening was 3rd day. 

The fourth feast is the Feast of Weeks. It occurs seven weeks, plus one day after First fruits. It is the end of the Spring harvest. Acts 2:1-4 verify that this is the day the church began, as the Holy Spirit came to indwell every church age believer.

The fifth feast is the Feast of Trumpets. Rosh Hashanah is the most common name, “Head of the year”, but there are four others. It happens in the month of Tishrei. The shofar was blown and was curved, because it was a symbol of repentance in contrast to a straight horn, that is for Jews to return to Judaism and the covenant relationship with Yahweh.  It was a day of rest, blowing of the trumpet and many sacrifices. Shofar means “a horn for blowing” and the Hebrew word “truah” means “shout,” “a blast of war, alarm, joy.”

The sixth feast is the Day of Atonement. It was a day of affliction of the soul and day of individual and national atonement.  Several passages of OT taught seven truths. For example, 1) the approach to God was limited (Lev 16). 2) Atonement was by blood (Lev 17:11). 3) The mediator was the high priest. 4) The high priest had to offer a bull for himself first.  The second bull was for Israel. 5) The blood of the first goat made it possible for the second goat to take away the sins of Israel. 6) Atonement dealt with known and unknown sins. 7) Confession of sin always followed the shedding of blood.

The seventh feast, the Feast of Succoth or Tabernacles. Let’s note several things. 1) It was seven days long, 2) They built and lived in booths or branch tents, 3) They celebrated with citrus type fruit citron, the lulav, which is a branch of the palm tree, the hadas, which is a branch of the myrtle tree, and the anwah, which is a branch of the willow. 4) It follows the Day of Atonement and considered to be a time of rejoicing following the day of affliction. 5) It marked the first fruits of fall harvest. 6) An additional eighth day of solemn assembly followed the 7th day, but the Jews did not have to live in the booth.

What’s the application? Passover was fulfilled by the death of the Messiah. The Unleavened Bread was fulfilled by the sinlessness of His blood offering. The feast of First fruits was fulfilled by the Resurrection of Jesus. The feast of weeks was fulfilled by the birthday of the Church. The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled by the next great event of the church – the Rapture of the Church. The Feast of Trumpets is declared by the sound of a Trumpet and a shout, which is true of the Rapture (1 Thes 4:13-18). The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled by the Great Tribulation, which is the affliction of Israel to turn back to their Messiah. And the Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled by the Messianic Kingdom, or what we also call the Millennium.

No one knows the day or the hour (Matt 24:36),
but let’s have some fun and look at several passages.

What time is it?  Matt 24:32-36 describes the events that will happen at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. In that context, it says that the generation will not pass away until that event comes.

What is a generation? Ps 90:1-10 describes that while God is from eternity to eternity, a generation is 70 years and if by strength, 80 years. So IF we begin the clock again on May 14, 1948, when Israel was again recognized as a nation, then 80 years from that date is May 14, 2028. (Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:32-36) Subtract 7 years and you have May 14, 2021, or the beginning of Daniel’s 70the week.  The Feast of Trumpets occurs before that and it can be a minute before or even a few years before and that would be the Feast of Trumpets 2020, or September 19, 2020. Ha! Maybe today!

Why is it important to understand human history from God’s perspective?

When were there sacrifices? Until the cross and in the Millennium

Who was responsible for disseminating God’s Word? We all are!  The question is, are you motivated to share your faith about Jesus Christ? Are you motivated to disciple people to Him, so they will reach more? We don’t discuss these things for our own interests, but for the sake of reaching others!  May the Lord bless you as you reach out to lead others to Christ.

This website has a good diagram that relates the feasts to the End Times:
http://www.ltradio.org/charts/

Question: What is heaven like?

At a funeral this week, one of the passages I addressed was Revelation 21.  I was asked by one of the family members to address what heaven is like.  I only scratched the surface of how great heaven is.  It was just enough to give those who had not trusted in Christ an opportunity to hear that heaven is a place unlike the earth.  Let’s note several principles about heaven:

Heaven is coming. Twice in Revelation 21:1-2, John says, “I saw…” the new heavens and new earth.  We can praise the Lord for the great expression in the Bible, “And it came to pass…”  It didn’t come to stay, but it came to pass, because there is something better coming.  We may or may not experience it on earth, but we, who have trusted in Jesus Christ will experience the better in heaven.

Presence of Jesus. In Revelation 21:3, we see the “Tabernacle of God” is with men.  The Tabernacle in the Old Testament was a type of Christ with all of its articles pointing toward an aspect of Jesus Christ.  For example the showbread spoke of Jesus as the Bread of Life.  The Menorah spoke of Jesus as the Light of the world.  Revelation 21:3 says there will be a new relationship with men far beyond anything even what most Christians will experience on earth.  Jesus will be with Christians in heaven and they will willingly submit to Him as their head.  He is the great Builder of heaven.

No more pain.  Revelation 21:4 provides that great expression, “No more death, no more sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Why?  It is because God makes all things new in quality and wipes away every tear.  We will have sorrow and pain on earth, because this is not heaven and it is a sin-dreadful place.  But it will come to pass.

New surroundings.  Revelation 21:5 describes how Jesus will make ALL things new.  Nothing from the old will pass into eternity.  We can’t load up the Uhaul and take anything to heaven.  We won’t want to once we get there.  It will be beyond what we could ever imagine.  That’s the reward for simple faith at the point of salvation.  His words are true and faithful.

Living fresh water. Revelation 21:6 describes Jesus, the Alpha and Omega from Rev. 1:8 and 22:13, promising the water of life to anyone who thirsts.  We can experience that fresh water on earth, and it will be unbelievably real in heaven.

Overcoming friends. Revelation 21:7-8 describes those who overcame will be in heaven and inherit all things.  John writes in 1 John 5:4 that an overcomer is one who has been born again because of faith in Jesus Christ.  However, the rest of humanity who rejected Jesus and showed their rejection by hatred, sexual immorality, idolatry and lying will end up in the Lake of Fire, which is the second death.

Glory of God’s city.  Revelation 21:9-11 describes the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, which is the holy Jerusalem, the glory of God prepared for God’s people to dwell.  It is the presence of God.  It’s hard to understand the infinite, so John records Jesus’ words that He was going to prepare a place for Christians, mansions in heaven (John 14:1-3).

Solid structure for living.  Revelation 21:12-14 describe a city of walls, gates and foundations.  There is perfect protection and orderly living in heaven, because there will be perfect harmony in Jesus Christ.  It will be the best vacation spot, but where every believer will want to worship the Lord forever and ever.

Perfect spaciousness.  Revelation 21:15-17 describe the space provided in the city.  God has it measured and God’s perfect character ensures it will be perfect for us.  There will be no fighting because of a lack of room or having to share with another person. Why?  It will be because we will be in perfect harmony with each other.

Perfect beauty.  Revelation 21:18-21 describe using precious gems and stones the construction of the city.  It will be beautiful!  It will cause everyone to have to lift their mouths, like a gal who sees a beautiful one carat diamond ring a guy she loves uses to propose to her.  It will hold our attention because of perfect variety and beauty.

God’s presence.  Revelation 21:22 describes a lack of a temple, because the Father and Lord Jesus Christ are its temple.  It will be beyond anything we could ever imagine today.  Some great cathedrals seize your breath the first time you walk into them, because of their grandeur.  God’s presence will be amazing.

Light of glory. Revelation 21:23-24 describe the lack of light in heaven, because Jesus is the Light and all nations will walk in that light.  The infinite character of Jesus’ light is not easily understood, but in heaven, there will be no need for street lights for seeing or for protection.  Jesus will be the light.

Open access to Jesus.  Revelation 21:25-27 describe the open door policy of Jesus.  He doesn’t just have open door hours.  He is always available.  You won’t have to leave a voice mail or wait for a text message return.  Jesus will be instantly available, not for or to you, but with you because you will be in perfect submission to His glory.

Unending truth provided. Revelation 22:1 describes a river of life coming from the throne of God.  This will be truth that we will continue to enjoy the infinity of God.  Water is used for God’s Word in Ephesians 5:26.

Perfect sustenance. Revelation 22:2 describes 12 varieties of fruit for a different kind of pie or food each month.  God is creative and what is provided will not be boring or monotonous.  It will be better than anything you can imagine.

Freedom from cursing. Revelation 22:3 describes the freedom we will possess from the effects of the curse of sin.  All of God’s children will be servants who serve the Lord in perfect harmony.  There will be no estrangements.  There will be no hurt feelings.  There will be no harsh words spoken, wicked comparisons made, slights made toward anyone.  People will always be focused on the Lord in perfect unity.  THAT will be heaven!

Perfect fellowship with God. Revelation 22:4-5 describe that in the radiance of Jesus’ face, which will be reflected on our foreheads, we will see and reign forever.   Even as Moses’ face shone when he came off the mountain (Ex. 34:29-35), so we will bear that radiance on our face, because we will be face to face with the Lord!  There will be no shadows.  There will be no distrust.  There will be perfect harmony in heaven with each other, because we will be in perfect submission to the Lord.

 

Friends, are you a child of God?  You can become a child of God by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior.  There is nothing more important that understanding and taking the gift of salvation that God offers in His grace.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  You will be adopted into God’s family and become a part of the Bride of Jesus Christ.  Your destiny will be heaven. 

Jesus was God and when He became man also, He bore the sins of all mankind while He hung on the cross.  God the Father made Him the target of His wrath as sin.  And pouring out His wrath on Jesus, the righteousness of God was satisfied and the world was reconciled to God awaiting that decision of faith by people to accept the gift of salvation.

Then you can begin to enjoy the blessings of heaven on earth as you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  To the extent that you humble yourself to His Lordship, to that extent you will enjoy heaven on earth.  Yes, there will be tribulations (John 16:33), but you can have His peace and harmony that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7) and be a blessing to others regardless of their actions toward you.  You will be living heaven on earth, which is something the world does not and cannot understand. 

Let me know if you have any questions.