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 opening passage introduces us to the author, audience and what the book is about – the Revelation of Jesus Christ. While a small portion (Revelation 2-3) describes the audience – the church – the majority (Revelation 4-19) is about how God will complete His Covenants to Israel and the Second Coming of Jesus. It closes with the new heavens to come.
The Alpha and Omega – Rev 1:1-8
New Earth Gen. 1
New Heavens Rev. 21
Begins in Paradise Gen. 2
Paradise to come Rev. 21-22
Devil introduced Gen. 3:1-2
Devil doomed Rev. 20:10
God’s word questioned Gen 3:1-2
Word of God upheld Rev. 22:19
Man’s first rebellion Gen. 3:1-6
Man’s last rebellion Rev. 20:11-15
Satan’s head crushed promised 3:15
Satan’s head bruised and crushed Rev 20:2,10
Curse imposed Gen. 3:15-18
Curse removed Rev. 22:3
Tree of Life removed Gen. 3:24
Tree of Life awaits Rev. 22:2
Human Life murdered Gen. 4:8
Human life in Book of Life 21:27
Sorrow from sin begins Gen. 3,4
Sorrow removed Rev. 21:4
First death Gen. 4:8
No more death Rev. 21:4
Why study Revelation?
To reveal who Jesus Christ is 1:1
To reveal the course of future history 1:1; 22:6
To complete the testimony of John 1:2
To receive God’s blessing 1:3; Rev. 22:7
To warn believers to alertness 1:3; 2 Pet. 3:14-15; 1 Thes. 4:13-18
Do not say it cannot be understood.
Do not be overly dogmatic on the details.
Do not major only on Revelation.
1. The revelation of Jesus to John 1:1-3
1:1 Subject –
1:1 Source –
1:1 Scribe –
1:1 Speed –
1:2 Sight –
1:3 Spiritual Blessing –
2. John writing to the seven churches 1:4-9
1:4 Seven Churches
1:4 Son – Who was, is, is to come
1:4 Seven Spirits –
1:5 Savior –
His character 1:5
His ministry 1:5-8
His present ministry –
His present work –
His future work –
His title –
God wants you to know what is ahead in the future.
God wants you to know what is ahead in your future.
He wants you to know that Jesus Christ is the future.
I need to trust Him for my future.
I need to be content with His presence, not His presents, rewards, or blessings.
I need to build bridges to others to help them be content with His presence.
I need to share this material with two other people.
How is Revelation the capstone of the Bible?
Does God look at time the way we do? Why? and How so?
In what is the blessing found in this book?
Do people live for the present or the future? How so?
Why did/does God bless America?
What do I need to consider for my personal life related to the challenges in this passage?
How do you approach Revelation? In order to understand why someone teaches Revelation the way he/she does, it is important to understand the four main ways people approach it. Here is a synopsis of the “Four approaches to Revelation.”
The Spiritual approach – The prophecies of Revelation portray the ongoing cosmic conflict and the central theme of the triumph of good over evil.
There is a cosmic struggle – Rev 12 woman giving birth and a dragon wants to consume.
There is cleansing going on in the world, in which most are punished.
It doesn’t hold to a natural reading of the text
It misses the point of God’s faithful promises to Israel
It misses the role of the church today and in the future Rev 2-3; 19-20
2. The Preterist approach – Revelation was fulfilled during the time of the Roman Empire, some specifically hold to completion by AD 70, or mainly in the first or first few centuries and not prophecy about the end of time.
The judgment on Israel in AD 70 is very significant.
There were many challenges the early church had with Rome.
It doesn’t hold to a natural reading of the events in the text.
It has no prophetic message to the church in the last 2000 years.
It misses the point of God’s faithful promises to Israel.
It misses the descriptions of Israel’s repentance, cleansing and regeneration during the Tribulation. Rev 6-18
3. The Historicist approach – Revelation is a survey of church history fulfilled in time and approaching the Second Coming of Christ. The churches of Revelation 2-3 describe the synopsis of all church history.
It declares God’s control of history. The emphasis is on God’s sovereignty.
It declares that Jesus is coming back in the future.
It forgets the significant promises (covenants) God made to Israel, which will yet be fulfilled.
It forgets to let Daniel 2 and Ezekiel provide interpretation to Revelation.
It doesn’t recognize Daniel’s 70th week as the Tribulation period, yet to be fulfilled.
It declares the Catholic Church as the antichrist, which is erroneous.
It forces history as one thread (through Israel, to the Church, to Christ’s rule), but misses the big picture of separate phases of history and why they are unique.
It assumes interpretation, without letting Scripture interpret Scripture
4. The Futurist approach – Revelation 2-3 describe trends in the church age and Revelation 4 to the end describe literal events in the future.
It looks at coming future events. This was promoted by the “Left Behind” series.
It promotes God is in control of events and is victorious in the end.
Too many focus on a Eurocentric interpretation and make Romanism the antichrist. Although some believe this was written to get attention off of Romanism.
It leaves the church out of the book of Revelation, because Rev 2-3 ascribes what John saw in the first century, not succeeding centuries.
* The Literal Historico-Grammatical approach to interpreting Scripture
A Literal approach according to the type of writing
Historico– according to the history, background and culture in which it is found
Grammatical according to the word and verb meanings in their context
You must maintain “Authorial intent ”
God is in control of history. We see struggle, but God is not struggling. He is sovereign. He is not struggling with how people interpret Scripture. Interpretation is part of growth.
Your method of Interpretation is everything in understanding Scripture. Everyone needs to learn what their approach is. If you want to grow and influence others, you will need to know how you approach Scripture and HOW YOU EXPECT YOUR BIBLE TEACHER TO APPROACH Scripture.
Review your notes and ask, “How is my Bible leader approaching Scripture?”
Be a Berean. God knows the outcome.
What are reasons people plunge into the different approaches to Revelation?
Are there any dangers in choosing the wrong approach?
How would you define or describe what the “Literal Historico-grammatical” approach is?
The Literal HIstorico-grammatical approach is often considered difficult. Why?
1. Wives are to reveal the church submitted to Christ 5:22-24
Submit in a similar way you submit to the Lord 5:22
Submit for one reason – God gave the role of leadership to the man 5:23
Thus, like the church is submitted to Christ 5:24
2. Husbands are to die for their wives to reveal Christ dying for the church 5:25-29
Love – die for – your wife how? 5:25
Christ is working to sanctify and to cleanse with the washing of the Word 5:26
Christ is preparing the church for himself – a glorious church 5:27
Love your wife, like you already love yourself.5:28-29
3. Marriage reveals Christ’s relationship with the Church 5:30-33
Members of the Body look out for each other and take care of each other 5:30
As “one flesh” in picture, marriage is one flesh in all aspects 5:31
Marriage is to reveal Christ and the church 5:32
Admonition of love and respect 5:33
The purpose of marriage is to reveal the relationship between Christ at the church. The Lord Jesus has and does reveal His love, provision and protection for the church. The picture is how the church is to respond to Him.
The priority is not getting wives to submit to their husbands, but for husbands to love their wives, SO THAT wives will have a reason to submit to their husbands. But, as husbands are learning to do the command to love their wife, wives are commanded by God to submit to their own husband. The key is that they are one flesh, so when one misses the mark, the other is graciously believing the best and humbling self to Christ’s command.
Both parties must continue to learn their role throughout life, because as we change, we are tempted to become independent from each other and violate the “one flesh” picture. Better to honor God and fulfill your role, than throw off that role because of your partner’s failure. That doesn’t mean you become a rug, but you consider your spouse as a brother or sister in Christ and get church leadership involved to pray, counsel and nurture back to oneness.
Teach your daughters to marry a noble man, who is going to be able to lead them spiritually, in grace, tenderness and with servant leadership. Marriage is not about me (self), but about Christ Jesus, the Lord.
Teach your sons self-control and godliness, so that they will be able to model Christ’s work of sanctifying the marriage in holiness to God’s picture of Christ and the church.
Teach both the principles of humility, orientation to authority and obedience to God’s will, walking in love, light and wisdom.
The cycles of discipline are based on the principle that Jesus Christ controls history directly, indirectly, and permissively.
a. He controls history directly through the function of His own divine essence. He created, He caused plagues, He moved a star into position, etc.
b. He controls history indirectly through the function of the laws of divine establishment. Beginning in Gen. 9:6, man was responsible for laws of divine establishment
c. He controls history permissively through permitting nations to use their own volition to destroy themselves. He permissively allows us to make decisions, some empowered by the Holy Spirit and some done in the flesh based on our own wants and desires.
History Administered by God – Dispensations
a. Israel was an agricultural economy – long before industrialization
b. This applies directly to Israel – not to other nations. Trends should be warnings.
The Five Cycles of Discipline for Israel Lev 26 a. The first cycle of discipline, Lev 26:14-17 i. The Law is composed of three parts
ii. Description of the first cycleb. The second cycle of discipline, Lev 26:18-20
c. Third cycle of discipline Lev 26:21-22
d. Fourth cycle of discipline Lev 26:23-26
e. Fifth cycle of discipline Lev 26:27-39 amplified in Deut 28:49-67
God warned a specific generation? Hebrews: 5 warning judgments
5. God declares to us what the end times will be like in our dispensation 2 Tim. 3:1-5
God was clear, because He wanted Israel to understand there were consequences to choices. God would bless their socks off or provide divine discipline to restore them to His love.
God loved Israel because of His choice, but the experience of that love was dependent on their response to Him.
God will re-gather Israel to wait for the coming triumphant Messiah – the Lord Jesus Christ.
What has God made clear to you? Are you responding well to Him? How are/is your devotions, prayer, fellowship, raising godly children, helping to raise godly grandchildren?
Leave the world behind you. There is NOTHING in the world that even remotely compares to what you will see or experience in heaven. All that matters now is reaching people for Christ and multiplying disciple-makers to the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is giving you options of choosing to bond to this world or helping people look forward potentially to their home in heaven.