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/

The Silence of God

Today, we ponder the silence of God. [At least to us (Jesus was actually making a triumphal pronouncement in Tartarus (1 Pet 3:18-20; 2 Pet 2:4)]

In the history of the disciples 2000 years ago, they had THE most discouraging day of their lives. They had spent several years with the Man they thought was the Messiah. He had said and done all the right things. They even watched the triumphal procession into Jerusalem just a few days before. The contact with the religious leaders of the Passover week was a crescendo.  It was only a matter of moments in their view and He would reveal Himself as the Messiah to the world and they would be in on the Greatest Reversal of all time – the Jewish people under the thumb of Rome, paying taxes to Rome and giving allegiance to Rome – would be reversed!.  Now was “their” moment when all of that would be changed!.  The Romans would recognize Jesus as Messiah and they were in on the “ground floor”!

But then tragedy. Their hopes were dashed. Their leader was crucified the most heinous of deaths. Their adrenaline took a deep dive. Temporary depression set in. They were bewildered. “What happened?”

Has that ever happened to you?

On Saturday, the disciples would likely have been wondering, “What just happened? What do we do now? We left everything and the very thing we were hoping for, counting on and trusting in…was gone!”

Has that ever happened to you?

Indeed, God was silent to them. Sometimes God intentionally is silent, because He wants us to be silent. To meditate on the promises of God, the power of God and the presence of God, even when we can’t see it, experience it and to know we need to remember them.

The Sons of Korah wrote, Psalm 46. Verse ten says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Ps 46:10)”  IN FACT, the rest of the Psalm is incredible for this day.

As you ponder anew the silence of God, and maybe you are experiencing the silence of God, consider what happened in just one more day 2000 years ago.  The Silence of God means He is ready and able to do a truly Great Reversal!

 

Our hope is in Him! Always!

Book Review: Four Views of Divine Providence by Dennis W. Jowers, ed.

I appreciate books that provide different views on theological issues.  (see my discussion on “Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?”  Wayne Grudem, ed.)  It’s important for objectivity to hear, read and understand opposing arguments or approaches to issues facing Christians today.  That challenge is to find people who will communicate in an understandable way and be objective themselves.  In this volume, there are four authors approaching Divine Providence: God causes all things,  by Paul Kjoss Helseth; God directs all things, by William Lane Craig; God controls by liberating, by Ron Highfield; and God limits His control, by Gregory A. Boyd.  Continue reading

Book Review: An Examination of Dispensationalism by William E. Cox

It’s obvious that William Cox loves the Lord and is personally committed to rightly divide the Word of Truth from his perspective.  He no doubt understands salvation, grace, the holiness of God and wants to do what is right.  According to Cox, he used to believe in Dispensationalism, but laid it aside for Reformed Theology. According to him, he says he saw too many inconsistencies in Dispensationalism.  His argument seems to be to expose the “bad” character of Darby as the “founder” of Dispensationalism and thus declare Dispensationalism as wrong. Continue reading

God’s Patient Blessing: Truth

There are people like David, whom God continued to honor, in spite of his sins. David wasn’t perfect, but there was something about David’s life that God continued to honor and hold as a standard of dependency on God and humility.  Then there are people, like Pharoah, that God uses to show how dumb people can be and how powerful He is.  Then people are in the spectrum in between and there is a spectrum of how much He blesses people, like Israel going into the land. Israel didn’t obey the Lord completely, so we read in Judges that God draws a line, Continue reading

Truth: Angelic Appeal Trial Coming

In a few short weeks, I’ll begin writing about the Angelic Appeal Trial. It will include a study of angels, the Divine trial that is going on right now and how you and I are part of that appeal trial. The existence of angels is not questioned by most people. However, there are many liberal theologians who conclude that the representations of angels in the Bible are merely poetic devices for the superstitions prevalent in that day. Continue reading

Truth: Canonicity Part 8

This is Part 8 of 9 parts answering the basic and very important question, “What does Canonicity mean and why is it important?” Part 9 will be posted tomorrow.

In review of Canonicity: Canonicity Discovered and Distinctions.

  • God determines Canon, the church discovers Canon.
  • God is the author of Canon, the church is the recipient of Canon.
  • God is the judge of Canon, the church is the witness of Canon.
  • God is the master of Canon, the church is servant of Canon.

Why are these extra-biblical writings, like the Apocrypha (and the Pseudepigrapha), not considered part of the Canon? Reading through the various writings and books, it may not seem like all the books were that different. However, Continue reading

Truth: Canonicity Part 7

This is Part 7 of 9 parts answering the basic and very important question, “What does Canonicity mean and why is it important?” Parts 8-9 will be posted on succeeding days.

The writings included in the “Pseudepigrapha” were rejected by all as spurious or false. While the Apocrypha was a collection of writings connected to the Old Testament, the Pseudepigrapha was a collection of writings associated with the New Testament. Continue reading