Monday, May 18, 2015

TEXT: Leviticus 16:29-34
SUBJECT: “The Day of Atonement”
INTRODUCTION:

I want to begin our subject today by making a foundational statement that I believe is essential in properly understanding the end times: all seven of the Feasts of God involve the nation of Israel! A failure to understand this basic but essential truth has led to much error and confusion about God’s end time plan.  This truth is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in our subject, “The Day of Atonement,” also known as Yom Kippur.

Let’s pray: Father God, we humbly ask that you would open the eyes of our heart and give us revelation and understanding of Your Divine Word. In the all-powerful name of Jesus the Messiah we pray. Amen.

In Leviticus 16:6ff, after the High Priest had made atonement for himself and his family, he would then take two goats and present them before the Lord. Lots were then cast for the two goats: the goat whose lot fell to the Lord was sacrificed as a sin offering while the other goat became the scapegoat. The Priest would then lay hands on the scapegoat, confess Israel’s sins, and then the goat would be led away into the wilderness. The purpose of this ceremony involving the two goats was to demonstrate that Israel’s sins had not only been forgiven but had also been taken away so that the favor of the Lord might rest upon them as a nation.[1]

The Day of Atonement occurred on the tenth day of Tishri[2] and was the most solemn day of the Jewish year.[3] The Israelites were to afflict their souls by fasting a full twenty four hours. This would be from the evening of the ninth day and continue until the evening of the tenth day.

With this much understood about the basics of The Day of Atonement, let’s now begin to add more context to this amazing truth of God.

In our message on The Feast of Pentecost, we showed you how that Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. But when he came down with the two stone tablets written by the finger of God, the people had made a golden calf! And God was angry with the nation for their idolatry! So Moses went back up the mountain for another forty days.

In Exodus 32:30 we read, “The next day Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a terrible sin. But now I will again go up the mountain to the Lord; perhaps I can obtain forgiveness (or make atonement for your sin).’”

According to Rabbinic tradition, on Elul one (September 1st), Moses went back up the mountain for the second time. If Elul one occurred on September 1st, then forty days later would be October 10th. Keep in mind that all Jewish months are thirty days. That would mean that at the end of these second forty days, it would be the tenth day of Tishri and The Day of Atonement!

When Moses came down on the tenth day of Tishri, all of Israel would be wondering if God had forgiven their national sin of idolatry when they had made the golden calf. That is why that the forty days between Elul one and Tishri ten are known as the days of repentance. This is known by the Jews as the season of Teshuvah (repentance).

So Moses actually came down on The Day of Atonement letting the nation of Israel know that atonement had been made for them. This was the first Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in which God had forgiven Israel as a nation.

In Exodus 34:29-35 we see that when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had been with the Lord. And when Aaron and Israel saw Moses’ face shinning with the glory of the Lord, they were afraid to come near him. But then he called to them and they came near him and he gave them the commandments the Lord had given him. When Moses would finish speaking to them, he would put a veil over his face. That’s why that The Day of Atonement is also known as “Face to Face.”

Just a quick aside here: On the very first Day of Atonement Moses came down and said, your sins are forgiven; atonement has been made for you. Following that atonement, instructions were given to begin collecting the materials for the Tabernacle. (See Exodus chapter 35)

God was in essence saying, now that atonement has been made for you (Israel), I want to come down and “tabernacle” among you. This is when the Tabernacle was built! I’m going to get a little bit ahead of myself here, but I want you to understand that this all points to The Day of Atonement at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation Period at the end of the age when all of Israel will repent and be saved! The result will be Jesus living (tabernacling) among them in the millennial reign.[4] He returns on The Feast of Trumpets, He saves Israel on The Day of Atonement, and He begins His millennial reign on The Feast of Tabernacles!

The Day of Atonement was to be a great day because it was to be the day of new beginnings—it was the day that the nation’s sins were atoned for by the power of the shed blood.

Try and envision what this will be like on that day when all of Israel is converted and receives a new beginning as a nation through Jesus their Messiah! Jesus, Israel and the Church ruling and reigning over all the earth in righteousness and peace!

One quick note here about the difference between Passover and The Day of Atonement. Whereas Passover speaks of individual salvation, The Day of Atonement speaks of national salvation for Israel. In individual salvation we as individuals make the choice to be saved. We, by faith, apply The Passover blood of The Lamb to our lives. But when we get to the ultimate fulfillment of The Day of Atonement, God says that all Israel will be saved and restored back to Himself.[5] It is the salvation of the whole nation!

That leads us now to look at how the Old Testament Day of Atonement is fulfilled in the Book of the Revelation at the time of the end by the Lord Jesus.

On The Day of Atonement the High Priest would only have on a white linen garment (Keep in mind that white speaks righteousness). But what would happen to that white linen garment when he was carrying out the bloody sacrifice required of him?

The High Priest was required to put his finger in the blood of the sacrifice and with a whipping motion he would apply the blood seven times to the altar. His garments would then be covered in blood. Stay with me here because I am laying the foundation for something that is yet to come in the New Testament. There is a Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement service in the Book of The Revelation!

But let’s go back for a moment to the white linen garment. Today in a synagogue service, on The Day of Atonement, everyone dresses in white. Again, white stands for righteousness.
However, although everyone dresses in white, they do not yet understand what it means. But they will on that day! Below are the reasons why.

Let’s now go to the Book of Leviticus and compare The Day of Atonement service with what we see in The Book of the Revelation.

Lev 16:11-14

11 "Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. 12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain. 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the Testimony, so that he will not die. 14 He is to take some of the bull's blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.” The atonement cover was on the top of the Ark of the Covenant.

Rev 6:9-11

9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

The Day of Judgment on the unbelievers begins on the Feast of Trumpets with the rapture and the Lord’s second coming to the earth. But that judgement is intensified on The Day of Atonement when the Lord destroys the Antichrist and False Prophet, kills his armies, and saves all of Israel!

Rev 8:3-5

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and
hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Does that not sound familiar to what the High Priest did on The Day of Atonement? You have the incense and the golden altar!

Now let’s look at Isaiah 63:1-4 (The return of Jesus to judge to the world!)

Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." 2 Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? 3 "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. 4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.

Revelation 11:15-19

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One Who is and Who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’ Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the Ark of the Covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.”

The Day of Atonement language is obvious!  “The temple in heaven is opened.” The High Priest only went into the temple one time each year on The Day of Atonement! “The Ark of the Covenant was seen.” Again, the High Priest saw the Ark of The Covenant only once a year—on The Day of Atonement!

Jesus is the Greater High Priest conducting the ultimate Day of Atonement at the end of the age!  This is what God is revealing through John in the Book of The Revelation.

I trust that you are beginning to see that The Day of Atonement is about God’s judgement. It will be good for those who belong to God but bad for those who do not belong to Him!

Let’s continue to develop this theme of judgment by looking at the fall harvest in Israel. You will remember that Passover was the barley harvest; Pentecost was the late spring harvest of wheat; but the fall harvest was fruit—particularly the harvest of grapes.

Exodus 23:16

“. . . Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather your crops in the field.”

Matt 13:38-39

38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Jesus is referring to the feast of end gathering—the end of the year harvest at the end of the age.

The whole concept of the end of the year harvest is about harvesting not barley or wheat, but rather grapes. And remember that this harvest, as is true of the other harvests, is a rehearsal for something yet to be fulfilled by Jesus. This is the final harvest of the year in Israel.

Rev 14:17-20

17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe." 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (About 200 miles!)

This is referring of course to the end of the age and it will happen in the Jewish month of Tishri or our September or October.


Rev 15:8

8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

This is a direct correlation to The Day of Atonement service in Leviticus 16:17!

Rev 19:2   (God will destroy all of the nations that are attempting to destroy Israel!)

“. . . He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."

V.13 “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.” “Dipped in blood” is Day of Atonement language.

V.14 “The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”  Day of Atonement language: “linen, white and clean.”

V.15 “Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike the nations. . .” Notice that He is dealing with the nations and not just individuals. “. . . He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of Almighty God.”

The winepress is made up of grapes—the end time harvest of the fall feasts.

Beloved, can you see the similarity of the language in Revelation with The Day of Atonement? I gave you a good number of scriptures so that you could clearly see that The Day of Atonement would have its ultimate fulfillment at the end of the age—in the final harvest.

As I move this message to a conclusion, I will show you the connection with modern day Israel. When Jesus fulfills The Day of Atonement as He did Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost and Trumpets, Israel is going to recognize Jesus as their Messiah! It will mean the national redemption of the nation of Israel.

2 Corinthians 3:13-18

13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Moses put a veil over his face right after The Day of Atonement and just before the Feast of Tabernacles. But on this future Day of Atonement, prior to the Feast of Tabernacles, the veil will be taken away from the face of Israel and they will see the truth!

But speaking of a veil, most of the Church today has a veil over its face concerning God’s end time plan for Israel. A large portion of the Church is failing to recognize God’s purpose for the Jews in the end time, and most of the Church is failing to see its role in helping to remove that veil that is on the Jews.

However, in the Tribulation period, God will remove the veil from both Israel and the Church. But something significant must happen first. Remember, The Day of Atonement was the only day that the High Priest could speak to God face to face. “Face to face” is a Jewish and Biblical idiom for The Day of Atonement.

Ezekiel 20:34-35

34 I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered — with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you.

During the last three and one half years of the Tribulation[6] God is going to take Israel into the “wilderness”[7] and there break off their stubborn pride and unbelief. He is going to remove the veil that has blinded their eyes from the truth. This will be the most difficult time that Israel has ever gone through. But the result will be, on The Day of Atonement, the entire remnant that survives this purging will accept Jesus as their Messiah and be saved!



Zechariah 12:10-11

10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” This of course is referring to the day that Israel recognizes Jesus as Messiah.

Matthew 23:39

39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

Perhaps these verses should motivate the Church to pray for the national redemption of Israel, if we truly desire to see the rapture and second coming of Jesus!

Romans 11:25-27

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion;
He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."

“All Israel will be saved when I take away their sins.”  And when does God take away the sins of the nation? On The Day of Atonement!

God will keep His promises to Israel—all of them! And one of those promises is to take away their sins as a nation on The Day of Atonement. This will happen when He removes the veil from their eyes—as a nation—and they recognize Jesus as their atoning sacrifice!

I will close this message with Acts 3:17-21

17 "Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ (Messiah) would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

This scripture is making it clear that Jesus will not return until Israel is ready to receive Him as a nation. This means that the Feast of Trumpets—the rapture of the Church and second coming of Jesus; The Day of Atonement—the judgement of the nations and the national salvation of Israel; and the Feast of Tabernacles—the millennial reign of Christ, are all tied to the literal, physical nation of Israel!

Friends, this is how the all wise and all powerful God planned it, and it is going to happen in just this way—regardless of what the White House may say or do, or Islam may say or do, or Vladimir Putin may say or do, or what the atheist may say or do, or what anyone else on this planet may say or do! God’s Word—all of it—will literally be fulfilled!

That is why that we as a Church continually pray for and support the nation of Israel. To do so is to be in the perfect will of God now, and also as the pages of prophecy continue to turn with God moving everything to its conclusion and new beginning!

Beloved, I believe, we are living in the days of the return of the King!

Let’s pray.



[1] Although The Day of Atonement is directly connected to the nation of Israel, it is also a powerful illustration of what Jesus has done for believers. In Jesus, our sins have not only been forgiven but have also been taken away—as far as the East is to the West! And the East and West never meet! Our sins are gone!
[2] This is the Jewish seventh month and occurs on the Gregorian calendar in either September of October.
[3] Leviticus 16:29-31
[4] Jesus will be King over all the earth for one thousand years. His capital will be in the literal, physical city of Jerusalem, Israel.
[5] Romans 11:26-27
[6] The Tribulation period will be the final seven years of this age before we enter into the millennial reign of Christ.
[7] I believe the “wilderness” to be the nations of the world into which many Jews will again be scattered.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

TEXT: Leviticus 23:23-25
SUBJECT: The Feast of Trumpets
INTRODUCTION:

Let’s begin with a quick review of the Spring Feasts and how Jesus fulfilled them:

1. The Feast of Passover: Jesus, who is our “Passover Lamb,” was crucified on the day of Passover, Nisan 14th on the Hebrew calendar and March or April on the Gregorian calendar. Because of His death our sins have all been forgiven.

2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread:  Jesus was the perfect Unleavened Bread Who came to earth from heaven. After being crucified, His body was lying in the tomb or the grave on The Feast of Unleavened Bread. And because He was sinless, He experienced no decay or corruption. He alone is our hope of overcoming the grave!

3. The Feast of First Fruits:  Jesus arose on Nisan 17th, the day of First Fruits, as the first to rise from the dead and receive a resurrected body. Beloved, His empty tomb is the starting point of our eternal hope!

4. The Feast of Pentecost: Having been raised up and ascended back to glory of the Father, Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit upon the 120 in the upper room in Jerusalem and so began His Church—the New Creation of God.

Amazingly, these feasts which were recorded in Leviticus 23 and observed by Israel for hundreds of years were fulfilled to the very day by Jesus as He carried out the redemptive plan of Father God!

In Jesus, the only begotten Son the Father, we have been redeemed—saved and brought back to God by His extravagant grace and mercy.[1] How great is our God!

Before moving to the Fall Feasts, let’s take a quick look at the time lapse between the Spring Feasts and the Fall Feasts. Many refer to this time lapse as a “gap.” And that time or season is of course summer.

In the context of the Feasts, this “summer gap” symbolizes the span of two thousand years that began at The Feast of Pentecost and continues to this present day.
This time period, or “summer gap,” represents the harvest of the Lord’s Church—all of those who have been redeemed and made a part of God’s New Creation in Christ Jesus. This particular season of harvest will continue until the Lord’s Second Coming.
And that brings us to the Fall Feasts which are yet to be fulfilled: The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and The Feast of Tabernacles.
Together with the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and the retaking of Jerusalem by the Jews in 1967, the foundation has been laid for the next three Feasts of God to be fulfilled! It is my personal belief that these feasts will be fulfilled in this generation.
The first of the Fall Feasts to be fulfilled will be The Feast of Trumpets, and that will be our subject today. 
Let’s pray: Father God, we ask that you would open our eyes that we my behold the revelation of Your Divine Word. In the Name of the Coming King, Jesus Christ, we pray.
 The Feast of Trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah, occurred on the first day of the Hebrew seventh month of Tishri, our September or October.
It is important to note that between The Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement there are ten days which are known as “The High Holy Days,” or “The Days of Awe.” The Sabbath that falls within this ten day period is called “Shabbat Shuv‘ah,” or “The Sabbath of Return.” Consequently, several important themes related to the Second Coming of Jesus are associated with The Feast of Trumpets. We will look at each one individually.
Also in this message, instead of beginning with the Jewish context or Old Testament background of this feast, I will instead weave them in as we consider the various themes that have to do with the Second Coming of Messiah Jesus.
1. First, The Feast of Trumpets is the sounding of the shofar.[2]
According to scripture, the sounding of the shofar is associated with the rapture/resurrection of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth.[3]
In I Corinthians 15:51-52 we read, “Listen, I tell you a mystery;[4] we will not all sleep, but we will be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
Also in the Torah, this feast is referred to as “The Day of the Sounding of the Shofar” or “Yom Teruah. “Teruah” is translated as “an awakening blast,” or “The Day of the Awakening Blast.”
In Isaiah 26:19 we read, “Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to departed spirits.”
The word “Teruah,” is also translated as “shout.” And in I Thessalonians 4:16-17 the word “shout” is used in connection with the rapture/resurrection of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus, “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command or shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet call of God; and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
It is clear that both the shout and the trumpet (shofar) announce the rapture/resurrection of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus.[5]
2. Secondly, The Feast of Trumpets is connected to the wedding of the Messiah. 
The Jews considered marriage to be the ideal model for the relationship between God and Israel. That theme is found many times throughout the Old Testament. It is particularly prevalent in the Old Testament book of Hosea.
Consequently, the Jewish wedding ceremony was clearly understood by early Jewish Christians to be a picture of the joining of Christ with His Church. This is made clear in the book of Ephesians where the Jewish Apostle Paul compares the marriage relationship with that of Christ and His Church. [6]
Then in Matthew 25:1-13, in the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus is pictured as the Bridegroom returning for His Bride, the Church, at the end of the age: v.6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’” V.10 “. . . The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet (marriage). And the door was shut.”
Also in Jewish culture it was customary that after a bride had accepted the groom’s proposal for marriage, he would go back to His Father’s house to prepare a bridal chamber. It was understood to be the man’s duty to go be with his father, build a house for his bride, and prepare for the eventual wedding.

Before he departed, however, he would make the following statement to the bride, “I go to prepare a place for you; and if I go, I will return again to you.” If those words sound familiar, it’s because they were spoken by Jesus in John 14:1-3 just before returning to His Father in Heaven! Beloved, Jesus has gone to prepare a place for His Church, and He will come again to receive her as His Bride at The Feast of Trumpets!
And here is where things get really interesting theologically. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, or the Son, but only the Father.” This of course is referring to the Lord’s Second Coming.
Notice in the above verse, “but only the Father.” According to Jewish tradition, the timing of the wedding was contingent upon the Father’s approval of the groom’s preparation of the bridal chamber. So when someone asked as to when the wedding would take place, the groom would answer, “only my father knows!”
Therefore, in the above wedding terminology, when Jesus said that “no one knows of that day or that hour but the Father only,” He was actually telling us that He is coming on The Feast of Trumpets!
We will try and make this a little more clear in our final point.
3. The Feast of Trumpets is also known as “The Hidden Day” or Yom Hakeseh.
The term “keseh” is derived from the Hebrew root word “Kacah” which means “to conceal, hide or cover.”
Part of the reason why that The Feast of Trumpets is considered a “mystery” or “hidden” is due to the fact that there was a fair amount of uncertainty with regard to observing this feast on the correct calendar day.
Let me explain. The Feast of Trumpets fell on Rosh Chodesh or the new moon. And because the commencement of the feast hinged on the sighting of a tiny sliver of the moon, just in the city of Jerusalem alone, it would be difficult to let everyone know that the feast had actually begun!
To solve this problem a two day Feast of Trumpets was observed. In the Rabbinic view, these two days are regarded as “yoma arikhta” or “one long day.” For this reason, when speaking of the timing of The Feast of Trumpets, the Jews would typically say, “Of that day or hour no one knows.”
Therefore, what we have here is another Jewish and cultural context for Jesus’s words in Matthew 24:36 “Of that day and hour no one knows.” Again, this is referring to the timing of the Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus.
This reference along with the previously mentioned Jewish wedding reference, “only my Father knows,” leaves no doubt that what Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 is a revelation and confirmation that He will indeed Come again on The Feast of Trumpets![7]
CONCLUSION

As we conclude, we can be sure that just as Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost—to the very day, so too will He fulfill The Feast of Trumpets to the very day! The Lord Jesus will rapture the Church and return to the earth on the day of The Feast of Trumpets. For those who are “watching and praying” that day will not take them by surprise!
APPLICATION
How great is our God and how precise is His mighty Word?
The prophetic Word of God is your invitation to put your trust in Him as your Savior and Lord.
God’s plan for your life is as sure as His plan in His Seven Feasts. All your days were written in His Book before there was one of them![8]
All that He needs from you is for you to surrender your life to Him and allow Him to bring you into the fullness of the destiny that He has planned for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Do not fear little ones. God is perfecting the image of His Son in you; He is directing you in His ways; and He is protecting you from all evil and harm!
Remember, God’s Son shed blood for you. He invested the best He had to save you, not just for a lifetime, but forever and ever!
Be at peace.




[1] II Corinthians 5:19
[2] Shofar is another name for trumpet.
[3] In His First Coming, He came as a baby in a manger. But in His Second Coming He is coming as the conquering King of Glory!
[4] A mystery in the Greek New Testament is not something “spooky,” or “superstitious;” rather, it simply means that something that has been unknown is now being made known.
[5] See also Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 20:1-6 as to the timing of the Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus.
[6] Ephesians 5:25-27
[7] See further I Thessalonians 5:1-4, especially verse 4. The watchful Church will not be caught unaware.
[8] Psalm 139:16

Sunday, April 26, 2015

TEXT: Leviticus 23:15-21; John 1:32-33; Acts 2:1-4; 29-33
SUBJECT: The Feast of Pentecost
INTRODUCTION:

God’s Seven Feasts begin with Passover and continue through Tabernacles.[1] Keep in mind that two important Hebrew words were used in reference to these Old Testament feasts. First is the Hebrew word “mo’ed,” which means a “set time,” or an “appointed time.” The second Hebrew word is “miqra,” which refers to a “convocation” or “assembly.” It actually means a “rehearsal.”

Therefore, God’s Seven Feasts were rehearsals to be carried out at set or appointed times each year. And of course Israel was God’s chosen nation who was to carry out these “rehearsals.” And they did, for hundreds of years!

These Seven Feasts all pointed to the day when they would find their fulfillment. And that fulfillment would come in the person of Jesus Christ the Messiah. The first four feasts, also known as the Spring Feasts, would be fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus. The last three feasts, also known as the Fall Feasts, would be fulfilled in the second coming of Jesus.

In these Seven Feasts the purpose of God is clearly seen, which was to redeem and restore back to Himself all that had been lost in the rebellion of Satan and man.

As we have already seen in our first three messages, Jesus fulfilled the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits to the very day! On the day of Nisan 14[2], He laid His life down on the cross as God’s Passover Lamb. He was then in then in the tomb from Nisan 14 to Nisan 17 as the Unleavened (sinless) Bread from heaven that did not see decay. And He arose on Nisan 17, before sunrise on the first day of the week, Sunday, as the First Fruits of those who sleep (in death).

In fulfilling these feasts, Jesus forever paid the sin debt—freeing us from the eternal judgment of separation from God, and He brought hope to life by overcoming the power of death, hell and the grave!

By putting our complete trust in Jesus alone, we know that we are forgiven by God and that we will live forever with Him.

The next feast or the fourth feast is The Feast of Pentecost.[3] We will look first at its Old Testament foundation; secondly we will observe how Jesus fulfilled it; and third we will look at how we can apply it to our lives today.

Let’s pray: Father God, we ask that You would give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation into Your Word. In the Strong Name of Jesus our Messiah we pray. Amen.

1. Leviticus 23:15-21

When the chosen nation began to settle in the Promised Land, the meaning of Shavu ‘ot was transformed into an agricultural holiday that celebrated God’s provision for His people Israel.

In Deuteronomy 16:9-11 we read, “You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord blesses you. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God at the place He will choose as a dwelling for His Name. . .”

The Hebrew word “Sheva” means “seven;” “shavu’ah” means “week,” and “shavu’ot” means “weeks.” Exactly seven weeks after The Feast of First Fruits (barley harvest) is the celebration of Shavu’ot or The Feast of Weeks. It was one of the three pilgrimage holidays where Israel would come to present the first fruits of their spring crops before the Lord.

Since the Feast of Shavu’ot occurred on the fiftieth (50th) day after The Feast of First Fruits, when the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into the Greek language[4] (the language of the New Testament) Shavu’ot was translated as “Pentecost” meaning 50th.

Just as a sample of the first of the crop of the barley harvest was waved before the Lord during the Feast of First Fruits, so on Shavu’ot (Pentecost) was a sample of the first crop of the wheat harvest brought to the priests, baked into two loaves of leavened bread, and then waved before the altar as the concluding ceremony of the season.

It is important to note that in contrast to the Feast of Passover that required unleavened bread, the Feast of Pentecost required that the two loaves that were to be waved before the Lord were to be made with yeast or leaven. I will show you the significance of this difference a little later in the message.

For now, it is enough to know that this is the agricultural background of Shavu’ot or The Feast of Weeks, also called The Feast of Pentecost.

But there is another important Old Testament context and background for The Feast of Pentecost. And it is the giving of the Law, the Ten Commandments, through Moses on Mount Sinai.

Rabbinic tradition says that the Ten Commandments were given in the sixth Hebrew month of Sivan, our late May or early June. On Sunday morning, exactly seven weeks after the Exodus from Egypt, all of Israel gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai where the Lord descended amidst thunder, lightning, billowing smoke, fire, and the blast of the shofar.

The Lord then revealed the foundation of spiritual, moral conduct for His people Israel—the Ten Commandments.

So then, The Feast of Shavu’ot (or Weeks) also known as The Feast of Pentecost has both an agricultural background that has to do with the harvest as well as the background of the giving of the Ten Commandments through Moses.

2. With that as our Old Testament context for this feast, we are now ready to see how it was fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah.

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on The Feast of First Fruits, counting fifty days forward was the Feast of Shavu’ot or Pentecost.  And Jesus had told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Also on the Day of Pentecost there would be Jews from around the world gathered in Jerusalem to reaffirm their commitment to the Covenant of Moses.

When the Day of Pentecost arrived, the same Jesus who had fulfilled the feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits to the very day fulfilled the Feast of Pentecost to the very day when He poured out the Holy Spirit on the 120 believers in the upper room in Jerusalem.[5]

At Mount Sinai God wrote the law, the Ten Commandments, on stone. But in the New Testament, in Jerusalem, Jesus was writing the new law of the Spirit on the hearts of believers!

At the same time the priest was waving the two loaves of leavened bread before the Lord, Jesus was pouring out the Holy Spirit on the sinful men and women who had been cleansed by His blood. This was the beginning of the harvest of those who would become New Creations through their faith in Jesus the Messiah.[6] This new harvest of believers would be those who had God’s New Law of The Spirit written on their hearts!

The Feast of Pentecost marked the beginning of the end goal of the Law as it was stated in Jeremiah 31:33, “I will put my law in their inward parts and write it on their hearts.”

How amazing is the prophetic Feast of Shavu’ot or Pentecost? Not one, but two loaves of leavened bread were to be waved before the Lord. This clearly pointed to the inclusion of both Jew and Gentile as part of the harvest of those who would belong to God.

And the fact is that the loaves were leavened bread.[7] The Lord was telling us that through the Unleavened Bread of Heaven—even the sinless Son of God—that sinful men (leavened bread) could be made a part of God’s eternal family—both Jew and Gentile!

By putting their faith in Jesus as the spotless Lamb of God—by trusting in His shed blood alone for forgiveness; by trusting in Jesus as the Unleavened, pure, sinless bread Who came down from heaven, Whom death could not corrupt or decay; and by placing their confidence in Jesus as the First Fruits of those who will be raised from the dead, sinful men could be cleansed from their sins and could receive the New Law of the Spirit through the resurrected and glorified Son of God.

3. And that brings us to our third point in this message: how can you and I apply this amazing truth to our lives in the twenty first century?

The way that you can experience The Feast of Pentecost in your life is by learning that the gift of the Spirit does not come through keeping the law but by trusting totally in Jesus.

The blessing of the Spirit comes by trusting in the One whose very name means salvation.[8]
In plain language, no one ever becomes good enough to experience Pentecost or the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit is God’s gift to those who trust in His Son—even Jesus Christ.

As I close this message, I want to turn your attention to the Book of Galatians. In Galatians 3:1-5 we read, “You foolish Galatians! Who has led you astray? Before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning in the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again, I ask, does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?”

Beloved, here is the truth in such simple language: The only way that you or I can receive and continually be filled with the Holy Spirit is by trusting in Jesus completely and totally. This is the truth of Shavu’ot or Pentecost.

And the power of Pentecost is that as we continue to trust in Jesus (God’s Salvation), the Lord will continually supply us with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. 

So then what should you do? Mix faith with the message that you have heard. Trust in Jesus alone as Your spotless, Passover Lamb; as the sinless, Unleavened Bread of Heaven; as the First Fruits of the resurrection from the dead, and as the One Who baptizes or fills you with the Holy Spirit.

Dear friend, you can experience the Feast of Pentecost when you stop trying and start trusting in Jesus.

Why not ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit? Just as you made yourself a candidate for water baptism, make yourself a candidate for Holy Spirit baptism. Just as you submitted to the Pastor to baptize you in water, submit to Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Church to baptize you in the Holy Spirit.

Abundant life is only in the Spirit of God, and it’s as close as your faith in Jesus.



[1] These are the two feasts on which blood moons have occurred with regard to significant events that have affected the chosen nation of Israel over the last five hundred years. The most recent blood moon occurred on April 4, 2015 and the next will occur on September 28, 2015. This will not happen again for hundreds of years!
[2] The Hebrew month of Nisan occurs in our months on the Gregorian calendar in either March or April.
[3] The Feast of Pentecost is also known as The Feast of Shavu ‘ot or The Feast of Weeks.
[4] The Greek translation of the Old Testament is known as the Septuagint
[5] John 1:33; Acts 2:29-33
[6] II Corinthians 5:17
[7] Leaven was a type of sin
[8] The name Yeshua, which is translated into English as Jesus, means “salvation.”