OTY: The Revelation (2) -Kay Arthur




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Jesus Is Coming!
The following is an actual transcript of the PRECEPTS FOR LIFE Broadcast. For the purpose of filling transcript requests quickly, they have received only light editing. If you have questions concerning the material covered in this broadcast, Kay has published a number of books explaining the Scripture in depth. These books may be ordered by contacting the telephone number or address printed above.

Have you heard, Beloved? Jesus Christ is coming. He‟s coming with clouds of great glory. He is coming as King of kings. He is coming to rule the world. He is coming as the righteous One to judge sin and to put it away once for all. Jesus is coming. It won‟t be in the newspapers. It won‟t be necessary because every eye will see Him. The question is: Are you ready? 

PART ONE
There‟s nothing like the book of Revelation, nothing in all the Word of God, like this book because it shows us the triumph of Jesus Christ. It gives the church such a word of encouragement, such a word because they see the things that are shortly going to take place and they can be prepared. And they can be prepared to stand and having done all to stand firm. Well what I‟d like to do is I‟d like to begin today‟s study with Revelation, chapter 1, and I want to read verses 1 through 3 again and then move straight into 4.


Now if you happened to miss the last program then you need to get the tape. You need to listen to it so that you are in context, because these first verses of Revelation are very critical. I mean he doesn‟t waste any time getting to his subject. He begins slam bang with the subject. “It‟s the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him, gave Jesus, to show to his bondservants ….”


That‟s you and me and the church, universal. “ … To show to His bondservants the things which must shortly take place; and He sent it and communicated it by His angel.” Jesus sent it and communicated it by Jesus‟ angel to His bondservant John.
That‟s the apostle John. That‟s the one that wrote the gospel of John. That‟s the one that wrote 1 John and 2 John and 3 John, those three epistles. It‟s the apostle whom Jesus loved. It‟s the apostle whose head He leaned upon John‟s breast or chest, as you want to do it, as they were sitting there at the Last Supper. This is John. “John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to what Jesus Christ had to say, even to all that he saw.” This was not just something that came to John in an audio version. It came in audio and video. In other words, he heard it and he saw it with his eyes.


And as you go through the book of Revelation you would want to mark every time it refers to John seeing something. It says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy.” Now Revelation is a prophecy.


It‟s a prophecy of the things which must shortly take place. It‟s a prophecy that God wants His people, the church, the bondservants to understand. So He promises a blessing to the one that reads it. Now remember, as I told you in our last program, they didn‟t have access to their own copies of the Word of God. The printing press wasn‟t invented until the 14 A.D.‟s, all right. So this was written about 90 A.D. And so they didn‟t have their own copies. So they would take out these scrolls.


They would read these scrolls. And the one who read it was blessed, those who heard it were blessed if they heard and heeded or kept the words of this prophecy. As I shared with you in our last program, prophesy is not simply an intellectual pursuit.
It‟s not just


something that you delight in, in the gymnastics of, of trying to figure it all out. Rather it is something that is given to you so that you might order your life accordingly in the light of it. So he goes on to say, “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia.”
Now I want you to notice the tense of the verbs. John, to the seven churches which are. They were existing right then, not which were, but which are. The seven churches which are in Asia. So he picked seven churches that were existing at that time in what we call Asia Minor. If you look at the map, that‟s in the west side of current day Turkey. All right, and I‟ve been to all these locations.


I‟ve taught there and it‟s been exciting to teach at some of them, but not at the others because basically there‟s not that much to see. But just recently I taught the messages to the four churches in four sights of those places that were in Asia. He says, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is, who was and who is to come.”


Now if we stop there I would say who do you think that is? And in all probability, if you‟re like many people and you‟ve never studied Revelation, you‟d say O the one who is, who was and who is to come, that‟s Jesus. And see that‟s what happens when we read the Word of God and we form a conclusion, which is really an interpretation, before we do accurate observation.


Now the whole purpose of this program is not only to teach you the Word of God, but to teach you how to study the Word of God inductively. By inductively I mean that we remove the middleman and we go straight to the Word of God ourselves to observe the text and discover what does it say and then to interpret the text in finding out what does it mean. And you find out what does it mean by comparing scripture with scripture and letting scripture interpret scripture. And then how you apply it, and that is how do you take these truths that you learn and apply them?


Do you need to change anything that you‟ve been thinking because you‟ve been thinking wrong? Or do you need to change your behavior? Or do you need to start doing certain things in the light of what you‟re learning? So inductive study basically consist of observation:


discovering what does it say, interpretation: what does it mean and application. And application is how am I going to think and live in the light of this truth? So you take that truth and you personalize it. You personalize it intellectually and you personalize it practically in the way that you live. So it says, “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from …,”


This is the first from. “… from Him who is, who was and is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne …,” Whose throne? The throne of the one who is, who was and who is to come; and, verse 5, “… from Jesus Christ.”


Now the minute that you see those three „froms‟, you can automatically begin to tell who is who. Who is the one who is, who was and who is to come? Is it Jesus Christ? No, because it‟s from He, who is, who was and is to come, from the one who seven Spirits are before His throne and from Jesus Christ. So it‟s not from Jesus Christ, and then the seven Spirits and from Jesus Christ.


It doesn‟t make sense, does it? All right, so what you‟re seeing here is you‟re seeing that this message, that this grace and this peace is coming from three persons, three persons, all right. Now who are those three persons? Well he describes them.
From him who is, who was and who is to come. If you drop down to verse 8 it says, “„I am the Alpha and the Omega‟, says the Lord God who is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” So the one who was, who is and who is to come is God the Father. 

All right, and then, “… from the seven Spirits which are before His throne.”
Before whose throne? Before God‟s throne. Now if you study the scriptures and you let scripture interpret scripture, you see that it is God that sits on the throne. It is not Jesus Christ. It‟s Jesus who sits at the right hand of the throne of God. So this is from God the Father.


This is from the seven Spirits. Just imagine them now, standing before the throne. Seven is a number of perfection. Seven is a number of completion. God made the earth in six days. On the seventh day He rested because everything that He made, He had completed. It was done.


So it‟s the number of completion. It‟s the number of perfection. All right, and then it says, “… and from Jesus
Christ …,” Now let‟s see how they describe Jesus Christ. “From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” So He‟s the first born from the dead and He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.
“To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood.”

 So here is a description of Jesus Christ. You go on and you read the next verse, verse 6. “And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father …,” So then immediately you know that the He refers to Jesus, “… because He‟s made us to be a kingdom of priests to His God and Father.” And then it says, “To Him …,”, speaking of Jesus, “… be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.”


And then it says in verse 7. Let‟s read it and then we‟ll come back and see what you need to do. “Behold He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him and even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him …,” And then it says, “… even so, Amen.” Now that is a mouthful. And there‟s a lot for us to see here. And what you need to do is you need to mark with a triangle the references to God the Father as we taught you in our last program.


You need to underline and then come up the side of the triangle and put a cross to mark every reference to Jesus. But every reference to the Holy Spirit you need to take the other side of the triangle and then you need to connect those two lines with a cloud to represent the Holy Spirit. So that‟s what we‟re going to do when we come back. This is Jesus‟ message through the angel, through John, to the church, so that you and I can know what‟s shortly going to take place when He comes.

PART TWO
When you see truth for yourself, then what it does is it sanctifies you. Jesus prayed for you. He prayed to the Father just before He was going to go to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He would be arrested and then afterwards He would be crucified for you and for me. And He prayed, “Father, sanctify them. Set them apart. Make them holy. Consecrate them through Thy truth.


Thy Word is truth.” You and I are dealing with truth. So this is a revelation that God gave to Jesus. Jesus gave it to His angels. His angels gave it to His apostle John. John, in turn, sat down and wrote these letters to the churches that are in Asia.


This message comes from the One who is, who was and who is to come. It comes from God, the Father, Almighty. It comes from the seven spirits which are before God‟s throne, and it comes from Jesus Christ. This is a message from the Godhead, the Godhead to you. You say, but it was to the seven churches which are in Asia. Yes, but you know what?


Those seven churches, really, collectively represent every kind of church and the situations that we are going to face down through the ages of history within the church. They‟re messages for us. They‟re messages for us saying, listen, I want you to know that if you will overcome, you will receive a blessing and that blessing is an eternal blessing that no one can take away from you.


So we‟re going to see that as he wrote to the church at Ephesus, he says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” So it‟s to all the churches. It‟s to all the churches down through the ages until the church ceases to be, until Jesus Christ comes and rules as King of kings and Lord of lords and all the nations bow before Him. He says, “Behold …,” Look at verse 7.

 “Behold, He is coming with the clouds.” And this word for coming is e-r-c-h-o-m-a-i, e-r-c-h-o-m-a-i. And it means to come. It means to see. It‟s used in Matthew, chapter 11, verse 3. And so I want you to go to Matthew, chapter 11, verse 3.


And you heard me say, “I want you to go.” That‟s what I want you to do. It‟s important for you to see the Word of God for yourself. All right. And so it says in Matthew 11, verse 2, “Now when John, in prison, heard the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and he said to them, „Are you the expected One?‟” Are you the coming One, the coming One that can be seen?


This is not some spiritual, whimsical, wafting of some little cloud in the air. This is actually seeing Jesus Christ face to face as He comes in person to this earth. So let‟s go back to verse 7. “Behold, He is coming. He is coming with clouds in such a way
that we will see Him.”


And he goes on to explain this just by saying it. “And every eye will see Him …,” See whom? The One who is coming. Who is the One that is coming? It‟s Jesus Christ. So you want to mark Jesus Christ again. “… even those who pierced Him.” And you want to mark Jesus Christ there.


“And all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.” And you want to mark Jesus Christ there. All right now let‟s go back and mark these references to Jesus Christ from verse 5 on. Because what I want you to see is I want you to see what you learn about Jesus Christ, okay. So in verse 5 it says, “… and it‟s from Jesus Christ. He‟s the faithful witness.”


In other words, He‟s an eyewitness. He‟s a witness that is not going to lie. He‟s a witness that is not going to color the story. You know you hear about all these athletes. You hear about their sexual escapades. He took steroids. No I didn‟t take steroids, you know. Who‟s telling the truth? And they go to court many, many times and they try to find out who‟s telling the truth. And every witness is not faithful. Everyone‟s not going to tell the truth. But who is Jesus?


He is the way, John 14:6, “He is the way and He is the truth and He is the life.” And I want you to know that whatever He says and whatever is said about Him in this Book is pure truth, in its context. Now the Pharisees called Him Beelzebub. They said He was of the devil. That‟s not true. But you understand that from the context.


But if you want to know and understand who Jesus Christ is you‟re going to meet Him in this book. And this is the book that becomes the plumb line and that‟s the symbol of Precept Ministries International, is the plumb line because a plumb line is what you drop to see what is accurate, to see what is true. So we drop the plumb line of truth and we see that Jesus is the faithful witness. We see that this is from Jesus Christ. And number one, we see that He‟s the faithful witness.


The second thing we see is He‟s the first born of the dead. Now what does it mean that He‟s the first born of the dead? It means this, that He is the first one to be resurrected from the dead. He‟s the first one to die, to be buried, to be raised from the dead, now listen, never to die again.

Because see you
would think of Lazarus and you would say well, Lazarus died and he was raised from the dead. Jesus raised him from the dead. Yes, He raised him from the dead, but he died. After that he died.


All right, and so you see the widow‟s son in the days of Elijah and he died. And Elijah laid on him and prayed to God and he in a sense was raised from the dead, but someday he was going to die again. Jesus is the first born from the dead. In other words, He is the one that has come out of the grave for the very first time as man, never to die again. Now it‟s important that you understand that.


As a matter of fact this is why some people, when they read he who is, who was and who is to come automatically think Jesus. Because they think O, He existed one time and He died and He was, and then He is to come.


And so they automatically ascribe that to Jesus. But we know from the text that that belongs to the Father right now in this context. So Jesus is the first born from the dead. “He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.” In other words He is going to rule over all the earth. And you can see that and when that begins to happen by going to Revelation, chapter 19 and reading on through the end of the book. He‟s the ruler. You can see it in reading the second Psalm. And you see that He is going to rule.


And God says kiss the Son while there is time, because He‟s going to rule over you someday. So He is the faithful witness, number one. Number two: He‟s the first born from the dead.


And number three: He‟s the ruler of the kings of the earth. And then you see this and this is number four. He loves us. To Him who loves us. Listen, every human being is searching for love, whether they admit it or not.


Deep down inside in their gut, they want to be loved. You want love? This is where you find it. He loves us. And you know what else you want, is you want forgiveness from your sins. And it says, “And He released us from our sins.”

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OTY: The Revelation "Letters" (3) - Jack Kelley



 



Revelation 2 And 3 … Seven Letters To Seven Churches, Part 2

As the Roman Empire grew in prominence, Rome soon became the world’s center for the practices and traditions of the Babylonian pagan religion.
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
As the Roman Empire grew in prominence, Rome soon became the world’s center for the practices and traditions of the Babylonian pagan religion. Pergamum slowly faded from the scene, but the mixed marriage of Christianity and Paganism begun there has produced four offspring, Roman Catholics (Thyatira), Main Line Protestants (Sardis), Evangelicals including Pentecostals and Charismatics (Philadelphia) and the Apostate Church (Laodicea). All are alive on Earth today.

To the Church in Thyatira

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: Thyatira means continual sacrifice. (In the Catholic Church, the Lord is still on the cross, and they believe that the communion wafer becomes His actual body and blood as it’s consumed.) It’s the first letter with a future in view, which led me to the conclusion that the earlier three churches are gone. It’s also the first whose members are divided into two categories, the saved and the unsaved.
(Title) These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. It couldn’t be clearer. While born of the Virgin, the One speaking to them with fire in His eyes is to be addressed as the Son of God, not of Mary.
(Commendation) I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. The Catholic Church is known for its efforts in bringing mercy and compassion, as well as the Gospel, to God’s children.
(Criticism) Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. The title “Queen of Heaven” by which many Catholics refer to Mary, was first used of Semeramis, wife of Nimrod the founder of Babylon, and mother of Tammuz. Semeramis declared herself a goddess, claimed that Tammuz was born of a supernatural conception involving the Sun god, and began the first counterfeit religion, a mother-child cult.
According to legend, while out hunting one day Tammuz was killed by a wild animal. Semeramis mourned for 40 days at the end of which Tammuz was raised from the dead. A celibate priesthood was formed and the chief priest was declared infallible. The 40 day mourning (now called Lent), the Yule log, evergreen tree, mistletoe and hot cross buns were all used in rituals commemorating the event, and the mother-child cult was begun.
Later the Romans adapted these to the death and re-birth of the Sun at the winter solstice, but in the 4th century the traditions surrounding Semeramis and Tammuz were attributed to Mary and Jesus and came almost unchanged into Catholicism, where they remain to this day.
Semeramis is symbolically called Jezebel in the letter, leading people away from the truth into idolatry. But the real Jezebel is also in view here. She was a daughter of the King of Phonecia, a pagan princess best known for her advice to her Israelite husband King Ahab on how to obtain a vineyard he wanted. She brought trumped up charges against the vineyard’s owner, hired witnesses to bear false testimony, and had him convicted and executed. Then she confiscated the vineyard in the name of the King. Centuries later the Catholic Church would obtain much of its wealth in the same way. Fortunes beyond measure were gained during these inquisitions.
Jezebel was also the patron of the 400 priests of Baal who Elijah slew on Mt. Carmel. The Lord views idolatry as infidelity and Jezebel had encouraged the worship of Baal, leading the people into spiritual adultery. The many saints to whom some Catholics pray, and the sacramental works they must perform to attain and keep their salvation are not scriptural and deny the sufficiency of the cross. For these reasons the Catholic Church is often called the “plus religion.” Jesus plus Mary. Grace plus works. The Scripture plus tradition. Giving glory for the works of God to anyone else is spiritual adultery, and subjects the giver to severe punishment.
(Admonition) So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Those who insist upon being judged by their works will be granted their wish. Sadly the emphasis on these religious works has clouded the true message of the gospel to the extent that some life-long Catholics never come to know the Lord on a personal basis. The Lord will judge them according to the motives of their hearts. Are their good works performed out of gratitude for the free gift of salvation He offers, or they done in a futile effort to earn it on their own?
(Call) Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. Others will have seen through the layers of traditions and works and saints and rituals and found the face of the Lord looking back at them. Those who do and cling tenaciously to Him will have their reward.
(Promise) To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—’He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery— just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. They’ll join Him on His throne as co-regent of the universe, the Bride of Christ, His beloved church.
We’re not in the church because of the pew we occupy, or the name over the door, or the good works we do. We’re in the church because we’ve believed by faith that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4)
(Challenge) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Even after we’re saved by Grace, we all have our lists of do’s and don’ts. We derive our self- image as a believer from our adherence to this list, judging others by how well they keep our commandments. When we fail, we fall back on God’s grace, but we don’t really feel good about ourselves until we’re obeying our list again and we always insist upon justice for everyone else who fails. We forget that grace plus works equals works. The two are like oil and water, they don’t mix. To the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
The only negative experience we had in our entire visit to the sites of the seven churches in Turkey took place in Thyatira, called Akhisar today. After a friendly and helpful guard opened the site where the church once stood for us and gave us material that explained what we were looking at, we left to find some lunch thinking how pleasant our time there had been. Down the street, we spotted an open-air shop where a vendor was selling the barbecued chicken sandwiches that are so popular in Turkey, and that we had come to enjoy as well.
Waiting for our sandwiches, we were approached by a man who appeared to hold some position of authority. His manner was most unfriendly, and his questions conveyed an air of suspicion. We left there quickly wondering if he was a policeman, a government agent, or an official from a religion unfriendly to Christians. Driving away we also discovered our food was not edible. The chicken was bad, as if the innards hadn’t been removed before cooking. Re-reading the letter to Thyatira we were struck by the contrasts between good and evil, in the letter and in our visit.
The Kingdom Parable that resembles the Letter to Thyatira is the Parable of the Leaven where a woman wrongly mixed leaven into three measures of meal. Leaven, or yeast, always symbolizes sin and traditionally three measures of meal is the fellowship offering. (Sin in the fellowship. Get it?) Paul’s letter to the Galatians fits too and can be summed up in the first three verses of chapter 3. You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very 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 with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

To the Church in Sardis

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: Sardis means remnant. As He did in the Letter to Thyatira, the Lord distinguishes between the lost and the saved (the remnant) in Sardis. The church in Sardis represents the Protestant Reformation. When Luther and others led the way out of Catholicism, it was in search of truth. The Catholics had distorted God’s word into something it was never intended to be, adding to the Scriptures and imposing heavy spiritual burdens on their followers.
The call of the reformation was “Sola fides (only through faith), sola gratia (Only by grace), solus Christus (only with Christ), and sola Scriptura (Only His Word).”
(Title) These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. The Lord reminds the Church in Sardis just Who is writing to them. He is the Giver of the Holy Spirit, and the Guardian of the angel who shepherds them.
(Criticism) I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.Jesus told the woman at the well, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) In their quest for the truth, the Protestants neglected the things of the Spirit and for several hundred years almost never heard the rustlings of the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) in their midst. When the Great Awakening of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s brought the Gifts of the Spirit into the open again, they rejected the idea, giving birth first to the Pentecostal and then the Charismatic movements.
(Admonition) Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. When the German School of Higher Criticism invaded their seminaries with its godless theories about the “real” authorship of the Bible and the Modern Rationalists they spawned explained away its miracles, there was no Spiritual discernment to resist them. And so, having earlier rejected the Spirit, they now lost the Truth as well.
(Call) Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. As is the case in Thyatira, there remains but a remnant who are saved. The rest, having worked so hard to make God small enough to fit in their minds, now find Him too small to meet their needs. They will be among the most surprised to find themselves left behind as End Times events unfold. (Notice, the Lord doesn’t promise to come for them, but to them.)
(Promise) He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. But to the believing remnant He will bring the white robes of the righteousness that comes by faith, and will be pleased to introduce them to His Father as members of God’s Forever Family.
(Challenge) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. There are two extremes in Christianity. The dead orthodoxy of main line Protestantism, and the “zeal without knowledge” of Charismania. Too great a focus on either will cause the loss of both spirit and truth.
The most significant site in Sardis today is the huge abandoned synagogue and gymnasium (school). As I stood there I was reminded how the protestant church has abandoned its Jewish roots and ignores the Old Testament, even doubting its veracity. Having learned what the Lord did from their New Testament but not understanding why He did it because they’ve never read the Old, they’ve lost the last of the meaning that once validated their theology. It’s become form without substance.
The Parable of the Treasure in the Field describes the Church in Sardis. Upon discovering buried treasure in a vacant field, the Lord bought the whole field just to get the treasure. For God so loved the (whole) world that He gave His only son, that who so ever believed … The pardon purchased with His blood is available to everyone in Sardis, but only a remnant will accept it. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the “Gospel according to Paul” is his contribution to our understanding.
These two children defined Christianity until the 1800’s when the Lord again did a remarkable thing and the Church was born again in the 3rd child of Pergamus. More next time.

Related Posts:

o   Seven Churches of Rev. 2 and 3: Part 2
o   Seven Letters To Seven churches
o   Catholic Christians?
o   Catholics In The Rapture?
o   Is She Saved Or Not?

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Natszal: "Feasts of the Lord" Week One (Article Files)

Natszal: "Feasts of the Lord" Week One (Article Files)

Posted on Saturday, February 27, 2010 by Michael James Stone

 

The Rapture Series

Why Do you Believe?          What Do you Believe?             How Do You Believe?              Who Do You Believe? 

“Reason to Believe”

 

“Feasts of the Lord”

Week One

(Article Files)

 

 

 

THE FEASTS OF THE LORD 

 

The Passover Service 

The Passover Service introduces us to the first of the annual memorials in the sacred calendar. It was first kept in ancient Egypt when after four hundred years of slavery the Almighty rescued His people Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. In that well known episode Yahweh "passed over" the houses of the believers who had obeyed His command to apply the blood of a literal lamb to the lintel and doorposts of their houses. The Almighty spared the lives of Israel's eldest sons, but authorised the Destroyer to kill all the firstborn of the Egyptians who had refused to obey.
Exodus 12:29 "And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the cattle.
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead."

Surprising as it may sound, that awesome experience in ancient Egypt on the night of the 14th Abib (the first month in the sacred calendar) was merely a "scaled-down preview", a "miniature object lesson", a "dramatised prophecy," a "spiritual blueprint" of a far greater deliverance of Jehovah's people scheduled to occur at the midnight of this age. For the real meaning of the Passover is this:

* JEHOVAH (Yahweh), the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel plans to deliver from eternal death ALL who express their faith in Him and accept His offer of eternal life made possible by the death of His Son Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
* Yeshua the Messiah's death on Calvary was prefigured by the death of the Passover Lamb. (John 1:29, 1 Cor. 5:7).
* Yeshua sacrificed His life on the Passover, at the divinely appointed time, to rescue mankind from the 'slavery of sin' and its tragic consequences - eternal death!
* And all those who by express faith in the Almighty and His Son, the 'Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,' will be pardoned, spared and granted eternal life according to His promise.

"And how," you may well ask, "is the blood of the real Passover Lamb, the Son of the Almighty God, applied to a believer in this electronic age?" The answer is: By taking part in a special memorial service called the Passover Service on the evening of the 14th Abib each year, which is the divinely appointed time. The Passover Service is a memorial of the Saviour's death on Calvary and every believer in the Messiah is commanded to keep it. "this do in remembrance of me" said the Messiah, the Lamb of God. Memorial services, incidentally are not observed several times a year; neither should they be observed at any time people fancy. The time to observe the Passovere Service has been divinely appointed; and that time is the evening of the 14th day of the month of Abib. Let all who read, pause and take note.

The new covenant emblems of the Saviour's body and blood are "unleavened bread and wine." (Luke 22:14-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) These emblems have replaced the need to slay a literal lamb each year, for the Messiah, the real Passover Lamb, has already been slain. But the TIME set apart for this memorial service remains the same. It is the evening of the 14th day of the first month (Abib) in the sacred calendar (Exodus 13:5-11). The date is important and can never be altered, because it is the memorial date of our Saviour's death, when he paid with His life to rescue mankind from extinction at the hands of the Destroyer. When a believer takes part in this service he/she is, figuratively speaking, applying the blood of the Messiah to his/her mind, which is the lintel of the soul. This act of faith is a clear sign to the Almighty that that soul seeks pardon, protection and salvation. That is how the Passover Lamb's blood is applied to the lintel of a believer's mind in this century.

Incredible as it may seem, the fulfilment of the Passover (the day itself , not the Lamb) is still future. According to Scripture that day will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of Heaven. Even the Saviour is awaiting the approaching midnight of this age when the Destroyer will be compelled to spare or passover all those who are displaying the sign of the Lamb's blood.
Luke 22: 15: And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

Note those words, "until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." This points to a still future fulfilment of the Passover, an event which will take place just prior to our entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. I repeat, the Passover Lamb (Yeshua the Messiah) has been slain; it now remains for believers to symbollically apply his blood to their hearts and minds before the midnight of this age when the Destroyer will once again circle the earth on his mission of death!

Believers in the Almighty who, therefore, celebrate the Passover Service on the appointed evening each year will be greatly blessed; for as they eat the unleavened bread and drink the wine (the new covenant emblems of the Saviour's body and blood) they are, in truth, applying the Saviour's life-giving blood to the lintels of their souls..

Put differently, we may say that Yahweh's main purpose in staging such a breathtaking Passover display in ancient Egypt was His way of giving the entire universe a 'prophetic preview' of His earth- encompassing plan to 'pass over' and deliver His people in the closing days of this age. Yes, the LORD God of Israel is in the near future going to personally visit all the nations of the world, and as before, 'pass-over' (pity, spare and deliver) all those who faithfully display the Sign of His Son's blood on the lintels of their minds and the door post of their supporting actions. Thus we can see that ancient Israel's exodus from Egypt was a "prophetic drama," a "living blueprint," a "meaningful model" of a far greater deliverance of Yahweh's people which is scheduled to take place on a world scale in our day. In view of this, believers in the Messiah should beware of failing to keep this memorial service at its appointed time. (See How to hold the Passover in your own home.)

The Week of Unleavened Bread 

The week of unleavened bread is often referred to as the Passover Week. The first and last days of this week (15th and 21st Abib) are Sabbath days, on which all believers are commanded to rest from their labours and to assemble to worship the Almighty. (Leviticus 23:5-8)

Leaven (yeast) is a symbol of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine, a week represents eternity and a house represents the church of God. Thus the week of unleavened bread (when every trace of leaven is cleared from the houses of believers) symbolises the church which is to be purged by God: of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine - for all time. Only when that work has been done will the church be a fit "Temple of God," a spiritual home the Almighty will inhabit for all eternity. Yes, before Yahweh's Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in 'His house' (the church) He has scheduled Himself to purge His people of every trace of (leaven) sin. (Matt. 16:6-12, 1 Cor. 5:6-8, Luke 12:1).

I repeat, there is coming a time when the Almighty will purge hypocrisy, false doctrine & sin (leaven) from the minds of His people; and only when that time arrives will the Week of Unleavened Bread have found its fulfilment, not before.

Scripture tells us that this Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Sacred Sign on the believer's hand and mind that the Almighty's law is inscribed therein. This Feast is, in fact, the appointed sign of faithful obedience, as opposed to the Mark of the Antichrist, which is the brand mark of disobedience.
Exodus 13:6: Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
7: Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.
8: And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.
9: And IT (this particular Feast) shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.
10: Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.
Note: that specific reference to this Feast being a sign on the hand and a memorial between the eyes (the mind).

The Feast of Pentecost 

The Feast of Pentecost, also called the Feast of First Fruits, falls on the 50th day after the Passover Sabbath. This feast is a reminder, a guarantee of Yahweh's power to produce spiritual fruit in the field of human salvation. The literal first fruits of the soil are merely the physical types or expressions of the real first fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are the true believers won to God by His Son the firstborn. (1 Cor. 15:20&23, James 1:18, Rev. 14:4)

The ancient ceremony of presenting the Almighty with the firstfruits of the earth (Deut. 26:1-11) with two oven-baked loaves, in which the leaven had been de-activated (Lev. 23:15-17), was a figure, a type, a shadow of the spiritual harvest of human souls in whom the yeast of sin will one day cease to exist. There is coming a day when the power of sin will be de-activated in us believers just as the power of leaven is neutralised in an oven baked loaf.

The breathtaking experience recorded in Acts 2 was but the early harvest, a kind of "firstfruits" of an even greater out-pouring of divine power scheduled to fall upon the church in the near future when the main harvest of human beings will be gathered in.

The Feast of Pentecost, in short, prefigures, guarantees and commemorates the early harvest, the first fruits of human souls: and those who celebrate it declare their willingness to be part of that spiritual multitude which will one day be gathered in and presented to the Almighty by His Son - the Firstborn!

The Feast of Trumpets 

The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated on the first day of Ethanim (Tishri) the seventh month in the sacred calendar. (Lev. 23:24)

Trumpets were used by Yahweh's command in ancient Israel:

* To assemble the congregation and to start journeying (Numbers 10:2)
* To call the leaders of Israel together (verse 4)
* To sound the alarm for war and to signal an attack (verse 9, Judges 3:27, Job 39:25)
* To accompany the praises of Israel at the appointed festivals and the days of the new moon (Numbers 10:10)
* To proclaim the accession of kings (2 Sam. 15:10, 1 Kings 1:34, 2 Kings 9:13)
* And to announce the Jubilee year of freedom (Lev. 25:9)

The Feast of Trumpets is a memorial Sabbath, a day of special significance, designed to bring the faithful into remembrance before the Almighty. The two silver trumpets mentioned in Numbers 10 were types of the great originals in the heavens - the Trumpets of Yahweh & His Son. Those divine originals are mentioned several times in the Scriptures and at their sounding events of awesome importance have and still will take place. We read about the trumpets past and future used in:

* The giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:14-19)
* The world wide warning still scheduled for the future when Yahweh Himself will blow the trumpet. (Zech. 9:14, Isaiah 18:3, Zeph. 1:14-16)
* Signalling the events scheduled for the close of this age. (Revelation chapters 8 & 9)
* The Second Advent of Jesus Christ; at which the resurrection will take place. (Matt. 24:31, 1 Cor. 15:51-52)

A study of the texts listed above will show how Yahweh Himself has planned to use His heavenly trumpets again. He and His Son will blow them to gather His people as in days gone by; gather them for the climatic events scheduled to take place at the Messiah's return. Did he not say:
Isaiah 18:3 "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when He bloweth a trumpet, HEAR YE."
Zechariah 9:14 "And the LORD shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south."

The prophecy of the Revelation tells of the sounding of heavenly trumpets - possibly starting at a Feast of Trumpets - which will probably coincide with the gathering of Yahweh's people in the last days and the final war in heaven between the forces of good and evil. (Rev 12) See Understand the Revelation, in which the Seven Trumpets are explained.

No one will doubt but that the Feast to Trumpets has still to find even partial fulfilment; and it is because of this fact and the many texts which tell of the use of the Trumpets of God in the future that believers should beware of ignoring this important feast day.

On some future Feast of Trumpets the mighty Trumpet of the LORD will sound. It will be heard throughout the world! and will reverberate with tones as awesome as the rushing sound which filled Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost some 2000 years ago (Acts 2:2). All of mankind will hear the Trumpet, for the Bible says:
Zechariah 9:14 "And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with the whirlwinds of the south."
Isaiah 18:3 "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye."

Only when that event happens can we justifiably say that the Feast of Trumpets has found fulfilment. For further information see the Shofar; herald of the coming kingdom.

The Day of Atonement 

The Day of Atonement is observed on the 10th day of the seventh month of Ethanim (tishri) by abstinence from daily labour, by a holy convocation and by fasting. It is the only commanded fast in the year and is, doubtless, the most solemn day in the sacred calendar. (Lev. 16 also Lev. 23:27-32). On this day the high priest laid aside his official ornaments and dressed in a white linen garment entered the Most Holy place to make atonement for himself, the priesthood and the congregation of Israel. The Epistle to the Hebrews (chapter 9) explains that this annual entry by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies foreshadowed the entrance of the Messiah the High Priest of the Melchizedek Order (Heb. 7:15-17) into Yahweh's presence to secure salvation for His people.

Our salvation, in other words, will only by complete when we are actually brought into the very presence of the Almighty.

The word "atonement" means to make amends for, to reconcile, to restore, to repair, to make at-one again. And that is exactly what the Day of Atonement prefigures. It points to a specific time in the future when the great High Priest of the Melchizedek Order (Yeshua the Messiah) will literally bring the redeemed host of mankind right into the very presence of His Father, in order that we may be AT-ONE with YAHWEH.

That indeed will by a reconciliation beyond compare, when the Almighty's estranged human family - alienated from Him by sin - will actually be brought into His presence to be AT ONE with Him. Can you now begin to see the plan of salvation prefigured in the feasts?

Yahweh's family of true believers:

* Ransomed at the Passover and liberated by the blood of His Son - the Passover Lamb.
* Purged of sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine during the Days of Unleavened Bread to become a holy Temple of God.
* Filled with the power of the Holy Ghost in order to bear fruit for all eternity.
* Victoriously gathered and defended at the Feast of Trumpets when the trumpets of Yahweh will sound throughout the earth.
* And finally on the Great Day of Atonement, brought into the very presence of the Almighty by his Son the High Priest to be at-one with Him for all eternity.

Oh what a glorious day of reconciliation that will be! Catch a glimpse of it in these words from that famous parable of the Prodigal Son.
Luke 15:11-32 "Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. Bring the fatted calf, kill it and let us eat and be merry. For my son here was dead and he has come to life. He was lost and he is found."

The Feast of Tabernacles 

The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths or Shelters) is celebrated on the 15th day of Ethanim (Tishri) the seventh month in the sacred calendar.

This feast begins a week during which all 'Israelites born' are required to live in temporary dwellings or shelters. (Lev. 23:39-43). It is, at its basic level, a memorial of the time when Yahweh made His people live in tents and temporary shelters in the wilderness when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.

At a higher level it is also a reminder or memorial of the fact that the Almighty came down from heaven to live in a Tabernacle (a tent) amidst His people Israel. (Exodus 33:7-11 & chapters 35 to 40)

The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible has this to say about the Tabernacle in the wilderness. "The movable sanctuary in the form of a tent which God directed Moses at Sinai to make, that God might dwell as king among His people." (Exodus 25:8-9) Hence it was called:

* "the dwelling" (chs 25:9 margin of RV 26:1) and as the place where Jehovah met His people.
* "the tent of meeting" (Exodus 40:34,35 RV), and as the depository of the tables of the Law of testimony,
* "the tabernacle of the testimony" (Exodus 38:21, ch 25:21,22, Numbers 9:15)
* It was also known by the general designation "house of Jehovah" (Exodus 34:26, Josh. 6:24)"

From these and other passages we can see that the literal Tabernacle which Moses built according to the Almighty's design was merely a type, a shadow, a physical expression of:

* Yahweh's real spiritual habitation
* His point of contact with His people
* His law court or seat of justice, which not only housed his commandments but from where He personally dealt out Judgement.

These three functions of the physical Tabernacle find fulfilment in Yeshua the Messiah the only begotten Son of the Most High, who is, in reality, the true Tabernacle of God.

Consequently, we may say that the Feast of Tabernacles is also a memorial of the Almighty's astonishing condescension to come down to earth to tabernacle or pitch His tent with humanity in the person of His Son. For Jesus Christ is Immanuel, GOD WITH US, God incarnate; that is the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel taking up his abode in the tabernacle of a human body, in order to redeem and enable mankind to obey His eternal law.
Romans 8:3 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Is it any wonder that the profound reality of this fact (that God is going to tabernacle with mankind for eternity) drew from the lips of an angel these amazing words:
Revelation 21:3 "Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God."

I repeat, Yeshua the Messiah is the Tabernacle of God!; and on the earth made new he will again dwell in the midst of His people just as surely as He occupied the tabernacle built by Moses in the days of old. That is what the Feast of Tabernacles is a reminder and foretaste of.

The Last Great Day 

The feast, known as the Last Great Day, occurs just after the week of Tabernacles. It is celebrated on the 22nd Ethanim. (Lev. 23:36)

The Last Great Day prefigures the endless cycles of eternity when the life-giving power of the Almighty God will flow to and through His people on the earth made new. At the moment (1999) the reality of the Great Day of the Feast is an event to look forward to; but in the hereafter, when the saints occupy the new universe, the breathtaking bliss of the Great Day will begin to be appreciated as each anniversary - through the endless ages of eternity - brings unspeakable joy to the ransomed host. The Great Day will have begun - never to end!

A special invitation to this great spiritual banquet of an endless life of bliss is given to you by the Master Himself in John 7:37-39.
John 7:37 "In the last day, the Great Day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

Here is an invitation that tells of how the true believer will not only live with the Almighty for all time, but will go on with the Creator to become the channel and co-producer of life everlasting to others, just as a young wife is the potential mother of many generations to come. Oh! the astonishing wonder of that declaration in John 7:37-39. Can you afford to ignore it?

These, then, are the appointed, memorial feasts in the Almighty's Programme of Salvation. As you can see each and every one of them commemorates in a special way a unique accomplishment of the Holy One of Israel.

* Passover - when Yahweh, the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel paid the price for the redemption of mankind by sacrificing His Son Yeshua, the Passover Lamb for the sin of the world.
* The Week of Unleavened Bread - when the Almighty puts sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine out of His church, His house, His Temple - for all time!
* Pentecost - when the Almighty begins to produce spiritual fruit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, kindness etc.) in the lives of His true followers.
* Trumpets - when He calls, gathers, protects and battles in their defence.
* Atonement - when the ransomed church is brought by the Almighty's Son into the very presence of His Father to be made 'at-one' with Him.
* Tabernacles - when Yahweh takes up His eternal abode and tabernacles with His people in the person of His Son.
* The Last Great Day - when through the power of the Holy Ghost Yahweh's church will become the channel of blessing to the entire universe - for the great day which we call Eternity!

This is the message of the Bible concerning the Feast Days of Yahweh the Holy One of Israel. And it is concerning these sacred feasts that He says:
Leviticus 23:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEASTS...
4. These are the FEASTS OF THE LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."

Who are the Children of Israel?
The true children of Israel, astonishing as this may sound, are those who have put their faith in the LORD God of Israel and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:29 "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Romans 2:28 "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

Gentiles who believe in the Messiah of Israel are, according to the Holy Scriptures, grafted into the Olive of Israel. They become part of the commonwealth of spiritual Israel and thereafter share all the blessings of the chosen race. Paul's letter to the Romans (chapter 11) makes this fact abundantly clear.
Romans 11:17 "And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree...
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again...
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. "

What do these facts mean? They mean exactly what they say: that all true believers in the LORD God of Israel and His Son Yeshua are Israelites and are included in this gracious invitation to become part of the Olive of Israel. As Israelites we rejoice greatly and gladly observe the Feasts of the LORD; the eternal memorials of our salvation!
Leviticus 23:2 " Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them. Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my Feasts!

If you are a believer in the Son of the Most High, then the invitation to keep His appointed feasts is extended to you. Accept it without delay.

 

 

Natzsal

 

 

Natzsal

(blogger)

Michael James Stone

Fair Use Notice

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only.

 

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This material was brought to you by Broadcast(B.C.)Christianity. Last Call Digest, is a ministry of Michael James Stone, volunteers, and people dedicated to the Love of God and Salvation of Souls. It is an aggragate of Christian Material selected to Bless you and Prepare you for each and every day you read them. May God Bless You as You Do!! Reading these Devotions will help you to prepare daily for life, living, and your Lord. You will hear God Speak To You thru them. 

 

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

The material is being made available in an effort to understand scripture, news, technology and society especially as it relates to God and Jesus. It is specifically for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. This is a completely non-commercial site for private personal use. No fee is charged, and no money is made off of the operation of this site. Nor is any implied reciprocal gratuities implied or construed.

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