GODíS INTRIGUING CYCLE OF SEVENS IN HIS REDEMPTION OF ALL THINGS
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-- Eccl 3:1 NASU. Godís appointed times are revealed in Lev. 23: they identify God, His chosen among man Ex 31:13; and are shadows of heavenly things to come Heb 8:5; Col. 2:17.
CREATION, THE FIRST CYCLE OF SEVEN, A WEEK OF DAYS: God blessed and made holy the seventh day Gen. 2:2-3. Lev. 23:1-3 Six days shall man labor then the Sabbath of the Lord, a weekly Holy Convocation (commanded assembly) to be observed throughout eternity. Given to man as a blessing, and a sign of identification Ex. 31:12-18, also as a test of obedience Ex. 16:4. The weekly Sabbath is a shadow of the completed works of God (seven is the number of completion), the rest promised in Hebrews chapter four, and the Millennium. Isaiah 66:23 promises that every person then living will be required to keep it why not start now and receive the blessings of obedience?
FIRST THINGS FIRST PASSOVER: Lev. 23:4-5 two sevens into the new (sacred calendar) year, the Passover Lamb is slain (14th Nisan). A shadow of mankindís death penalty being paid by Godís innocent Lamb (His Son) setting man free from the slavery of sin (Egypt, i.e. this world). The Passover is a shadow of the substance, which is Christ, our Passover I Cor 5:7. The Passover looks forward to Christís first coming, The Lordís supper validates His first coming and looks forward to His second coming Luke 22:18-19. The Passover is a commanded performance and the very first annual appointed time in Godís plan of salvation, however it is not a Sabbath (holy covocation).
GODíS WORD OUR BREAD FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD: Lev. 23:6-8 lasts seven days. Starts the 15th of Nisan, the first day after the Passover. It is a sign in your hand and a memorial between your eyes Ex. 13:9. The literal leaven is a shadow of the spiritual leaven we are to beware of, i.e. the leaven of: Herod, deception, sly, worldliness Mk. 6:14-28; 8:15; Sadducees, rejected the spiritual and supernatural, modernism Mt 16:6-12; Pharisees, hypocrisy Lk. 12:1; Corinth, pride, wickedness, malice, sensuality 1 Cor. 4:18-19; 5:1-13; Galatians, legalism Gal. 5:9. We are to feast on the unleavened bread of Godís word, the manifestation of which is Jesus Christ, the bread of life John 1:1,2; 6:35,51-58, The first and last days are the first and second annual Holy Convocations (annual Sabbath). This feast was kept by the Corinthian church I Cor. 5:6-8.
CHRISTíS WORKS ACCEPTED BY THE FATHER FIRST FRUITS or WAVE SHEAF: Lev. 23:10-14 occurs the first day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (a new beginning). The purpose is to offer the first fruit of the new harvest to God the Father. It is the shadow of the actual ascension and acceptance of Jesus Christ to the Father on the first day after His resurrection John 20:17, thus becoming the first of the first fruits among many yet to come I Cor. 15:20-23, James 1:18. This was a ritual required to be performed by the priests before the spring harvest could begin, a shadow of the first harvest of souls. Just as the first day of creation was not a Holy Convocation, neither is this day.
THE COMING OF THE COMFORTER A WEEK OF WEEKS (7x7) or PENTECOST: Lev 23:10-11 from the Wave Sheaf, after seven Sabbaths are complete, the first day after the forty-ninth Sabbath, the 50th day, is Pentecost. This is the day Israel received the Ten Commandments Ex. 20. Just as it was the start of a new beginning for Israel, it is the shadow of the start of the New Testament church, a new beginning to all who believe. The Holy Spirit, (Comforter, John 14:16), the Spirit of Truth, is now available to all the called of God (John 6:44). We, ourselves, are a Holy Temple unto God and the Holy Spirit dwells in us I Cor. 3:16-17. The law has been magnified Isa. 42:21 and placed in the minds and hearts of His children Jer. 31:31-33 and Heb. 8:8-10. Godís new covenant church, planted as a mustard seed, will grow into all the earth Mk 4:31. The substance of Pentecost is addressed in Joel 2 and Acts 2. It is a time of rejoicing and of giving of a tribute to God Deut. 16:10. Jesusí prayer to the Father in John 17 is answered in Pentecost and explained Col. 1:26-27. Pentecost is the third annual Holy Convocation.
A WEEK OF MONTHS: Godís appointed times all occur within the first seven months of the year and is repeated annually. These are the shadows of the great and wonderful plan of Godís salvation for mankind and the establishment of His kingdom here on earth.
The first month contains the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Sheaf of First Fruits. A shadow of, or antitype of the Crucifixion, the shedding of the leavening of sin, the Resurrection, and the acceptance by the Father of Christ as the first fruit of the great harvest of the earth.
In the third month is Pentecost, when Israel received the Ten Commandments and agreed to Godís offer to become His people, a shadow of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the formation of the church and baptism into the body of Christ. These shadows have all come to fruition in substance precisely on their appointed days, thus completing the spring (barley and wheat) harvest of souls.
Shadows yet to come to fruition all take place in the seventh month, which is the fall (fruit) harvest.
THE COMING OF THE KING The FEAST OF TRUMPETS: Lev. 23:24-25, the fourth-annual Holy Convocation; a memorial of blowing of the trumpets; a call to prepare for the coming day of Atonement; a day of cleansing. This day is considered by many to be a shadow of the second coming of Christ and gathering of the Saints Mat. 24:30-31; the resurrection is described in I Cor. 15:20-49; Rev. 20:1-8; the last trumpet to sound verses 50-52. The Lord descends with a shout; the trumpet of God blasts and the saints are resurrected I Thes. 4:16-17; a very noisy happening. This is definitely not a secret rapture, reference the day of the Lord, Zech. 14:1-15. The seventh angel sounds, Godís kingdom comes Rev. 11:15. Heavens opened 19:11-21. Great tribulation on earth Zeph. 1:14-18.
Although this is the first day of the seventh month of the sacred calendar, it is also the first day of the first month of the civil calendar. Therefore it is both an end and a beginning. Godís endings are also His new beginnings, like being born again.
CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE The DAY OF ATONEMENT: Lev. 23:27-32 the fifth annual Holy Convocation; a shadow of our complete redemption and cleansing of the Heavenly Temple; a solemn day of humility and atonement. It is a day of strict fasting. Absolutely no work is to be done this day on pain of death. On this day only, the High Priest, after a very meticulous cleansing process, acted as a mediator and atoned for the sins of Israel by entering through the Vail (a shadow of Christ) into the Holy of Holies. He then performed the prescribed rituals in hopes of being acceptable to God. The Priest was a shadow of Christ, who is our Intercessor and Mediator. By His atoning blood on the cross, He entered the heavenly Holy of Holies once and for all as our High Priest. The assurance of the acceptance by the Father is evidenced by the Wave Sheaf offering. Study Hebrews chapters eight through ten for a clear understanding of what Christ accomplished for us.
The two Goats ceremony as a shadow of the coming judgment between Christ and Satan is proclaimed in Leviticus 16. One to be sacrificed the other to be expelled as chosen by God. Our accuser and deceiver, Satan, the scapegoat, will be bound for a thousand years Rev, 20:1-3.
FULFILLMENT OF THE SABBATH The FEAST OF TABERNACLES: Lev. 23:34-44 after two sevens into the seventh month (the 15th day) begins the Feast Of Ingathering, a shadow of the Millennium, the seventh of the seven thousand years of the history of man. One thousand years of Christís peaceful rule on earth begins. The first day is the sixth annual Holy convocation and the entire week is a time of joy, study and celebration, Nehemiah 8:9-18. In the millennium, all survivors of the tribulation will observe the Feast Of Tabernacles and worship the King of Kings and Lord of hosts at Jerusalem Zec. 14:16. The illumination of Godís temple, the Shekinah Glory is restored as happened on the Feast Of Tabernacles at the dedication of King Solomonís Temple I kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 7. Remember, the temple of God dwells in us I Cor 3:16-17, may His glory ever shine through us.
ETERNITY BEGINS The LAST GREAT DAY: Lev. 23:36, John 7:37 this, the eighth day, is the seventh annual Holy convocation of the year. This is the first day of the ultimate new beginning that continues on into eternity. The rest of the dead are resurrected Rev. 20:5. Satan released, verse 7. The final battle, verses 8-10. The final judgment and second death verses 11-15, from which there is no resurrection. The New Jerusalem, the Bride (church) and the Tabernacle of God Rev. 21:1-4. Tears wiped away, all things made new, verses 4-5; the Fountain of the Water of Life given freely verse 6; also John 7:37.
These are the seven annual Holy convocations (High Days), commanded assemblies, to be observed during the first seven months of every year. With a few exceptions these days could fall on most any day of the week. The year Jesus Christ was crucified the Passover fell on Wednesday with the corresponding High day (first day of Unleavened Bread) following the next day or Thursday, John 19:31. Thus fulfilling Mat. 12:40
A COMMAND TO ACT OUT THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
THE SABBATH OF THE LAND A WEEK OF YEARS: Lev. 25:1-7 the seventh year is a Sabbath Rest for the land, no planting, pruning, plowing or harvesting is to be done. All are to eat only what comes up voluntarily. The blessing of a triple harvest on the sixth year will be given to those who obey this Sabbath command, verses 20-22; as a shadow of the rest remaining for the people of God (Heb. 4:8-11)
THE JUBILEE A WEEK OF THE WEEK OF YEARS, Lev. 25:8 seven of the seven-year Sabbaths, forty-nine years, then starts the fiftieth year, the first year after the forty-ninth, which is the year of jubilee. Again, a new beginning, a Sabbath year for all living things, no planting or harvesting, and all things go back to original owners; a shadow of a total redemption of all things. Then the LORD said, " My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (Gen 6:3; 2 Pet. 3:8) 120 times 50 Jubilees = 6000 years, the end of manís days, then comes the Millennium and the restoration of all things.
THE ULTIMATE VICTORY A WEEK OF MILLENNIUMS: A shadow of the completed plan of God. Seven thousands of years, Six thousand years of manís miss-rule over the earth, then one thousand years of Christís proper rule. The beast and false prophet cast into the lake of fire, Satan is bound during Christís Sabbatical millennium but released at the end of the 1000 years, leads a huge army against the Holy City, is defeated and cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). All the earth is at peace and His bondservants to reign forever and ever (Rev. chapter 20, 21 and 22).
Godís mysterious use of the cycle of seven appears to be Godís chosen number for completion and perfection and illustrates His overall plan for mankind vie His feasts and holy convocations.
As Christians should we honor Godís commanded assemblies? Are Godís commanded assemblies a statute forever in all your generations (Lev. 23:41)? As Christians are we the sons of Abraham and therefore a part of his generations (Gal 3:7)? As Christians are we Abrahamís descendants and heir to the promise (Gal 3:27-29)? As Christians are we children of the promise the same as Isaac (Gal 4:28)? As Christians are we guaranteed the promise to all descendants of Abraham whether they be by faith or by the law (Rom 4:16)? As Christians is there neither Jew nor Greek---but all one in Christ (Gal 3:28)? As Christians are we admonished to worship in spirit and in truth (John 3:23-24)? As Christians are we to live by every word of the lord (Duet. 8:3)? What is promised to all people who obey (Isaiah 56:2-7)? What promises are given those who honor His Sabbaths (Lev. 26:2-13)? Is there coming a time when all mankind will be required to keep His Appointed Times (Isa. 66:23; Zech. 14:16)?
Salvation and eternal life is promised by belief and faith in the works of Christ not the works of man, but true belief and obedience is inseparable (Heb 5:8-9; James 2:17; John 3:36; Rom 6:16).
ďSurely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophetsĒ (Amos 3:7 KJV). But certain knowledge is concealed until the end time (Dan 12:9-10).
THE NEW IS IN THE OLD CONCEALED, THE OLD IS IN THE NEW REVEALED.
Thus, ďAll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnessĒ (2 Tim 3:16). (The Old Testament was all they had at this time).
ď It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matterĒ (Pro. 25:2).
* DONíT MISS THE POINT * The intrinsic component of the Lordís appointed times is Jesus Christ yet one can give honor to these Feasts Of The Lord and never experience salvation. The Jews did just that. Salvation comes by belief and personal acceptance in the fact that Jesus Christ took upon himself the death sentence that has been adjudicated to all mankind since the Garden of Eden John 3:16, Rom 5:8.
Salvation is a personal thing between you and Jesus Christ and no power, be it man or spirit, can come between you and Him. For it is written; ďAnd I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's handĒ (John 10:28-29 AMP). Whether or not your name is written in any particular denominational church register is of no consequence, but whether or not your name is written in Godís book of life is of all importance (Rev. 21:27).
ďOpen thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy lawĒ (Psalm 119:18).
Pentecost 2003 by Del Leger, Pastor, Christian Church Of God, Grand Junction, Co. (970) 249-6857
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