The Biblical Overview of the Plan of God – Part 4

The Biblical Overview of the Plan of God – Part 4

[God’s Instruments to Effectuate the Salvation of All]

[Continuing the Holy Days]

Introduction

In our last study we saw that the holy days which Christ gave to ancient Israel reveal within them the steps God has ordained to be taken by each of us, individually, and eventually, through Christ’s first fruit harvest, every one of those steps will be taken by the whole world, to effectuate the salvation of all mankind of all time.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

The first step is the passover

We saw that the first step in God’s plan for the salvation of all men is revealed in the passover sacrifice:

Lev 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover.

The passover was the beginning of the days of unleavened bread:

Exo 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

The days of unleavened bread and the wave sheaf offering

The passover sacrifice delivers us from the bondage of sin over our lives. The immediate next step is the days of unleavened bread which symbolize that deliverance from the bondage of sin and includes the offering of the wave sheaf which was to be offered “on the morrow after the sabbath” during the seven days of unleavened bread”.

Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

“So in Christ shall all be made alive” means that God’s plan, beginning with these two holy day events, is to inexorably bring “all men to be saved [from the bondage of sin and death] and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth”.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

But many translators, deceived by the doctrine of “free moral agency”, have twisted the word ‘will’ in 1Ti 2:4 into the word ‘desire’, arguing that God ‘desires’ all men to be saved, but because He supposedly gave mankind ‘free will’, very few of His creatures will actually be saved, and most will instead spend eternity in excruciating literal flames of fire. Some few teach that the lost will simply die and be lost forever, but neither of those doctrines are what the scriptures actually teach about what God desires. God’s desires are not just wishful thinking. This is what the scriptures teach, from Genesis to Revelation, about what God desires:

Job 23:13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

The scriptures go so far as to declare that even the evil that was in our original parents and is in the hearts of all men is actually an integral part of the plan of God. It is all a part of how it pleases our Creator to carry out His plan for the salvation of all men. It is He who calls even evil men to do their evil work:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Since God is in complete control of the good and the evil we each do, the two are alike to Him, since He and He alone can use evil, like the evil of sin and death, to produce good, like the good of aionian life.

Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

As an example of the extent of His sovereignty over all evil and all good, symbolized by “the darkness and the light”, our Lord says, “My counsel shall stand”. But how much of what happens in this world is “after… [His] counsel”? This is how the scriptures answer that question:

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worth all things after the counsel of his own will:

“[God] works all things after the counsel of His own will”. But surely God is not telling us that we are not free to make our own decisions, is He? Does “worketh all things”, include working our very will “after the counsel of His own will”? This again is the Biblical answer to that question:

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

“For” in verse 13 is translated from the Greek word ‘gar‘, and it means ‘because’. We are admonished to “Work out your own salvation… ‘because’ it is God who works in [us] both to will, and to do of His good pleasure”. That is why we make choices every day, and why we work out our own salvation. It is “because it is God which works in [us] both to will and to do of His… own will… His good pleasure”.

“His counsel… His good pleasure… His will, and His purpose”. It is all Him working “all things after the counsel of His own will”.

So every thought that enters the minds of mankind is actually being worked by God to accomplish “whatsoever [His] hand and [His] counsel determined before to be done.” Even the details of the apprehension, abuse and crucifixion of our Lord, who is His Son, and all of that is just as true for His Son’s Christ:

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Pro 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

The “preparations of the heart”, the very thoughts of men, “[are] from the Lord”, who sends spirits to cause those thoughts to enter into our minds. For example:

1Sa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1Ki 22:23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

Our heavenly Father requires us to give an accounting of what He does with us in these vessels of clay, but nowhere in scripture does He hold us accountable. Not even for the death of His Son:

Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

What this tells us is that our own persecutions are also a part of God’s counsel and His will “before the world began” (2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2). It only follows that all of these various steps toward salvation, revealed in the holy day festivals which Christ gave to Israel, must eventually be taken by all men of all time. And indeed that is exactly what we are told is the case:

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

It is the plan of God which is that “one event to the righteous and to the wicked”. That plan is revealed in the holy days Christ gave to ancient Israel,

As a very important part of that plan, we are told “the last enemy to be destroyed is death”:

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

That is the very function of a resurrection. All who are dead must be resurrected in order to destroy death. But for death to be destroyed something also has to happen to shut off the constant daily influx of new human babies who “through fear of death [are] subject to bondage”:

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

If as much as one person remains dead, then death has not been destroyed, and if newborn “first man Adam[s]” continue to be born, death will never be destroyed. We will see that God has made provision for both of these dilemmas. They are not dilemmas to Him, and He has no problem bringing about the destruction of death. We will presently give the scriptures which reveal His plan for the destruction of death both by resurrection and by ending the constant influx of dying, corruptible flesh and blood.

Concerning the resurrection of all men, we are informed that all resurrected bodies are “raised a spiritual body”, and by the time death is destroyed, Christ will be in all men, all men will be given spiritual bodies, and there will be no corruptible physical bodies left to defile the kingdom of God.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

But before any of that can be realized, every man will be “the first man Adam” first, and will first produce the fruits of that “first man Adam”. The holy spirit inspired the apostle Paul to reveal to us the order in which these events will take place:

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; [slain passover lamb] it is raised a spiritual body [wave sheaf on the morrow after the sabbath]. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening [life giving] spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall [“every man” also] bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

“There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body”, is simply a rewording of these words of our Lord:

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Christ Himself was “born of the flesh”, and then He, too, was “born of the spirit”. But He is the only person who was first created as spirit, and then “emptied Himself” to become flesh. He is also the only human ever who lived in a body of “sinful flesh… who knew no sin”.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We “[bear] the earthy… first” so God has an occasion to judge our evil works while we are in these “earthen vessels… and afterward [we will bear] that which is spiritual”.

But in God’s plan “those who first trust in Christ”, His “few… firstfruits”, must be the first to “fall into the ground and die… [as “a living sacrifice” and] be born again [in] earnest [while still in these] earthen vessels”:

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. [‘Will judge the world… and angels” (1Co 6:2-3)]

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, [The scapegoat offering (Lev 16:10-21)] holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

It is few who “have this treasure in earthen vessels”. As Christ’s firstfruit elect, our ‘dying’ must be done now, in this physical life as “a living sacrifice”, in order to become one of those “blessed… few… first fruits” because death must, by God’s plan, come before judgment:

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Here is that true “second time without sin unto salvation” for Christ’s firstfruit harvest:

2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his [second] coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, [the “man of sin”, 2Th 2:3] whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

So we have these instructions concerning the order of events which must take place within God’s plan in every man’s life:

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [Passover sacrifice]
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [Wave sheaf offering]
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

These words are spoken in the present tense: “Our old man IS crucified with Him, and we no longer serve sin”, but if we do not understand that all of this is done now in “earnest”, in down payment form, we will be swept away with the “fullness now” false doctrine to which so many have succumbed:

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

God’s elect are those “who first trusted in Christ”. But they trust in Christ only after having failed to do so and having been shown mercy from Christ. They will be “to the praise of His glory” by showing the same mercy shown them to those who reject Him and His words in this life. Being ‘the first to trust in Christ’ necessitates that God’s elect must also be the first to be judged, and judgment day for those “who first trusted in Christ” is now. “The time is come..” for our judgment day:

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

“Judgment must… first begin…[at those] who first trusted in Christ”. But in God’s plan it does not end there. Our judgment in this life is only the “beginning” of God’s judgment of all mankind, and He has ordained that “those who first trusted in Christ” will be granted to judge the world and angels, when His judgments will eventually come upon all men. It all takes place in an appointed, preordained, predestined order, “after the counsel of His own will…according to His purpose” and according to His plan for all mankind.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things [the plan of God] work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. [His plan]

1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

The “least esteemed in the church” are better equipped to pass a Godly judgment upon matters “pertain[ing] to this life” than those in the world who oppose the doctrine of Christ, and when we go to the world to settle our differences instead of coming to our own body of believers, it will be to our own shame and against our own interests.

We will indeed “judge the world… [and] angels”. But it will be done at the appointed time, “every man in his own order” as ordained of God:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end [“of the year… harvest, Exo 34:22], when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Our gospel is Christ’s gospel, and it is the same gospel which will be preached to “every man… when [God’s] judgments are in the earth”:

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. [Not tormented for eternity, nor dead for eternity]

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

We have already seen that this goal of the salvation of all men of all time is to be headed up in Christ and His Christ:

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him [and we are Him] might be saved.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery [Greek, secret] of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in [the] Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

God’s plan for mankind is all “in [Christ]”, and it has “pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell”. But there is much more to who Christ is and in whom He receives His inheritance from His Father.

Here is who He is:

Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

And this is in whom, by His Father’s plan, He receives His inheritance:

Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

God wants to enlighten us and give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him and His plan. He wants to enlighten the eyes of those who have been given eyes that see and ears that hear, “that [we] might know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of [Christ’s] inheritance [which is] in the saints”. It is “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” who wants to make known to us “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power”.

Notice, there is not one word about our will in what “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” is doing. It has nothing to do with our will. It is all being done “according to the working of His mighty power”.

But just what is this “working of His mighty power”? Paul tells us what is “the working of His might power toward us, as His firstfruit harvest:

Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world [Greek: aion, age], but also in that [age] which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

This is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Eph 1:19). The Father has set Christ at His own right hand in the heavens, and Paul goes on to tell us that we, too, as His inheritance, are seated there in the heavens with Christ and His Father:

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Since every life of every man is an aion, “in this age and in the age to come”, what we are being told is we have been chosen as firstfruits to Christ, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”. It is through the same grace and mercy we have been shown that Christ will through us “[who are] His body, [become] the fulness of Him that fill all in all” (Eph 1:22-23).

Here is the ‘modus operandi’ of Christ and His Father:

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

So Christ’s first fruits are the first to acknowledge that they have offered the passover sacrifice:

1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

And through those “who first trusted in Christ”, “through [the] unbelief” of the multitudes, “they also may obtain mercy”.

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

We saw that the immediate affect of accepting the death of our Savior for our sins is to repent and begin putting sin out of our own lives. This second step in God’s plan for our salvation and for the salvation of all men is that we “purge out therefore the old leaven”, and this step in our salvation is typified by the days of unleavened bread, immediately following the passover.

We saw that a wave sheaf of the early barley harvest was to be offered on the “morrow after the sabbath” during the days of unleavened bread, symbolizing the resurrection and ascension of Christ on “the morrow after the sabbath, at which time the apostles were still unconverted “carnal… babes in Christ”, still unable to keep from denying their own Lord (1Co 3:1-4).

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Luk 22:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
Luk 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

This is who we are before and immediately after the offering of the passover in the plan of God. When Christ ascended into heaven after His resurrection, His disciples were “yet carnal… babes in Christ” (1Co 3:1-4).

Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

The feast of Pentecost

So Christ is the “first fruits” of God’s harvest. The next step in the plan of God was revealed in what was called “the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of your labors of the wheat harvest”.

Exo 34:22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.

Israel was to count seven sabbaths from the sabbath of the offering of the wave sheaf of the firstfruits of the barley harvest in the spring, “until the morrow after the seventh sabbath”. That is what gives this holy day the name of Pentecost. ‘Pentecost’ means ‘count fifty’. This brings us to the summer harvest of the wheat, but it is also called “the feast… of… firstfruits”, because it symbolizes the establishment of the New Testament church which was founded on this day in Acts 2:

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Seven signifies completion in scripture. Seven sevens, like ten tens, and twelve twelves, signifies an amplification of the meaning of the original number. In this case, the seven sevens is the complete putting out of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of malice and hypocrisy, from our spiritual houses.

Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

God is adamant about getting all leaven out of our homes during this week following the passover, which signifies the accepting of the death of Christ for our sins.

Exo 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.

Having no leaven in our lives is a big issue with our Savior:

Lev 2:11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire.

Both Christ and the apostle Paul clarify for us why God caused ancient Israel to keep this festival in this way. It was all done and recorded “for our admonition” (1Co 10:11):

Mat 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Mat 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Mat 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

The temple and synagogues of Christ’s day were dominated by the Pharisees and Sadducees, who rejected the doctrine of Christ. The temple and synagogues of Christ’s day symbolize the churches of our day, and the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees symbolizes the doctrine of the accepted churches of today, whose doctrines are in blatant contradiction to the doctrines of Christ. That same spirit is constantly attempting to enter into and infect the body of Christ, and we are admonished to keep it out of our spiritual house:

1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

These holy days we are looking into are an integral part of the law of Moses:

Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The preaching of “the kingdom of God” is the “grace and Truth [which] came by Jesus Christ”. It includes “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”, as it is applied to the plan of God for all mankind. In the New Testament, under the “grace and Truth [which has] come [to us] by Jesus Christ”, the feast of unleavened bread is now to be observed “with the bread of sincerity and Truth”, which is not the old leaven of the law of Moses, which Christ fulfilled with all of His “but I say unto you…” new doctrines, in Matthew 5-7, which in many cases completely contradicted the law of Moses. For example, ‘eye for an eye’ is replaced with ‘turn the other cheek’, and ‘hate thine enemy’ has been replaced with ‘love thine enemies’, etc.

In like manner, the days of unleavened bread are now to be kept spiritually every day, but now “Let us keep the feast… with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” instead of literal unleavened bread, which is really nothing more than the “carnal commandment[s]” of the law of Moses (Heb 7:16) .

Spiritually the seven sabbaths indicate the completion of the days which were ordained in our lives for sin to no longer dominate our hearts and minds. The fiftieth day brings the meaning of the numbers 5 and 10 into the meaning of this holy day. Five is the number of grace and faith, and ten is the number of the flesh. Together in the number 50, we are accepting the fact that we are guilty of the crucifying of our Lord, and we are receiving grace and faith, while sin is still in our sins at the beginning of those seven sevens:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

“Even when we were dead in our sins, [God] has given us life together with Christ, (by grace [we] are saved” brings us to the most instructive one exception in scripture where leaven is commanded to be a part of the meal offering in complete contradiction to every other meat (meal) offering.

Remember this vital part of the law of the offerings:

Lev 2:11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire.

But for a very important reason there is one exception to that rule, and that one exception concerns the firstfruits of the feast of weeks. Notice closely this one exception to that rule of “burning no leaven… in any offering of the Lord…”

Lev 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
Lev 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
Lev 23:17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

This leavened offering is “the firstfruits unto the Lord”. Why is this so? It is because we are the “living sacrifice… the scapegoat” who was to bear the sins of Israel “with the Lord’s goat”. The scapegoat is a goat, not a sheep, and these two loaves of the firstfruits unto the Lord are “leavened… wave loaves” which are the firstfruits unto the Lord. Both leaven and goats generally represent the corruption of the flesh and of false doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the ministers of the churches of Babylon.

The Five Offerings

There are five offerings which are given us to help us know our Lord as His Father wants us to see Him. The first three offerings are “sweet smelling savor” offerings. They are the 1) the burnt offering, 2) the meat (meal) offerings, and 3) the peace offering. The last two offerings are not sweet smelling savors. They are 1) the sin offering and 2) the trespass offering.

Christ was a lamb without spot, a sinless offering who lived in a body of “sinful flesh and blood… [yet] without sin”.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Christ came in a body of flesh and blood which could not inherit the kingdom of God any more than our own bodies of sinful flesh and blood can inherit the kingdom of God:

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [even the flesh and blood of Christ] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption [the “made… sin” body of Christ] inherit incorruption.

That leaves us with only the trespass offering for Christ to fulfill, and yet He “knew no sin”. How then can we see Christ as a trespass offering as well as the other four offerings? The answer to that question is revealed in the two loaves of the Pentecost offering. The answer to that question is answered in the living sacrifice of the scapegoat, who is the symbol of those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake. The answer to that question is in these words which inform us of how our Lord views Himself:

Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, [the repentant sinners] whom thou persecutest.

Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

You and I are not spotless lambs who have never sinned. Rather we are formerly “children of disobedience… and wrath… as others”. We are not lambs but a goat, we are not unleavened but are two leavened loaves which are nevertheless, in Christ, the firstfruits unto the Lord:

Lev 23:17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Nevertheless “he is not ashamed to call [us] brethren”. Through Christ we, “with Him” as the scape goat, as living sacrifices will bear the sins of Israel:

Lev 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
Lev 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited [die daily, crucified with Christ, yet living]: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

There it is for all who are given to receive it. There is something that is “behind of the afflictions of the Christ, and it is to be filled up “in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church”.

That is the part of the feast of Pentecost we did not cover in our last study, but we will have to wait again before we can get to the last three steps in the plan of God to bring about the destruction of death and the salvation of all men who have ever lived or who ever will live.

Next week we will review the feast of trumpets and, Lord willing, also cover the day of atonement, the feast of tabernacles and its accompanying “last great day”.

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