The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 7


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The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 7

The Feast of Tabernacles

“The Kingdom of This World Has Become The Kingdom of Our Lord and His Christ”

Introduction

In this study we will be considering the spiritual significance of the feast of tabernacles and what this festival reveals concerning the overview of God’s plan for all mankind. We have been following the progression of that plan as it is revealed to us in the holy days which God gave to ancient Israel. We saw that the passover sacrifice of Christ as our firstfruit Savior is the first step in God’s plan to save all men from their sins and from the  death that is inherent in these temporary bodies of sinful flesh and blood. But we also learned that the afflictions of the first firstfruit were not sufficient to atone for the sins of the people, and that “a new meat offering” had to be offered “to make an atonement with Him [with Christ]” (Lev 16:10, Col 1:24). The two leavened loaves, and the scapegoat are “to make an atonement”, and are therefore one and the same. The next step was the days of unleavened bread which typify the beginning of the process of putting sin out of our lives, and beginning to live to please Christ and not to please our flesh.

But the passover is the first spring harvest, and as such it represents the first of the first fruits of God’s harvest of all of mankind. In other words, the passover represents the harvest of Christ our head as “the firstfruits of them that slept”

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: 

1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the deadand become the firstfruits of them that slept

The passover and the days of unleavened bread were during the spring the barley harvest, and were followed fifty days after the offering of an “unleavened… meat offering”, by the feast of Pentecost where we are told that there is a “a new meat offering” which is “baken with leaven”, and we saw why the meat offering of the feast of Pentecost had to be “baken with leaven”, which is never to be done at any other offering.

Lev 23:12  And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
Lev 23:13  And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine [“unleavened”, vs 6] flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

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.

As we will see, these two verses complement each other and are not mutually exclusive. Christ was the unleavened harvest of the spring passover season, because He never sinned:

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., the “new meat offering” is not “without sin” as was our Lord:

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

On the other hand, the “new meat offering” is not “without sin” as was our Lord:

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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.

Christ must have preeminence in all things

That wave sheaf offering on the morrow after the sabbath during the days of unleavened bread typifies the risen Christ Himself, who differs from “the new meat offering’ not only in the fact that God has ordained that Christ would never sin, but also in the fact that Christ was ordained to have the preeminence in all things, and He is therefore the first of the firstfruits of them that slept:

1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

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.

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. 

The second firstfruits are offered with leaven

Christ is the first of the firstfruits because He is the first person who never sinned, and He is the first person to have ever been raised from the dead into life eternal. The reason Christ is the preeminent first of the firstfruits and is the firstborn of them that slept is simply that “it pleased the Father…”:

Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the deadthat in all things he might have the preeminence. 
Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

The firstfruits of scripture typify those who are the first to be raised “from the dead”. That is the very meaning of the word ‘firstfruits’. This verse bears repeating:

1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

We have already noted that the meal offering made with the barley harvest during the days of unleavened bread, was of course to be made with unleavened bread and that the second ‘firstfruit’ wave offering was to be offered with leavening. Notice that what appears to be a contradiction in scripture, as always, is instead simply further clarifying of what God is revealing to us in these two apparently contradictory statements of scripture:

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. 

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 leaventhey are the firstfruits unto the LORD
Lev 23:18  And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.

This second wave offering is “baken with leaven”. Many commentators, not able to grasp the spiritual message we are being given, deny the obvious message of verses 17 and 18:

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 leaventhey are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
Lev 23:18  And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.

“You shall offer with the bread… even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the Lord”. Any commentator who denies that “the bread” of verse 18 is not the “two loaves of two tenth deals… baken with leaven” is simply blinded to the message that these leavened loaves represent the New Testament church which is made up of repentant, leavened sinners. Pentecost is seven sabbaths after the unleavened wave sheaf meat offering of the days of unleavened bread, and Pentecost is at the time of the summer wheat harvest because it typifies those who are brought to God fifty days after Christ’s resurrection.

This is what Christ told His apostles on the day after the wave sheaf offering, the day after His resurrection from the dead:

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

And this is what happened on the day of pentecost:

Act 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

It comes as a shock to many Christians to learn that in spite of spending three and a half years with Christ and having healed the sick, cast out demons and having done many wonderful works, not one of Christ’s own apostles was yet converted.

Christ Himself reveals this fact to us in these verses of scripture:

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. 

But after receiving the holy spirit on the day of pentecost, neither Peter nor the other apostles ever again feared for their lives to the extent that they ever again denied Christ. This is what they told the Sanhedrin, when they were commanded not to teach in Christ’s name:

Act 5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
Act 5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Clearly, neither Christ nor His Father ever intended for Christ Himself to save this world while He was here in a body of flesh. “Before the world began” Christ’s Father and ours intended for Christ to be “the firstborn of them that slept” so He could return in His Father’s spirit within us to live His life of dying daily within us as the “new meat offering… [the] leavened… firstfruits unto God and the Lamb…to make an atonement with [Christ]”. It is through us that Christ will “save… the whole world”, and that is a vital part of the overview of what was planned  “before the world began”, and is being revealed to us through these holy day festivals and especially through the two leavened loaves of Lev 23.

Notice how Paul speaks of those who are part of this leavened summer Pentecost firstfruit harvest:

2Co 1:6  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comfortedit is for your consolation and salvation

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

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 

Tit 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began

1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only [“the firstfruits unto the Lord”], but also for the sins of the whole world.

The salvation of the world is not accomplished without the agency of Christ with His Christ, the preeminent firstfruit along with “the firstfruits unto the Lord, [the] new meat offering unto the Lord… the firstfruits of the wheat harvest… the scape goat… with the Lord’s goat”. This “new meat offering” is the only offering made by fire which is offered with leaven because it represents the New Testament church which was made up of converted sinners who were born and brought forth on that very day, the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Christ was raised from the dead on the day after the sabbath during the days of unleavened bread. It is offered with leaven because it typifies those who are redeemed from their sins by the sinless offering of the spotless lamb who died and was the first to be raised from the dead to life eternal. Others had been raised from the dead, but only Christ was raised to the life conceived of in these verses of scripture:

Joh 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

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. 

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.

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.

The “firstfruits unto God and the Lamb, who have sinned and are typified by “two loaves… baken with leaven” are those who will be in that “blessed and holy… first resurrection” as “a kind of firstfruits” as these verses reveal:

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.

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

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;)
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. 

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

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

It is onlythose who “have part in the first resurrection” who are “the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb”. “Being the firstfruits unto… the Lamb” tells us plainly that just as Christ is the firstfruits to His Father, who sent Him to “save… the world”, we are ‘the firstfruits unto… the Lamb”, unto Christ, who has sent us to do the same thing His Father sent Him to accomplish, which is:

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

Joh 17:18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

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

The point these scriptures make is that while God is using Christ to save this world, and Christ is using us “as [His] Father sent Him”, these two instruments of His labors, Christ the first fruit of them that slept, and we as “the new meat offering…the first fruits unto the Lord”, serve the same function, the function of atoning for the sins of  the world. Both are called ‘saviors’, and we are told that the afflictions of both are “for your… salvation”:

2Co 1:6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvationwhich is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

There is one more very significant statement concerning this leavened Pentecost firstfruit offering. This wave offering is specified to be “for the priest” because “the priest” typifies those who are called “firstfruits unto God and the Lamb” and  who also are “made…  kings and priests [to] reign on the earth”.

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb

We, with Christ, are “the priest” of the pentecost offering:

Lev 23:20  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

We have demonstrated in our earlier studies that the three festivals which follow the passover and the days of unleavened bread, 1) Pentecost, 2) trumpets and 3) atonement, are all types of the various functions of “the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb”. These three feast days portray the Christ of Christ as the leavened firstfruits at Pentecost, the seven priests who blow the seven trumpets at the feast of trumpets and as those who are used of Christ to “afflict [their] souls, [and] to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God” at the day of atonement. Doing these things is the very meaning of “as My Father has sent me, even so send I you”.

“They shall be baken with leaven” demonstrates that this offering of “firstfruits for a wave offering” is very different from the first wave offering of the firstfruits of the early barley harvest. “They shall be baken with leaven” is telling us that this festival, as well as the next two, the feast of trumpets and the day of atonement, are all three types and shadows of various applications and functions of the “firstfruits unto the Lord”. That is why we are told “They are the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb”.

But there are yet two more steps that must yet be taken by these “firstfruits unto God and the Lamb”. There are two functions yet to be fulfilled in the overview of the plan of God to bring His plan to its consummation. God has now to “seek an occasion” against the Philistines within all of mankind who are not part of that “blessed and holy… first resurrection… firstfruits unto God and the Lamb”.

The ends of the ages are come upon this firstfruit summer harvest, and it has come upon our passover spring harvest, but there is yet one more harvest before God will be able to be all in all.  It is to that harvest that the feast of tabernacles will lead us.

But we will have to wait till next week to see how that is accomplished.

We will close this study with the scriptures which demonstrate that there are three separate harvests of the hearts and minds of all men, and next week we will see that God has no intention of losing a single soul He has created to the plague of death. Here are the three harvests which are revealed in this overview of the plan of God for the salvation of all men:

Exo 23:14  Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 
Exo 23:15  Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)
Exo 23:16  And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
Exo 23:17  Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

2Ch 8:13  Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.

1) The feast of unleavened bread, 2) the feast of weeks, and 3) the feast of tabernacles are the three harvests when the flesh is destroyed and a new man emerges out of that death and destruction. Christ was the first, at His resurrection, we are the second, at that is called “the first resurrection” (Rev 20:6), and the rest of mankind is the third harvest “at the year’s end”, also known as the “great white throne… judgment… the lake of fire”:

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Rev 20:11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Here is this same three season harvest given to us by the apostle Paul in the New Testament:

1Co 15:21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. [In three stages]
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: [1] Christ the firstfruits; [2] afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Co 15:24  [3]Then cometh the [harvest at the] end [“of the year” – Exo 23:16], 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. 
1Co 15:27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Next week we will learn how the scriptures reveal death will be destroyed and replaced with life for every man who has ever lived.

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

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