Pentecost Part 4 – Temples of God and the Removal of the Restrainer

At this point, I want to take a brief moment to discuss God’s temples in relation to the Feast of Pentecost.  Prior to Moses and the giving of the Law and the Old Covenant, God spoke to people directly.  He then led the Israelites into their promised land by His presence through a pillar of cloud by day and a column of fire by night.  I am not aware of any specific connection to feast dates prior to the first Pentecost (Shavuot), but I will update this post if I discover any!

Tabernacle, First & Second Temples

We have already discussed in parts 1-3 of this study that God instituted the dispensation of Law and the Covenant of Moses on the first Pentecost (Shavuot).  In addition to the 10 Commandments and the 603 laws given to rule Israel, God also gave Moses detailed instructions to build Him a Tabernacle in which His presence would dwell:

Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.  Exodus 25:9 ESV

This Tabernacle was to be patterned after the heavenly Temple.  We know that God gave the instructions for His earthly Tabernacle in association with the first Pentecost.  It took awhile to prepare all the furniture and supplies according to plan, and in the second year on the first day of the first month (1 Nisan), God commanded Moses to set it up:

 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.  And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, and you shall screen the ark with the veil.  And you shall bring in the table and arrange it, and you shall bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps.  And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony, and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it.  And you shall set up the court all around, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court. Then you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it may become holy.  Exodus 40:1-9 ESV

In verse 3 we see how the ark of the testimony (covenant) is screened by the veil – this is the veil that is torn in two when Jesus died.  In verse 9, note how the tabernacle and everything within it is to be anointed with oil.  In the Bible, oil often is used to refer to the Holy Spirit.

tabernacle.jpg

What Exodus doesn’t record for us is how long it took Moses to set up the tabernacle and complete the anointing process.  Was it days?  Weeks?  Did the glory of the Lord fill the tabernacle on Pentecost?  We just are not told, but the glory of God does come down after the anointing:

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out.  But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up.  For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.  Exodus 40:34-38 ESV

In the old testament, under the Old Covenant, God’s Holy Spirit dwelt among His people in the Holy of Holies first in the Tabernacle, then in the First Temple.  Instructions for the first Temple were given to King David, to be constructed by his son Solomon.  This Temple was also to be patterned after the heavenly Temple.  It was built over a period of approximately 7.5 years and we are told in 1 Kings chapter 8 that God’s presence entered the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles in the month of Tishrei.  I am not sure when God’s presence left, perhaps it was when the Temple was destroyed?  Or perhaps it was when the Ark of the Covenant left…

The second Temple was rebuilt in around 525BC. Ezra 3 records the dedication service, which was also held during the Feast of Tabernacles in the month of Tishrei.  Notably, God’s Holy Spirit never did fill the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple. Notably, the Ark of the Covenant never was present in the Second Temple.

2nd temple.jpg

Prior to the cross, the Israelites worshiped God first in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple.  This temple and sacrificial system pointed forward, towards Jesus.

The Holy Spirit came upon, or anointed, special people chosen by God such as prophets, kings, priests, and judges.  This was represented by anointing with oil (Exodus 29:7; Exodus 30:22-33; 1 Samuel 16:1; 2 Kings 9:6; Ecclesiastes 9:8).

God’s presence, sometimes called His Shekinah Glory, filled the Holy of Holies and seems to be connected with the Ark of the Covenant.  I would suggest a connection between this ark and the Holy Spirit’s dwelling, but would have to research further.

The Holy Spirit was also represented by the Menorah in the Tabernacle/Temple, which was to be kept burning at all times:

“You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn.  In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.  Exodus 27:20-21 ESV

When Jesus came to the earth, the fullness of God dwelt in Him (Colossians 2:9).  When Jesus died for the sins of the world as the Lamb of God, the veil in the temple was torn in two.  Jesus Himself became our high priest.  No longer would the Spirit of God reside in the Holy of Holies in a building built by human hands.  He would now come to reside within the hearts of individual believers, and this takes us once again to Pentecost.

Bodily Temples & The Holy Spirit as Restrainer

On the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death and resurrection:

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Acts 2:1-4 ESV

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We previously discussed that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon all believers is unique to the church age.  Whereas in the Old Covenant (Age of Law), the Holy Spirit came upon specific individuals such as the kings, prophets, and judges, the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant (Age of Grace) comes upon all believers at the moment of salvation to Seal them for the Day of Redemption.  Instead of living in building, God takes up residence within us at the moment of salvation:

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in himwere sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.  Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed  for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 ESV

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ESV

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.  1 John 2:20 ESV

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

The sealing of the Holy Spirit is the mark of being part of the New Covenant, at least in the church age.  This time of special sealing is coming to an end, though, as the day of our redemption through the resurrection/rapture event draws near. The Holy Spirit will depart from the hearts of individual believers when the Restrainer is removed and the church is taken up into heaven in what we refer to as the “rapture”.  In 2 Thessalonians 2, we learn that there is a “what” that is restraining the man of lawlessness that must be removed.  The phrase specifically used is “that which”, as in “that which is restraining him”.  We also learn that there is a “he” that is restraining the man of lawlessness that must be removed.  The word is “the one”, as in “the one restraining him”.

The Restrainer is both a “what”, or “that which”, and a “he”, or “the one”.  There is only one possible interpretation for the Restrainer: The Holy Spirit residing within the true body of Christ.  The “what” is the church, the “he” is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s presence on the earth through believers acts as a restraining force to lawlessness in general, as believers are salt and light to the world.  As far as the man of lawlessness, we are told next that he is empowered by satan.  Satan, as the anointed cherub, was the head of the angelic host before he fell.  So the Restrainer must be more powerful than satan, in order to be able to hold him back until his appointed time.  The only One powerful enough to do this is God (the Holy Spirit).

The presence of the body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is currently restraining the man of lawlessness.  The Holy Spirit is restraining the full expression of the mystery of lawlessness and will do so until He is taken out of the way.  I understand that these can be confusing concepts and they are frequently argued against so I have devoted entire posts to them here:

  1. Studying the Prophetic Keys in 2 Thessalonians 2:
    1. Part 1 – That Day Will Not Come Until…
    2. Part 2 – The Restrainer and the Restrained in 2 Thessalonians 2
    3. Part 3 – The Apostasia [Departure/Falling Away] and the Revealing of the Lawless One
  2. The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope
    1. Part 1 – Where is the Church in Revelation?
    2. Part 2 – The Large Multitude Coming “Out Of” Great Tribulation
    3. Who Will Stand Before the Son of Man?  Examining Luke 21:36

This sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit I believe is a special key to understanding the seals of Revelation 6.  I believe that the transference of His sealing from the church to the 144,000 marks the opening of the Seals of Revelation and is detailed in this post:  Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit.  As we saw in Part 3 of this study, it appears that Peter may have defined the day the Restrainer will be removed as Pentecost: Pentecost Part 3 – Pentecost Prophecies.

When we are redeemed from the earth, we will see both the Father and the Son in all their glory:

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  1 John 3:2 ESV

Back to a Physical Temple

Future events predicted in Biblical Prophecy involve a Jewish Temple.  Since a Temple hasn’t existed since 70AD, a new one must be built to at least partial completion (minimum: altar of sacrifice) before certain prophesied events can occur.  This is one of the reasons why the Third Temple is so interesting – the closer the Third Temple comes to being a reality, the closer we must be to other end-time events.

  • In Revelation 11 we are told:  “Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there,  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (V1-3 ESV)  John sees and measures a future temple which will exist during the times of the end.  We will discuss the ministry of the two witnesses elsewhere, but here we notice that the outer court of the gentiles may or may not be constructed in this Third Temple.
  • In the books of Daniel and Matthew (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15), we are told that during the yet future 70th week of Daniel, an event known as the “abomination of desolation” will occur to desecrate the Temple/altar.  For this to occur, a Jewish Temple needs to be in place, or at the very least, an altar of sacrifice.
  • We also know from Daniel that there will be Jews in Old Covenant relationship with God, and that they will be offering daily sacrifices.  At some point during the 70th week of Daniel (likely at the abomination of desolation), a strong ruler (the lawless one) will cause the sacrifices to cease (Daniel 9:27).  So thus, we know the sacrifices will be restarted before this stopping can occur.
  • In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, we are told the man of lawlessness will “set himself up in the temple and proclaim to be god”.  For this to be possible, there must be a Third Temple in place.
  • The prophet Ezekiel describes a temple in chapters 40-48, the likes of which has never existed.  The third temple may try to follow these very detailed plans.  It is unclear if the Third Temple will become the Millennial Kingdom Temple, or if a Fourth Temple will be built.  It will depend how exactly the Third Temple meets Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple description.
  •  Note that the temple Ezekiel describes is far larger than the current temple mount could hold, so even if the third temple is built on Mount Moriah, the entire city of Jerusalem will need to be resurfaced in the Millennial Kingdom to allow the temple to be built to specification.

ezekiels temple.png

While the glory of God will not enter a physical Temple in the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, He will again dwell in the Temple during the Millennial Kingdom.  For more on the Third Temple, please see this post:  The Third Temple – Prophecy and Progress.

With this discussion on the Temples of God and the Holy Spirit as Restrainer within the body of Christ complete, let’s continue on in our study with how to determine the day of Pentecost:

Pentecost Part 5- The Counting of the Omer – Day and Hour Unknown?

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


ADDENDUM April 24/18:  Our watching sister Kate Engel has most interestingly pointed out that God led the Israelites into the Promised Land via the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.  That’s not the interesting part.  The astonishing part is that the cloud/fire acted as a RESTRAINER – if the cloud settled, the people camped.  If the cloud lifted, the people set out.  Does this foreshadow the Restrainer settling down to mark the Church Age and being lifted to end the Church Age as He leads us into the heavenly realms?  It’s worth considering!

On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night.  And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.  At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.  Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out.  Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out.  And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out.  Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.  Numbers 9:15-23 ESV


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Four Horsemen – Seals 1-4

The Martyrs Under the Altar – Seal 5

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

The Third Temple – Prophecy and Progress

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

Pentecost Part 7 – A Picture of a Pentecost Rapture in Hebrews 12

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,  and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 

Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV

My dear watchmen, how have we not seen this???  Is this not clearly a rapture passage?  When is it that we will come to the heavenly Mount Zion and the city of the living God?  When do we enter our chambers, the ones that Jesus has been preparing for us in the Heavenly Jerusalem?  When will we attend a festal gathering?  When will the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven assemble?  Surely this is describing the rapture!

Mount Zion and the Heavenly City of Jerusalem

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:2-3 ESV

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  Philippians 3:20-21 ESV

Come, my people, enter your chambers,
    and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until the fury has passed by.
For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place
    to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
    and will no more cover its slain.  Isaiah 26:20-21 ESV

Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
     gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
    assemble the elders;
gather the children,
    even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride her chamber.  Joel 2:15-17 ESV

“Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,  having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.  Revelation 21:9-11 ESV

We will live in our Father’s house, in the heavenly Jerusalem, on the heavenly Mount Zion.  At some point (I believe after the Millennial Kingdom when the new heaven and new earth are made) it will come down out of heaven.

mount zion

Festal Gathering

…and to innumerable angels in festal gathering…

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Revelation 19:9 ESV

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  Ephesians 5:31-32 ESV

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.  Matthew 25:10 ESV

Remember in Part 1 of our study, we noted that on the original Pentecost (Shavuot), the elders of Israel ascended Mount Sinai to eat a “covenant affirmation” meal with the LORD?

Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,  and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.  And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.  Exodus 24:9-11 ESV

Assembly of the Firstborn

…and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven…

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him… 2 Thessalonians 2:1 ESV

Our assembly is described in the interlinear as Strong’s #3831:

panéguris: a festal assembly

Original Word: πανήγυρις, εως, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: panéguris
Phonetic Spelling: (pan-ay’-goo-ris)
Short Definition: a festival assembly
Definition: a festival assembly.

HELPS Word-studies

3831 panḗgyris (from 3956 /pás, “all” and 58 /agorá, “the public square, meeting place”) – properly, an assembly-place where people met for a common purpose, especially to celebrate (commemorate) or be festive (BAGD).

Source: http://biblehub.com/greek/3831.htm

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you.  If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.”  John 14:1-3 NKJV 

Note how Jesus will receive us unto Himself as you read the next passage.

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken [received] and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken [received] and the other left.  Matthew 24:40-41; Mark 13:34-35 ESV  

Interestingly, the word used, paralambanetai, is used elsewhere to represent “received” – as in, the ones taken will be received unto the Lamb.  Our reception into heaven is when we are taken from the earth and assemble together before the Lamb.  That we are enrolled in heaven means that we are in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev 17:8).

God, the Judge of All

…and to God, the judge of all…

I believe this is a reference to the Judgment Seat of Christ, where saints will receive or lose their rewards:

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.  Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV)

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;  for it is written,  “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.  (Romans 14:10-12 ESV)

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15 ESV)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 ESV)

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 ESV)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)   (Also Rev 2:10  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. ESV)

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:4 ESV)

Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. (Revelation 22:12 ESV)

I believe that the Day of Christ is the heavenly track while the Day of the Lord runs its course on earth.   The Day of Christ is the day of redemption of the saints, when the “age of grace” is complete and the true body of Christ is called up to join Jesus in glory.  The Day of the Lord is the day of judgment for those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved”.

Spirits of the Righteous Made Perfect

..and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect…

I believe this is related to our complete redemption through the blood of the Lamb.

Listen! I am telling you a mystery:  We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.  For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.  When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 ESV

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Ephesians 4:30 ESV

In him we have redemption through his bloodthe forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.  Ephesians 1:7-14 ESV

Jesus, the Mediator of a New Covenant

…and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.  For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.  For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,  saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.  And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.  Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,  for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.  Hebrews 9:15-28 ESV

The Sprinkled Blood

…and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 

The sprinkled blood refers back to the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant.  The blood of Abel refers to the purpose of the Day of the Lord, which is to cleanse the earth of its’ bloodguilt and wickedness and punish those who refused to love the truth and be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:12).

The Pentecost Connection

Ok, you are saying, I can see the rapture here, with our assembling together in heaven at the redemption of our bodies.  But where does Pentecost fit in?  For this we turn to the entire passage to ascertain context:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.  For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”  

The passage starts out describing the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai on what day?  PENTECOST.  It continues with no interruption:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,  and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

This is the rapture connection we have discussed above.  And what follows?  Keep going…

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire.  Hebrews 12:18-29 ESV

Did you note the connection which confirms that the author is connecting the escaping at Mount Sinai and the escaping what is to come next?  The author then describes a shaking of the heavens and the earth, to remove the powers from them in order to establish Jesus’ Kingdom that will never be shaken!  We know that at the rapture there is an escape route, followed by a time of wrath on earth.

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.  

Luke 21:36 ESV

The giving of the Law on Mount Sinai was a somber and dramatic occasion, ON PENTECOST, which the author of Hebrews ties together with a future festal gathering in heaven as an escape, followed by a shaking of the heavens and the earth.  Could this be a clue that this gathering will also occur on a future PENTECOST, followed by a time of tribulation on earth?

Let’s examine the connection of Hebrews 12 to the Day of the Lord to see if we are on the right track:

Pentecost Part 8 – Pentecost, Joel 2, and the Coming of the Day of the Lord

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Day of the Lord

The Day of Christ- BEMA Seat

The Millennial Kingdom

Who Will Stand Before the Son of Man?  Examining Luke 21:36

What’s Shaking?  The Earth, The Heavens, or Both?

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

Pentecost Part 6 – God’s Covenant Changes on Pentecost – It’s All About the Blood

In Part 1 of our study, we saw how God gave the “Old Covenant”, or Covenant of Moses, on the first Pentecost (Shavuot).  This marked the beginning of the Dispensation of Law, as we examined in Part 2.  The Dispensation of Law ended and the Dispensation of Grace began on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death and resurrection.  This marked the beginning of the Church age in the “New Covenant”.  The covenants are related to the dispensations, but are not identical.  So let’s examine the covenant changes that have occurred, and perhaps will occur, on Pentecost!

The First Pentecost (Shavuot) in the Old Covenant

As we discussed previously, Shavuot is the feast that marks the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.  This Law is regarded as the “Old Covenant”, or the “Mosaic Covenant”.  It was given by God, agreed to by the Hebrew people, and was ratified by the blood of sacrifices as well as a covenant meal.  Moses literally sprinkled the blood of the sacrifices upon the people to “cover them”.  The Israelites were to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, shining forth the light of God to the nations:

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”  Exodus 19:5-6 ESV

Exodus chapter 24 describes this covenant and covenant meal:

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.  And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord.  And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar.  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”  And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”  Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,  and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.  And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.  Exodus 24:3-11 ESV

Gotquestions describes the Mosaic covenant like this:

Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 11; et al.). The Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant that either brought God’s direct blessing for obedience or God’s direct cursing for disobedience upon the nation of Israel. Part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the rest of the Law, which contained over 600 commands—roughly 300 positive and 300 negative. The history books of the Old Testament (Joshua–Esther) detail how Israel succeeded at obeying the Law or how Israel failed miserably at obeying the Law. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 details the blessing/cursing motif.

SOURCE: https://www.gotquestions.org/bible-covenants.html

When Jesus came, He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets and made a New Covenant in His blood.

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”.  Jeremiah 31:31 ESV

The First Pentecost in the New Covenant

When Jesus came, He made a new covenant, a better covenant, in His blood.  Jesus fulfilled Jeremiah’s new covenant prophecy through His death and resurrection.  It was given by God, agreed to by individual believers, and ratified by the blood of the ultimate sacrifice – Jesus Christ.  Under the new covenant, we are covered by the blood of the Lamb – the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!

nothing but the blood

On the celebration of Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to the body of Christ in power and as a seal.  Thus, Pentecost is associated with the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood.   There are many scripture passages stating that the New Covenant is a fulfillment of the Old Covenant:

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:6-13 ESV

The Old Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, was made obsolete with the introduction of the New and Better Covenant.  Gotquestions explains the New Covenant this way:

New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The New Covenant is a covenant made first with the nation of Israel and, ultimately, with all mankind. In the New Covenant, God promises to forgive sin, and there will be a universal knowledge of the Lord. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17) and create a new covenant between God and His people. Now that we are under the New Covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be free from the penalty of the Law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9).

SOURCE: https://www.gotquestions.org/bible-covenants.html

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  Ephesians 2:14-16 ESV

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Matthew 5:17-18 ESV

Jesus is the fulfillment of both the Law (the covenant of Moses) and the Prophets (the dispensation of the Law).  A new covenant and dispensation (Grace/Church Age) began at His death and resurrection.  The covenant meal that reminds us of this sacrifice is referred to as communion.  Communion points us to when Jesus will return and complete the redemption of our bodies.  It points to the consummation of our redemption, our wedding supper with Him!

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him.  And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”  Luke 22:14-20 ESV

Note in Luke’s passage that Jesus hints at the marriage supper we will celebrate with Him.  The complete fulfillment of communion is future.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ESV

Communion is meant to remind us that JESUS IS COMING BACK FOR US!!!!!!!  Partake in communion joyfully, saints!

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.  For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.  For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,  saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.  And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.  Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,  for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.  Hebrews 9:15-28 ESV

Again, Christ will appear a second time TO SAVE THOSE WHO ARE EAGERLY WAITING FOR HIM!

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,  and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.  Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV

Wow, just wow, guys.  Mind blown.  Read that last passage again and tell me if you see a clear picture of the rapture.  We just read that the new covenant in Jesus’ blood will be completely fulfilled when we celebrate it with Him in heaven.  The taking of communion – remembering Christ’s blood shed and body broken for us – is to remind us that He is coming back for us!!!  He will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him!!!  And now in Hebrews 12 we have a clear connection of this event to Pentecost.  How, you ask?  Well for that we need a new post:

Pentecost Part 7 – A Picture of a Pentecost Rapture in Hebrews 12

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

What Are the 7 Dispensations?  (GraceThruFaith)

What are the 7 Dispensations? (Gotquestions)

Does Scripture Support a Pentecost Rapture? (PDF – T.W. Tramm)

The Feast of Pentecost (GraceThruFaith)

Shavuot – Revelation and the Fruit of the Spirit (Hebrew4Christians)

The Mystery of Pentecost (Prophecy Watchers)

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

The Blood Moon Sign

The Noisy, Not-So-Secret Rapture of the Church

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Four Horsemen – Seals 1-4

The Martyrs Under the Altar – Seal 5

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 


Passages Describing the Feast of Pentecost

When studying Biblical teaching, I believe it is always important to read the source for yourself.  Not just a verse or two, but the entire relevant passage.  This will sharpen your discernment skills, as you examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so.  Much of the fall ruckus over the Jubilee and Yom Kippur could have been avoided if everyone had just read Leviticus chapter 23.  So with no further delay, here are the relevant passages describing the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost (Weeks):

On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

[10 Commandments Given]

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

[Additional commandments Given – the Law]

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 19:1, 5-8, 10-20; 20:18-21; 24:3, 6-8, 15-17

 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.  You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord.  You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord.  And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.  And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings.  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.  And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.  “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”  Leviticus 23:15-22 ESV

26 On the day of the firstfruits, when you offer a grain offering of new grain to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, 27 but offer a burnt offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord: two bulls from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; 28 also their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for each bull, two tenths for one ram, 29 a tenth for each of the seven lambs; 30 with one male goat, to make atonement for you. 31 Besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, you shall offer them and their drink offering. See that they are without blemish.  Numbers 28:26-31 ESV

You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.  Deuteronomy 16:9-12 ESV

 

Pentecost Part 5 – The Counting of the Omer – Day and Hour Unknown?

Another name for Pentecost is the Feast of Weeks.  This name stems from how it is to be calculated: seven weeks after the waving of the Omer (Firstfruits sheaf of grain offering).

You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.  You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath.  Leviticus 23:15 ESV

The Counting of the Omer

Shavuot is the last of the Spring feasts.  It concludes the Feast of Weeks, which begins at Firstfruits.  This is kind of confusing, so here’s a diagram:

countomerdays

In Deuteronomy, the Israelites are told to “count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain” (Deut 16:9 ESV).  Pentecost came exactly 7 weeks after the first harvest of barley.  Hebrew4Christians states “The 49 day countdown to the holiday is called the “Sefirat Omer” – Counting of the Omer.  Every day of the countdown a special blessing was recited naming exactly how many more days were left before the climactic 50th day – a Jubilee of days!”

I found that statement interesting in light of all the Jubilee talk going on in the watching community.  This post is from last fall, but has some Jubilee discussion: Does Yom Kippur 2017 Mark the Loud Trump of a Jubilee?  I personally believe that the Jubilee will be prophetically fulfilled at the Second Coming, not at the rapture.  However, Pentecost seems to be a type of shadow fulfillment of the Jubilee cycle every year with its’ 50 day count.

Since the Feast of Firstfruits can vary by several days on the Hebrew calendar, Pentecost can also vary by several days.  Firstfruits is determined by “the day after the Sabbath following Passover”.  Seven full weeks later is Pentecost.  Thus, the day of Pentecost is not easily determined until after Firstfruits has been established for that year.  As we will see below, there is some variation in how the word “Sabbath” is applied in these day counts.

Passover Calculation Controversy – The Day and Hour Unknown?

Interestingly, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Karaites all had different methods of calculating the date on which Pentecost was to fall.  If you have been following the discussions about whether or not the “Barley Was Abib”, then you have already been introduced to the Karaite version.

Hebrew4Christians nicely details the controversy surrounding how the date of Pentecost is to be established.  It seems we may not clearly be able to know the Day of Passover, and thus Pentecost, unless you can determine which view is correct! 😉

“Later on, after the Israelites had settled into the Promised Land, Shavuot began to take on other significance.  Unlike the other mo’edim given in the Torah, however, Shavuot has no explicit date but must be inferred from Leviticus 23:11 and 23:15: “And from the day on which you bring the omer offering – the day after the Sabbath – you shall count off seven weeks”.  The key phrase is “the day after the Sabbath”.  Does this phrase refer to Sunday or perhaps to the Sabbath of Passover?

This controversy is not insignificant, since Shavuot is one of the three mo’edim (appointed times) in which all males are directly commanded to appear before the LORD in Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17).  Since the date of Shavuot depends on the first day of the omer, starting the count on the wrong day would imply that festival would be observed at the wrong time.  Eventually three main viewpoints developed regarding the meaning of the phrase “after the Sabbath”:

The Tzaddukim (Sadducees) believed that the word “Sabbath” was used in its regular sense, as the seventh day of the week, and therefore began the countdown on the first Sunday after Passover (Talmud: Menachot 65).  Now since Shavuot occurs 7 weeks later to this day, this implies that it also fell on a Sunday.  Moreover, since the day of the week for Passover varies over the year, the date of Shavuot would likewise vary.

The Perushim (Pharisees), on the other hand, believed that “the day after the Shabbat” referred to not the weekly Sabbath but to the first day of Passover (which is a shabbaton or day of work restrictions), and therefore began counting the following day, that is, the day after Passover (which is also the second day of Unleavened Bread).  This is supported in Joshua 5:11-12 when Israel first entered the land and ate of its firstfruits.  Now since Passover always occurs on Nisan 15, this established a fixed date for Shavuot 49 days later on Sivan 6.

The Karaites rejected both these methods but instead relied upon the sighting of the new moon (Rosh Chodesh) and the appearance of the first sheaves of barley to determine the month of Aviv and the festival of Firstfruits, respectively.  After these observations, the wave offering of the firstfruits would then be presented at the temple on the day after the weekly Sabbath, and only then would the 49 day countdown to Shavuot begin.  Therefore, since the appearance of the first barley sheaves is not constant, the date Shavuot could not be foreknown with any certainty.

Historically, the Pharisee’s position prevailed in the Jewish tradition, and the modern Rabbinical calendar marks Shavuot on the fixed date of Sivan 6 (in May/June), exactly 49 days after the second day of Passover (Nisan 16).  This accords with the testimony of first century historians Josephus and Philo, who both state that the “day after the Sabbath” meant the day after the holiday Sabbath.”

Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

I was able to find information on a fourth group of Jews, the Essenes:

The Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls began the 50-day count to Shavuot on a different Sabbath from the Pharisees. In their reckoning, the Omer offering was to be brought on the morrow of the weekly Sabbath, in modern terms: “Sunday.” The Essenes began their count on the Sunday after the seven-days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As a result, they always began their count on the 26th day of the First Hebrew Month. The Essenes had a 364-day solar calendar, which began every year on a Wednesday and had fixed lengths for each month. Based on the Essene calendar, Shavuot always fell out on the 15th day of the Third Hebrew Month. The Essenes are presumed to have been wiped out when the Romans invaded Judea in 66-74 CE and only their documents survive today.

Source: https://www.nehemiaswall.com/truth-shavuot

The site Nehemia’s Wall does not list the Karaite method of determining Firstfruits and Pentecost above.  However, they would seem to argue against the Pharisee method, which is the most commonly used today in the Hebrew calendars.

An important verse that confirms the timing of Shavuot appears in the Book of Joshua:

“And they ate of the produce of the land on the morrow of the Passover, unleavened and parched grain on this very day. And the Manna ceased on the morrow when they ate of the produce of the land…” -Joshua 5:11

This verse describes the events surrounding the cessation of the Manna, shortly after the Children of Israel entered the Land of Canaan. To understand this the significance of this verse, we must go back to the Book of the Leviticus, where the Israelites were forbidden to eat of the new crops of the Land of Israel until the day of the Omer offering:

“And bread and parched grain and ripe grain you shall not eat until this very day, until you bring the sacrifice of your God; it shall be an eternal statute for your generations in all your habitations.” Leviticus 23:14

When Joshua 5:11 describes the eating of “unleavened bread and parched grain… on this very day” it is using almost the precise wording of Leviticus 23:14 “and bread and parched grain… you will not eat until this very day.” The new produce of the land was forbidden until the Omer offering was brought. Joshua 5:11 is saying that when the Israelites entered the Land for the first time, they observed this commandment and waited until the terms of Leviticus 23:14 were fulfilled. In other words, they waited for the Omer offering before eating the grain of Israel. This has been widely recognized by Jewish Bible commentators throughout history, such as the 11th Century rabbi Rashi who explains on Joshua 5:11, “morrow of the Passover is the day of the waving of the omer.”

Joshua 5:11 is saying that the first Omer offering in the Land of Israel was brought on the “morrow of the Passover.” Immediately after this, the Children of Israel were permitted to eat of the new crops of the Land. For the first time, the Israelites pulled out their sickles and ate of the good bounty of their new homeland.

To understand the phrase “morrow of the Passover” we need to define two terms: “morrow” and “Passover.” The Hebrew word for “morrow” is mi-mocharat which refers to “the morning after.” In the phrase “morrow of the Sabbath” it describes Sunday morning, the morning after the 24-hour Sabbath.

Source: https://www.nehemiaswall.com/truth-shavuot

This year, Passover (the first day of Unleavened Bread, and also a High Sabbath) fell on March 30, 2018 and the weekly Sabbath following this was March 31.  Firstfruits would thus be April 1, 2018.  No matter which of the 3 calculations you use, interestingly they  all seem to be in agreement this year. This calendar thing, honestly.  There is STILL some uncertainty in the calendar, based on when Nisan 1 actually was (the start of the month is supposed to be based on the sighting of the first sliver of moon after New Moon).  I am working on sorting this out and will update this post when I figure out something more concrete.

UPDATE HERE – CHASING PENTECOST 2018

Thus, it seems that Pentecost is also a contender, along with the Feast of Trumpets, for the “Feast of Unknown Day/Hour”.  Note, too, that even if Pentecost is “THE Day”, the actual date and time (hour) will vary for believers worldwide because of time zones 🙂

In part 2 of our study, we examined the Dispensation Changes associated with Pentecost.  Let’s go to a similar study next, that of God’s Covenants:

Pentecost Part 6 – God’s Covenant Changes on Pentecost – It’s All About the Blood

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

What Are the 7 Dispensations?  (GraceThruFaith)

What are the 7 Dispensations? (Gotquestions)

Does Scripture Support a Pentecost Rapture? (PDF – T.W. Tramm)

The Feast of Pentecost (GraceThruFaith)

Shavuot – Revelation and the Fruit of the Spirit (Hebrew4Christians)

The Mystery of Pentecost (Prophecy Watchers)

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

The Blood Moon Sign

The Noisy, Not-So-Secret Rapture of the Church

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

The Four Horsemen – Seals 1-4

The Martyrs Under the Altar – Seal 5

The Blood Moon – Seal 6

Heavenly Silence – Seal 7

Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

 


Passages Describing the Feast of Pentecost

When studying Biblical teaching, I believe it is always important to read the source for yourself.  Not just a verse or two, but the entire relevant passage.  This will sharpen your discernment skills, as you examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so.  Much of the fall ruckus over the Jubilee and Yom Kippur could have been avoided if everyone had just read Leviticus chapter 23.  So with no further delay, here are the relevant passages describing the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost (Weeks):

On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

[10 Commandments Given]

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

[Additional commandments Given – the Law]

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lordhas spoken we will do.”  And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 19:1, 5-8, 10-20; 20:18-21; 24:3, 6-8, 15-17

 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.  You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord.  You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord.  And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.  And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings.  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.  And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.  “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”  Leviticus 23:15-22 ESV

26 On the day of the firstfruits, when you offer a grain offering of new grain to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, 27 but offer a burnt offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord: two bulls from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; 28 also their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for each bull, two tenths for one ram, 29 a tenth for each of the seven lambs; 30 with one male goat, to make atonement for you. 31 Besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, you shall offer them and their drink offering. See that they are without blemish.  Numbers 28:26-31 ESV

You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.  Deuteronomy 16:9-12 ESV

 

Pentecost Part 3 – Pentecost Prophecies

We’ve been examining how the feast of Pentecost seems to mark dispensation changes in the past.  The question is, will it also mark a future dispensation change?  Specifically, will Pentecost end the dispensation we are currently in?

To examine this, we turn to Acts chapter 2.

Pentecost Prophecies

I have been fascinated by the way Peter quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2:16-21 – on the first Pentecost of the Church Age.  Through this passage, I believe he defines the beginning and end of the church age for us.  Peter affirms that the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost was a partial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy:

 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

[start of church age]

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

[church age]

19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

[end of church age]

Verses 17-18 mark the beginning of the Church Age – its’ conception, if you will (borrowing Scottie Clark’s terminology and using the frequent birth analogy that is found in Scripture).  At the start of the church age is the mystery of the new birth; being “born again” spiritually and sealed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Instead of only being upon God’s prophets and holy men, the Holy Spirit is now gifted to all who believe.  This gifting of the Holy Spirit is marked by prophecy, visions, dreams, and many  other spiritual gifts not mentioned here, but above all – sealing.  It is clear why Peter quotes Joel 2:28-29 on Pentecost as fulfilling that part of Joel’s prophecy.

There is a pregnant pause“, so to speak, between Verses 18 and 19.

Verses 19-21 mark the end of the Church Age – its’ birth.  This is the redemption of our bodies!  This is the removal of the Restrainer – the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the body of Christ as a Temple!  Note that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, before the day of the Lord.  The end of the Holy Spirit’s sealing ministry in the church will be marked by wonders in the heavens, signs on the earth, blood, fire, vapor of smoke, darkened sun, and a blood red moon.  These events clearly did not occur on the first Pentecost, so why would Peter mention them in his sermon – on Pentecost?  Could it be that he is announcing the future fulfillment of the remainder of Joel’s prophecy on some future Pentecost?  

What Peter Did NOT Quote

I believe that what Peter did NOT quote is just as important to study as what he DID quote.  Let’s examine the passage Peter is referring to in Acts 2, which is found in Joel chapter 2:28-32 (ESV):

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.  The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

Peter stops quoting Joel here.  We discussed these verses already.  Now let’s see what he left off:

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.  Joel 2:28-32 ESV

The question we must ask is, why did Peter stop where he did?  We know that only verses 28-29 were fulfilled in his day.  Why did he include verses 30-32a, but leave off 32b?  If he was just referencing the entire prophecy, surely he would have included verse 32b as well.  Or, if the ending of the church age would have nothing to do with Pentecost, surely he would have ended his quotation after verse 29, don’t you think?

I believe Peter is clearly defining the ending of the church age for us, on Pentecost. That’s why he included verses 30-32a in his sermon, on Pentecost.  I can think of no other reason why he would bother including verses 30-32a and leaving off 32b.  He did NOT include verse 32b, as that part will be fulfilled at the second coming, during the Fall Feasts.

The rest of Joel’s prophecy will be fulfilled at the time of the Second Coming of Christ.  There are two escape opportunities.  One, at the rapture.  The second, right before the final judgment.  Both times, everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (that portion, verse 32a, is prophetically repeated).

This second escape is detailed further in Zechariah 14, where God’s people flee right before Bowl 7 is poured out and Jesus arrives for the Battle of Armageddon flanked by His holy ones (us).

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.  And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.  (Zechariah 14:1-9 ESV)

Yes, this is consistent with Mystery Babylon being the latter-days city of Jerusalem (NOT how Jerusalem is today).  I know you probably don’t agree, but please give the following a read before you toss it aside:  The Mount of Olives – Final Escape Route; and Who is Mystery Babylon, and What Does She Do?

Matching Pieces

If Peter is telling us that the church age will end with the signs detailed in Acts 2:19-21, where do we find a match for this in scripture?  There is only one place:

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.  Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,  calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”  Revelation 6:12-17 ESV

When the fullness of time for the wrath of God arrives, the body of Christ will be redeemed from the earth and stand before the Lamb in heaven.

Understanding the prophetic difference between a Blood Red Moon and a Darkened Moon is a special key that unlocks critical understanding of future events.  The blood moon is unique to 3 specific passages:  Joel 2 (prophecy), Acts 2 (prophetically suggested future fulfillment in Pentecost), and Revelation 6 (fulfillment).

The blood moon in particular is a major key in Biblical Prophecy.  A darkened moon, on the other hand, occurs more frequently and is thus harder to pinpoint to a specific event.  Both the blood and darkened moons are equally accompanied by a darkened sun and darkened or falling stars.  Both announce a revealing of Jesus Christ, when the skies roll back as a scroll.  The blood red moon occurs BEFORE the great and terrible Day of the Lord; darkness occurs DURING the Day of the Lord; a darkened moon occurs at the END of the Day of the Lord at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Summary

Note how Pentecost/Shavuot seems to introduce new dispensations – first, the Dispensation of Law (Mosaic covenant), then the Dispensation of Grace (Spirit of the Law).  Will it also introduce the interim dispensation of wrath (the Day of the Lord, commonly called the “Tribulation”, which seems to involve both Law and Grace)?  I believe Peter is strongly hinting at this exact fulfillment in his sermon given at the first church age Pentecost.

The Church Age, the “dispensation of grace”, will end when the Holy Spirit is removed just as He came, along with all who have Him inside them as a sealIt seems entirely plausible that it could occur on some future Pentecost.  For now, let’s continue our study by further examining this “Removal of the Restrainer”.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”  (Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV). 

 

Pentecost Part 4 – Temples of God and the Removal of the Restrainer

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Blood Moon Sign

The Prophetic Significance of Blood Moons and How They Relate to the Rapture of the Church

The Noisy, Not-So-Secret Rapture of the Church

Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

pentecost 1

 

Pentecost Part 2 – The Feast That Marks Dispensation Changes and Birthdays

We have been studying Pentecost, otherwise known as Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks, as one of God’s appointed times (mo’ed).  Shavuot is considered the day on which Judaism was born (the Age of Law).  Pentecost is considered the day on which the Church was born (the Age of Grace).  In this way, Pentecost has already marked the beginning and ending of several dispensations.

Will a future Pentecost mark another dispensation change?

This is the main question I am setting out to answer with this study series, and for that we need to review what dispensations are.

What Are the Dispensations?

God’s revelation and dealings with humanity can be broadly separated into “ages”.  It is progressive in nature, as each “dispensation”, or “age”, unfolds into the next.  This is the basis for Dispensational Theology.  It’s not perfect, but it helps us grasp how God has progressively revealed Himself and His redemption plan to humanity.

Jack Kelley at GraceThruFaith explains dispensationalism in this way:

Dispensationalism is a method for interpreting the Bible. The Greek word from which we get dispensation appears only 7 times in the New Testament and is only translated as such in four of those, all by Paul and all in the King James (1 Cor. 9:17Ephes. 1:10Ephes. 3:2Colossians 1:25). Other meanings of this word are stewardship, administration, and economy.

A dispensationalist believes that God has dealt with humanity in different ways at different times—revealing to us His character and His plan for mankind. These different periods of time are called dispensations.

Some say that dispensationalism is a relatively modern system of theology first proposed by John Nelson Darby in the mid-1800s. But evidence that the early church believed in the principles of dispensationalism can be found in the 2nd Century writings of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Justin Martyr saw four distinct periods (dispensations) and gave them the names of the principle players, Adam to Abraham; Abraham to Moses; Moses to Christ; and Christ to Eternity. Irenaeus also saw four periods, from the Creation to the Flood, from the Flood to the Law, from the Law to the Gospel, and from the Gospel to Eternity.

More recently most scholars have settled on seven dispensations. Each one has begun with an agreement between God and man that man has subsequently broken, causing the agreement to fail and requiring a judgment. Here are the seven dispensations in chronological order.

1) Innocence: Between the Creation and the Fall of Man in the Garden

God interacted freely and personally with Adam and Eve during this period. Then they broke the only rule He had given them (Genesis 3:11-13) and were expelled from the Garden. Sin entered the world.

2) Conscience: Between the Fall and the Flood

God allowed man’s conscience to govern his behavior without Divine interference. Because of the sin nature passed down from mankind’s first parents, the result was that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God pronounced judgment upon the world and destroyed all but 8 members of the human race in the Great Flood.

3) Human Government … From the Flood to Abraham

After the flood, God told Noah to go forth and replenish the Earth (Genesis 9:7). Noah’s descendants disobeyed God’s commandment, setting about instead to build a great city and tower from which to study the stars (Genesis 11:4). God confused man’s language, causing them to stop building the tower, and scattered them through out the world (Genesis 11:8-9).

4) Promise: From Abraham to Moses

God promised Abraham a homeland for his descendants (Genesis 17:8) and a son for him and Sarah (Genesis 17:15-16). But they grew tired of waiting and produced a son on their own, who they named Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-2.15). When God’s promised son Isaac was born, Ishmael was sent away (Genesis 21:8-13) causing enmity between the Jews (descendants of Isaac) and Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) that continues to this day. After Mohammed, a descendant of Ishmael’s, founded Islam this enmity took on religious significance and became even more intense.

5) Law: From Moses to Jesus

God gave Moses the 10 Commandments and promised the Jews a life of peace and plenty in a Kingdom of their own if they obeyed (Exodus 19:5Exodus 20:1-17). After repeated periods of disobedience which included rejecting their Messiah King, God withdrew His offer of the Kingdom and expelled them from their land (Matt. 21:43Luke 19:41-44).

6) Grace: From Pentecost to the Rapture—the Church Age

No longer requiring righteousness through works, God granted a righteousness by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ to all who accept, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 3:21-24). Most will not accept and will be punished through eternity.

Note: It’s important to realize that Grace didn’t replace Law, it just interrupted it.  Law has another 7 years to run, called Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27), which fills the time between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. During this time all the nations to which Israel has been scattered will be completely destroyed and Israel will be disciplined in preparation for receiving the Kingdom (Jeremiah 30:4-11).

7) The Kingdom: The 1000 Year Reign of Christ that begins with the 2nd Coming

This time Israel will accept the Kingdom offer (Zechariah 12:10Zechariah 14:8-9). Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:2), all unbelievers will be expelled from the planet (Matt. 25:41-46), and God will once again dwell in the midst of His people (Ezek. 43:6-7). You’d think the world could finally live in a manner pleasing to God. But we can’t. Eventually, with the exception of Israel, the world will rebel against God and His people. God will send fire to consume them all (Rev. 20:7-10).

Source: https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/dispensationalism-2/

A chart demonstrating these 7 dispensations would look like this:

dispensations.jpg

We will examine Dispensational Theology in more depth another time, but for today let’s examine how the Feast of Pentecost fits in to a discussion of Dispensations.  The only two dispensations connected to Pentecost are Law and Grace (Church Age).

Shavuot – The Dispensation of Law Begins

Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is a memorial to the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.  According to Hebrew4Christians, Shavuot at Mount Sinai is considered the day on which Judaism was born.  This is what we refer to as the giving of the Covenant of Moses, or the Laws of Moses.  We discussed this more fully in Part 1, The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace.

What is notable is that the Dispensation of Law ended on the day it began – Pentecost.

Pentecost – The Dispensation of Grace Begins

On the celebration of this feast day after Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to the body of Christ in power and as a seal.  Thus, Pentecost is associated with the “birthday of the Church”.  In the church age, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the spirit behind the letter of the Law.  We refer to this as the age (or dispensation) of Grace.  Again, we discussed this more fully in Part 1, The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace.

Our question here is, will the Dispensation of Grace end on the day it began – Pentecost?

Pentecost – The Dispensation of Law + Grace Begins???

Once the Church Age ends with the removal of the Restrainer (the indwelling, sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit), it seems that salvation will be similar to how it was in the Old Testament under the Law.  The Holy Spirit will not be “gone” from the Earth, and He will still be involved in convicting of sin and leading people to repentance.  Salvation, as always, will be by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

However, it will be necessary to act out that faith, as per the parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25.  Believers will be held accountable for what they do, or do not do, as if it were for Jesus Himself.  It seems Tribulation-Age Saints will need to pray for God not to take His Holy Spirit from them as David did:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. 

Psalm 51:10-12 ESV

The Tribulation Saints will be responsible for remaining faithful in the face of severe deprivation and persecution.  The question is, when will the Grace Dispensation end and the Tribulation Dispensation begin?

Conceptions and Births

We mentioned above, that Shavuot, or the giving of the Law, was the “birth of Judaism”.  We also mentioned that Pentecost, or the giving of the Holy Spirit, was the “birth of Christianity”.  As Scottie Clarke has pointed out so succinctly… was this our birthday… or our conception?  What do you think?

If the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai was the conception of Judaism, was it birthed in fullness with the start of Christianity?  One might consider that to be true in some sense, as Christ was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  Matthew 5:17 ESV

One might then wonder… what will happen at the fulfillment of the church age?  The end times revolve around a theme of birth, birth pains, and deliverance.  More on that can be found here: Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End.

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The Rapture of Enoch

Only two humans have ever been translated to heaven alive, bypassing death.  One of these is the Patriarch Enoch, who came before the global flood.  The other is Elijah, who was one of the Old Testament Prophets.  As far as I know, there is no mention of what day Elijah was raptured.  There is, however, tradition surrounding Enoch’s rapture.  Jack Kelley writes about it here:

By tradition, Enoch, one of the patriarchs from Genesis 5, was born on the day later to be known as Pentecost. Enoch’s name means “teaching,” a primary function of the Church (Matt. 28:19-20).  For this reason many scholars see him as a “type” of the church as well. Genesis 5:21-23 indicates that Enoch had a close relationship with God and was actually taken live (raptured) into Heaven before the Great Flood. Pre-Trib scholars see this event as one of several Old Testament hints that the Church will disappear from Earth before the Great Tribulation.

These same traditions also hold that Enoch was taken on his birthday. So here’s a man, identified with the Church, perhaps being born and raptured on the day that would become Pentecost, the day the Church was born.  Will the Church be raptured on our birthday, too?

Source: https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/holidays-and-holy-days/the-feast-of-pentecost/

The scripture passage is found here:

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.  Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.  Genesis 5:21-24 ESV

From Scripture itself, all we know is that Enoch was raptured before the flood.  We don’t know his birthday or which date he was taken from the Bible – this information comes from extrabiblical texts so should be taken with a grain of salt.

Interestingly, Enoch lived 365 years, which is the number of days in our post-flood calendar year.  His son, Methuselah, was the longest-lived human.  Methuselah’s name means “his death shall bring judgment”, and in the year when Methuselah died, the flood came.  I always wondered if there was a connection between the gap of time between Enoch’s rapture and the coming of the flood – the gap is 669 years.  Perhaps you can figure something out!

Besides the birthday connections, the Bible does contain some prophecies about Pentecost.  Let’s examine these next!

Pentecost Part 3 – Pentecost Prophecies

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

What Are the 7 Dispensations?  (GraceThruFaith)

What are the 7 Dispensations? (Gotquestions)

Meaning of the Names in Genesis 5 – God’s Redemption Story (Chuck Missler)

Does Scripture Support a Pentecost Rapture? (PDF – T.W. Tramm)

The Feast of Pentecost (GraceThruFaith)

Shavuot – Revelation and the Fruit of the Spirit (Hebrew4Christians)

The Mystery of Pentecost (Prophecy Watchers)

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

Pentecost Part 1 – The Giving of Law, The Giving of Grace

In studying the Feast of Pentecost, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that this celebration ties together many loose ends for the church.  What has started out as a single post is evolving into a series through which I hope to bring you along on this fascinating journey of discovery about Pentecost, perhaps our “highest watch date”:

  1. Pentecost Part 1 – The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace
  2. Pentecost Part 2 – The Feast That Marks Dispensation Changes and Birthdays
  3. Pentecost Part 3 – Pentecost Prophecies
  4. Pentecost Part 4 – Temples of God and the Removal of the Restrainer
  5. Pentecost Part 5- The Counting of the Omer – Day and Hour Unknown?
  6. Pentecost Part 6 – God’s Covenant Changes on Pentecost – It’s All About the Blood
  7. Pentecost Part 7 – A Picture of a Pentecost Rapture in Hebrews 12
  8. Pentecost Part 8 – Pentecost, Joel 2, and the Coming of the Day of the Lord
  9. Pentecost Part 9 – The Trumpets and the Feasts
  10. Pentecost Part 10 – The First Trump and the Last Trump – On Pentecost?
  11. Pentecost Part 11 – God’s Battle Cry in the Last Trump
  12. Pentecost Part 12 – Covenants Confirmed, Covenants Proclaimed
  13. Pentecost Part 13 – The Resurrection on the Last Day
  14. Pentecost Part 14 – The Harvest of the Church Pictured on Pentecost (Amos 8)
  15. Pentecost Part 15 – The Day the Skies Open
  16. The Feast of Weddings and Wedding Suppers

Overview of the Feasts of the Lord

God set appointed times on His calendar from the beginning of creation.  Genesis 1:14 declares “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years”.  (ESV)  The sacred times, or seasons, are the fixed or “appointed” times when God would meet with His people.  These appointed times are illustrative pictures for humanity of God’s redemption plan.

The Hebrew word for “holy convocation” or “sacred assembly” is mikrah, which also means a “dress rehearsal”.  Every time these festivals are celebrated, it is a visual and spiritual aid to remind us of the prophetic plan of God.  Perhaps you are familiar with the ordinances of water baptism and communion, which similarly demonstrate spiritual truths.

There are seven Feasts of God.  You are likely most familiar with the three spring feasts – Unleavened Bread, Passover, and Firstfruits.  Unleavened Bread is the umbrella feast, and Passover (death and burial of Christ) and Firstfruits (resurrection of Christ) fall within it.  The late spring feast is called Pentecost.  The fall feasts include the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).  These seven appointed times are collectively called the “moedim” and are detailed in Exodus 12-13, Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29 and Deuteronomy 16.  Together, they represent Christ’s redemption of mankind from His death through to His millennial rule.

I want you to particularly note that these are the appointed feasts of the Lord, and as such, they transcend Israel. While they were initially given to Israel, they are just as applicable to believers today (just like the scriptures!).  These appointed times point clearly to Christ.  An overview of these can be found here: The Feasts of God – His Appointed Times.

Pentecost – an Overview

Pentecost, otherwise known as Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks, is one of God’s appointed times.  Gary Stearman of Prophecy Watchers describes Pentecost in this way:
We have demonstrated numerous remarkable connections between Pentecost and the prophetic conclusion of the church age. It is the fourth and central feast among the seven Feasts of Israel: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles. The first three are spring festivals, representing the blood sacrifice and resurrection. The last three come in the fall, calling forth judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom. At the center – in the early summer – is Pentecost. In the Bible, it is represented by two loaves of leavened bread, held aloft by the High Priest. Today’s Jews celebrate it annually, in a ceremony called, “decorating the bride.” This reminds us of the church, the “bride of Christ.”
(Source: https://prophecywatchers.com/the-mystery-of-pentecost/)

Shavuot is considered the day on which Judaism was born (the Age of Law).  Pentecost is also considered the day on which the Church was born (the Age of Grace).  While it’s clear that much has occurred on Pentecost already, I challenge you to consider whether or not Pentecost has been completely fulfilled.  If not, what does that mean for us as the body of Christ?

Will a future Pentecost mark another dispensation change? 

I am thinking specifically of the end of the Church Age and the start of a 7 year “Age of Wrath”.  It’s certainly worth studying, so let’s delve into it!  I have used Hebrew4Christians as a resource when indicated by quotation marks and the source is here: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

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Passages Describing the Feast of Pentecost

When studying Biblical teaching, I believe it is always important to read the source for yourself.  Not just a verse or two, but the entire relevant passage.  This will sharpen your discernment skills, as you examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so.  Because we are going to be discussing Pentecost in great detail over the next few posts, I encourage you to read through the following passages at least once:

On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

[10 Commandments Given]

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

[Additional commandments Given – the Law]

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

(Exodus 19:1, 5-8, 10-20; 20:18-21; 24:3, 6-8, 15-17 ESV)

 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.  You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord.  You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord.  And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.  And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings.  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.  And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.  “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” 

(Leviticus 23:15-22 ESV)

26 On the day of the firstfruits, when you offer a grain offering of new grain to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, 27 but offer a burnt offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord: two bulls from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; 28 also their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for each bull, two tenths for one ram, 29 a tenth for each of the seven lambs; 30 with one male goat, to make atonement for you. 31 Besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, you shall offer them and their drink offering. See that they are without blemish. 

(Numbers 28:26-31 ESV)

You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes. 

(Deuteronomy 16:9-12 ESV)

The First Pentecost (Shavuot) in the Old Covenant

Shavuot is the feast that marks the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.  In this way, it can be considered the “birthday of Judaism”.  The first Shavuot occurred exactly 7 weeks after the Exodus on Sivan 6.  This feast became an agricultural celebration of God’s provision for Israel.  It marked one of the 3 times per year that adult men would need to go to Jerusalem to make sacrifices (the others being Unleavened Bread/Passover in the early spring and Tabernacles in the fall).  The first Shavuot is described in great detail in the above passages.

During the festival of Shavuot, a sample of the first of the wheat harvest (note that believers in Christ are often referred to as wheat, as opposed to tares) was brought to the priests.  This wheat was baked into two loaves of leavened bread and waved before the altar.  Notably, this is the only feast that includes leaven in the offering.  The purpose for the inclusion of leaven isn’t detailed, but I believe it possibly points to both Jew and Gentile being made into one body under the New Covenant.  A similar question might be – why are there TWO loaves, and not just one?  Could this be pointing to the same thing – Jew and Gentile made one under the New Covenant?

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  (Ephesians 2:14-16 ESV)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3:28 ESV)

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.  (Colossians 3:11 ESV)

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Awesome.  Let’s keep going.  Hebrew4Christians states in their article on Shavuot – “Moses ascended the mountain, and there God commanded him to tell the leaders that if they would obey the LORD and keep His covenant, then they would be the LORD’s “kingdom of priests and “holy nation“.”  (Exodus 19:6)  Hmmmm, does that phrase sound familiar?  In the Church Age fulfillment of Shavuot, we are also called a royal priesthood and holy nation:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

Ok, carrying on!  The people respond that they will follow the LORD’s commandments and enter into covenant with Him.  [This, of course, is the covenant of the Law, which at the fulfillment of Passover gets superseded by the New and Better Covenant in Jesus’ blood.]  God tells them to “Be ready for the third day; for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people”.  In the meantime, they were to sanctify themselves via specific purification rites, which they carried out as directed.  In parallel, in the the new covenant, we are washed and purified by the blood of Jesus.

Incidentally, this “third day” was not repeated at Pentecost in 32AD (or whichever year Jesus died), nor is it prophesied to be repeated in the future – despite what some Catholic mysticism sites erroneously claim.

Hebrew4Christians continues – “Rabbinic tradition says that the Torah was actually given on the sixth of Sivan, the Shabbat following the new moon of Sivan that year.  On Shabbat morning of the sixth of Sivan, exactly seven weeks after the Exodus, all the children of Israel gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai, where the LORD descended amidst thunder, lightning, billowing smoke, fire, and the voluminous blast of the shofar.  The LORD then declared the foundation of moral conduct required of the people, the Ten Commandments.  The sound of a shofar grew louder and louder until terror gripped the heart of the people.  As the LORD began speaking the second commandment, however, the people began falling back in fear…”

Thunder, lightning, billowing smoke, fire, and the voluminous blast of the shofar sending terror into the heart of the people.  NOTE THIS!!!

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Moses then takes the blood of the sacrifices and throws half upon the altar and half upon the people, ratifying the covenant with blood (the new covenant is ratified in the blood of Christ).  Moses, Aaron, Aaron’s sons, and the 70 elders of Israel then ascended Mount Sinai to eat a “covenant affirmation meal” with the LORD.  Yes, these all dine with the LORD Himself (Exodus 24:9-11).  Hmmm, there’s an upcoming wedding feast where we will dine with the LORD Himself.  I wonder if it will occur in conjunction with a future Shavuot?

Greek translators later called Shavuot “Pentecost”, as it occurs 50 (penta) days after the Passover.  So that is what we will call it from now on.

The First Pentecost in the New Covenant

On to the New Testament and the New Covenant!  On the celebration of this feast day after Jesus’ resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to the body of Christ in power and as a seal.  Thus, Pentecost is associated with the “birthday of the Church”.

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:1-4 ESV)

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The coming of the Holy Spirit upon all believers is unique to the church age.  In the Old Covenant (Age of Law), the Holy Spirit came upon specific individuals such as the kings, prophets, and judges.  In the New Covenant (Age of Grace), the Holy Spirit comes upon all believers at the moment of salvation to Seal them for the Day of Redemption.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.  Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed  for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 ESV

This sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit I believe is a special key to understanding the seals of Revelation 6.  The transference of His sealing from the church to the 144,000 marks the opening of the Seals of Revelation and is detailed in this post:  Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrew4Christians describes the festival of Shavuot as “the culmination of the redemption, sometimes called Atzeret Pesach, or “The Gathering of Passover””.  Culmination of redemption, and the gathering, hey?  Brings to mind these verses:

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him… (2 Thessalonians 2:1 ESV)

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  (Romans 8:22-23 ESV)

It’s looking like Pentecost just may be the feast that marks the culmination of our redemption.

Did Jesus Fulfill Shavuot / Pentecost Completely?

There is no question that Jesus fulfilled the first three Spring feasts in entirety through His death (Passover), burial (Unleavened Bread), and resurrection (Firstfruits).  When the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, was that the complete fulfillment of the late spring feast?

We noted above that the shadow (dress rehearsal) always points to the substance (fulfillment) – which is all found in Jesus Christ.  Jesus sent His Spirit to the church for this age, and that has typically been considered as the definitive fulfillment.  Recently, however, Greg at A Little Strength has noted that the Holy Spirit isn’t actually Christ Himself, nor did Jesus send Him.  It was the Father who sent the Holy Spirit to believers:

Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.   (Acts 2:33 ESV)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  (John 14:26 ESV)

This may seem a little nitpicky, to argue over the Father versus the Son sending the Holy Spirit.  Bear with me.  Jesus literally fulfilled the first 3 Spring Feasts Himself in the same year.  He will literally fulfill the 3 Fall Feasts Himself in the same year, at the Second Coming.  Is this a clue that Jesus Himself will fulfill Pentecost – not the Father?

Could it be that BOTH the giving of the Law and the giving of the Holy Spirit were only partial (shadow) fulfillments of Pentecost?

Could it be that Jesus – Himself, literally – snatching His church on a future day of Pentecost will be the ultimate consummation of this feast?  We know He will literally and personally call us up to be with Him someday, right?  Isn’t it logical that it would be possibly timed to fulfill a Feast of the Lord?  I cannot say I have a prophetic answer for this, but this interpretation is worth considering, don’t you think?

For today, we need to further examine how Pentecost marks a change in God’s dealings with mankind, and we will do so in the next post:

Pentecost Part 2 – The Feast that Marks Dispensation Changes

Main Pentecost Study Menu: Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Does Scripture Support a Pentecost Rapture? (PDF – T.W. Tramm)

The Feast of Pentecost (GraceThruFaith)

Shavuot – Revelation and the Fruit of the Spirit (Hebrew4Christians)

The Mystery of Pentecost (Prophecy Watchers)

Sweet Hour of Prayer (A Little Strength)

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

Seals, Sealing, and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

 

Does Yom Kippur 2017 Mark the Loud Trump of a Jubilee?

The community of Bible prophecy watchmen are following the fall feasts of 2017 very closely.  That the year 2017 may be a Jubilee year has spread like wildfire among the watching community.  This would add a possible “loud trump” to this year’s Yom Kippur celebration, and people are speculating if this could be the “last trump”.

Let’s examine what scripture says about the Jubilee in Leviticus chapter 25:

You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years.  Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.  And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.  Leviticus 25:8-10 ESV

The Israelites, as well as property, were to be freed from their slavery and debts every 50th year.

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the Jubilee

The Hebrew calendar is a little bit tricky.  The MONTHS are counted starting in Nisan (Exodus 12:1-2), the month in which the Exodus began.  However, the civil year, how the YEARS are counted, starts in Tishrei (the 7th month – Ezekiel 40:1).  Rosh Hashanah, or the Head of the Year, coincides with Yom Teru’ah (Feast of Trumpets – 1 Tishrei) on non-Jubilee years.  Rosh Hashanah, or the head of the year, coincides with Yom Kippur (10 Tishrei) on Jubilee years.

Because of the association of Feast of Trumpets as a possible rapture feast, many are wondering if the Jubilee trumpet could be the “last trump” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15.  Instead of the “last trump” of a specific Feast, could the “last trump” be the final trump of a year?

An interlinear examination of the “loud trumpet” that announces the start of a Jubilee in Leviticus 25 is just that – a loud trumpet blast.  If this trumpet of God is to sound in 2017, then this Yom Kippur would have to START (not end) a Jubilee.  This would proclaim the year as a Jubilee year and set the captives free!  From what I have seen, most people are claiming 2017 ENDS a Jubilee, which isn’t when the “loud trumpet” of the Jubilee is sounded based on Leviticus 25.

A Note on Rabbi Judah ben Samuel

The main excitement over the Jubilee cycle has come from a so-called prophecy by a Rabbi named Judah ben Samuel.  This prophecy is *HIGHLY SUSPECT*, since there is a singular internet source for it.  Breaking Israel News thoroughly researched this prophecy and identified three main problems:

The Problems

First, a number of Internet articles sceptical of this prophecy have pointed out that the Ottoman empire mentioned in the prophecy did not even begin until 1299, more than 80 years after his death. The term “Ottoman” comes from the man, Osman I, who was not even born until 40 years after Judah Ben Samuel. More generally, the “Turks” were segmented, scattered and in continuous decline at the time Judah Ben Samuel lived! This begs the question of exactly how is the original prophecy is worded in its original language and context? That question leads us to a bigger problem.

Second, the available works of Judah Ben Samuel do not contain any reference to this prophecy as far as we are aware! Had there been such reference, it would certainly have garnered the attention of Jews given the respect paid to him.

Third, the announcement of this prophecy was not made until a few years ago, essentially after most or all of its events were completed. Predictions that are released after-the-fact immediately raise concerns.

It was these problems that caused us to discover that there is exactly one original source for everything written on the subject. This prophecy comes from an article published in Israel Today magazine, March 2008, page 18, by Ludwig Schneider.

Source: Breaking Israel News

They subsequently contacted the source author, and had an interview with his son.  There have been no articles located that would attribute this prophecy to Judah ben Samuel.

I would strongly advise against using your rationale for believing in a Jubilee based on this supposed prophecy.  Additionally, the prophecy states that 2017 would be the ending of the Jubilee not the start.  The Jubilee trumpet sounds at the START year of the Jubilee, not the end.

Is 2017 A Jubilee?

It could be, although it can’t be conclusively proven or determined.  The Jubilee hasn’t been celebrated in Israel for millenia.  Although there are several instances in Scripture that indicate a possible Jubilee year being celebrated (Ezekiel 40:1 comes to mind), there is the issue with possible missing years in the current Jewish calendar.  There is no way to verify when the last Jubilee was celebrated.

Looking at significant dates in Israel’s history would indicate there is a strong possibility that 2017 could indeed start a Jubilee.  The notable dates referred to are the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the 6-Day War in 1967, both of which had great impact on Israel as a nation.  (I would argue, though, that Israel becoming an official nation in 1948 is the most significant date in her modern history).  Dan Matson has done his own mathematical calculation of the Jubilees and has determined that Yom Kippur 2017 will be the start of a Jubilee year.  His YouTube is HERE and his study is HERE at WatchForTheDay.

I have received some second-hand reports that the Jubilee is indeed being celebrated in Israel this year, but I have not been able to prove that.

120 Jubilees?

When God states “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years” (Genesis 6:3 ESV), this may have dual application – both in the days of Noah and in the days of humanity.  In Noah’s day, it seems that the global flood came 120 years after God issued this statement.  At the time of the end, which is described “as in the days of Noah”, will 120 Jubilee cycles be completed?  120 x 50 = 6000, the number of 1000-year days of humanity’s rule over the earth.

My own thoughts on the subject surround where we fall in the 6000 years of human rule.  I believe we are either at, or approximately 7 years away from, the completion of 6000 years of humanity.  After this, the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ begins.

So in considering if this is a Jubilee year, it depends where we believe the 7 years of  “Tribulation” fit into place.  If they fall within the 6000 years allotted to human rule, then the Jubilee (120 Jubilees of man) should fall at the END of the Tribulation, at the Second Coming of Christ on Yom Kippur.  However, if the 7 years of tribulation fall within the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ, then the Jubilee should occur at the start of the Tribulation period.  The Jubilees are about Israel, and releasing her from slavery.  While gentile believers have been freed from our slavery to sin, I’m wondering if the Jubilee has more to do with the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th week than it does about the snatching of the Bride of Christ.

From this perspective, I would suggest it makes more sense for the Jubilee cycle to be located at the end of the Tribulation (i.e. in approximately 7 years from now).  However, I don’t believe it is completely clear either way.  However, I believe that Yom Kippur is a possible rapture contender REGARDLESS of whether or not it is a Jubilee year.

 

Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Dan Matson’s study is The Tetrad and the Jubilee

The Last Trump of the Jubilee – Heather MC

The 8th Moedim – A Jubilee Rapture

Unsealed has also written about the 2017 Jubilee

Brenda Weltner – The Jubilee!

Breaking Israel News – 15 Part Study on the Jubilees

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

Jewish Traditions in the Fall Feasts

Jewish traditions do not carry the weight of scripture, but they can lend interesting insights into the cultural understanding surrounding how future prophecy might be fulfilled.

Days of Teshuvah (Repentance) – Elul 1 – Tishrei 10 (40 Days)

This 40 day season is a time of repentance before the Day of Judgment, in Jewish Tradition. This year (2017), the first day was marked by a Total Solar Eclipse over America.  As a human tradition, it does not carry the weight of one of the Feasts of God.  However, when we dive into a study of the month of Elul and the Season of Teshuvah, we start to uncover some interesting facts.

The month of Elul precedes the month of Tishrei, wherein we find the Fall Feasts which are next to be fulfilled prophetically.  From Jewish FAQ, an orthodox Jewish site (bolding mine):

The month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Tradition teaches that the month of Elul is a particularly propitious time for repentance. This mood of repentance builds through the month of Elul to the period of Selichot, to Rosh Hashanah, and finally to Yom Kippur.  During the month of Elul, from the second day of Elul to the 28th day, the shofar (a hollowed out ram’s horn) is blown after morning services every weekday. The shofar is not blown on Shabbat. It is also not blown on the day before Rosh Hashanah to make a clear distinction between the rabbinical rule of blowing the shofar in Elul and the biblical mitzvah to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Four blasts are blown: tekiah, shevarim-teruah, tekiah.  Rambam explained the custom of blowing shofar as a wake-up call to sleepers, designed to rouse us from our complacency. It is a call to repentance. The blast of the shofar is a very piercing sound when done properly.

(source: JewFAQ http://www.jewfaq.org/elul.htm)

At Hebrew4Christians, a Messianic Jewish site, we learn some more interesting information.  According to Jewish historians, Moses actually ascended on Mount Sinai THREE times for forty days and forty nights.  His first ascent was on Shavuot (Pentecost), 50 days after the Exodus (Passover).  This is when Moses received the 10 Commandments and the Torah.  He descended, saw the Israelites worshiping the golden calf, and smashed the tablets.  The next day, he burned the golden calf and made them drink it.  He then re-ascended Mount Sinai the following day and interceded for God’s mercy on Israel for 40 days.  He descended without an answer from God.  God called Moses the following day to ascend Mount Sinai a third time, where the second set of tablets was completed along with the Torah.  Moses then descended on Yom Kippur (Tishrei 10) with God’s assurance of forgiveness.

God’s timing is never arbitrary.

The last 40-day period of Moses on Mount Sinai is what is commemorated as the Forty Days of Teshuvah.  This is a season of repentance and “soul-searching”.  The theme verse is Isaiah 55:6 – Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near (ESV).   The 40 days includes the entire month of Elul, then culminates in the first 10 Days of Tishrei.

10 Days of Awe – Tishrei 1 – 10 (between Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur)

The 10 Days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are somber and reflective, during which one’s eternal fate is believed to be “sealed”.  It is said in Jewish tradition that books are opened on the day of Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets).  The righteous are written in the Book of Life, the wicked are written in the Book of Death, and those in limbo have ten days to repent before their fate is sealed in one book or the other.  These 10 days are known as the Days of Awe, or the Ten Days of Repentance.  Many prayers during this time are centered around being made worthy to be written in the Book of Life (reference: Hebrew4Christians http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Rosh_Hashannah/rosh_hashannah.html).  This reminds me of a passage in Luke which is strongly suggestive of the rapture of the church:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.  (Luke 21:36 KJV)

The overall atmosphere of the Days of Awe is one of REPENTANCE.  Could this be a reference to 2 Peter 3:9?

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (ESV).

God is merciful and patient towards us.

Conclusion

Repentance is a major theme in Jewish tradition as the fall feasts of Israel draw near.  Could this season of repentance point to God’s merciful offer of salvation right up until His second coming?

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.”  Joel 2:12-13 ESV

I wonder if there might be a dual fulfillment of these days of Awe, and the season of Teshuvah.  Perhaps the rapture will occur on a Yom Kippur, with the second coming of Christ occurring on a future Yom Kippur (approximately 7 years later)?  We just do not know, which is why it is so important to repent while the window is yet open.

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

Yom Kippur – Do We Go Up As Wrath Comes Down?

The Fall Feasts of God are the next appointments on God’s calendar waiting to be  prophetically fulfilled (that is, unless we see Pentecost Part Trois).  As I write this, we are currently in the middle of their annual celebration – in the so-called “Days of Awe” or “Days of Repentance”.

The Fall Feasts – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

The Fall Feasts – Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles – point to the future completion of God’s redemptive program through Jesus’ second coming.  An interesting study in the Watching community is currently underway.  It seems like this year (2017) may see the shadow, or “type”, fulfillment of these fall feasts.

Yom Teru’ah (Feast of Trumpets) – Tishrei 1 

The true/ substance fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets will be at the second coming of Christ.  Whether this is the Mount of Olives event (Zechariah 14) or the revelation as Warrior King mounted on a white horse for the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19), I am not sure.

If there was a shadow fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets this year, it appears that it may have been fulfilled through the warnings sounded by the watching community as well as through the Great Sign of Revelation 12:1-2 which occurred on September 23, 2017.  This Great Sign occurred right at the tail end of the Feast of Trumpets.  Here is a great description of this wake-up call sounded by the watchmen:

The Soapboxer – Revelation 12 Fulfilled:  The Midnight Cry

Yom Teruah never typified anything more than a warning of coming judgment, not the judgment itself. We know that judgment begins with the Church (1 Pet. 4:17); if anything, we should’ve considered the next festival, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Jews’ holiest day of the year, a sombre day foreshadowing the ultimate judgment of souls. Yom Teruah is more of a wake-up call. It’s emphasis on the shofar—the only festival in which the shofar is to be blown—is supposed to stir people from their spiritual slumber, as with the awakening blast of the shofar—hence Yom Teruah, the Day of the Awakening Blast. It begins at the start of the month when the 10 Days of Awe begin, a time of critical repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. Yom Teruah and its distinguishing trumpet blasts act as the great shout of warning that your judgment day approaches, that is, in the sense of a rehearsal, foreshadowing what will one day take place during this exact time period in some future year. Each year, the drama is rehearsed by way of these festivals; one day, however, it will not be a rehearsal.

Full article HERE: https://kielandedmonds.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/revelation-12-fulfilled-the-midnight-cry/

The Great Sign of Revelation 12 and the Delivery of the Child

While we are fully aware that the Great Sign of Revelation 12:1-2 was fulfilled on September 23, 2017, we continue to await the fulfillment of verses 3-5 and beyond.  It seems that there will be some type of sign representing the dragon (Satan) which will appear right before or at the time the body of Christ is about to be born (raptured / harpazo).  Scottie Clarke is one who is watching for the Dragon – HERE.

The Birth Pains

I feel like the connection between the birth pains and the time of the end has been clearly established.  Most of you who follow me are well aware of the Revelation 12 sign and how the Great Sign of the woman in labor indicates our imminent birth as the body of Christ.  Many people are talking about the birth pains intensifying.

How will we know when “true labor” – the actual time of the end – begins?  The Bible speaks of the “time of the End” as being analogous to actual labor pains and childbirth.  When it hits, there will be no mistaking it.  It’s going to knock the socks off this planet we call home.

There are a number of passages related to birth pains, described in Braxton Hicks all throughout the church age, but here is one:

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,  for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenlyas labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV)

We’ve already been hearing cries of peace and safety from world leaders and the United Nations.  When will the sudden labor pains begin?  The “beginning of birth pains” are defined by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse:

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24, ESV)  8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Mark 13, ESV) 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21, ESV) 

The birth pains begin when nation rises against nation, famines erupt, and earthquakes shake all over the globe.  There will be pestilences (disease outbreaks), terrors and great signs from heaven.

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) – Tishrei 10 

The true / substance fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will be at the second coming of Christ.  Whether this is the revelation as Warrior King mounted on a white horse for the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19), or the 7th Bowl Judgement (Revelation 16:17-21), or both combined, I am not sure.

If there is a shadow fulfillment of the Day of Atonement this year, I believe it will be due to the association of the wrath of God beginning.  If the wrath begins, that means we will be snatched, or seized, away from the time and place of His wrath!

To support this, I want to examine the following passages:

Leviticus 16, Yom Kippur ceremony on earth (shadow)

11 “Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself. 12 And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil 13 and put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die.

Revelation 8, Seal 7 Yom Kippur ceremony in heaven (fulfillment)

8 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Note the parallels: Censer, incense as an offering, coals of fire from the altar, altar before God, smoke of the incense.

Seal 7 appears to be the initiation of the wrath of God upon the earth, starting the Day of the Lord.  The Day of the Lord is also known as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.  The 40 Days of Repentance and the 10 Days of Awe are over.  Fates have been sealed, as per traditional Jewish interpretation of the Fall Feasts.

An excellent study of this can be found here, Jesus Christ initiates the Wrath of God (BeginningandEnd).

The Sun Will Turn Dark, The Moon Will Turn To Blood

I feel like many people are tossing around Joel 2 as well, citing the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 and the blood moon tetrad, or the smoky red moons of August 2017 as fulfilling this passage.  If you believe this is the time of Joel 2, then here is the real passage in Acts 2:

But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

[start of church age]

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

[church age]

19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

[end of church age]

The darkened sun and blood moon come at SEAL 6.  This is the ONLY place in scripture other than Acts 2 and Joel 2 that the Blood Moon occurs.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,  and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.  The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.  Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,  calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,  for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”  Revelation 6:12-17

If you believe that now is the time of the dark sun and blood moon, then you believe Seal 6 is upon us.  And since we aren’t yet in the 70th week of Daniel or the “Tribulation”, then this is a pre-tribulation event.  Before the Day of the Lord.

Gaps – and – Pauses

While I have been studying the 6th Seal rapture for a long time, I also had previously seen a Feast of Trumpets rapture (along with many other watchers).  The gap between Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur (seal 7), I believed was explained by the “approximate half hour of silence” described in Revelation 8:1.  I tried calculating out how 1/2 hour might be translated into a period of days (or otherwise) using various criteria, such as a the “Day of the Lord” equaling 2520 days, or a day being 1000 years, or various other options.

Perhaps there is no code. Perhaps an “approximate half hour of silence” is exactly that, just like in the earthly Yom Kippur temple service.  Perhaps Seals 1-7 are ALL OPENED on Yom Kippur, with a literal approximately half an hour of silence before the Trumpets are given to the angels to blow.

What Could Cause Silence in Heaven?

What could cause silence in heaven???   Heaven, where the angels never cease to cry “holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come” – day and night (Revelation 4:8)?

Well, let’s go back to our Revelation 12 overview.  What comes right after the harpazo snatching of the newborn child, that could would be so jaw dropping crazy, to be able to cause silence in heaven?

The greatest angelic battle of all time.

Accuser Thrown Down – No One Left to Accuse

Once the child (body of Christ) is safely in heaven, there is no one left for Satan to accuse.  He is tossed down to earth – for good.

 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,  but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Rev 12:7-11

The phrase “no longer any place for them in heaven” carries with it the connotation of purpose, as in, there is no longer any purpose for them to be in heaven.  There is only one moment in time when there will be no one to accuse, no believer in Jesus Christ.  The rapture.

Do we see a parallel passage anywhere else, that could apply to the resurrection / rapture of a vast crowd of believers arriving all at once?

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,  and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7:9-10

Shortly after the rapture of the church, many new believers will come to Christ.  We know these as the “tribulation saints”, but they will likely still call themselves “Christians”.  The majority of these will be martyrs, but they don’t accumulate in robes as seen in Revelation 7.  Robes indicate bodies – our new eternal bodies.  The tribulation saints are seen standing in soul form on the crystal sea before the throne of God (Revelation 15:2).  They get their resurrection bodies at the start of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:4).

It is right after the rapture of the church, when restraint is removed, that the dragon will begin to arise his “anti-christ” to power (discussed in Triumph: The Beast Rises to Power).

A Yom Kippur Rapture?

Listen, you guys, if there is a Yom Kippur rapture this year, then it means all the seals are opening.  Seal 7, as detailed above, is a picture of the Yom Kippur fulfillment at the BEGINNING OF BIRTH PAINS.  Precisely when we are to be looking UP, for our redemption draws nigh (Luke 21:28).

What About the Baby?

Another interesting connection to a Yom Kippur rapture is the idea that a male child is presented to the temple on the 8th day after his birth, for circumcision.  The woman, herself, is unclean for the 7 days after the birth.  It appears that WE may be presented to the heavenly temple on the 8th day after the Great Sign announcing our birth, as our flesh gets “circumcised” off us.  By waiting to present us to the temple for 7 days after the heavenly “birth” sign, this would fulfill the requirements of the Law.

Was the Church Born on September 23?  7 Day Warning

Revelation 12 Sign and the Circumcision Covenant – Midnight Hour Oil

When is Yom Kippur This Year?

This year, Yom Kippur would seem to be on September 29 (sunset) to September 30 (sunset) Jerusalem time, based on calculating 40 days from the August 21 solar eclipse (which occurred on August 22 Jerusalem time).  The day of atonement is also dependent on the start of the Feast of Trumpets, which defines 1 Tishrei.  Due to confusion over the celebration versus the sighting of the moon, this would put Yom Kippur in the range of Sept 29-30 evening to evening, or Sept 30-Oct 1 evening to evening.

I would suggest that Yom Kippur will be on the Sabbath, although I’m not positive, but would hypothesize so because of THIS VIDEO explaining why Jewish Rabbis expect the gathering of the saints to occur on a Sabbath.  Signs in the Heavens is a Jewish Eschatology (study of end times) book by Rabbi ben Mordecai.  In it, he references Matthew 23:39 – “For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”.  This will see its’ fulfillment in Zechariah 12:10, which from a study on the entire chapter 12 would seem to occur at the start of the Day of the Lord:

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

An interesting Jewish wedding tradition has a groom going to the Temple on the Sabbath before his wedding, where he announces “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord”.  Will our bridegroom come for us on a Sabbath?  The traditional time that the groom would snatch the bride would be at midnight.  Will we be snatched away around midnight Jerusalem time?

Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) – Tishrei 15-22

The true / substance fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles will be the Millennial Kingdom rule by Jesus Christ.

If there is a shadow, or type, fulfillment, it may be the sheltering of the body of Christ in heaven during the time of tribulation on earth.  The third spring feast, Firstfruits, did not have a shadow fulfillment, so there is precedence set that the third fall feast, Tabernacles, may not have a shadow fulfillment.

 

Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Jesus Christ initiates the Wrath of God (BeginningandEnd)

Rituals Performed on the Day of Atonement in Ancient Israel 

Signs in the Heavens – Rabbi ben Mordecai (book)

The Feasts of God – His Appointed Times

The Harvest of the Church and the Fulfillment of the Feasts of God

Further information on the Feasts can be found at Hebrew4Christians HERE.

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!