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Dad's Day Off --- Non-Orthodox, Biblical Christian Truth.

"You don't have to be a genius to understand these things,
just use your common sense!!"
Luke 12:57 The Message


The Significance of the Hebrew Festivals
for the Christian

  1. Hebrew Festivals For The Christian
  2. Passover
  3. Unleavened Bread
  4. Feast Of Firstfruits
  5. Feast Of Weeks
  6. Feast Of Trumpets
  7. Day Of Atonement
  8. Feast Of Tabernacles

Chapter 1

"Behold, upon the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace.! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows." Nahum 1:15

INTRODUCTION

The great work week of human history from Adam's fall is typical of the pattern of the vastly longer creative periods of time presented in the first and second chapters of the book of Genesis. 'With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.' (Ps. 90:4, 2 Pet. 3:8.) A careful study of the genealogical tables and history of the Old Testament shows that from Adam's fail to Christ was about 4,000 years, or four days of 1,000 years each, corresponding in type to the first four exceedingly longer periods of what has been termed the "Creative Week" described in Genesis. From the advent of Christ down to the present time there has been close to 2,000 years, or nearly two days of 1,000 years each, thus making the close of the sixth day of man1s work week and the inception of the seventh day imminent. Again, these two periods of 1,000 years each correspond in type to the exceedingly longer fifth and sixth periods of the "Creative Week. " According to this pattern there remains for mankind a seventh 1,000 year day to complete this particular week. The seventh day in the scriptural pattern of the septenary cycle was the sabbath which means essentially, completion, implying a period of rest. It is referred to as such in Hebrews 4:4-11, where it is associated with the seventh period of the "Creative Week." The inception of this seventh 1,000 year day from Adam's fall will bring the inauguration of the heavenly and earthly kingdoms (when Satan is cast out) under the supervision of Jesus Christ (Rev. 20:4-6, 11:15; 12:1-10).

The spiritual growth of mankind, historically as a whole and individually, has always depended on his response to what God has made available. As in the case of the natural growth of a human being, God follows His ordained pattern and feeds man spiritual truth as he is able to digest it (Isa. 28:9-13, Matt. 13:10-17, John 16:12-13, I Cor. 3:l-3). Revelation of the plan of God for mankind is progressive and is given by the gradual unveiling of the truth contained in Scripture. It has continued in this manner during each age throughout the successive ages. In the unfolding process there are distinguishable stages of revelation or insight, as God allows this further unveiling, for which man then becomes responsible. These stages are the economies, stewardships, or dispensations in the unfolding of His purpose.

The word "dispensation" means literally a stewardship or administration or economy. Therefore, in its Biblical usage, a dispensation is a divinely established stewardship of a particular phase of revelation or set of revealings of God's mind and will which, again, brings an increment of responsibility to those to whom it is given.

Associated with the revelation, on the one hand, are promises of reward or blessing for those responding in obedience, while on the other hand there are warnings of remedial judgment upon those who do not respond in obedience to that particular revelation.

Though the time period of an age ends, the principles of the revelation of particular dispensations are carried over into succeeding ages, because God's truth does not cease to be truth, nor does it change and these principles become incremental to the cumulative body of truth for which man is responsible in the progressive unfolding revelations of God's purpose.

God's truth is contained in His Law. His Law is kept it insures a proper relationship to Him and to mankind (John 14:21, 1 John 5:1-3, 2 John 4-6). When law is kept, harmony ensues but when broken, discord results. Grace, unmerited favor, clemency, forbearance, leniency or mercy has always been available to man when he agrees to turn from his own discordant ways and receive the understanding which God offers. At no time, however, has grace eliminated the necessity for man as an individual to come into compliance with the principles of divine law (Matt 5:17-20, I John 2:1-6).

The proper operation of an earthly family is an object lesson of the more basic relationship of which it is a type. "Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness." (Heb. 12:9-10).

In the natural family when a child is old enough to partly understand and also old enough to do wrong, his father establishes some rules or laws for behavior. Then the child receives some disciplinary action if he is disobedient. When the child becomes more mature and arrives at understanding, he is no longer under law, but under grace. There is no longer the need to bring out the whip, or even threats, because the child has arrived at a position where he can exercise understanding. If the upbringing was carefully worked out, the child has understanding and takes the same interest as the father in that which is right.

God does not deviate from the pattern He has established for the natural family in His position as Father of mankind (Eph. 3:14-15). The basic precepts of His law were given through Moses to be dramatized in type for the benefit of every subsequent generation. The law and its severity come into play wherever there is persistence in rebellion and lack of understanding. But the severity of the law is not necessary wherever there is a cooperative individual ready to follow the teaching and training from the father. However, the right way to live is the same under law or grace. The law brings punishment as a result of violation. Grace allows the patient working in love with the humble individual who realizes that the training is for his growth.

The opportunity for the replacement of the severity of the law by the favor of grace came for all men who will respond, when Jesus Christ paid the price for the redemption of all men from the consequences of their sin. Grace fully comes into effect when the individual honestly requires the ruling Lordship of Jesus Christ over his total living pattern, and when there is willing response to His teaching through the Holy Spirit, even when it goes against the human nature.

All of Scripture, Old and New Testament, is written for the purpose of instruction (Ro. 15:3-6, 2 Tim 3:14-17). In addition to the presentation of the law, the Old Testament is replete with patterns of time and event that shed the essential light necessary to understand and prepare for useful participation in the purposes of God as this age draws to a close (Has. 12:10, 1 Cor. 10:1-11).

"Therefore, every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old." (Matt. 13:52). In this saying of our Lord we are told very clearly that we are to bring forth out of the wondrous storehouse of treasure, things new and old. In fact, the things which are new are given the preference through first mention, pointing to the fact that added portions of truth should always be eagerly sought out.

It is an irrefutable fact that God has His own set times and seasons for accomplishing His purpose and fulfilling His Word (Eccl. 3:1, 11, 8:1, 5). Age after age, God's plan for man has been unfolding in perfect accord with His appointed times. It is equally certain that the Bible should and does reveal God's own unique universe calendar, which is not limited to the circuit of the planet earth around its sun. Nevertheless, there are few with accurate knowledge of this calendar and its appointed times, Instead of following the calendar presented in the Bible most live by altered and corrupted time-schedules devised by man. So throughout the world we find various calendars, not one of which is in perfect accord with God's time. This is not to be wondered at, for the powers in opposition to God's purposes have always sought to confuse men concerning God's Word and His times. One of the marks of the anti-Christ is that "he will intend to make alterations in times and in law" to confuse the saints (Dan. 7:2). Even among "the saints of the Highest one" there is little enlightenment in regard to this subject. It is because of ignorance that they do not become attuned to His rhythm, nor do they detect the ticking and striking of His unerring clock (Has. 4:1-6).

In the days of the patriarchs such knowledge did exist in measure. They understood that God was running the earth on a heaven-set stellar chronometer. Had not God said: "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." (Gen. 1:14). The knowledge of the meaning of these heavenly bodies, both as to signs and seasons, and the ability to tell time by the great star-clock, which God had placed in the northern sky, was handed down from father to son. But, gradually, through disobedience and sin, men lost the knowledge of God's time and became disoriented from it. However, this did not prevent His time-pattern from continuing to unfold as His clock ticked out the centuries. When, at His appointed time, faithfully predicted and pre-figured in His Word1 God brought Israel forth out of the land of Egypt, He revealed to them His calendar and sea-sons and His seven sacred feasts. They faithfully observed his sacred days: the feasts; the feast sabbaths; the septenary sabbaths and the new moons. As time passed the love of the chosen ones grew cold and they became disobedient arid indifferent to these sacred times. During periods of such rebellion they followed the profane calendars of the pagan nations wherein they dwelt. However, it is highly significant that in every period of restoration they again observed the God-given calendar. "Why, seeing times arc not hidden from the Almighty, are those who know Him ignorant of His days?71 (Job 24:1).

And now, at the close of the sixth millennial day from Adams fall, God is restoring to a remnant who insist on coming to know Him more intimately. the knowledge of His sacred times as well as their personal and prophetic significance.

It is the purpose of this study to outline and comment upon the significance of the Hebrew Festivals for the Christian. A modicum of truth will be presented relative to this awesome subject so it should be understood that much additional illumination is needed.

Although there is now no requirement to observe the outward rituals associated with these feasts, it should be realized that these festivals, with their rituals, are representative of momentous events which prophetically follow into the establishment of the external kingdom of God. It should also be understood that the festivals indicate through symbology those spiritual requisites necessary for the preservation of the soul and body which are the vehicles or garments of the undying human spirit (Eccl. 12:7, I Thess. 5:23).

For each individual these requisites are for the purpose of enabling the establishment of the kingdom of God internally (Lk. 17:20-21, Ro. 14:17). It is during this process of separation unto God that the individual matures, gaining dominion over his complete composite nature, spirit, soul and body, producing internal fruit and becoming an increasingly effective vessel for helping others mature as progress is made toward complete sonship (Isa. 28:9-13, Matt. 3:11-12, Gal. 5:16-26, John 15:12-13, Rev. 21:7). Attainment will depend on the extent of willingness in cooperation with the Lord's guidance through the organism of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-32). When the kingdom of God is sufficiently secured within and faithfulness has been tested and proven then will an individual be prepared to enter the heavenly realm and assist the Son of God either on earth or in the heavenlies, in the establishment of the external kingdom (Deut. 8:2, Ro. 5:1-5, 1 Pet4 5:6-10, Jas. 1:1-4, 12, Rev. 2:26-29, 3:10-13, 7:13-17, 17:14, 19:14). Although there is no law demanding observance of ritual by Christians, it is undeniable that a thoughtful observance of these festivals will result in great blessing from the attentive Father, which will be missed by the indifferent.

The events leading to the establishment of this external kingdom have followed in precise accordance with the Lord's timetable, and so it should be understood that the festival dates chosen by the "I Am" are of vital importance. For this reason the feasts, their Hebrew calendar dates and comment on their significance will be presented in order.

"Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty handed" (Dent. 16:16). The three feasts mentioned capsuled the seven events ordained by God and they are summarized in the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. They are listed below and referenced for the purpose of overview.

I. The Feast of Passover or the Feast of Unleavened Bread This feast included: 1. The Passover (Lx. 12:1-23, Lev. 23:4-5, Deut. 16:1-3) 2. The Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:18, 23:15, Lev. 23:6-8, Dent. 16:3-4) 3. The Sheaf of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:10-14)

II. The Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest of Firstfruits (Ex. 23:16, Lev. 23:15-21, Deut. 16:9-12)

III. The Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Ingathering This feast included: 1. The Blowing of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24-25) 2 The Day of Atonement (Lev. 16; 23:27-32) 3. The Feast of Tabernacles (Lx. 23:16, Lev. 23:34-44, Deut. 16:13-15)

The opening events of the festival season, the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Wave Offering of the sheaf of Firstfruits and the Feast of Weeks ending on the day of Pentecost, were all initiated in the springtime in the first month, Nisan, of the sacred year. It was through the fulfillment, by the ministry of Jesus, of the events these feasts prefigured, that God gave to man greater opportunity for the possession of undying transformed life for the soul and physical body. In the seventh month, Tishrei, of the sacred year fall the last three events of the festival season, the Day of Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and The Feast of Tabernacles. The fulfillment of these prophetic, events will include the awarding of the great promises to the Church as well as the fulfillment of the promised judgments upon the world. The events of the first month represent the life given from God. The events of the seventh month represent the receiving of that life by that portion of the Church which has prepared itself for that life.

Although, as has been mentioned the events of the seventh month have an application of judgment upon the world, it is encouraging to realize that these events also prefigure for each individual the victory over sin and death as do the events beginning in the first month prefigure for each individual progress toward that victory it is necessary to keep in mind this very personal application of each of the seven events of the festival season so that there will be continued personal preparation and the ability to assist in the preparation of others to share to the fullest in their prophetic fulfillment in the near future.

Since the loving Father is unwilling to lose any, each Christian, and there are no exceptions, must at sometime follow in the same footprints Jesus made for us to see during His coming to maturity and completion as a human being (John 14:6, Ro. 2:11, 1 Pet. 2:21, Heb. 2:9-18, 4:15-16, 5:8, 7:25). The way toward satisfying the requirements incorporates every one of His footprints.

There must first be an under girding, for no worthy thing can be built upon nothing or upon that which is inadequate, and resist the storms and floods of opposition (Matt. 7:24-27). First there must be the establishment of a firm foundation. The elements of the needed foundation are given throughout the Old and New Testaments, first in picture parables and then in their spiritual growth application. A summary of these is given in Hebrews 6:1-2 in the midst of an exhortation to move on to building the superstructure, once the foundation has been built.

Referenced here in preview are the Christian foundational elements as they relate to the sacred events of the Hebrew year which serve as their prophetic shadows.

"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ {Passover), let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works (Unleavened Bread) and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings (Wave-sheaf of the Firstfruits of the Grain Harvest), and laying on of hands (Weeks, ending on the day of Pentecost), and the resurrection of the dead (Trumpets), and age lasting judgment (Atonement and Tabernacles). And this we shall do if God permits." (Heb. 6:1-3)

By "MD"

Hebrew Festivals - Passover
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