Dwelling Place of the Father's Seal by Pete Kovacs

Chapter 10:

The Entire Christian Era in Types and Figures 

(As outlined in Lev. 23)

 

Not only did the yearly service teach important truths concerning the end of the controversy between Christ and Satan, but figuratively it outlines the entire history of the Christian church as well. The yearly cycle of feasts clearly outlined Christís ministration as our Sacrifice, Priest and King. (See Leviticus 23 for the description of these feasts.)

The Jewish religious calendar year began in spring around the middle of March and during this time the great Spring festivals commenced. On the 14th day of the first Jewish month (Nissan or Abib) the Passover, the first of the Spring feasts, was kept in honor of the Hebrewís deliverance from Egyptian bondage, but there was even a greater significance to this memorable day. Not only was it a memorial of Godís deliverance in the past, but it also prefigured a future event in which He would deliver His people from the bondage of sin. It was on that very day when the Passover lamb was to be slain that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified (John 19:14-42 & Mark 15:33-39), even at the very hour. Jesus became our Passover Lamb. It is His blood that, when put on the door posts of our hearts, saves us from the angel of death. Ultimately it is His blood that sets us free from the bondage of sin. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" 1 Peter 1:18-20. "..for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." 1 Corinthians 5:7. Over 200 Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in this one event alone.

The entire feast of the Passover was to last 8 days. On the second day of the Passover, the 15th of the first month, the next phase of the ceremony began; the feast of unleavened bread. It was to last seven days and in that period of time there was to be no work done on the first and seventh day because they were considered ceremonial sabbaths. (Note: Ceremonial sabbaths are not to be confused with the Sabbath of the fourth commandment Ė see Col. 2:15,16. When a ceremonial sabbath and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment fell on the same day it was called a high Sabbath. It just so happened that the Sabbath Jesus rested in the grave was a high Sabbath. See John 19:31) To commemorate this day, a special ceremony was performed that clearly points to the suffering, death and resurrection of our Saviour in our behalf.

First, the woman of the house would light some candles, symbolizing that the light of the world, Jesus, was to have no special advantages in His entrance. He was given the same flesh and blood as you and I.(Heb. 2:14-18; 4:15) He would be born as a man; He would enter this world through a woman.

Second, three loaves of unleavened bread (signifying absence of sin) were put into three compartments of a fine linen pouch, thus representing the three persons of the Godhead; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. At the appointed time the loaf in the center compartment was removed and broken; symbolizing the broken body of Christ. It was then placed into its own linen bag and placed under the table. This represented Christís burial. A couple of hours later the bag was brought up, the bread taken out, broken into smaller pieces and then eaten by everyone present, representing His resurrection and the gift of everlasting life passed on to His people. Along with the bread, a cup of wine was passed around from which everyone drank. This, as outlined in the Jewish Haggadah, was the predecessor to communion, and it all points to Christ and the cross of Calvary. Paul uses this ceremony as an illustration of being crucified with Christ. "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:7,8. Even in the preparation of the bread, with its many stripes and holes, we can see the stripes and wounds that Christ bore for us. (Isa. 53:5)

This figure was fulfilled the very Sabbath that Jesus slept in the grave. Yes, Jesus even kept the Sabbath in His death.

The very next day, the 16th of the first month, the people were to offer a wave offering in honor of the first fruits of the harvest. Jesus is the first fruits of the harvest. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." 1 Cor 15:20-23. He is the first of the resurrected that are"set down on the right hand of the Majesty on high", where He being "the forerunner, is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Hebrews 1:3; 6:20. Jesus, ordained as "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8) became the first fruits of the resurrection that Sunday morning when He broke the shackles of the grave and went to be received by His Father. On the first day of the week Jesus went back to work again in behalf of His church. By His example Jesus has designated Sunday as a day to work and not for rest.

The next holy convocation of the spring festival was the feast of weeks. It was to occur fifty days after the wave offering and found its fulfillment on the day of Pentecost when the church of Christ received the Holy Spirit in preparation for the work entrusted to it. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:1-4. This was the former or early rain as spoken of by the prophet Joel; "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month." Joel 2:23. As prophesied by Joel, the work at the close of the gospel dispensation will be similar to that of the day of Pentecost. As the "former rain" was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the springing up of precious seed, so the "latter rain" will be given at its close, for the ripening of the harvest. "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord; his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:3. "In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:17, 21. The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel, are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are "the times of refreshing" to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out [in the Day of Atonement], when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus." Acts 3:19, 20.

As we study this subject, it becomes quite apparent that the spring or vernal feasts pertained to the beginning of the Christian era. The next feast, however, does not occur until the autumn of the calendar year. If the spring represents the beginning of the Christian era, the autumn must surely represent the close of it.

The first of the autumnal feasts, Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew for "head of the year"), is the Jewish Farming New Year and commemorated the beginning of the farming season when the ground should be ploughed. [Note: The Jews had two calendars; one for religious ceremonies which began in the spring and a farming calendar which began in the fall.] This ceremony is known in the Bible as the festival of blowing trumpets (Lev. 23:24) "...It is celebrated in early fall (in the tenth Jewish month), Tishri 1 by the Jewish religious calendar. The distinctive feature of the synagogue service is the blowing of a ram's horn (SHOFAR). The liturgy of the day stresses the sovereignty of God and the hope that all humans will at last recognize him as Father , Judge and King. (See Schauss, Hayyim, Jewish Festivals, rev. ed. (1969); Weinberg, M., Patterns in Time (1989)).

This feast is synonymous with the sounding of the first angel of Revelation 14 in which he calls the earth to repentance and announces the great Day of Judgment is come. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Rev 14:6,7. Rosh Hashanah was designed

to get Godís children ready for the next and most solemn of all feasts, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The blowing of trumpets found its fulfilment in the great religious awakening during the early 1800's, after the close of the papal reign, when thousands all over the world began announcing the soon returning of Christ and the judgment of the world. (See Appendix H: Heralds of the Judgment day)

"Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is celebrated in early fall on Tishri 10 of the Jewish calendar, 10 days after ROSH HASHANAH, the New Year. Regarded as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, Yom Kippur is marked by fasting, confession to God of sins committed during the last year, and prayers of forgiveness. Observance begins on Yom Kippur eve with the kol nidre service of repentance. Originally, Yom Kippur was the only day of the year when the high priest entered the inner sanctuary of the Temple (the Holy of Holies) to offer sacrifice. A goat--the so-called scapegoat--symbolically carrying the sins of the Jewish people, was then driven into the desert." Groliers Encyl., art. Yom Kippor.

Besides the first advent of Christ, no other topic has gained as much attention in the Bible as the Great Day of Judgment and Christís second coming. Though Christís sacrifice at Calvary is the focal point of the plan of redemption, the day of Judgment is a monumental event in the lives of every person who has ever lived as well, for it is the testing time in which the records in heaven will show who has truly accepted Christ or not.

As stated earlier, the yearly cycle of feasts clearly point out that Jesusí work for us did not end at the cross but spans through the remaining history of the world. Not until He has gathered together His people, His elect, and taken them home with Him, will Christís work be satisfied. Not until then will the atonement (at-one-ment) be complete.

This brings us to the last of the yearly festivals; the feast of Tabernacles. "The Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths), Sukkoth in Hebrew, is one of the three joyous pilgrim festivals of Judaism prescribed in Scripture. It marks the end of the harvest season--specifically, the vintage and fruit harvest in the Holy Land--and is celebrated for 8 or 9 days...[starting on]...Tishri 15-22 or 23 in the Jewish calendar. Its characteristic feature is the erection of a booth (sukkah) covered with greens and decorated with products of the harvest, the top of which is thatched lightly enough so that the sky is visible. (The Bible interprets the booth as a memorial to the shelters in which the Israelites camped during their wanderings in the desert.) Another characteristic observance is the use of four plants--citron, palm, myrtle, and willow--as a festal bouquet. They are carried in procession around the synagogue and are waved during the singing of psalms." Bernard J. Bamberger: Bibliography: Schauss, Hayyim, The Jewish Festivals: From their Beginnings to Our Own Day, rev. ed. (1969), and Jewish Festivals: History and Observance (1973)

Notice that three of the yearly feasts take place at the time of a particular harvest. The feast of unleavened bread takes place during the barley harvest, the feast of weeks during the harvest of wheat, and the feast of tabernacles at the final harvest of fruit at the end of the year. This is significant because it was at each of these appointed times that a harvest of souls was to take place also. God chose the time of these typical services to clearly prophesy of these events. During the barley harvest, Christ became the first fruits of the harvest at His resurrection, and during the wheat harvest, there were those that were added to the church at Pentecost. In the feast of tabernacles we see a figure of the ingathering or home coming after the final harvest of souls is complete, at the end of earthís history. Christ will come and call His sleeping elect from the graves and gathered His 144,000, who by this time have gone through the great time of trouble, from the four corners of the earth. (1 Thes. 4:13-18) His people will have finished their pilgrimage here and will be ready to go home and be with Jesus forever more. The work will be done, the journey complete, sweet rest and peace are all that await His children now.

Here are some Biblical illustrations of the blessed event:

The judgment and ingathering as seen by the Old Testament prophet - "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Dan 12:1-3.

The judgment and ingathering as described by our Lord - "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels (Rev 14) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Mat 13:37-43.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:(See Appendix H: Heralds of the Judgment) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Mat 24:29-31.

The judgment and ingathering as seen by the New Testament prophet - "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. ....And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev 7:9-17

"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.(Rev 15:1) And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." Rev 14:14-15:4.

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." Rev 19:6-9.

Oh, blessed hope! What ecstacy awaits the true children of God at that blessed event? I want to be there, donít you, dear reader?

 

The Question Everyone is Asking

 

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Dan 7:9 ,10. " And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." Rev 11:18,19.

But when will these things happen? Can we be more certain as to the time these great events are to occur? Does the Bible give us a more certain time frame than what we have studied so far? The answer is yes! Though we canít know the exact day or hour, the Bible gives us the information to know that the time is very near. In the 8th and 9th chapters of Daniel we find a prophecy that gives the time that both of these great pivotal events, the cross of Calvary and the Great Day of Atonement, are to take place. It gives us the time of Christís first appearing, down to the very year, along with the events that were to mark His ministry. The prophecy then spans the great vastness of time and brings us to the commencement of His ministry in the courts of heaven in preparation to and just before His second coming. The time in which first the dead and then the living are to be judged, so that Jesus can bring His reward with Him "to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev 22:12.

Jesus is coming to gather His children. Heís coming to get those that have been chosen to make up the subjects of His kingdom, but before He can do this they must be judged worthy of such a reward. Jesus can not allow anything into His kingdom that will offend, therefore, all that shall be gathered will have been tested and judged before He comes. (Matt. 25:31-46)

To find out when these events are to occur we turn once again to the book of Daniel. In the 8th chapter of Daniel we find him in Persia by the river Ulai, at the Palace in Shushan which is in the province of Elam. While there, by the river, Daniel was given a vision in which he saw a ram with two horns pushing out in all directions enlarging his domain. He notes one of the horns was taller than the other. Later, it was explained by his accompanying angel that this ram represented the Medo-Persian empire in its growth. (Verse 20)

While Daniel was watching the ram becoming greater he notices a male goat with one notable horn between his eyes coming from the west. The goat is moving at an incredible speed against the ram because he finds no one to resist him. He plows into the ram with all his fury until the ram is destroyed becuase there is no one to help the ram. Once again Gabriel, the accompanying angel, explains to Daniel that the male goat is Greece and the horn is its first king Alexander the Great. (Verse 21,22)

Daniel sees the notable horn broken when it was yet strong and in its place four others spring up. We have already learned by studying the four headed leopard in Daniel chapter seven that these four horns are Alexanderís four leading generals that rule after his death. Out of one of these horns Daniel sees a little horn come forth that grows and grows until it becomes so powerful that it magnifies itself even against the host of heaven. This horn was the Roman empire in both its pagan and papal forms. Rome sprung from the west and waxed exceeding strong towards the south, east and pleasant land (Palestine) until its papal form magnified itself even against God, proclaiming to have the position and power of God Himself. In verse 25 Gabriel tells Daniel that the Roman power should even stand up against the Prince of princes, Christ Himself, but that in the end the Roman power shall be destroyed by God.

In verses 11 and 12 we are told that the papacy shall take away the "dailey sacrifice", and that it should do so by reason of transgression and by throwing the truth to the ground. Here it must be noted that the word sacrifice is supplied by the translators concerning the dailey. The word dailey comes from the Hebrew word tamid which means continual, regular, constant or to stretch. The word dailey used here cannot refer to the dailey sacrifice concerning the temple in Jerusalem. That system was taken away by Christ at the cross. The dailey must refer to something which has been in continuance since the beginning of history and continues on until the time when the papacy reigned supreme. Only one power fits the mold. It has been paganism that has been the continuance in rebellion and supreme ruler of the earth until Catholicism came along and put an end to its reign. It is paganism that papal Rome conquered by the use of deceit, by casting the truth to the ground, by reason of transgression against the Kingdom of God. It is Catholicism that took its place as supreme ruler, "and it practiced, and prospered." From the time that Emperor Constantine made the Catholic church the church of the state she insidiously and cunningly usurped herself in the place of her giant pagan counterpart. She took the truth of the gospel and mingled it with the errors of paganism and then seduced the people into a form of godliness without the power thereof.

Paul warns the church of Thessalonica that before Christ comes again the papal power spoken of by Daniel must first arise, but before this can happen the pagan Roman power must be taken out of the way. Here is how Paul describes it: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come [the Lordís coming], except there come a falling away first [from the truth], and that man of sin [the papacy] be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God [casting down the sanctuary and trodding it under foot], showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth [pagan Rome] that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [paganism] will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed [papacy], whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming..." 2 Thes. 2:3-8.(All emphasis supplied)

By her deceit Catholicism has not only trodden under foot the host (martyred the saints) but the sanctuary as well. By her endless lies and traditions, by taking the prerogatives Christ alone has, the Papacy has hidden the truth of the true plan of redemption and of Christís ministration in the true sanctuary in heaven from the people, and by her deceptions she has led millions upon millions to transgress the commandments of God, thereby, polluting and filling the sanctuary with the record of the sins she has caused.

The question then arises "How long shall be the vision? How long must the sanctuary and the host be trodden under foot?" No sooner is the question asked then along comes the answer: "Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." verse 14. Daniel is now given a time frame and the angel Gabriel has explained the vision to him, yet even so, in the last verse it says Daniel was astonished at the vision to the point that it made him sick for several days. There is something about the vision that Daniel does not understand yet. He was given a time frame but no beginning. Neither he nor anyone else understood when the 2300 days should begin.

To find the answer to Danielís dilemma we must now go to the next chapter. In the beginning of Daniel chapter 9 we find Daniel studying the 70 year prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the captivity of Jerusalem and the temple. Daniel understood the prophecy concerning the restoration of the city and temple was to be fulfilled soon and so he set to the task of making prayers and supplications in behalf of his people.

It was while he was in prayer that God sent Gabriel to finish the task of explaining the vision in Daniel chapter 8. "Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Dan 9:21-23. Gabriel was now sent to explain the 2300 days of "the vision at the beginning"; the previous vision that is.

Gabriel now goes on to give Daniel the information he needs to understand when the 2300 day period should begin: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." verse 24. The word "determined" used here actually means cut off or set aside. Of the 2300 days, seventy weeks are cut off or set aside for a special purpose. That special purpose, as the angel tells us, was a probationary time for Israel to make things right with God. It was a time to finish their transgression against Him, to make an end of their sins and make reconciliation and to seal up the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, the Anointed One.

As we have already determined previously, in prophecy time periods are not to be taken literally. We have already determined that a day in prophecy equals one literal year. At this point we are given details as to what will happen during this appointed time but no clues are given to

This chapter should be finished soon. I humbly ask for your patience, thanks!

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