In order for you to follow the logic which I will use in explaining this subject, it is necessary that you hear, with your spiritual ear, the truth of Hebrews 10:1. The Apostle Paul declared, “The law having a shadow of good things to come . . .” Because that is true, all of things in the Old Testament, including the feasts of the Lord, are a prophecy of some event or events in the New Testament era. In Galatians 4:22-26, Paul referred to these things as allegories. Of course, Paul was simply agreeing with Jesus who said in Matthew 11:13, “All the prophets and the law prophesied.”
Just how did they prophesy? Isaiah explained it for us in Isaiah 28:9-11, saying, “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” And God said it that way that His detractors “might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”
We have a particularly well-known example of this in the Old and New Testaments in the case of “The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). John said “Lamb,” but, in Exodus 12, when God gave to Israel the commandment concerning the Passover, He told them that the Passover lamb could be from either the sheep or the goats.
God had given a rule, but it was flexible. I believe that is because there are at least two or three precepts, one upon another, in the account of the law of the Feast of Passover. In keeping the feast of Passover, the nation of Israel did foreshadow the death of Jesus our Savior before He came to sacrifice Himself to redeem us from the control of Satan. Conversely, we who have been redeemed by His sacrifice do eat the Lord’s Supper to show the Lord’s death until He comes to give us immortality.
However, there was much more prophesied in that first Feast of Passover than the forgiveness of our sins. Each family of Israel had to choose, and set aside, a lamb on the 10th day of the month Abib, which month God also commanded should be established as the beginning of the year. In this way, their keeping of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened bread foreshadowed the time to come when, after the Lord Jesus was crucified, the Church, under the administration of Peter, would be free from the “Leaven of the Pharisees” for seven years. During that seven years they reached “the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ:” 144,000 members, and attained unto the mark which our Savior had set for His elect: “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.”
Israel ate the Passover standing with their shoes on, armed and ready to leave immediately after the supper. They left that very day, a nation which would be holy unto the Lord, and from that time, their new year symbolized that new nation. Moses simply restarted the year which had begun 6 months earlier, making that year, by their new reckoning, to be one year and six months long. At the end of this sixth millennium from Adam, it will be absolutely necessary that we roll the year back to its original time, so that Jesus will get to rule the world for a complete one thousand years.
That first Passover marked the beginning of the Nation of Israel. In like manner, the Passover on which Jesus was crucified marked the beginning of what Matthew called, “The Kingdom of Heaven” which is Christianity. Near the time of the return of our Lord, God shall change the beginning of the year back to its original time which was near the Autumnal equinox: the time year when Adam was created. By doing so, He shall mark the beginning of “The Kingdom of God,” which will have overcome and prevailed to bring forth the fruits of that kingdom. There, Jesus “Shall sit upon the throne of David in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (for a thousand years)” (Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 16:1-5).
The Kingdom of God was originally given to the nation of Israel about 1,000 years before Jesus Christ “came into the world to save sinners.” However, Israel repeatedly defaulted on their responsibilities to that gift; causing Jesus to say to the chief priests and elders of the people, in Matthew 21:43, “I say unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Somewhere between the ministry and crucifixion of the Christ, and the end of the first century A.D., God took the Kingdom of God away from them.
Paul said plainly that when Jesus died on that cross, the covenant of marriage which God had made with Israel at Sinai was abolished (Rom. 2:5-11; 2; Cor. 3:13). And in 70 A.D., it vanished away, (Heb. 8:13).
Until now, the giving of that glorious kingdom to another (Gentile) nation has been held in abeyance, because there had been no nation of Gentile Christians which had “brought forth the fruits” of that kingdom. However, there is now cause to expect such an event, because there is a group of Gentile Christians which is making special efforts to become adequately meritorious for God to consider giving them that great gift. Jesus does not lie. The Kingdom of God will be given to some group of Gentile Christians soon, because the sixth millennium will be over by 2013.
To understand the allegories which God has given for our instruction, we must hear and believe Malachi 3:6. God said “I am the Lord, I change not.”
One of the really good examples of God’s consistency from the Law to Grace: from the shadow to the real, is shown in the description of the ministries in each dispensation. Under the Law, there were two major divisions of the ministry: the “Sons of Aaron,” and the “Sons of Levi.” The Sons of Aaron were divided into two sectors: the family of Eleazar, and the family of Ithamar. Those two families made up the priesthood, with Eleazar represented in two thirds of the “Twenty Four”, and Ithamar in one third (1 Chron. 24:3-28). The Sons of Levi were divided into three sectors: Gershom, Kohath, and Merari, and each of those three families had a specific work assigned to it (Numbers 3:25-26, 31, 36-37).
That ministry in the Old Testament is an excellent allegory of the five gifts of the ministry which God established in the New Testament. “He gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastor and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11-13). As in the Old, so also in the New: God has divided the ministry into two major divisions: Apostles and Prophets into one division, and Evangelists, pastors and teachers into the other.
Under the Law, the two Sons of Aaron foreshadowed the Apostles and Prophets of the Grace Age. It was those two families which offered the sacrifices, sprinkled the blood of those sacrifices upon the holy things. In the New Testament era, both Steven (Acts 7:38) and Paul (1 Cor. 3:9-10, 16-17) showed that “The Church,” in the New Testament, was the fulfillment of the allegory which was set forth in the Old Testament shadow. It is the Apostles and Prophets, of the Church of the Living God, who now minister the holy things, “Yea, the deep things of God.”
The Apostle Paul boldly declared, in Ephesians 3:1-7, “I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”
The ability to understand the mysteries of the Bible is inherent in those men to whom God has given the gifts of Apostle and Prophet. Some of them also seem to be uniquely endowed with the power to lay hands on men and women who have been redeemed by the sacrifice which Jesus made on the cross that memorable Passover in His 34th year, and cause them to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. The other three gifts of the ministry are mighty in their own way. For instance, Philip the Evangelist conducted a marvelous, powerful, miraculous ministerial effort in Samaria. He cast out unclean spirits, and healed people with palsy, and those who were lame; bringing great joy to that city. However, it was necessary that the officials in Jerusalem should send the Apostles Peter and John to lay hands on them that they should receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Those great and might works which were wrought by the Jewish Church of the first century A.D. continued as long as those holy Apostles and Prophets were alive and able to carry on the work of the New Testament priesthood under Jesus Christ. By no later than the beginning of the second century, that fire had died out, and “Mystery, Babylon the Great” had begun to develop. The fullness of the Jews had come and gone, but the prophecy which Paul made, in Romans 2, concerning the Gentiles had not happened, and has not yet been manifested.
Paul said, “God will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:6-11).
From the beginning of the second century, the Church of God disappeared and Christianity began a long descent into a pit of a combination of Christianity and the metamorphosis of the ancient Babylonian worship. That corruption of Christianity caused the thrust of the gospel to slow almost to a standstill, until the late fourteen hundreds.
When Europe began to explore the western hemisphere, God began to break the hold which Rome had on Christianity. Christians began to tear themselves loose from “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” and found a haven in North America where Christianity could grow the fruit which had to be grown in order for a bride to be made ready for the coming “marriage of the Lamb.” That is the event for which all mankind was created, and God allotted only 6,000 years for that preparation to be made. So God established a nation wherein a holy nation could develop among them and begin to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom of God.
When the United States of America was just being formed, in 1780, in England, God restored to His people the doctrine, and the experience of “Holiness:” the second work of Grace which is called “Sanctification” (Romans 5:1-2). Then, in 1896, in the hills of North Carolina, God began to pour out the Holy Spirit upon those Sanctified ones. Just seven years later, in 1903, God raised up the Church of God by the prophet A. J. Tomlinson. That church, and perhaps all of her daughters, has since rejected the basic principles upon which they were founded.
The fact that that movement has stalled, does not mean that it was raised up for nothing. Jesus prophesied that a man would rise up like Noah, and be ready to save those faithful who have the “breath of life in Christ Jesus” when the enemy shall come in like a flood (Luke 17:26; Isaiah 59:19). If that organization had accomplished nothing more that to give rise to that man who is spiritually called Noah, then it has accomplished much.
In the last forty years, almost all of Christianity has forsaken the right way, and have incurred the wrath of God which Paul pronounced upon it in Romans 2. The Jews had their day of God’s indignation and wrath in about 70 A.D. Today, Gentile Christians are where Israel was just a few years before the wrath of God was turned loose upon them. Paul did say, “To the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles.” Corruption of all kinds is rampant among God’s people, and God’s wrath lingers not.
Something else is also happening today; something wonderful. God is moving upon His faithful followers, and has begun to “make up His jewels” (Malachi 3:16). God has been having a book written with a list of the names of those “that feared the Lord, spoke often one to another, and thought upon His name.” God said that from that book of remembrance would the people be chosen who will be the bride of Christ. It is they who shall reap the promise of “Glory, honor, and peace to the Gentiles.”
There is no respect of persons with God. What God did to, and for, the Jews, He will also do to, and for, the Gentiles. God gave the glory of The Kingdom of God to the Jews, and because of their idolatry and disobedience, and the killing of His son, He took it away from them. Now it is our turn.
It is time for the completion of the fulfillment of that first Passover. The enemy is almost ready to come in upon Christianity like a flood: “the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant” (Jeremiah 4:7). Those children of God who live in America and Europe are at great risk, but there is an escape for us.
God is ready to make of us a nation “great, mighty, and populous” (Deut 26:5). However, we will have to do as Israel did on that first Passover day. We will have to put the blood of the Lamb on the lentils and doorposts of our dwellings. That simply means we will have to acknowledge the man of God in Revelation 11:3, and his two witnesses, and go with them to the mountain of the Lord. That is to say we must also fulfill that passage in Exodus 19:4, where God said, “You saw what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings and brought you to myself.”
It is those two witnesses who will take us to the wedding. Will you follow the two witnesses to the wedding, or will you stay here, believing the erroneous promotion that those two do not appear until we are already gone, and suffer death at the hands of “that wicked one?” Will you sacrifice everything to save your life in Christ Jesus? Or will you sacrifice your “life in Christ Jesus” for some deceptive, erroneous doctrine which the enemy of our souls is already selling today?