|Special Book Section: Part 2 of 2|
In the allegory of the Feast of Weeks, which is detailed in Leviticus 23:15-17, God told them to bring out of their habitations two wave loaves, of which He said, "They are the firstfruits unto the Lord." Those two appointed loaves of barley are indeed numbered in the New Testament. In chapter one, verse eighteen of his epistle, James called the twelve tribes which were scattered abroad "a kind of firstfruits" of His creatures. There are two kinds of firstfruits which are numbered in The Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Jewish kind is enumerated in chapter seven, after which he saw a great multitude which no man could number. The Gentile kind are in chapter fourteen, where He said, in verse four, concerning them, "These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."
Weeks of days cannot apply to the spiritual harvest at the end of the world. It will be, rather, seven weeks of years. Our holy Father, which is in heaven, gave us another allegory of the harvest which makes this particularly clear. It is the allegory of the Year of Jubilee, and the seven weeks of years which precede it. The Jubilee is also about the harvest, and reveals something very wonderful, "which God has prepared for them that love Him." As in the Feast of Pentecost, there are seven Sabbaths. The year following the seventh Sabbath is the Year of Jubilee. It is the year of the proclamation of liberty.
This is what God told Moses about Jubilee. "Thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years, and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. (Exodus 23:16, shows us that the seventh month is "in the end of the year, thereby prophesying of "the end of the world.") And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you." Lev. 25:8-10.
When Jesus began His ministry, He stood up in the synagogue and read the portion of the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah which showed what His ministry would accomplish. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Isa 61:1. Jesus purchased our liberty on the cross, but that liberty will be realized only when Jesus reappears at the year of Jubilee.
Hear the words of the Apostle Paul. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature (Christian) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Rom. 8:11-24.
Paul said, In Eph. 4:8-10, "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive." [He did not say, "led captivity to liberty." They are still captive. See St. John 3:13.] ("Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?)" In the process He fulfilled Zechariah 9:11. "By the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water." John also quotes Jesus thus, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Rev. 1:18. Paul put it so aptly when he said, "(We) shall not prevent them which are asleep, (but) the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain . . ." Yes Jesus has the keys, and in the year of Jubilee, He will crown us with the "glorious liberty of the Sons of God."
Because of the allegory of Joseph’s harvest, I believe that there are seven years allotted to the harvest of all of the Children of the kingdom, the barley and the wheat. We have from now until early in the year 2012 to see the harvest finished and the promise of his coming fulfilled. However, the resurrection, according the Job’s prayer, is to take place after the wrath of God is past. "O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, until thy wrath be past!" Job 14:13. Also, to those living at the time of the end, He said, "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity." Isaiah 26:20. If indeed that is the case, the gathering of the grapes of wrath should take place in the first half of the seventh week, beginning in 2004. The wrath itself would be poured out in the second half of that week; before we are either resurrected or changed.
"Now Is Your Salvation Nearer"
We are swiftly approaching the beginning of the sixth week of years, and there is much yet to be done to prepare for our Lord’s return. Included in that list of things is the gathering and the perfecting of the Elect. We must bring a group of people to the condition mentioned in Isaiah 60:7, and described in Romans 15:16-18. "that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost; to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed." In Isaiah God used the allegory of Ishmael and his twelve princes to prophesy of that event. He said, "All the flocks of Kedar (and) the rams of Nabaioth shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory." See Gen. 25:13-15. The law is clear about what was acceptable as an offering upon that altar. He said, "Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it, and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy." Ex. 29:37.
I think it is obvious, to even the casual observer, that no such condition exists among Gentile Christians today. Likewise, Jesus cannot present to Himself a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle until there is one in that condition. The day of "our gathering together unto him," and our cleansing must soon begin.
Jesus will "return at the appointed day," and all things will be "ready for the wedding." Yes, that prophecy shall soon be fulfilled where He said, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor 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 19:7-9.
No group of Christians, large or small, has been granted such an honor, unto this time. However, that honor shall be given to someone. Then shall the words of Paul come to pass, "In a race run all, but one receiveth the prize. So run that ye may obtain." What a day for the righteous when "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former!" Haggai 2:9.
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." AMEN