Whose Jerusalem ?

Whose Jerusalem ?

Looking Ahead: A Glorious Future for the Redeemed

We have been examining several themes relevant to the fulfilment of God's Word in these last days of "the times of the Gentiles." Although we cannot determine the dates, we have been shown the order in which events will be fulfilled, as the redeemed have not been left in the dark concerning these matters (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Another sure guide is the order set by the seven Feasts of Israel, given by God, and commanded to be observed by the Israelites throughout their annual religious calendar, which began with Nissen ("Spring" for the Gentile calendar) (Exodus 12:2).

Note also how the Feasts are spread throughout the year. If we take the year as a type of "the age of man" (as distinct from "the age of God Almighty" yet to come) we can spread the Feasts throughout this historical age and see approximately when events will be fulfilled.

The seven Biblical Feasts of Israel are:(Leviticus 23)

  1. Passover
  2. Unleavened Bread
  3. Firstfruits
  4. Weeks   (Pentecost)
  5. Trumpets
  6. Atonement   (Yom Kippur)
  7. Tabernacles   (Succoth; Booths)

Note that three begin the Jewish year; one occurs 50 days later; and three occur in the fall (representing early, summer and fall harvests; both physically and spiritually). It is easy to prove the prophetic relevance of these Feasts by examining the first four which have already had a New Testament fulfilment.

Passover:Jesus, the final "Lamb of God," presented Himself for inspection in Jerusalem the tenth day of Nissen (probably the year 32 A.D.), and was crucified (after being found blameless and without sin) on the fourteenth of Nissen. "Christ our Passover" (I Corinthians 5:7). It is important that you read Exodus 12:3-7 to see the fulfilment here!

Unleavened Bread: Starts the day after Passover, and continues for seven days (Leviticus 23:6), during which unleavened bread only was to be eaten. In the Scriptures "leaven" always represents "sin," unleavened represents purity. Jesus was sinless, and was buried on the first day of this Feast of Unleavened Bread.

First-Fruits: A waving of samples of the first harvest before the Lord. Always held "on the morrow after the (Jewish) Sabbath," being a Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the tomb. "He is not here, he has risen." "Christ the firstfruits" (I Corinthians 15:23 & Matthew 27:52).
So we see that Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection fulfilled for mankind the Jewish meaning of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits; ending 400 years of spiritual drought in Israel, during which God was silent from the time of Malachi to John the Baptist.

Weeks: Pentecost: This fourth Feast, "the morrow after the seventh Sabbath" (seven times seven, plus one = fifty) saw two loaves waved; starting the Church Age when God "made of the two (Jew and Gentile) one new man" in Christ Jesus; breaking down "the middle wall of partition (the Law) between them." "And the veil in the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom," as Jesus gave up His life (Ephesians 2:13-15).

Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles still await fulfilment, but could burst upon the world shortly.

Trumpets: The first day of the seventh Jewish month of Tishri, "a blowing of trumpets" (Leviticus 23:24). The priests blew the trumpet from the city wall, a signal for the gathering of worshippers in the fields. It is this event to which Jesus referred when He said, "Two shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other left" (Matthew 24:40 & Jeremiah 8:20). "For the Lord himself shall descend.. with the trumpet of God..the dead shall rise first...then we which are alive shall be caught up (raptured)" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). "In a moment, at the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet..." (I Corinthians 15:51-53). "And he shall gather together his elect" (Matthew 24:30-31).

Atonement: Yom Kippur:The tenth day of Tishri; nine days after "Trumpets." In Judaism today these are still considered to be the nine "days of awe," when it determined whether your name is written down again in "the Book of Life" for another year; obviously involving examination, repentance and judgment in Judaism (Leviticus 16; 23:27,22).

For New Testament believers, however, the message is restoration and the Return of Christ "in glory." "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Romans 11:26).
The Church is never "Jacob" in Scripture. The believers, Jew or Gentile, need no longer be atoned for because Jesus' blood did that once and for ever. The atonement of Yom Kippur is for unsaved Israel, who "shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him.. .there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem" (Zechariah 12:10).
Israel, like Thomas, will not believe until they see. They will meet their great High Priest, Jesus the Messiah, on Yom Kippur.. .in the not too distant future.

Tabernacles: Succoth (Booths): On the fifteenth of Tishri for seven days. "Tabernacles" refers to God tabernacling (living) again in the midst of humanity; as in Eden before the fall of man (Leviticus 23:34,42,43 & Ezekiel 37:26-27). Messiah shall be seated "on the throne of David" in Jerusalem, and "the government shall be upon his shoulders."

Zechariah tells us that after the Lord "fights against the nations" gathered together against Jerusalem.. involving a terrible "plague" consuming "flesh and eyes and tongues while they stand upon their feet," the survivors from among the nations shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14).
Tabernacles is the only Jewish feast that the Gentiles will be commanded to keep, as a memorial; and it will likely usher in the Millennium. It was at the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus "on the last great day of the feast cried out, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:2,37,38).
These matters ought to "make us wise unto salvation."
Paradoxically, we do not study prophecy to become little prophets, but rather in order to be made aware of "the signs of the times," and motivated to "exhort one another; the more so as we see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25 & Acts 15:32).

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).

In walking in the Spirit, we walk in the words and deeds (footsteps) of Jesus.. .in the footsteps of what has been already ordained to come to pass by God Almighty.

My prayer is that we shall walk more wisely, "redeeming the time for the days are evil, " as we see the day of the Lord approaching.

"For without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."

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