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Two Doctrines Brother Against Brother The War on Jewish Evangelism Jewish Holy Days The Importance Of A Pre-Millennial Theology
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God’s Holy Day Shadows, What Do They Represent?

 

The apostle Paul told us something very important about God’s Holy Days, something the Jews don’t fully understand, even though they keep and observe them.  But they observe them without this important understanding.  Let’s see what the apostle Paul had to say about them. It is in Colossians 2:16-17, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat [i.e. food, what you eat or don’t eat] or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath…which are a shadow of things to come…”  Paul was telling the Colossian church first of all, not to let those outside the church judge them over their dietary practices, following God’s food laws. Then he mentions new moons, that is, don’t let those outside the church judge you because you are observing God’s sacred calendar instead of the Roman one.  Paul next tells the Colossian church not to let those outside the church judge them because they’re keeping God’s Holy Days and Sabbath.  Then Paul tells them why, and this is important.  He tells them what God’s Holy Days represent, that they are “shadows of things to come.”  A shadow of something that hasn’t happened yet is a prophecy, or picture of a future event.  Paul is saying that the Holy Days are prophetic pictures or shadows of future events.  The spring Holy Days are shadow-pictures of events that have already occurred, Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost.  The fall Holy Days are pictures of prophetic events which have not happened yet.  The Sabbath has its own unique shadow-picture of a coming event.  For a good explanation on that subject, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Observe%20His%20Sabbath%20Day.htm.  To see what the Holy Days listed in Leviticus 23 are shadow-pictures of, continue reading. 

   

 

 

The Passover (read Exodus 12) was a shadow of Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, who paid for the sins of the whole world, past, present and future.  He is the real Passover lamb of Atonement, reconciling man to God.  Jesus death and shed blood paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world.  Just as the ancient Israelites were protected from the death angel by covering their door-posts with the blood of their Passover lambs on that fateful night back in Egypt, so we who are in Christ are covered by Jesus Christ's atoning blood, and in similar fashion we are protected from the second death.  For we have passed from death into life with Christ.  The early Christians observed this New Testament Passover service on the 14th Nisan as it was first kept by Jesus as described in Matthew 26:14-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:14-38; and John 13 through 18:1 [Evidence of this is recorded in the "Post & Antinicine Fathers"  which has preserved letters of Polycarp and Policrates, successors of the Apostle John in Asia Minor, one of them having actually been trained by John himself.].  This Passover was kept 24 hours before the Jews observed their Passover Sedar meal instituted by Moses on the evening of the 14th/15th Nisan and used the symbols of the broken bread and wine instead of the lamb, as we do today in communion services.  Most Christian denominations now observe this as communion or the breaking of bread, observed either on a monthly or weekly basis.  The Messianic Jewish believers generally observe the traditional Passover Seder meal the way their Jewish brethren do, but with the special understanding that Yeshua was the real Passover Lamb of God.  There has been no return as of yet to the early observance of the NT Quartodeciman Passover service with foot-washing, as the early Judeo-Christians practiced under John, Polycarp and Policrates.  The Bible doesn't prevent us from observing these glorious shadows, but we should understand that they have their ultimate fulfillment in us through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.  So if we are in Christ, our sins are covered by his blood and we are saved from eternal death.

Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit the Passover is lived in us 365 days of the year.  Let's look at the next set of Holy Days, which came right on the heals of Passover.  (By the way, this New Testament Passover or the breaking of bread, along with the ordinance for Baptism are the only two rituals commanded by Jesus for new covenant Christians.)

CLICK HERE to go to The Exodus from Egypt

CLICK HERE to go to a copy of the Internet Churches of God Christian Passover.

  The Days of Unleavened Bread (read Leviticus 23:4-8).  The early Christians lived the meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread as well as observing them.  In the New Testament, most of the references to leaven show it as symbolizing sin.  I think there is only one reference to leaven mentioned in the New Testament which gives it a good connotation, in one of Jesus' parables.  It's an apt symbol for sin.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump as Paul said, referring to how one habitual sinner allowed to remain in the group would spread his sinning attitude to the whole group--just like a very small amount of leaven will spread throughout a whole batch of bread dough.  Satan is called the prince of the power of the air.  He broadcasts his sinful attitudes around the world, in much the same way we put radio signals through the air, virtually filling the atmosphere with them.  Leaven spores are to be found everywhere in the air around us.  If you leave bread dough out for a period of time in the open air, it will become leavened all on it's own from the leaven spores in the air.  The Egyptians found this out and leavened their bread this way.  The Days of Unleavened Bread were days where the ancient Israelites were commanded to remove all leaven from their homes and not consume any leavened product for a seven day period coming right after Passover.  This was a shadow of how Jesus living in our lives through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (read all of John 14) continually puts sin out of our lives, convicting us of sin, revealing it, and helping us put it out.  Jesus is our Unleavened Bread of Life.   That is the other key symbol that is fulfilled by the indwelling of Jesus in us through the Holy Spirit and by the reading of the Word of God.  Read John 6 where he said, "I am the Bread of Life.  He who feeds on me will never die."  Unleavened Bread symbolizes our Christian walk, where we are constantly putting the leaven of sin out of our lives through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and feeding on Jesus our unleavened Bread of Life.  How is Jesus our unleavened bread?  In John 6 Jesus says that he is the Bread of Life, and that we must all partake of him, eat his flesh.  If Jesus is the Bread of Life, it is unleavened bread, for leavened bread represents sin and our sinful life.  There was no sin in Jesus, so he must be the Unleavened Bread of Life we are supposed to eat and partake of.  What else is Jesus called in Scripture?  In John 1, Jesus is called the Word of God, or in the Greek, the Logos, which means the Word.  The Bible is the Word of God in print.  So when we study God's Word, we are also eating the Unleavened Bread of Life, Jesus in print, the Logos in print.  Our Bible studies can and should be a partaking of the Unleavened Bread of Life in print, the Word of God.  If you look carefully, these wonderful symbols fill the Bible.

 As those know who have observed the Days of Unleavened Bread, all leaven is put out before the actual Days of Unleavened Bread are celebrated.  This is symbolic of how we, once baptized in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (i.e. his Passover sacrifice applied to our lives at baptism), must put the leaven out of our lives, that is, repent of our habitual sins, before we can feed upon the Unleavened Bread of Life, who is Jesus Christ.  Didn't we in Worldwide learn to put the leaven out before the Days of Unleavened Bread?  It all fits!   As I said before, the Messianic Jews and some within other Sabbatarian denominations still observe these days out of custom and deep reverence for what they picture--how Jesus helps us put the sin, the leaven out of our lives, and how we partake of putting Jesus our Unleavened Bread of Life into us. As far as putting the leaven out of our lives, the reality is lived in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit who performs the work of putting the sin out of our lives.  It may seem like work to us, but in reality we could never succeed in putting sin out to the degree that we do without God's help through his Holy Spirit in us.  Neither could we put on Jesus on our own.  John 14 describes how Jesus dwells in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit he gives to us and places within us.  Our part is the constant daily study of God's Word, eating, partaking of the Unleavened Bread of Life, the Logos, the Word of God in print.  Seven denotes completeness, and seven days of unleavened bread probably symbolize a Christian's lifetime commitment to partaking of Christ both through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the serious daily study of the Word of God, which is Jesus in print.

 

The Day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks (Shevout):  In ancient Israel, the Law of God was received by the Israelites on Mount Sinai on the day of Pentecost.  In the New Testament, the Church was born by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the 12 apostles and the 120 gathered together on this day.  Then it was poured out on 3,000 more that very same day. (Read Acts 2:1-47.)  The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, now enabled the Law of Christ to be written on their hearts and minds, enabling a more perfect spirit-led obedience.  Matthew 5:17-48 details what law is written on a Christians heart, which is now under the direct influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, putting Jesus in us (cf. John 14).  So the Day of Pentecost is another shadow of God's Holy Spirit dwelling in us and what he does in us.  It is also the birthday of the New Testament Christian Church, which was born on that fateful day in 31 A.D. The Apostle Paul talked quoted Jeremiah 31 when the Lord said he would make a new covenant between himself and the House of Israel and the House of Judah.  Paul in Hebrews 8 showed that the sign of this new covenant being active was the writing of God's eternal law on the hearts and minds of his people.  Right now, Paul showed, those who show this sign of having the eternal law of God written on their hearts are already in this new covenant agreement with the Lord.  The way the law of God is written on the hearts and minds of God's people is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  On the Day of Pentecost, then, the new covenant became fully active in and applicable to Christians.  It won't be for the House of Israel or the House of Judah until the Lord returns, as Jeremiah 31 indicate.

Pentecost was also the smaller of the two harvest feasts, which revolved around the two harvest seasons of Palestine.  The smaller winter wheat harvest was wrapped up just before the day of Pentecost.  The larger harvest feast was in the fall, right after the fall harvest.  God planned it this way for a reason.  He designed the harvest seasons in Palestine to have a deeper meaning.  The early Pentecost harvest symbolizes the harvest of souls in the church age, spanning from Pentecost 31 A.D. all the way to Jesus' second coming.  The large fall harvest symbolizes the larger harvest of souls which will occur during the Millennial reign of Jesus and his kingdom on earth, which will start upon his return to earth.  When the knowledge of God's expanding plan of salvation for mankind which he revealed in prophecy is taken into account, we see that the Pentecost harvest of souls is perhaps the smaller of the two.  We'll have to wait and see for sure, but it appears that way.

 To read a good article on Pentecost, CLICK HERE

The Feast of Trumpets: In Leviticus 23:23-25 it says, "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.'"  If Pentecost is the earlier spring harvest and represents the harvest of souls up to Jesus Christ's second coming, and as we'll see, the Feast of Tabernacles represents the fall harvest and  perhaps the larger harvest of souls, the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement must represent--prophetically speaking--two events to come just in front of this great fall harvest called the Feast of Tabernacles.  What two major events just precede this great fall harvest?  The answer is found in Revelation 11:15-18; Revelation 19:11-21--the second coming of Jesus Christ, and Revelation 20:1-3--the putting away of Satan and his demon cohorts, and more importantly, the application of Jesus' sacrifice on the whole surviving world.  The first event before the Feast of Tabernacles harvest season can begin--the Millennial rule of Jesus and the kingdom of God on earth, is the second coming of Jesus Christ.  The second event is depicted right after the second coming in Revelation 19 and is found in Revelation 20:1-3, the putting away of Satan and by inference (see Zechariah 12-13) all of the demons.  The Israelites were commanded to blow the rams' horn at certain special times in the camp of Israel.  One type of trumpet blowing was to warn of impending attack and war.  The trumpet used was always the rams' horn.  And this is the very trumpet specified to be blown during this Holy Day found in Leviticus 23.  How fitting that this feast represents the event of the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet in Revelation 11:15-18, and the resulting battle which comes on it's heals in Revelation 19 which depicts the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.  That's the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets that the Messianic Jews understand, and some Jews understand, as well as some Christian groups. (send for Chuck Missler's "Feasts of Israel" cassette series.  This series is available online by clicking on http://www.khouse.org .)   Calvary Chapel and Chuck Missler are one of the major new Christian revivals that firmly believe the Holy Days of Leviticus 23 have prophetic meaning or significance, just as Messianic believers do.

        But is there a new covenant meaning to this Holy Day, a shadow of the good things that have been done in us by the Holy Spirit?  Yes there is.  Symbolically true Christians have already experienced the second coming of Jesus Christ in their lives!  How?  They have received Jesus into their lives.  For them and all true Christians, Jesus has already had his 2nd coming in their lives through the coming of the Holy Spirit into them.  This is a mystery that most of the world and even some Christians don't understand.  John 14:15-18, 21,23 states, "If you love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you...He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me.  And he who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him...Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."  The Feast of Trumpets is the Holy Day which symbolizes the coming of the Messiah to save the world from genocide and bring the Kingdom of God to physically and spiritually rule over the entire world in love (Zechariah 14:9).  Jesus Christ has done that in the lives of true Christians everywhere, and they now live under the government of that glorious kingdom and have actually crossed over into that Kingdom through the indwelling of the Spirit of God who rules in the minds of true Christians (whether they be members of one Christian fellowship or another).  The world will experience the joy of living under the government of God in the future after Jesus Christ's 2nd coming--we can now in type through the power of God's Holy Spirit dwelling in us, giving us peace from within.  Jesus Christ has taken over the rule of his true followers--Christians--and rules in their lives, thus he has had his second coming in their lives.  This is the symbolic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets for those of us living in this present dimension of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  Again, the Feast of Trumpets is a shadow of what Jesus has done in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and also a prophetic shadow of how he will return to save mankind from himself and genocide during a massive world war the likes of which the world has never experienced, and no never will again.

For a very good Messianic resource on the Holy Days of the Bible, CLICK HERE.

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