Friday, April 24, 2020

The Firstfruits From the Earth

Concerning Exodus 3:18 – “’ Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’” Also, Exodus 5:3 – “So they said, ‘The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.’” – so, this message was so important that they came to realize, ‘If we don’t go out of Egypt three days’ journey into the wilderness, God is going to send a pestilence upon us!”

Where were they going!?

In Exodus 8:27 is another reference – “We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He will command us.”

To me, this is highly interesting. During the Passover season, the Israelites wanted to go ‘three days’ journey into the wilderness to do a sacrifice.’ Are there any other ‘three days’ that come to mind!? Throughout Scripture, there is nowhere mentioned where they sacrificed unto the LORD our God after a three days’ journey.

Numbers 33 records the journey of the children of Israel out of the land of Israel. “Then the children of Israel moved from Rameses and camped at Succoth.” – that’s ONE DAY. “They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness.” – that’s at least TWO DAYS. They could have camped at each one of these for longer than one night, but the Bible doesn’t mention that. “They moved from Etham and turned back to Pi Hahiroth, which is east of Baal Zephon; and they camped near Migdol.”- so at least THREE DAYS.

But God said that they were supposed to leave the land of Egypt and go three days. It took them three days just to get to the border of Egypt.

They “ … passed through the midst of the sea (the Red Sea) into the wilderness, went three days’ journey in the Wilderness of Etham, and camped at Marah.” So, let’s go to that scene here mentioned in Exodus 15. And what is the first place they come to in which they have a problem!? Marah.

“So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.” Verse 24 – “And the people complained against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. …”

See if you can see in this action here any symbolic practice for those Israelites. This is the first time they have ever seen freedom. This is the first time that the water has ever run out.

What is the first thing showed to them!? “So he cried out to the LORD, and LORD showed him a tree.” Interesting language. Which, “When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.” The word “LORD” here is YHWH-ROPHEKA, ‘the LORD who heals you.’ There is so much significance to what happened to them there at the waters of Marah. It was a foreshadowing of something to come in Israel’s future. I can imagine – although it does not say – that Moses made a sacrifice there at Marah unto the LORD our God.

Now, during the Days of Unleavened Bread, there is always – as it was this year – a Sabbath day. Here is what the children of Israel were to do during the week of the Days of Unleavened Bread –

Leviticus 23:9 – “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.” 

What was this to symbolize!? What is the meaning!?

“’ He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, … on the day AFTER the Sabbath …” So, which day was the lamb offered!? Obviously AFTER the first Sabbath day during the Days of Unleavened Bread. “’ And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13) Its grain offering … of fine flour mixed with oil, … and its drink offering shall be of wine, …’” – there is no accident of these symbols that it was pointing to something for them for the future.

Verse 15 – “’ And you shall count for yourselves from the day AFTER the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16) Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; …’”

The year 2020 the days fall exactly as they did on the week in which Jesus was crucified.
So, the day AFTER the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread is not Sunrise Service. The day has actually been hidden to most Protestants of what the true meaning of ‘the day AFTER the Sabbath.’ They believe and teach that ‘the day AFTER the Sabbath’ Jesus was resurrected.

Exodus 13:1 – “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) ‘Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever open the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.’” – the firstborn of both man and beast are to be sanctified, set apart for the service of God.

Exodus 22:29 – “’ You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.’” – the firstlings. The first of the crops, the firstborn of your children, the firstborn of the animals.

Again, Exodus 23:16 – “ … ‘the firstfruits of your labors …’”

In the New Testament, there is a great deal of the fulfillment of these symbols from ancient Israel - the days, the weeks, and the months which follow from the exodus of Egypt.

In 1st Corinthians 11, Paul said, in the night in which He was betrayed He took the bread. So we know that it wasn’t the night in which He was crucified – but it was the night before. And, we read these Scriptures on the night of the Passover. And that was on a Tuesday night, just like it was this year. When Judas Iscariot betrayed Him, we know that all that night He was scourged and taken to the house of Caiaphas the high priest. On Wednesday morning – it says, ‘When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people’ had a “council” meeting. And He would later go before Pilate. And Pilate was a coward which sent Him before Herod Antipas, and He would eventually come back from Herod. They released Barabbas, you know, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ Pilate washed his hands in a public ceremony and said, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ Mark tells us that about the third hour – which was 9 o’clock in the morning – they went out and crucified Jesus. And about the sixth hour, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour – which was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon – and we know that that was exactly the time when the high priest slit the paschal lamb and spilled its blood. Exactly the time when the Roman soldier jammed that spear into the side of Jesus, and Jesus said, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ And ‘bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.’ He died. And that centurion soldier standing there said, ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God!’ That was a Wednesday.

That evening – before the sun went down – the account in the Book of John tells us that it was a ‘Preparation Day.’ You remember Joseph of Arimathea was in a hurry to get the body down before the Sabbath day. Most people believe that that was the weekly Sabbath. But John’s recording here – the only apostle; the one that Jesus loved – said in John 19:31 “ … (for that Sabbath was a high day), …” Most people don’t understand what that means. We do. We keep the ‘Preparation Day’ before the first day of Unleavened Bread – the ‘high day,’ the ‘holy convocation.’ Jesus died on a Wednesday afternoon – probably right at 3 o’clock. By sunset, on Wednesday He was in the tomb.

Thursday was a ‘high day,’ the first day of Unleavened Bread. There was no work permitted. He was ONE DAY in that tomb on that Thursday.

Friday. Another ‘Preparation Day’ – the preparation for the weekly Sabbath day. “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee … 56) returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. …” He was DAY TWO in that tomb on that Friday.

Saturday. “ … And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” The weekly Sabbath. There was no work permitted. He was the THIRD DAY in that tomb on that Saturday. And by 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon, the 72 hours would have been complete. As Jesus said, “ … ‘and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’” So, sometime AFTER 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon Jesus Christ stood up and walked through solid rock and came out of the tomb! And, Sunday morning comes around.

Let’s turn to Mark 16. There is a tremendous amount of confusion concerning this passage. “Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb …” Now, there will be people who go out and have a Sunday morning sun-rise service, and they believe that’s when Jesus Christ was resurrected. Verse 9 – “Now when He rose, early on the first day of the week …” “Well,” they say, “there it is! Isn’t this what this passage says!?”

But let’s take a time out here and let’s look at the collective evidence of all the “gospel” accounts. Look at verse 2. “Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen 3) And they said among themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?’” ‘At the rising of the sun.’ when you go back and read the apostle Matthew’s account, he says, “ … as the first day of the week began to dawn, …” And in John’s account, he says, “ … while it was still dark, …” So, we’re talking BEFORE SUNRISE! When they got there the tomb was already empty. He was already gone – because He had already been resurrected. So, this was BEFORE THE DAWN! The stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty because He had risen late on that Sabbath afternoon sometime AFTER 3 p.m. when the 72 hours were complete.

And here is something I want to focus on – John 20. Verse 16. This was Jesus’ appearance after He had risen. Begin in verse 11 – “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12) And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13) Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’

14) Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.”

Like what we have learned – and I believe that the Bible supports this belief; yet, it’s not important for salvation – that Jesus had the ability to shapeshift.

Now I personally have seen a shapeshifter while traveling through Shreveport, Louisiana back in 2007. I had stopped along Interstate 20 for a hitchhiker which was dressed like a young cheerleader carrying a duffle bag, but when she had climbed up into the cab of the truck, she was an old Cajun witch – without a duffle bag.

Verse 15 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, ‘Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ 16) Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’” – then she recognized Him!

“She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher).

17) Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’

What is interesting here is – He didn’t allow her, even though she was a close friend, to touch Him. Now, later on in the “gospel” accounts, we see where there are several accounts in which He allowed them to touch Him. Remember Thomas, He said, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side.’ So, sometime AFTER this three days and three nights, before He met with His disciples and allowed them to touch Him – something marvelous happened! And I believe that the firstfruits of God were presented before God the Father.

Over in Acts 26:22 – “Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come – 23) that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, …” – obviously Jesus Christ! 

Friends, all of those ancient prophets – the men of God – they are still in their graves – dead. Jesus Christ is the first one!

Romans 8:29 – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

And, of course, 1st Corinthians 15:20 – “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

And, thinking of a dear friend and brother of mine who just recently died, we continue – verse 21 – “For since by man came death, by Man [Jesus Christ] also came the resurrection of the dead. 22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23) But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

And, on down to verses 51 & 52 – “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [in other words – remain in our graves], but we shall all be changed – 52) in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [the SEVENTH TRUMP] For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

This glorious firstfruits of many brethren was presented to God the Father as the firstfruits from the dead. And, the closest description within the Bible of this happening is Daniel the 7th chapter.

Daniel saw a great vision of four beasts which represented four world-ruling empires – from the time of King Nebuchadnezzar II down to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Daniel saw in vision a menagerie of wars and of conquering and bloodshed and deceit and deception which has been happening over the history of mankind!

Verse 9 – “’ I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated [God the Father]; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; 10) A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. …

13) I saw watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14) Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”

I believe that was a keyhole glimpse of that glorious moment when Jesus the Christ – the firstfruits from the earth – was presented before God the Father.

God the Father sat Him down at His right hand and gave Him all of this dominion and glory, power, strength, and might, which He is going to exercise once His enemies are destroyed.

In Conclusion

Revelation 5:5 – “But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.’ 6) And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirit of God [see Rev. 8:2; Rev. 4:5] sent out into all the earth.

7) Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him [God the Father] who sat on the throne. 8) Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9) And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll [a book of end-time events], And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and [language] and people and nation, 10) And [He will make us] kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’

11) Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12) saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’

13) And every creature which is in heaven [the atmosphere] and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!’

14) Then the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”

Let us not friends just simply go through the motions on Passover. We – I don’t doubt – are all moved by this ceremony. It is the very ceremony which is the most important of the whole year. And then, immediately, we have the Days of Unleavened Bread. Then – we all go back to work. Let’s acknowledge the significance of this small ceremony, and something it signifies! The very moment in which Jesus Christ was presented before God our Father! He had accomplished all that was commanded of Him, overcoming the current world ruler – Satan the devil. And, having delivered the entire Gospel from our Father – that Heaven, the very throne of God, including God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the host of angelic beings, is coming to the Earth! And we have the opportunity to be resurrected as full-fledged spirit beings and members of the glorious Family of God!

Some Other Items of related interest:

Is Michael Identified as Jesus Christ!?Is the archangel Michael, who is called 'your prince' in Daniel 10:21, the being we know of as Jesus Christ - the Son of God!? [...]
Feast of Trumpets - 'Thy Kingdom Come'Hello everyone! Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. Welcome to NOT a weekly church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ [...] 
The Days of Unleavened Bread 2020!The Old and the New Testaments indeed mentions the FEAST of Unleavened Bread. The great spiritual meaning behind the Days of Unleavened Bread can be found in John 6 [...]

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