Table of Contents
77. Trumpets: Until
78. Trumpets: A New Tongue
79. Trumpets: A Certain (Sure) Sound
80. Trumpets: The New Moon
82. Atonement: On the Tenth Day
83. Atonement: Ceasing from Labor
84. Atonement: Judgment at the House of God
85. Atonement: Two Goats
86. Atonement: Jacob's Ladder
Chapter Seventy Seven
The Feasts of God
And he [Jesus] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [un] till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (emphasis added)
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers have been given to the Church for the express purpose of perfecting or bringing believers (saints) to maturity.
Each believer is a minister with a specific work to do and maturity is a necessary attribute to effectively minister. As believers mature and minister in their individual ministry callings the Body of Christ is built up (strengthened and added to).
It is the function of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to assist and encourage believers in this process of maturing until…
Until we all come into the unity of the faith.
The unity of the faith is not agreeing to disagree. It is not agreeing on the important issues and being tolerant of the lesser issues in each other’s lives. Certainly it is not coming together in large gatherings occasionally and then dividing into many sects primarily along doctrinal lines.
The unity of the faith is much more than that!
The unity of the faith is seeing exactly what Jesus is seeing, hearing exactly what Jesus is hearing and doing exactly what Jesus is doing at the precise time he is seeing, hearing and doing it. It is literally, and not just positionally, having the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16).
Coming into the unity of the faith will occur in concert with coming into the knowledge of the Son of God. This is more than just knowing Jesus. It is having and understanding the same knowledge He has. Again, it is literally having the mind of Christ.
Coming into the unity of the faith and having the mind of Christ will bring us to perfection (complete maturity and completion of purpose); which is the fullness of Christ (Christ living his life in and through us completely).
This can only happen when we have completely died to self; no longer needing to die daily (see 1 Corinthians 15:31).
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Paul saw this and wrote of it but didn’t experience it fully in his lifetime on Earth. His statement in Galatians 2:20 was a positional statement and not an experiential statement on his part. Rather, he was prophesying a time when believers would experience the reality of being completely and eternally crucified with Christ, enabling Christ to live His life in and through them.
This is the until of Ephesians 4:13. When until becomes our experience, we will no longer need the service of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We will all have grown into perfection/completion and will have literally become kings and priests unto God (see Revelation 1:6), on equal footing with all other believers as we have reached the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, being one with each other and one with and in Him.
Surely we were born for this soon coming time because surely we were born for such a time as this!
And surely we are a Trumpet People, announcing the possibility and reality of it!
The fulfillment of it will be the ultimate fulfillment of the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles.
Bless the Lord forever!
Chapter Seventy Eight
The Feasts of God
A New Tongue
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
We all know the story of Joseph; how he was sold into slavery by his brothers and through a series of events orchestrated by God, became second in command to the Pharaoh of Egypt. God put him in that position to save the world from famine and as a result, his father and brothers were reconciled to him and moved to Egypt, where their descendants lived for the next four hundred years.
Still they kept their Hebrew identity and language, dwelling together in a part of Egypt known as Goshen. However, Joseph, in his position of authority, while remaining a Hebrew, had for all practical purposes become an Egyptian, probably learning and speaking the Egyptian language.
It was a language not understood by the Hebrew people and yet they became subject to the Egyptian Pharaoh rather than to their Hebrew God. Is this not a picture, a type and shadow of the Apostolic Church that became subject to Rome in the fourth century when Constantine made Christianity the state religion and then Theodosius made it law that all Roman citizens had to be Christians?
On the day of Pentecost, when about 120 believers first received the baptism with the Holy Spirit and spoke languages they had not learned, the Gospel was heard in the native tongues of those visiting Jerusalem for the feast, indicating that the Gospel was for all to understand. However, the Roman Catholic Church began using Latin (the language of Rome) in their Bible translations and religious ceremonies. Not only had the Church become subject to a foreign god (the Roman Empire), she now spoke a foreign language.
This began to change when Martin Luther translated the Bible into German and then when King James of England authorized the first English version. While these were great strides toward the restoration of the Apostolic Church of the first century, even greater strides were taken when the baptism with the Holy Spirit was restored to the Church in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and once again believers began speaking in languages they had not learned.
Still, the Protestant Reformation and the revival moves that followed have been but stepping stones to the full restoration of the Apostolic Church of the first century. While the language of revelation heard by first century believers has been partially restored, we are now coming to a time when it will be fully restored and clearly heard by those who can receive the cutting edge revelation coming forth today.
A new trumpet is sounding. It is the last trump, proclaiming the soon coming fullness/completion/perfection of the Church about to be revealed. This trumpet sound is a new language that only those with an ear to hear can understand (see Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22).
For most of the last two millennia, during the Church Age, we have heard a foreign language that none of the true believers could fully understand. But now a new sound is coming forth that a remnant is beginning to understand; gaining a clearer revelation of scriptural truth than anyone has been able to understand for the past two-thousand years.
Surely we were born for such a time as this!
Chapter Seventy Nine
The Feasts of God
A Certain (Sure) Sound
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 1:19-21
Intellectual interpretation of scripture is a waste of time. Only revealed scripture has any validity. The problem is that as scripture has been revealed during the Church Age, it has been received through a filter of religious tradition and misinformation.
Today God is raising up and calling out a remnant of believers who have not only died to self but have died to religious tradition and the misinformation of an intellectual gospel. While the revelation being received by this remnant is still not fully complete, we are much closer than ever before in history.
When people have believed a lie or at best a partial truth, usually they are not quick to embrace the reality that they have not fully understood the truth or may have been deceived. Often pride keeps them from admitting they were wrong and being willing to change their viewpoint.
However, there is a remnant of believers today that has been put through a process of dying to self, eradicating any and all pride in them; placing them in a position to receive the unadulterated truth.
From this position of humility they are able to hear much clearer than those still hindered by religious tradition and misinformation.
As a result, they are able to prophecy and teach with greater authority than their contemporaries who haven’t been subjected to the severe and intense process of dying to self they have endured.
Not only has this remnant been subjected to an intense and severe process of dying to self, their lives have been orchestrated by God in such a way that there can be no doubt as to the truth they are seeing. God is a God of details and the most minute details of their lives have unfolded in such a way that every step of the way is a confirmation of the revelation they are receiving.
Their walk has not been a series of choices but one of being driven to their destination. They have arrived where they are and continue on to where they are going by no choice of their own, but by the sovereign will of their Heavenly Father.
They are part of the chosen few (see Matthew 20:16), and have no will of their own.
If you are part of this remnant, you may or may not know who you are. To clarify that reality to you and encourage you to walk in it is the purpose of these writings.
If you are not part of this remnant, I would encourage you also. The remnant are trailblazers and the path they have trod has not been an easy one. They have been chosen by God to pave the way for many more to follow. Perhaps the followers will have an easier walk than those who have gone before.
The trailblazers are a Trumpet People, sounding a clear, certain and sure call for all to hear. At the present time few can hear it but that will soon change as the fullness of time progresses.
Surely we were born for such a time as this!
The Feasts of God
The New Moon
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.
The new moon occurs on the first day of the lunar month. The Feast of Trumpets also occurs on the first day of the month so it coincides with the new moon.
The full moon follows on the fifteenth day of the lunar month.
Blood moons are always a full moon.
The new moon signifies a new beginning as does the Feast of Trumpets. The new moon promises the coming of the full moon just as the Feast of Trumpets promises the soon coming fullness of the Feast of Tabernacles, which takes place at the time of the full moon.
The Feast of Trumpets coincides with the new moon in the seventh month on the Hebrew religious calendar, which is the first month on the Hebrew civic calendar. The Feast of Tabernacles coincides with the full moon in the seventh month and the Feast of Passover takes place at the time of the full moon in the first month of the religious calendar.
In recent years there have been blood moons that coincided with the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, not just in a single year but in two consecutive years. These occurrences have signified kairos moments (a time pregnant with destiny) in the history of the Jewish people.
In 2014 there were two blood moons: the first on April 15th and the second on October 8th. In 2015 there were also be two blood moons: on April 4th and September 28th. A blood moon occurs when there is a total eclipse of the full moon, causing the moon to appear red.
In 2014 and 2015 the dates of the blood moons coincided with the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. At that time one could only speculate as to what this could mean for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. Since that time, with the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States, Israel and the United States have allied together as never before, and at the direction of President Trump the US Embassy has been moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with President Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu both recognizing and proclaiming Jerusalem to be the eternal capital of Israel (an incredibly prophetic statement).
In recent history there were two blood moons in 1493 and two more in 1494, which also occurred at the times of the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. This was during the time of the Spanish Inquisition when many Jews were killed or expelled from Spain.
Interestingly, Christopher Columbus had sailed from Spain for America in 1492. It is now thought by some that Columbus was himself a Jew, seeking a new homeland for the Jewish people.
In 1949 there were two blood moons and again in 1950, also coinciding with Passover and Tabernacles. Israel was granted the right to exist as a nation in 1948, one of the greatest fulfillments of Bible prophecy in modern times.
Again in 1967 and 1968 there were two blood moons each year occurring at the time of Passover and Tabernacles. In June of 1967 during the Six Day War, Israel took control of all of Jerusalem for the first time since the Roman occupation in and prior to the first century AD. Jesus had prophesied that Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles (nations) until the times of the Gentiles was complete or fulfilled (see Luke 21:24). In spite of efforts on the part of the United States under previous administrations and the United Nations to divide Jerusalem, Israel remains in control of the city today, with President Trump and Netanyahu agreeing it should stay that way.
While we are now witnessing great changes in the Middle East and throughout the rest of the world, the great and notable day of the Lord is every bit as much if not more about the church and more specifically, at least for the present time, about the Remnant Bride of Christ.
I have come to believe that anywhere in scripture where the day of the Lord or that day is mentioned, it is referring to the millennium (day) (see 2 Peter 3:8) we are now entering, which is the third day (millennium) of the Church and the seventh day (millennium) of/since creation.
When Peter quoted from Joel on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of Acts, he left out part of Joel’s prophecy.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Joel 2:32 (emphasis added to show part left out by Peter)
I believe this scripture is referring to the present day (millennium), which is why Peter left part of it out when he quoted from it on the Day of Pentecost.
Isn’t it interesting that Joel mentioned Mount Zion and Jerusalem as two different places? Are they not the same place geographically? Perhaps he was referring to Mount Zion as Israel and to not just Jerusalem, but to the New Jerusalem as the Body of Christ.
But then he specified another group of people: the remnant whom the Lord shall call. Who is this remnant that is separate from Israel and from the New Jerusalem?
Saints of God, I submit to you that this remnant is the firstfruits of the Bride of Christ, currently being taken out of the Body of Christ in order to complete the Body of Christ, just as Eve was taken out of the Adam in order to complete Adam.
It is a remnant within a remnant. The New Jerusalem is the true Church, a remnant of the church world at large. Everyone wearing the label Christian is not a part of the Body of Christ. Only those who are truly born again (born from above) can make this claim.
So, there is deliverance (salvation) in Israel (Mount Zion), not because they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior but simply because they are chosen by God. There is salvation in New Jerusalem (not only the initial experience of being born again but the ongoing process of being saved or perfected).
However, I submit to you based on my understanding of where we are on God’s historic and prophetic timeline and personal experience, that salvation has been accelerated in the Remnant Bride, causing us to become a firstfruits company of many more to come. Because of the intense and severe tests and trials we have and may be continuing to endure, we are not only tasting of but are becoming the example (a living epistle/see 2 Corinthians 3:2-3) of the fullness that is to come when Christ fills all in all, not just positionally but experientially (see Ephesians 1:23).
The blood moons of 2014 and 1015 are signs in the sky that the day of the Lord is at hand. Sometimes it is referred to as the Millennial Reign. It is the time when the Church will not only realize completion or perfection but that reality will cause the nations of this world to become the nations of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15).
But the blood moons are only part of Joel’s prophecy that was quoted by Peter. Joel also said the sun would become dark (see Joel 2:31).
On March 20, 2015 there was a total solar eclipse. On the Jewish calendar, this was the first day of Nisan, the beginning of the religious New Year. It was on this date in history that Moses dedicated the tabernacle in the wilderness and fire fell from heaven lighting the burnt offering.
Then on September 13, 2015 there was a partial eclipse of the sun, which coincided with the Feast of Trumpets.
We are now in the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, a time when the Remnant Bride is announcing/proclaiming/prophesying the coming ultimate prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, when the apostolic (true) Church will come to completion/fullness/perfection. We of the Remnant Bride are not only a firstfruits company, we are a Trumpet People. We are literally the last trump (see 1 Corinthians 15:51-57/1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). The tabernacle in the wilderness is a type and shadow of us, the Remnant Bride becoming a habitation of God through the Spirit (see Ephesians 2:22). We are being tried and baptized with fire, separating the dross from the gold in us, eventually revealing the Sons of God to the world (see Romans 8:19) (Sons of God being the Man-child the virgin Bride gives birth to) (see Revelation 12:1-2, 5), which is no less than the Revelation of Jesus Christ; King of kings and Lord of lords, Head and Body connected and complete being one and the same.
The sun being darkened is a sign to the nations and the blood moons are a sign to Israel. NASA reported that the blood moon that occurred on September 28, 2015 was at perigee, which means it was a super moon seen in Jerusalem while the Feast of Tabernacles was occurring, with the Jewish people camping out watching the heavens. Amazing. (A super moon happens when a full moon or a new moon makes its closest approach to the earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the moon witnessed from earth.)
Many that are aware of these occurrences, which are too many and too precise to be coincidental, are focused on the possibility of wars, natural disasters and economic collapse. Saints of God, if that is what you are focused on, you are missing the whole point of these signs.
These signs are to encourage us with the information that our redemption is drawing close (see Luke 21:28). This is not about some great escape (rapture) or Jesus touching down on the Mount of Olives. It is about the ultimate prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, when Jesus is fully formed in a people, enabling those chosen ones to literally change the world.
While some things must fall in order to rebuild, which we see happening in the United States and throughout the world today, it disturbs me that so many Christians seem to be focused on doom and gloom; appearing to even get excited about the prospect that the world is going to hell while they expect to be caught out of it. What a self-centered viewpoint!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:16-17 (emphasis added)
Did you get that? Not God so love those who are predestined to become believers, but He so loved the world! The world is not going to hell while we escape. We are going to overcome the world system and the devil, changing the world system, causing the nations to become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Christ (see Revelation 11:15)!
The fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets is about a remnant people prophesying and becoming an example of the fulfillment of the coming Feast of Tabernacles. But first the fulfillment of the second part of the Feast of Tabernacles must be experienced.
In our next teaching we will begin to delve into the Feast of Atonement.
Surely we were born for such a time as this!
Chapter Eighty One
The Feasts of God
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.
On the Jewish calendar a day begins at evening and ends the following evening. So it is with the Feast of Atonement. It begins on the evening of the ninth in the seventh month on the religious calendar and ends on the evening of the tenth, so it is considered to take place on the tenth.
Atonement in the Old Testament was about covering the people’s sin. To have one’s sin atoned for meant their sin was hidden as if it had never happened. However, atonement did not do away with sin. It simply made it appear to be gone and therefore the person was forgiven by God and accepted as if he/she had never sinned.
The atonement of the people’s sin in the Old Testament, by the shedding of the blood of animals, was a type and shadow of the shed blood of Jesus, which didn’t just atone for sin but actually did away with sin.
The word atonement appears only one place in the KJV New Testament and it is a wrong translation (see Romans 5:11). The Greek word there is katallage and means reconciliation.
The Old Testament believers continued in their sin nature and had to have their sins atoned for over and over. The blood of Jesus once and for all does away with sin since the New Testament believer becomes a new person, no longer subject to and controlled by a sin nature.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
When a person is born again (born from above) that person becomes a new person void of the sin nature he/she was born with. That being the case, why is it that believers still struggle with sin in their lives?
The act of being born again is spiritual. When we are born from the womb of a woman our spirit is dormant within the shell that is our physical bodies. When we are born again our spirit becomes alive. Our spirit has no sin nature. Since we are a spirit being that has a soul (mind) and lives in a body, the born again person is sinless.
The problem is that our soul (mind) is not born again. Our mind has to be renewed to the Word of God.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We often speak of the born again experience as being saved but actually salvation is a process that begins when we are born again. Salvation is about becoming like God in nature and character. When we are born again we are not like God. We simply now have the potential to become like Him.
So, while positionally we are sinless, experientially we are becoming sinless (perfected). God sees us as sinless because the blood of Jesus has done away with our sin and we are no longer sinners. We are now new creatures in Christ.
The only way our position of being sinless will become our experience of being sinless is if we see ourselves in the position of being sinless rather than in the process of becoming sinless.
In other words, it is not a behavior matter, it is a faith matter.
Trying to change our behavior will only result in frustration. Seeing ourselves as sinless, new creatures in Christ will result in our behavior (experience) changing to line up with our position.
No amount of effort on our part will change our behavior. Even if we are successful in controlling our behavior, the desire to do wrong is still there. When we, by faith, realize we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:21), doing right will become our nature rather than our struggle (see Hebrews 8:10/Romans 2:14-15).
If we could simply accept our position in Christ and live accordingly, we would instantly reach perfection. However, our sin nature, which is still very much engrained in our soul (mind) must be put to death in order to be renewed to the Word of God. Our soulish nature is all about self. Self is probably the biggest thing standing in the way of our being perfected. Hence, we must die to self; not only positionally but experientially.
That’s where the tests and trials of life come in. We are incapable of simply believing God’s Word and by faith appropriating it in our lives. It takes tests and trials to kill the flesh (the self- nature) enabling us to become like God in nature and character.
The Feast of Atonement was first fulfilled at the cross of Christ, but the ultimate fulfillment will take place when believers realize who they are in Christ, and by doing so actually reach perfection.
During the Church Age believers have struggled, trying to become righteous but in the Kingdom Age, which we are now crossing the threshold of, believers will find that place of rest in the accomplishment of Christ on the cross, and the Feast of Atonement will have been fulfilled.
This could not happen before the proper time on God’s historic and prophetic timetable. Today the last trumpet is sounding, announcing not only the possibility of perfection for the believer, but proclaiming/prophesying that it is close at hand.
Surely we were born for such a time as this!
Chapter Eighty Two
The Feasts of God
On the Tenth Day
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement.
The number ten in scripture has to do with perfection, which is accomplished through tests and trials.
The Ten Commandments were perhaps the greatest test ever given to mankind; an opportunity to prove obedience to God. Obviously man failed that test until God Himself became a man and succeeded in living a sinless life.
In Daniel 1:12, Daniel told Melzar, who had been set over him in Babylon:
Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. (emphasis added)
Daniel didn’t want to defile himself with the meat and wine the king has appropriated for him and his fellow servants, so he proposed a test to see if they would remain healthy without the king’s provisions. That test was to last ten days, which is another example of ten having to do with tests and trials, which are the foundation that leads to perfection.
In Revelation 2:10 Jesus told the Church at Smyrna, “Ye shall have tribulations ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
Another test of obedience and patience was when the 120 believers tarried in Jerusalem for ten days after Jesus’ ascension, waiting on the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
We established in our last teaching that the Feast of Atonement or Day of Atonement was a type and shadow of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus at the time of the crucifixion. It was to be celebrated on the tenth day of the month; the number ten signifying that it is related to tests and trials.
Jesus Himself and His life on Earth was a test. He was fully capable of sinning. Like Adam, Jesus was created sinless but not perfect. He had to be perfected through His obedience to His Father and to the law already established by Moses, with the things He suffered proving His obedience.
For it became him [God], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
We know that Adam failed that test but Jesus passed it.
When we are born again (born from above), we are made perfect positionally. However, in order for perfection to become our experience we must learn obedience through the things we suffer, just as Jesus did.
Some in the Word/faith movement have taught that believers do not have to suffer, but that just isn’t true. It is through our suffering the tests and trials of life that we are perfected. The apostle Paul put it this way:
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
2 Corinthians 1:5-7
That I may know him [Jesus], and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
The apostle Peter confirms Paul’s writings saying this:
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:12-13
I often hear believers blame all their suffering on the devil, but suffering is God’s method of perfecting us. I used to take authority over the devil every time I was faced with a test or trial in my life. I perceived every test and trial as being an attack from the enemy (Satan).
I have come to realize that my worst enemy is self rather than the devil. The tests and trials I have endured were not an attack from Satan but God’s way of growing me up. I was trying to cast the devil out when I should have been surrendering to the process God was putting me through, causing in me a dying to self.
While some adverse circumstances are a direct attack from the devil, and should be treated as such; most of the time, in my experience, adverse circumstances have been tests and trials designed to help me on the way to maturity and perfection.
The fulfillment of the Feast of Atonement, which was celebrated on the tenth day of the month, is about dying to self as much as it is about being forgiven. The concept of being forgiven by God is a wonderful reality but without the process of dying to self it bears no fruit in our lives.
We have viewed God’s forgiveness and salvation as a means to get to Heaven but really it is about becoming like Him, possessing His nature and character. What could be more heavenly than that?
Like Paul, I want to know (have an intimate relationship with, becoming like Him in nature and character) Jesus, knowing (fully participating in) the power that raised Him from the dead; realizing this is accomplished by sharing in His sufferings, being conformed to His death, no longer living my own selfish life but having Him live His life in and through me, glory to God (see Philippians 3:10/Galatians 2:20)!
Knowing this is a process not yet complete but being completed in me, I rest in the hope of my salvation, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (see 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9).
Chapter Eighty Three
The Feasts of God
Ceasing from Labor
If Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
The writer of Hebrews informs us that complete rest has not yet been realized by the people of God and even ascribes it to another day.
The apostle Peter gave us an important key to understanding time from God’s perspective:
Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:8
Hebrews was written in the first century AD or the first millennium (day) of the Church. While some may have entered into the rest Hebrews speaks of, I don’t think the Church as a whole was able to do so. The verses preceding Hebrews 4:8-9 make this clear.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
This makes it clear that some were, at least in part able to enter into the rest provided for them by God in the accomplishment of Jesus, when he was crucified and resurrected. However, not all that heard the Gospel were able to enter into this rest.
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Mankind has experienced six thousand years of history on the earth. During that time God’s plan has unfolded and yet, the writer of Hebrews tells us that not only was it settled from the foundation of the world, it was finished from the foundation of the world. In other words, everything that has happened, is happening or will happen in a time/space world has already happened. Perhaps this is a little hard to wrap your mind around but if you can just accept it by faith, you will begin to have a better understanding of eternity.
In his book, Chosen for Greatness, Kelley Varner said something to this effect:
Somewhere in the eons of eternity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit held a meeting. The minutes of that meeting became the volume of the book.
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Hebrews 10:5-7 (Also see Psalm 40:7)
This meeting, which the Father, Son and Holy Spirit held, was a one and only meeting. There never has and never will be a reason or need for another such as this one. Everything that has happened, is happening or ever will happen in a time/space world happened in that meeting.
All creation, all the plans, purposes and works of God were accomplished/finished in that meeting. The Lamb of God (Jesus) was slain in that meeting. And guess what? You and I were present at that meeting. *
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 1:3-6 (emphasis added)
Our destiny was sealed in that meeting and saints, we are destined for greatness. That is why we must stay focused, not on problems or even on our dreams and desires but on the Lord; on His Kingdom, on His Word and on the guidance and revelation we are getting from the Holy Spirit.
So how do we stay focused? By resting (see Hebrews 4:9-10). By resting in the truth that our destiny is sealed. By resting in the finished work of Jesus. By resting in the knowledge that it is all about Him and not about us, therefore the outcome is His concern, not ours. After all, He is the author and finisher of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2). If our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, in the volume of the book; He will see to it that we arrive at our destination. He knew us before we were formed in the womb (see Jeremiah 1:5), and He chose us before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4). That knowledge should take the pressure off us to perform and free us to become our destiny.
What has played out in a time/space world for the last six thousand years is but a confirmation of what took place before the foundation of the world.
The seventh day of creation, which God instituted as the Sabbath and all the Sabbaths ordered by Old Testament law, are but types and shadows of the day (millennium) we are now entering, which is the seventh millennium since creation.
All the Sabbaths of the law were about man resting physically or about man allowing the land to rest. The original Sabbath, when God rested on the seventh day of creation was not about physical rest. I don’t think God was tired. Rather, it was about God resting in the knowledge that His work was finished and that it was good (complete/perfect).
Yet, He rested knowing that six thousand years of incompletion and imperfection were going to follow.
Not only did God know that Adam would fall, it was part of His plan.
Adam had been created in God’s image but not in His likeness (see Genesis 1:26-27). In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” but in verse 27 we are told that man was created in God’s image with no more mention of likeness.
After a study of the Hebrew words for image and likeness, I asked the Lord, “Why did you create man in your image but not in your likeness (image is about being a representative of/likeness has to do with character)?” Very quickly the Lord answered my question. He said, “Image can be created. Advertising agencies do it all the time. However, likeness or character cannot be created. Character must be developed.”
Suddenly it became clear to me. God set Adam up. Adam had to fall. The fall of the first Adam was necessary in order for the last Adam (Jesus) (see 1 Corinthians 15:45) to come. It took the coming of Jesus and all that entailed for man to be able to begin to possess the character of God.
However, for the past six thousand years and more specifically for the last two thousand years, mankind has strived to have the character of God with little success. It is only in this seventh day (millennium), the Sabbath of all Sabbaths, that mankind will be able to fully possess the nature and character of God.
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therin, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. Therefore, there remaineth a rest for the people of God.
No one that first heard the Word concerning God’s rest fully entered into it. I think some tasted of it but were unable to enter in. They were unable to fully enter in because the revelation of it had not yet been given. They could not see or hear the full truth concerning God’s rest, which He entered into on the seventh day of creation. However, they did not harden their hearts but went to their graves knowing there would come a day when believers would be able to completely and fully enter into God’s Sabbath.
All scripture and all history has pointed to and unfolded toward the day (millennium) we are now entering. It is in this day that we will be able to fully embrace the rest that remains for the people of God. Some of us are tasting of it like some of the first century saints did, but the difference is the time in which we live. They could only view it as a day that had not yet arrived. We are now entering that day when a remnant of believers are becoming the firstfruits of many more to fully realize and experience the ultimate Sabbath of God.
The fulfillment of the Feast of Atonement will only be realized when God’s people rest in the knowledge and experience of who they are in Christ Jesus, rather than strive to become who they think they should be.
Striving only produces frustration. Resting produces perfection.
Glory to God! Surely we were born for such a time as this!
* (Chosen for Greatness: page 20, copyright 2003 by Kelley Varner, Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.)
Chapter Eighty Four
The Feasts of God
Judgment at the House of God
If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
1 Peter 4:16-19 (emphasis added)
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:12-16
Judgment is the ability to make a decision or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively and wisely.
This definition applies to both scriptures above.
The word judgment in 1 Peter 4:17 is the Greek word krima according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. It means the process of judgment leading to a decision. Judgment in this passage of scripture is not about condemnation as many have taught. Rather, it is about making a sound judgment based on spiritual revelation and the wisdom of God.
In 1 Corinthians 2:14 and 15 the words spiritually discerned, judgeth and judged in the KJV are all translated from the Greek word anakrino according to Vine’s. Anakrino means discerning the things of the Spirit of God; the exercise of a discerning judgment of all things as to their true value by one that is spiritual. Hence, one that is spiritual cannot be judged (understood) by one that is not spiritual. A carnal person cannot estimate or determine the motives of a spiritual person.
The fulfillment of the Feast of Atonement is not about judgment that results in punishment or condemnation but rather about judgment that results in determining that which is truly of God as opposed to that which is thought to be of God or considered to be of God, resulting in a maturation of the individual, causing that individual to become like God in nature and character.
Most believers considered to be righteous by God because they are born again (born from above), have little if any understanding of the true judgment of God, which is about changing us on the inside rather than punishing us or condemning us because we fall short of perfection. They fail to realize that total abandonment (surrender) to God is absolutely necessary in order to fully accommodate the things of God in our lives.
Full abandonment to God includes realizing that we cannot fix ourselves by attempting to change our behavior. Only God can fix us and that occurs on the inside of the individual resulting in a behavioral change on the outside.
Saints of God, this is the judgment that begins at the house of God. But at the present time few are only beginning to experience it. That leaves the rest of the Body of Christ barely being saved and the world without any salvation.
Now, don’t start thinking traditionally on me here. Salvation is not about going to Heaven when we die physically. Salvation is about changing us on the inside to become like God.
What we must understand is that all the so called promises of God, all the authority of God granted to believers and all the favor of God manifesting in our lives hinges on the salvation of our souls, which again is not about going to Heaven but about changing us on the inside, having our minds renewed to the Word of God.
You may have been taught that renewing your mind to the Word of God requires and is accomplished by reading and studying the Bible and staying in fellowship with God. While these things are necessary, no amount of reading, praying or even worshipping will totally change you on the inside without total surrender to God.
Total surrender means you no longer put any trust in your ability to do anything to improve your state of being. Only God can change you and that takes total abandonment to Him.
Total abandonment is about resting in Him (see Hebrews 4:9). Resting is about ceasing from our own labor, considering ourselves to be crucified with Christ (see Galatians 2:20) (dead to self) and allowing the Lord to live His life in us and through us.
As I say over and over in my teaching and writing, "This life we live, this walk we walk is not in any way about us." It is all about Him and only total abandonment to His plans and purposes for us, for the Body of Christ and for the world will result in good for us, for the Body of Christ and for the world.
We have entered a time in history when anything else will only result in failure. Only that which is of God is going to succeed in the day (millennium) we are now entering, which is the Day of the Lord when all things are being judged, resulting in a separation of the wheat and tares (see Matthew 13:24-30); moving us toward the restitution of all things (see Acts 3:21).
Glory to God!
Surely we were born for such a time as this.
Chapter Eighty Five
The Feasts of God
And he [Aaron] shall take the two goats [see Leviticus 16:5], and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
Leviticus 16:7-10 took place on the Day of Atonement. According to the Talmud (Oral Tradition) the two goats were to be about the same size and looked about the same.
The goat that was sacrificed obviously represents the sacrifice of Jesus at the time of the crucifixion. Among Bible scholars there is no debate or disagreement as to this truth. However, there is much debate and speculation as to the meaning of the scapegoat.
The Hebrew word that translates as scapegoat is azazel and the definition is not very clear. It is thought to mean removal or dismissal and may technically mean complete removal.
There were different Jewish traditions as to the meaning of the scapegoat, probably due to the fact that they basically had no understanding of or revelation about the prophetic significance of the scapegoat.
Realizing that the Feasts of God only find complete fulfillment as they play out prophetically in the New Testament Church, I think it is safe to assume the significance of the two goats can only be understood as they relate to the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement at the present time in history.
The Day of Atonement was often referred to as the great day or the day in ancient Israel. As we have already studied, anywhere in scripture we find the term that day or the Day of the Lord, it is referring to the day (millennium) we are now entering on the timeline of mankind on Earth. I believe the great day or the day is synonymous with that day or the Day of the Lord. The Day of Atonement is prophetically all about this seventh day (millennium) of/since creation we have now crossed the threshold of.
However, it is not symbolic of the entire seventh millennium. It is but a prelude to the coming fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. As glorious as it is, which a remnant are just beginning to taste of and experience, the full blown Feast of Tabernacles will be much more glorious, beyond anything we can ask or even imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). Glory to God!
Keeping all this in mind, I believe the two goats were to be about the same in size and appearance to signify the similarities between Jesus, the Head and Jesus, the Body of Christ. In reality we are one and the same though different, just as Adam and Eve were one and the same before she was taken out of Adam. They then became two different individuals but again became one and the same when their relationship was consummated and produced offspring.
Jesus, the Head became the sacrifice for us, the Body of Christ, which now enables us to be perfected. But in order to be perfected we must first be sent outside the camp and into the wilderness. It is the wilderness experience that accelerates us on our journey into perfection, which will be realized in this seventh day (millennium) of/since creation, which is the third day (millennium) of the Church.
Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Jesus came out of the tomb with the scars of the crucifixion still in his body. A scared body is not a perfect body. It is in this third day of the Church that the Body of Christ will be perfected, but first a remnant of the Body of Christ must be sent outside the camp into the wilderness experience, in order to pave the way for others to follow them into perfection. That remnant is the Bride of Christ, currently being taken out of the Body of Christ in order to complete the Body of Christ, just as Eve was taken out of Adam in order to complete Adam.
Those of us who have and in many cases continue to be subjected to intense and severe tests and trials are the scapegoat. Like the suffering of Jesus paved the way for all to be saved, our suffering is paving the way for all to be perfected (I should add that in this context, the words saved and perfected are interchangeable).
While it is not a pleasant task we have been assigned, there is great reward and fulfillment in it.
Surely we were born for such a time as this.
Chapter Eighty Six
The Feasts of God
And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
And he [Jesus] saith unto him [Nathanael], Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
In Revelation 4:1, hereafter is translated from the Greek words meta tauta. This phrase translated in the KJV as hereafter is thought by other translators to mean after these things or in the future. However, a more literal translation according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words is in this. Perhaps an even better way of saying it would be in the midst of this.
So, the voice of the trumpet in Revelation 4:1 said, “Come up here and I will show you things that must be in the midst of this.”
In the midst of what?
The following verses give us the answer to that question:
Verse two speaks of a throne set in Heaven. Verse three speaks of the One who sits on that throne. Four mentions the elders around that throne. In verse five we find lightning, thunder and voices coming out of the throne plus seven lamps burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Verse six shows us a sea of glass that looks like crystal before the throne. Verses six, seven, eight and nine describe four beasts. Verse ten informs us that the twenty-four elders fall down before the One who sits on the throne, casting their crowns before the throne and saying:
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
So John is being shown much activity in Heaven around the throne of God, which is the throne of grace (see Hebrews 4:1), where Jesus is positionally seated at God’s right hand.
Revelation 4:1 also speaks of a door opened in Heaven, signifying an open Heaven. John was given the invitation to come up here, implying that we now have access to Heaven. Saints of God, I submit to you that we are not waiting to one day go to Heaven. We have access to Heaven right now!
Jacob saw angels ascending and descending between Earth and Heaven. Jesus spoke of the same in John 1:51, and in Revelation 4:1 John saw an open door in Heaven and he heard an invitation to enter Heaven through that door.
In John 10:9 Jesus said He is the door and that anyone entering in through Him shall be saved, go in and out and find pasture.
A pasture is where livestock graze peacefully and eat. Are you getting the picture here?
Because of Jesus we are now living under an open Heaven. While we are still on Earth, we have access to Heaven and all Heaven entails. We can now come boldly before the throne of grace, accessing all the throne of grace entails.
This highway between Heaven and Earth (Jacob’s ladder), is a two way street where we continually travel from Earth to Heaven and back. We are like truck drivers hauling a cargo of mercy and grace, delivering the Kingdom of God to Earth from Heaven.
This is why anything we bind or loose on Earth is bound or loosed in Heaven (see Matthew 16:19, 18:18). This binding and loosing is about so much more than praying in agreement with other believers (see Matthew 18:19). It is about us being carriers of the blessing of Abraham, and as such subduing the nations, bringing them under the rule of the Kingdom of God (see Genesis 17:4/Galatians 3:13-14).
We are presently being caught up to God’s throne of authority and transporting that authority back to Earth. Much that we have put off somewhere in the future is happening right now, as God is preparing and positioning a people to experientially become the fulfillment of the Feast (Day) of Atonement, embracing all the cross of Christ is about, which is so much more than personal salvation; the end result being the kingdoms (nations) of this world becoming the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15).
Surely we were born for such a time as this!