The Feasts of God (3)

 

Table of Contents

16. Passover: The Bloody Lamb

17. Passover: The Obedient Lamb

18. Passover: The Veiled Lamb

19. Passover: The Consumed Lamb

20. Passover: The Consumed Lamb (2)

21. Passover: The Anointed Lamb

22. Passover: The Anointed Lamb (2)

23. Passover: The Anointed Lamb (3)

Chapter Sixteen

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Bloody Lamb

 

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.  Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.

Revelation 1:4-6

 

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes and whence came they?  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.  And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13-14

 

Why blood?

 

Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

Deuteronomy 12:23

 

Under Old Testament law Israel was told what kinds of animals they could eat and they were forbidden to eat the blood with the flesh of the animal.  The reason: the blood is life or another way of saying it would be, the life is in the blood.  Life has value; great value.  God is life (see Proverbs 8:35).  He breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul (see Genesis 2:7).  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life (see John 14:6).”

 

When God made promise to Abraham he swore by Himself (see Hebrews 6:13).  God is life and the source of all life.  There is no greater life than God.  When he swore to Abraham, He swore by the eternal life of the eternal God because there was no one greater to swear by.  Later He cut a covenant with Abraham to assure Abraham that His promise was good (see Genesis, chapter 15). 

 

He instructed Abraham to kill a heifer, a female goat, a ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.  Abraham was to cut the animals in half and lay them all against each other.  As the sun was going down, God caused a deep sleep to come on Abraham (at that time his name was actually Abram as God hadn’t yet changed it to Abraham) and then appeared to him as he was asleep, giving him information as to how His (God’s) promise would be fulfilled.  At that time God gave Abraham details of the land that Israel would one day possess.   

 

While all this was taking place, Abraham saw a smoking furnace and a burning lamp pass between all the bloody pieces of the animals he had killed and cut in half, signifying that His (God’s) promise to him (Abraham) was a blood covenant; foreshadowing the blood covenant He (God) would one day cut with the Son (Jesus).

 

The blood covenant is perhaps the oldest form of agreement or contract known to mankind.  Historically, it has been widespread throughout the world, especially in the Middle-East, Africa and with Native Americans.  It is not only legally binding but spiritually binding as well.  Usually there are blessings and curses associated with a blood covenant.  If the covenant is not broken, the blessings are received.  If it is broken, the breaker becomes subject to certain curses.

 

Under the Old Covenant (Old Testament), the shedding of blood not only signified an agreement between God and man (as was the case with Abraham), it entailed the covering of man’s sins.  The first example is in the Garden of Eden.  When Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to cover their shame with clothing made of plant leaves, but God killed animals (shedding their blood) and made Adam and Eve clothing of animal skins (see Genesis 3:7, 21). 

 

Later we find Cain and Abel, Adam and Eves first two sons bringing offerings to the Lord (see Genesis 4:1-16).  Cain was a farmer and brought of the fruit of the ground but Abel was a shepherd and brought the fat from the firstlings of his flock, having shed the lamb’s blood.  God was pleased with Abel’s offering but not with Cain’s.  Why?  The answer can be found in Hebrews 9:22:

 

Without the sheding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins (AMP).

 

Cain may have lacked understanding or maybe he was in rebellion but his offering was inadequate.  Abel’s offering, which was a sacrifice (the lamb gave up its life), was pleasing to God.

 

After God made His initial promise to Abraham and cut a covenant using the flesh and blood of animals, He took things a step farther.  In the seventeenth chapter of Genesis, God ordered Abraham to circumcise all the males in his household and in his possession.  Circumcision sheds blood.  God also gave command that all of Abraham’s male descendants born thereafter be circumcised on the eighth day of their lives.

 

In the fourth chapter of Exodus we find Moses returning to Egypt with his wife (not a Hebrew) and his two sons.  Evidently his wife didn’t approve of circumcision and because Moses had not circumcised his sons, God met him on the way to Egypt with intent to kill him.  At this point his wife, Zipporah, circumcised one of the boys and threw the foreskin at Moses’ feet saying, “Surely a bloody husband you are to me (see Exodus 4:25).”

 

It seems she was still not happy with the practice of circumcision but preformed the act in order to save her husband’s life.

 

Obviously, God places great importance on blood covenants.

 

Of course, the greatest blood covenant ever cut was between Jesus and His Father at the time of the crucifixion, which did more than just cover (atone for) man’s sin as did the blood of animals and birds.  Jesus’ blood has done away with our sin to the extent that God no longer remembers our sin.  He sees us as He sees Jesus; sinless and journeying into perfection, glory to God!

 

You can’t get a better deal than that!  Israel celebrated the Passover each year, foreshadowing the time when Jesus would once and for all overcome sin and death with the shedding of His blood.  But He didn’t stop there.  He walked out of the grave, having overcome death, and became the firstborn from the dead (see Colossians 1:18), and the firstborn of many brethren (see Romans 8:29).  Saints of God, those brethren would be us (male and female)!

 

Jesus is our Passover; the slain Lamb of God.  The covenant of blood between Jesus and the Father is also between us and the Father.  We are one.

 

Everything the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are, we are.  Everything the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have, now belongs to us.  The other side of our blood covenant is that everything we are and everything we have now belongs to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Because of the covenant, we are positionally one and the same.  Because of the covenant, we are experientially becoming one and the same; having His life, His mind and His righteousness.  Because of the covenant we are holy.  Because of the covenant we are becoming holy.

 

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Jesus in John 17:19

Chapter Seventeen

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Obedient Lamb

 

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes and whence came they?  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.  And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13-14

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

Philippians 3:10

 

Though he [Jesus] 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.

Hebrews 5:8-9

 

The third day I shall be perfected.

Jesus in Luke 13:32

 

The Revelation [manifestation/unveiling] of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 1:1-3

 

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation [revelation/unveiling] of the sons of God.

Romans 8:19

 

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

 

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Jesus in John 17:19

 

We have studied how Adam was created sinless but not perfect (complete).  Eve had to be taken out of Adam in order to complete Adam and then the two of them had to disobey God, introducing sin into their lives and into the world, to pave the way for Jesus to come so they could be perfected.  The writer of Hebrews wrote prophetically of a perfected people that would make it possible for all that have gone before to be perfected:

 

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:39-40   

 

There are several different definitions of perfect:

 

>Excellent or complete, no longer in need of practical or theoretical improvement.

>Exactly fulfilling the need in a specific situation or for a specific purpose.

>Completely flawless.

>Having no defects or shortcomings.

>Having all parts or members present.

 

The writer of Hebrews informs us that Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered, with the result being that He was perfected (see Hebrews 5:8-9).  But in Luke 13:32, Jesus spoke of being perfected the third day.  We have studied how Jesus was not perfected when He walked out of the grave on the third day after He was crucified.  He still had the marks of the crucifixion in His body, making it imperfect.

 

Jesus walked in perfect obedience to the Father during His life on earth as the Son of Man, making Him perfect in that respect.  He went to the cross sinless, having walked in total obedience to the Father, but then took on Himself all the sin of mankind, making Him imperfect.  The marks in His body signified that He was still imperfect when He walked out of the grave on the third day.  When He spoke of being perfected on the third day, He must have been referring to a future time.  That would be the day (millennium) (see 2 Peter 3:8) we are now entering; the third day of the Church.  It is in this day that His body, the many membered Body of Christ on Earth, will be perfected.  It is in this day that the definitions of perfection will become reality in the Body of Christ.  We will be completed beyond anything we ourselves can accomplish, fulfilling our destiny and purpose, becoming without spot, wrinkle or any such thing (see Ephesians 5:27).

 

How will this be accomplished?  As we learn obedience through the things we suffer, just as He did.  Dare we think our obedience can be accomplished without suffering any more than His obedience was accomplished without suffering?

 

Some teach that because He suffered we don’t have to.  What they fail to see is that the suffering that taught Jesus obedience took place long before the suffering He endured at the time of the crucifixion.  The suffering that taught Him obedience took place in the wilderness, as does ours. 

 

Mark’s account of the gospel says the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (see Mark 1:12).  No one willingly goes into the wilderness.  The circumstances of our lives drive us into our wilderness experiences and it is there, in the wilderness, that we learn obedience.  It is the wilderness that moves us on our journey toward perfection.  It is in the wilderness that we experience the fellowship of His sufferings and are conformed to His death; enabling us to know Him intimately and experience the power of His resurrection (see Philippians 3:10). 

 

It is the wilderness that reveals (discloses/unveils) the Christ within us.  Without the wilderness there can be no manifestation (revealing) of the sons (mature children) of God (see Romans 8:19). 

 

It is the revealing of the sons that reveals Jesus Christ to immature believers and to the world.  It is the revealing of the sons that will bring to life the words that John wrote, communicating what he saw and experienced that day on Patmos, when he received The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

All suffering has a purpose.  Being tempted of the devil has a purpose.  We can fight it and miss the purpose, causing us to delay our destiny or we can submit to it as Jesus did, learn obedience and overcome the adversity in the process; which is the process of being perfected.

 

It is through this process that we come to know Him intimately.  It is through this process that we walk more and more in the power and authority of His resurrection.

 

All creation is waiting with great expectation for the Sons of God to be revealed.  It is in the revealing of the sons that Jesus Christ is revealed.  As the sons are manifested, revealing Jesus Christ to the Church and to the world, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ (see Revelation 11:15).  Through this process the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (see Habakkuk 2:14).  The culmination of this process is what will lock the devil away for a thousand years, removing his influence from the Earth (see Revelation 20:1-3).

 

I believe we have crossed the threshold of the day (millennium) when all this will come to pass.  Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Eighteen

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Veiled Lamb

 

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; wherof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Colossians 1:23-29

 

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.

Matthew 27:50-51 (Also see Mark 15:38/Luke 23:45)

 

Except for the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night during the forty years that Israel was in the wilderness, God was veiled from mankind in general until the crucifixion; His presence on Earth hidden in the most inner part of the temple, only to be experienced by the high priest once a year (see Exodus 30:10/Hebrews 9:7-8).  When Jesus came to Earth as the Son of Man, He was the revelation of God the Father.  To see Jesus was to see the Father or learn of the Father (see John 14:9). 

 

However, God’s presence could not be experienced by all people until He was unveiled or revealed, which happened at the time of the crucifixion and culminated with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in the second chapter of Acts.  Isn’t it interesting that the veil (a very thick curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple) wasn’t torn from bottom to top but from top to bottom?  God Himself rent that veil.  The crucifixion was God’s plan and the fulfillment of that plan opened the door to the revelation of God’s presence on Earth.

 

God spoke from His presence to the people of Israel many years before on Mount Sinai, after Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt into the wilderness, but the people became afraid and didn’t want to encounter God’s presence (see Exodus 20:19).  Preferring to keep a distance from His presence, they told Moses to go up the mountain and talk with God, then communicate what He said to them.  It was their reluctance to commune with God that locked His glorious presence away inside the Holy of Holies.  It took God becoming a man and going to the cross to release that presence into the earth.

 

Still, today there is only a remnant of the earth’s people that desire to encounter the glorious, awesome presence of the Almighty God, so in essence He is still locked away inside the temple.  However, that temple today is not a building made with hands but a people, chosen by God to house His glory and presence (see 2 Corinthians 5:1-4/Ephesians 2:19-22).  So once again His presence must be unveiled or revealed.  That’s the mystery the apostle Paul wrote so much about in his letters to the churches.  It is Christ in us, the hope of glory (see Colossians 1:27) for the world.  As that glory is manifested in mature believers (sons of God/see Romans 8:19), God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be revealed to the world. 

 

In other words, our maturity will be the unveiling of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the world.  This is how the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea (see Habakkuk 2:14), and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15).  Then the devil will be locked away for a thousand years, removing his influence from the earth (see Revelation 20:1-3).  This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which is also the manifestation of the Sons of God (see Romans 8:19).  This is the ultimate fulfillment of all John saw that day on Patmos.  This is the plan of God for His creation and saints of God, this is our destiny; glory to God!

 

The veil that keeps Christ hidden from the world is our Adamic nature, which is often referred to as our flesh.  As Christ is fully formed in us (see Galatians 4:19 AMP), and our minds are renewed (see Romans 12:2), or made new, that veil will be rent as was the veil in the temple when Jesus was crucified.  As we have already established, that veil was rent from top to bottom, signifying it was an act of God.

 

So it is with us.  There is nothing we can do to make ourselves holy and reveal the Christ within us.  Only God can make that happen.  It is as He crucifies our flesh, just as He crucified Jesus (see John 19:11), that Christ is formed in us and our minds are renewed, causing us to have the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16).  As Christ is unveiled within us, He is revealed to those we come in contact with.

 

Individuals have experienced this to a degree throughout the history of the Church (Church Age), but we are now entering the day (millennium) when a corporate people will experience this unveiling of the Christ within us, ushering in the Kingdom Age.

 

In the seventeenth chapter of Luke’s account of the gospel, the Pharisees came to Jesus asking Him about the Kingdom of God.  We should note that the Kingdom has always been in believers, but I believe we have reached the day (millennium) when that Kingdom is going to be unveiled to the entire Church and the world in a much greater measure than ever before, until it eventually fills the earth.  I think Jesus had all this in mind when He had this discourse with the Pharisees:

 

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17:20-21

 

After Jesus had this short conversation with the Pharisees, he then addressed His disciples and continued His train of thought:

 

The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

Luke 17:22

 

Many places in scripture where days or a day or the day are spoken of, the understanding must be in light of the apostle Peter’s explanation of one day being equal to a thousand years, and a thousand years being equal to one day (see 2 Peter 3:8).  During the first two days (millennia) of the Church, especially in the first century AD when much revelation was coming to light; Peter, Paul and some of the others must have desired to see the manifestation of the Kingdom they were only getting a glimpse of (and writing about).  They saw the Day of the Lord (the third day of the Church), but were unable to fully enter in and experience it, due to the time in which they lived.  It is only now, as we make the transition from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age, that we are once again seeing what they saw but for us, there is the anticipation and possibility that we might actually enter in and experience it fully.

 

Passover has opened the door to that possibility.  Pentecost has taken us down the road to the fulfillment of that possibility, but only in the ultimate prophetic fulfillment of Tabernacles, which we have barely crossed the threshold of on the timeline of history, will that possibility become our experience.

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Nineteen

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Consumed Lamb

 

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

John 6:53-58

 

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Luke 22:25-20

 

When the death angel passed over the dwellings of the Israelites in Egypt the night they left Egypt, each family consumed the flesh of the Passover lamb and painted their doorposts with its blood, which protected them from the death angel.  This was commemorated each year thereafter at the Feast of Passover, which foreshadowed the sacrifice of the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus.

 

When Jesus celebrated the last Passover while on Earth as the Son of Man, He took bread and wine to symbolize His flesh and blood, and told His disciples to eat His flesh and drink His blood.

 

I find this interesting.  Under the laws of Moses, Israel was forbidden to eat or drink blood.  Instead, they ate the flesh of the Passover lamb, having slit its throat and drained its blood, and then painted its blood on their doorposts, providing a covering for their family from the death angel.  But on that last Passover before Jesus’ crucifixion, He told His disciples to eat His flesh and drink His blood.

 

Something changed with the real Passover Lamb laying down His life, replacing the many Passover lambs that had sacrificed their lives; thus fulfilling the Feast of Passover.

 

The blood of lambs could only cover the Israelites, protecting them from the death angel.  The blood of Jesus does not cover us or atone for our sins.  The blood of Jesus does away with our sin.  In the King James Version of the Bible the word atonement is only used one place in the New Testament (see Romans 5:11) and it is not a correct translation.  It should be translated as reconciliation.

 

So as New Testament believers there is no need for us to paint the blood of Jesus on our doorposts to cover us.  We don’t need covering.  Rather, we are to eat/drink (consume) His blood, becoming one with Him, partaking of the life that is in Him.

 

There is a common practice today among Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians of pleading the blood of Jesus over a situation or over individuals (others and ourselves).  This too is unnecessary and comparable to painting blood on doorposts.  It is a practice born out of fear of evil or of the devil. 

 

We have become one with Jesus, symbolized by the act of what is commonly referred to as Communion (eating bread and drinking wine to symbolize eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus), so there is no need for anything else.

 

We are one with Him, so we have already overcome evil and the devil.  Remember, the blood of Jesus does not atone for sin, the blood of Jesus does away with sin; and I should add, with all its effects and consequences. 

 

Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat?”  When we symbolically eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus by partaking of bread and wine, we are signifying the literal reality that we are becoming one with Him; being not only like Him but actually being Him in the world.  Saints of God, we literally are the so called second coming of Christ, which is really the continual coming of Christ, which will reach completion in this third day (millennium) of the Church and seventh day (millennium) of/since creation. 

 

Isn’t it interesting that when John received The Revelation of Jesus Christ that day on Patmos over nineteen hundred years ago, he made this statement in the third verse of the first chapter:

 

“The time is at hand.”

 

While there may be a future application of some of the revelation that John received, much of it has already come to pass and/or is currently coming to pass.  Perhaps there is even a continual application of it coming to pass.

 

The more I perceive myself as already dwelling in eternity rather than in the confines and limitations of time, the more I perceive scriptural, revealed truth as having a continual application to my life and to the corporate life of the Body of Christ.

 

The Hebrew understanding of eternity has always been comparable to a never ending circle.  It is a western mindset that sees eternity as a straight line with a never ending past, a present and a never ending future.  I think for the most part, we haven’t really grasped a never ending past.  We tend to think of eternity as only going on forever into the future.  Taking the Hebrew concept into consideration, perhaps a better way of looking at eternity would be to say it is an ever present now.  What always has been and what always will be is happening in an ever present now.

 

About now you may be thinking, “What does all this have to do with the consumed Lamb?”

 

When we become one with Him by partaking completely of Him, being filled with Him, it is no longer about us or our lives.  It is totally about Him.  While time has relevance and it is important that we understand where we are prophetically and historically on God’s timetable, as we become one with Him, literally having His mind; understanding as He understands and seeing only what He sees, our perspective becomes an eternal perspective.  We no longer see from the confines of a time/space world but rather see the bigger picture.  Perhaps a good analogy would be to say we are more and more seeing the panoramic view.

 

That viewpoint has a way of changing everything and saints of God, much is changing as we enter this new day (millennium), transitioning from the Church Age into the Kingdom Age, and from the prophetic fulfillment of Passover and Pentecost into the ultimate prophetic fulfillment of Tabernacles.

 

Not only are we going to experience Tabernacles and enjoy a unity with Him as never before, we are going to fully experience and appreciate Passover and Pentecost.  Without Passover there would have been no Pentecost and could be no continual prophetic fulfillment of Tabernacles.

 

Are you getting a glimpse of and beginning to understand the importance of the time in which we live?

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Twenty

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Consumed Lamb (2)

 

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when ye had given thanks, he brake it, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 

 

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

1 Corinthians 11:23-33

 

As Jesus and His disciples were observing that last Passover of the Old Covenant just prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, things were changing.

 

Since Israel left Egypt, the practice had been to eat the Passover lamb and paint its blood on their doorposts.  This was done by each family or in some cases by families that joined together.  But at this last Passover celebration before the New Covenant came into existence, Jesus, using bread and wine symbolically of His flesh and blood, told His disciples to eat His flesh and drink His blood.

 

Under the laws of Moses Israel had been forbidden to eat or drink blood.  Instead it was to be painted on their doorposts to cover and protect them from the death angel.  Blood sacrifices were also to cover their sin so they could be forgiven by God.  But during the last Passover of the Old Covenant, Jesus told His disciples to drink His blood.  A few hours later He was crucified.  Something was changing.  Jesus’ blood, which was about to be shed, was not going to cover sin and protect from death; it was ultimately going to do away with sin and death.

 

I find it interesting that Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover meal together that night.  The disciples should have been with their families instead of together with Jesus.  Could this signify that something else was changing?

 

With the crucifixion a new family was about to be born into the earth.  A family of blood brothers (including women) connected by a blood covenant creating a stronger bond than a natural blood line.  The disciples, who should have been with their natural families that night, were instead with their new family.  Things were absolutely changing.

 

When we partake of the bread and wine, remembering the Lord’s death until He comes fully formed in a people, we are celebrating the covenant He cut with the Father, which includes us (the vertical covenant between us and the Father).  By partaking of the bread and wine, we are also celebrating the horizontal aspect of that covenant.  To celebrate and understand the horizontal aspect of that covenant is to discern the Body of Christ.  Evidently, when Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, some did not understand the importance of the horizontal aspect of our covenant.  As a result, some were sick and some had died prematurely.  Very serious consequences.

 

Today the Body of Christ is divided, often along doctrinal lines.  Obviously, there is still a lack of understanding the horizontal aspect of our covenant.  When we let doctrine divide us, we fail to realize that we are all one and coming into the unity of the faith.

 

The Unity of the Faith

 

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Amos 3:3

 

The unity of the faith is an interesting concept.  Evidently, it takes faith to produce unity.  Many today think we will never agree on everything and in order to get along with one another, we must agree to disagree.  That’s not faith.  That’s doubting that we will ever agree, and agree we must.

 

We must realize that our doctrinal differences are not because one is right and the other is wrong, but rather because we are not yet fully mature (Christ is not yet fully formed in us) (see Galatians 4:19 AMP).  We do not yet know as we are known (see 1 Corinthians 13:12), but we will.  That’s where faith comes in.  We must believe we are in a process; on a journey into truth and that we will eventually have a perfect understanding of that truth.

 

We sometimes say we know the Lord but actually we are getting to know Him.  We must realize that we are all on this journey, going through this process, and not let our differences cause division among us; until we come together in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Lord, being perfected with perfection that is measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ (see Ephesians 4:13).

 

The Feasts of God are a road map of this journey we are on into perfection.  Passover is the beginning, Pentecost is the journey and Tabernacles is the destination.  Many have begun and even continued on this journey without realizing the destination.  Today there is a remnant that is beginning to taste of our destination, or destiny.  We are coming to a complete understanding of what it is to consume the Lamb and drink His blood, becoming literally and experientially fully one with Him.  We are beginning to see that we will know as we are known, not just individually but corporately; seeing and hearing the same thing at the same time; seeing and hearing the same thing Jesus is seeing and hearing, literally and experientially having the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Chapter Twenty One

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Anointed Lamb

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus in Luke 4:18-19

 

The definition of anoint is to rub, sprinkle or smear a liquid on something or someone, primarily an oily liquid.  It also means to consecrate, dedicate or make sacred ceremonially by applying oil; signifying service to God.

 

Anointing with oil was a common practice in ceremonies observed under the laws of Moses, so when Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2 in Luke 4:18-19, those hearing what He said understood what He meant.

 

After Jesus read from Isaiah He made this statement: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (see Luke 4:21).”  Then down in verse thirty-two we see that His anointing was already in effect.

 

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

 

It was the anointing that gave His words their power.  Examples of this can be found in a couple of experiences I had several years ago.

 

Two Personal Examples of the Anointing at Work

 

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.

2 Corinthians 1:21

 

I was playing and singing with a Christian band and we were at an all-day Christian music festival in a park.  The concert took place on a baseball diamond.  Two flatbed trailers were set up as a stage and the audience was in lawn chairs or on blankets on the ground.

 

We were the last band to play that evening.  As we began, a tremendous thunderstorm came up.  As the wind began to pick up, volunteer stagehands began to cover up the amplifiers and other equipment with large sheets of plastic.

 

About that time I heard the Lord say, “Tell the people not to leave.  It is not going to rain.”  I looked around and up at the sky.  Obviously, it was going to rain.  However, almost without thinking, I leaned into the microphone and said, “Don’t leave.  It’s not going to rain.”

 

Some people did go to their cars and get umbrellas, but they came back.  I don’t think anyone left that evening.   

 

As night fell the sky became black with the enormous thundercloud.  The wind began to blow harder.  There were bright flashes of lightening and loud cracks of thunder.  Then it started to rain.  It poured huge drops of rain everywhere.  Everywhere, that is, except on that baseball diamond.  A truck parked beside the stage was hit with a few sprinkles of rain but no one on stage or in the audience got wet that night.  I looked up at the sky, and above that baseball diamond there was a circle through the clouds.  I could see stars in the sky above that thunderstorm.

 

An alter call was given when we finished playing, and about two hundred people came forward to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior that evening.

 

For a long time I thought the miracle that night was that it didn’t rain on us, and certainly that was a miracle.  However, I’ve come to realize that the greater miracle that night was that no one left when I told them not to leave.

 

Why did no one leave simply because I told them not to?  The answer is simple.  It was the anointing I was operating in.  Because of the anointing, when I told them not to leave they didn’t.  My words were faith filled words full of the power of God, and those present recognized the authority in those words.  As a result, they believed me. 

 

I can take no credit for what transpired that evening on a baseball diamond, in a park at a Christian music festival.  Like Jesus that day in the synagogue, when he quoted from Isaiah, my word was with power.  The Spirit of the Lord had anointed me and that anointing produced results, glory to God!

 

Let me give you another example from my personal experience:

 

In the spring of 2000 the Lord spoke to me one Saturday morning and said, “I am now anointing you to lead praise and worship.”  I have been an entertainer most of my life and had played in Christian bands, but was not a worship leader and didn’t want to be.  I preferred to be in the audience during praise and worship.

 

I soon realized that my anointing to lead praise and worship led people into the manifested presence of God, where signs, wonders and miracles often were experienced, and the gifts of the Spirit frequently were in operation.  I simply do whatever I hear the Spirit saying to me as I lead praise and worship.  He not only tells me what songs to sing and the order of the songs, He usually tells me how many times to sing a certain chorus or verse of a song. I simply obey the leading of the Spirit and God shows up in power and glory. 

 

I see my anointing to lead praise and worship at work every time I lead praise and worship, but one night at a church meeting in Wilmington, NC I saw it in a different way, which made me realize more than ever that it is not about me and all about the anointing.

 

I was visiting the meeting on a particular night and the pastor asked me to open the meeting with prayer.  I walked up onto the platform, raised my hands and just began to praise and worship the Lord out loud.  No singing and no music; just spoken words.  Immediately the whole room erupted into very loud and enthusiastic praise and worship.

 

After the meeting, I was told that had never happened there before.  I realized once again, but more emphatically than ever before, how powerful the anointing is.

 

Demonstrating the Anointing

 

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5

 

Immediately after Jesus read from Isaiah that day in the synagogue and made a very short talk, He began demonstrating His anointing by casting out devils and healing the sick, followed by many other miracles.  He was not only speaking with power, He was demonstrating it. 

 

The same was true with the apostle Paul, and should be the case with us as well.

 

As members of the Body of Christ, we share in the same anointing that Jesus has.  Like Jesus, we too are anointed to preach the gospel, etc.  While God gives individuals special anointings, such as my anointing to lead praise and worship, we are all anointed with the same general anointing as Jesus.

 

Jesus didn’t perform miracles because He was the Son of God.  He laid down His deity when He became the Son of Man.  Rather, He performed miracles as an anointed prophet under the Old Covenant.

 

When He made the statement that believers would do the works He was doing and greater works (see John 14:12), He was looking ahead to the New Covenant that He would cut with the Father in His own blood, at the time of the crucifixion.  To share in His anointing on this side of the cross, is to share in an anointing that is many times magnified.  The anointing He walked in as the Son of Man was not as powerful as the anointing we walk in with Him now.  As we become that corporate man, walking in the unity of the faith, that magnified anointing we share with Him is being multiplied many times over. 

 

Saints of God, the anointing we have walked in up until now is but a foreshadowing of that which is to come.  The authority we have functioned in is about to explode in power and literally change the world, as we become fully mature, bringing the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

 

Surely we were born for this time!

Chapter Twenty Two

The Feasts of God

Passover

The Anointed Lamb (2)

 

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

 

Christ is not Jesus' last name.  The English spelling of the Hebrew word is Mashiach, and the English version is Messiah. It translates into Greek as Christos.  For some reason, the King James translators choose not to translate it and instead came up with the English version, Christ.  It means the anointed one.  It is a description of who Jesus is.  I suppose it could be considered a title.

 

Jesus is The Anointed One and therefore we too are The Anointed One, because we are in Christ (see 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30/Ephesians 2:10).  We are not anointed ones, but because we are one with the anointed Jesus (see Galatians 3:28), we are The Anointed One; a corporate person.  He is the head and we are the body.  That’s why it is of the utmost importance that we understand the horizontal aspect of our covenant.  We are one with each other and corporately one with the Lord.  The full potential of our anointing hinges on our discernment of the Body of Christ, or the understanding that we are one.

 

It is only as we mature into the unity of the faith, as that corporate person, that the full potential of our anointing will be realized and revealed.  While there have been many powerfully anointed individuals down through church history, and as a result many miracles have been witnessed, experienced and documented; they are only a foreshadowing of that which is to come.

 

The Book of Revelation is the confirmation of this truth.  It is the revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ, head and body.  The physical body of Jesus Christ when He walked the earth as the Son of Man, did not and cannot house the fullness of His anointing.  That fullness can only be realized in the many membered and unified Body of Christ.  That’s why Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14:12).” 

 

Individuals can be and often are endowed with certain specific anointings, but it is only as they are utilized in the context of the corporate person that they reach their full potential.  The days of individual ministries are coming to a close.  As we come into the unity of the faith, the only successful ministries will be those that are one with that corporate person that is the Body of Christ, not just positionally but in a functioning capacity.

 

An Example from the Book of Acts

 

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Acts 13:1-3

 

From this text we discover that Saul, who later became known as Paul, and Barnabas were among a group of prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch.   Evidently the other prophets and teachers present in Antioch recognized an additional calling that had been revealed to Saul and Barnabas, possibly during or prior to this meeting where they were ministering to the Lord.  A prophetic word was given and as a result, hands were laid on Saul and Barnabas, setting them apart for the work they were called to and I am sure, anointed for.

 

In the rest of chapter thirteen and the following chapters, it becomes clear that they were anointed for an apostolic work, in addition to the prophetic and teaching anointings they were endowed with.

 

My point is this: they weren’t just two individuals that were called to a specific ministry and on their own established it.  The establishment of their new calling was the result of a corporate and prophetic event.

 

They were sent out from the church at Antioch, and I would imagine had the prayer and perhaps even financial support of that church.  They were not an individual ministry with a mailing list, seeking donations and prayer support.  Nor were they individuals that felt a specific calling, enrolled in Bible school or seminary, got a certificate of ordination and traveled in the name of a religious organization.  No.  They were set apart when the Holy Spirit spoke to a group of prophets and teachers.  They were ordained by God Himself, and sent out from a local church, identified only by the city it was located in. 

 

The church that sent them had no name other than the Church at Antioch.  Their ministry had no other name than Paul and Barnabas.

 

You may be wondering, “Why is all this so important?”  The answer is simple.  God established it to be this way early in the first day (millennium) of the Church and the pattern has not changed.  Man has changed it and for a while God endorsed some of man’s changes, but as we enter this new day (millennium), the ideas and traditions of men are not going to succeed.  Only those churches and ministries established in the pattern ordained by God in the beginning of the Church Age are going to be successful in the Kingdom Age, which we are now entering into.

 

It is that corporate anointing that is going to bring the Church to fullness and literally change the world, bringing the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.  But the fullness of that anointing hinges on something else, which we will look at in our next teaching.

Chapter Twenty Three

The Feasts of God

Passover

 

The Anointed Lamb (3)

 

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

 

The anointed Jesus (Christ) is our Passover, and He shares that distinction with no one else.  There is no other way to salvation (see Acts 4:12).

 

In scripture leaven represents a mixture.  The Feast of Passover was to be kept utilizing bread without leaven, signifying there is only one way to salvation; Christ our Passover.  His sacrifice accomplished everything that is necessary to enable us to be saved.  However, His sacrifice alone did not accomplish the end result of our salvation.

 

On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished (see John 19:30).”  But in reality the work of redemption was not finished.  The crucifixion was but the door through which one must pass in order to begin the complete work of redemption.

 

What was finished at the time of the crucifixion was salvation through the Old Covenant, which could not actually save anyone, but only cover their sins until a future time when they could receive full salvation.

 

While the New Covenant was established at the time of the crucifixion, acceptance of the New Covenant does not bring full salvation to the individual either.  Full salvation is a process that is only begun when one accepts the New Covenant, cut in the body of Jesus and established with His own blood.

 

True and complete salvation is a process that must be walked out after an individual accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, and is born from above (born again).  It is a process of dying to self and becoming one with the Lord, which develops in us His nature and character.

 

It is this process that reveals Christ in us, the hope of glory.  It is this process that unlocks the mystery of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

The Mystery of the Revelation

 

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ [The Anointed One] in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:26-28

 

If The Anointed One is in us and He is, then it is His anointing that is our hope of glory.  The same Hebrew word that translates as glory also translates as goodness (righteousness).  So the hope that we are becoming the righteousness of God becomes reality as the Lord lives His resurrected life in and through us.

 

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:21

 

We didn’t become the righteousness of God when He was crucified.  Rather, we are becoming the righteousness of God as He lives out His anointed life within us because we are in Him.  We are literally becoming one with Him as we die to self; to the old man; to that Adamic nature we were born with; enabling us to manifest that new nature (character of God) that we were born again with.

 

His anointing is becoming our anointing.  His anointing is an anointing that entails more than power.  His anointing is powerful because of His character. 

 

Pentecost gave us power.  We have witnessed powerfully anointed men and women of God performing the works of God, but lacking in the character of God.  As glorious as their ministries were, they fell short in many areas.  These men and women initially came to the Lord through Passover, which did not allow leaven (fulfilled in the cross of Christ), but operated in Pentecost (which did allow leaven). 

 

But today, as we enter this new day (millennium), we are about to and beginning to experience Tabernacles.  We are experiencing Passover and Pentecost more fully (completely) than in the past, because those two great feasts are culminating in Tabernacles.

 

God is revealing His character in us, which will enable us to walk in greater power than ever before, as His salvation is completed in us.

 

Is our generation the one that will fully realize Christ in us, not just the hope of glory but the manifestation (revelation) of glory?  I don’t know.  But saints of God, that is my hope (the hope of glory).  While a remnant is beginning to see and experience this, it may be another generation that will fully experience it.  If that be the case, we will take our place with those great men and women of faith mentioned in Hebrews, chapter eleven, and another generation will be the fulfillment of Hebrews 11:40.

 

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

 

Still, my hope is that my generation will be that fulfillment.

 

I can’t make it happen.  Only God can do that and I assure you, His plan is playing out just as He has planned, right on schedule.  Perhaps we are the generation that will not taste of physical death, whose mortality will simply put on immortality.  I hope so, but I rest in the knowledge that if we are not that generation, there will be a generation that reaches perfection, whose salvation will be completed, enabling all that have gone before to be perfected.

 

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ [the anointed] Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing,

Philippians 3:13-16

 

For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship] [the manifestation of their maturity].

Romans 8:19 - AMP

 

Surely, absolutely, we were born for such a time as this!

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