The Feasts of God (7)

Table of Contents

49. Pentecost: From Confusion to Unity

50. Trumpets: Prelude to Tabernacles

51. Trumpets: A New Harvest

52. Trumpets: The Significance of Two Silver Trumpets

53. Trumpets: Calling the Assembly Together

54. Trumpets: Journeying of the Camps Going to War

55. Trumpets: Two Theaters

56. Trumpets: Preparing for War

57. Trumpets: Declaring Victory in the Midst of Tribulation

58. Trumpets: Declaring Victory Rather than Escape

59. Trumpets: Declaring Every Man in His Own Order

Chapter Forty Nine

The Feasts of God

Pentecost

From Confusion to Unity

 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [overseers] and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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 fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:11-16 (emphasis added)

 

As we have studied Pentecost, you may have been thinking, “What a mess!”  For most of the last two thousand years the Church has been consumed by division and heresy.  However, over nineteen hundred years ago the apostle Paul wrote the above scripture in his letter to the Church at Ephesus, which I find very promising and encouraging.

 

Some think unity is agreeing to disagree or agreeing on the important issues and overlooking the rest.  Others see it as tolerance.  Still others think that coming together from time to time in spite of our disagreements is unity.

 

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Amos 3:3

 

A rhetorical question.  Jesus said it this way:

 

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

Matthew 12:25

 

So, while we may have experienced unity with another believer or even with a group of believers, the whole Church coming into unity must be a future event and according to Paul, it is closely tied to perfection; that perfection being measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ. 

 

There are those who think we will never experience complete unity or perfection.  They think it is something we can only attain positionally, because of the finished work of Christ at the cross.

 

When Jesus, on the cross said, “It is finished” (see John 19:30), He wasn’t talking about the plan of redemption.  He was talking about His earthly ministry as the Son of Man in the flesh (see John 17:4-5).  In order for the plan of redemption to be completed (which will bring about an experiential unity and perfection), He still had to descend into Hades, be resurrected, ascend to Heaven, and sit at the right hand of God, until all His enemies are made His footstool (see Acts 2:34-35, Psalm 110:1 and Hebrews 1:13, 10:12-13).

 

The plan of redemption can be seen in the feasts and we have just now entered the Feast of Trumpets, which is the first part of the Feast of Tabernacles on the timeline of history.  We are being perfected and we are coming into unity but we aren’t there yet.  Looking at the western church, you might think we are far from it.  But we will get there and I believe we are much closer than ever before in history.

 

I haven’t come to that conclusion by an observation of the church world at large or even by observation of the true Body of Christ.  But I am seeing great strides taking place in the Remnant Bride of Christ.  However, we are still only in the beginning stages of the total transformation of the true Church and the world.

 

Coming into the unity of the faith and being perfected is a process that will be completed as and when God has planned.  My understanding of the feasts has convinced me it will happen sometime during this third millennium of the Church, which is the seventh millennium since creation.  My hope is to see it in my lifetime or perhaps to completely cross that line from time to eternity and have my mortality put on immortality, enabling me to live, reigning with Christ for the entire millennium and on into the next.

 

Whether or not that happens, I am compelled to fulfill my part in the process of the restoration and completion of the Apostolic Church that began in the first century, thus fulfilling my part in the restitution of all things (see Acts 3:21).

 

I want to be able to say with the apostle Paul:

 

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day [the third millennium of the Church/the seventh millennium since creation]: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

2 Timothy 5:7-8 (emphasis added)

 

May His appearing be a continual reality in our lives.

Chapter Fifty

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

Prelude to Tabernacles

 

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Hebrews 4:9

 

The Feast of Tabernacles, also referred to as the Feast of Ingathering, is a three part feast as is Passover (Passover/Unleavened Bread/Sheaf of Firstfruits).  The Feast of Passover begins with Passover, with the Unleavened Bread and the waving of the Sheaf of Firstfruits being incorporated into the main feast.  Tabernacles begins with Trumpets, sort of a prelude or introduction to Tabernacles; actually an announcing of Tabernacles, which is prophetic in nature.  Trumpets is followed by Atonement and the feast ends with Tabernacles.

 

Pentecost stands alone as a one day feast between Passover and Tabernacles.

 

Since the first Passover, Israel has had two calendars.  God spoke to Moses instituting the first month of the year to coincide with Passover.  It is the month of Nisan and is considered to be the beginning of the religious calendar.  The original calendar, known as the civil, agricultural or commercial calendar begins in the seventh month; Tishrei and coincides with the creation.

 

So Tishrei is the beginning of mankind who grew into many tribes and nations.  Nisan is the beginning of the chosen people of God; remaining as a nation on the Earth but being separate from all other nations.  This separation eventually found greater fulfillment in the Church, which the apostle Peter called a holy nation:

 

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people [purchased possession]; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

1 Peter 2:9  (emphasis added)

 

The two feasts of Passover and Pentecost give us a picture of these two facets of the chosen people of God.  At the time of the first Passover in Egypt, the Israelite slaves that had been dependent on the Pharaoh for their every need became a wealthy, independent nation under God in one night.  On the Day of Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, the Church was birthed with a group of about 120 Jews but soon spread to the nations (Gentiles).

 

In this third day (millennium) of the Church, which is the seventh day (millennium) of/since creation, we are entering into the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, when Israel and the Church will become one people under the headship of Christ.

 

We are now entering into the prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, when the coming Feast of Tabernacles is being announced.  Not only is the coming feast being announced, it is being experienced to a degree by a prophetic remnant that is not only announcing its coming, but is living an example of its coming; having been driven into a time of intense and severe testing, producing in them a much deeper union with Christ than anyone has known until now.

 

This prophetic remnant is the firstfruits of many more to come.  We are a Firstfruits Company and a Trumpet People.  Trumpets were used in ancient Israel when an important announcement was to be made.  Trumpets called the people together for battle or when it was time for the camp to continue journeying toward the Promised Land, during their time in the wilderness.

 

The Feast of Trumpets occurs on the first day of the seventh month, when the new moon appears as a thin crescent.  Just as the seventh day and the seventh year are holy according to Mosaic Law (see Ex. 20:8-10 and Lev. 25:4), so is the seventh month.  Tishri is the Sabbath of months.  In ancient Israel the new moon, which was the beginning of a new month, was announced with short blasts on silver trumpets.

The trumpet used for the Feast of Trumpets was not a silver trumpet but a shofar, made from a ram’s horn.  Silver trumpets were blown to announce the beginning and ending of the Sabbath and with sacrifices.  During the Feast of Trumpets, a priest blew the shofar standing in a row of priests facing the altar blowing silver trumpets. The priest blowing the shofar made long blasts while the silver trumpeters sounded short blasts over that day’s sacrifices.

 

Those of us that have been subjected to intense and severe tests and trials, preparing us to be that prophetic remnant are not only a Trumpet People, we are the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.  We are a prelude to the coming Feast of Tabernacles, when Jesus will manifest Himself fully in a people (see Galatians 4:19 AMP), tabernacling with them, making them a habitation of God through the Spirit (see Ephesians 2:22).  This is the so called second coming of Christ that many are looking for, not touching down on the Mount of Olives but revealing His presence in His Remnant Bride (a Prophetic Remnant/a Firstfruits Company/a Joseph Company/an Elijah Company/a Sons of Issachar Company/the Manifested Sons of God).

 

This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

We are:

Just a prelude to the song that is to come.

Just a prelude to the love to be restored.

Can you imagine how it’s going to be?

All things made perfect when we’re all one in the Lord.

 

We’ve sung so many songs of love and now we’ve found the key.

We’ve sung so many songs of peace and now we’ll sing in harmony.

 

From Just a Prelude. music and lyrics copyright by Lanny C. Swaim

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Fifty One

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

A New Harvest

 

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Joel 2:23

 

During the Charismatic Movement of the mid-sixties there was an understanding of the former and latter rains in relation to Pentecost.  The former rain was considered to be the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of Acts, and the latter rain was considered to be the outpourings that took place from the mid-nineteenth century on through the twentieth century.

 

Another analogy compared the former rain to the Pentecostal Movement that had its beginnings with the Welsh Revivals of 1859 and 1904 plus the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California in 1906, and the latter rain to the Charismatic Movement or Renewal of the mid-twentieth century.

 

Pentecost produced a harvest in the first century not only of individuals being born again and coming into the Kingdom, but a harvest of power, manifesting the gifts of the Spirit in and among believers (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).  With the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit was also realized (see Galatians 5:22-23).  All this was reproduced during the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  However, the harvest of Pentecost is going to pale in comparison to the harvest of Tabernacles.

 

The first month mentioned in Joel 2:23 is not the first month on Israel’s religious calendar but the first month of the civil or agricultural calendar, which is the seventh month of the religious calendar.  It was the time of a great and final harvest of the year, which is why Tabernacles is also called the Feast of Ingathering.

 

We could compare the former and latter rains to Pentecost and Tabernacles or even to Passover and Tabernacles, but I believe Tabernacles is going to be the time when the former and latter rains will occur at the same time, producing continual harvest, which was not only prophesied by Joel but also by Amos:

 

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

Amos 9:13

 

It is of great significance that Tabernacles occurred in the first month of the civil calendar, which was the seventh month of the religious calendar.  The civil calendar has to do with nations and governments.  During the fulfillment of Tabernacles the kingdoms (nations) of the world will become the kingdoms (Kingdom) of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15).

 

The religious calendar has to do with the fulfillment of spiritual matters, which will ultimately impact and control civil matters.  Seven in scripture is the number for completion or perfection.  Not only does Tabernacles take place in the seventh month, the year of Jubilee began in the seventh month (see Leviticus 25:9).  The year of Jubilee is another type and shadow of continual harvest.

 

As we enter into the beginning of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles on God’s historic and prophetic timetable, we are experiencing the first part of Tabernacles, which is the Feast of Trumpets.  There is a remnant of the Body of Christ that is becoming a Trumpet People, announcing the coming Feast of Tabernacles, not only by prophesying it but by beginning to experience it and becoming an example of it; a firstfruits company comparable to the Sheaf of Firstfruits that was a part of Passover.

 

Are you beginning to see that while there is a chronological order to all this on the timeline of history, there is also the reality that it all overlaps and in some ways cannot be contained on a timeline of chronological order?  If you can wrap your mind around this truth, you will begin to understand the reality that those of us beginning to experience the fulfillment of Tabernacles, are also beginning to experience eternity, where time has no relevance.  The occurrences of our lives, which there is a chronological order to, are more of a kairos reality, with every step of our journey being pregnant with great purpose and destiny.

 

Any way you slice it, if you are a part of this remnant, you are living in the most exciting time in the history of planet Earth so far.  I can tell you from experience, while getting to this place has not been easy; it is also the most exciting time in my life so far.

 

Not only is it exciting, it is producing in us the power and fruit of the Spirit in greater measure than ever before.  This reality is the proof that we are walking in truth, despite the accusations of many that are not seeing the Kingdom as we are seeing the Kingdom.

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Fifty Two

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

The Significance of Two Silver Trumpets

 

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.  And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Numbers 10:1-3

 

Silver in scripture has to do with atonement.  At the time of the census in Israel each person twenty years old and above was to give a half shekel of silver to the priests for the atonement of their souls (see Exodus 30:12-16).

 

The trumpets were to be made of a single (whole) piece of silver (see Numbers 10:2), signifying there is only one way to salvation; a type and shadow of the cross of Christ.

 

There are many examples of two equaling one in scripture: Adam and Eve – the example of a man and woman being two but becoming one in marriage; Christ the Head and the Body of Christ (His Church) are two being one; Jew and Gentile becoming one in Christ; the Bride of Christ being taken out of the Body of Christ in order to complete the Body of Christ, the two becoming one just as Eve was taken out of Adam in order to complete Adam, the two then becoming one again; two Israeli calendars starting in different months with each equaling one year.

 

The two trumpets were made of one piece of silver, and when they were blown they made one sound.

 

The blowing of trumpets was of great importance in ancient Israel.  There were five reasons for trumpets to be blown.

 

  1. Calling the assembly together (see Numbers 10:2).

  2. Journeying of the camps (see Numbers 10:2).

  3. Going to war (see Numbers 10:9).

  4. To announce the beginning of months (see Numbers 10:10).

  5. To announce the observance of the feasts (see Numbers 10:10).

 

While there were several reasons for the blowing of trumpets in Israel, the blowing of the trumpets in the seventh month, announcing the Feast of Tabernacles, had special significance, hence that occasion was called the Feast of Trumpets. 

 

The Feast of Trumpets not only had seasonal significance but also dispensational significance of greater intensity than the dispensational significance of the Feast of Passover with its three parts and the Feast of Pentecost.  It is in the second prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles that the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Pentecost will be experienced in fullness.

 

Passover and Pentecost find their destiny in Tabernacles, just as Tabernacles is the destiny of the Body of Christ.  Passover is the door into Pentecost and Pentecost is but a taste of Tabernacles.  Trumpets is a larger helping of Pentecost with Tabernacles being the full meal, glory to God!

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Fifty Three

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

Calling the Assembly Together

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly.

Numbers 10:1-2

 

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

Revelation 1:10

 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.

1 Corinthians 15:52

 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:16

 

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.

Revelation 22:17

 

The Feast of Trumpets is about more than an announcement.  It is about a people; an Elijah/John the Baptist company, not only prophesying but becoming a living epistle (an example of the coming Feast of Tabernacles); no less than the last trump or the trump of God. 

 

It is about more than a proclamation.  It is an invitation from the Spirit of God and the Bride of Christ to the wedding supper of the Lamb, which the Feast of Tabernacles is the fulfillment of.

 

The fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets is about calling the assembly (the Body of Christ/the true Church) together in the unity of the faith (see Ephesians 4:13).  More specifically, it is about calling the Body of Christ/the true Church into the unity of the faith.

 

God has provided five major services to the Church; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (overseers) and teachers (see Ephesians 4:11), to usher the Church into the unity of the faith, which is the perfecting of individual believers and that corporate person we become as we assemble together (see Ephesians 4:12).

 

Assembling together is about much more than going to church.  Actually, the concept of going to church in the traditional sense is in opposition to assembling together.  The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but to exhort (give urgent advice to) one another, with increasing regularity as we see the Day (of the Lord) approaching (see Hebrews 10:25).

 

The Greek word for assemble in this passage of Scripture is epinsuagoge, according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words, and has to do with the gatherings (local assemblies) of believers.  It is the same word used in 2 Thessalonians:

 

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering [assembling] together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

 

Paul wrote this letter to first century believers.  The falling away he spoke of occurred in the fourth century when the Roman Emperors Constantine and Theodosius made Christianity the state religion, marrying Church and state; an act of spiritual adultery, divorcing the Church from her Bridegroom and Husband, Jesus.

 

The man of sin or son of perdition (destruction) could be referring to the Roman emperors, but does it not fit the job description of the Catholic Pope?

 

2 Thessalonians was written in the first century, but also applies to the present time when the Day of Christ or Day of the Lord is at hand.  It is time for us to rebuild in the pattern of the first century Church, assembling together in small groups and ministering to each other.  The custom of meeting in larger groups, sitting in pews and being entertained or ministered to by one or a few individuals, stunts the growth of believers and makes them subject to a hierarchy that is unscriptural.  It is the clergy/laity system prevalent in most churches today, which was and continues to be the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church.  It is the practice of the Nicolaitans that Jesus said He hated in the letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation, and was evidently already being practiced by some church gatherings long before the fourth century.

 

When we assemble together in the New Testament pattern, we not only join together in covenant relationship with each other, we join ourselves as that corporate person to our Lord Jesus Christ.  In essence, we are caught away with Him and begin to reign with Him from His seat (throne) of authority.

 

It is time to divorce ourselves from ideas and traditions of men; from the division that has plagued the Church for hundreds of years, and to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church (see Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22), and not only to the Church as a whole but to the churches (local assemblies coming together in the New Testament pattern).  As we assemble in small groups, primarily in homes, we will be knitted together as one and begin to hear the Spirit of the Lord as one.  When we come together as networks of house churches in larger groups, we will realize that while each house church has its own personality, the sum total of all the house churches in any given network also has a personality of its own, while hearing much of the same from the Spirit of God.

 

This is how we will come into the unity of the faith; hearing and seeing the same things at the same time, literally having the mind of Christ; hearing and seeing the same thing Jesus is hearing and seeing of the Father, which entails the complete purpose and plan of God for mankind and planet Earth, throughout all ages.

 

The trumpet is sounding, calling us to assemble together in the unity of the faith as one person; one in and with the Lord.  The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” 

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Fifty Four

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

 

Journeying of the Camps Going to War

 

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

Numbers 10:1-2

 

We of the Remnant Bride of Christ are pilgrims and trailblazers, journeying into our destiny; paving the way for many more to come.

 

We are a Trumpet People, sounding the call to move and we are the movers; no longer camping out in past revelation but following the Ark of the Covenant across the Jordan into the Promised Land.

 

We are like the two spies who returned with a good report and encouraged the Israelites to go in and conquer the land (see Numbers, chapters 13 and 14).  Some call us dreamers or even worse, heretics, because they cannot see what we are seeing.  They see giants in the land and want to go back to Egypt.  We see a land flowing with milk and honey, and a God who is inviting us to take it.

 

We have gone around the mountain long enough.  Our wilderness journey has been hard and trying.  We are spying out the land and have tasted of its bounty.  There is no going back for us.  There is no second guessing our stance as we are positioned to overcome.  We are committed.  We are moving.  Our destiny awaits and we will not disappoint it.

 

There are battles to fight but we don’t fight from a position of gaining victory.  We fight from a position of having already won victory.  While we must possess the land, the victory has already been decided and accomplished.  Actually, ours is a position of gathering the spoils of victory; just as Adam’s job in the garden was that of a gatherer rather than that of a planter.

 

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.  Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 

 

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:  neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.  The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? 

 

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Joel 2:1-11, 15, 23

 

Saints of God, the greater application of this prophecy is to the Body of Christ and more specifically to the Remnant Bride of Christ.  This entire passage of scripture is about the trumpet call in the present day, signifying a time of darkness and gloom for the unrighteous and disobedient, but a day as the morning spreading upon the mountains for the people that know their God.

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

Chapter Fifty Five

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

Two Theaters

 

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.  Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 

 

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:  neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.  The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? 

 

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Joel 2:1-11, 15, 23

 

A day on the Jewish calendar, and I might add on God’s calendar, begins with evening.  Throughout the Genesis narration of creation we find the words, evening and morning was the first day, the second day and so on.  So the beginning of the day begins with the sun going down, which leads to darkness before the dawn brings the return of the sun to warm the earth and light the way.  So it is with this third day (millennium) of the Church and seventh day (millennium) of/since creation.

 

Those of us who are of the prophetic Remnant Bride of Christ, who have seen and tasted of the glory that lies just ahead, are like an army destroying everything before us, leaving the landscape desolate behind us and yet, at the same time we are progressing into the Garden of Eden.  Two very different scenarios happening simultaneously.

 

We are entering a time of great trouble for those trapped in the Babylonian world system that is failing.  We are in some ways affected by the world situation because we are still in the world, but we are not of the world (see John 17:15-16).  This is the time of Jacob’s trouble (see Jeremiah 30:7), but we will be protected from it and delivered out of it.  Jacob (Israel) is a type and shadow of the true Church.  We of the Remnant Bride, who are the firstfruits of many more to come, have already experienced our time of trouble (tribulation) and have come out of it.  We are those of Revelation 7:13-14 who have come out of great tribulation.

 

While we may still from time to time be tested, we no longer view tests as trials (tribulation), but rather, see God’s hand at work in all the circumstances of our lives.

 

For in the time of trouble he [God] shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me up upon a rock.  And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Psalm 27:5-6 

 

The tribulation we have endured and come out of has caused us to completely trust in our God.  We came to this place of trust out of necessity; we simply had no other choice.  In that trust we have found great peace, realizing that no matter what happens we are hidden in that pavilion that is His secret tabernacle; the secret place of the Most High (see Psalm 91:1).

 

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.  Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Isaiah 26:1-3

 

Saints of God, we are that righteous nation (see 1 Peter 2:9); it is that day and the gates of Eden are opening for us.

 

We are like Israel when they crossed the Jordan to take the Promised Land.  Because God was with them, great destruction came on the inhabitants of the land as they took possession of houses they had not built with vineyards, fruit trees and fields they had not planted.

 

As we enter this new day we must stay focused on the dawn that lies just beyond the night.  Like the Israelites that took Canaan, we too must take the land and like the Israelites, God will fight our battles for us if we will but trust Him and rest in Him.  After all, this is the seventh day (millennium), the ultimate Sabbath; a time when we have ceased from our labor just as God ceased from His labor in the Genesis account of creation.

 

We fight the fight of faith, not by taking up arms against our enemies, but by loving our enemies and praying for them, out of the character of God that He is building in us.  The very essence of who we are will defeat our enemies, but our desire is not for their destruction.  Rather, it is for their salvation.

 

The Babylonian world system must fail and certainly trouble comes with that failure.  We are seeing trouble escalate all around us and yet, we must know who we are in Christ and continually make intercession for those trapped in the Babylonian system, just as He makes intercession for us.

 

The end result will not be destruction but a new beginning.  The kingdoms (nations) of this world are becoming the kingdoms (Kingdom) of our Lord and his Christ (see Revelation 11:15).

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!  All glory to God.

Chapter Fifty Six

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

Preparing for War

 

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.  Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 

 

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:  neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.  The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? 

 

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Joel 2:1-11, 15, 23

 

The above prophecy of Joel is a trumpet blast from beginning to end, assembling the people in preparation for war.

 

So it is with us, the prophetic Remnant Bride of Christ; a trumpet people; an Elijah and John the Baptist company; a Joseph generation.

 

We have been through a time of intense and severe tests and trials (great tribulation) preparing and positioning us not only for the time just ahead but to be the firstfruits; pilgrims and trailblazers proclaiming and leading the way for many more to follow.

 

A line in an old song from the sixties stated, “Nothing is as sure as change.”  Our very presence on Earth demands change and causes change.  While God never changes (see Hebrews 13:8), His dealing with mankind does change.  A major change took place when He came to Earth as the Son of Man, was crucified, resurrected and ascended into the heavens, and another major change is about to take place as He comes in fullness in a people (see Galatians 4:19 AMP).

 

The more we become like Him, the greater the divide will be between us and those not like Him.  This is the separation of the wheat and tares Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13:24-30.  Division among political entities sometimes leads to war, which is what Jesus was referring to when he said the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (see Matthew 11:12).

 

It’s not that we instigate violence against those not like us, but because of the power and authority we display as we become more and more like the Lord, they will violently come against us.  This violence can come in many forms.  We see it today in the war of words and political shenanigans in the political arena of nations.  We see it in the war of words and sometimes violent protests of certain groups practicing ungodly behavior.  We see it in nations where believers are imprisoned, tortured and/or killed simply because they are believers.

 

We also see it in religion.  When the essence of who we are begins to change the way we think and as a result, some of the doctrines we have held to be truth begin to change in part or perhaps completely, those stuck in past revelation can become offended and separate themselves from us.

 

The Earth has been a violent place since Cain killed Able, and the coming of the Kingdom on Earth as in Heaven will not be without violence.  Hence, the comparison of we, the Remnant Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ to an army.

 

However, we fight a different kind of fight; the fight of faith (see 1 Timothy 6:12).  We fight not from a position of gaining victory but from a position of already having won victory.  And we don’t fight with weapons of destruction; we fight with love (the nature and character of God).  Actually, that love is more than something He possesses, it is who He is (see 1 John 4:8, 16) and as He becomes fully developed in a people, it becomes who we are.

 

The more He dwells in us in fullness, the greater the chasm between us and those not progressing into the fullness of Christ will become.

 

The kingdoms (nations) of this world are becoming the kingdoms (Kingdom) of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15), but the transition will not be without violence; not only among men but in nature itself.  The changes taking place are the birth pains of a new day and the rising of a new Kingdom.

 

Still, I believe the power and authority we possess can limit and in many cases even stop the violence of the transition taking place.  But when destruction does come we must be ready to ease the pain and help rebuild.

 

We certainly need the continual guidance of the Holy Spirit to prevent catastrophe and respond when needs arise.  This is why I believe the false doctrine of a rapture and seven year Great Tribulation is so damaging to the expansion of the Kingdom of God, and the spreading of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

 

We must realize who we are, how to pray and what to do in order to bring the Kingdom in earth and on Earth as in Heaven. 

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

 

Chapter Fifty Seven

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

Declaring Victory in the Midst of Tribulation

 

Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: that no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.  For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

1 Thessalonians 3:1-4 (emphasis added)

 

Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 (emphasis added)

 

Those who teach a futurist doctrine concerning so called end-times, believe there will be a seven year tribulation at the beginning of the Day of the Lord, which is the seventh millennium since creation.  Many that adhere to this false doctrine also believe there will be a catching away or disappearance of believers (a so called rapture) at the beginning of this Great Tribulation.  Often they use 1 Thessalonians 5:9 to back up their rapture doctrine (saying we are not appointed to wrath).

 

In order to do so, they have to ignore 1 Thessalonians 3:1-4, which makes it clear that we are appointed to go through tribulation.

If God is going to rapture believers out of tribulation in order to save them from wrath, He is going to have to apologize to the millions who have been tortured and killed from the stoning of Stephen to the present time.

To teach that we shouldn’t have to suffer tribulation is a very self-centered approach to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the exact opposite of all the Bible teaches concerning the ongoing process of salvation.  Actually, it is tribulation that moves us on toward salvation (perfection).

I wish there was another way.  I wish there was an easier way.  Evidently, most believers think there is and I have discovered they can become offended and angry when their end-time doctrines are challenged.  Teaching the truth concerning so called end-times can very quickly get the teacher uninvited to more than a few churches.  However, teach the truth I must; not because I want or need to prove I am right, but because anything less than the truth will cause believers to fall short of victory, not only in their personal lives but in their ministries as well.

As we enter this new day (millennium), which is the Day of the Lord, we need to know and understand what lies ahead.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-6

Chapter Fifty Eight

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

Declaring Victory Rather than Escape

 

Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord!  To what end is it for you?  The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.  As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

Amos 5:18

 

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-6

 

Who are those saying, “Peace and safety?”  Is it not those looking for peace and safety to come by way of a so called rapture rather than being positioned and focused on overcoming?  They equate the great escape with the Day of the Lord, but the tribulation they desire to escape will overtake them as a man fleeing from a lion, only to be met by a bear; or a man running into his house for safety, only to find a poisonous snake waiting for him there.

 

For those the Day of the Lord will be darkness and not light, but for those positioned to overcome it will be a lighted path to victory.

 

This is a mystery.  Those focused on an escape are not unlocking the mystery.  Rather, they are believing a fable.

 

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?

1 Corinthians 15:51-55

 

This is one scripture reference that futurist, who believe in a rapture and a Great Tribulation, use to support their belief.  But Paul tells us in the first sentence he is showing us a mystery.  If it is a mystery, then perhaps a literal, intellectual understanding of it falls short of the true meaning of his words.

 

As I often teach, the New Testament cannot be fully understood without a working knowledge and understanding of the feasts, with their historic and prophetic significance.  Not only did the Jews of the first century have this understanding, the Gentile believers were taught the same and in most cases even kept the celebrations.  Paul could teach New Testament doctrine in the language of the feasts and not be misunderstood by the first century Church.

 

The last trump in the above passage of Scripture is not referring to a literal trumpet blast coming out of the sky.  It must be understood in light of the Feast of Trumpets.  The last trump is not a sound but a people sounding a prophetic message concerning this mystery.

 

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:22-26

 

Jesus has been reigning for two thousand years but for the most part, His subjects have been rebellious and as a result, divided into many camps; teaching for doctrine the commandments and traditions of men (see Matthew 15:8-9 and Mark 7:6-7).

 

Prophecy teachers in recent years have taught that Jesus will return to earth at the end of the so called Great Tribulation, a seven year period of which at least half will literally be hell on Earth.  Once He returns, He will set up an earthly kingdom reigning from geographic Jerusalem in Israel.

This futurist view of so called end-time events began in the sixteenth century when Francisco Ribera (1537-1591), a Jesuit doctor of theology, decided to put a futurist spin on historical prophetic scripture, in order to take the focus off the anti-Christ spirit of the Catholic Church.

    

After the invention of the printing press and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church became concerned about the possibility of their subjects discovering the truth, and realizing the anti-Christ spirit of the Papacy.  Hence, Ribera came up with this lie. 

 

Contemporary teachers have picked up on Ribera’s false doctrine concerning so called end-time events, and taught there will be a seven year tribulation, when a person known as the anti-Christ will rule the world, and that it will be a time of great judgment against the world.  Nowhere in the New Testament is the word tribulation used in reference to judging the world.  The New Testament Scriptures that use the word tribulation are Romans 5:3, 8:35, 37/2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 7:4/Ephesians 3:13/1 Thessalonians 3:4/2 Thessalonians 1:4, 6/Revelation 1:9, 2:9-10, 20-22, 7:14.

 

There are no other scripture references in the New Testament where the word tribulation appears.  Two references speak of great tribulation that came on the Jews in AD 70, when the Jewish nation and temple were for the most part destroyed.  In one scripture reference, tribulation is pronounced on persecutors of the saints.  In one scripture reference, Jesus speaks of tribulation concerning believers that commit spiritual fornication.  All the rest of the above scripture references speak of the tribulation endured by God’s chosen elect.

Everywhere tribulation is mentioned in the Book of Revelation refers to the refining of believers.  It is not used in relation to judgment on the world or on unrighteous people, except for the one reference to persecutors of the saints.

 

Tribulation is the process that refines believers, and the refining of believers is how Jesus brings His subjects into submission to His reign as King.  This is not something that happens when He physically returns to earth and sets up His Kingdom in geographic Jerusalem.  Rather, it is happening as He becomes enthroned in the New Jerusalem, not a geographic city, but a people.

This refining process causes believers to die to self.  It is those who have died to self that are the dead in Christ and the first to rise to positions of authority, reigning with Christ in His Kingdom.

At some point, when this process has come to fullness, it will affect our physical bodies in such a way that we will simply put on immortality, like a person puts on a garment.  There will be those who have died to self to such a degree that they will be resurrected and the power of that resurrection will enable them to never taste of physical death, changing them forever.  While this is a process that culminates over time, it will appear to happen in the twinkling of an eye.

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

 

Chapter Fifty Nine

The Feasts of God

Trumpets

 

Declaring Every Man in His Own Order

 

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:19-26

 

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

 

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?

1 Corinthians 15:51-55

 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

 

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 19:10

 

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians, he saw a future time when Jesus would descend from Heaven with a shout.  The future time he saw was the Day of the Lord, referred to many places in the Bible; which is none other than the seventh day of/since creation and the third day of the Church.  It is a thousand year day (see 1 Peter 3:8), which we have now crossed the threshold of.

 

Jesus is descending from Heaven and shouting His testimony; a living thing that entails all His written Word, plus the prophetic declarations of His trumpet people (the last trump) who are speaking (shouting) what He is speaking. 

 

These people are possessed by the spirit of prophecy and as a result are obsessed with the words they hear Jesus saying to them, which they in turn must reveal to not only the people of God, but to the nations as well.

 

They are possessed, owned by Him, because they were chosen by his Father to be in Him before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4); much like Abraham chose a bride for his son, Isaac (see Genesis, chapter 24).  Hence, they are the Bride of Christ.

 

They are a remnant of the Body of Christ, being caught up to be with Him forever as His wife.

 

Like He is the firstfruit of those raised from the dead, we of the Bride of Christ are the firstfruits of those being caught up to be forever with Him.  Like Eve was taken out of Adam and then presented to Adam as a wife, completing Adam; we are being taken out of the Body of Christ and are being presented to Him in order to complete Him.  In that sense we are perfecting Him and all those who have gone before us that died without reaching perfection (see Hebrews 11:39-40).

 

Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Jesus in Luke 13:32

 

Jesus was not perfected the third twenty-four hour day after the crucifixion.  He walked out of the grave with the scars of the crucifixion still in His body.  His body was not a perfect body.  His physical body was forever scared in order that the corporate Body of Christ might be forever perfected without any scars, not having spot, wrinkle or any such thing; holy and without blemish (see Ephesians 5:27); a perfect Bride for Him to present to Himself, which will take place in this third day (millennium) of the Church.

 

But at the present time all believers are not this chosen Bride of Christ.  The Bride of Christ is a remnant of the Body of Christ; a firstfruits company of many more to come.  Those of us who are a part of the Bride of Christ did not choose to be a part of this firstfruits company.  We were chosen. 

 

At some point on God’s timeline of history, as we are in this process of being perfected, those that have gone before and died a physical death in Christ will be resurrected like Christ was resurrected.  But today there is another sense in which the dead in Christ are being resurrected first, which is synonymous with the catching up. 

 

A current application of the dead in Christ refers to those who are in a process of dying to self and in many ways have died to self, now being resurrected and caught up to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (see Ephesians 2:6).  While positionally all believers are there, experientially only a few at the present time are being caught up or caught away to this place of unlimited authority and power.

 

We of the Remnant Bride of Christ are the last trump, declaring every man in his own order (see 1 Corinthians 15:23).  The order is this:

 

The church world at large is not the Body of Christ.  The Body of Christ is a remnant of the church world at large and is made up of those born again (born from above).  Actually, the church world at large is not the true Church at all.  They are just religious organizations void of spiritual life.  While there may be some in them that are born again and even baptized with the Spirit, as a whole they are just dead religious organizations with no spiritual significance.

 

The Bride of Christ at the present time is made up of a chosen group of individuals who have and perhaps still are being subjected to severe and intense tests and trials, designed to cause in them a dying to self and a maturing in the Lord, which is their preparation to become the wife of Jesus.  Like Eve was taken out of Adam in order to complete Adam, they are being taken out of the Body of Christ in order to complete the Body of Christ.  Hence, they are a firstfruits company of many more to come.

 

As they experience this, they also announce the coming prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, prophesying it into existence.  Many have gone before, sounding the prophetic trumpet announcing the coming Day of the Lord, but now we of the Remnant Bride of Christ, as the last trump, are announcing (prophesying) that the time is at hand and there will be no need of another trump.

 

Surely we were born for such a time as this!

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