The Israelites came to Sinai in the third month. Exodus 19 This would have put them close to the end of the counting of the omer which begins with First Fruits and ends on Pentecost. Pentecost is the Greek term meaning fiftieth because it is celebrated fifty days after First Fruits. Pentecost is the term commonly used by Christians to recognize the Hebrew holiday of Shavuot. It is also known as the Feast of Weeks because of the time that elapses during the counting of the omer.
God was eager to share Shavuot (Pentecost) with the Israelites on Mount Sinai because He desired to establish His covenant with Israel. He wanted a change of heart, but because they had been under the influence of Egypt, they had hard hearts like Pharaoh. Therefore, God wrote His covenant on tablets of stone until He could write it on hearts of flesh.
Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven with the desciples looking on. He told them to tarry in Jerusalem until the Spirit of God descended upon them. They gathered in the upper room and prayed while all were in agreement with each other. On the tenth day, which would have been fifity days after First Fruits, the Spirit of God entered their dwelling place and fire rested upon them. They received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They were changed individuals in a moment by the indwelling of God. This was the day of Pentecost.
In the new testament, Pentecost was celebrated fifty days after Christ was resurrected on First Fruits or resurrection Sunday; therefore, Pentecost also falls on a Sunday. The disciples, at the command of Jesus, had been in the upper room for ten days when the Holy Spirit came in like a rushing wind and a flame of fire settled on the believers. Acts 2 At that precise moment, they were changed individuals because the law of God was written on their hearts of flesh.
This was the moment that Jesus spoke of when he told Peter, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethen." Luke 22:32 Suddenly, these men and women were empowered with wisdom beyond measure. They were fully prepared by the indwelling of the Spirit of God to do the work of God. This is what God had hoped to deliver to the Israelites when they were at Sinai, but their hearts were rock hard. They had circumcised their bodies, but not their hearts.
Once they reached Sinai, God asked Moses to remind them of all He had done to the Egyptians on their behalf. The Israelites had grumbled, whined and complained so much while in the desert that God knew they would need to recall His might if they were to appreciate His desire to make them a special treasure. Considering the history of Israel, it is obvious to us that God wanted only greatness for this small party of people. However, again they demonstrated the nature of man. Israel agreed to do whatever God wanted them to do. However, in using today's terms, the ink had not even dried on the contract when Israel broke the covenant. Moses cast the ten commandments to the ground demonstrating that the covenant had been broken by the people. It further demonstrated that God desired a people with broken and contrite hearts, but they had broken His heart.
God gave Moses another set of commandments to beautifully illustrate His benevolence toward mankind and His eagerness to establish a relationship with us by perpetuating the continual covenant throughout the ages. Christians like to point out the shortcomings of the Israelite nation, but Israel was not the first and is not the last to break the covenant with God. The hearts of many Israelites were not always bent toward God, but we should remember that they were the only nation at the time with an ear for the voice of God. All the nations greatly benefit by their attention. It is presumptuous to believe any of us would have done differently.
Pentecost (Shavuot) is a time for the children of God to be cleansed. God told Moses to tell them to be consecrated by washing their garments so they would be ready on the third day to meet God. Pentecost is comparable to the fall festival of the Day of Atonement in that the people have to prepare themselves to meet their God. When God appeared to the Israelites, the people trembled from their fear. The voice of God sounds like thunder so there were thunderings and lightning. There was smoke so thick that it looked like a cloud covering the mountain. This is like the smoke in the Most Holy Place and was there to shield the children of Israel from the presence of a Holy God just like the great high priest must be shielded on the Day of Atonement.
On the day of Pentecost described in Acts, the early Christians were commanded to pray in the Upper Room for ten days (just like the Feast of Trumpets) which cleansed and prepared them to receive the Holy Spirit. God descended upon the people like a fire. However, on the day of Pentecost (Shavuot) at Sinai, fire descended upon the mountain, but not the people because their hearts were not converted and it would have destroyed them.
The mountain quaked in a manner that is indescribable. There was also the sound of a trumpet or shofar (ram's horn) that grew louder and louder because the presence of God is always heralded by trumpets. When Christ comes he will descend with the voice of the archangel and a trumpet. Finally, the voice of God began to recite the covenant in the form of the ten commandments. Lastly, God reminds them to never make any replica of God from silver or gold.
Anyone that has read the story knows how long that lasted, but God is merciful. As long as people desire to see their God, He will continue to reveal Himself to us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? John 14:9
Israel was to celebrate First Fruits and Pentecost (Shavuot) when they reached the promised land. First Fruits marked the barley harvest, but the wheat is harvested on Pentecost (Shavuot). The harvest season begins in spring with the spring festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and ends in the summer with Pentecost (Shavuot). Jesus described the end-time as a wheat harvest to remind us of Pentecost which is also sometimes called Ingathering--a harvest term.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:24-30
When reading the above passage did you notice that the reapers first gather the tares into bundles and burn them? Then the wheat is gathered into the barn. Once the tares have been destroyed, the wheat is gathered into the barn. This parable was confusing even to the disciples. They were particularly interested in a better understanding regarding the tares. Jesus offered the following explanation.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. . . Matthew 13:36-43
The harvest is the end of the world and the angels are the reapers. Jesus will send His angels to gather the tares or children of the wicked one so they can be destroyed. The ones that are left, are the seed of the Son of man. Revelation 14 also describes a harvest, but it is a harvest of grapes. It reminds me of a parable told by Jesus.
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. Matthew 21:33-43
It is the work of believers of any generation to tend the vineyard. However, the hired servants have a tendency to become self serving and grandiose loosing their attitude of servitude. The result of their neglect of the vineyard is a lot of lost grapes and their place in the vineyard (kingdom). The parable warns all the hired husbandmen that they will be accountable for produce in the vineyard, but it is in John that Jesus provides us with the interpretation of the parable.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:1-8
In the harvest of the world, the grapes that are not of the true vine will be cast in the fire and burned. In these passages we see that the harvest of the world is also described as a harvest of grapes. In the land of Israel the harvest of the wheat could come early or late. If the wheat was harvested late, it would coincide with the grape harvest occurring in late summer. This indicates to me that God will delay the harvest of the saints as long as He can because he is patient and unwilling that any should perish.
It is a great privilege to join the angelic beings in the harvest of the world. Before the angels begin binding the tares and treading the bad fruit, it is the work of the bride of Christ and of the Holy Spirit to call men to the preservation of repentance. Revelation 22:17 When the husbandmen loose this calling, they can not tend the vineyard because they have lost their connection to the true vine.
The diligent husbandmen can do some fruit inspection; however, it is not for them to separate the fruit or the tares since they are unable to read the hearts of man. Therefore, it is the work of God to identify the wheat, and it is the work of the angels to bind the tares. However, the angelic beings can not read the hearts of men either. Therefore, if they are to bind only the tares, they must recognize the wheat. This requires a passover. The passover provided an identifying mark upon the door of the Israelites so the angel of death would pass over their dwelling place.
The angelic work of destruction is a result of the wrath of God poured out in the plagues which fall only on the children of disobedience for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 Like the angel of death, the angelic beings with the seven last plagues also need an identifying mark to recognize the seed of the Son of man. Therefore, Jesus identifies those on earth He will tabernacle before the angelic beings begin their work of destruction. Revelation 14:14-16 Those that choose the shelter offered by Christ during the destruction of the tares (plagues) will have the privilege of temporarily dwelling with God in His temple during the Feast of Tabernacles and permanantly in the New Heaven and New Earth. Revelation 20:4-6; 21:1-10, 22
The pre-tribulation rapture theory is fully embraced by many within Christianity. However, as I continue to dig deeper into the scriptures, I am less able to hold onto this view. Initially, I thought Revelation 14:14-16 supported the secret rapture view. However, I now recognize that this is Jesus identifying His own before the plagues begin to fall. This is the Lamb's passover for the last days. When the angelic beings pouring out the wrath of God see His name on the saints, they will passover them and the plagues will not harm them nor come nigh their dwelling. They will be preserved during the wrath of God and will join the ressurected dead in Christ as the final harvest on Pentecost.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. Psalm 91
The 7th Trumpet and the Coming of Jesus
After the plagues are completely poured out, Jesus will rescue the saints. The dead in Christ will rise first and then those that are alive and remain will be caught up with Him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 This event will be heralded by the last trumpet sound. 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 When Moses and the Israelites were at Mount Sinai, they heard trumpets. The coming of the Lord is always accompanied by the sound of trumpets. The last trumpet in Revelation is the seventh trumpet and describes the coming of Jesus.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
In the King James version it states that the Lord God Almighty art, wast, and art to come. However, if you read it in the New International Version (Revelation 11:17) it does not have art to come because He comes during the 7th trumpet. The art to come was added by the translators.
When Jesus was on the earth, He said that His kingdom was not of this world. When the seventh trumpet sounds, He will come exerting every right and authority to rescue His own and take His harvest to His barn leaving Satan to reign over a desolate world during the millenium. When He comes it is to release His people from bondage as Moses did with Pharaoh. He will claim His property after the millenium as Joshuah did in Canaan.
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
In the seventh trumpet, God's wrath has been poured out and it is now time to judge the dead and ressurect the dead in Christ. It is also time to reward the prophets and the saints with eternal life. Finally, it is also during the seventh plague that all the ungodly will be destroyed.
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
This passage is the heart of the matter and clearly proves to us that this the harvest of the world, known since the days of Moses as Pentecost or Shavuot. At the 7th trumpet, the law of God is delivered to the final generation just as it was to the Israelite nations on Shavuot. The deliverance of the law is a strong indicator that one event is a type of the other. The best news is that the temple of God is no longer closed. Revelation 15:5-8 It was closed until the smoke of the plagues cleared. Now that the plagues have been poured out, it is time for the saints to enter the temple in heaven. This is also typical of the Day of Atonement when the great high priest came out of the temple to put the blood of the sacrificial goat that had cleansed the temple of the sins of the people upon the head of Azazel, the scapegoat. The Great High Priest would then put copius amounts of incense on the altar to create a smoke that would shield him from the Glory of God when he went behind the veil. No one could enter the temple until the smoke cleared.
There is a lot to compare in Revelation 11:19; Exodus 19:10-25 verse with the experience that Moses and the Israelites had when God came to Mount Sinai. There were voices, thundering, lightning and an earthquake. However, the most obvious common event is the revealing of the law. On Mount Sinai God extended His covenant to the Israelites on tablets of stone, but in the last days the ark of the covenant containing the ten commandments is revealed to all mankind. It is the standard and when the wicked see it, they can not stand in the presence of a Holy God because the law condemns them. However, the saints are changed, in a moment because our hard hearts have been softened and subdued to receive the law of God written on our hearts.
The Israelites were warned that they must not break through the barrier to reach the mountain or even touch it because they will die. Moses and certain leaders can touch the mountain because they have been consecrated to do so by invitation. However, most of the Israelites do not have converted hearts so touching the mountain will slay them. The ungodly people of the last days are less obedient than the Israelites at Mount Sinai and when they see the coming of Jesus, they will try to take what is not theirs resulting in their death. (Armageddon) The last day ungodly are not only disobedient, but they are also desperate, and under the influence of Satan, they gather to make war (Armageddon) when Jesus comes.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
The outpouring of God's wrath will cease with the destruction of the earth and its inhabitants. The dead in Christ will rise up to meet the Lord, then the saints that are alive (because all the wicked or dead) and remain (because the ressurected saints went first), will rise up to meet the Lord.
Satan will resist the delivery of the saints like pharaoah resisted the release of the Israelites. He will rally an army of all the wicked that are alive at the coming of Christ. He will pursuade them that Jesus and His army is an alien invasion and they will try to make war against Jesus. This is Armageddon, and Jesus will destroy them.
The coming of Jesus is comparable to the Upper Room experience and the mountain top experience but many times over because His coming and our ascension is the ultimate Pentecost. God wanted the Israelites to have the same mountain top experience that Moses had, but they heard the voice of God and would not come. He spared them in their unbelief with a barrier. Today, we are invited to climb the mountain to so we can be where God is. Many will refuse because of fear and unbelief. All our barriers of fear and doubt will be removed allowing us to ascend with Jesus to tabernacle with the Father,we will no longer be mortal but immortal. We were corruptible, but now we are incorruptible. What once was terrestial is now celestial. We used to be earthly, but now we are heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15:35-54 Praise God, we are heaven bound to serve God in His temple until the end of the millenium. Finally, the saints of all the ages ascend together to the place Christ prepared for us. Hebrews 11:39-40
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb."
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?"
I answered, "Sir, you know."
And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore,
"they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
We have traveled through the spring festivals God gave to Israel and arrived at the end to discover Pentecost. The spring and fall festivals cross paths in Revelation because the lessons learned from both the spring and fall festivals help us decipher end-time events. I believe the time of the end will begin in the fall. The time of the fall festivals describe the coming of our King and our preparation for His arrival. This period of time will last 3.5 years. However, the end of time in the bondage of this corrupt planet comes at the very end and describe the days just before the coming of the Lord. The spring festivals typify this period of time known as Jacob's Trouble and will last a couple of months.
Beginning with Revelation 7:13 we discover a very important festival celebrated in Jerusalem in the fall. It is the Feast of Tabernacles. One of the 24 elders in heaven wants John to tell him where the great multitude (the ones robed in white) came from. He knows, he just wants John and us to recognize the significance of this group of people. This group represents the saints that were harvested during the last days as a result of the preaching and teaching of the 144,000 prophets of God.
The harvesting of this group and the ressurrection of the dead in Christ occurs at Pentecost. As soon as they are harvested, this group of people serve God in His temple while He spreads a tent or tabernacle over them as they do their work. The great multitude are the honored guests at the Feast of Tabernacles, but all that have entered the gates of Heaven are invited and expected to participate in the feast. The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the festivals that required all the Israelite males to assemble in Jerusulem. Only those that assemble at this feast in the Heavenly city Jerusalem will inherit the earth at the end of the millenium when the new city Jerusalem comes down from God out of Heaven. The invitations are being sent out, and it is not too late for you to RSVP, but do not delay. I can't wait to tell you more about it in God's Fall Festivals Intro.
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