The Fall Feasts are approaching. There are: Feast of Trumpets, the day of Atonement, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret.
It is assumed by all mainline Christians that upon death they go to heaven. More specifically, bible students believe that upon death the church or little flock, receive instant immortality. “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;” 1 Corinthians 15:42 But is it instant? “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52 The last trumpet is the Day of Atonement. http://www.wildolive.co.uk/yomkippur.htm Peter says:
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
If the church or little flock receive instant immortality, what’s the point of judgment beginning with God’s household? It seems that the test for eternity happens after a person dies. This is a relief. For centuries, Christians have assumed that they must die a martyr if they want the highest accolades from God. Certainly true martyrdom will be rewarded, but the actual test to enter eternity (or at least age+ lasting life), must reside in the second life. One possibility is a test at or right before the Day of Atonement. It seems to this writer that Armageddon will happen immediately before the ultimate Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). From the first of the seventh month (Feast of Trumpets) to the tenth of the seventh month (Yom Kippur) are known as the days of awe. The Day of the Lord and the Thousand year reign are synonymous. Therefore, Yom Kippur is slightly past half way through the Thousand year reign. It is clear that the saints are raised from the dead first at Yashua’s second coming. “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
That second coming starts as a thief. “for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2 But believers shouldn’t be surprised:
“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4
There are some seeming inconsistences regarding the resurrection. On the one hand, we have promises of immortality:
“For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:53
On the other hand, we have overcomers promised food:
“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
Immortals do not require food. We have similar issues in the beattitudes:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
Which is it? Heaven or earth? Or maybe the kingdom of heaven is on earth? Yet Jesus ascended to the Father, who’s definitely not on earth. Then there’s this:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10
Here we have believers reigning on earth. Now Jesus appeared as a regular person on earth after his resurrection. He apparently had the ability to walk through walls.
Could there be a middle step? This author isn’t sure. Might resurrection only refer to the change to heavenly condition? Perhaps people return to their former state (life on earth) first? Consider:
“Nevertheless, I will restore their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and along with them your own captivity, in order that you may bear your humiliation and feel ashamed for all that you have done when you become a consolation to them. Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to their former state, and you with your daughters will also return to your former state. As the name of your sister Sodom was not heard from your lips in your day of pride, before your wickedness was uncovered, so now you have become the reproach of the daughters of Edom and of all who are around her, of the daughters of the Philistines—those surrounding you who despise you. You have borne the penalty of your lewdness and abominations,” the Lord declares. For thus says the Lord God, “I will also do with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath by breaking the covenant. “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant. Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done,” the Lord God declares. Ezekiel 16:53-63
Recently I was researching a subject on the internet that I knew little about. It dawned on me that there are certain signs that can tip you off toward who has the more truthful argument. I was reading a criticism of an author. They started out agreeing with the author. But then the tone turned harsh. They started almost mocking his credentials. Using the ‘all the important people got their degree from…’ argument. Kind of like:
“They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” John 7:52
An honest person will stick to points, not mocking another. Disagreement is fine, mocking is not. The other thing disingenuous people do is sow doubt into the truth:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
And of course, bad people lie. The trouble here is, if you don’t know the subject well. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.” Genesis 3:4
This is probably the most successful lie of all time. Most people believe it to this day; it is the doctrine that souls are immortal. As if God cannot destroy a soul. Yet:
“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.” Ezekiel 18:4
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” Revelation 22:12-15 NASB
‘Blessed are those who wash their robes’ – what does that mean?? Righteousness? Faith? A bit vague. Lets look at another translation:
“”Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to recompense everyone according to his work.” “I am the Alap and the Taw, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Completion. Blessed are they who do His (Master YHWH’s) Mitzvot, that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city.”” Revelation 22:12-15 AENT
The Mitzvot is the Law! The Ten commandments and the lesser commands of the Torah! It is saying that any that want to eat from the trees of life must follow God’s laws – thou shall not murder, steal, lie, etc. The relation between faith and works is not fleshed out very well in most churches. There are works we can do and works we cannot do. We cannot raise ourselves from the dead, this is purely God’s doing, and we must rest in faith that he will do it. However, we can do simple works such as, ‘you shall not eat from this tree; you shall not lie, etc’.
Joshua 4 chronicles entering the promised land. It is very possible this contains clues about how believers will enter the eternal promised land.
“Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lordspoke to Joshua, saying, “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”
Thus the sons of Israel did as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, just as the Lord spoke to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel; and they carried them over with them to the lodging place and put them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day. For the priests who carried the ark were standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hurried and crossed; and when all the people had finished crossing, the ark of the Lord and the priests crossed before the people. The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the sons of Israel, just as Moses had spoken to them; about 40,000 equipped for war, crossed for battle before the Lord to the desert plains of Jericho.
On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.
Now the Lord said to Joshua, “Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony that they come up from the Jordan.” So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.” It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before.
Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4
This account is a little confusing since it sounds like everyone crossed, then the priests gathered stones. But it could be symbolic of believers crossing over into God’s rest:
“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 3:12-4:11
Paul is using the Exodus and entering the promised land as types of what is to come, the Seventh and Eighth Days. It is interesting that Paul notes the crossing of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan. These probably represent the crossing into the Sabbath Day – the 7th 1,000 year ‘day’. The crossing of the Jordan probably represents the crossing into the Jubilee – the 8th 1,000 year ‘day’. In between is the forty year testing in the wilderness. Notice that the Egyptian menace had been removed during that time, probably just like the Satanic menace will be removed in the 1,000 year reign of Christ.
Dr. R. L. Hymbers, Jr. has a great line about most modern preaching:
“The titles of modern “sermons” sound like articles in the Reader’s Digest – full of fluff and pablum – with nothing in them to disturb an unconverted church member – or catch the attention of a lost college student who might be in a service. These little “Reader’s Digest” sermons, given to soothe the elderly ladies and not ruffle any feathers, are killing real Christianity!”
Now, he’s a little on the fire & brimstone side, but there’s a lot of truth in that statement. Churches have a conflict of interest, as do most businesses. Churches are in the business of staying in business, truth comes second. This proves that the true church is massively smaller than the apparent church of today. If the truth were fully preached, most church members would quit, but some non church people would be converted. If it’s true that the true church numbers merely 144,000 across 2,000 years, that’s a very small number indeed. Of course those of the household of faith who do not make the bride probably number many millions and millions. There are more bridesmaids in a wedding than brides. So also, there were many more Levites assisting in worship than actual priests making sacrifices. Remember God’s instruction to Gideon:
“Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.” Judges 7:1-8
“The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.” 1 Timothy 5:24-25
This verse states that all the unsolved crimes of history will be exposed and solved at the judgment during Christ’s thousand year reign. Imagine the surprise of so many who thought they would never be found out! The vast majority of people including Christians don’t believe in the resurrection.
But the good version of this is also true. The secret beautiful things that humble people have done through the centuries will be told and honored. In this way, all deeds, good and bad will be exposed and recompensed.
“Now the goal of the command is love which is from a pure heart and from a good conscience and from true Faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 AENT
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” 1 Timothy 1:5 KJV
This change is words is major. Christ is not the end of the law but the goal of it. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17 Notice the same thing elsewhere:
“For Mashiyach is the goal of Torah for righteousness to everyone that believes in him.” Romans 10:4
“In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the Lord Almighty raises against them. And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the Lord Almighty is planning against them.
In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.
In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them. The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” Isaiah 19:16-25
When has Judah been a terror to the Egyptians? Not yet anyway. This is a prophecy of the future. It will probably be in the time of Jacob’s trouble just before the Day of Atonement. The monument is the Great pyramid of Giza. It’s interesting that the Lord strikes Egypt with a plague – will it be similar to one of the ten plagues of antiquity? Ultimately there will be a confederation of Israel, Assyria, and Egypt, forming a large country spanning the entire eastern Mediterranean basin.