THE APPOINTED TIMES OF THE LORD
This article (and others) may be read online at the following link: Appointed Times
Facts, Data, and Information have been borrowed from several papers written by Dr. Stephen Jones of “The New Kingdom Order” website.
Feast days, along with other Old Testament offerings and events, are called “the appointed times of the Lord”. The Hebrew term is moed, which means appointed time or appointed place. These are the prophesied dates that God has originally set in the Old Testament to be fulfilled during the New Testament and in the future.
At the beginning of the Exodus, the blood of the lamb on the door posts and lintel instructed the angel of death to pass over that particular dwelling. Passover was the day that Jesus was crucified. The blood of the Lamb of God was marked upon the crucifix.
Wave-Sheaf Offering (The First Fruits):
A sheaf of barley, which is offered in connection with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, directly following the Passover is waved in the air as the celebration of the beginning of harvest. This is the day Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Jesus fulfilled the law of the wave-sheaf offering, not by His actual resurrection, but by presenting Himself alive in the temple of heaven at the appointed time.
Leviticus 23:10-11 NET “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land that I am about to give to you and you gather in its harvest, then you must bring the sheaf of the first portion of your harvest to the priest, (11) and he must wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for your benefit — on the day after the Sabbath the priest is to wave it.
The day of the Wave-Sheaf Offering is the day of the first resurrection (see below). Barley, the first harvested grain is associated with the elect overcomers. These are the seeds that fell on good soil. (see Matthew 13:3-8)
Pentecost (Feast Of Weeks):
It is also known as the festival of reaping the wheat fields and also the feast of the harvest.
Exodus 34:22 NET “You must observe the Feast of Weeks — the first fruits of the harvest of wheat — and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year.
This is the appointed day when the Spirit of God was sent to the disciples in the upper room.
The Feast of Pentecost marked the historic event when God spoke the Ten Commandments to the people from Mount Sinai. God appeared to Moses as a fire and the Spirit came upon the disciples as tongues of fire. At that point, God no longer accepted the Pentecostal offering by fire in the temple. The believers are now the temple of God with Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone, the apostles and prophets as the foundation stones, and all others as living stones.
Ephesians 2:20-22 NET because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. (21) In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, (22) in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
This will be the time of the second resurrection (see below). The wheat harvest is associated with the general resurrection of both Christians and non-Christians. It will consist of the wheat and the tares. (see Matthew 13:24-30)
The Feast Of Trumpets:
This is the first of the autumn feast days concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is the appointed time for the resurrection of the dead that is generally referred to as the “rapture” by dispensational pre-tribulationists.
Numbers 10:1-4 NET The LORD spoke to Moses: (2) “Make two trumpets of silver; you are to make them from a single hammered piece. You will use them for assembling the community and for directing the traveling of the camps. (3) When they blow them both, all the community must come to you to the entrance of the tent of meeting. (4) “But if they blow with one trumpet, then the leaders, the heads of the thousands of Israel, must come to you.
It has been called in Jewish circles, “the Day of the Awakening Blast.” This festival occurred on the first day of the seventh month which is a new moon and the beginning of a lunar month. There was (and still is) some uncertainty as to the actual appearance of the new moon due to clouds and occasionally the exact day or hour was not known until the new moon was seen.
Matthew 24:36 NET “But as for that day and hour no one knows it — not even the angels in heaven — except the Father alone.
Matthew 25:13 NET Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Paul tells us that some of the dead will be resurrected at the sound of a trumpet.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 NET (16) For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
I am not about to tell you that Jesus will visibly appear in the sky, the world will hear the voice of an archangel, and the sound of a trumpet will reverberate around the earth. This actual occurrence most likely will not happen. If it did, the hospitals would be overflowing with strokes and cardiac arrests. However, something will happen, whether it is immediately visible is not known but will be understood by all at some point.
Revelation 20 pronounces two resurrections. The first resurrection occurs at the return of Jesus Christ just prior to the Millennium as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (shown above) and the second one happens at the end of the first thousand years which is the end of the Millennium. The beginning of verse 5 below is a parenthetical statement explaining the nature of the un-resurrected people not included in the first resurrection. The following sentence “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished” should actually be at the end of verse 5, explaining the second resurrection as distinct from the first.
Revelation 20:4-6 NET Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (5) (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
The first group will be the judges, priests, and administrators during the Millennial reign of Christ under the authority of Christ. Contrary to popular dispensational pre-tribulational belief, not everyone calling themselves a Christian will be included in the first resurrection.
This first group of true believers are sometimes referred to as the “overcomers” or the “elect”. As an example, if General McArthur had known in advance the number of soldiers that would be wounded in battle, he could have preordered the correct number of Purple Hearts in advance. God knows the end from the beginning and can deem those worthy to be the elect because He knows their beliefs and works in advance.
The law concerning trumpets (Numbers 10:1-4 as quoted above) suggests or implies the two separate resurrections. God told Moses to make TWO trumpets of silver. When the priest blew with just one trumpet, only the leaders, the heads of the people, were to gather before God. When the priest blew BOTH trumpets, the entire congregation was to gather before God.
Looking at 1 Thessalonians 4:16 again we can see that Paul was referring to the first resurrection when only a single trumpet is sounded (at the last trumpet [singular]) and they are referred to as “the dead in Christ”. The first resurrection is a limited one, and the second is a general resurrection that includes the rest of the dead, both marginally Christian to the unbelievers including the generally evil.
In Luke 12, Jesus identifies the characteristics concerning those of the first and second resurrections. Those, both dead and alive, that are resurrected at the second coming of Christ will be the elect or the overcomers. They are the ones who truly follow the laws of God as specified in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Luke 12:42-44 NET The Lord replied, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his household servants, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? (43) Blessed is that slave whom his master finds at work when he returns. (44) I tell you the truth, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
However, the nominal believers who do not follow the teachings of Christ will be placed with the unbelievers at the second resurrection.
Luke 12:45-46 NET But if that slave should say to himself, ‘My master is delayed in returning,’ and he begins to beat the other slaves, both men and women, and to eat, drink, and get drunk, (46) then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
The popular belief that all so-called Christians will be raised at the same time as the faithful Christians can be questioned by a comment of Jesus in John 5:28-29.
John 5:28-29 NET “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when ALL who are in the tombs will hear his voice (29) and will come out — the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation.
Jesus is not referring to the first resurrection which is limited to “believers only” but is signifying the one that includes ALL of the dead which is the second resurrection.
Luke 12:47-48 NET That servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked will receive a severe beating (many stripes KJV). (48) But the one who did not know his master’s will and did things worthy of punishment will receive a light beating (a few stripes KJV). From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.
Nominal or law breaking Christians will not lose their salvation, nor does it mean they receive the same reward or judgment as unbelievers. They will be “saved yet so as by fire,” while the unbelievers will be thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the same as the fire of God, only that it represents a more severe judgment of the divine law.
Nominal believers, because of their acts or thoughts of lawlessness and their oppression of others in this life, will be held accountable for their works at the same time that the wicked are judged.
Those nominal Christians who knew better, but actively refused to be obedient to the law of God will receive a greater degree of judgment than those who did not know God’s will and sinned out of ignorance.
Another parable of Jesus referring to the resurrection of the righteous and those who would inherit it can be found in Luke 14:12-14.
Luke 14:12-14 NET He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors so you can be invited by them in return and get repaid. (13) But when you host an elaborate meal, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. (14) Then you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
To qualify as an overcomer and inherit the first resurrection, one must show qualities of unconditional love, of giving with no consideration of a return favor. The principle is simple, even if its outworking might prove to be more difficult depending on the circumstances.
The remainder of the Church as a complete group will be raised from the dead at the end of the thousand years along with all the unbelievers. At this time the unbelievers will be judged by the “lake of fire,” while the congregation of non-ruling believers will receive life (immortality) but will not be rulers, judges, or priests.
Revelation 5:10 NET You have appointed them as a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
In the Book of Acts, Paul comments to Felix there will be a resurrection of both the good and the bad.
Acts 24:14-15 NET But I confess this to you, that I worship the God of our ancestors according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law and that is written in the prophets. (15) I have a hope in God (a hope that these men themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.
The “lake of fire” is not eternal torment burning in fire as some envision. It is the corrective judgment of God. The earth is destined to be filled with the fire of God, which is His life, His character, and His very being.
The Day Of Atonement:
The Day of Atonement was a day of fasting and repentance occurring once each year on the tenth day of the seventh month which was nine days after the Feast of Trumpets.
Leviticus 23:27 NET “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It is to be a holy assembly for you, and you must humble yourselves and present a gift to the LORD.
It will be the appointed time for the surviving Church to repent and mourn for its refusal to enter into the fullness of the Spirit, i.e. their “Promised Land.” This “Promised Land” refusal will be a realization they were not a part of the elect overcomers who obtained a spiritual body and will be administrators of the earth under the authority of Jesus Christ.
The 58th chapter of Isaiah is a commentary spoken by God describing the Day of Atonement as a Jubilee. This is a legitimate description because the Day of Atonement occurs every 49 years at the beginning of a Jubilee and is written within the law of God.
Leviticus 25:8-13 NET ” ‘You must count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, and the days of the seven weeks of years will amount to forty-nine years. (9) You must sound loud horn blasts — in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, on the Day of Atonement — you must sound the horn in your entire land. (10) So you must consecrate the fiftieth year, and you must proclaim a release in the land for all its inhabitants. That year will be your jubilee; each one of you must return to his property and each one of you must return to his clan. (11) That fiftieth year will be your jubilee; you must not sow the land, harvest its aftergrowth, or pick the grapes of its unpruned vines. (12) Because that year is a jubilee, it will be holy to you — you may eat its produce from the field. (13) ” ‘In this year of jubilee you must each return to your property.
Among the spies checking out the new land of Canaan, Caleb and Joshua were outvoted, and the people believed the evil report of the other ten spies. So the great Jubilee of the Canaan entry was not declared, and from that time forward, God told them to remember it each year as the Day of Atonement i.e. a day of mourning, fasting, and repentance for refusing God’s Jubilee. This original precedent shows that the Day of Atonement is a day of decision, a final examination or test that determines who is an overcomer and who is not. It is the Day of Atonement that distinguishes and separates the overcomers from the rest of the believers. Ultimately, it determines who is eligible to fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles. It is surmised that Canaan could have been conquered by faith rather than the sword if the Israelites had entered at that time.
One cannot arrive at Tabernacles (next section) without first going through the Jubilee at the Day of Atonement. That is the order of the feast days, and this process cannot be circumvented.
The Jubilee is a time of forgiveness: all debts are abolished; all slavery is ended; all servitude is no longer valid; any confiscated property or land must be given back to its original owner.
Matthew 6:12 NET and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.
The elect overcomers are people that God intends to put into positions of authority in His Kingdom. They are able to rule with equality of justice to all, because they have basically the same heart of forgiveness and love as that of Jesus. In addition, the overcomers have a heart to declare the Jubilee in the earth, which will set the nations free in the coming Age of Tabernacles (the Millennium).
Pentecost is a time when we learn how to be God’s obedient servants. We learn to hear the voice of God, and to hear is to obey. It is not a feast wherein we rule and prosper, but a feast in which we learn obedience by the things that we suffer (Heb. 5: 8).
The Feast Of Tabernacles: Succoth or Booths
Israel’s first stop in the wilderness was at Succoth (” Booths” or “Tabernacles”), and the people were told to dwell in booths during their long sojourn in the wilderness (Lev. 23: 43). That is, they were to live in booths as a constant reminder that their home was not in the wilderness under the Feast of Passover or under the Feast of Pentecost. Their hope was in the Feast of Tabernacles, their true promised land.
Leviticus 23:40 NET On the first day you must take for yourselves branches from majestic trees — palm branches, branches of leafy trees, and willows of the brook — and you must rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.
The Feast of Tabernacles is the point where the overcomers will experience the fullness of God permanently. Prior to that appointed time the overcomers have remained under the earnest of the Spirit that characterizes Pentecost.
It is the appointed time for the change to take place in the bodies of the elect, where the overcomers will receive their tabernacle which is from heaven and not made with human hands.
2 Corinthians 5:1 NET For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens.
Many church-people believe that at death a Christian goes to heaven to live in a mansion (of which they would have absolutely no need for). This is not true. Jesus, in John 14:2 was referring to a glorified body which is the prophetic fulfillment of the tabernacle dwelling or tent.
John 14:2 NET There are many dwelling places (mansions KJV) in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you.
It is my opinion there is no once-dead, near-dead, or living human being in heaven. God intended for humans to live on the earth which was created for that purpose, and that is where we will live, forever.