ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
IF we have sown unto you spiritual things,
Is it a great thing if we shall reap from you carnal things? 1Corinthians 9:11
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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
In connection to the series that I had offered “why do we keep the feasts?”, this next series is offered, to help further support and encourage the Israel of God in her return to YHWH’s ordained worship according to the Scriptures.
I’d like to add that last year around this time I had offered as series on
THE LORD’S SUPPER
Sacrament of the Faith of Jesus Christ
As well as, just a few months back, I had more so established a systematic reason for keeping the feast as Christians under the New Covenant in the series:
How Do We Keep the Feasts?
By Applying the Feast of Harvest
2Pe_1:2-8 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesu(s) our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, for they make neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesu(s) Christ.
In Acts 2 we read of Pentecost in the time of the Apostles it is no light thing.
The first Pentecost after the resurrection was the time of the giving of the Holy Spirit and the enduing of power from on high, and that which we can be assured of is the apostles were gathering for the keeping of the feast of weeks they were not there to celebrate that which had not yet happened, but rather another layer being placed upon a Holy convocation specifically taught by the law of God.
The type of argumentation against feast keeping as Christians is often times directed towards a new testament alone rule base, that is the idea that if a Christian an not find a bible verse to support an aspect of worship or life then there is no basis for its observation in the church of Christ.
Personally I believe this is an inconsistent theology, a theological narrative which allows man to decide how much of the eternal God’s Word is truly eternal.
But even for those whom I would consider to be weaker brothers in the faith on this regard, and to answer those who hold such a standard of worship, I’d like for them to consider the New Testament mentions of the Feast of Pentecost and thus the feast of weeks and all that comes with it. Because in proving the observance of Pentecost by the Apostolic church we as well prove with it the month of Abib, the keeping of Passover, and the count which comes from that basis.
A glairing indictment of the modern Christian churches traditional doctrines is easily seen. Consider the seemingly universal keeping of the so-called first day of the week, which is understood as sunday on our modern calendar, which is forced into Church worship, though respectfully some keep sunday as a sabbath, a day of rest while they assent to it being the 1st day of the week and not the 7th according to the commandment.
Sunday worship is held though there is no direct or indirect inference which has substance to prove its case, rather there is no command or law of Christ or Apostle wherein they promote this idea as good works of Christian worship according to God’s will, rather it is blatantly contrary to the Law’s specific and direct command as spoken by the mouth of God and written by the script of Moses concerning the 7th day as the sabbath.
And this compared to the weight of evidence for the Church keeping Pentecost as a holy convocation from New testament scripture is all the more a glaring indictment being observed by the apostles in Acts 2, as well as the passing words of Paul to the Corinthian church in 1Co_16:8 saying “I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”, confirming these newly converted Hellenic Gentiles were able to understand this Calendar reference…Can you Christian? In any meaningful way, even if you do not agree with my calendation and reckoning of this feasts timing, “Do you know what Paul is talking about in a calendar time frame?”
As well in Act_20:16 we are told, “…Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
Perhaps this is the same time on the calendar, or perhaps not, it seems as in 1 Corinthians he is in Ephesus and in Acts he is stopping there to be at Jerusalem on the 50th day for the feast of weeks to worship.
Regardless, this matter of the fact is not trivial information, it is a clear insight that the early church and the Apostles all kept the feasts and knew what they were…in this case especially Pentecost’s count.
There is more reason for a Christian to keep the feast of Pentecost according to the commandment and the rule of faith than any first day of the week worship, specially sunday as named on a pagan calendar system unknown to the disciples and Apostles, not to mention Moses.
The feast of weeks, aka the feast of the wheat harvest, aka Pentecost, aka feast of harvest is an understanding of grain’s harvest, from early Barley to summer wheat harvest, we look at the festival as a culmination of many points.
All of this starts with acknowledging the month of the Abib, identifying the first weekly Sabbath of that month, which happens on the 8th day and selecting the 9th day as the morrow after the sabbath the people put their sickle to their Abib crop, the very next day, the 10th day of Abib the Lamb is selected for the Passover feast, the Passover is killed on the 14th day between the evenings, the sabbath is celebrated on the 15th day which is the first day of unleavened bread, and the day of the wave sheaf happens on the morrow after that Sabbath of unleavened bread the 16th day of the Abib, for six weeks after that day the count for Pentecost is continued to arrive at the days before the end of the 2nd month and the start of the 3rd New Moon offering this new moon sabbath period as the appointed season for this celebration of the feast of weeks, the first fruit of the wheat harvest and the celebration of the harvests of the first crops.
The feast must meet certain requirements by YHWH’s directives, and the annual agriculture as the base of starting the calendar year, as well as allowing the harvests specifically from First fruit barley unto wheat harvest and beyond to the celebration at tabernacles of all the produce of the land which we ingather in the feast of tabernacles also the called by the Agricultural name of the ‘feast of ingathering’.
As it pertains to the name ‘the feast of weeks’ and Pentecost our focus is turned towards the numbering of literal weeks by the lunar cycle, and in speaking of Pentecost we are focusing on the days counted from the time the sheaves are cut and brought to the respective Levite or priest to be taken to the Altar for the day of its wave.
The Day of the waving of the sheaf is a celebration of the first fruit of the first crop, the Abib which would mature into ripe Barley, the time of the 50 day count is the wave of the leavened loaves of fine or wheaten flour after that fiftieth day, directly after comes either the sabbath or on the new moon, again depending on the duration of the new moon of the month prior, this very new moon, will determine the date the offering and sacrifices will be given upon the altar with these 2 wave loaves in celebration of the wheat harvest’s first fruits.
In our modern day, and in this age, wherein we do not have the Altar of YHWH upon earth as we had in times past, nor do we have the Levitical system available in a functionary way… the Levites are here on Earth, they are among us and mingled in our tribes, but they are not function in the way we read here. So how do we keep this feast in our respective worship?
By looking at Lev_23, Ex_23, Exo_34, Deu_16 and so forth
1. The faithful recognition of this time and an earnest attempt to worship YHWH throughout this service. This is the first step in all Godly worship, and for this time it is no different. If you have been given the gift of Faith by hearing the Word of God and have been moved to work in Christ thereby this worshipful heart and mind should be engaged.
And specific to the template Lev 23:21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
2. By the proclamation of the holy convocation, that is a day of no labor or work, thus a Sabbath, and a Sabbath happening in accordance with the template as we had refocused upon in the last part Lev_23:3.
3. This Faithful worship time of holy convocation and Sabbath of no work should be a statute which the heads of families teach to their generations. It is a family time of Worship and celebration in our homes our dwellings.
Lev 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
4. This time must correspond to to the reaping of the harvest and the gleaning of the crops, so that we can see the literal reality of the societal impact of a Torah based welfare system. In our day we do not have the opportunity often to leave the edges and corners of field and trees for the poor, but if that power is in our hand let it be tied to this feast’s celebration, perhaps to invite a widow or fatherless, stranger to feast and worship if it is possible.
I lament that the welfare system we have today, is carried by productive Christians who are often made to feel they are required to support this corrupt welfare, that in this theonomy which YHWH has revealed Societal welfare would be a witness tool in and of it self.
5. Because this time of worship is tied to the harvest of wheat and other blessings we have been blessed with a celebration of that harvest is in order. As I’ve said if I can get a farmer local to me, or if we have grown wheat and barley that year we make two new and fresh loaves of sour dough bread to be eaten fresh with a variety of the crops an herbs YHWH has given us at that time. New Wheat bread and vegetables and early fruits, as well as those blessings we import and get from other locations, all the good things we are blessed with, like thanks giving meal focusing of the Blessing and bounty of YHWH God of Israel and his nourishing grace in this wicked world. In ways I often think that those of us who remember this blessing and bless YHWH for it are acting in a sense as the priest for the world, a kingdom of priests and a Holy Ethnic people called to do our part while the world is blinded to the blessedness they enjoy.
These are the law ordained aspects of the feast which we should remember as the Church, regardless of the age we are in.
Families should gather together, at this time and celebrate the good things they are blessed with, and not forget the Loving God which give rain and bread to the just and the unjust (Mat 5:45)
And while that is the case YHWH has called us as his people to remember and worship him as his kingdom of priests and his holy nation, even if the whole world lies in wickedness 1Jn 5:19 we are called to be the sons of God.
The heart and mind, which YHWH desires for us to be in all the time, but particularly it should be brought to mind at this Festival season we are speaking of is demonstrated best in the perfect scenario YHWH places before us in Deu_26:1-11. Again when we fail in any point of God’s Law, it is by these perfect rules our failure is shown to be a distorted and darkened reflection we see looking back at us in the mirror of God’s Law a fallen individual a fallen family, a fallen tribe, a fallen nation and a fallen race by these standards, but our failure and guilt we feel (lest you be callus and hardened to feeling it) never is a good reason to abandon an attempt at amending our way.
Deu_26:1 And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;
Deu 26:2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.
Deu 26:3 And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.
Deu 26:4 And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.
Deu 26:5 And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
Deu 26:6 And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
Deu 26:7 And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
Deu 26:8 And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
Deu 26:9 And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.
Deu 26:10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
Deu 26:11 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
For the Israel of God, as a redeemed remnant of National or Ethnic Israel, Elected by Grace and sanctified from all other peoples of the earth The first Christian Pentecost, that is after the resurrection and assertion of our Lord Jesus Christ to the right hand of the glory of God, the Apostles and disciples had an earnest expectation concerning their lost and scatter brothers, their Diaspora people as spoken of in Deu_30:1-20, that this time of Christ’s coming would be the time of the preaching of the word of Faith (Rom_10:21) to them to draw them who are far off close again, this is the Gospel promise to the house of Israel in the New Covenant (Jer_31:31, and Heb_8:8).
In the story line we had covered in understanding the reality of the wave of the first fruits of barley and seeing that as imagery to understand the resurrection as Christ as a type of first fruit, and so by seeing the earthly we truly have understanding the heavenly, but not the heavenly alone, the material witnesses to us of the spiritual, and the visible and invisible work in witness together.
So also is the waving of the first fruits of the Abib in the counts continuation unto Pentecost and the wave loaves made of fine wheaten flour leavened which we read about in the feast of weeks.
And the apostles where told by Christ on that wave sheaf day and after the method by which the restoration of Israel was to happen.
Remember on the road to Emmaus where the resurrected Christ asks what things the disciples are sad concerning?
Luk_24:19-21 …And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people., the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
This was the thing the disciples were waiting for, the restoration of Israel.
And Christ before revealing himself a bit of hope in saying to them ” O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luk_24:25-26
In the continuation of Luke’s narrative in what we call the book of Acts, let us read it’s first chapter up until the day of Pentecost was fully come:
Act_1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Act 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
Act 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Act 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
(notice the question and notice the answer the Lord gives.)
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
This was the answer to Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? the receiving of power as happens on Pentecost was part of this whole conversation concerning the restoration of Israel as a people in the giving of the spirit to the apostles and the Christians gathered on that day for worship.)
Act_1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Act 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
We will continue in reading how this work of the spirit was a witness to Judah first before moving unto the Gentiles of the Diaspora the ingathered. Christ the first fruit starting with his walk to Jerusalem for the feast in Joh_12:1 Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, this is 6 days before the 14th day is the 9th day of the month of the Abib, that is the day I teach the sheaf was cut by the farmers and brought to the Levites, Christ is crucified on Passover day the 14th, he resurrects in power from the grave on the 16th day morrow after the feast of unleavened breads Sabbath day and that day speaks the words we read on the road to Emmaus, Christ is seen forty days from that day of the wave sheaf to bring us just 1 or 2 day from the end count of Pentecost where the tools are given to the Apostles to start the restoration of Israel throughout history which began there, with the waving of the loaves of wheat bread as the first fruits of the wheat harvest, Wheat of course being symbolic in the parables of the children of the kingdom and of the Word of God sown in the earth. The Word, which like the grain harvest speaks to us of the restoration Israel by the sowing and reaping of the Word of God in the hearts and minds of the children of the kingdom.
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