To: Churches of God, His Elect: grace and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus’ (11/18/18. God’s 9th month, 10th day, 5779, until sunset.)
Jesus’ apostles were expecting the Messiah and thought He was about the business of setting up His kingdom when they were being called. Jesus first sent His disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Commanding they go not to others. It wasn’t until after His ascension that the time of the gentiles began with His calling Cornelius and family. (See Acts 10:) Review Peter’s vision, his trip to Cornelius’ home, that result and the Jerusalem church’s discussions about gentiles. Weekly and annual Sabbath keeping had been a prerequisite for Israelites since their deliverance from Egypt. Passover particularly because of their miraculous saving. A small divided number, “Sadducees and Pharisees” were allowed back in Judea under Roman authority.
Passover and Unleavened Bread season represents being saved by grace, looks forward and back to the Son of God’s blood sacrifice for the remission of sin, and the work of overcoming to the end. Forgiveness of sin relates to entrance into God’s Kingdom. After God’s chosen people were delivered by promise from sin, “Egypt” special talents were given to chosen people and set aside times for worship were given particular attention. (God filled Bezailel with His spirit gave him skill, understanding, knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship. To do artistic design with gold, silver, bronze, cutting - setting of stone and wood. (Speaking to Moses God said.)
(Exodus 31:6-11; Moreover, I have also given him Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and I have given ability to all the specially skilled, that they may make everything I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the atonement lid that is on it, all the furnishings of the tent, the table with its utensils, the pure lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar for the burnt offering with all its utensils, the large basin with its base, the woven garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons, to minister as priests, the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the Holy Place. They will make all these things just as I have commanded you.”)
(Exodus 31:12-17; The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘Surely you must keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you. Everyone who defiles it must surely be put to death; indeed, if anyone does any work on it, then that person will be cut off from among his people. (15) Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death. The Israelites must keep the Sabbath by observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth.”) (Sabbath keeping is a sign between God and those to whom He reveals Himself.) Only the called by promise were saved from Egypt “Egypt representing sin.” Israelites were chosen by promise to Abraham and Jesus delivered through Moses and Aaron, “a people God revealed Himself to at the time.”
God’s revealing Himself, calling Noah and saving his family from the flood was a miraculous new beginning. Same His revealing and individually calling Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Joseph, Moses and Aaron, “by grace God revealed Himself to each “and their saving was by grace and promise.” Each looked to God’s revelations and grace for their saving. Each individually mindful of a need to separate from the world. But to lead a nation ‘even a chosen nation’ whose nature was that inherited from Adam, “a guardian was needed.” Laws and regulations for the good of all to whom Jesus is and isn’t revealed.
Jesus revealed the spiritual component of sin relating to yeast and the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Paul shared; (1Cor 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast affects the whole batch of dough. Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough – you ‘followers of Jesus’ are, in fact, without yeast. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (8) So then, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of vice and evil, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.”)
(Leviticus 23:4- “‘These are the Lord’s appointed times, holy assemblies, which you must proclaim at their appointed time. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, is a Passover offering to the Lord. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month will be the Festival of Unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. (7) On the first day ’’the fifteenth’ there will be a holy assembly for you; you must not do any regular work. You must present a gift to the Lord for seven days, and the seventh day ’’the twenty second’ is a holy assembly; you must not do any regular work.” (The Passover season is in God’s first month the fourteenth day at twilight through the twenty-second. The season is holy to God the Father, God the Son and all Believers IN. ) It’s perpetual.
At Matthew 25: Jesus gives two separate parables about His kingdom. The first is about ten virgins’ use of oil, some didn’t prepare properly is His point. The second is about talents, likewise their use should be wisely. People using wisely were awarded talents of those who didn’t. Next Jesus relates judgment to our loving others as ourselves, “doing for others as we’d have them do for us” finishing with these words: ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me’ And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”)
(Matt 26:1-5; “When Jesus had finished saying all these things, He told His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Then the chief priests and the elders of the people met together in the palace of the high priest, who was named Caiaphas. They planned to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him. But they said, “Not during the feast, so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”)
Matt 26:17-25 “Now on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread ‘season’ the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I will observe the Passover with My disciples at your house.”’” So the disciples did as Jesus had instructed them, and they prepared the Passover. (20) When it was evening, He took His place at the table with the twelve. And while they were eating He said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me.” They became greatly distressed and each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man will go as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if he had never been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray Him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus replied, “You have said it yourself.”)
A New Covenant ordinance. (Matt 26:26-30; While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks He broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” And after taking the cup and giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (29) I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”) (Note that Jesus identifies the blood of the covenant drink as “fruit of the vine” not His actual blood but representative of.)
(Matt 26:31-35; Then Jesus said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of Me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ (Quote from Zach 13:7) (32) But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter said to Him, “If they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away!” Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, on this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” (35) Peter said to Him, “Even if I must die with You, I will never deny you.” And all the disciples said the same thing.”)
Continue to read how Peter was challenged three times and denied. A point to digest is that Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the intent of the heart. Another point to digest is Paul‘s understanding about where our desire comes from, “(Phil 2:12-13; “So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, (13) for the One bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of His good pleasure – is God.”
Times and seasons holy to God and His people are perpetual, we’ll observe them through out His millennial reign and together with God the Father after New Jerusalem comes down. The significance of God’s calendar can’t be overlooked.