LEVITICUS 23-25: THE FEASTS OF THE LORD, PART TWO
Last week, we talked about The SABBATH being a HOLY CONVOCATON, but it is a weekly convocation, as it happens every 7-days.
As far as the annual feasts, there are actually 7 annual holy convocations.
And these include:
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
THE FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS
THE FEAST OF WEEKS (or Pentecost)
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
All of the Feasts of the Lord have a NEW COVENANT counterpart.
God’s Word is so precise that we see Jesus entering Jerusalem … the week leading up to the PASSOVER … & being tested by the religious authorities.
… AT THE SAME TIME, the PASSOVER LAMB was being chosen & examined, in order to find the perfect Lamb, without blemish.
Jesus eats the PASSOVER meal on the evening of the 14th, beginning on the eve of the PASSOVER, is crucified the following midday, which is still PASSOVER, because the Biblical Creation day starts at evening.
So it would have been a THURSDAY when He was crucified.
So counting from Thursday, we count to FRIDAY, SATURAY, SUNDAY … 3 DAYS …
Which begins the first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath … JESUS RISES AGAIN ….
So we see the chronology & the typology of JESUS as the PASSOVER LAMB lining up perfectly with His crucifixion.
And the NEXT FEAST, the FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS, lines up perfectly with the RESURRECTION of JESUS CHRIST.
READ LEVITICUS 23:9-11
Notice THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS began on THE DAY AFTER the SABBATH, which would have been the first day of the week.
JESUS was CRUCIFIED on PASSOVER.
HE was BURIED on THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.
And HE was RISEN on the DAY AFTER THE SABBATH, which began the FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS.
• And, of course, Jesus is the FIRST FRUITS of those risen from the dead.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-23:
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
& THROUGH HIS RESURRECTION, we also become adopted children of God ….
… who will also be resurrected in a like manner.
Romans 8:23: “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
… After the feast of first fruits, the ISRAELITES would then COUNT 7 SABBATHS forward & that would take them to the NEXT FEAST: THE FEAST OF WEEKS.
• It’s called the FEAST OF WEEKS in DEUTERONOMY 16:16 and also EXODUS 34:22:
“And thou shalt observe the FEAST OF WEEKS, of the firstfruits of WHEAT harvest …”
THE FEAST OF WEEKS is also called PENTECOST in the New Testament (meaning 50th day, from the word pente).
• READ LEVITICUS 23:15-22.
THE FEAST OF WEEKS was an ingathering of the WHEAT harvest …
… and WHEAT represents believers & the church.
So, again, we see the symbolism – or the typology – continue in these feasts.
God took this very seriously … it had to line up perfectly.
• We see believers compared to WHEAT at the end of the world in the parable of the WHEAT & the TARES in Matthew 13.
• (believers are the wheat in that parable, and the unbelievers are the tares that God will separate when He returns).
Another point that I want to draw out, is that in LEVITICUS 23:22 God instructs that a PORTION OF THE WHEAT HARVEST should be left for the poor and for the stranger.
The Bible is full of instruction to care for the poor & the needy among us.
But this is neglected today by most Christians, even the saved one and the ones that have their doctrine & their theology straight
And they may even be good soul winners … but they neglect the numerous instructions in caring for the THE POOR.
And I’ve heard this weak argument that the only person that cared for the poor in the Bible, was JUDAS …
… because he objected to the woman who poured an expensive ointment of alabaster on Jesus head …
… and he said that that money could have been spent on the poor …
But Judas wasn’t being sincere …
There are hundreds of Bible verses about tending to the needs of the poor in the Bible, from God …
But Christians are so focused on SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE (which is the right Gospel) …
… but GOOD WORKS are rarely preached about.
We love to quote Ephesians 2:8-9, speaking about salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ – AND RIGHTLY SO!
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
… But look at the VERY NEXT VERSE. VERSE 10 is neglected:
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
JAMES 1:27 says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Proverbs 22:9: “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”
Speaking of the Proverbs 31 Wife: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
Earlier in the same chapter, Proverbs 31 says: “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Jesus said to a young man in Matthew 19:21: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven”
In Galatians 2:9-10, Paul writes:
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.”
Jesus said in Luke 12:33: “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”
1 John 3:17: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
And I can go on, verse after verse, where we are commanded, as Christian, to care for the poor.
The FEASTS OF WEEKS takes this into account.
That we as the church are to care for the poor among us.
Remember, the WHEAT HARVEST represents the church itself.
And we see this during PENTECOST in the BOOK OF ACTS, Chapter 2.
But before we look at Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles on the Day of Pentecost, turn to Luke 24.
I want to give you the background.
Jesus had risen from the dead & before He ascended into heaven, He tells His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.
49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
52And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
The church had not yet received the promise of the HOLY GHOST.
In John 16:5 Jesus tells His disciples: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
In ACTS 2, the HOLY SPIRIT is poured out upon the apostles on the DAY OF PENTECOST, fulfilling the FEAST OF WEEKS …
READ ACTS 2:1-4
• So the apostles begin to preach in the native tongue of all the JEWS who were gathered together at Jerusalem on the DAY OF PENTECOST.
READ ACTS 2:5-8
READ ACTS 2:17-18
And we, as Christians, are SEALED by the HOLY SPIRIT of PROMISE, as an earnest or DEPOSIT of our INHERITANCE as SAINTS.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
THE HOLY SPIRIT now dwells within us and CONTINUES to guide us in ministry.
1 Corinthians 6:19: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Too many Baptists & Christians deny the power of the Holy Ghost to work in our lives.
We have the Holy Ghost living inside of us – those of us who have truly put their faith in Jesus Christ …
But we see many religious Baptist Pharisees who even deny the calling and power of the Holy Ghost.
They’re caught up in the letter of the law and in their own intellectual head knowledge, and deny the POWER & the WORK of the Holy Ghost in us.
Rightly did Jesus say to the Pharisees: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Acts 7:51
And I’m not talking about crazy Pentecostalism …
I’m not talking about falling down on the ground and barking madly like a dog …
I’m not talking about uncontrollable frenzies …
I’m talking about GOD gently guiding us by His Holy Spirit for the advancement of the Kingdom …
… for the purpose of ministry
… for personal revelation & edification, to guide us, to teach us, and to lead us into all truth.
John 16:13: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
The Word of God is complete. I’m not talking about NEW revelations outside of Scripture.
But the Holy Spirit continues to speak to our spirits today on a personal level to guide us.
When we go soul winning, for example … knocking doors, preaching the Gospel, talking to people we meet in the streets, we pray and are led by the Holy Spirit.
There are times when God has specifically directed us where to go … who to talk to … & which doors to knock on.
… and souls have been won as a result …
I have countless stories that I could tell …
One example … in our last town, when we preached the Gospel in Walla Walla, WA …
The Holy Spirit led me to go preach at one of the local universities …
And we went to the university campus and stood on the street just outside by the entrance …
We didn’t step inside …
… we just picked a spot where the most amount of traffic was coming in & out onto the campus … on the sidewalk …
… And we literally stood for 2 hours … and many people went by, but very few opened up to us to talk with us …
And no one got saved …
And I thought … OK, I guess it’s time go home, I must have been wrong …
And we thought it was just one of those days …
And then, as we were about to pack up and leave …
I felt the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit … saying …
WALK ONTO THE CAMPUS … get off the sidewalk and step onto the campus …
And we did …
And within 10 minutes, we were led to one student who was sitting on a bench and we asked her if we could explain the Gospel to her …
And it turns out, that this girl had been praying all week for answers about salvation … and she was completely open to receiving us …
And we preached the Gospel to her and she accepted Jesus right there on the spot … and got saved.
In the BOOK OF ACTS, Chapter 16, The Holy Spirit actually forbid Paul from preaching the Gospel in a certain area.
And so Paul was following the leading of the Holy Spirit, as to where to preach.
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
• Christians will say this for only for Paul. But the Bible is supernatural. If you aren’t being led by the Holy Spirit, I don’t know why … maybe you need to pray!
THE NEXT FEAST that we come to is the FEAST OF TRUMPETS.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS would begin on the 7th MONTH of the YEAR, which would be a Sabbath and a “Memorial of blowing of Trumpets”.
LET’S READ LEVITICUS 23:23-25
And that’s the only mention in LEVITICUS.
And so not a lot is mentioned.
But there’s a word that gives us a CLUE, which is the word “MEMORIAL”.
• That means that the FEAST OF TRUMPETS was commemorating or REMEMBERING an event which had occurred in Israel’s past.
And if you turn back to EXODUS 19, we see that the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL met GOD at Mount Sinai, when God’s glory came down from the mountain and met them.
And it was done with a BLOWING OF TRUMPETS all day long.
You have to understand, this was a major event that Israel would have remembered.
• This, I believe, is what the FEAST OF TRUMPETS was commemorating.
READ EXODUS 19:10-21
This experienced would have been etched into the MINDS of the Children of Israel.
These were the sounds at Mt Sinai.
It was GOD coming down from the MOUNTAIN …
& THIS IS FEAST has not yet been fulfilled.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS also represents the return of Jesus Christ … and the END TIMES.
Just as God came down from the mountain, so Jesus Christ will come down from heaven to gather his people to Himself.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:16-17:
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
JOEL 2:1: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;”
14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
• TRUMPETS were also blown during TIMES OF BATTLE, to sound an alarm:
NUMBERS 10:9: “And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.”
JEREMIAH 4:19 also says: “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.”
THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPETS also signaled the next feast, THE DAY OF ATONEMENT …
… which FOLLOWED 10 DAYS LATER.
So this would signal a time of introspection and repentance among the people, as the DAY OF ATONEMENT drew near.
We covered the DAY OF ATONEMENT earlier in CH. 16.
So we’re not going to cover it as extensively, but just to highlight to some key points …
THE DAY OF ATONEMENTwas to be a DAY OF AFFLICTION.
Notice in v. 27 & 32 it says: “ye shall afflict your souls” …
And it says that if you DON’T AFFLICT YOUR SOULS, you will be cut off from among your people (in v. 29) …
& in VERSE 30 it says that anyone who does work in that day, God shall destroy …
• Because this was to be a DAY OF REPENTANCE & ATONEMENT for the soul.
The AFFILICTION OF THE SOUL was representative of the fact that we all are sinners before a holy God …
And that we must come to Him knowing that we are sinners.
And that CONVCITION OF SIN SHOULD produce AFFLICTION in the soul …
When you find out you’re a sinner, you should feel bad.
(I’m not saying you have to feel bad to be saved. But that’s going to be FOR MOST PEOPLE the natural consequence of realizing what a pitiful sinner you are!)
And the BLOOD SACRIFICE would then follow …
• Notice that in VERSE 30 it says that the people WERE TO DO NO WORK!
“And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.”
This represents that if you’re relying on your WORKS to save you, you will not make it to heaven!
This represents that SALVATION is by FAITH ALONE in the BLOOD OF JESUS.
LEVITICUS 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
And if you remember, the HIGH PRIEST would sacrifice for himself first … because he had to be cleansed himsef, since he had sin …
And then he would make atonement for the whole nation of Israel.
In the New Covenant, the HIGH PRIEST was replaced by Jesus Himself, as the PERFECT HIGH PRIEST without sin who made a ONCE & FOR ALL BLOOD SACRIFICE for the whole world.
I don’t want to re-preach all of that, you can look up the sermon on LEVITICUS 16-17 in this series, which goes over this in great detail …
But I’ll just give you HEBREWS 10:8-10 as a reminder:
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasuretherein; which are offered by the law;
9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
• And this brings us to the FINAL FEAST:
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
This was to remember when God dwelt with the children of Israel those 40 years in the wilderness.
To commemorate this, the Israelites would dwell in temporary booths or structures made from the branches of trees.
READ LEVITICUS 23:33-44
And so this represents God dwelling with His people …
This feast has partially been fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus Christ.
But has not yet fully been realized.
We see the FEAST OF TABERNACLES mentioned in 1 Kings 8 during Solomon’s dedication of the temple which happened on the FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
Later, when the same temple of was destroyed, it was the FEAST OF TABERNACLES in Nehemiah 8 when the Israelites returned to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and EZRA stood up to read God’s Word.
We see the FEAST OF TABERNACLES represented in the Word becoming flesh when in John 1:14, the Bible says: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
That was Jesus Christ literally dwelling among us, which is was this feast represented.
Finally, the FEAST OF TABERNACLES represents the return of Christ & the millennial reign, when Jesus will dwell or “tabernacle” with His people on earth for 1,000 years.
So that has yet to be fulfilled.
And we see how perfectly the symbolism & the typology of God’s WORD is manifest in everything in Leviticus, from the sacrifices to the feasts …. Again, all pointing forward to Jesus Christ.
The entire Bible is about Jesus Christ.
Everything in it, leads to Him!
That concludes the FEASTS OF THE LORD.
There was a section in LEVITICUS 24 that we have not yet covered …
I’ll be covering this in the final sermon of this series …
Where we’ll be covering the BLESSINGS & the CURSINGS and the final admonitions.