February 17, 2019 – HOPE Hubs NZ – Andrew & Yolinda Bullians

Father is creator of all and has the universal right to do as He pleases with what He created.

He is LOVE, that is His nature and essence. Compare TRADITIONAL THINKING – Purgatory.

Hebrew 2:6-9 … You have put all things in subjection under His (Son of Man’s) feet.

1 Peter 3:18 Christ died for all, the unjust, to bring us to God.

Romans 5:18-19 …through One many will be made righteous.

Through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, “there resulted justification of life to all men.” Christ died to reconcile all.

Christ’s work of reconciliation goes beyond the grave… it will not be completed until He has reconciled all things back to the Father.

Reconciliation in stages, a definite order.

Firstfruits – James 1:18 accept Christ’s invitation to “Come, take up your Cross and follow Me.”

First to come to maturity and to be harvested.

1 Corinthians 15:22-28

Paul understood and taught that there would be three resurrections of mankind. There will be three separate harvests of the fruit of the Earth before the work of reconciling all things back to the Father has been completed. These three resurrections correspond perfectly to the three feasts Yahweh instituted in the Old Testament.

Each feast occurred at a time of harvest, and all men were to appear before Yahweh at a place He designated. This appearing before Yahweh three times a year serves as a symbol of the three resurrections of mankind.

This message of the restoration of all things was taught by the Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians 15:22-28:

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in [the] Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order [tagma, “squadron”]: Christ the first fruits [or, “anointed firstfruits”], after that those who are [the] Christ’s at His coming [parousia, “presence”]24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.

Most of this passage is self-explanatory.

Verse 22: It is evident that all mankind died in Adam-with no exceptions. In the same manner also shall all be made alive in Christ-with no exceptions. The “all” in both cases parallel each other and are equal in scope. However, they will NOT all be raised and saved at the same time.

Verse 23: Each class shall be raised in its own order (tagma, “squadron”), for there is more than one resurrection ahead. Keep in mind that Paul is here dealing with the various resurrections of mankind. He has already dealt with Jesus’ resurrection in verses 1-21. That is the foundation of the resurrections that follow.

The first “squadron” to be raised, according to most translations, is “Christ the firstfruits.” This rendering hardly makes sense, since Christ is not a “squadron,” but a single Person. This could have been “anointed firstfruits” (see above). The word “Christ” in the Greek is the word for “anointed.” When speaking of Jesus, it is preceded by the definite article the, making it “THE Anointed (One),” or “THE Christ.”

For example, in verse 22 (above) the original Greek has the definite article before “Christ,” because Paul is referring to Jesus, “the Christ” in whom all shall be made alive. At the end of verse 23 the same is true when Paul says, “afterward those that are (the) Christ’s at His coming.” Between these two examples, however, we find a case where the definite article is NOT used:  “Christ the firstfruits.” It is therefore likely that “Christ” is NOT referring to “the Christ” (Jesus), but rather to a more general squadron of anointed ones.

And so, verse 22 is better understood to mean, “anointed firstfruits.” This is the first squadron of believers; those who are to inherit the first resurrection. Paul carefully chose this phrase to describe the firstfruits of the barley harvest, which was to be anointed with oil, as we read in Leviticus 23:13:

13 ‘Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its libation, a fourth of a hin of wine.

This was in direct contrast with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, the figure of the second resurrection of the Church in general. Those firstfruits were to be baked with leaven, rather than anointed with oil, as we read in Leviticus 23:17:

17 You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.

The second squadron of resurrected ones are “those who are Christ’s at His coming,” or presence. Christ’s “presence” here is when He comes as Judge at the Great White Throne. This is most clearly portrayed in Daniel 7, where the prophet saw “the Ancient of Days” coming to sit upon the throne of judgment (Daniel 7:9 and 22). This the second resurrection and includes both believers and unbelievers.

Verse 24:  “Then comes the end” refers to the end of all things, i.e., after the Ages of Ages. This is the third and final time where a squadron of people will enter into God’s rest. It is not quite accurate to call this occasion a resurrection, because it appears that the sinners being judged during that final age will be kept alive to serve out their sentence.  We read about this in Revelation 20 where “death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.” If death itself, and hades with it, are cast into the lake of fire, it appears that the first death will be abolished at the Great White Throne Judgment to make way for the second death, or the lake of fire.

The second death is a second TYPE of death. It is defined simply as the lake of fire, which is the judgment of the law. This second death is the final enemy that must be abolished at the Creation’s Jubilee of the earth at the end of the final age. Paul says clearly in 1Corinthians 15:26 that “the last enemy that will be abolished is death.”

Only then, Paul says, will all earthly authorities have been made subject to His authority. Only then will all enemies have been subdued. Once all enemies are fully under His feet, then will come the abolition of death itself. This can only be accomplished by giving life in Creation’s Jubilee.

Even as the first squadron represents the barley harvest, and the second the wheat harvest, so also this third squadron represents the grape harvest. In order for God to obtain the wine, He must tread out the grapes, that is, He must “put all enemies under His feet.” Paul again has chosen His words carefully with the harvest theme in mind.

It is Jesus’ responsibility-indeed, His calling-to rule His Kingdom on earth during the final Ages of the Ages, until the purpose of His reign has been fulfilled. Jesus will NOT reign forever as the Son. He will reign only as long as it takes to subject the whole earth under His feet. It will take BOTH of the coming ages to do this. His purpose is to conquer the whole earth by the power of His Love, for He said in John 12:32:

32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.

In other words, Jesus said, “If I am crucified, I will draw ALL MEN to Myself.” Was Jesus “lifted up” on the cross? Of course He was. Then He will indeed draw ALL MEN unto Himself. He died for the salvation of the whole world, not just a few, and His blood has never lost its power.

When all men have accepted Christ as Saviour and King, even as believers in past ages have done, then He will present a perfected and completed Kingdom to His Father.

Verses 27, 28:  Paul here quotes from Psalm 8:6, as he does so often to prove the point. All things (ta panta, “the All”) will be put in subjection to Christ, with the single exception of the Father Himself, who will not, of course, be put under the headship of the Son. And when the all is indeed subjected to the Son, then Christ will present the entire perfected creation to the Father as a present and be subject to the Father also. This is truly a glorious destiny for the earth. This is the Creation’s Jubilee.

The three main celebrations were Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. These are also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Harvest (or Feast of Weeks), and the Feast of Ingathering. God’s basic instructions were given in Exodus 23:14-17:

14 Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labours from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labours from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

The feast of Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread, is first. It commemorates the day Israel left Egypt under Moses on their way to the Promised Land.

The second feast, Pentecost, or Harvest, commemorates the giving of the law at Mount Sinai, the day the fire of God came down upon the mount, and God spoke to all the people.

The third feast, Tabernacles, or Ingathering, commemorates two things: (1) the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness; and (2) the time Israel was supposed to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land.

These experiences were set up to remember certain key experiences in the life of the nation. But they also have other levels of meaning. On the personal side, Passover signifies our Justification from the bondage of sin (“Egypt”). Pentecost signifies our Sanctification by the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Tabernacles signifies our Glorification at “the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23), when we inherit our “Promised Land.”

The Three Harvests: Barley, Wheat, and Grapes

A particular harvest is associated with each of these three feast days. Passover is associated with the harvest of barley; Pentecost is associated with the harvest of wheat; and Tabernacles is associated specifically with the grape harvest. Because this is so little-known, most do not understand Paul’s teachings on the three harvests.

In the land of Palestine, barley was the first to ripen in the spring of the year. When the people came to Jerusalem for the Passover, each brought a handful of ripe barley to give to God as the firstfruits of the harvest. On the Sunday after Passover, the priest took some of the barley and waved it up and down before God (Lev. 23:10-14). The New American Standard Bible has a footnote on this passage, which reads:

“The feast of first fruits involved presenting to the Lord a sheaf (lit. an omer) of the barley harvest . . . First fruits symbolized the consecration of the entire harvest to God and was an earnest, or pledge, of the full harvest yet to be gathered.”

Only barley could have been used, because the wheat had not yet ripened at Passover in that part of the world.

We see that the wheat ripened later around the time of Pentecost. Just as barley was offered to God on the first day of the week after Passover, so also was wheat offered on Pentecost seven weeks later. This is made clear in Exodus 34:22, which reads,

22 And you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.

The grapes ripened at the end of the growing season, in late summer. The grapes were harvested and thrown into the winepresses to be trodden down, and the juice was collected. On each of the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles a pitcher of grape juice from this harvest was poured out before the Lord as a drink offering in the temple (Lev. 23:27).

And so we see there were three main feast days of Israel: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Each of these called for temple ceremonies involving a different product of the harvest: barley, wheat, and grapes.

The first two are grain; the last is a fruit. These are harvest festivals at the three times in the year when all the males were to stand before the presence (“face”) of God.

These three festivals are prophetic of the “harvest of souls,” where the divine command goes forth for men to stand before God.

Yahweh was very deliberate in choosing these three crops to represent the various

groups of men to be resurrected. Not only are the three resurrections of man observed in

the Old Testament in the feasts established by Yahweh, they are proclaimed all the way to

the last book of the Bible. In Revelation chapter fourteen, all three resurrections are in view.

 

Revelation 14:1-5:

Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one

hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written

on their foreheads… These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they

have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

These have been purchased from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And

no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

 

In these words we see the overcomers in Christ. These are firstfruits unto God and tothe Lamb. They are the first to pass through death into the resurrection life of Christ. Later

in this same chapter we see the next group to be resurrected.

 

Revelation 14:14-16:

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of

man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another

angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud,

“Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the

earth is ripe.” Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

 

The harvest allegory is clearly being employed in this chapter. We have seen the

firstfruits, now a second resurrection is occurring. The earth is being reaped. Those who

have come to maturity must be gathered together to be presented before theFather.

Immediately after this we see a third and final reaping of the earth.

 

Revelation 14:17-20:

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp

sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and

he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp

sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” So

the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the

earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press

was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’

bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

 

Therefore, we see a distinct parallel to Paul’s words in I Corinthians chapter

fifteen, and to the three feasts of Yahweh with their associated harvests. This chapter of

Revelations begins with the firstfruits of Passover standing on Mount Zion with Christ. It

ends with the grapes of Tabernacles being harvested and trodden underfoot.  In between is the wheat harvest of Pentecost.

 

John further elaborates on the enemies of God in this chapter.

Revelation 14:9-11

Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up to the ages of ages; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

 

Christ must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. How fitting itis that

the Holy Spirit pictures these enemies as grapes. What marvellous design is seen in

Yahweh’s creation where the grape harvest is in the end of the year, long after the barley

and the wheat have been gathered in. There is an appointed time for all things.

 

Additional Reading:

Dr. Steven Jones – Creation Jubilee

https://gods-kingdom-ministries.net/teachings/books/creations-jubilee/

Joseph Herrin – God’s Plan for the Ages

http://www.heart4god.ws/gods-plan-of-the-ages.htm

 

Diagram to accompany the teaching
This demonstrates the relationship between Father’s Feasts, the associated harvests, and how they relate to Christ’s fulfilment and the scriptures in Revelation.

Feasts relationships

Nisan is month ONE and Tishri is month SEVEN, 7 means spiritual perfection.The square underneath “grape” shows that this feast has not been fulfilled by Christ yet.