Many people today are studying a major doctrine called “Eschatology” or literally “The study of last things”. They are studying future prophetic events in scripture such as
* The Tribulation,
* The Messiah’s return,
* The Marriage supper of the Lamb,
* The 1000-year reign, and
* The new heaven and earth.
Although not a major doctrine, nor studied as much, the subject of First Things is one about which the Bible has much to say. Israel’s Feast of First Fruits was an ancient holy day devoted to First things.
First Fruits marked the beginning of the cereal grain harvests in Israel. Barley was the first grain to ripen of those sown in the winter months. For First Fruits, a Sheaf of Barley was harvested and brought to the Temple as a thanksgiving offering to the Lord for the harvest.
The offering was representative of the Barley Harvest as a whole and served as a Pledge or Guarantee that the remainder of the Harvest would be realized in the days that followed.
ONE MAJOR POINT: A Sheaf is symbolic of a human being. Remember the dream of Joseph?
What does this have to do with Paul?
There are seven pillars of Paul’s theology, and as you study his letters, you must apply this information. If you do not, you are taking scripture out of its context to make it fit a doctrine that cannot be proven in the Bible.
1. Paul lived and died a Pharisee – He never changed from one religion to another
2. Paul’s view of the Torah was always positive
3. Paul’s calling mission was to the Gentiles, yet he remained an orthodox Jew.
4. He believed love must characterize the believer’s life of Ministry to others
5. He believed the grace of God is revealed through Yeshua, the Messiah
6. He believed the resurrection of Yeshua is the First-fruit of the general resurrection
7. He believed Yeshua is coming again to complete the work of Redemption. For this reason, all must be prepared for the Day of Judgment.
What does this mean? For Paul, the Resurrection of the Messiah is the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence of the Messianic Faith. Everything connects to the Resurrection of the Messiah from the dead.
That is why Paul had to ask the Corinthian believers why they were saying there was no resurrection. If a person denies the resurrection, he is forced into six horrible conclusions:
1. All preaching has been, is now, and always will be, utterly and completely useless
2. All past, present, and future faith is futile
3. All preachers become notorious liars
4. All living believers are still in their sins
5. All departed believers are in Hell, and
6. All reason and purpose for life itself is destroyed
I know. I am an EX-Atheist and took these steps down
BUT the fact is, there is the Resurrection
Question - How do you know that Yeshua is the Messiah?
Common belief has no connection to the scriptural record. Matthew 12:39-40 is the only sign given to prove that Yeshua was the Messiah:
It reads, “He (Yeshua) answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
The “three days and three nights” in Jonah 1:17 refers to a 72-hour period.
Now, consider this:
One night and one day equal 24 hours.
Each day, for the Jew, according to Leviticus 23:32, starts at Sundown and ends at Sundown, 24 hours later,
Two nights and Two days equal 48 hours.
Three nights and three days equal 72 hours.
Matthew 27:63, Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:24, Luke 24:7 & John 2:19-21 also confirm the duration.
Here is the Point: To reject this singular proof is to reject the ONLY SIGN that Yeshua Himself gave for His being the Messiah. Now, answer a question:
How can Yeshua be crucified and die at 3:00 pm on “Good Friday,” rise on Sunday Morning at Dawn, and fulfill this verse?
When the Church rejected the Feasts and redefined “Easter” as the first Sunday after the Spring Equinox, they also redefined the Word of God to fit their doctrine and went into error.
Let’s take a deeper look at these three days when connected to the Feasts.
Day One - The Passover / Unleavened Bread
John 19:31 reads, “Then the Jews because it was the day of preparation so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away”
The “High Day Sabbath” is never connected to the weekly Shabbat. It is connected to one of the annual Holy days recorded in Leviticus 23.
It is written in Leviticus 23:5, “The Lord's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.” This verse places the Passover at the start of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
It is written in Leviticus 23:6-7, “On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord's Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.”
This covers the time from Wednesday night to Thursday night – Day One.
Day Two – Preparation Day for Weekly Sabbath
The women prepared the spices and perfumes for the weekly Sabbath. It is written in Luke 23:56, “Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath, they rested according to the commandment” (This verse was before the weekly Sabbath)
This covers the time from Thursday night to Friday night – Day Two.
Day Three - The Weekly Sabbath
Leviticus 23:2-3 reads, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.”
This covers the time from Friday night to Saturday night – the weekly Sabbath and the 72 hours from the crucifixion. This is when Yeshua rose from the dead – Day Three.
Day four – “Easter” Sunday
Mark 16:1 reads, “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.” (This verse was after the weekly Sabbath).
Matthew 28:1 reads, “Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.”
This verse is halfway through Sunday – Day Four
Consider This: Mark 16:9 is the sole basis for the idea that the Messiah rose on the first day. Mark 18:9 reads, “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons”
Read carefully: It doesn’t say He “did rise”, or “rose on the first day.” It says “He had risen” [Greek -anastas]. This is in the past perfect tense, meaning the grave was empty at that time. It was at this time the disciples discovered that Yeshua has risen. (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-6; Luke 24:1-2; John 20:1-2)
Question - Is this scripture describing when Yeshua arose, or when He appeared to Mary?
Punctuation was added later, and subject to error. Translators placed commas wherever they thought they should go, based on their belief. By placing the comma after “week” connects the resurrection to the first day of the week. By placing the comma after “risen”, it connects it to the appearance of Mary.
The word “Easter” is mentioned ONLY once, and ONLY in the King James Bible and is a Bad Translation. Acts 12:4 reads, “And when he [King Herod] had apprehended him [Peter], he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions [squads] of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter [pascha] to bring him forth to the people.” This should read Passover, not Easter
One Major Point: If you believe Yeshua to be God, you must treat Him as God. You must worship Him, and crown Him Lord and King in your life. His every desire becomes a command to you, and you must love Him to the death.
The Scripture, according to the apostle John, states that life begins with looking to the “Son of Man.” John 3:14-15 reads, “Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life”
Here is the Point: Before Moses lifted up the brazen serpent, people died.
When Moses lifted up the brazen serpent, (Numbers 21:4-9), people lived.
The children of Israel had to know three things to prevent dying.
They needed to know they were bitten, that there was a God-given remedy against death, and that the remedy was not good until applied.
These same three processes must be applied to Yeshua for you to have eternal life. You must know that:
1. you have been bitten by sin,
2. that God has provided a remedy against eternal death, and
3. that the remedy must be applied to receive God’s healing.
The remedy comes from Yeshua.
There is one man in Scripture that understood this substitution process: Barabbas. Why?
1. He knew he was a justly condemned sinner.
2. He knew Yeshua was an innocent sufferer.
3. He knew the innocent sufferer has taken his place.
4. He knew he had done nothing to merit that substitution.
5. He also knew that Yeshua’s substitution in his place satisfied the law.
Do you have the same knowledge as Barabbas?
You have the power to vote and have three choices.
Choose one of the following:
1. You do not believe in the Resurrection, and that is your vote.
2. You are not prepared to vote, but by not voting, you have already made your choice.
3. You do believe in the Resurrection and vote.
If this is your choice, your vote will change your life and walk. You cannot do this vote and not change.
Do not take this vote lightly. Here is why: I, you, and God will stand by your vote. Today, the decision is yours.
Thank God then consider, “What will you do with Yeshua?” Someday the choice will be His. Then the question will be “What will He do with you?”
You can raise your hands, but the real vote is in your heart, and God sees it.
It is written in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
What is your Vote?