PAUL’S PRECISION PART VI
You know, Paul’s precision wasn’t just in what he said. There was just as much precision in what he didn’t say. When he was referring to previous teachings, you know positively, that these folks had heard it all before. That allows for inductive reasoning. Now I said inductive reasoning, not deductive!
You can be assured that the story that Paul was telling in the creation of the Body of believers was the same to each body. God revealed the mystery of the Church to Paul. And since he taught it from beginning to end, you can be assured that God gave him the whole story, with the exception of the timing of the end, because that was already sealed in the Prophecy of Daniel.
In his letters to the Thessalonians, he is merely reminding them of the teaching he did when he was with them. They already had the teaching in detail, from him in person, when they could have asked and had answered all their questions. But then, as is the case today, and forever, you don’t retain everything that you hear. So when someone comes along and changes the story a bit, you don’t exactly remember if that’s a true account but it sounds good.
So, now some time has gone by, and some questions and concerns come along about the most important part of the teaching, once you believe that Jesus is Lord, which is, when is he coming for me, and suppose I die before he returns, then what?
And the reason they’re asking is because there has been a troupe of traveling preachers that came around saying they were in the spirit, and had letters supposedly from Paul, and told them that they were in the Great Tribulation of the end times!
Now they were confused! Scared! They remembered what Paul said, but now here are these “godly men”, with letters from Paul himself, telling them that the Great Tribulation had come. So the people in charge got a hold of Paul, and when he got through shaking his head in wonderment, he sat down, and in writing, retold them the story of why they can’t possibly be in the Great Tribulation.
And you know what? Those same reasons apply today! That is precisely why your inductive reasoning can connect the dots and understand the whole story from what was and wasn’t said. That, and our historical perspective shows us the precision with which he taught.
It applies to us today simply because we are the living “new creatures in Christ”, and next in line, waiting for time to arrive at the God set time of the end days.
“God set time”. “Feast”. The word “Feast” means “set time”. In His plan, that was made before the foundation of the world, God set the time and condition for the arrival of the Messiah. And historically, He arrived exactly on time, and under the exact conditions!
Am I making my point? God set a time, before He even founded the world, then He placed that day on the Jewish calendar, that they had agreed to, and He sets the times for the events of the Messiah.
He gave them the Law, and it’s fulfillment, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, as the teachers of the times and events of the Messiah.
Looking back from here, we can see that the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was the road map of Christianity. Naturally, because we are born out of that same belief in the Messiah. And the tabernacle is the acceptable fulfillment until the true Messiah arrives in time. But within that law, the time was set for the rites that pointed to the time and person of the Messiah. And “he came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). But, he came right on time! Exactly on the day set for His resurrection! The feast of First Fruits, which celebrates the promise, of the full harvest yet to come.
He died, right on time! On Passover; the time that was set by God clear back in Egypt, for the lamb to shed his blood, in order to give life and keep a promise.
He overcomes corruption and evil, which is death, as He remains in the ground for three days, to fulfill the feast of unleavened bread, which remains hidden for three day, and to fulfill, the Jesus declared only sign of the Messiah, the sign of Jonah. Luke 11:29
Then comes First Fruits, and he is raised from the dead! The promise of the full harvest yet to come!
Then on the final day of the Feast of First Fruits, whose time is God set 50 days later, and is called the feast of Pentecost, the offering turns from barley flour, as on first fruits, the promise, to baked bread, the completed product, on Pentecost.
The Act of the Apostles records the occurrences of that Pentecost morning, when Jesus is offered for the first time, to the Jews as their long awaited Messiah! His work was completed at His ascension back to heaven, fulfilling the role of Messiah completely.
Therein lies the exact timing of the salvation of man as set by God on the calendar of the Jews, that they were commanded and agreed to keep by covenant. That is what the Spring feasts of the Jews is all about. The exact timing of our salvation – the coming of the Messiah.
And He came by fulfilling the prophecies of the God set time in time for them to happen. No one else could possibly be the Messiah! And those prophecies that He fulfilled were made to the Jews. So, he came to them right on time!
But, we have left something out. Why? Because it is not a feast, or set time that was set on the Jewish calendar, yet it’s a God set time and part of the role of the Messiah, and thus, it too had to be fulfilled.
We have to go back to the feast of first fruits to gain an understanding. Matthew reports in chapter 27, verses 52 and 53 that after Jesus rose, bodies of many saints rose and they were seen by many in Jerusalem. Now, I’ve taught all about this in Part I of this series, so I don’t have to repeat myself.
But the direction we are taking today is to establish the substance of the shadows being cast. And to that end, thus far we have described and defined the significance of the set times and their meaning in relation to the timing of the salvation of man.
But as we have established in this teaching, the shadows are being cast because the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and thus the intrinsic spirit and meaning of the feasts, or set times which brought Him precisely on time, in his time, will be realized again in the time set to fulfill the prophecies of his second coming.
And that timing includes the fulfillment of the dead in Christ rising, whose shadow was cast on First Fruits, and whose capture unto Jesus occurred on Ascension day, the time that Jesus himself sets for the Rapture of His Church and the end of the Church Age.
And the fulfillment of the 40 days warning part of the Jonah sign of the Messiah by Jesus is cast as a shadow by the many dead in Christ that rose after Jesus, on First Fruits, and were seen by many in the holy city. That shadow seeking it’s fulfillment in the prophecy of Paul that the dead in Christ shall rise first – just as they had, then, 40 days later, they will be caught away, just as they were, to meet the Lord in the air with those multitude of raised dead that are waiting for them in the clouds, just as they were.
Thus is the shadow cast by the substance of the feasts and the Messiah the bridge that spans the ages until it reaches it’s God set time. Precisely as Paul taught the Colossians!
Following the trail that Paul points to in that one line to the Colossians is the most revealing thing that Paul didn’t say.
I get shivers up and down my spine when I see the wonder in God’s revelation.
And now these words:
I want to thank everyone who took the time to drop me a line and let me know who was in class for this teaching. I received a total of 27 acknowledgements. I’m happy to have had you in this class, and I thank the Lord for you.
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End of study