Agricultural testimony of divine principles. The 3 annual feasts of the Kingdom of God project the 3 immortalization events. The 3 days and 3 night of our Messiah’s death.
Class 6 – Visions of the Kingdom Age – James Dillingham
This is the 6th class in the series entitled Visions of the Kingdom Age presented for the Cranston RI adult SS class.
We have been considering the dual nature of many divine principles but particularly the two resurrection categories of a resurrection to mortality before judgment and a resurrection to immortality following judgment. We were considering the heaven and earth covenant between God and Abram in Genesis 15 and how the 3 beasts of the earth that were each 3 years old and were severed into six components all had cloven hooves, one of the three qualifications that determined their acceptability as divinely clean and acceptable as altar offerings.
We noted that two of those three necessary qualifications for a clean animal focused on their foundation… their feet. Each foot had be be not only separated and specifically cloven. We noted the pattern significance of this separating and cleaving feature… how separating one thing into two is a divine pattern for life… like the separation, the parting of the Red Sea to save Israel from the bloodthirsty Egyptian cavalry, like the separation – the parting of the Jordan River allowing the children of God to enter the promised land, the cleaving of the rock at Rephidim to provide water to the children of God, the separation or cleaving of the veil at the death of Christ – that veil representing his mortal body as we are told in Hebrews… and of course the separation- the cleaving- of the memorial bread, representing the breaking of the power of sin in the death of our Messiah.
Another parallel we should note in our consideration of how this issue of the cloven feet of these 3 animals are associated with our overall theme of that 2nd birth, the resurrection to immortality…. is that the shadow description of the immortalized saints in Ezekiel’s two visions of the cherubim… identify the feet of these immortalized saints shadow representation … as being calves feet… that same cloven hoof we are considering in this heaven and earth covenant sacrifice.
Now let’s tie this all together…
There were three severed earth bound beasts in this heaven and earth covenant between the two parties of Abram & Yahweh. Each sacrificial severed animal had 8 foundational components… four sets of the two cloven-hoof components… therefore-8 foundational points upon which to walk… 3 animals cut into 6 pieces … 3 sets of 8 cloven hoof components. Where have we heard that before? That is the projection of our Savior’s very name. Jesus, with the 6 Greek letters that add up to 888, 3 eights. It is also a consistent pattern in all the 3 salvation arks in the 3 divinely appointed ages so far… Noah’s ark during the patriarchal Age where we see the 3 floors of that ark saving the 8 people that are really two generations of 6 & 2… The 2 parents and the 6 children. It was no mere coincidence that Noah, that 8th person, as Peter calls him, was specifically 600 years old at the point of the flood; the golden ark of the covenant during the 1st Kingdom Age fits this pattern with its 6 surfaces that make a box by joining 3 surfaces at each of 8 points of convergence- the 8 corners and of course our Messiah.. the antitypical salvation ark of the Ecclesial Age. All 3 salvation arks demonstrate this same 6-3-8 pattern demonstrated in the heaven and earth covenant in Gen 15 that we witness in Abram’s heaven and earth covenant ritual.
We’ve certainly gone over this before. The six alphanumeric Greek letters making up the name of Jesus are iota, eta, sigma, omicron, upsilon and sigma… as Greek numbers they constitute 10, 8, 200, 70, 400 and 200… in other words 888… six letter components that translate into three eights… exactly like the 3 animals cloven into 6 sacrificial components with the eight foundational components that qualify them as divinely clean, acceptable, holy … projecting the divine hope of 3 immortalization stages in the divine plan with a husband representation and two progressive bride representations…. since we see the same pattern with those 3 beasts where there was one male and 2 females… just as the immortalization of Jesus is shadowed in the ram, and the 2 immortalization of the Ecclesial bride of Christ is shadowed in the female cow and the female goat. Those 3 immortalizations take place over 3 millenniums, just as those 3 sacrificial animals had to each be 3 years old.
We, those who qualify as the enlightened community, are the only people on this earth that have any opportunity to see this hidden glory in divine expressions, to hear this silent shouting. Anyone offering any respect to the serpent lie contradicting our Creator’s righteousness by presuming we are already immortal, that we don’t really die… cannot possibly think in terms of 3 immortalization events in the divine plan and cannot possibly understand the necessity to be born twice… physically and spiritually… physically from a mother and then spiritually from a father. Everyone else can only see darkness and hear complete silence… we alone have the capacity to take light out of that darkness… just like our heavenly Father did as His first creative act. He wants us to do the same – to be like Him… to see His light in the intentional darkness of His expressions that give more to those who have while simultaneously taking away from those who have not.
Our original premise was the fact that there are two separate resurrection categories that are independently referenced in scripture. Mistaking this understanding not only engages a progressive and increasingly comprehensive distortion of divine truths… as in the frame of reference demonstrated in the original Andrewistic Unammended division of the enlightened community… but this mistake of presuming any reference to ‘resurrection’ must exclusively apply somehow to immortalization… eliminates any capacity to see that glorious light in the intentionally dark and complex divine expressions in scripture and creation, that silent shouting… which is yet another confirmation of this understanding of the two witnesses in the life and death trial of our lives… those two stages leading to life that absolutely saturate divine expressions: the written word of God -the Bible and the spoken word of God: the terms of creation. The very design of the human body is a declaration of the significance of this dual principle… 2 eyes to see with … to see the physical and to see the spiritual; 2 ears to hear with… to hear the physical and to hear the spiritual-that silent shouting; 2 lungs to process the oxygen in the air into continuing life in our bodies; 2 hands to grasp with – to choose the right things in life and to choose life itself as opposed to death which most of humanity grasps for in their pursuit of immediate benefit by sacrificing the longterm benefit of a spiritual perspective; and 2 feet to walk with… to walk in the challenging and far more difficult, lonely & unpopular spiritual paths for longterm benefit. The design of our bodies is a declaration of the significance of this divinely appointed dual principle of completion… just like the two resurrections and the two births that result in eternal life.
Now we have not exhausted the possible validations of this duality principle.. actually we couldn’t if we wanted to… if we lived for 1,000 years. The depth of the expressions of our Creator are so far beyond our mere capacity to plumb.
So let’s move on to another scriptural and creational representation of the resurrection. Actually this will serve as creational testimony concerning the full progression of the resurrection to mortality, the judgment and the resurrection to immortality. This is the agricultural process. demonstrated in the terms of creation: the spoken word of our Creator
Our generation and our particular society is somewhat more detached from this agricultural divine testimony than most of the generations preceding us. Back In 1870, when the enlightened community was in the process of being reborn from the hard work of Dr Thomas, close to 80% of the workforce in the United States was employed in the industry category of agriculture. In our generation that is only 2%. While some of us work small personal gardens, very few of us work in agriculture day after day, as the great majority of our ancestors did for thousands of years. That agricultural process is part of that 2nd divine testimony category of the spoken word of our Creator.
Again, the testimony of the written word of God is absolutely saturated with agriculture parallels. There is a distinct separation in that written divine testimony between the agricultural representations of the enlightened community of the sons of God and the much larger unenlightened community of the sons of men. The enlightened community is consistently paralleled to fruit bearing plant-life… the vineyard, wheat, fig trees, olive trees, barley… while the unenlightened community and sometimes the divinely unacceptable enlightened community is consistently paralleled with non-fruitbearing plant-life… briers, thorns, thistles, weeds and grass.
In fact this recognition offers a why answer to the divine law that when the children of God are militarily besieging a city, that they are free to cut down any non-fruit bearing trees to assist in the military attack… but are absolutely forbidden to cut down fruit bearing trees.
Deut 20:19-20 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man’s life) to employ them in the siege: 20 Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.
In the day of that city’s judgment by the sons of God the fruitbearing trees are spared but the non-fruitbearing trees are free to be destroyed in that day of judgment… perfectly projecting the divine principle of judgment and salvation where those who have been invested with the seed of the word of God and have borne fruit, demonstrating the Creator’s righteousness in their lives, will be preserved in the day of judgment but the non-fruitbearing trees are destroyed in that day of judgment. That is a ‘why’ answer… the real answer for that law… not simply the long term logic of supporting trees that can feed us as opposed to the short term accommodation of cutting them down for the siege instead of hauling non-fruitbearing trees from a further distance to where they are needed for the siege. There are always ‘why’ answers to why questions… that divine motivation for a law or ritual or creational feature.
Paul directly links the agricultural testimony of creation to our subject of resurrection.
1 Cor 15:35-38 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
Now it should be understood that the context here is primarily the resurrection to immortality, as that is the doctrine that was under attack from within the Corinthian Ecclesia. The Greeks had their beloved pagan delusion of the immortal consciousness of human beings, sustaining the serpent lie of the immortality of the soul. This contradiction of our Creator’s righteousness was taking root again in the minds and thoughts of these previously converted pagan Gentiles.
Notice how the Apostle quotes from creation to combat the doctrinal challenges concerning the righteousness of the creator. Paul calls the Christadelphian Brothers questioning the terms of the Creators righteousness in relation to the resurrection to immortality as fools…. since they can’t hear the testimony offered by the scientific terms of creation. He defines a body as a seed. The seed has to die, buried in the ground and when it rises above the ground it is no longer a seed but a plant, perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body that He chooses, every seed his own body. This is a direct relationship between the divine parable of agriculture and the doctrine of resurrection. One projects the other, validating how all of creation expresses the enlightened community in the terms of fruit bearing plant-life.
If we continue reading in 1 Cor 15 we can easily validate this perspective of Paul’s. Note the continuing dual theme of earth and heaven. Let’s Pick up at verse 40
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
I think we should be able to see that duality emphasis in this consideration of the subject of resurrection and the two births… of the natural body sowing and the spiritual body harvesting. Just as a side note, verse 46 totally obliterates any possibility of that God despising delusion of the trinity, of Christ being an immortal who disguises himself inside a mortal body to fool everyone into thinking he actually has the capacity to sin and has the capacity to die and achieve that cheap magician’s misdirection trick of pretending to come back from the dead when it was impossible for him to die in the first place if he was god or an immortal angel. The truth of the matter is quite clear: that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural and afterward that which is spiritual.. which is the exact reverse of the God despising doctrine of the trinity and the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ.
Anyway, this reasoning that is an extension of Paul’s initial parallel between the lesson of the seed and resurrection is clearly identifying the resurrection to immortality… of bearing the image of the heavenly. We certainly don’t do that now. We are not in the image of God at this time at all. That is our hope. I have heard it expressed in addresses in our brotherhood that we are ‘already’ in the image of God, but that we just need to be more behaviorally like Him… that we already look like angels or look like God. There is more to the image application than that very minimal consideration. Immortals don’t bleed. They don’t age and wrinkle. Immortals don’t get sick or tired or decay with age or die, or get broken bones or burned. We are not currently… most definitely not… in either the image or the likeness of our Creator. That is our hope.. not our current condition.
So Paul licenses our current consideration of the agricultural process, the lesson of the seed, to the right-ness of the doctrine of of resurrection and particularly salvation. This subject is so scripturally and creationally rich, we could go on and on and on for literally hundreds of hours on this same subject of the creational parallels used in scripture to testify to our Creator’s righteousness. Don’t worry – We’re not going to. We are going to prime our meditational mental pumps, so that perhaps as we work in our gardens our seeing eyes and hearing ears can be engaged to see and hear that divine testimony, that silent shouting, that light out of darkness from our Creator that most people are blind and deaf to.
Since we have this loud invitation throughout the written word of God to consider the agricultural parallels to the salvation process… and since we know there are three specific salvation events in the plan of God that take place over 3 divine days of 1,000 years each… then obviously, we are being nudged by God to look at the 3 divinely instituted annual harvest celebrations in the laws of the 1st Kingdom of God:
1. The feast of Unleavened Bread celebrating the firstfruits of the barley harvest
2. The Feast of Firstfruits -also known as the Feast of Weeks and Pentecost, which celebrated the wheat harvest
3. The Feast of completelyTabernacles which celebrated what was divinely defined as the harvest of the final ingathering… but never identified with firstfruits in any way.
What we are going to see is that these three annual harvest celebrations are absolute matches on every level of examination to the 3 divine harvests in Yahweh’s plan for creation.
4. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a perfect portrait of the divine harvesting, the immortalization of specifically Jesus Christ.
5. The Feast of Weeks or Feast or Firstfruits, Pentecost… is a perfect portrait of the divine harvesting, the immortalization of the saints at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.
6. The Feast of Tabernacles is a perfect portrait of the divine harvesting, the immortalization of the remaining saints at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.
Now this is not the dominant thinking in our community at the moment, sadly. We see the Feast of Tabernacles constantly but very inappropriately represented as the salvation promise expected very shortly, at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. That is an absolutely impossible understanding… as we will demonstrate definitively.
Yahweh imposed very different terms for observing each of these 3 separate agriculturally based ritual celebrations. There are some very dramatic differences that should draw our attention. The Feast of Unleavened Bread highlighted the removal of every trace of leaven.. not only from their diet for those 8 days as this also included Passover, but even from their homes. They weren’t even permitted to store leaven in their homes.
However… the 2nd feast week.. the feast of weeks that was 50 days after the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread… demanded the presence and promotion of leaven. Two leavened loaves of wheat bread from the firstfruits of the wheat harvest had to be waved heavenward to begin that 7 day feast week on the first day.… what in the New Testament is called Pentecost. We go from an absolute absence of leaven to a promoted presence of leaven between the 1st and 2nd feast week. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was initiated by the waving of unprocessed grain on the 2nd day of the Feast… after the High Sabbath immediately following Passover… but the Feast of Firstfruits was initiated by wheat that had been baked with other ingredients into 2 loaves of bread with leaven and waved on the 1st day of that harvest feast.… that High Sabbath on the 66th day of each year. The third harvest feast week, The feast of Tabernacles – called the feast of the final ingathering – has everyone moving out of their homes into new homes made of tree branches, which never happened in either of the other 2 preceding harvest feast weeks. Those first two feast weeks are associated with first fruits. However the Feast of Tabernacles is never defined as a feast of harvested firstfruits, despite having completely separate fruit categories being harvested for the first time in that year. This is one particular distinction that completely eliminates any possible parallel with the 2nd immortalization harvesting event in the divine plan at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom in which we hope to participate, which we’ll comment on at the appropriate time in these considerations. Another distinction is that although the first two harvest feast weeks last 7 days, that 3rd and last Feast of Tabernacles adds an 8th day to its term. These unique distinctions for each feast week are beams of light issuing from the shadows of these rituals, that intentional complexity that is the exclusive divine communication pattern for the enlightened community. This light hidden in the darkness of the shadows of divine rituals are opportunities to see a greater measure of our Creator’s glory that is always hidden for the exclusive access of those looking fervently for that glory. As always, we want to know ‘why’. The how is pretty simple. We can note all the individual and unique requirements… but the real question is why… why was leaven completely eliminated from the first feast week but demanded in the 2nd? Why are firstfruits highlighted in the first two harvest feast weeks but not in the 3rd? Why are both the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles included in prophecies of the Millennial Kingdom as feasts to be observed again in the approaching Kingdom, but the Feast of Weeks is oddly absent… The why questions are always about divine motivation. This is where we see our Creator much more clearly… not as Paul says… through a dark glass. When Paul said that he was answering another why question… why the Holy Spirit gifts would have to end when something greater took their place. 1 Cor 13: whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
The preparation and processing of those who will bear the image and likeness of our Creator is all about a ‘progressive’ education in divine truths and principles (growth). We can’t be satisfied with the understanding level of children, but we do need the eager teachability of a child-like mind… eager to learn, eager to understand, eager to know. As we have reviewed in an earlier class… that which was perfect that eliminated the need for that which was in part, meaning the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit… that perfect or complete or finished item was the whole Bible, the completed written word of God… capable of leading us out of a spiritual childhood into the next maturity stage so that we can put away childish things and that dark glass can become clearer. We need to ask those ‘why’ questions… the answers to which explain divine motivations. It is the ‘wrong’ answers that come naturally and easily. Doesn’t it seem odd to see that wholesome character our society superimposes onto that term “natural”. Supposedly something is much better if it is natural and unprocessed. That is ridiculous. That would mean we should never sanitize anything… just let all those natural germs and contamination proceed with their dangerous agenda naturally. Personally I prefer to live in a very unnatural home that doesn’t just spring up out of the earth somehow… with all of those unnatural home’s unnatural conveniences. I prefer driving a car to the more natural procedure of walking or saddling an animal to get where I want to go. We should understand that what the children of men define as natural is actually the result… the natural outworking… of the curse of sin and death that corrupted all of creation after mankind introduced the contagious corrupting influence of sin, the contradiction of our Creator’s righteousness into a previously very good and very different kind of natural creative order. Mortality, disease, barren unfruitful land, poisonous insects and reptiles, dangerous carnivorous animals… these ‘natural’ features of our existence could never have been part of that original divinely “very good” creative order before sin corrupted that very good creational order… and definitely will not be part of the creative order -the totally different natural order – after the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom, following that 3rd divine harvest, when our Creator will finally be all and in all… as Paul describes after that last enemy of death is eliminated. Let’s not fall for that foolishness that ‘natural’ is automatically good. After all sin is natural, just like death. Personally I prefer what is unnatural: righteousness and immortality.
Let’s read about that first harvest feast week and make some observations:
These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
9 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord. 13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord. 17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. 18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein: 19 But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the Lord; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish: 20 And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil: three tenth deals shall ye offer for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram; 21 A several tenth deal shalt thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs: 22 And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you. 23 Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering. 24 After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord: it shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering. 25 And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.
The first observation we’ll note is actually common to all 3 harvest feast week celebrations. This is the fact that the first day of each feast week is a High Sabbath, that is the holy convocation when labor and the usual daily work was forbidden. Two of these three harvest Feast celebrations also had a Sabbath at the end of their feasts, although the Feast of Weeks did not. These were not 7th day Sabbaths, Saturday Sabbaths. They were ‘high’ sabbaths, being bound to the numbered day of the month and not a particular day of the week like the Saturday Sabbath on the 7th day every week. The 15th and 22nd day of the first month had to be High Sabbaths, no matter what particular day of the week those High Sabbaths landed each year. Fifty one days after that first high sabbath (as the divine requirement was 50 days after the waving of the firstfruits, which followed that High Sabbath – on the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) was another high sabbath at the beginning but not the end of the Feast of Weeks. The 15th and 23rd days of the 7th month also qualified as High Sabbaths, at the beginning and the end of the Feast of Tabernacles.
This pattern of the 1st and last day of both the alpha and omega harvest feast weeks qualifying as a Sabbath is a direct parallel to the timeframe Jesus spent in the grave under the power of death. The first and the last days of Christ’s death were both Sabbaths… in fact two separate categories of Sabbaths… with the first being a High Sabbath and the 3rd and last day of his death being a 7th day Saturday Sabbath. Jesus was dead for 3 evenings and 3 mornings, if we actually believe his testimony…. as opposed to accepting apostate Christianity’s distortion of Christ only being dead one day and two evenings… from Friday just before sunset to early Sunday morning before sunrise. Jesus actually died on a Wednesday, just before sunset when the High Sabbath of the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread began on what would be Thursday beginning at sunset- as the Jewish day has always begun and ended at sunset, just like the creational pattern in Genesis 1. Jesus actually rose from the dead -at least to mortality – very late on Saturday, just before the beginning of the 1st day of a new week beginning at sunset on Sunday. This is exactly the testimony of the angel in Matthew 28. He most certainly did not die on a Friday afternoon and come back from the dead during the darkness on a Sunday morning. That understanding would constitute a violation of our Creator’s righteousness on a number of levels. It would contradict the testimony of the son of God and would contradict the testimony of the gospel accounts as well as contradicting endless scriptural shadow patterns, as well as destroying the shadowed prophecy of how the 3 full 24 hour days of our Messiah’s death are the extended prophetical limit of the power of death in creation… limited to 3 full divine days of 1,000 years each… as 3,000 years after Christ’s resurrection that last enemy will be destroyed, death and the grave will be eliminated after the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom… 3 full divine days equalling 3,000 years… not partial years projected by partial days.
Let’s look at this High Sabbath distinction in reference to the death of our Messiah, how the day immediately starting after the death of Jesus was a High Sabbath and not a Saturday sabbath.
John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Jesus died, as he had to, on Passover day… the day preceding the High Sabbath of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It wasn’t a 7th day Sabbath that was the next day after Jesus died. It was a High Day Sabbath… the day after Passover which is the High Sabbath of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Let’s listen to the testimony that Jesus himself offers us concerning the term of his death
Matt 12: 38-41 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
First let’s note the inappropriateness of the enlightened community’s focus on signs… show us signs… don’t make us think with all these confusing parables and challenging instructions… make it easy, show us signs, entertain us, stimulate us, excite us. Let’s remember Paul’s explanation of the elimination of the signs of the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those exciting signs were designed to temporarily shepherd the enlightened community’s ‘childhood’ during the Ecclesial Age from the educational laws and rituals of the First Kingdom age into the new laws and rituals and educational focus of the Ecclesial Age. That which would be “perfect”, the completed Bible would be able to progressively shepherd them out of that baby stage of signs dependence and mature them. Just as it was then… we have the same problem today. Christadelphians today are constantly asking… show us signs. We have these endless signs of the times classes where molehills are made into mountains decade after decade and the same observations get reworked and reworked. We’ve already seen the sign… the same sign Jesus referenced to his generation of the enlightened community… the sign of the resurrection of the first born son of God. Now – our sign has been the political resurrection of the national firstborn son of God… the nation of Israel between 1947 to 1967. Let’s not be like the scribes and Pharisees always clamoring for signs. Jesus objected to that attitude and responded with this description of the term of his death…. and he emphasizes it by repeating it twice… as Jonah was days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Now if we want to presume that Jesus died just before the Saturday Sabbath then we only have a an inappropriate two nights and one day…. nowhere close to the 3 days and 3 nights the son of God defines as absolutely necessary. If we want to believe Jesus died just before the Saturday Sabbath and rose again during the night before dawn on Sunday… then we are declaring that Jesus was either lying or well meaning but very very confused. Either option seems like a rather dangerous position to take. That apostasy accommodating delusion also blackens a great deal of the beauty and glory hidden in divine communications provided exclusively for those with seeing eyes and hearing ears.
We will expand on this understanding, considering some of the hidden glory in that intentionally complex divine communication in the next and subsequent presentations.
Bro Jim Dillingham
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