The End From The Beginning
Spring Feasts Sermon by Bill Goff
March 31, 2007
Well here we are brethren, at the beginning of the spring feasts 2007.
This is quite an extraordinary year this year for God's church. Not only is God starting the spring feasts this year with back to back Sabbaths, with today being the day of the Passover, the 14th day of the first Month falling on the last day of the week the weekly Sabbath, and tomorrow the 1st day of the week, being the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Abib, giving us Back to back Sabbaths.
But to make it all the more peculiar this year, there are two other very important events happening this weekend that God is bringing to our attention.
One, is that tomorrow is the symbolic "Wave Sheaf" offering, the day that the priest was commanded to wave a "Sheaf of the firstfruits" of the harvest.
And the other, is that tomorrow is also the day that God tells us to begin counting. Yes, can you realize it?
Tomorrow, the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread, is also the day we are instructed by our Creator to begin counting to and focusing on the end of the spring feasts, "Pentecost".
Isn't this astonishing brethren? This particular year that we are just starting, God has us looking at the END right from the Beginning.
The spring feasts each year start out with the Passover and then the 1st day of unleavened bread, a High Holy Day. We then spend an entire week, seven days of not eating any leavened products, but are commanded to eat unleavened bread each day. Then the week ends with another High Holy Day, the last day of unleavened bread next Sabbath.
But the Last Day of Unleavened Bread is not the last day of the spring feasts. Do we realize that brethren?
The last day of the spring feasts is the feast of Pentecost, the feast that we have to count to.
Now each year we begin counting to Pentecost on the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day of the "Wave Sheaf Offering", as we are instructed to do in Lev 23:15.
This year is a bit of a rarity, because this year, that Sabbath is today. This year the weekly Sabbath falls at the very beginning of the spring Holy Day season; it falls on the Passover, starting the count on the first day of Unleavened Bread.
Here we are gathered together today, at the beginning of the spring Holy Days, with the Passover today, and the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread tomorrow, and we immediately are to start counting to and focusing on the "last day" of the spring Holy Day season, Pentecost.
Now all this did not happen by chance, God had this planed out for a reason.
This is a very important time for the church of God. There is a very important lesson here that our God wants us to learn. There is something very important here that our God wants to make us aware of.
Now there are many in the church of God that are not going to be receiving this lesson that God has for His people this year, if they are keeping any other calendar than God's calendar.
If they are keeping these spring Holy Days on any other days than the ones God commands us to keep, if they are keeping any other calendar besides God's calendar, (which He makes very plain in His Word), then they are not having back-to-back Sabbaths this weekend, and they will not be starting the count to Pentecost at the proper time.
This will not only cause them to miss out on what God is trying to show us by having us start counting to day 50 so quickly this year, (Looking at the end, right from the beginning), but in turn it will also cause them to end up keeping the "last day" of the spring feasts "Pentecost" on the wrong day also.
Many members of God's church are allowing themselves to be deceived, and led astray by the very thing that Jesus warned His followers to beware of, Man.
The very thing that Jesus told His disciples to heed seems to be falling on many deaf ears, because many have not harkened to His warning.
Let's take a look at this before we start today's message brethren, because we are at the end of this present evil age. We are now living at the time that His disciples back then, were very concerned to know about, and were asking Him about.
Let us remember what the very first thing was that Jesus said when His disciples came to Him privately, asking Him questions concerning the end of this evil age (The time that we are now living in) and the signs of His return. (And if you don't realize that we are now living at the end of this evil age, and in the "last days" of this evil age, just read & study 2Tim 3).
The disciples back then, wanted to know about this time, they came to Him privately asking Him. Let's look at what the first thing was that Jesus told them, as He began to answer their question.
Mt:24:4: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Brethren, we are living in a world of deception. We are living in a world that Satan himself, the father of lies and the arch deceiver is holding captive. (Rv:12:9)
This evil world of Satan's, that Satan is god over, is coming to a close.
And this evil age is going to go out with vengeance.
Make no mistake about it, there is a might storm approaching us brethren, a might storm that has been brewing for a long time. We need to heed the warning that our God is giving us.
We need to be sure, that we are not being deceived by any man, so we will be able to weather the approaching storm.
And this includes me brethren, what I have to say today needs to be chewed first and not just wallowed.
God has some meat for us this spring feast brethren, and you can't just swallow meat before chewing it first, or you might choke. But don't refrain from eating meat; meat is good, especially when it is being chewed.
What I have to say today needs to be examined and tested, and proved with the Scriptures to see if it is according to the Words of God, or if I am just another one of the many false prophets.
Remember, besides deceiving the whole World, Satan also has a grip on many in the church of God. Let us not allow him to deceive us. Let us follow the instructions that our Creator has given all of us to safe guard us against any and all deception.
1Thes:5:21: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
2Tm:2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Let us also remember the Berea's, and how they were complemented of being more noble, because they searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul and Silas was telling them was according to the Word of God.
This is what the book of Acts says, speaking of the Bereans,
Acts 17:11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
This is what I ask you to do with today's message brethren, receive it with all readiness of mind, and then searched the scriptures to see whether these things are so.
Now, with all that said, let us get into today's message.
Let us see what we can learn during these back-to-back Sabbaths that God has given us this year, And let us see what we can learn from being instructed by God this year to begin "focusing on" and "counting to" the end of the spring feasts "Pentecost" right from the beginning of the spring feasts.
First, I want to refresh our memory a little about what the Passover and Feast of Unleavened bread is all about, before we get into some new knowledge, or better understanding about what Jesus is doing with His church.
The Passover and feast of Unleavened bread are directly connected to the feast of Pentecost.
Do not think that by starting the count to Pentecost tomorrow that we don't have to be concerned about the feast of Unleavened Bread. What we are going to see here is that starting the count to Pentecost right at the beginning this year doesn't eliminate the week of Unleavened Bread, what it does is going to give us a better understanding of U. B. and how it is directly connected to Pentecost.
I want to start in the book of Leviticus. We need a good understanding of what the instructions given by God in that Book represent to God's church today.
Lev:23:4: 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.
We know that mankind chose NOT to obey God right from the start back in the Garden of Eden. And we know that the penalty for sin is death, which each and every one of us deserved, because all of us have sinned and transgressed His laws.
But God had a plan. His plan was to sacrifice His Son, His only begotten Son, so that we, (you and I,) might live.
That part of God's plans has been completed. Our Lord and Savior came to this earth in the form of a man, lived a sinless life, was crucified on a stake, and died in our stead. Removing our penalty of death for the sins which we have committed. Actually, for the "sin of the world".
We know that sin is the transgression of the Law 1Jn:3:4. And that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God Rom:3:23.
Jesus was the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Jn:1:29
Now God did His part. He rescued us from the penalty of sin & death, by dying in our stead.
Now it is time for us to change from our old ways and stop practicing sinning. That is what the feast of Unleavened Bread is all about, putting sin out of our lives.
We can look back at how He brought His people out of Egypt, to understand what He expects of us today.
We are told in Deut 26:8 that the Lord brought His people out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with signs, and with wonders. All that was required of them to do was to follow His instructions and be obedient to Him.
The same holds true for us today. What God requires of us is to be obedient to Him.
Now we know how important it was for ancient Israel to take the blood from the sacrificed lamb and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of their houses. If they had not done that, then the plague would have come upon them to destroy them (Ex. 12:7,13).
We also know that the same holds true for God's people today. We have to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repent, be baptized; and then keep the Passover as a memorial each year till He comes.
Today we keep the Passover with the new symbols of the bread and wine, like Jesus instructs us in:
And it is just at vitally important for us today to keep it, as it was for them back in physical Egypt.
Paul tells us in 1 Cor.11:23-26 "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25: After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."
The church of God has been keeping the Passover ever since. We keep the Passover each year as a memorial, and we have a lot to meditate on and to think about concerning what our Lord and Savior went thru for us and for all of mankind, so that we all might live.
The Passover is the first step in the plan of God. And it is just as vitally important for us today to keep the Passover as it was for the Israelites back in Egypt, eve n more important for us because we are dealing with our spiritual lives.
Now let us continue in Leviticus 23 and look at the next instruction that we are given concerning the feast of Unleavened Bread.
Lev. 23:6: 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.
Let us note here that for one entire week, seven days, we are commanded to eat unleavened bread.
The seven days here actually represents the entire time of our life in God's church. We only have to put physical leaven out for a physical week and put unleavened bread in for that week. But the putting sin out of our lives, and putting Christ in (the things the physical things represent) doesn't end at the end of the week of U.B., we have to continue doing that till Christ returns or we die, which ever comes first. This is important to realize and we will se why in a bit.
Eating unleavened bread represents putting Christ into our lives. We cannot just remove the leaven of sin without replacing it with something else. We need to be replacing it with Christ. We will talk more on that later.
Now dropping down to verse 10.
Lev 23:10: 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.
If you had been there watching the priest wave that sheaf, you would have noticed something that is very important. When the priest waved the sheaf, (The first of the firstfruits) he waved it high over his head.
Waving it high over his head represented that this symbolic wave sheaf offering, would eventually be fulfilled in heaven, not down here on earth. This is important to realize, and we will see why later.
Now we know that the symbolic Wave Sheaf offering represented Christ, and was fulfilled nearly 2,000 years ago, when Christ was resurrected from the grave and ascended up to His Father's throne in heaven to be accepted by Him early that 1st day of the week. That was the morning that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, when He told her not to touch Him.
Jn:20:17: Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Please note here that after Jesus rose from the grave, He ascended to heaven, to the Fathers throne, to be accepted by Him and glorified. That is the reason that the priest had to wave the wave sheaf offering high over his head, because it represented Christ going up to heaven to be accepted by the Father, and glorified, He was not going to be glorified down here on earth.
Now let us continue.
There is another reason that tomorrow is a very important day for God's church. Not only is tomorrow the 1st Day of Unleavened bread, and not only is tomorrow the symbolic Wave Sheaf offering. But tomorrow is also the day that we, the church of God, are told to start counting. Yes, we, the church of God are told to start counting to the day of Pentecost.
This counting is what connects the feast of Unleavened Bread to the feast of Pentecost. And this counting has everything to do with the church of God, Now Jesus, the Head of the Body, is the first of the firstfruits. He was the first to be raised from the grave, and then He ascended up to heaven and was glorified on the "first day" of the count.
Now on Pentecost (the "last day" of the count) the priest had to wave another offering high over his head, the two Wave Loaves.
Lev:23:15: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days:
And dropping down to Verse 20, we read what the priest was to do on day fifty,
20: And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD.
Now this particular Wave offering, the waving of the two Wave Loaves on the last day of the count, has not yet been fulfilled.
But the day of its fulfillment is approaching, and that "last day" brethren, that offering of the wave loaves, has everything to do with the church of God.
Now there is something that is very important for all of us in God's church to realize concerning that "last day".
The fulfillment of the "Wave Loaves" offering, will not be taking place down here on earth.
Just like the fulfillment of the "Wave Sheaf" offering was fulfilled up in heaven on the first day of the count, so will the "Wave Loaves" offering be fulfilled up in heaven on the "last day" of the count.
The Wave Sheaf was Christ, (The first of the firstfruits). The wave loave is the church, (The rest of the first fruits).
That is what the "Wave Loaves" represent; "firstfruits", and they were waved high over the priest's head just like the "wave sheaf", but on day 50, the "last day", the day of Pentecost.
These spring feasts are very important days for God's church brethren, they have everything to do with our changeover from mortal human beings to immortal spirit beings, because those in the church are firstfruits.
The Spring feasts pertain to us in God's church - the ones God is calling now and working with now: the firstfruits.
Firstfruits - they come first, just like the word says. They are planted first, they grow first, they ripen first and they are harvested first.
When looking up the Greek meaning for the word "firstfruits" in Strong's Concordance and in a word study of the New Testament. For "firstfruits" it says, "A beginning of sacrifice, the first of the ripe fruits, applied to Christ as the Firstfruits of the resurrection with believers to follow later." (Fifty days later) And it goes on to say that it includes the patriarchs.
Firstfruits pertain to those who God is working with now. We are told that Christ is the First of the Firstfruits and there are more firstfruits to follow:
1Cor.15:20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
And speaking of our change, Paul says,
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"
The church is referred to as the "firstfruits" in many places.
1 Cor.16:15 "I beseech you, brethren, (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints)"
Yes, those in God's church are called firstfruits and there are many other scriptures stating that.
Actually we really only had to go to Revelation 14 to show this. That chapter in Revelation, talks about a time when God's firstfruits will be in their spirit bodies (shortly after our change) standing on the heavenly sea of glass, singing that new song that only they could learn.
Rv:14:3: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev.14:4 "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Yes, the firstfruits are comprised of the New Testament church, the patriarchs and the other faithful men and women we read of in the scriptures, as we shall see later.
When the priest waved that Wave Sheaf, (The first of the firstfruits) which represented Christ, he raised it up high over his head and waved it because it represented something that was going to be fulfilled up in heaven.
That has already been fulfilled brethren, on the first day of the count, the day that Jesus (the first of the firstfruits) ascended up to heaven and was glorified by His Father.
Now when the priest waved the Wave Loaves, (The rest of the firstfruits) on the "last day" of the count he also raised it up high over his head and waved it because it also represented something that was going to take place up in heaven.
That day has NOT been fulfilled yet, but we are approaching that day, that "last day".
Now we need to realize something concerning these "wave loaves".
It is the ingredients in the wave loaves that connect the Passover and the keeping of the feast of Unleavened Bread, to the "last day", the day of Pentecost.
This will all become very clear as we take a look now at the ingredients of the wave loaves.
Let us take a look at the ingredients that went into those wave loaves. Because if we understand their ingredients and ho w they were prepared and baked, we will better understand what our Creator is trying to teach us on these back to back Sabbaths, and why He has us looking at the END of the spring feast, the "last day" the day of Pentecost, right from the BEGINNING of the spring feasts. We will better understand why the week of U.B. is directly connected to Pentecost.
Now as we begin looking at the ingredients of the "wave loaves" let us keep in mind that the "wave loaves" represent us, so all the physical ingredients represent things that have to be in us, our ingredients.
Lev:23:17: Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
These two wave loaves, were to be of "fine flower".
Now this "fine flour" comes from wheat, it starts out as wheat. It actually starts out as hard wheat, and turning hard wheat into fine flour, can be a pretty difficult task.
It takes much grinding and plenty of beating and sifting to make fine flour out of hard wheat; it's a bit of a process. Now the wheat of course represents us, the called of God, we are His wheat Researching this "Fine Flour" in Holman's Bible dictionary we read the following:
"Fine flour was ground from the inner kernels of wheat only, the best part of the grain, It was beaten to a fine grain, till it had no lumps or imperfections."
Fine flour brethren, contains no lumps or imperfections!
How are we doing? How are our lumps and imperfections coming along?
Are they being processed out?
Are we spending enough time studying our Bibles to learn the Word of God and how He expects us to be conducting ourselves each and every day?
Are we spending enough time in prayer? Are we spending enough time on our knees before our Creator talking to Him? Or does our adversary have us hooked on the cares of this life, and the cares of this world?
Are we spending enough time realizing that all the trials and all the troubles that we are going through, are there for a reason? Do we realize that? All our trials are there for a reason, and a very good and important reason.
Don't let trials and troubles get the best of you. Believe it or not, the trials and troubles are a good thing.
That's why we are told by Jesus' brother James in Jms:1:2: to count it all joy when ye fall into these things.
And Peter says in 1Ptr 4: 12: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, But rejoice.
These troubles are no more then the effects of the hard wheat (us) being ground into fine flour, the main ingredient in the "wave loaves".
Now if we don't realize this, maybe its because we are still too wrapped up in this present physical world.
Now if that is the case that is a bad thing.
This world, this age, is coming to an end. Every physical thing out there is quite temporary and going to come to an end.
And we will not be ready to be waved on day 50 if we continue to stay connected to the world. And we will not even be at peace here on earth now, if we are focusing on the physically. We have to be focusing on the spiritual. It's the spiritual things that will give us everlasting life in God's coming Kingdom, and peace now in this physical life.
Rom:8:6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Now let's get back to the ingredients.
We must always remember that God gives us the physical so we can better understand the spiritual.
There is always a spiritual side to the physical, and our Creator is concerned with the spiritual side, not the physical.
"Fine flour" was used to make these "wave loaves". Fine flour is what our Creator is trying to turn us into.
The fine flour that has no lumps or imperfections.
Well, What does this "fine flour" represent?
What is the spiritual ingredient in these wave loaves that the fine flour represents?
We need to know this, because we, both you and I need to posses this ingredient. We have to become what this "fine flour" represents.
If we don't have the proper ingredients, then we will not be part of the "wave loaves" offering that will be waved and glorified on the "last day" of our count.
The spiritual side of this "fine flour", is to be "contrite" Contrite means to be beaten into small pieces. It pictures a smallness, in the sight of God.
A smallness that comes from repentance and submission. Submission to God, and what He tells us.
Some in the church are very submissive to men, but not to God. If that describes any of us, it needs to be repented of, because that's not the "fine flour" that these "wave loaves" are made of.
We all know God's feelings towards those who are of a contrite spirit. The Bible is full of verses showing God's pleasure in that type of quality.
Let's go to a few, so we can better understand just what the "fine flour" used in these wave loaves represents:
Ps:34:18: The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Isa:57:15: For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, (Eternity is something that doesn't pass away) whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Isa:66:1: Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2: For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
This is how we need to be brethren, we need to have a contrite spirit and a contrite heart.
This is the ingredient that is being used to prepare those wave loaves.
This is what is valuable to our Creator, remember, the wheat is His, the wheat sprang up from His seed.
Our trials and tribulations that we go through are the turning of that hard wheat, into that "fine flour".
That is why we can count it all joy when going thru trials, like James & Peter tell us.
We are God's wheat; we are being turned into something of great value to Him.
Fine flour was a luxury item; a luxury item such as might be baked as bread for an honored guest.
Abraham told Sarah to use this same "fine flour" to bake two round loaves of bread, to present to a very honored guest that showed up at their tent one day. A very honored guest that Abraham had been waiting for at the door of his tent. That guest was Jesus, the Lord of the Old Testament. You can read about that in Gen 18. That incident happened just before the City of Sodom was destroyed.
Let's continue now with the ingredients of these wave loaves.
Lev 23:17 says the wave loaves made out of the fine flour "Shall be baked with leaven;"
Now many in the church of God misunderstand what this leaven is here. Many think this leaven represents "sin". Many men teach that this leaven here represents sin, and that those wave loaves will be baked with sin
Brethren, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Sin is those imperfections that the hard wheat started out with. Sin is all the lumps and blemishes that He is processing out of us as He grinds us and sifts us over and over to produce that "fine flour".
Sin is what the feast of Unleavened Bread is all about, (The removing of sin out of our lives.)
You don't go thru the process of removing all the lumps and imperfections to produce "fine flour" and then put the lumps and imperfections back in to bake it.
You don't go through all the work of cleaning your house as your preparing for some special occasion, and
then when finished, rip open the vacuum cleaner bag and being spreading all the dirt back on the floor just before the event begins. That would be ludicrous to say the least.
The baking of the wave loaves represents a finished product. The finished product that God is creating here is everlasting beings with Holy Righteous Character that will reside forever with Him in His Kingdom.
The finished product is what will be waved and presented on day 50, to be accepted and glorified.
We need to understand something here brethren. We start out in life with a bad nature, with a bad heart.
Jer:17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
We start out with a deceitful and wicked heart, a heart of stone. But God is in the process of changing those hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. But it takes more than just beating and grinding and sifting that hard wheat into that fine flour to change our hearts.
It takes another very important ingredient to change our hearts, it take an ingredient that is powerful enough to change our entire nature. That ingredient is referred to here as "leaven", but not the leaven of sin, but another type of leaven. And it's a leaven that we in God's church have readily available to each and every one of us.
Now Jesus spoke of this other leaven, this good leaven in a parable, a very important parable that has been misunderstood in God's church for a long time.
Today we are going to look at that parable because we in God's church need a strong dose of this good leaven. We need this good leaven to completely spread throughout the entire Body of Christ.
We need this good leaven to completely change our nature now while we are still flesh, before we are changed into spirit beings (baked) and begin to reside in the Kingdom of God.
But before we go to that parable, before we look at the spiritual side of this good leaven, lets take a look at the physical side and see just what good leaven does.
Let's make some bread. God always give us the physical so we can better understand the spiritual, and we need a good understand of this good leaven brethren, because it is this good leaven that will soon bring the church, the Body of Christ to "COMPLETION" and ready to be raised up and glorified by our Creator on the "Last Day".
We need to understand what leaven does when you add it to your dough when making bread.
First you put in all the ingredients for the bread including the leaven, and then you knead it.
You mix and work the dough into a uniform mass, usually by pressing and turning etc., with the hands.
(That's what our Creator is doing with us, right? Shaping us, molding us.)
Now do we realize what the leavening agent begins to do to the dough? The dough begins to rise from the leaven, and that's due to the leaven changing the dough's nature.
Yes. The leaven CHANGES THE NATURE OF THE DOUGH.
O you can beat the dough back down, but that leaven will cause it to rise back up. The nature of that dough can be changed, and is changed, by the leaven.
Now you continue the process of beating it down and allowing it to rise back up.
But once you get the dough exactly the way that you want it, you bake it. Once you bake it, it's permanent; its nature cannot be changed anymore once it's baked.
This is why we have to have this "leaven" spread throughout the church. We have to have our natures
completely changed now, while we are still flesh and blood, before we are changed into spirit.
God is not going to give anyone the gift of everlasting life or bake anyone and make him or her a permanent nature is changed first.
Now we need to know what this leaven is that the "wave loaves" were to be baked with. We need to know what this ingredient is that is powerful enough to change our nature, powerful enough to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.
Now lets go to that very important parable tha t Jesus has given us to teach us that there is another type of leaven that we need to be filling up on.
Leaven doesn't always represent sin.
We need to know the correct ingredients that are in these wave loaves because the "waving" of these wave loaves, on the "last day" is soon to be fulfilled, and for us to be there, for us to be there standing before the son of man on that sea of glass (where the glorifying will take place), we have to have the proper ingredients.
Mt:13:33: Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
"The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven". Brethren, you cannot say that the Kingdom of heaven is like unto "sin". The kingdom of heaven has no sin. The "leaven" here cannot represent sin.
The "leaven" here is taken by a woman (Women here represents us, the church) and "hid" in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
That word "hid" means to "incorporate with" to become part of, to join with.
Brethren, we are not to incorporate with, or become part of, or join with "sin", we are commanded to come out of sin, to stop sinning. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to "Go and sin no more" Jn:8:11
How about the man that had the infirmity for 38 years, the one who was waiting for the water to be troubled but had no man to put him in the pool? Jesus healed him. And afterward Jesus saw him in the temple and told him to "sin no more" Jn:5:14
Brethren, many men, even many ministers in the church of God want to tell us that that "leaven" that the "wave loaves" are baked with, represents sin
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
The leaven that the "wave loaves" are baked with is nothing other than the Holy Spirit of God
It is the Spirit of God that is powerful enough to change our natures. It is the Spirit of God that can change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. It is the Spirit of God that we brethren, need to be totally filling up on.
This Holy Spirit comes from the Father and is freely given to us as a gift from Him, IF WE WANT IT
IF WE VALUE IT. IF WE ASK FOR IT.
Jesus tells us that the Father is willing to give us more of the gift of the Holy Spirit, if we ask Him.
Lk:11:13: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
We have to ask for that gift brethren, we have to want that gift.
That parable in Mt.13:33 says that the women (The church) took the leaven.
That word "took" means "received", it's Strong's # 2983 LAMBANO. It's the same exact word used in Act 2:38, where God first poured out His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. When they were pricked in their hearts and asked Peter and the rest of the Apostles "What shall we do?" Peter told them:
Acts:2:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive (there's that same exact word brethren) the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto "leaven" (The Spirit of God that the church received) and "hid" (incorporated with, became part of, joined with) till the "whole was leavened" (till the entire church the entire Body of Christ was filled with the Spirit of God).
Brethren, the Holy Spirit is a free gift from God, but one has to want to receive the Holy Spirit, it takes action on our part. When first called by God, we had to take action; we answered that calling by repenting and allowing ourselves to be baptized.
After being baptized God gave us the Gift of His Holy Spirit, but we did not have a changed heart and a changed nature yet. It takes time for that, it takes more action. It takes what the week of unleavened bread represents. The rest of our physical life, putting sin out and putting Christ in, changing from walking our old sinful way to walking a new way, God's way.
That's what this counting up to Pentecost is all about. We start the count on day one. Day one is the day we begin to come out of sin. It's the day that Jesus made it possible for us, it's the day He was accepted for us, like we read in Lev:23:11.
Let us realize something. The members of the Body of Christ are called "saints". But one is not a "saint" the day they are baptized. One is not a saint until they stop practicing sin.
The Greek for the word "saints" means: blameless, holy, pure, separated from sin.
When we receive the Holy Spirit of God at baptism, we receive the "Helper' the power to overcome sin. But it takes time to become spotless and unblemished. It takes time for us to stop practicing sin and to become those saints, it's a process.
Let us look at what the Apostle Paul tells us concerning the members of the church being "saints".
We will see here that one has to "qualify" to be a saint. One has take action, one has to change his ways, change his behavior to be a saint.
Eph 5: 1: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3: But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
"As becometh saints"
That word "becometh" saints, means to "tower up". We are not instantly saints at baptism, we have to change our ways first, we have to change our walk, our behavior.
Let's read a few more verses here in Ephesians because many men, even ministers in the church of God do not stress enough that we need a complete change in nature, a complete change in our heart to inherit the Kingdom of God.
4: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5: For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6: Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (This wrath of God is the storm that is brewing)
7: Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
One has to want to change from his or her old ways and one has to go thru a process. We do not become perfect and Holy at the moment we are baptized and receive the gift of His Spirit.
But becoming holy and perfect is what we are commanded to do Mt:5:48 & 1Pt:1:16. God would not command us to do something that is impossible, and besides, it has been done before, by our elder Brother.
Brethren, we have access to the same supernatural power that Jesus had, the Powerful Holy Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is the "Comforter" the "Helper". We have to use that "Helper", allow it to flow in and out of us, allowing it to completely fill our entire body like the parable says: "Till the whole was leavened" and not just our individual bodies, but the entire Body of Christ, the church.
Brethren, we are approaching the completion of the building of the church of God.
Our Creator has us looking at the END of the count now, not only because we are approaching that "Last Day", but also because it is our every day actions now that will determine if we are going to be raised up on that "Last Day". It is the coming out of sin now (which the feast of Unleavened Bread represents) that will make us ready for that day.
We are nearing the end of the church age, the time the firstfruits will be meeting Jesus in the clouds and heading over to the sea of glass for that great wedding banquet that the Father has prepared for His chosen ones.
Brethren, there are people in other Christian denominations that speak & believe very much in a "Rapture".
Now they might be a little confused about how that rapture is going to play out, and they might be a little confused thinking that they will be spending eternity up in the clouds of heaven, but they know that there is a day approaching that is going to be extraordinary, to say the least. Do we? Do we realize that that day is coming?
We better, because we are called to be part of the firstfruits, We are called to be amongst those who will be meeting Christ in the clouds, like it says in 1st Corinthians and elsewhere.
But if we do not possess these same ingredients as the "wave loaves", then we are not part of the firstfruits.
Brethren, the firstfriits have to be ready for that day, those who are not ready will not be there.
Mt:7:21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many men falsely teach that we will not become whole; that we will not become complete, until our change over from flesh to spirit at the resurrection. That is not true. According to our Bibles, we are to become complete now, we are told to stop transgressing God's way now, and we are being judged now while we are still flesh and blood.
1Pt:4:17: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18: And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Brethren, the church of God is still being judged now. But understand something; understand that we are not living in the time when judgment began in the church of God, that was nearly 2,000 years ago
We are living at the time when judgment in the house of God is about to be COMPLETED.
Our salvation is on the line now.
Take a look at what the Apostle Paul told the saints, and the faithful concerning our salvation:
Phil:2:12: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14: Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world:
We need to be those lights. Jesus tells us in: Mt:5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." He also said in Mt:5:13: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
We are still being judged now. But the judging of the House of God is about to be completed.
We need to take our calling very seriously. According to the Scriptures, most do not.
Lk:14:18: tells us this: "And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
(It's easy to get all tied up in the affairs of this world, thinking about our houses, our landscaped yards)
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
(Some are into raising show dogs, some collect guns, some can tell you every players name rank & serial number on every football player).
Some even think that the most important thing in this world is family. They will even tell you that family must come first.
Brethren, understand something very very important.
If you are standing next to you loved one, (child) (mate) and all of a sudden you see a stray bullet heading right for them, you will not have to think whether to jump out in front of them and take the bullet in their stead.
You will automatically do that, with the kind of love that you have for your loved one. And that is good and that is right. And that is the kind of love I see being practiced by many, if not all, of us.
There are wives out there, even mothers, (one I happen to know very well) who give there all for their children, and for their family. And I know of many fathers here who do the same.
Yes, our family is very very important, and right near the very top of the list of what's has to be most important in our lives.
I had a good father; there are many here who can relate to the joy of having a good father quite well.
There isn't much out there that deserves more respect than our physical mothers and our physical father.
Especially with all the love that they bestow on us.
But our physical fathers are not on top of the priority list any more than our physical mothers, or our physical families.
And to place them there, in that position on the top of our priority list, is not right and is actually quite a big sin.
There is someone out there who has given us more love than all the physical fathers and mothers in the whole world.
And He has to come first, and if He does, everything else will fall into place after the lessons that we are learning in this physical life come to pass.
Mark 12: 28: And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29: And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31: And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Brethren, Our families are very important, but they are not on the top of the list.
Without God, we would not even have a physical family. And without Christ, we can do nothing.
Our family is very important to us yes, but they are in the category of "our neighbor"
Our Creator has to come first, and all He wants for us is to bring us all together in His coming utopia.
We may still be grieving over our deceased loved ones and rightly so, but we have hope, soon even they will be back together with us according to the plan of God.
But that's pictured by another feast day (fall feasts). Lets get back to our feast days and our responsibilities that are on the front burner now.
As long as we are flesh and blood human beings, we have the potential to sin. But we do not have to sin.
And we are commanded by God to stop sinning and to be blameless, and holy, without rebuke.
The Apostle Peter says:
1Pt:1:15: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pt:1:16: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Paul tells us:
1Cor:15:34: Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
The Apostle John says:
1Jn:2:1: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Many men teach that we will have our natures changed at the resurrection, after we are baked. Many men say that it is impossible for one to stop sinning now, as long as we are human.
Is that truth brethren? Is it impossible to stop sinning and to walk uprightly as long as we are human? Is it impossible for those in God's church to change their ways, to stop walking contrary to the way of God while we are still in the flesh?
Jesus did it brethren, He never sinned, but He was in all points tested like as we are Hebrews 4:15.
Brethren, Jesus was as human as you and I. The only reason He did not sin is because He chose NOT to sin and He kept Himself filled to the full with the Holy Spirit of His Father.
Jesus is our example. Jesus is the One we are to follow. He is the One we are to become like. Jesus is the Chief corner stone, the One we are to conform to, Ephesians 2:20.
We also need to choose not to sin, and we also need to be filled to the full with the Holy Spirit of God so we can do just that.
Now we cannot say that we have no sin, because that would be a lie. But let us strive to allow Him to remove the sin. Let us strive to allow Him to remove all the lumps and all the imperfections, and let us ask the Father to fill us to the full with His Holy Spirit so He can accomplish in us the purpose that He has for us.
And brethren, contrary to what many men have been telling us,,, Lets back that up a bit,,, Contrary to what Satan would like us to believe, let us understand something that is very important. Let us understand that the Father wants us to become exactly the same way Jesus was when He walked this earth, "spotless", and "unblemished".
It is Jesus who is building this church, and Jesus is leading his flock to perfection to be presented.
Eph:5:27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
We kept the Passover as a memorial renewing our commitment to God. We need to continue to believe on Him and to continue to follow Him.
Now let us strive to come out of sin. Let us strive to live by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. Let us begin to start counting to and focusing on the "Last Day" of the count. The day we will be presented up in heaven.
Let us ask the Father for more of His Holy Spirit, and let us fill up on that Spirit so that we can have all the proper ingredients to be ready to be baked and raised on the "Last Day" of the count, the day of Pentecost.
As we begin to conclude today, I want to read a few Scriptures that will help us begin looking to the "last day" of the count, the day of Pentecost. They may also help us know what the Father's will is for us, His firstfruits, concerning the "last day" of the count The will of the Father brethren is that everyone who seeth the Son and beleiveth on him, will have everlasting life, and will be raised up on the "Last Day" of the count.
Jn:6:40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jn:6:39: And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Jn:6:54: Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
The "Last Day" brethren, is the end of the count, the day of Pentecost. It is the day that we are looking to today, from the beginning of the count.
It's the day the priest waved the "wave loaves" high over his head, representing something that is going to take place up in heaven in the not to distant future. Are we going to be there?
The church has known about this "Last Day" for a long time brethren. Even Mary and Martha, Lazarus' two sisters knew of that day.
Jn:11:24: Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Now don't get this "Last Day" mixed up with the "Last Great Day" that comes at the end of the fall harvest.
This "Last Day" is our day, the day the rest of the firstfruits will be raised and brought up to heaven to be accepted and glorified.
Our Creator brethren, is bringing His church on to perfection. He not only wants us to become spotless and unblemished, but He want us to become that way now, before our change, before the day of Pentecost.
I would like to conclude today back where we began, in the book of Leviticus.
God is no respecter of person brethren. He does not expect anything different from us than He expected from the rest of His firstfruits.
He expects all of His firstfruits to be pure, unspotted and unblemished now, before the "last Day", before our change over from flesh to spirit, just like the rest of the saints that are now asleep in the grave also had to be pure and unspotted.
He makes this clear in Lev 23:15
Lev:23:15: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete.
Seven Sabbaths shall be COMPLETE.
Those seven Sabbaths brethren, represent seven weeks. The seven weeks actually represent the seven churches. Remember this verse is talking about the count, the count to Pentecost, our count. Pentecost is also called the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of firstfruits. Pentecost is our feast brethren.
Please notice that we are told here "Seven Sabbaths shall be Complete". The seven Sabbaths or Weeks, represent the seven churches, and that word "COMPLETE" is very very significant here.
That word "COMPLETE" is normally only used when referring to Christ, the First of the firstfruits, our example, the One we are to conform to. It is the same exact word used in Ex 12:5 Ex:12:5: Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
Leviticus 23:15 is showing us brethren, that our Creator want us to be pure, and without blemish. And He wants us to be that way now, before the "Last Day", before the day of Pentecost.
Let us read the next verse, Lev 23:16
Lev 23:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days
Complete, Pure, Unspotted, Unblemished, No Lumps and No Imperfections comes before the "Last Day" of the count, before day 50, before we are raised, accepted and glorified up in heaven.
How are we doing brethren? How are our lumps and imperfections? Are they being processed out?
Do not let any man deceive you brethren. Our Lord and Savior and Head of the church, Jesus Himself, wants to clean us up and scrub us down now. He wants to bring us on to perfection.
I pray that He is able to accomplish that in each and every one of us.
So let us begin counting to and focusing on the "Last Day" our day, the day of Pentecost.
*Scriptures from the King James Version.