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The Three Times In God's Plan

The prophetic anniversary date of the return of Jesus Christ occurs on the third of these three times. Christ spiritually fulfilled the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread in the first century on the actual anniversary dates of these commemorated days. Likewise, Pentecost, the second of these times, also was fulfilled on the actual day of Pentecost in the first century when the Spirit of God was sent from our Father according to Christ's promise. [John 15:26; Acts 2]. Prior to this, these days were physically observed by the children of Israel. And Christ's return will occur on the actual first day of the third of these times. We just don't know what year, and therefore which day exactly. Ironically, while Christians really want to know when Christ will return, we are looking everywhere except to the source given to our forefathers millennia ago that spelled it out for us. [See the Feature article, Three Temple Ages Make A Plan].

Consequently, Christianity ignorant of these three times, also gives no credence to the duality of these three times. [See Lev. 23: 14-17]. Yet, knowledge of them is more important for our understanding the grand scheme of world events than ever before. The primary reason for our ignorance, as our frequent readers know, is that we don't know our Biblical identity as Christ made it clear to us in the first century. [See Mat. 15:24]. We are the House of Israel. By the fifth century CE, the knowledge of our true heritage was all but lost in mainstream Christianity. Christians had been wrongly redefined by the Roman church as gentiles. And even though today we have become ignorant of the prophetic dualities that Christ has and is fulfilling on our behalf, our continuing refusal to acknowledge our ancestry is producing dire consequences for us. For we are nearing the end of the second of these stated times, with the third quickly approaching, which marks the day of Christ's return.
 
The three times in God's plan, our Biblical record storyline, begin in the Old Testament. All three have a physical-spiritual duality to them. That is, they were part of the ordinances given to our ancestors to physically observe. If you haven't already, read the Feature article, The Tale Of Two Covenants to help you better understand the relationship between the old and new covenants. At Christ's first coming, our legal contractual obligation to physically observe these times ended completely. [See Zec. 11:10ff; see the Feature article, Days Christians Must Observe]. But that doesn't mean they disappeared as most Christians are led to believe. Only the age of our physical observation ended, replaced by Christ spiritually fulfilling them on our behalf beginning with his death and resurrection, which was the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread that initiated the Christian age. Christ was the fulcrum point, shifting, if you will, from the "teeter" of the Old Testament to the "totter" of the New Testament. Comprehending this, God's plan for Christians today and in the near future comes clearly into focus. [See the Feature article, The Good News Colour Revolution].
 
Let's start at the beginning. “Three times you shall keep a feast unto me in the year” is first mentioned in Exodus chapter twenty-three. The first of the three times of the year was in the spring beginning with the Passover [not an annual holy day] and the two Days of Unleavened Bread, which were annual holy days followed by Pentecost or the summer harvest, and then thirdly, the Feast of Tabernacles which begins with the Day of Trumpets in the autumn. The third of these times actually has four annual holy days. These four remain to be fulfilled by Christ. During his physical lifetime, Christ observed all these days because the law covenant was still in force. But keep in mind, these days were for all Israel, not just the Jews.
 
The Passover marked the night when the angel of death passed over all the children of Israel and killed the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. Upon leaving Egypt in haste, the children of Israel had no time to prepare bread normally, as in a leavened loaf, but instead only took with them unleavened, or flat, bread.
 
Israel was freed from bondage to the Egyptians. This is the actual occurrence in the history of Israel. This event was to be commemorated annually by all Israel as a remembrance of their deliverance from bondage when Christ took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, much like a parent would take his child by the hand to safely cross the street. 
 
As the apostle Paul plainly made it clear in the first century to the Christians in Corinth, which is fully applicable to Christians today, “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” [1 Cor. 10:1-4; also Heb. 11:24-26; see the Feature article, The Tie That Binds].
 
The physical observance of the Passover/Days of Unleavened Bread was to continue throughout their generations for all twelve sons of Israel, not just with the one son Judah, the Jews. Let’s fast forward to the first coming of Christ.
 
Both in the Old Testament and the New [Deut. 18; Acts 3], we read, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall you hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” This was Christ. Moses presented the law covenant to Israel. Christ is fulfilling the law covenant for Israel.
 
Christ clearly stated, “Think not that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The Law and the Prophets, the first two divisions of the Old Testament, were given to all Israel. They were not given to the gentiles of the world. Just as a road map represents a real world road, so, too, the three times of the feasts in the law covenant served as a physical map of real future events to be fulfilled on a spiritual basis by Christ, the Seed of Abraham for all Israel. These are the dualities of the three feast times, which outline God's plan. And it was intended this way from the beginning as Moses said. While Christians need to know and understand this, we remain as blind sheep, “the wool pulled over our eyes.”
 
The biggest roadblock for Christianity, who mistakenly believe we are just a bunch of gentiles [see the Feature article, Moving Forward], is in thinking that the significance of these high holy day feasts stopped on the last page of the Old Testament. They didn’t. In fact, their significance greatly increased for all Israel when Christ began the spiritual fulfillment of their duality on our behalf with his death and resurrection beginning in the Book of Acts. It was now a matter of grace and faith with the Abrahamic covenant, and no longer a matter of keeping physical ordinances of the law covenant given by Moses. We live in a new age. [See the Feature article, Three Temple Ages Make A Plan].
 
So, from the very beginning these high holy days, physically observed during three times of the year, would point to a higher fulfilling of the three feast times by Christ on a spiritual level, currently on behalf of Christians in our age. This is the message of the Biblical record when considered holistically. It’s all one story for all Israel, not just the descendants of one of Israel's sons, Judah, the Jews as is the common Christian misconception. 
 
As Paul explains in the New Testament, "And for this cause, he [Christ] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." [Heb. 9:15]. This plainly says that Christ, the Redeemer, died for the sins of those who were under the first testament. Who was under the first testament? Israel or the gentiles of the world? It is exactly as Christ plainly said. "I am only sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Ultimately, his death and resurrection applies to the House of Judah as well. [See Heb. 8:7, 8].
 
The fulfilling of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread by Christ occurred under the terms of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was still in force. All our sins were covered by Christ’s death once, and for all Israel. The daily sacrifices of bulls and goats were passed over. We were out of bondage to sin, the transgression of the law covenant given by Moses. [See Gal. 4:22-31].
 
It was Christ’s death and resurrection that opened the door for the Abrahamic covenant by fulfilling the terms of the law covenant. A testament only comes into effect upon the death of the testator. The next two feast times of the year, spiritually speaking, were to take place under the new covenant, not written upon stone, but upon our hearts by the Spirit of God. The age we now live in is the second of these three times; the time between Christ’s first and his second coming or the last days as it is referred to prophetically. It is the time of the summer harvest beginning with Pentecost and ending with the feast of Trumpets.
 
Remember, the law covenant delivered by Moses to the children of Israel was a bridge between the Abrahamic covenant and his Seed, meaning Christ. That bridge, in particular the three times a year Israel was to keep a feast unto the LORD, was temporary, pointing the way to Christ’s fulfilling these days. As the apostle Paul noted, “For the Law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” [Heb. 10:1].
 
This is another marker for Christians to know that they are indeed the lost sheep of the House of Israel in this age. These times of the feasts tell us Christ's story which has been unfolding for Christians the past 2000 years or so, “… which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” [1 Cor. 2:7]. Christ came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and as he said, “I am sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” If Christians are, by definition, the followers of Christ, shouldn’t we be aware of what our savior actually said, and is doing for us?
 
The second time of the year for these feasts was the summer harvest or Pentecost. This occurred historically in the land promised to Abraham, but only after the lawgiver Moses had died, and the children of Israel passed over the river Jordan into the promised land led by Joshua, a descendant of Joseph, the kingly line of the House of Israel.
 
Christ’s death and resurrection covers our debt to the law under the terms and conditions delivered by Moses. Christ established new terms. “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; for by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified.” [Gal. 2:16].
 
Fifty days from the last weekly sabbath after the second high day of unleavened bread, the Comforter, or Holy Spirit of God was sent. As Peter said on that first day of Christianity 2000 years ago, “Therefore let all the House of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ … Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you [of the House of Israel] be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:36ff]. As the apostle John noted regarding the remission of sins, "... for sin is the transgression of the Law. And you know that he [Christ] was manifested to take away our sins ...." [1 John 3:4, 5]. Sin being the transgression of the Law, then with whom was the law covenant made, the children of Israel or gentiles? Therefore, whose sins was Christ manifested to take away, gentiles' or Israel's? Christians are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and his son, Israel. [See the Feature article, Why Can't A Christian Sin? and the Sneakers article, What About Everyone Else?].
 
Christ is spiritually fulfilling the Law and the Prophets during these three times on our behalf that we might have a greater life, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. As Paul explained it to the Christians in Rome, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” [Rom. 8:14].
 
Now, we have a Redeemer who bought us back from the bondage to the law covenant with payment of a ransom, his life, and has taken us over the “river Jordan” to a better covenant, which was established on better promises” with a better spirit, the Spirit of God. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” [1 Cor. 2:9; Isa. 64:4].
 
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” [1 Cor.2:7]. And to those in Rome, “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, unless you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel [the House of Judah], until the fullness of the nations [Greek, ethnos, meaning here the nations of the House of Israel] be come in. And so, all Israel shall be saved.” [Rom.11:25, 26; see the Feature article, And It's Still A Mystery].

Paul is explaining that when the nations of the House of Israel were divorced from God, they lost their national identities and their status before God. Therefore, no other people needed redemption [a buying back of something lost] except the lost sheep of the House of Israel. However, the children of the seed of Abraham are, individually in this age, which is the second feast time, restored to their place before God to a better covenant by Christ. Yet, the House of Judah will be blind to Christ as the messiah until Christ has fulfilled the second feast time for the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Then, at the third feast time, the prophetic duality is that nationally all Israel will once again be joined in a new covenant. [See the Feature article, We're Abraham's Seed and Heirs].
 
Pentecost 2000 years ago marked the beginning the second of the three times of the Old Testament ordinance that was fulfilled, but it was the first to be fulfilled under the terms of the new covenant. It is the time we now live in. And it will continue until the second coming of Christ. It is a personal time of reconciliation as opposed to the third feast time which marks the national atonement of all Israel when Christ returns establishing a new covenant for all the nations of Israel.
 
In the New Testament we read, “For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, said the Lord.” [Heb. 8:8, 9]
 
The third feast time, which begins in late summer/early autumn, physically was commanded to Israel upon leaving Egypt. It will be fulfilled at the end of the Christian age, the second of times, beginning with Christ’s return, and the first resurrection [Rev. 20:5, 6; Eze. 37:11-15], which is the day of Trumpets. The day of Trumpets is followed by the day of Atonement for all Israel. It is written of by the prophet Ezekiel. [See Eze. 37:15-23; Heb. 8:7-10]. The actual feast of Tabernacles kept by Israel under the terms of the Old Covenant foreshadowed the Millennial peace. They lived in temporary dwellings that pictured this Earth as temporary until the arrival the new heaven and Earth. And the seventh and final holy day of the three times is the Last Great Day, which is the second or great resurrection. [See the Feature articles, Heaven Can Wait and Heaven Can Wait II].

Just as coming out of Egypt marked a new beginning for Israel, so too, shall Christ’s second coming mark a new time for all Israel, a spiritual fulfillment of the “Feast of Tabernacles,” the third time of the year when Israel was to keep a feast unto the LORD. In England today, they celebrate the Harvest Festival, which is derived from the Feast of Tabernacles.
 
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” This is a prophecy in Zechariah referring to the fulfilling of the third time of the feasts, yet in our future, after the return of Christ. History is mankind remembering the past. Prophecy is God remembering the future. [See the Feature article, Brown Paint: Quantum Potentialities; also Stephen Hawking's chapter, The Arrow Of Time, in the book, A Brief History Of Time].
 
Thus, what Christ commanded to Moses for the children of Israel to annually observe physically, the three times, was the blueprint, the future of God's plan laid out for all Israel to know. Christ’s spiritual fulfillment, beginning with his first coming, as our prophet and savior, and culminating in his return as our king, establishes the kingdom of God on Earth during the third of these times. [See the second of these times Feature article, Is The Kingdom Of Heaven Here Yet?]. It is all one story. It’s just that the characters are only part way through the story, which continues to confuse many Christians because we don’t take Christ at his word when he said, “I am sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” Once we fully grasp this in context of the Biblical record, the pieces of our puzzle fall into place.
 
While Christ has fulfilled two of these three feast times on our behalf to date, Christianity hasn’t a clue that he has done so, much less what this means for us. But, it's not without reason. Errantly, we participate in “times and feasts” that have been changed and redefined from what Christ is fulfiling on our behalf. As we are told in the prophecies of Daniel, “And he [Antichrist] shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and Laws ….” [Dan. 7:25].
 
Regarding the changing of times and Laws, the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary states, “… change times--the prerogative of God alone (Dan. 2:21); blasphemously assumed by Antichrist. The “times and Laws” here meant are those of religious ordinance; [three] stated times of feasts (MAURER) … He [Antichrist] shall set himself above all that is called God (2 Ths 2:4), putting his own “will” above God's times and Laws (Dan. 11:36, 37),” or above God’s stated times of feasts. Which of these times do we heed today? We don't. Why not? Over the past two millennia, we've forsaken our covenant relationship with God. We've lost knowledge of our Biblical ancestry. Becoming ignorant of these three times and their meaning for us, we follow fraudulent counterfeit days. 
 
We should ask ourselves, "Why would the Antichrist seek to change stated times and feasts of Israel, especially as the Jews still observe these times and feasts?" The answer is that these stated times of feasts have great relevance for Christians, the House of Israel. [See the Feature article, Is That You, Big Brother?]. If these feasts of Israel have no spiritual significance for Christians, as modern day Christianity claims, then it stands to reason that Daniel's chapter seven would not reference the Antichrist, but an Antimoses. And though the Antichrist has changed the times Christians observe, he cannot change that which Christ has and will be fulfilling.
 
It should be pointed out that none of the three stated times of feasts of God occur in the winter, symbolically, and appropriately the dead season of the year, as does the most prominent day celebrated by “Christianity.” Who is it that deceived Christians into observing days whose roots are based in pagan traditions? [See the Feature articles, A Christmas Message].
 
If we’re too apathetic and lukewarm to care for the truth anymore, surely we are worn out. Christ warns the last church era before his return, “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.” [Rev. 3:16]. Ending up, metaphorically speaking, in the old spiritual spittoon, is more commonly known as the Apocalypse, or the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble. “… and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation ….” [Dan. 12:1].
 
As stated at the beginning, Christianity gives no credence to these three times of feasts fulfilled by Christ on our behalf, yet they are of greater consequence for Christians than ever before.

[See the Feature article, Easter, Babylon And The Antichrist; also the book, The Hijacked Elephant for an in-depth theological look at all the days and the significance of the three times for Christians].
 
Italics and [ ] are the author's.

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