John J. Blanchard
October 6, 2012: Feast of Tabernacles
Good afternoon, brethren. The Feast of Tabernacles is rapidly drawing to a close. I want to talk about some old sayings today. In particular, I want to talk about one that I am sure you have all heard. “What goes around comes around.” You probably all heard that before. What goes around comes around. Today we use that expression in several ways. First of all, if you do something good, something eventually good will come around for you. Likewise, if you do something wrong, something comes around and gets you back.
SHARE WHAT WE HAVE
I would like to turn to Ecclesiastes 11 for our first Scripture. I think Ecclesiastes is what ancient Israel traditionally read, and the Jews today do read it at the Feast of Tabernacles. I believe that is the case. I want to read Ecclesiastes 11, verse 1: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.”
Share what you have upon the waters—the sea of mankind—and eventually you will find your blessings. They will come back to you. This is an expression that was often used. I remember my mother saying that years ago. Cast your bread upon the waters. Don’t be afraid to share what you have. It will come back. People used a lot of these expressions in the old days.
Turn to Proverbs chapter 22, verse 9: “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.”
If you are generous and you share, you will be blessed. It’s a promise. It’s a given. It may take a while to come back around. It does not necessarily happen five minutes later, or everybody would be generous, wouldn’t they? Sometimes it can take years, but you can sometimes connect the dots. Sometimes you can say, I did that for so and so, and then they had a child so and so who bought Microsoft stock. That is just a joke, but things come around. They tend to reflect the good that you have done or—and I do not want to go there—the bad things we have done. We have talked about being chastened. We have all done things wrong, and it came back around and got us later.
It is a well understood principle to live by. The concept of going round and round is far deeper than old sayings. It is a far deeper concept. It is a very biblical concept. What goes around comes around in the Bible to teach us things. The difference is, when God goes round and round, He is always going forward. He is always going forward. It is much like a wheel. We all have wheels on our cars. There are wheels on trains. Various buses and trucks have wheels. They go round and round, but the vehicle goes forward unless you throw it into reverse. But the purpose of them is generally to go forward to get somewhere.
I bought a new watch at the Feast of Tabernacles. I am really quite fond of it. It goes round and round just like clocks on the wall or the watches you have. Mine has the date on it. At midnight it flips to the next day. Even though it’s going around and around, it is showing me that time is advancing. Sometimes we would like to stop and repeat a few days in our lives, but it does not happen. You have to go forward, round and round.
Likewise, every year we get a new calendar. We put it on the wall. We start out with January 1st and it goes all the way around. Before you know it, that year is gone, and you are back to January 1st again. The seasons are like that. As a matter of fact, the calendars are based on the seasons.
The Bible is all about times and seasons. That is why we titled our booklet series that we put out, The Times and Seasons Digest because we realized we are in a certain season in God’s plan. It is a certain time that we have come to here. We know it is at the end of the age, and we are very hopeful for wonderful things to come. We understand because we see the seasons progressing. Everything happens in chronological order, even though we are going round and round. It is amazing, but God always goes forward.
There is one being who wants us to go backward. God says onward, forward, and upward! Satan says backwards and down. He wants us downcast, unhappy, going backwards in our lives, and making no progress at all. There are some fundamental examples we can look at in the Bible on how the world is mixed up on these principles thinking backwards is forwards and forwards is backwards.
A CALENDAR FROM GOD
We are here keeping the holy days, and a lot of people say that is backwards! That was for ancient Israel. We are going forward. We say it is the other way around. We are going forward, and they are going backward. Everybody is confused, but we are in the minority at the current time. God shows us in His word what forward is, even though we are going round and round.
My new watch was built in Japan, and they are doing the best that they can. They are going off the calendar that we use over here. It flipped over at midnight to the next day. It was the middle of the night. That is backwards. That is not forward. Let’s go to the Bible and start at the beginning.
Let’s go to the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis chapter 1, verse 2: “The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
What came first? The evening came first. When God’s Spirit came over the earth, it was dark. He said, now I have to separate darkness from light. The evening and the morning were the first day. Therefore, the day does not switch over at midnight. It starts at sundown, which is why we keep the Sabbath from sundown to sundown. We are following God’s watch, but 99.9 percent of the world is following a different watch. We can all arrive at work at the right time because we can all figure that out, but when it comes to understanding the Bible, we need to be on God’s watch. We need to be on His time.
Another example is the week. If you look at your calendar, the week starts with Sunday. That makes sense. Although there is a big movement especially in Europe to switch which day starts the week. If the week starts on Sunday, that is really sunrise day in the week. That is a misnomer. In God’s Book, the Sabbath is a day of light. It is the truth. Yet, Christians are all worshipping by and large on Sunday, and they call it Sunday like sunrise day.
God says during the week the first six days you labor and you work in the world—in the darkness. According to the Ten Commandments, the seventh day is the Sabbath. It is a day of light and understanding. Once again we see everything is flipped backwards.
The reason the seventh day is a day of light is that it pictures the Millennium when truth will cover the earth. It is a time when everyone will have light. Each day of the week represents one thousand years in God’s seven-thousand-year plan. Turn to II Peter chapter 3, verse 8: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing…”
God is emphasizing here. Don’t forget this! This is important to remember!
“…that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
We get this concept. We are starting to understand there are seven days in a week, and each day represents a thousand years. The last day of the week, the Millennium, represented by the Sabbath lasts one thousand years. That is very easily proven. Peter was quoting Psalm 90. Let’s go back to Psalm chapter 90. This is an Old Testament concept as well. It was well understood in years gone by.
Psalm 90, verse 3: “You turn man to destruction, and say, ‘Return, O children of men.’ For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.”
We start to get this concept that a thousand years is like a day, but the first six—six thousand years—it is night. When Christ comes in the Millennium and He is here, we know that from John 1 when Christ comes it is the day. When He comes just prior to the Millennium, it is day for a thousand years. We have six thousand years of darkness, each of the first thousand years a watch in the night. We have come to understand that we are at the last watch. We are at the very last watch. That is significant. That is one of the reasons why we do not want to get our spiritual calendar backwards.
Let’s go back to II Peter 3. I should have told you to keep your finger there. In verse 10 we are going to read the first part of this verse. II Peter 3, verse 10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…”
Revelation chapter 16 says the same thing. Christ is speaking here through John. Go to Revelation chapter 16, verse 15: “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, [in other words, our actions in our life] lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
Christ is returning as a thief in the night.
Matthew 24 has a set of Scriptures that many people realize has to do with the end time, but they misunderstand what they mean. Let’s go to Matthew 24, verse 44: “Therefore you also be ready [Christ says here], for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Like a thief in the night, in the dark, and taking us suddenly by surprise is what Christ is trying to say. We often elaborate on various prophecies saying God is not going to come after nuclear war and after mountains have been laid flat physically speaking. He won’t come after water has turned to blood or stars and comets have hit the earth. No one would be surprised. If you happen to survive, you would fully expect Christ was going to be there any minute. Christ says, I am coming at an hour you least expect. If everyone is expecting all of that to happen, you can bet it is not going to. It is not that we never have wars. Christ said, you will always have wars, but do not be troubled by them. Those are not signs of My coming. He says that earlier in Matthew 24.
We have to start picturing things going forward round and round a little differently than what commonly is thought of.
The calendar, as I mentioned briefly earlier, switches to the new year at midnight on December 31st. This is just after the darkest day of the year in the winter! Does that make sense? This is at a time when almost everything outside is dead except for a few evergreens. There is no life. There are even a couple of old expressions that go along with night and winter. “It happened in the dead of the night.” “It was the depths, or the darkness, or the dead of winter” when that happened.
People understand there is a connection with night, winter, deadness, and darkness. It is important to note that because that is exact opposite of God’s calendar. God’s calendar does not start at midnight in the winter. It starts in the spring when new life is coming up.
Go to Exodus chapter 12. We are going to start at verse 1: “Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.”’”
We are talking about Passover.
Drop down to verse 11 of Exodus 12: “And thus you shall eat it [this Passover meal]: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.”
God is specifically saying here He is the most angry with the gods of Egypt and not necessarily the people of Egypt who were living in darkness.
Verse 13: “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout our generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”
God says I want you to do this every year forever to remember this fantastic event that takes place at the beginning of your year in the spring. Passover occurs in the spring. We understand God’s holy year—His calendar—does not begin at midnight December 31st. It begins in the springtime when new life is coming up. It makes total sense with the agricultural year.
I want you to make special note of that word “sign” because we are going to come back to it a little later in the sermon. That word “sign” in Hebrew is owth (#226, Strong’s, 1995).
A DARK ROAD
God’s calendar is going around and around and going forward all the time. I want to draw an analogy here to help you understand how significant and important this point is. Imagine yourself traveling. A lot of us traveled a great distance to get here. Imagine going down a dark highway at night. It is a highway you have never been on before. It is very dark. You do not have any headlights, but you know there are signs along the side of the road. You cannot see them. You don’t know where you are. That would be very disconcerting and even a little scary, especially if it is a lonely road in the middle of nowhere.
Now picture yourself in that same situation but you have a nice bright set of headlights. All the signs have that reflective tape around them so when you come up to a sign, it jumps right out at you. It tells you how many miles to this town, the speed limit, what is coming up ahead, or blind curve. You have all these signs that your headlights illuminate, but there is one problem. They are written in a foreign language! Here you are. You can go the speed limit, but you don’t understand a thing what you are seeing. Quite a few of us here have traveled to a foreign country. If you did not know the language of that country and rented a car, that is a little bit frightening. It would be far worse if you had no headlights and you didn’t know where you were, but it is bad enough having headlights and not being able to understand the signage.
Here is one more advancement to this story. You are on that same highway. You have your bright lights and all the signs are in English (or the language to which you are accustomed to, if you are listening to this in a foreign country). They are all in your language, so now you are comfortable. You have never been on this road before. You know the speed limit, you know where you are going, and you can tell where your destination is. You know how far you have to go. It makes all the difference in the world. That is the situation we find ourselves in.
We live in a dark world. We are traveling at night. It is a night watch. The only way you can know where you are going is if you have a light and you can understand the signage. Otherwise you are totally lost!
I want to go to Psalm 119. Please turn to Psalm 119, and I am going to be reading verse 105. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Of course, the word of God is the Bible. We have the Bible to illuminate the highway for us. We are traveling down a road at night, but we have this marvelous light. We could go through piles of examples in the Bible of this light. An article in the May/June 2012 A Word in Season magazine and a sermon done on March 24, 2012 have the title “The Bible as Light.” You can always request those.
We have this wonderful system God gave us. We are traveling down the road of life. We are traveling down the road of Christianity, and we have a light and we have signs—owths—along the way. We have them along the way, but we have to understand the language. We have to understand the language.
THREADS IN THE BIBLE
Turn to Isaiah 28. This set of Scriptures is fascinating, and it pertains very much to the time in which we live. But it has been applicable ever since Christ came and left. Here in our time it is very important to grasp this. I am starting in Isaiah 28, verse 9 where God is asking a rhetorical question. “Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”
We grasp here that the Bible is put together in such a way just as a sermon is, and you jump around from this Scripture to that Scripture. You are connecting a thread that winds its way through the Bible over thousands of years! You have to connect that thread to understand that thought of God.
Continue in verse 11 of Isaiah 28: “For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,’ and, ‘This is the refreshing’…”
This is important to grasp because it is a little different language. You just cannot open the Bible and grasp it instantly. The Bible is written in every language on the earth practically, but unless you know what God meant originally you don’t get it. You must know what His thought are and how to connect precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, line upon line or you don’t get it! You miss the signs. We know that the Millennium is almost here. That’s the time of rest and refreshing. This set of Scriptures is more applicable to us than any generation that has ever lived!
Continuing in the last sentence of verse 12: “…yet they would not hear.”
Often people do not want to hear anything different. They don’t want to talk about the idea that the calendar does not start January 1st. All my life it has started January 1st, midnight the night before. The whole world is doing this. Why are you even talking about something different? Can’t you just get with the program! But more and more people are beginning to say there is something to this, and I believe God is opening up people’s minds.
Verse 13 of Isaiah 28: “But the word of the Lord was to them ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little,’ that they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and caught.”
Remember what I said. God goes forward round and round and round. Satan goes backward. What He is saying here is, who am I going to teach this stuff? What if they don’t want to listen? They will fall backwards! This is extant throughout the Churches of God right now—those who should have the understanding of the Sabbath. They have lost their way when they think the whole world is going to be destroyed very shortly, but the signs do not say that. The signs do not say that
SIGNS OF THE END
We have a world that is truly very dark. Nearly seven billion people are traveling down a road, and they all think they know where they are going. Some of them are killing each other thinking they are doing God a favor because they are speeding up the vehicle. We are going to get there quicker. They misunderstand the signage. They don’t know the language.
Ours is the generation to understand the language. Those with ears to hear and who want to understand are going to get it, because it is time! Why do I say it is time now? Wasn’t it always time to understand this? Do you think the apostles should have understood this? Let’s turn to Acts chapter 1 for the answer.
People have been asking what are the signs of the end of the world. We could go back to Matthew 24, but we won’t. What are the signs of the second coming of Christ? The apostles asked that question in Matthew chapter 24:1-3. Here after Christ’s death you can bet they were confused. Why did our Messiah die, and why is He back here again? How come He can walk through walls? How come He can appear here and there? They were wondering what was going on.
Here is a question they asked. We are in Acts chapter 1. Christ is talking to His brethren here. Acts 1, verse 4: “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me…’”
He told them, I will send you the Holy Spirit. You need to stick around here. Don’t leave town. I want you to be gathered together in a few days all in one place.
He goes on to say in verse 5: “…for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
He said I want you to stick around. There was a holy day coming. It was Pentecost. Pentecost was coming up. He said, I want you to stick around and be together in town.
Verse 6: “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’”
They thought, wow! He is going to beat the Romans. He is going to deliver us from slavery again. He is going to be our General! We are going to be the conquerors! They said, are you going to come and restore the nation of Israel to all the power and glory we once had? Christ said something surprising to them in verse 7.
Verse 7 of Acts 1: “And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”
We know they did not make it to the end of the earth. That was Christianity’s project in the making for many generations to complete, and we are there at the end! We are the generation who gets to see it all put together! We are the generation that can look back and say we passed that sign, that sign, and that sign. Christ is almost here! It is pretty dark, but His word has illuminated the signs. I can tell where we are.
At that first Pentecost, Christianity—all those 120 men and women gathered together on that Pentecost—knew Christ personally. They had talked over all kinds of things. They heard Him preach and saw miracles. Yet they did not know the full significance of what was going on at that first Pentecost. They did not realize they were passing a tremendous way marker. It was a sign post along the highway of Christianity. They knew something awesome happened. Don’t get me wrong. They knew something awesome had happened, but they did not know God’s calendar was going round and round and round. They happened to be observing the Pentecost in which they started to pass the sign. They had been doing this Pentecost thing for thousands of years. All of a sudden here at this one, they were passing a mark post. They were passing a sign.
FOUR ENACTMENTS OF PASSOVER
If you want to confirm this in several ways, I want to start with the first holy day of the year, that being Passover. The brethren had just kept the Passover. They did it with Christ. There was the last supper and all that. Did they realize they had seen this go round and round as a people at least four times? But when they did it with Christ, that was a special Passover. It was a one of a kind. The people of Israel had been doing it for a long time. We are going to work our way backward.
Turn to I Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
By this time they realized Christ was our Passover. They had that meal in the upper room before the Passover. They did not understand what was going on. Peter did not understand when he denied Christ three times. But after Christ died, was resurrected, and other things began to fall into place, they said, Christ was our Passover. We passed a milestone! It was a sign along the way.
Let’s back up to what they had been keeping for something like 1540 years by going back to Exodus 12 where we were originally. We will read a little bit of that. Exodus chapter 12, verse 2: “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
It shall be the first month, and He goes on to say in verse 3: “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.’”
Drop down to verse 14: “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.”
They had been doing that for 1546 years. They were going round and round and round. They had kept doing this Passover thing. They knew it was important. Finally the twelve apostles arrived at the one that it had been pointing to as a sign all along. They realized this really meant something. We passed a very important marker along the way! It took a long time to come to that marker, but they came to it.
Back up to Genesis chapter 22. It is the story of Abraham and Isaac here. Genesis 22, beginning in verse 1: “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.’”
Remember Christ wanted a donkey to ride?
Verse 6 of Genesis 22: “So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’”
It is an enactment of the Passover. We understand that. We can look back. Ancient Israel did not even grasp that. It takes a while of going around and around and around to see things fall into place and to pass a way marker that all of a sudden lights everything up for us. Then we can say, wow! I can connect all these dots now.
Turn to Genesis chapter 4 where we can see this portrayed for the fourth time. We spoke about this a little the other night. Genesis 4, beginning in verse 1: “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, ‘I have acquired a man from the Lord.’ Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.”
We know who brought that about. When you go down, it is Satan. When you go backward, it is Satan. When you go forward and up, it is of God. This is the first enactment of the Passover. God said we are going to have to start with a lamb as a sacrifice.
A SIGN AT PENTECOST
Here we are at the end of the age before the Millennium starts, and we can look and see that we passed all those signs. Now we know where we are. That is how God’s calendar, His watch, His time-keeping mechanisms work. They go round and round and round. You come to certain points where you fulfill a prophecy, and that is a sign. You need to grasp and understand the language on the sign to get it. It is a very, very important concept. Otherwise we get lost.
The 120 on Pentecost did not know what was going on. They knew God said, be gathered together here in a few days. I am going to send you the Holy Spirit. They had no clue what was actually going to happen, but they obeyed. They were there on the holy day as their people had been commanded to do for many generations. They did not comprehend the sign fully, but they knew something awesome happened.
Go to Acts chapter 2, beginning in verse 1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Obviously this was a miracle. What they did not realize was God’s Spirit reveals the truth to each person. The fire—the light—came into them to illuminate their path and show them what they needed to do and how to preach it. They did not fully comprehend because they were not of the generation to know the times and seasons of what actually they were passing time-wise. That is why literally every generation of Christians since then has thought we are in the last days. Every generation thinks they are in the last days. Until you see enough signage, you don’t really know. God knew that.
God said in I Corinthians 13, you see through a lens darkly. You do not have all the information yet, but keep obeying and keep doing what I told you to do. You will get there. When you get there, there will be a sign. It will be illuminated. You will tell where you are at. We are there, but you have to understand the language, and you must have the light to illuminate the sign.
FALL HOLY DAYS
We are observing the Feast of Tabernacles. We know that the Church has passed significant signs and way markers such as Passover, Unleavened Bread, and the Pentecost season. God has kept His promise so far. We are here now keeping the fall holy days. The year starts with the spring holy days. Here we are keeping the fall holy days. We know because of faith and understanding that if God kept all those spring holy days, He is going to keep these fall holy days, too.
Every year we keep them just like ancient Israel did. We go round and round and round. We say to ourselves, I never thought I would live to be this old and not have Christ be back here. We go round and round and round. God says, we are going forward. You do not know yet where the line is. I will surprise you. I will return when My Father tells Me, and it’s going to shock a lot of people. Just keep going round and round and keep going forward. Don’t fall backward. Keep going forward.
God has put this plan out there. From the beginning He intends to keep it. We believe He has done the first four holy days. He is going to do the last holy days. He has kept the spring holy days. He is going to do the fall.
SIGNS AND SEASONS
Now let’s look at some definitions. I told you were going to come back and look at owth. Go to Genesis chapter 1. God talked all about this at the very beginning of His Bible. He talked about it at the very, very beginning. Genesis chapter 1, we will start in verse 14: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth…”
That is not when God created the sun and the moon. We know that. This is only 6000 years ago. The sun and the moon have been around for a long time. They have been here for billions of years. When He set them is when He appointed them for a new meaning. He said, we are going to attach meaning to this now. We are going to make it so you can keep track of days and years, like my new watch with a calendar like the one on the wall. You can use either the sun or the moon. You can have a solar calendar, or you can have a lunar calendar. He says, more important to Me is that you keep track of My owths and My seasons.
In other words, there are three calendars here. There is a solar calendar, a lunar calendar, and a prophetic calendar. That prophetic calendar has sign posts for us. We have signs and seasons. That word signs or owth (#226, Strong’s, 1995) means signals to appear literally or figuratively, a flag, a beacon, a monument, or evidence. When you pass a monument, you know what you are passing. It is evidence. It is evidence of something to happen. These are signals from God.
That word “seasons” is mowed. Mowed (#4150, Strong’s, 1995) is a very interesting word. It is translated a number of ways in the Bible. I am going to read the definition in the Hebrew. It is an appointment, a fixed time or season, specifically a festival which is a holy day, conventionally a year. We keep these holy days every year going round and round and round conventionally, but they have to do with the holy days.
Continuing with the definition: by implication an assembly for a specific purpose, technically the congregation and place of meeting as a predetermined signal.
When we gather for the holy days, and here at the Feast of Tabernacles specifically, we are keeping both a memorial and a future event, just as the twelve apostles were doing. We know it is when the congregation is to be assembled. What if the 120, and specifically the apostles, had said this Christ guy came back. He appeared to us. He said to gather all in one place in Jerusalem. Doesn’t He know we are sought after by the Romans! People are after us left and right. We don’t want to be the next ones to die! It’s better to split in 120 directions!
It was more important to them to keep the holy day together on Pentecost and obey Christ. Because they did that, they received the Holy Spirit. Because they did that and became witnesses of God’s way, we got the epistles and the gospels written. We can now understand the signs. The Bible is light, and their recorded word is light for our generation. We are going down a highway in the dark, but we have bright lights. We understand the language.
We have full faith and assurance that God is going to keep His holy days. We know that God is moving forward, even though it seems to us sometimes we are spinning our wheels and going round and round and round. God says, I am moving forward. Like a watch or a calendar, the time does not go back. It keeps advancing.
There will be a restoration of all things and a rest for this world. In that Millennium we are going to have a one-thousand-year period when this whole earth will be like the Garden of Eden. We will have gone around and around and around at the completion of 6000 years. The darkness will give way to the dawn of a new day!