Christ’s ascension to the Father fulfilled this service.
Fred R. Coulter—Sabbath Services (first half) November 23, 2019 (link to second half)
I want to cover one thing that I covered in Pasadena: there are a lot of Messianic groups that keep the Feast of Firstfruits (what they call it), but it’s actually Pentecost. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the commands for Pentecost contain the greatest number of verses. It begins in v 9, and it ends in v 22; that’s inclusive counting, 13 verse long. Beginning with the Wave Sheaf Offering, this covers a span of right at 2,000 years.
Leviticus 23:9: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, “When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest”’” (vs 9-10).
When they entered into the land, the barley had already been planted and was ready for harvest. You find in Joshua 5 that the manna ceased after they crossed the Jordan River and got to Gilgal and Jericho was only three miles away. They kept the Passover, and after the Wave Sheaf Offering the manna stopped. Think of that! For 40 years they had manna, so you’d get up in the morning and the wife would say, ‘Honey, how would you like your manna today?’ Raw? Boiled? Toasted? Roasted?
Can you imagine how great that first bite of unleavened bread must have tasted to the children of Israel? There’s a Church of God that says that they didn’t have that Wave Sheaf Offering and the eating of the grain until the next year, because that was a crop planted by the Gentiles and their hands were contaminated. They actually believe that! But what did God say?
“…When you have come into the land, which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it…” (v 10). If He gives you the land, whose harvest is it? It’s yours!
When you plant a seed in the ground, what happens to it? So, any uncleanness, wouldn’t you say that the dirt was unclean as far as just picking it up to eat? So, to say that the seed was unclean and therefore the harvest was unclean, ‘so we’ll wait to the next year.’ No! that’s not how it is!
“…then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest” (v 10).
· Who all is involved in this ceremony?
· Where did they get the premiere sheaf, which was barley?
The barley harvest started first and then toward the middle of the barley harvest the wheat was getting ripe, so it says in another place your wheat harvest; it means both.
The way that they got this sheaf was when they had the temple they had a special place on the Mt. of Olives. There they would plant the premiere sheaf to be waved. This was to be waved on the first day of the week during Unleavened Bread, because you have to have complete weeks. It could not be waved on a Monday. The day after the Sabbath never falls on a Monday. I don’t care what calendar you use, it never does.
So, they would plant the grain there and Edersheim reveals that they had a special service. They had a man at the top of the Mt. of Olives and one of the men next to the one who had the sickle who had the sickle ready to cut that premiere sheaf. The man next to him would say, ‘Has the sun set?’ Why? When the Sabbath ends then you can work!
He says, ‘Has the sun set?’ three times! Then he would cut it. Then they would take the sheaf and bind it up and lay it alongside the altar. So, in the morning they had this special ceremony. Let’s look at it.
Verse 11: “And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”
There are occasions when the first day of Unleavened Bread occurs on the Sabbath. So, you have a Thursday night Passover, then the Night to be Remembered on Friday night, and then you have the regular Sabbath. The next day is when the Wave Sheaf would be offered in that case. Some people say that you have to wait until the next one.
Whenever the first day of Unleavened Bread comes on a Sabbath, the last Day of Unleavened Bread comes on a Friday. Remember that when you count it’s different than adding.
They would be a week off. Many times it was said that on the day after the regular Sabbath. That’s true in most cases, but if the regular Sabbath is also the Holy Day, then the day after that Sabbath is the Wave Sheaf Offering Day.
· What participation did the people have?
· What was their part?
They were all out in their fields ready to use the sickle to cut the grain! They cut the grain before it got really dry. Have you ever tried to use a sickle on hard dry stocks? Most of the time it won’t cut! So the way they did it, they cut it while it was still a little green, wrapped them in sheaves and stood them up to dry in the field.
So, the only ones who would participate in this, outside of the priests, would be those ready to harvest the barley.
· Was there a special meeting?
· Was there a special celebration?
· No, the harvest began; it was work, a work day!
Verse 12: “And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD…. [all of these refer to Jesus Christ] …And its grain offering shall be two tenth parts of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet savor. And the drink offering of it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin. And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor green ears until the same day, until you have brought an offering to your God. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings” (vs 12-14).
People read that and some say, ‘We ought to observe it.”
· Is there a temple? No!
· Is there a high priest? No!
If you live up north, maybe you just planted the barley three or four weeks before, so you would have nothing to wave!
· What is the fulfillment of this? Christ!
· Who is involved? The priest, who represents Christ! The Wave Sheaf Offering represents Christ!
We will see in the New Testament that the disciples on that day weren’t at any particular meeting. They weren’t at the temple. If they were at the temple think about what would happen.
Verse 15: “And you shall count to you beginning with the next day after the Sabbath, beginning with the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete.”
That means a whole week, each ending in a Sabbath! So it must start on the first day of the week, each week, and end on the Sabbath.
Verse 16: “Even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days. And you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.”
This new grain offering is entirely different. Here the people are involved, and a ceremony is involved!
Verse 17: “You shall bring out of your homes two wave loaves of two tenth parts. They shall be of fine flour….” This is for the 50th day!
Since this is the day after the Sabbath this was baked right after the sun went down on the Sabbath so that on Pentecost—because on a Holy Day you can do whatever is necessary for keeping the Holy Day—they could prepare food.
“…They shall be baked with leaven…” (v 17). We see in Matt. 13 that there’s a good use of leaven.
· Why two loaves?
· Why not one?
· Why not three?
· How many Testaments do we have? Two; that’s why!
We know that Matt. 13 says that ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a woman who took leaven and put it in three measures of flour until all was leavened.’
If leaven was always a type of sin all he time, then we’re making a sinful offering to God. There’s a good use of leaven, and that is to change the form of the dough. We’re all likened to one lump in Christ. What happens when you put leavening in the dough? The bread rises! You can beat it down a couple of times and it will still rise up. But what happens when you bake it? It’s permanently in its final form! What is this? This is a good use of leaven!
Can you see leaven working? No! You can see the result of leaven working! It is gas, unseen! In this case it’s like the Holy Spirit. The working of the Holy Spirit in our mind to change our mind and convert us. When we’re baked, that’s like to unto the resurrection. It’s the finished product! That’s why there are two loaves, one for those in the Old Covenant, and one for those in the New Covenant.
“…they are the firstfruits to the LORD” (v 17). What is the Church called? We are the firstfruits! We are the firstborn!
Verse 18: “And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year… [a type of each church; we have seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3] …and one young bull, and two rams. They shall be for a burnt offering to the LORD with their grain offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savor to the LORD. Then you shall sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings…. [that must refer to the two Testaments] …And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits, a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be Holy to the LORD for the priest” (vs 18-20).
Who is the Head of the Church? Christ our High Priest!
This is the keeping of Pentecost; v 21: “And you shall proclaim on the same day that it may be a Holy convocation to you. You shall do no servile work therein. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” That’s little different than this one here in:
Verse 14: “…It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
· Why do we keep Pentecost and we don’t keep the Wave Sheaf Offering Day?
· On that day, what did the disciples do?
Passover was on a Wednesday, Thursday was the first day of Unleavened Bread, and they rested according to the commandment. Friday was a preparation day. Wednesday, Passover, was the preparation for Unleavened Bread. Friday was preparation for the weekly Sabbath.
What did they do on Friday? They went down brought spices, mixed them all up, and then rested again on the Sabbath! But a couple of the women went down just as the Sabbath was ending to look at the tomb and find out what’s going on with the tomb. Then they went back and rested.
In the morning Mary Magdalene went down leaving while it was still dark. In other words there was probably just a little light starting on the horizon in the east. She went down to the tomb and she didn’t find Jesus. She ran back and told Peter and John, so they both came running down to the tomb and John writes that he was faster than Peter. He got there first, but Peter went into the tomb first. Then John went into the tomb, and what did he see? He saw the wrapping where the body was!
What did that look like? It wasn’t cut! It had to be that Jesus was raised right through the wrapping! The wrappings were there crunching down in the middle showing that the body was gone. Then what else was the phenomena? The napkin was folded up in another place!
How many of you women have ever had a napkin fold itself? Wouldn’t that be nice if your laundry all folded itself!
Mary Magdalene came back and looked into the tomb. This time she saw two angels, one at the head and one at the foot where Jesus had been lying. She came out weeping, and Jesus automatically appeared and said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She thought He was the gardener! Mary said, ‘Where have you taken the body of Jesus so we can anoint Him?’
Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She said, ‘Rabboni!’ She came over to hug Him and Jesus said, ‘Don’t touch Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.’
His ascension to the Father was the fulfillment of the Wave Sheaf Offering. It was between Christ and the Father. None of the disciples participated.
They weren’t in a meeting and they weren’t at the temple. They went out to the temple and didn’t have a special service. They just returned back home, and Mary was there. Then Jesus ascended! That was at the exact time that the Wave Sheaf Offering was being waved at the temple, and He presented Himself to the Father.
Remember, that must have been quite an emotional and fantastic spiritual experience for Christ and the Father. They hadn’t been together person-to-person since He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary. Here He ascends to heaven and He’s got the nail marks in His hands and feet and thrust marks in His side.
Let’s see what that was like. This was quite a thing. The very fulfillment of what was prophesied in Gen. 3:15 and planned before the foundation of the world was complete. This was between Jesus Christ and God the Father alone. No other human beings were involved. So, here’s the scene when John was told to ‘come up here’:
Revelation 4:2: “And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One was sitting on the throne…. [that’s God the Father] …And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance. And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns” (vs 2-4).
This is the scene! Here comes Jesus up to the Sea of Glass in heaven. I imagine the 24 elders are all bowing down at that time, and the four living creatures were saying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,’ that they were bowing down. And Jesus walked up to the Father, and I can just imagine the embrace that they had, the tears that they had, that the most difficult part of their whole plan was finished! That Jesus succeeded!
This is why we don’t participate in it. It was complete fulfillment for Jesus Christ and God the Father.
Let’s see what happened after that. What happened before John 20? Jesus came back… We don’t know how close the Throne of God is, and we don’t know how portable it is, but it has to be somewhat close to the earth, because in Rev. 11 it says that John saw the heavens open and he saw the Ark of God right near the throne. When Jesus first came back who did He meet? The two disciples walking to Emmaus! They were all forlorn and saying, ‘What happened? Jesus died! We were expecting Him to be the Messiah!’
Jesus walked up to them and said, ‘What are you talking about?’ So, they told Him the things concerning Jesus. It’s been more than three days now since it happened and ‘He said that He would be raised the third day,’ and here it was actually the fourth day since He died. So, Jesus walked with them to Emmaus explaining the Scriptures to them, and said, ‘You’re hard-hearted and don’t believe the Scriptures.’
Then they say down to eat, Jesus blessed the bread and immediately they knew it was Jesus and poof He disappeared. They came running back to the disciples, and they were all gathered together. Why?
John 20:19: “Afterwards, as evening was drawing near that day, the first day of the weeks…” This is plural because this is the first day of counting toward Pentecost!
“…and the doors were shut where the disciples had assembled for fear of the Jews…” (v 19).
· Don’t you think the Jews were looking for them?
· Where did you take the body?
They were afraid that they would be killed!
“…Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ And after saying this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced because they had seen the Lord. Therefore, Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be to you. As the Father sent Me, I am also sending you.’ And after saying this, He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (vs 19-22).
Let’s see what else He did. Even though this was evening, do you think any of them could have slept that night? After seeing Him alive, can you imagine the adrenalin? the pounding of the heart? the racing of the mind? Here in this one session Jesus told them more about Himself from the Old Testament than any other time in all of His teachings.
Luke 24:41: “But while they were still disbelieving and wondering for joy, He said to them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ Then they gave Him part of a broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb” (vs 41-42).
Fish and honey is good, I like it! Sardines and honey is good, and it leaves you with a sweeter taste in your mouth and less fishy!
Verse 43: “And He took these and ate in their presence.”
I’ve often wondered: how does a spirit being assimilate food? Remember, at the wedding feast, we’re going to eat and drink! How is that going to be?
Verse 44: “And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’” Every word! Not a syllable will be left out!
There’s a man who has done a study through the Psalms and all the things about Jesus. I asked him if he would like to go through the whole Old Testament and do it? He said that he would undertake the project!
What he sent me with the Psalms was incredible. Remember that the apostles preached the Gospel from the Old Testament.
· Why was that important? Because the Gospel was to be preached to the Jew first!
· What did the Jews have? The Old Testament!
· What was said of the Bereans? That they went to synagogue and searched the Scriptures whether these things were so or not!
Sidebar: As you study the book of Acts, what you will find is that all of the elders that were ordained by Paul in the churches that he raised up were Jews! Why? Because they had knowledge of the Old Testament! Very important!
You couldn’t have Gentiles coming in to be elders right away, because they didn’t have very much knowledge. Even if they were proselytes. That’s interesting.
Verse 46: “And said to them, ‘According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer… [Psa. 22] …and to rise from the dead… [Psa. 17, that I will awake with Your likeness] …the third day. And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. For you are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but remain in the city of Jerusalem until you have been clothed with power from on high” (vs 46-49).
That happened ten days after He had ascended into heaven and hasn’t returned since! That’s why we keep Pentecost but we don’t keep the First of the Firstfruits, because that’s between Christ and God the Father in Their personal relationship!
It says in Ecclesiastes that in the making of books there is no end. Ken knows this well because he’s making books.
· Word of God vs Traditions of Men
· Rewards of God
So, if you think overcoming is difficult, remember, there are rewards to come!
We have another thing going, which is going to prove to be good because they’re actually teaching children to contact demons. I’ll bring you more on that:
This is what they’re doing in Australia, and it is Bible for Kids. We also have this in relationship to Korner for Kidz with the First Christian Fellowship in Florida. So, we’re doing jointly with that and Pam Bruening runs that website:
Kidz Korner: Link
Teens' Table: Link
In Australia they have 9x12, so when they send it to us it’s reduce to 8-1/2x11. We will have these online and they will be downloadable.
· Joshua 5
· Matthew 13
· Revelation 2; 3
· Genesis 3:15
· Revelation 11
· Psalm 22; 17
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