Summary: God has a plan, a long-range plan. He is a Big God. He does not improvise as things move along, for every detail is taken into account beforehand.
Digging Deeply into the Levitical Festivals
1. Ginny and I were talking about something she heard on Moody Radio this week.
2. The speaker related that he was sitting on a plain leaving from China, and to his surprise the woman next to him spoke perfect English.
3. The began conversing, and eventually the woman asked, “How do you know your God is the right one?”
4. How would you answer that question on an objective basis?
5. Subjectively, you could share your testimony, and that is always appropriate. But people in other religions may have their own testimonies.
6. To my way of thinking, the simplest apologetic, without getting complicated, is the existence of the nation of Israel.
7. Since the Bible says God will exalt the nation of Israel in the end times, the nation of Israel must be on the scene and therefore existent for the end to come. Israel remained a people without a homeland for 1900 years, surviving numerous attempts to exterminate them. No other nation has such a track record. This is something objective and undeniable. True, remote chance could account for it, but it at bare minimum demands investigation.
8. But then we have to go a step further, because both Orthodox Judaism and Biblical Christianity lay claim to these beliefs. At that point, we move to Bible prophecy.
9 I heard Howard Hendricks share an illustration about a pastor who was preaching before his seminary professor. The professor was out to see if he embraced a “big God” or a “little God.” The professor was happy that he believed in a big God.
10. A big God has no problem inspiring the Bible, working miracles, resurrecting the dead, becoming incarnate in the womb of a virgin, or saving people by His sovereign grace. A little God needs our help, makes mistakes, and is incapable of working miracles or communicating a clear word to us. A little God cannot multiply fishes and loaves but depeneds upon the help and generosity of others. A big God is capable to do as He pleases.
MAIN IDEA: God has a plan, a long-range plan. He is a Big God. He does not improvise as things move along, for every detail is taken into account beforehand.
TS---------------‡ The 7 Feasts of Leviticus evidence this Big God. But before we begin diving into them, we need to get our bearings by noting several related issues.
I. TYPES of Bible Prophecy
1. DIRECT prophecy
(1) clearly stated in plain language (Luke 9:22)
(2) poetic (Isaiah 9:6, for example)
(3) symbolic (example: Revelation, John 2:18-23)
*note: much Bible prophecy has a double-fulfillment – a near less literal fulfillment and a distant more literal fulfillment (e.g., Isaiah 7:14)
2. SHADOWS (our current study about the Feasts)
• particularly the case with the Law (Torah, first 5 books)
• Hebrews 10:1 reads, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves.”
• Colossians 2:16-17 “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”
• Hebrews 8:3-5 “Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.”
3. Providential PATTERNS
• The numbers 3 (God’s number), 7 and multiples of 7 (the number of God’s perfect work), and 40 (the number of testing and stressing)
• Twelve, the number of God’s people: twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles, 144,000 end-time Jewish evangelists, etc.
• Repeated patterns: Temple Destroyed on same day of year in 586 B.C. and 70 A.D., etc.
The Jews fast every year of the 9th of the month of Av (a summer month) , calling it Tisha b’av because:
On the 9th of Av, Moses broke the first tablets of Law when he came down from Sinai to find the people worshipping the golden calf.
Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple) was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586, under the rulership of Nebuchadnezzar.
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, under the leadership of Titus.
In 135 CE, the final destruction of Bar Kochba’s army after his last fortress, Betar, fell. Jerusalem was ploughed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian and thus became a Roman city.
In 1290 CE, King Edward 1st of England signed an edict expelling all Jews from England.