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The Festivals of the Lord in Typology #17

Meaning for Redemption of Believers


                             by

                       Robert Thompson



THE REDEMPTION OF THE BELIEVER

     So far in our book we have discussed the literal observances
of each of the seven convocations as they were, and still are in
some cases, observed by the Jews. Next we have shown that the
Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is
clearly set forth in each of the seven convocations.
     Now we have come to another application of the symbolism
associated with the feasts of the Lord. It is the plan of the
redemption of the believer. The redemption of the believer
includes the movement of the individual Christian from his
initial reconciliation to God through the cross of Christ all the
way to his becoming one in Christ and in the Father, being filled
with all the glory and love of the Father.
     It is true also that the Levitical convocations portray the
development of the Christian church from a relatively loose
assemblage of people gathered around the foot of the cross all
the way to the mature body of Christ, the body of Christ being
the judge and deliverer of God's creation, and the wife of the
Lamb. The development of the individual Christian and of the
whole church are closely related, in that the church is made up
of individual Christians, and the perfection of the whole depends
upon the perfection of each part. However, the growth of the
individual Christian, the overcoming disciple, may not be on the
same time schedule as the church. The church is moving along many
fronts today, and a good number of people have come as far as the
convocation of Pentecost, although even more are still milling
around in the first principles of salvation.
     But it is entirely possible for individual Christians today
to go on with God, whatever the rest of the church does. We find
this to be true in Revelation 2 and 3, where Christ addresses the
seven churches as a whole, and then speaks to each overcomer as a
single person. A little later on in Revelation we see that these
"overcomers" who give their all to Jesus will be in a position to
help the rest of the church come into their own inheritance in
the Lord, just as Joseph helped his family. If we become strong
in the Lord, through His grace, then we ought to help the weaker
brothers and sisters come into their inheritance.
     As we outline the fulfillment in the individual Christian of
the seven feasts of the Lord, please keep in mind that God's love
in Christ has directed that we are to look steadfastly to Christ,
walking before Him continually, so that the Holy Spirit may bring
us to maturity in Christ. The role of the Holy Spirit is similar
to that of Eliezer of Damascus who brought the fair Rebecca away
from her home and took her on a journey through a territory
unknown to her, until finally she arrived in the presence of
Isaac, the son of Abraham. Isaac is a figure of the Lord Jesus
Christ who Himself is the end of our quest.
     The pattern of the seven feasts indicates that the Christian
redemption is not a once-for-all happening. Although the
beginning of salvation in a person's life is clear-cut and
decisive, salvation is a continuously dynamic process, a growth
to maturity.

     The covering Passover blood is the initial revelation, the
acceptance of which is the first step of the person approaching
salvation. The convocation of Tabernacles, the last of the
convocations, signifies the consummation - the indwelling of
the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. Thus salvation
has a definite beginning and a definite ending, an alpha and an
omega. Redemption has an ending in the sense of a coming of age,
a maturing. Maturity is a goal worth reaching for (Eph. 4:13).

     Now let us associate briefly the seven convocations with
their New Testament counterparts:

1. Passover - Christ on the cross; eating the Lord's Supper (the
Passover actually for Paul in 1 Cor. 11 says you cannot eat the
Lord's supper - Keith Hunt) protection from judgment through the
blood of Jesus.

2. Unleavened Bread - Christ in the heart of the earth; water
baptism; death to the world; crucifixion with Christ; sincere
repentance.

3. Firstfruits - Christ raised from the dead; resurrection with
Christ...

4. Pentecost - Christ sends to us the Holy Spirit; latter rain;
baptism with the Holy Spirit; the law of the Spirit of life;
gifts and ministries.

5. Trumpets - Christ, the King, returns; the day of the Lord;
rulership of Christ over the earth; Christ wages war against evil
spirits; the Christian overcomes the enemy; the New Year.

6. Day of Atonement - Christ forgives and cleanses all who come
to Him; the Holy Spirit deals with sin in the disciple;
confession of sins; putting to death the deeds of the body;
judgment of evil spirits; the Christian is transformed into the
image of Christ; year of jubilee; cleansing of God's Temple - the
body of Christ.

7. Tabernacles - Christ and the Father dwell in the Christian;
the "rest" of God; redemption of the mortal body; the
consummation of salvation; the new Jerusalem; the fullness of the
presence and glory of God....

     
     The following exposition of the seven Levitical assemblings
suggests that they are types of the progressive nature of the
working of God in the Christian life. However, the seven
assemblings should be considered as portraying seven dimensions
of the one redemption, not as seven ordered steps which God
follows precisely and in sequence with each individual. In a
sense, these all take place at once when an individual accepts
Christ, because Christ is the fulfillment of the seven feasts.
Yet, there is another sense in which these seven facets are
expanded upon as we press on in Christ Jesus.

PASSOVER

"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall
be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the
congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month
they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house
of their fathers, a lamb for a house" (Exod. 12:2,3).
"And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on
your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in
haste, it is the Lord's Passover. For I will pass through the
land of Egypt this night, and will smite 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. And the blood shall
be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I
see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be
upon you to destroy you, when. I smite the land of Egypt" (Exod.
12:11,12,13).
"And he said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this
passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15).
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump,
as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed
for us" (I Cor. 5:7).

     Passover symbolizes the protection from God's judgment and
wrath, which we have through the blood of Christ. Because the
sentence of death overshadows the gods of this world we apply by
faith the blood of Jesus to ourself and to our household. When
the divine executioner approaches us he sees the blood of the
righteous Jesus, which, in obedience to God, we have sprinkled by
faith over our lives. The executioner, seeing that we have
appropriated the blood of Jesus, "passes over" us without harming
us, and continues on his way carrying out the sentences of God.
In the same spirit of obedience we "eat of the Passover Lamb" 
(I Cor.5:7).
     The Passover convocation teaches us of the great importance
which God places upon the blood of Christ as a covering for our
many sins. We can see in our own times the judgments of God in
the land - the turmoil, and the distress of nations. Our refuge
from the destroying storm is the blood of Jesus applied to our
household by faith, in obedience to the Word of God.
     The Passover marks the "beginning of months" to the
Christian (Exod.12:2). When an unsaved person approaches God he
is confronted with Christ upon the cross. God meets man at the
cross. Just as the Hebrew approaching the Tabernacle of the
Congregation encountered first the altar of burnt offering (Exod.
27:1), so the man or woman, boy or girl, who would enter the
Christian salvation must first accept God's offering - the Lord
Jesus Christ. Thus the point in time at which we accept by faith
the blood of Calvary's cross becomes to us a "beginning of
months." It signals the start of a wholly new life. Our existence
prior to the cross is of little consequence. Our true life begins
on the second that Jesus Christ becomes our personal Passover.
     Notice that it is a "lamb for a house" (Exod.12:3). The
words of Paul are brought to mind, "You shall be saved, and your
house" (see Acts 16:31). When a person accepts Christ the entire
household comes under the protection of the blood (I Cor.7:14).
The believer then should pray for the members of the family that
God will grant them repentance unto life; that each one will
accept Christ for himself.
     The Passover was to be eaten "in haste." We Christians must
never lose sight of the fact that Jesus has commanded us to live
"with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff
in your hand" (Exod.12:11). "Watch therefore; for ye know neither
the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matt.25:13).
We work as diligently as we can while we are in this world, but
in our hearts we are strangers and pilgrims!
     The Passover blood was for protection during the judgment
against "all the gods of Egypt" (Exod.12:12). So it is today. The
Holy Spirit reproves (convicts) the world of judgment, "because
the prince of this world is judged" (John 16:11). The Lord will
not tolerate the worshipping of demons. In His own time and
manner
He will destroy utterly the demons and those who worship them.
The Passover blood is our protection during the time that God
executes judgment upon the works of Satan.

"No uncircumcised person shall eat thereof" (Exod.12:48). Only
Christians can take advantage of the protection from judgment
provided by the blood of Christ. No person can escape the
judgment of God merely by associating himself with the Christian
churches. One's name on a church roster, while it is useful in
the administration of a church, is of no value whatever when it
comes to protection against the judgment of God. A person must be
"circumcised," that is to say, he must through faith obtain a
work of Christ in his own heart. Otherwise he cannot avail
himself of the protection of the Passover blood.

UNLEAVENED BREAD

"Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye
shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth
leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that
soul shall be cut off from Israel" (Exod.12:15).
"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even,
ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of
the month at even" (Exod.12:18).
"Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shall thou
eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for
thou tamest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou
mayest remember the day when thou earnest forth out of the land
of Egypt all the days of thy life" (Deut.16:3).
"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven
leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven,
that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ
our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the
feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and
wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth"
(I Cor.5:6-8).
"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Gal.5:9).

     Paul anchors our interpretation of the convocation of
Unleavened Bread with his words in I Corinthians 5:6-8. Leaven is
portrayed as "malice and wickedness" and unleavened bread is
shown as "sincerity and truth." In effect, leaven in the
Scripture symbolizes sin. Just as a little yeast affects a whole
ball of dough, so a little sin affects a whole human life.
     God issued a clear command concerning the use of leaven
during Passover week: "And there shall no leavened bread be seen
with you" (Exod.13:7). This command is repeated in the Old
Testament until the spiritual message comes across: Purge
yourselves from sin and the old nature! Sincere repentance and a
cleansing from the spirit of the age - the lust of the flesh, the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - must accompany the
acceptance of Christ, our Passover.

     The sacrament of water baptism dramatizes the fact that the
believer has turned his back upon sin, has died to the world and
the lust thereof. A gospel that does not require the convert to
turn from sin and lead a new life of righteousness is not the
Christian gospel. The "feast" (accepting the Lamb of God as our
personal Passover) must be kept with "unleavened bread"
(sincerity and truth).

"Know ye not," asks Paul, "that so many of us as were baptized
into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are
buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we
also should walk in newness of life" (Rom.6:3,4).

The phrase "newness of life" is associated with the meaning of
unleavened bread. Paul says, "Purge out therefore the old leaven,
that you may be a new lump." The new life in Christ is free from
the leaven of sin.
     In water baptism, the leaven of our old nature is portrayed
as dying with Christ on Calvary. The crucifixion of our soulish
nature is, as we know from Scripture and experience, a
theoretical position which we are to accept by faith. Yet, though
it may be theoretical and ideal, the adoption of this attitude -
that our first personality died with Christ and now we are
walking in resurrection life - is essential to the way we regard
our own state of being, and is the necessary point of view for
the overcomer.
     If we do not daily maintain the overcoming point of view,
which is that our soulish natural man now is crucified with
Christ and our new spiritual man now is in the heavenlies with
Christ - a dual position - then either we will slip carelessly
back into a sinful life or else we will wrestle ineffectively
with sin in order to gain a position which Christ already has
secured for us and which we are to seize by faith and maintain by
faith. If our faith is the genuine article and not a silly head
belief, we will begin to see our theoretical and ideal position
of simultaneous crucifixion and resurrection transformed into
physical reality right here in this wicked age in which we live.
Our faith, which is a gift from God, transforms the promises of
the Bible into solid fact.

"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 the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

     Water baptism is the provision which God has made in order
that a person by faith may dramatize the putting out of his life
the old corrupt nature. Here is the new covenant fulfillment of
Passover Week, the week of Unleavened Bread. Water baptism
portrays burial and resurrection, the beginning of a new life for
anyone who accepts God's Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, who was
"slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13:8).

     The convocation of Unleavened Bread means to us that every
trace of the old life, the old "leaven" of this world, is to be
removed from us. Every "Egyptian," to speak in a figure, is to be
"left in the Red Sea." To repent is to turn away from the old
leaven of sin and to enter into the kingdom of God as a little
child.
     In water baptism we enter into the death of the cross, and
we also enter into the resurrection life of Christ. We enter into
the death of the cross so that every trace of Satan's authority
over us may be destroyed. From now on we are free to choose to
serve God. Before our entering into the death of Christ we were
not free to choose to be servants of righteousness. We were bound
in the kingdom of darkness. But now we are loosed from that
kingdom, through the authority of Christ, and are free to choose
to obey the Spirit of God. This is the meaning of the sixth
chapter of Romans, and the fulfillment in the Christian of the
convocation of Unleavened Bread.

FIRSTFRUITS

"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say to 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 to the priest" (Lev.23:10).
"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" (Rom.8:23).
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the
firstfruits of them that slept" (I Cor.15:20).

                     ...................

TO BE CONTINUED


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