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Dispensation Changes and Birthdays (Pentecost Study Part 2)



Happy Birthday, to us?

We have been studying Pentecost, otherwise known as Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks, as one of God's appointed times (mo'ed).  Pentecost (Shavuot, the feast of weeks) is considered the day on which Judaism was born (the Age of Law).  Pentecost is considered the day on which the Church was born (the Age of Grace).  In this way, Pentecost has already marked the beginning and ending of several dispensations.

Will a future Pentecost mark another dispensation change, or "birthday"?

This is the main question I am examining with this study series.  Before we continue, we need to review a little bit about dispensations.


What Are Dispensations?

God’s dealings with humanity can be broadly separated into “ages”.  This is the basis for Dispensational Theology.  It's not perfect, but it helps us grasp how God has progressively revealed Himself and His redemption plan to humanity.  Dispensational theology is the most common method of Bible prophecy interpretation in evangelical Christian circles.  It is the only view which explains the literal rebirth of modern-day Israel and the aliyah, or regathering, of Jews that we can observe and track.  It explains the prophetic lineup of nations and wars that we see in the headlines.  It explains the current social and political climate.  It is the method most consistent with a literal, cultural, historical, and contextual study of scripture.

Dispensational theology sees the Church and Israel as distinct entities, and understands that God has separate plans for each.  It is progressive in nature, as each "dispensation", or "age", unfolds into the next.




Jack Kelley at GraceThruFaith notes that the word from which we get dispensationalism appears in 1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:2, and Colossians 1:25.  On its history, he states:

Some say that dispensationalism is a relatively modern system of theology first proposed by John Nelson Darby in the mid-1800s. But evidence that the early church believed in the principles of dispensationalism can be found in the 2nd Century writings of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Justin Martyr saw four distinct periods (dispensations) and gave them the names of the principle players, Adam to Abraham; Abraham to Moses; Moses to Christ; and Christ to Eternity. Irenaeus also saw four periods, from the Creation to the Flood, from the Flood to the Law, from the Law to the Gospel, and from the Gospel to Eternity.

More recently most scholars have settled on seven dispensations. Each one has begun with an agreement between God and man that man has subsequently broken, causing the agreement to fail and requiring a judgment.

The seven dispensations that are generally agreed upon today, are:

1. Innocence: Between Creation and the Fall of Man

2. Conscience: Between the Fall and the Flood

3. Government: From the Flood to Abraham

4. Promise: From Abraham to Moses

5. Law: From Moses to Jesus

6. Grace: From Pentecost to the Resurrection/Rapture Event

7. Millennial Kingdom:  From Second Coming to Great White Throne Judgment


Image Credit: Bucherer Pianos


For more on this, please see Jack's article What Are the 7 Dispensations?  GotQuestions also explains it well in their article What is Dispensationalism, and is it Biblical?  I would like to point out at this time, that there seems to be a teeny-tiny mini-dispensation between Grace and the Millennial Kingdom.  It will last 7 years (2520 days).  Accurately termed the 70th Week of Daniel, or The Time of Jacob's Trouble, it is most commonly known as "The Tribulation".  This Tribulation age, or "age of wrath" as I will call it, seems to involve elements of both Grace (salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ) and Law (holding firm in the faith until the end). 

We will examine Dispensational Theology in more depth another time, but for today let's examine how the Feast of Pentecost fits into a discussion of Dispensations.  The two dispensations connected to Pentecost are Law and Grace.


Shavuot - The Dispensation of Law Begins

Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is a memorial to the giving of the 10 Commandments on the tablets of stone to Moses on Mount Sinai.  God additionally gave other rules at this time, collectively called "The Law" or "The Laws of Moses".  According to Hebrew4Christians, Shavuot at Mount Sinai is considered the day on which Judaism was born.  We discussed this more fully in Part 1, The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace.

What is notable is that the Dispensation of Law ended on the day it began - Pentecost.


Pentecost - The Dispensation of Grace Begins

On the first celebration of this feast day after Jesus' resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to the body of Christ in power.  He seals us until the day of the redemption of our bodies (Ephesians 4:30). Thus, Pentecost is associated with the "birthday of the Church".  In the church age, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the spirit behind the letter of the Law.  We refer to this as the age (or dispensation) of Grace.   Again, we discussed this more fully in Part 1, The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace.

Will the Dispensation of Grace end on the day it began - Pentecost?


The Dispensation of Law + Grace Begins

Once the Church Age ends with the removal of the Restrainer (the indwelling, sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of true believers), it seems that salvation will revert to how it worked in the Old Testament under the Law.  The Holy Spirit will not be "gone" from the Earth; He is, after all, omnipresent.  What will change is the way He works His ministry.  The Holy Spirit will be involved in convicting people of sin, leading them to repentance, leading them to salvation.  Salvation, as always, will be by grace through faith in the precious blood of Jesus Christ.  The difference that will be seen after the rapture of the church, is that believers will no longer be sealed by the Holy Spirit.  Thus, it will be possible to "lose" faith and "lose" salvation.  Each person will be responsible for holding firm in the faith until the end (Matthew 24:13). 

Tribulation-Age Saints will pray for God not to take His Holy Spirit from them as David did:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. 
(Psalm 51:10-12)

It will also be necessary for post-rapture believers to act on their faith, despite severe deprivation and persecution.  Believers will be held accountable for what they do, or do not do, as if it were unto Jesus Himself (see Matthew 25).  This truly calls for the endurance of the saints (Revelation 14:12).




An interesting study on the indwelling Holy Spirit, written a few years back, is entitled The Indwelling of the Spirit - A Key to Understanding Bible Prophecy.

On this somber note, I want to bring our attention gently back to when will this occur?  Will the dispensation of Grace end and the dispensation of Wrath mark another birthday?


Conceptions and Births

We mentioned above, that Shavuot, or the giving of the Law, was the "birth of Judaism".  We also mentioned that Pentecost, or the giving of the Holy Spirit, was the "birth of Christianity".  As several in the watching community have mused, was this actually our birthday... or was it our conception?  What do I mean?  Well, if the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai was the conception of Judaism, was it birthed in all its fullness with the start of Christianity?  One might consider that to be true in some sense, as Christ stated that He was the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)

What would be a similar fulfillment of the church age of Grace?

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  (Romans 8:22-25)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

 As you have likely noticed, the end times revolve around a theme of birth pains, birth, and deliverance.  We know that Israel will be delivered at the end of the Time of Jacob's Trouble ("The Tribulation").  Is the church's deliverance at the rapture - the redemption of our bodies?

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD; “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God. (Isaiah 66:9)



This birth theme is one to keep in the back of your mind as you read through end times passages in the Bible.  Speaking of birthdays, there is one more birthday we must discuss today - that of Enoch.


The Rapture of Enoch

Only two humans have ever been translated to heaven alive, bypassing death.  One of these is the Patriarch Enoch, who came before the global flood.  The other is Elijah, who was one of the Old Testament Prophets.  As far as I could find, there is no mention of what day Elijah was raptured.  There is, however, tradition surrounding Enoch's rapture.  Jack Kelley writes about it here:

By tradition, Enoch, one of the patriarchs from Genesis 5, was born on the day later to be known as Pentecost. Enoch’s name means “teaching,” a primary function of the Church (Matt. 28:19-20).  For this reason many scholars see him as a “type” of the church as well. Genesis 5:21-23 indicates that Enoch had a close relationship with God and was actually taken live (raptured) into Heaven before the Great Flood. Pre-Trib scholars see this event as one of several Old Testament hints that the Church will disappear from Earth before the Great Tribulation.

These same traditions also hold that Enoch was taken on his birthday. So here’s a man, identified with the Church, perhaps being born and raptured on the day that would become Pentecost, the day the Church was born.  Will the Church be raptured on our birthday, too?

The relevant scripture passages are found in Genesis and Hebrews:

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.  Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.  (Genesis 5:21-24)

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.  (Hebrews 11:5)

From Scripture itself, all we know is that Enoch walked with God (was righteous) and that God took him in a rapture-type event before the flood.  Any additional hints we glean are from extra-biblical texts, so we must not give them the same weight as scripture.  These traditions do seem to be interesting, though, in light of what we are finding when we dig deeper into the Word of God on this matter.




Interestingly, Enoch lived 365 years, which is the number of days in our post-flood calendar year.  His son, Methuselah, was the longest-lived human.  Methuselah's name means "his death shall bring judgment", and in the year when Methuselah died, the flood came.  I've always wondered if there was a connection between the gap of time between Enoch's rapture and the coming of the flood - the gap is 669 years.  Perhaps you can figure something out!  If you can, please let us know...

Post A Comment

24 comments:

  1. 1 week down, 6 to go. We will see. Just not sure if we are quite there yet. Might have one more year to go. I think once the vaccine is ready to go and they start putting into law that everyone must receive it to "reenter" society then time very well might be up. One thing is for sure we are very very close.

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  2. Hi Stephanie
    I have always been interested in dispensations but I never knew what resources were best and just never found the time to study it. Thanks so much for sharing this . Very interesting and insightful! And hopeful!

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  3. Respectfully, the image with the babies is grossly misrepresenting Scripture. I know a lot of women love that sentiment, especially those who have suffered pregnancy loss, and my wholehearted sympathies are with them. But in the interest of the integrity of the written word, that sentence is not even close enough to the reference, Is. 66:9, to be called Scripture.

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    1. I did a quick image search on that verse and strangely almost all the images use that pain translation. Kind of interesting. Anyway, I found an image that more accurately represents the Scripture.

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    2. I like the message in the original photo and happy that I saved the image before you replaced it. That stated, I agree with Hillary above.

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  4. Interesting concept I had never thought of the conception idea before. In Gen 25 we read of the births of Esau and Jacob with Jacob hanging onto Esau's foot. Isaac loved Esau naturally as the first born but it was Jacob who received the blessing and inheritance first and the two have been fighting ever after even though they had the same father. I kind of see a connection in Isa 66:7,8 regarding the concept of your idea of the conception of Israel at Shavuot above and birthed at Pentecost. But with their rejection of the Gospel, it is like they were still birthed (temporarily) and were supplanted by the church (Jacob) in getting the inheritance first, and will be birthed first in the rapture (last shall be first and the first shall be last idea).

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  5. Check out The Error of Dispensationalism by 119 ministries. Very eye opening, scriptural teaching.

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    1. Just curious, what exactly is the point of your comment? Do you think you're being helpful by leaving unsolicited "advice" on a Dispie site? I hate to tell you this, but you're not going to change any minds here. And honestly, this just smacks of a desire to start arguments and create division -- both of which God hates. Dispensationalism is what you get when you base your theology on the plain understanding of the Biblical texts. So you really should save your proselytizing for cults who need the Gospel. You're wasting your time here.

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    2. Unfortunately, 119 Ministries is not a resource for sound doctrine. They offer many in-depth Bible studies which have error and subtle twisting of Scripture. I strongly do not recommend.

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  6. Op https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/a-joint-meeting-between-netanyahu-and-gantz-to-start-soon-625241 "Netanyahu, Gantz sign a unity government agreement":

    "Netanyahu, Gantz sign a unity government agreement
    After three elections and 17 months of election campaigns and coalition negotiations, Netanyahu and Gantz had signed a deal for the establishment of a new government.
    By GIL HOFFMAN APRIL 20, 2020 20:05
    Israel will soon have a new coalition government after an agreement was signed on Monday evening between Likud and Blue and White, putting an end to a 17-month political stalemate that resulted in three elections."

    Will this new government speed up prophetic developments?

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  7. Stephanie--So glad to see this article for I had just referenced your 2019 article in my most recent blog post. You make more than one astute observation related to this season of Pentecost and it is my humble opinion that the Man Child may be born into Heaven around Pentecost this year because of many converging things occurring then. It is VERY possible that we will see the manifestation of Revelation 12:3-5 just prior to the Rapture. Rev12daily recently reposted the article that explains this at:
    https://rev12daily.blogspot.com/2020/04/as-i-was-laying-in-bed-this-morning.html
    Such exciting times we are living in and then V-R-OOM--we're outta here✨

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  8. Enoch was born & raptured on Pentecost involves the Shekinah. Similarly the Holy Spirit/RESTRAINER: (3 Enoch 5:1-3) It relates the following about Enoch’s rapture and the removal of the Shekinah. "When I saw that the men of the generation of the Flood were behaving corruptly, I came and removed my Sekinah from their midst, and I brought it up with the sound of the horn and the shouting to the height above, as it is written, God went up to the sound of horns. The Lord went up with a fanfare of trumpets. [Ps. 47:5]

    “I took him”—Enoch the son of Jared, from their mist, and brought him up with the sound of the trumpet and with shouting to the height, to be my witness, together with the four creatures of the chariot, to the world to come.” (3 Enoch 48C 1-2) When the church will be caught up, the salt and the light will be withdrawn.”17) J. Dwight Pentecost noted what makes this passage relevant to 3 Enoch which refers to the Shekinah (God’s “dwelling” presence) being removed with Enoch at the rapture on his birthday.

    This age is in a particular sense the “dispensation of the Spirit,” for He works in a way uncommon to other ages as an abiding Presence within the children of God…. The church age commenced with the advent of the Spirit at Pentecost, and will close with a reversal of Pentecost, the removal of the Spirit.

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  9. Jack's article on the Millennium provides even more info:
    https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/life-on-earth-in-the-millennium/

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  10. Okay...I went to the link from Lyn Melvin, https://rev12daily.blogspot.com/2020/04/as-i-was-laying-in-bed-this-morning.html. I don't know what to think of the 3 days of darkness.... Gary? Pastor Rich??

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    Replies
    1. Nan, please read what I shared below Stephanie Dawn's Comment.

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  11. The 3 Days of Darkness comes from Catholic mystics. It is not sound. Resource - http://www.3daysofdarkness.com/ The most spectacular aspect of the Act of God will be the three days of darkness over the whole earth. The Three Days have been announced by many mystics, viz., Bl. Anna-Maria Taigi, Elizabeth Canori-Mora, Rosa-Colomba Asdente, Palma d'Oria, in Italy; Father Nectou, in Belgium; St. Hildegard, in Germany; Pere Lamy, Marie Baourdi, Marie Martel, Marie-Julie Jahenny, in France. (This list is not exhaustive; many more mystics/Saints [like St. Columba d. 597 A.D. -ED] have announced the Three Days.)

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    1. Many of Unsealed's readers are not familiar with who I am, so I wanted to post an excerpt from an article where I first wrote about the 3 days of darkness and at first disregarded it because I knew of its Catholic origin:

      "Every believer who reads this needs to take what I am about to share and seek the Lord for guidance. Recently I have seen a resurgence of what has been called a Catholic prophecy of three days of darkness that is to cover the earth. When I heard about this last year, I disregarded it.

      3 Hours of Darkness in Russia

      Then on July 20 of this year, a region in Russia experienced three hours of complete darkness...

      The 9th Plague

      Whatever reason this darkness came to Russia, it is possible it could occur again. This was in the back of my mind when I saw MidnightHourOil’s most recent video, Warning Dreams!!! Darkness and Danger warning of a coming time of darkness. As I watched the video, I remembered a dream that I believe the Lord Jesus gave me back in 2015...

      ...Dreams must be weighed against the Scriptures. Most of the verses I found on the sun being darkened relate to the time of Jacob’s Trouble when the 7-year period of Israel’s travail or The Tribulation begins. However, Joel 2 refers to the sun being darkened before the day of the Lord begins:

      The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. - Joel 2:31 KJV

      Many are familiar with this verse for it has been used relative to The Solar Eclipse Omen and the blood moon tetrad.

      In 2 Kings Chapter 20 there is a record of the sun’s shadow retrogressing on a dial in the courtyard of Hezekiah. Although there are no verses to prove God will cause three days of darkness, it is very evident He is capable of such a miracle should He choose to do so."

      https://lynmelvin.blogspot.com/2018/08/3-days-of-darkness.html

      Again, I am NOT claiming to have a full understanding of this--I have been shown that a physical darkness is coming but not specifically 3 days. As a watchman I believe I was led of the Lord to share this information and related research so that people can decide for themselves what to believe or not. This is why I encourage my Brothers and Sisters in Christ to seek the Lord as to what I have been shown or what ANYone else shares for that matter! The Word of God is our foundation on which we must measure any prophetic insights while at the same time not treating prophecy with contempt (1 Thessalonians 5:20).

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  12. Thank you! I have to say that spooked me even though I didn't think I had read anything like that in my end times studies. (I vaguely remember seeing it possibly ages ago) If that were so we would need to prepare such as jugs of water and such. Thank you again Stephanie!

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    Replies
    1. Nan, another excerpt from my original article:

      "No Fear

      ... As one of My Lord’s many watchmen, I would feel remiss if I didn’t submit this information for your prayerful consideration.

      I appreciate the video Cornelius Jones did related to this subject wherein he says (at about the 20 minute mark), “In my studies of the Scriptures, I have seen where God prophesies He will use darkness not just for judgment but as a sign of the coming judgment.”

      The children of Israel had light in their homes during the plague of darkness and were safe (Exodus 10:23). Because we emanate the Light of the World having Christ in us, we need have no fear if this plague of darkness should come upon us."
      [From https://lynmelvin.blogspot.com/2018/08/3-days-of-darkness.html]

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  13. This is how I believe Pentecost will be fulfilled by Christ

    What is the purpose of Pentecost according to Leviticus 23?
    Pentecost, also called The Feast of Weeks is traditionally calculated 7 weeks from the day after the Sabbath following Passover in other words 7 weeks from the Feast of firstfruits which we celebrate Resurrection Day/Easter.

    There is also a second consensus on how to calculate when Pentecost happens.

    And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord .
    Leviticus 23:15‭-‬16 KJV

    7 weeks from first fruits and then even unto the day after the seventh Sabbath shall you number 50 days for a total of 99 days from firstfruits.

    The purpose of Pentecost is all about the Gathering of the Harvest. Leviticus 23 talks about the main Harvest which is the majority of the field and it also talks about the edges or the corners of the field which are reserved for the poor and the foreigners in the land. Those who come after the Main Harvest is brought in.

    Some people will argue that Pentecost has already been fulfilled but I would argue that Pentecost has not been fulfilled according to its purpose. How with the purpose of Pentecost being about the Harvest has it been fulfilled with the coming of the Holy Spirit? My answer is it has not been fulfilled by Christ himself.

    I believe that there are two different ways that Pentecost can be fulfilled. The first possibility would require the Rapture to be, at the earliest, during the summer of 2020 if the Rapture were to fulfill Pentecost. The Rapture could very well fulfill Pentecost with the main Harvest which is the body of Christ, those that have died in Christ and those who are alive and remain being gathered to Christ has he catches us up to the throne of God.

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  14. It is also possible that the Rapture has nothing to do with Pentecost, so if that is the case I believe that Pentecost could be fulfilled with the fullness of the Gentiles which happens during the tribulation when the last Gentile believer/tribulation saint is martyred.

    We understand that the church age began when the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.

    It's also important to understand that that was not the beginning of the age of Grace. The age of Grace began when the gospel of grace was revealed to the church through the Apostle Paul.

    The age of Grace ends with the Rapture of the church. I do believe that the church age will end when the last tribulation Saint is martyred. The church age continues into the tribulation with the tribulation Saints. These people are saved after the Rapture even though they are not saved by grace through faith because the gospel of grace has ended with the age of Grace, but I do believe that tribulation Saints are still part of the Church of Jesus Christ. They are part of the Gentile Church.

    When the fullness of the Gentiles comes in we know that the blindness in part that has been over the eyes of Israel for the last almost 2,000 years will be lifted and they will recognize Jesus as their Messiah. That is when God turns his full attention back to his people Israel.

    I believe just like the first three feasts were fulfilled on the very day, Pentecost will also be fulfilled in like manner. Afterward I believe that the Feast of trumpets will be fulfilled by the return of Christ to Earth. He will send forth his angels with the sound of a trumpet to gather his elect. The only people to be redeemed that are left on Earth at this point are the Jews who will have fled Into the Wilderness after the abomination of desolation.

    The purpose of the Feast of trumpets is to call the nation of Israel to prepare for the day of atonement, their day of Redemption.

    I believe that the 10 days of awe are well-named because I believe that is the time when Jesus ties up loose ends with the battle of Armageddon. Christ will fulfill the day of atonement by redeeming his people Israel whom have recently had the blindness lifted from their eyes and have recognize Jesus as their Messiah.

    After the day of atonement Jesus Will set up his kingdom here on Earth and the Jewish people will finally inherit the Kingdom prepared for them and promised to them through the Abrahamic Covenant, 4000 years in the making.

    At that point Jesus fulfills the Feast of Tabernacles as the Jews inherit the kingdom and dwell with their King. We remember that the Jews will still be in their mortal bodies, their sukkas, in a manner of speaking.

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  15. Check out Dr Barry Awe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF2xqPPPmyc

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  17. Pentecost is cast as a shadow into its future within the First Fruits landscape. Jesus fulfills this because He is the new offering of the work of His labor. It was offered to and accepted by the Gentile substitutes, only after the Jews had rejected the work.

    The Jews display the characteristics and history of a people who have been on hold, while the prophecies concerning their fate continue to play out in time.

    On Pentecost, with every Spring feast (set time) fulfilled by Jesus, the way is clear for God to resume the Abraham covenant and fulfill their destiny.

    The object here is to see that since the offering of the completed Messiah was made on Pentecost of Acts 2 for the Jews, and since they later rejected Jesus as the Messiah, God opts to place them on hold while he deals with the new covenant people, the Church. This requires that Jesus come again to complete His role for the Jews.

    Now, in the future, the shadow cast from the Pentecost of Acts 2 requires that witnesses be anointed and begin offering Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews. Scripture tells us that God will anoint His last two witnesses to be the preachers of righteousness to the Jews.
    When they begin to preach on Pentecost, it will be to the Jews, because the Church is gone!

    ReplyDelete


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