Pentecost 2017- The Marriage Supper: An Invitation To Blessing
April 30, 2017 (No Comments) by Christian Israel
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“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17)

The call to come and “take the water of life freely” was the invitation given by Jesus on the last great day of the feast of Tabernacles to partake of His Spirit in a deep measure. Christ was shadowing forth the final call to salvation before the time was past forever; these invitations to the marriage are always given inoutpouring-spirit2 connection to the great festivals of the Bible. In the beginning, God made the heavens, with it’s great calendar for “signs and for seasons, for days and for years” (Gen. 1:14); the sun to rule from one day to another, and the moon to reveal one month to another. The sun was the greater light, and the moon (literally “month” in the original Hebrew) the lesser light, from which the light of the sun came.

THE SABBATH FEAST- “My Sabbaths”

The feast of the Sabbath, as revealed in the weekly 7-day cycle, which is ruled by the daystar (the sun) was the first feast spoken of expressly in the Bible. It was given in memorial of creation (Gen. 2:3, Exodus 20:8-11), and declared the Creator’s power to create & sanctify and His authority to make time holy. It was on the Sabbath, that the first marriage given to man was especially enjoyed in the presence of God; His presence alone, visible or invisible, can constitute a true feast. Man, both male and female, had been made in the image of God and His Son (Gen. 1:1, 26-27, Prov. 30:4, Heb. 1:1-2); they were to reveal the covenant relationship that existed between the God & Christ, and between God and creation. Moreover, the word “Sabbath” comes from it’s Hebrew root word, “shâba”; which means perfect completion with an oath (a promise); or to commit oneself fully by promising seven times. This time was a promise that God’s presence was to abide with His creatures by sealing it with the Sabbath as a sign of His marriage to His people.

“Verily, My sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you…Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” (Exo. 31:13)

Sanctification is holiness; just as God sanctified the Sabbath, that the creation by His own hand may abide complete and entire in that Sabbath, He weilds in His creative hand the holy power of sanctifying His people. Furthermore, this sign of sanctification was “for a perpetual covenant” between God and His people. His sanctification is always enjoined to the marriage covenant, revealing the wonderful purpose of marriage is truly to be holy unto Jehovah. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…” (Eph. 5:25-26) When the presence of the husband abides with his wife in marriage union, he is to be a reflection of what the presence of Christ is to His church.

THE TIMES OF REFRESHING

The Sabbath was the first feast. “Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:2-3) Unlike the Sabbath which is contained in the seven-day cycle, governed by the sun (Psalm 136:8), the rest of the feasts were united to the moon, which is the same word in Hebrew for “month”. God thus showing that the light of the Sabbath (like the sun) being the greater light crowns it’s light upon the other feasts (like the moon) as the lesser light; the light of the Sabbath was to be the head of the other feasts, and give them sanctity and honor, like a husband in covenant with his bride. Each of His feasts were sanctified time; they declared God’s redemptive power to create all things new; they also wonderfully illustrate the marriage covenant as a beautiful story of redemption that reveals the love of God for His church.

eden-homeThe Sabbath was a time where God Himself rested, giving those made in His image a pattern to reflect His glory. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17) When we look at this description, it tells us that the Great I AM is “refreshed” by the Sabbath. What does this mean? It means something for us, His people, who keep the sign of His rest. Just as He rested and was refreshed on the Sabbath, so are we to rest after His likeness, and be refreshed. The refreshing literally means “enlivened, taking in the breath of the soul. The Hebrew word is “nâphash” which means “to be breathed upon”; it is the parent word of “nephesh”, which means soul: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed (nâphach-the act of kindling or breathing into) into his nostrils the breath (neshâmâh- vitalizing breath) of life; and man became a living soul (nephesh- a breathing creature).” (Gen. 2:7) God being refreshed means He took in the breath of His life. On the Sabbath, and the feasts, this spiritual breath of life, which carries the presence of God enters and communes in our soul temple; it is the time of taking spiritual breath into the soul.

These promised times came with the promise of the presence of the Lord: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ…” (Acts 3:19-20) When we gather at a feast, it truly means we are feasting on the spiritual presence of the Lord; the life-sustaining bread from heaven, and being refreshed; it means spiritual mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Even so, during these feasts, all who knew the voice of God’s Spirit would gather “unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come…” (Deut. 12:5) The children of Israel were divided into a number of companies of tribes, each were a part of Israel, yet each had it’s own characteristics, qualities, and purposes which God would fulfill by them. To one of these companies of Israel, the rest of Israel were to gather; thus God shows that He would have His people, though they may be divided, united in one body; in one Spirit; by the presence of God breathing newness of life into their souls, and thus bringing the divided tribes into closer communion and worship than was possible at other seasons. As a great King, so the divine presence comes before His people who direct their worship toward His throne.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD- “My Feasts”

The presence of God has always been manifested, physically and spiritually, in greater measure during the feasts than at any other time. It was at Passover, where the protective presence of God, by faith in the blood of the lamb, spared Israel who were in Egypt, but not of Egypt. Likewise, spiritual Israel has a better Passover Lamb with a better celebration than the deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; let us therefore keep the feast” (1 Cor. 5:8), because we are being saved from the death of this world, as Israel was saved from the death of Egypt; the blood’s protection was symbolic of the covering presence of Christ overshadowing their souls. Moreover, we are in the world, but not of it (John 17:13). Then Israel left their lives, their idols, their former practices in Egypt, and had participated in the feast of Unleavened Bread; signifying the removal of the leaven of sin and death in their lives (1 Cor. 5:9).

pillaroffireGod’s presence especially overshadowed His people during the feast that followed Passover in their deliverance, “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” (Lev. 23:5-6) Notice that it is the Lord’s passover that was manifested in a special way to God’s people on the fourteenth day of the first moon of the year; Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Beginning on the fifteenth day, the seven day feast of Unleavened Bread was observed, the first day being a feast Sabbath rest, called “a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” God’s presence guided them further from Egypt; He manifested His Presence in another special manner to them. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night…” (Exo. 13:21) Thus showing His protective covering and lighting the way by His own presence toward His people. There are many who are still so absorbed in Egypt’s thinking, who know not the time of God’s worship, that all they see is darkness rather than light at these times; they do not discern the presence of God where it seems dark, and thus, they receive none of the promised blessing. “And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.” (Exo 14:20) Yet there were Egyptians who left Egypt with the Israelites; those who forsook all, were numbered with Israel.

That same Presence promises to be in the sacred assemblies of the remnant of “Mt. Zion, the city of the living God: the heavenly Jerusalem…whose names are written in heaven” (Heb. 12:22-23): “It shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:…And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.” (Isaiah 4:2-3) It was the next day, after the first day of Unleavened Bread, on the 16th of the month, after the feast Sabbath, where the firstfruits feast day was held (Lev. 23:11); where the high priest would present the sacrifice before God, and the firstfruit harvest of the land. This was the day when God opened the red sea as a symbol of fully dying to the old life of Egypt, and rising to a new life on the other side of the red sea in Arabia, as heirs of the promised land. It was also the day when Christ resurrected, and presented His sacrifice before the Father to be accepted, but not presenting Himself alone, but also other saints with Him: “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt. 27:51-53) These firstfruits of the harvest were presented by Christ, the high priest before God the Father, and were the first to enter into the promised land of the rest of the harvest still to come. Thus we can see illustrated, God’s special blessings bestowed at these times.

THE SPECIAL PENTECOST

While the above is illustrating God’s acts of love towards His people on His feasts, this next point is the focus of our illustration, so pay special attention to the parallels which shall be drawn here.

From the time of the firstfruits, 50 days were to be counted, in which seven seventh-day Sabbaths would be found. At the fiftieth day, the Feast of Pentecost was observed. This was always in the first days of the third month; depending on whether the month was 29 days or 30, it would differ up to two days. It was the time the beginning of the third month when Israel reached Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1). God was placing His name there to worship Him on the feast of Pentecost and to proclaim His love to His people, as a bridegroom to his bride on the day of a wedding.

bride“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will hearken diligently unto my voice, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:4-6) God here shows how He lovingly sanctified His people apart from the world, that they might enter into His marriage covenant. Like the Sabbath and the marriage union in the beginning, God unites this sanctified time with a sanctified union between Him and His people. He calls them to “hearken diligently unto My voice”; which is more appropriately spoken in the Hebrew “Hear” twice, or in Hebrew “shâma, shâma”, meaning “Hear intelligently from your heart.” It is the same word for the great love we are to have when in marriage covenant with God: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” (Deut. 6:4-6) In beholding His love, like a bridegroom, His love was to speak new life into their hearts, returning back to Him their love by submissive obedience to His commandments.

For this cause, they were called to wash their garments and sanctify themselves three days for this great festival. “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God…And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire…and the voice of the trumpet sounded long…” (Exo. 19:16)
The voice of the trumpet was to be sounded every feast day (Num. 10:1,2), and God’s presence was enthroned upon the mountain in fire. It was on this very day, that God spoke the law of His covenant from the mountain to His people, which were written on “the tables of the covenant”, which by His own finger (Exodus 31:18). It was on the following day, that the blood of the covenant was placed upon them (Exodus 24:8). Yet for disobedience to the covenant, 3000 perished, because they worshipped the gods of the land they had just come out from (Exodus 32:28).

THE PROMISE OF THE LATTER RAIN

Yet God promised that those who would keep His ways would be blessed with rain in due season. “These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel… beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb…Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do…That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:” (Deut. 29:1,9,12) The promise of the covenant was clear: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God… The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season.” (Deut. 28:1-2,12)

holy-spirit-fire2The rain was given for the ripening of the harvest, as symbolized in the feasts. The prophet Hosea recognized the rain as being God’s presence in the feast days: “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hos. 6:3) When the apostles were gathering together on Pentecost to keep the feast, the spiritual presence of God came down in fire upon them, as it did physically in Sinai (Acts 2:3) with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What happened there when the apostles were baptized with the Spirit was entering into a marriage covenant. Few have realized this in it’s significance.

Christ had visited them on the day of resurrection, the firstfruits feast day, at the beginning of the count to Pentecost. Before departing, He promised “ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) It was that same Spirit that casted out devils in the name of Christ, which Spirit was said of Christ to be “with the finger of God” in Luke 11:20, and “with the Spirit of God” in Matthew 12:28. The physical finger wrote upon the tables of the covenant, but the spiritual finger which casts out devils and sin writes the law of the covenant “in fleshy tables of the heart.” The words so long commanded to them finally understood as seen in the love of Christ’s blood; finally, it penetrated their minds in a way that would reach the heart. Instead of 3000 souls lost through disobedience to the covenant, 3000 souls were converted when they received the blood of the covenant. Lastly, the outpouring of the Spirit was a marriage union between Christ and His church: “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Cor. 6:16-17)
Thus this Pentecost was a marriage covenant that the church was “joined unto the Lord”, partaking of His Holy Spirit. God’s presence was manifested wonderfully at the feast, just as at Sinai in a special manner.

And the prophet Joel spoke about the outpouring of the Spirit of God in the former and latter rain as revealed at these sanctified times, as the apostle Peter boldly proclaimed: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts 2:16-18)

THE INVITATION

There remains an invitation to be given to receive the blessings of the latter rain; times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord are still necessary for the spiritual life of the people of God today, and especially more now as we enter into the closing scenes of man’s probation. The call from the Spirit and the Bride who is joined to that Spirit, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This water of life is the Spirit that Christ promised at the feast of tabernacles, bringing the spiritual presence of Christ into the soul to prepare people for the great wedding feast in heaven. These feasts are to receive the breath of God for souls that are spiritually dead in their walk, and need to be joined in Spirit to Christ.

We are told to ask rain in the time of the latter rain (Zechariah 10:1), “which is rain in due season;” it is a call to come up from the Egypt of the world, wherever God’s people are scattered, and to gather together where He chooses to place His name for a large outpouring of His Spirit. “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast… And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King… even upon them shall be no rain.” (Zech. 14:16-17) This is that spiritual Jerusalem, that is spiritually present wherever God’s people gather together in heeding the call of the voice of the Spirit to “come”. But many will not come. They make excuses. They won’t receive the rain. Like the Egyptians who only saw darkness where the Presence of God was as a dark cloud to them, the Israelites saw most precious light in the feast. Even so, it is now. Christ gave a parable about the marriage feast.wedding-feast-1

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.” (Matt. 22:2-3)

“And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
(Luke 14:17-20)

Instead of being in one accord to come and receive the blessing of God’s presence at the feast; the men are in one accord to make excuses why they do not come. Many do the same thing today for not coming to the feast gatherings. For example:

1) A piece of land was purchased- Merchandise, non-essential priorities
2) Oxen being proved- Work
3) Married a wife- Church/doctrinal excuses- a covenant relationship with a church but not with God.

Can we afford not to receive the latter rain blessing to fit us for the marriage feast? To receive as much of the presence of God as we can receive? Will we let excuses keep us from the refreshing that God wants to give to us to prepare us for Christ’s return? This is an invitation to enter into a most precious marriage union with God. “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pen­tecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant” (Christ Object Lessons, pg. 121)

In 1888, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists were given light from heaven that they rejected from the messengers: “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world….When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapo­lis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard…” ( 1888 Materials, 348) The light from heaven was the beginning of the marriage covenant message of the manifest presence of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, but because there was prejudice in the minds of the conference leadership because they held different beliefs on the covenants.

Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing.  Yourself and…others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented. Had you received the true light which shineth you would not have imitated or gone over the same manner of interpretation and misconstruing the Scriptures as did the Jews… The covenant question is a clear question and would be received by every candid, unprejudiced mind, but I was brought where the Lord gave me an insight into this matter. You have turned from plain light…” (Ellen White, Letter to Uriah Smith, March 8, 1890)

“Now I tell you here before God, that the covenant question, as it has been presented, is the truth.” (Sermon Transcript, March 8, 1890, Battle Creek.)

 Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit [i.e. the “latter rain”] that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in car­rying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world (1888 Materials, 1575)

“They said, This is only excitement; it is not the Holy Spirit, not showers from heaven of the latter rain. There were hearts full of unbelief, who did not drink in of the Spirit, but who had bitterness in their souls. On many occasions the Holy Spirit did work, but those who 1479 resisted the Spirit of God at Minneapolis were waiting for a chance to travel over the same ground again, because their spirit was the same… Afterward, when they had evidence heaped upon evidence, some were convicted, but those who were not softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit’s working, put their own interpretation upon every manifestation of the grace of God,and they have lost much.” (1888 Materials, 1479)

The evidences were beautifully realized for the truth about the marriage covenant; light was to come to God’s people if they would receive it. The invitation to receive the Spirit was there, but the “latter rain” message was called only excitement. Reasons were given to make of no effect all of the evidence God was supplying to the leadership, and the message was never received, and never advanced further. This time of the latter rain… what was it? When calculated according to the calendar God gave in creation, the 1888 message of the latter rain came exactly at the time of the feast of Tabernacles! It was the time of the feast, it was the message of the covenant, and God’s presence was coming to them in a special manner at the time of the latter rain! Yet it was rejected… they did not obtain the blessing God wanted them to receive.

Shortly after this time, in 1893, Ellen White was in Australia, where the work was beginning through campmeetings. She wrote about the campmeetings, calling them the feast of tabernacles, and in 1895, urged them to come to the feast “for all things are ready”. W.W. Prescott began sharing messages which Ellen White endorsed highly. With Jones and Waggoner of 1888, she said Prescott was also presenting the messages of the covenants, showing he was one of the few who received the message when others were rejecting it. “I am much pleased to learn that Professor [W. W.] Prescott is giving the same lessons in his class to the students that Brother [E. J.] Waggoner has been giving. He is presenting the covenants. John thinks it is presented in a clear and convincing manner.” (Letter 30, 1890) The messages he shared by Prescott was declared to be a feast with vitalizing power by the Spirit of God: “We are at this time in our camp-meeting having a feast of precious things. The word is presented in a most powerful manner. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Brother Prescott in a great measure…. Brother Prescott has been bearing the burning words of truth such as I have heard from some in 1844. The inspiration of the Spirit of God has been upon him. Unbelievers say, “These are the words of God. I never heard such things before.” We have had the truth presented in clear lines. Bro. Prescott has never had such power in preaching the truth as he has had since coming to this meeting. The unbelievers sit with their eyes riveted on him in amazement, as the truth comes forth from his lips, vitalized by the Spirit of God. When I consider the responsibility resting upon all who hear this heaven sent message, I tremble at the word of the Lord. Who will receive the message sent to them?” November 6, 1895 (Letter 25, 1895 to S. N. Haskell, unreleased). When the time is calculated, this too, was the Feast of Tabernacles; the printing of the messages in America from the General Conference headquarters was resisted because they believed it taught doctrinal error regarding the law of God and what was nailed to the cross.

Yet in all of this, they did not see that it was the time of the feast; the light on the law of statutes containing the feasts were covered by the hand of God until the marriage covenant message was received and studied out. This would open up the sacrifice of Christ more fully in the feasts, pouring out more of His spiritual life on His believing people. When Christ is in His rightful place, and as we stand in living connection with Him, then-and only then- can we safely be opened up to more light on the feasts divested from powerless ceremonies, and lifeless observances of the law.

PERSONAL TESTIMONY

The invitation must go forward. I (Christian Israel) am about to take my ministry to Portugal, where I will enter into solemn covenant with my bride-
ruxandra-christian2to-be in the presence of God. We had decided that June 4th would be the date, as so many things pointed to this date as being the one God was directing us to; suggested by my fiance also out of a few conveniences, to which I agreed. The thought kept pressing itself upon my mind, the desire for us to hold a two-day campmeeting on marriage and the image of God in the place where we would be married, two days before the actual wedding. She agreed to this; it would be how we would begin our married life- united in setting Christ before the people, and uniting our lives in Him together in this way.

Going to Europe in late February, I endeavored to find where the feast gatherings were being held. I messaged one sister from Germany, who said there was nothing really established there. As I looked at the times for the feasts and when they would be, so I might plan accordingly, I found something that caused great anticipation and joy. The day we had set to begin the marriage meetings, the meetings of the marriage covenant, where we desired the presence of God was promised to us. It was Pentecost. The promise of the presence of God; of a large outpouring of His Spirit; of power. We’re believing He has chosen to set His name there; His presence promised as we enter into ministry together, approving of our union. It was not uncommon for the days to extend themselves in the feast gatherings when it was a joyous assembly. Pentecost will fall on June 2nd this year. It is followed by the seventh-day Sabbath, and the marriage ceremony shall be on Sunday.

The church was not aware when setting the dates for their conference, that God would provide such great messages of truth, or at just such a perfect timing for the latter rain. Likewise, my bride-to-be, when suggesting the time, knew nothing of the time where Pentecost would fall, nor did I when I suggested the two day extension. We are fully believing God for a wonderful manifestation of His Spirit, but who will come to this marriage feast to partake of the blessings our heavenly Father is eager to pour out on us all? Come to the marriage feast! Come partake of the light of heaven! Come and bring your influence to the Lord’s side, to aid in establishing the work in Europe! Come and receive the living waters from heaven; a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord!

“Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided for them to become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to Him. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast; He will be present, and will do for you that which you need most to have done. Your farms should not be considered of greater value than the higher interests of the soul. All the treasures you possess, be they ever so valuable, would not be rich enough to buy you peace and hope, which would be infinite gain at the cost of all you have and the toils and sufferings of a lifetime. A strong, clear sense of eternal things, and a heart willing to yield all to Christ, are blessings of more value than all the riches and pleasures and glories of this world.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pg. 600

It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the Day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion. John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory” [Rev. 18:1]. Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue.”  Bible Commentary Volume 6, pg. 1055 (1886)

***Confirmed languages and available translators at this feast will be in English, German, and Portuguese.

For more information and to confirm plans, please contact me at 352-208-6079, or better to e-mail me at Christian_isr@live.com.
Let him who has an ear heareth the invitation of the Spirit….

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Pentecost 2017- The Marriage Supper: An Invitation To Blessing
April 30, 2017 (No Comments) by Christian Israel
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“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17)

The call to come and “take the water of life freely” was the invitation given by Jesus on the last great day of the feast of Tabernacles to partake of His Spirit in a deep measure. Christ was shadowing forth the final call to salvation before the time was past forever; these invitations to the marriage are always given inoutpouring-spirit2 connection to the great festivals of the Bible. In the beginning, God made the heavens, with it’s great calendar for “signs and for seasons, for days and for years” (Gen. 1:14); the sun to rule from one day to another, and the moon to reveal one month to another. The sun was the greater light, and the moon (literally “month” in the original Hebrew) the lesser light, from which the light of the sun came.

THE SABBATH FEAST- “My Sabbaths”

The feast of the Sabbath, as revealed in the weekly 7-day cycle, which is ruled by the daystar (the sun) was the first feast spoken of expressly in the Bible. It was given in memorial of creation (Gen. 2:3, Exodus 20:8-11), and declared the Creator’s power to create & sanctify and His authority to make time holy. It was on the Sabbath, that the first marriage given to man was especially enjoyed in the presence of God; His presence alone, visible or invisible, can constitute a true feast. Man, both male and female, had been made in the image of God and His Son (Gen. 1:1, 26-27, Prov. 30:4, Heb. 1:1-2); they were to reveal the covenant relationship that existed between the God & Christ, and between God and creation. Moreover, the word “Sabbath” comes from it’s Hebrew root word, “shâba”; which means perfect completion with an oath (a promise); or to commit oneself fully by promising seven times. This time was a promise that God’s presence was to abide with His creatures by sealing it with the Sabbath as a sign of His marriage to His people.

“Verily, My sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you…Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” (Exo. 31:13)

Sanctification is holiness; just as God sanctified the Sabbath, that the creation by His own hand may abide complete and entire in that Sabbath, He weilds in His creative hand the holy power of sanctifying His people. Furthermore, this sign of sanctification was “for a perpetual covenant” between God and His people. His sanctification is always enjoined to the marriage covenant, revealing the wonderful purpose of marriage is truly to be holy unto Jehovah. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…” (Eph. 5:25-26) When the presence of the husband abides with his wife in marriage union, he is to be a reflection of what the presence of Christ is to His church.

THE TIMES OF REFRESHING

The Sabbath was the first feast. “Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:2-3) Unlike the Sabbath which is contained in the seven-day cycle, governed by the sun (Psalm 136:8), the rest of the feasts were united to the moon, which is the same word in Hebrew for “month”. God thus showing that the light of the Sabbath (like the sun) being the greater light crowns it’s light upon the other feasts (like the moon) as the lesser light; the light of the Sabbath was to be the head of the other feasts, and give them sanctity and honor, like a husband in covenant with his bride. Each of His feasts were sanctified time; they declared God’s redemptive power to create all things new; they also wonderfully illustrate the marriage covenant as a beautiful story of redemption that reveals the love of God for His church.

eden-homeThe Sabbath was a time where God Himself rested, giving those made in His image a pattern to reflect His glory. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17) When we look at this description, it tells us that the Great I AM is “refreshed” by the Sabbath. What does this mean? It means something for us, His people, who keep the sign of His rest. Just as He rested and was refreshed on the Sabbath, so are we to rest after His likeness, and be refreshed. The refreshing literally means “enlivened, taking in the breath of the soul. The Hebrew word is “nâphash” which means “to be breathed upon”; it is the parent word of “nephesh”, which means soul: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed (nâphach-the act of kindling or breathing into) into his nostrils the breath (neshâmâh- vitalizing breath) of life; and man became a living soul (nephesh- a breathing creature).” (Gen. 2:7) God being refreshed means He took in the breath of His life. On the Sabbath, and the feasts, this spiritual breath of life, which carries the presence of God enters and communes in our soul temple; it is the time of taking spiritual breath into the soul.

These promised times came with the promise of the presence of the Lord: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ…” (Acts 3:19-20) When we gather at a feast, it truly means we are feasting on the spiritual presence of the Lord; the life-sustaining bread from heaven, and being refreshed; it means spiritual mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Even so, during these feasts, all who knew the voice of God’s Spirit would gather “unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come…” (Deut. 12:5) The children of Israel were divided into a number of companies of tribes, each were a part of Israel, yet each had it’s own characteristics, qualities, and purposes which God would fulfill by them. To one of these companies of Israel, the rest of Israel were to gather; thus God shows that He would have His people, though they may be divided, united in one body; in one Spirit; by the presence of God breathing newness of life into their souls, and thus bringing the divided tribes into closer communion and worship than was possible at other seasons. As a great King, so the divine presence comes before His people who direct their worship toward His throne.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD- “My Feasts”

The presence of God has always been manifested, physically and spiritually, in greater measure during the feasts than at any other time. It was at Passover, where the protective presence of God, by faith in the blood of the lamb, spared Israel who were in Egypt, but not of Egypt. Likewise, spiritual Israel has a better Passover Lamb with a better celebration than the deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; let us therefore keep the feast” (1 Cor. 5:8), because we are being saved from the death of this world, as Israel was saved from the death of Egypt; the blood’s protection was symbolic of the covering presence of Christ overshadowing their souls. Moreover, we are in the world, but not of it (John 17:13). Then Israel left their lives, their idols, their former practices in Egypt, and had participated in the feast of Unleavened Bread; signifying the removal of the leaven of sin and death in their lives (1 Cor. 5:9).

pillaroffireGod’s presence especially overshadowed His people during the feast that followed Passover in their deliverance, “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” (Lev. 23:5-6) Notice that it is the Lord’s passover that was manifested in a special way to God’s people on the fourteenth day of the first moon of the year; Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Beginning on the fifteenth day, the seven day feast of Unleavened Bread was observed, the first day being a feast Sabbath rest, called “a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.” God’s presence guided them further from Egypt; He manifested His Presence in another special manner to them. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night…” (Exo. 13:21) Thus showing His protective covering and lighting the way by His own presence toward His people. There are many who are still so absorbed in Egypt’s thinking, who know not the time of God’s worship, that all they see is darkness rather than light at these times; they do not discern the presence of God where it seems dark, and thus, they receive none of the promised blessing. “And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.” (Exo 14:20) Yet there were Egyptians who left Egypt with the Israelites; those who forsook all, were numbered with Israel.

That same Presence promises to be in the sacred assemblies of the remnant of “Mt. Zion, the city of the living God: the heavenly Jerusalem…whose names are written in heaven” (Heb. 12:22-23): “It shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:…And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.” (Isaiah 4:2-3) It was the next day, after the first day of Unleavened Bread, on the 16th of the month, after the feast Sabbath, where the firstfruits feast day was held (Lev. 23:11); where the high priest would present the sacrifice before God, and the firstfruit harvest of the land. This was the day when God opened the red sea as a symbol of fully dying to the old life of Egypt, and rising to a new life on the other side of the red sea in Arabia, as heirs of the promised land. It was also the day when Christ resurrected, and presented His sacrifice before the Father to be accepted, but not presenting Himself alone, but also other saints with Him: “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt. 27:51-53) These firstfruits of the harvest were presented by Christ, the high priest before God the Father, and were the first to enter into the promised land of the rest of the harvest still to come. Thus we can see illustrated, God’s special blessings bestowed at these times.

THE SPECIAL PENTECOST

While the above is illustrating God’s acts of love towards His people on His feasts, this next point is the focus of our illustration, so pay special attention to the parallels which shall be drawn here.

From the time of the firstfruits, 50 days were to be counted, in which seven seventh-day Sabbaths would be found. At the fiftieth day, the Feast of Pentecost was observed. This was always in the first days of the third month; depending on whether the month was 29 days or 30, it would differ up to two days. It was the time the beginning of the third month when Israel reached Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1). God was placing His name there to worship Him on the feast of Pentecost and to proclaim His love to His people, as a bridegroom to his bride on the day of a wedding.

bride“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will hearken diligently unto my voice, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:4-6) God here shows how He lovingly sanctified His people apart from the world, that they might enter into His marriage covenant. Like the Sabbath and the marriage union in the beginning, God unites this sanctified time with a sanctified union between Him and His people. He calls them to “hearken diligently unto My voice”; which is more appropriately spoken in the Hebrew “Hear” twice, or in Hebrew “shâma, shâma”, meaning “Hear intelligently from your heart.” It is the same word for the great love we are to have when in marriage covenant with God: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” (Deut. 6:4-6) In beholding His love, like a bridegroom, His love was to speak new life into their hearts, returning back to Him their love by submissive obedience to His commandments.

For this cause, they were called to wash their garments and sanctify themselves three days for this great festival. “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God…And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire…and the voice of the trumpet sounded long…” (Exo. 19:16)
The voice of the trumpet was to be sounded every feast day (Num. 10:1,2), and God’s presence was enthroned upon the mountain in fire. It was on this very day, that God spoke the law of His covenant from the mountain to His people, which were written on “the tables of the covenant”, which by His own finger (Exodus 31:18). It was on the following day, that the blood of the covenant was placed upon them (Exodus 24:8). Yet for disobedience to the covenant, 3000 perished, because they worshipped the gods of the land they had just come out from (Exodus 32:28).

THE PROMISE OF THE LATTER RAIN

Yet God promised that those who would keep His ways would be blessed with rain in due season. “These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel… beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb…Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do…That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:” (Deut. 29:1,9,12) The promise of the covenant was clear: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God… The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season.” (Deut. 28:1-2,12)

holy-spirit-fire2The rain was given for the ripening of the harvest, as symbolized in the feasts. The prophet Hosea recognized the rain as being God’s presence in the feast days: “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hos. 6:3) When the apostles were gathering together on Pentecost to keep the feast, the spiritual presence of God came down in fire upon them, as it did physically in Sinai (Acts 2:3) with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What happened there when the apostles were baptized with the Spirit was entering into a marriage covenant. Few have realized this in it’s significance.

Christ had visited them on the day of resurrection, the firstfruits feast day, at the beginning of the count to Pentecost. Before departing, He promised “ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) It was that same Spirit that casted out devils in the name of Christ, which Spirit was said of Christ to be “with the finger of God” in Luke 11:20, and “with the Spirit of God” in Matthew 12:28. The physical finger wrote upon the tables of the covenant, but the spiritual finger which casts out devils and sin writes the law of the covenant “in fleshy tables of the heart.” The words so long commanded to them finally understood as seen in the love of Christ’s blood; finally, it penetrated their minds in a way that would reach the heart. Instead of 3000 souls lost through disobedience to the covenant, 3000 souls were converted when they received the blood of the covenant. Lastly, the outpouring of the Spirit was a marriage union between Christ and His church: “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Cor. 6:16-17)
Thus this Pentecost was a marriage covenant that the church was “joined unto the Lord”, partaking of His Holy Spirit. God’s presence was manifested wonderfully at the feast, just as at Sinai in a special manner.

And the prophet Joel spoke about the outpouring of the Spirit of God in the former and latter rain as revealed at these sanctified times, as the apostle Peter boldly proclaimed: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts 2:16-18)

THE INVITATION

There remains an invitation to be given to receive the blessings of the latter rain; times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord are still necessary for the spiritual life of the people of God today, and especially more now as we enter into the closing scenes of man’s probation. The call from the Spirit and the Bride who is joined to that Spirit, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This water of life is the Spirit that Christ promised at the feast of tabernacles, bringing the spiritual presence of Christ into the soul to prepare people for the great wedding feast in heaven. These feasts are to receive the breath of God for souls that are spiritually dead in their walk, and need to be joined in Spirit to Christ.

We are told to ask rain in the time of the latter rain (Zechariah 10:1), “which is rain in due season;” it is a call to come up from the Egypt of the world, wherever God’s people are scattered, and to gather together where He chooses to place His name for a large outpouring of His Spirit. “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast… And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King… even upon them shall be no rain.” (Zech. 14:16-17) This is that spiritual Jerusalem, that is spiritually present wherever God’s people gather together in heeding the call of the voice of the Spirit to “come”. But many will not come. They make excuses. They won’t receive the rain. Like the Egyptians who only saw darkness where the Presence of God was as a dark cloud to them, the Israelites saw most precious light in the feast. Even so, it is now. Christ gave a parable about the marriage feast.wedding-feast-1

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.” (Matt. 22:2-3)

“And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
(Luke 14:17-20)

Instead of being in one accord to come and receive the blessing of God’s presence at the feast; the men are in one accord to make excuses why they do not come. Many do the same thing today for not coming to the feast gatherings. For example:

1) A piece of land was purchased- Merchandise, non-essential priorities
2) Oxen being proved- Work
3) Married a wife- Church/doctrinal excuses- a covenant relationship with a church but not with God.

Can we afford not to receive the latter rain blessing to fit us for the marriage feast? To receive as much of the presence of God as we can receive? Will we let excuses keep us from the refreshing that God wants to give to us to prepare us for Christ’s return? This is an invitation to enter into a most precious marriage union with God. “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pen­tecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant” (Christ Object Lessons, pg. 121)

In 1888, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists were given light from heaven that they rejected from the messengers: “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world….When Brother Waggoner brought out these ideas in Minneapo­lis, it was the first clear teaching on this subject from any human lips I had heard…” ( 1888 Materials, 348) The light from heaven was the beginning of the marriage covenant message of the manifest presence of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, but because there was prejudice in the minds of the conference leadership because they held different beliefs on the covenants.

Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing.  Yourself and…others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented. Had you received the true light which shineth you would not have imitated or gone over the same manner of interpretation and misconstruing the Scriptures as did the Jews… The covenant question is a clear question and would be received by every candid, unprejudiced mind, but I was brought where the Lord gave me an insight into this matter. You have turned from plain light…” (Ellen White, Letter to Uriah Smith, March 8, 1890)

“Now I tell you here before God, that the covenant question, as it has been presented, is the truth.” (Sermon Transcript, March 8, 1890, Battle Creek.)

 Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit [i.e. the “latter rain”] that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in car­rying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world (1888 Materials, 1575)

“They said, This is only excitement; it is not the Holy Spirit, not showers from heaven of the latter rain. There were hearts full of unbelief, who did not drink in of the Spirit, but who had bitterness in their souls. On many occasions the Holy Spirit did work, but those who 1479 resisted the Spirit of God at Minneapolis were waiting for a chance to travel over the same ground again, because their spirit was the same… Afterward, when they had evidence heaped upon evidence, some were convicted, but those who were not softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit’s working, put their own interpretation upon every manifestation of the grace of God,and they have lost much.” (1888 Materials, 1479)

The evidences were beautifully realized for the truth about the marriage covenant; light was to come to God’s people if they would receive it. The invitation to receive the Spirit was there, but the “latter rain” message was called only excitement. Reasons were given to make of no effect all of the evidence God was supplying to the leadership, and the message was never received, and never advanced further. This time of the latter rain… what was it? When calculated according to the calendar God gave in creation, the 1888 message of the latter rain came exactly at the time of the feast of Tabernacles! It was the time of the feast, it was the message of the covenant, and God’s presence was coming to them in a special manner at the time of the latter rain! Yet it was rejected… they did not obtain the blessing God wanted them to receive.

Shortly after this time, in 1893, Ellen White was in Australia, where the work was beginning through campmeetings. She wrote about the campmeetings, calling them the feast of tabernacles, and in 1895, urged them to come to the feast “for all things are ready”. W.W. Prescott began sharing messages which Ellen White endorsed highly. With Jones and Waggoner of 1888, she said Prescott was also presenting the messages of the covenants, showing he was one of the few who received the message when others were rejecting it. “I am much pleased to learn that Professor [W. W.] Prescott is giving the same lessons in his class to the students that Brother [E. J.] Waggoner has been giving. He is presenting the covenants. John thinks it is presented in a clear and convincing manner.” (Letter 30, 1890) The messages he shared by Prescott was declared to be a feast with vitalizing power by the Spirit of God: “We are at this time in our camp-meeting having a feast of precious things. The word is presented in a most powerful manner. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Brother Prescott in a great measure…. Brother Prescott has been bearing the burning words of truth such as I have heard from some in 1844. The inspiration of the Spirit of God has been upon him. Unbelievers say, “These are the words of God. I never heard such things before.” We have had the truth presented in clear lines. Bro. Prescott has never had such power in preaching the truth as he has had since coming to this meeting. The unbelievers sit with their eyes riveted on him in amazement, as the truth comes forth from his lips, vitalized by the Spirit of God. When I consider the responsibility resting upon all who hear this heaven sent message, I tremble at the word of the Lord. Who will receive the message sent to them?” November 6, 1895 (Letter 25, 1895 to S. N. Haskell, unreleased). When the time is calculated, this too, was the Feast of Tabernacles; the printing of the messages in America from the General Conference headquarters was resisted because they believed it taught doctrinal error regarding the law of God and what was nailed to the cross.

Yet in all of this, they did not see that it was the time of the feast; the light on the law of statutes containing the feasts were covered by the hand of God until the marriage covenant message was received and studied out. This would open up the sacrifice of Christ more fully in the feasts, pouring out more of His spiritual life on His believing people. When Christ is in His rightful place, and as we stand in living connection with Him, then-and only then- can we safely be opened up to more light on the feasts divested from powerless ceremonies, and lifeless observances of the law.

PERSONAL TESTIMONY

The invitation must go forward. I (Christian Israel) am about to take my ministry to Portugal, where I will enter into solemn covenant with my bride-
ruxandra-christian2to-be in the presence of God. We had decided that June 4th would be the date, as so many things pointed to this date as being the one God was directing us to; suggested by my fiance also out of a few conveniences, to which I agreed. The thought kept pressing itself upon my mind, the desire for us to hold a two-day campmeeting on marriage and the image of God in the place where we would be married, two days before the actual wedding. She agreed to this; it would be how we would begin our married life- united in setting Christ before the people, and uniting our lives in Him together in this way.

Going to Europe in late February, I endeavored to find where the feast gatherings were being held. I messaged one sister from Germany, who said there was nothing really established there. As I looked at the times for the feasts and when they would be, so I might plan accordingly, I found something that caused great anticipation and joy. The day we had set to begin the marriage meetings, the meetings of the marriage covenant, where we desired the presence of God was promised to us. It was Pentecost. The promise of the presence of God; of a large outpouring of His Spirit; of power. We’re believing He has chosen to set His name there; His presence promised as we enter into ministry together, approving of our union. It was not uncommon for the days to extend themselves in the feast gatherings when it was a joyous assembly. Pentecost will fall on June 2nd this year. It is followed by the seventh-day Sabbath, and the marriage ceremony shall be on Sunday.

The church was not aware when setting the dates for their conference, that God would provide such great messages of truth, or at just such a perfect timing for the latter rain. Likewise, my bride-to-be, when suggesting the time, knew nothing of the time where Pentecost would fall, nor did I when I suggested the two day extension. We are fully believing God for a wonderful manifestation of His Spirit, but who will come to this marriage feast to partake of the blessings our heavenly Father is eager to pour out on us all? Come to the marriage feast! Come partake of the light of heaven! Come and bring your influence to the Lord’s side, to aid in establishing the work in Europe! Come and receive the living waters from heaven; a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord!

“Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided for them to become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to Him. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast; He will be present, and will do for you that which you need most to have done. Your farms should not be considered of greater value than the higher interests of the soul. All the treasures you possess, be they ever so valuable, would not be rich enough to buy you peace and hope, which would be infinite gain at the cost of all you have and the toils and sufferings of a lifetime. A strong, clear sense of eternal things, and a heart willing to yield all to Christ, are blessings of more value than all the riches and pleasures and glories of this world.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pg. 600

It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the Day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion. John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory” [Rev. 18:1]. Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue.”  Bible Commentary Volume 6, pg. 1055 (1886)

***Confirmed languages and available translators at this feast will be in English, German, and Portuguese.

For more information and to confirm plans, please contact me at 352-208-6079, or better to e-mail me at Christian_isr@live.com.
Let him who has an ear heareth the invitation of the Spirit….

pentecost-invitation

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