The Case for the Pre-Trib Rapture, Part Three – The Counting of the Omer

What exactly is “the counting of the Omer”?  We have already covered it in great detail, at least from the timing aspect.  One thing should be certain by this point.  Even if you are not really sure what the Omer is, you certainly know when it starts.  If you had no understanding of the Omer before reading part two, you now have a lot of detail without full context.  By the time you complete part three that will all change.  We need to take a moment and lay out what the counting of the Omer actually is on the basic level.  Here is the nickel tour.

Image result for counting of the omer

Due to the length of this project, here is the link to the PDF version, complete with page numbers:

The Case for the Pre-Trib Rapture, Part Three – The Counting of the Omer

The counting of the Omer is specifically a counting of the days between Firstfruits and Pentecost.  The count numbers 49 days, with Pentecost being the 50th day, and Firstfruits being the 1st day.  In Firstfruits, the firstfruits of the barley harvest are presented.

On Pentecost, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest are presented.  In the Bible, Pentecost is actually called the “Feast of Weeks”, even though the count is presented in days, and not weeks.  We will detail this shortly.

The count starts the first day of the week, after the weekly Sabbath following Passover and Unleavened Bread.  It lasts 49 days, concluding on the Sunday following the 7th Sabbath in the series.

The counting, along with the two firstfruits offerings, represent two of the three primary harvests in Israel.  The first national harvest is barley.  It can commence after the barley is presented at the Temple.  The second national harvest is wheat.  It usually commences after the wheat is presented at the Temple.  The third national harvest  is fruit.  It commences in the fall during the fall feasts.

There are numerous ideas about what actually happens during the count, and what the count represents spiritually and prophetically.  However, it is one of the least understood subjects in the Bible, and many Christians have never even heard the term “counting of the Omer”.  Yet, the Omer contains some of the most dramatic revelations concerning the end times.  It also serves as a timing marker to lay out the order of events during the end times.  It also combines with the other pieces that will be presented in all five parts of this project to present a completed feast days prophetic picture.

With that, let’s start the show!

The Omer Fulfilled?

There is one aspect of the Omer which is gaining attention.  It is whether or not the Omer has been fulfilled.  The Omer has been a neglected piece of the feast picture, and a subject that many believers did not even know existed.  Even if you read about the Omer 50 different times, you likely read right over it.  However, the Lord has turned up the level of interest as the end times have come front and center.

How exactly does one fulfill “an Omer” in the Bible?  What exactly is required?

What is an Omer in the first place?

The tricky thing about the counting is that it is not a clear cut case.  Unlike the other feast days, there is nothing that jumps out as an “ah hah!” moment.  Of course, there is the tie to Pentecost.  There are the ties to the harvests.  The number 50 has significance elsewhere in the Bible.  Still, it is no easy task to pinpoint the smoking gun when looking to the fulfillment of the Omer.  At least, that was until recent times.

We will discuss the different aspects of the Omer, many of which are absolute bombshells.  However, a good place to start the meat of our conversation is on one of the more interesting questions with regards to the Omer, and whether or not it has been fulfilled.  The question centers on the count lasting 50 days, and the 40 days that Jesus spent with the disciples before He ascended back to Heaven.

There have been numerous discussions on this topic.  Among the most interesting are those which center on a unique hypothesis.  Given that there are 10 days “left over” from the ascension of Christ to the end of the Omer, those 10 days must yet be fulfilled.  It has been surmised by some that these 10 days will be fulfilled during the rapture.  Yes, I said “during”.  The premise here is that the dead in Christ may actually walk around for 10 days before those who are “alive, and remain” are caught up to be with the Lord.

This is not an unreasonable speculation, false though it may be.  Understand, I use the word “false” here not to imply false doctrine on the part of those that discuss this possibility.  For the most part, this is an idea that has remained that – an idea.  So far, I have not seen this presented as a hard and fast doctrine – yet.  However, as with all false doctrines, they all start somewhere.  Only time will tell if this idea catches fire.

With that said, what makes this a good topic for the project is that it demonstrates the need for critical observation skills, and that with such skills an entire body of evidence surfaces.  In the case of the Omer, that body of evidence lands front and center on the pre-trib rapture.  It ties into the Shemitah, TDBU (to down, bottom up), the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Trumpets.

The first thing we need to address is assumption.  Assumption gets us into more trouble when it comes to reading and studying the Bible.  So often, we will read a story and assume things that were never actually said.  This is the same premise with revelation knowledge.  We spoke on this in part one, and how the Lord will reveal something to us.  Afterwards, in dissecting and contemplating the revelation, we will slowly introduce logical errors into what the Lord said to us.  By the time it is all said and done, we have taken a three-part revelation and added another six parts to it.  When the six additions never come to pass, we begin to question God and why He “lied” to us.

He never lied – He did exactly what He said He would do in the three actual revelations!

In the case of the Omer and ascension, we have done the same thing.  Follow very carefully what I am about to ask, and what I am saying in that question.

Where does the Bible actually say that Jesus ascended on day 40 or 41?

I use 40 and 41 interchangeably, as they imply the same thing.  It comes down to how you view the text, and the premise that days are given in the Bible as full counts.  By default, 40 days would be a full 40 days.  By definition, that would mean day 41 for the ascension.

Here is the part of the question you probably glossed over: ON day 40 or 41?”

However, semantics aside, the original question remains.  Of course, the standard and expected response is that the Bible declared that Jesus was here for 40 days.  This would be absolutely correct.  It tells us this in Acts.  However, it would help if I expanded on the question.  Let’s try it like this.

When does the Bible say the 40 days actually begins?

The natural assumption is that it began when Jesus arose from the grave.  However, as we saw extensively in Part Two, beginnings and endings are not always what they seem.  How many of us simply assumed that the three days and three nights started with the death on the cross?  How many of us failed to realize that it was not until the tomb was sealed the next day that the crucifixion segment of the week ended?  It did not end when Jesus was taken off the cross.

When you undertake a study of the 40 days that Jesus was with the disciples, you find that it compares quite a bit to the 40 days of temptation in the wilderness.  It is with good reason.  Forty days represents many things, both good and bad.  In the case of the 40 days of temptation and the 40 days that Jesus walked with the Disciples, 40 represents a start.  Much as 40 days represented a start in the days of Moses.  Forty days brought the start of the Law.  Forty days brought the start of the ministry of Christ.  Forty days brought the start of the church.  Forty days brought the rains and waters that destroyed all life upon the earth!  Of course, the 40 days of water did in fact bring a start.  It was the start of the renewed time of life upon the earth.  Still, what a way to get a fresh start.

What we have in this question needs to be examined in two parts.  The first part centers on the comparison of the 40 days with the Disciples to the 40 days in the wilderness.  The second part is something we will examine later.  It contains a bombshell revelation that will open up the Omer in ways you never thought possible.

In studying the 40 days in the wilderness, you will have natural assumptions challenged.  Understand, I am not talking about a wholesale rewrite of the Bible, or introducing new doctrine.  Rather, I am talking about assumptions that we have simply never examined as a body.  This section will not rewrite the Bible.  It will, however, make you do a double take on how you read and process scripture.  With that, let’s bring in the scriptures in question:

From the Book of Matthew:

The Baptism of Jesus

3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[c] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[d] with whom I am well pleased.”

The Temptation of Jesus

4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

From the Book of Mark:

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare[c] the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”

4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[d] with you I am well pleased.”

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;[e] repent and believe in the gospel.”

From the Book of Luke:

The Temptation of Jesus

4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

What do you see when you read these scriptures?

For most, the answer would be something along these lines – “Jesus was baptized at the River Jordan, and then He was in the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days”.  This would be a good general description.  However, it would be incorrect.  Rather, it would be an incomplete understanding.

I say “incomplete”, as this is a perfect example of how we read past certain things, and substitute them with assumptions.  Critical observations are required to reveal interesting details, and will have a bearing on the second point we spoke of a moment ago.

In our particular story, the core assumption rests in the impression that Jesus was at the River Jordan one moment, and almost “magically” in the wilderness the next.  We almost get the sense that He was baptized in the morning, and made His way to the wilderness by dinner time.  Is this a fair assessment?

It is right to call this an understandable assessment, as opposed to a fair assessment, as the English reading of these scripture lend credence to the common understanding.  Indeed, it does almost appear that Jesus was in one location in one moment, and then suddenly finds Himself in another location almost instantaneously.

One of the benefits to original language word studies is that we can see the original intent of the scripture.  Likewise, we find that the modern meaning of different words in the Bible does not always match the ancient meaning.  We also find that many words in the Bible held more meanings during those times than they do now.  Such is the case with the 40 days in the wilderness and the temptation of Christ.

Before we go further, I need to state that we are not talking about the wholesale rewriting of 2,000 year old doctrine.  Rather, what we are about to see are the prophetic pictures contained in the stories that we read in the Bible.  The 40 days in the wilderness provides an amazing framework for discovering and analyzing pictures of the rapture concealed in the Omer, and the 40 days that Jesus spent with the Disciples before His ascension.  There is a reason why 2,000 years worth of scholars are inexplicably drawn to the similarities and comparisons between these two seemingly separate events.

As we will see in a few moments, there are a few additional scriptures that we must also look at.  Let’s start our examination with the scriptures above and the additional scriptures, and pull out critical points that speak to the necessity of observation skills.

From Matthew:

3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,

What do each of these scriptures have in common?  They address time and location in the events they describe.  Why are these details important?  These are the details which reveal what and when the events of the 40 days in the wilderness actually happened.  These are the events that can open up our understanding of the counting of the Omer, and why the common perception of both events is incorrect.

Let’s continue with Mark:

1:4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,

From Luke:

4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.

And finally, from John:

1:28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Here is the key to what the Bible reveals.  Any one of the above accounts can, and does, support the “instant wilderness” premise.  However, when you look at each of the accounts together, they reveal key pieces that are stunning.  Furthermore, when you bring in original word studies, the picture becomes even more dramatic.  Let’s take the relevant pieces book by book, and build a timeline.

In Matthew, we find that John was in the Judean wilderness.  We also find that the Judean wilderness is in an area where Jerusalem, all Judea, and the region around the Jordan could readily come and see him.  This is important.  It places John in Central Israel, near the Dead Sea.

We also find that Jesus came from Galilee when He went to see John.  This puts Jesus in Northern Israel, near the Sea of Galilee, before He went to be baptized.  Depending on the route of travel, this puts Jesus around 60 to 70 miles away from John when He starts on His baptismal journey.  This becomes crucial to our study.

After the baptism, Jesus is led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.  There are two points here that we will examine in a moment – what the Bible means by “led”, and where exactly is the “wilderness”.

Next, we get one of the most critical clues in all of the accounts:

2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Why is this a critical clue?  It is because of the scripture that follows it:

3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Did you catch that?  Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days BEFORE the tempter came!  We each recognize this most famous of temptations.  We have all recited the words “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”I did not have to look up and copy those words.  I know them by heart, as you likely do as well.  As such, we know that the other two temptations come after this.  Of course, Matthew bears this out.  However, we would not need to read any further to learn this fact.  It is something all of us know.

This tells us that the time in the wilderness is greater than 40 days.  We know this from the words in verse 2.  Likewise, we have extensive evidence from Part Two that confirms the full and complete nature of time frames given in the Bible.  Just as the sign of Jonah reveals a full three days and three nights, an original word study here likewise reveals a full 40 days.

Certainly, the three temptations we see in the wilderness can happen in the space of a day.  At best, that leaves us at 41 days.  Still, the point is that we have evidence that the time frames we see in our minds does not always match the actual truth.  This gives us the evidence required to merit further examination.  Already, we are at more than 40 days, and each day past the 40 is one less day that is unaccounted for in the total of 50.  Remember, the purpose of our current study is to reveal the similarities between the 40 days in the wilderness and the 40 days before the ascension, and whether or not there really is 10 unaccounted days between the Ascension and Pentecost.  This puts us at nine days max.

There are two additional pieces of note:

After the temptation Jesus withdrew into Galilee.  Once in Galilee, He is in Nazareth, followed by Capernaum.

All of this gives us an interesting picture to start with, though nothing to really challenge the common narrative – save the timing revelation in verses two and three.  However, that singular revelation is a bombshell in its own right.  That said, while this picture in Matthew alone does not completely upend the common narrative, it does serve to pigeonhole us into a specific narrative of which any additional insights will really upset the apple cart, so to speak.  With that, let’s look at Mark.

It is confirmed that John is in the wilderness, and close enough for those in Jerusalem and Judea to readily see him.

We now get another piece of the puzzle.  We find out that Jesus is not just in Galilee, but specifically Nazareth when He heads off to be baptized.  Combined with Matthew, this tells us that Jesus is in Nazareth both before and after the time in the wilderness.

This becomes critical when you remember another principle we learned from both parts one and two – that all of the individual events in a series of events are part of the same overall and specific picture.  That matters in this respect – the baptism is a singular event.  The wilderness and temptation is a singular event.  Just as the events attached to the resurrection are a single event in total.  The same principle applies here.  All of the ancillary events attached to each phase are a part of that overall event.  This will make a great deal more sense shortly.  We can now look at the key points in Luke.  This is where we really start to open things up.

In verse four we find the next bombshell:

4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness

The key here is “returned”.  Likewise, we see this same premise in verse 14:

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.

Here are the key points.  In both cases Jesus “returned” after completing the task at hand.  In verse one, the task was the baptism in the Jordan.  In verse 14, the task was the 40 days and temptation.  What these scriptures tell us is that when Jesus finished what He was doing, He returned to where He came from prior.

Here is what you cannot miss.  In verse one, Jesus returns BEFORE He is led into the wilderness.  When combined with Matthew and Mark, this tells us that Jesus returned back to Nazareth BEFORE going to the wilderness!  Remember, Galilee itself was some 60 to 70 miles away from the place where John was baptizing in the River Jordan.

Likewise, after the 40 days and the temptation, Jesus again returned before He began His actual ministry.  Remember, every journey and location in the Bible is specific.  The Bible does not record any locations “just because”.  We are meant to learn and see fulfilled scripture in every stop Jesus makes.  There are reasons why His public ministry does not start until he “returns” to Galilee, and Nazareth specifically.

Additional study into the original Greek bears out this understanding.  There are several definitions and context in which “returned” can be used.  However, in the case of the baptism, 40 days and temptation, “returned” is used to specify effect.

Englishman’s Concordance

ὑπέστρεψεν (hypestrepsen) — 6 Occurrences

Luke 1:56 V-AIA-3S
GRK: τρεῖς καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς τὸν
NAS: months, and [then] returned to her home.
KJV: months, and returned to her own
INT: three and returned to the

Luke 4:1 V-AIA-3S
GRK: πνεύματος ἁγίου ὑπέστρεψεν ἀπὸ τοῦ
NAS: Spirit, returned from the Jordan
KJV: Ghost returned from
INT: of [the] Spirit Holy returned from the

Luke 4:14 V-AIA-3S
GRK: Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς
NAS: And Jesus returned to Galilee
KJV: And Jesus returned in the power
INT: And returned Jesus

Luke 8:37 V-AIA-3S
GRK: εἰς πλοῖον ὑπέστρεψεν
NAS: and He got into a boat and returned.
KJV: the ship, and returned back again.
INT: into the boat returned

Luke 17:15 V-AIA-3S
GRK: ὅτι ἰάθη ὑπέστρεψεν μετὰ φωνῆς
NAS: that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying
KJV: he was healed, turned back, and with
INT: that he was healed turned back with a voice

Acts 13:13 V-AIA-3S
GRK: ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς Ἰεροσόλυμα
NAS: left them and returned to Jerusalem.
KJV: from them returned to Jerusalem.
INT: from them returned to Jerusalem

Strong’s Concordance
hupostrephó: to turn back, return

Original Word: ὑποστρέφω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: hupostrephó
Phonetic Spelling: (hoop-os-tref’-o)
Short Definition: I turn back, return
Definition: I turn back, return.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
from hupo and strephó
Definition
to turn back, return
NASB Translation
return (6), returned (22), returning (3), started back (1), turn away (1), turned back (1), went back (1).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 5290: ὑποστρέφω

ὑποστρέφω; imperfect ὑπέστρεφον; future ὑποστρέψω; 1 aorist ὑπέστρεψα; from Homer down; the Sept. for שׁוּב;

1. transitive, to turn back, to turn about: as ἵππους, Homer, Iliad 5, 581.

2. intransitive, to turn back i. e. to return: absolutely, Mark 14:40 (here L WH πάλιν ἐλθών Tr ἐλθών); Luke 2:20 (here Rec.ἐπέστρεψαν), ; ; Acts 8:28; followed by an infinitive of purpose, Luke 17:18; followed by διά with a genitive of place, Acts 20:3; εἰς with an accusative of place, Luke 1:56; Luke 2:39 (here T Tr marginal reading WH ἐπέστρεψεν),; ; Acts 1:12; Acts 8:25; Acts 13:13; Acts 14:21; Acts 21:6; Acts 22:17; Acts 23:32; Galatians 1:17; εἰς διαφθοράν, Acts 13:34; ἀπό with a genitive of place, Luke 4:1; Luke 24:9 (WH brackets ἀπό etc.); ἀπό with a genitive of the business, Hebrews 7:1; ἐκ with a genitive of place, Acts 12:25; ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας ἐντολῆς, of those who after embracing Christianity apostatize, 2 Peter 2:21 T TrWH, but Lachmann (against the authorities) εἰς τά ὀπίσω ἀπό τῆς etc.

In the case on 4:1, “returned” is an intransitive verb.  Here is an excerpt from ntgreek.org on the meaning of intransitive verbs:

  1. Intransitive Verbs
    An intransitive verb is a verb that does not transfer action to a noun (a direct object). Therefore it is a verb that, by nature, does not have a direct object. In essence, the action begins and ends with the subject of the sentence. For example “Unceasingly pray” (I Thess 5:17). Again the understood subject of the sentence is ‘you’. There is no transfer of motion to a direct object. There are no further words necessary to make the sentence complete.

What that means is this.  In verse 4:1, the Jordan is NOT the subject of “returned”.  The subject is understood, but not spoken.  When taken with the given definitions above, and the context of different scriptures (the intransitive examples, as “returned” can also be transitive), we see that the understood subject of “returned” can only be someplace that can be returned to, by virtue of having come from that place.

This is further strengthened by the fact the “returned” is NOT transitive in 4:1.  If it were, then the River Jordan would have been the subject of the action.  In other words, “returned” would have been a statement about arriving at, and leaving the Jordan.  It would not have dealt with where.  It could have been indicative of action, as in “left His work in Galilee to go the Jordan, and returned to His work after being baptized – this time in Jerusalem”.

This leaves only one possibility.  Wherever Jesus was before He went to the Jordan, that is where He returned to after He left the Jordan.  Remember, we have already seen that He completed this “return” BEFORE He was led into the wilderness!

Incidentally, 4:14 – the other use of “returned” in Luke just happens to be a transitive verb, meaning it’s direct subject is not implied, but stated in the sentence!

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee,

With that, let’s bring the next piece from the Book of John.  We find a singular verse that bears on this discussion.  It just happens to be a tremendous piece of the puzzle.  John 1:28 tells us specifically where Jesus went to be baptized.  It was not just the Jordan, nor the wilderness.  It was a specific location known as “Bethany across the Jordan”.  We know exactly where Christ was baptized, as Bethany across the Jordan still exists today.

We have detailed several revelations so far.  However, there is a roadblock that we must navigate before we go any further.  We have spoken earlier of the impression given by the scriptures that Jesus was at the Jordan one moment, and in the wilderness the next.  This impression is given by the wording used.  However, we already see evidence in those same scriptures that Jesus did not travel from the Jordan to the wilderness.  We see that He returned to Nazareth before He headed into the wilderness.

We need to briefly examine the wording that gives us the sense of urgency, as well as the location of the wilderness.  In these examinations resides the answers to our original questions.  Here are the scriptures in question:

Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Mark 1:12 – The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

Luke 4:1 – And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness

Our examination centers on the words “led”, “wilderness”, “immediately” and “drove”, and their original forms in the Greek.  With that, let’s go down the list and examine all four.

Englishman’s Concordance

ἀνήχθη (anēchthē) — 2 Occurrences

Matthew 4:1 V-AIP-3S
GRK: ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν
NAS: Jesus was led up by the Spirit
KJV: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit
INT: Jesus was led up into the

Acts 18:21 V-AIP-3S
GRK: θεοῦ θέλοντος ἀνήχθη ἀπὸ τῆς
NAS: wills, he set sail from Ephesus.
KJV: will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
INT: God willing he sailed from

Strong’s Concordance
anagó: to lead up, bring up

Original Word: ἀνάγω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: anagó
Phonetic Spelling: (an-ag’-o)
Short Definition: I lead up, put to sea, set sail
Definition: I lead up, bring up, offer, produce, put to sea, set sail.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
from ana and agó
Definition
to lead up, bring up
NASB Translation
bring (2), brought (5), launched (1), led (2), put out to sea (4), putting out to sea (1), set sail (7), setting sail (1).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 321: ἀνάγω

ἀνάγω: 2 aorist ἀνήγαγον, infinitive ἀναγαγεῖν (participle ἀναγαγών); passive (present ἀνάγομαι); 1 aorist (cf. under the end) ἀνήχθην; (from Homer down); to lead up, to lead or bring into a higher place; followed by εἰς with accusative of the place: Luke 2:22; Luke 4:5 (T Tr WH omit; L brackets the clause); (T Tr WHἀπήγαγον); Acts 9:39; Acts 16:34; Matthew 4:1 (εἰς τήν ἔρημον, namely, from the low bank of the Jordan). τινα ἐκ νεκρῶν from the dead in the world below, to the upper world, Hebrews 13:20; Romans 10:7; τινα τῷ λαῷ to bring one forth who has been detained in prison (a lower place), and set him before the people to be tried, Acts 12:4; θυσίαν, τῷ εἰδώλῳ to offer sacrifice to the idol, because the victim is lifted up on the altar, Acts 7:41. Navigators are κατ’ ἐξοχήν said ἀνάγεσθαι (passive (or middle)) when they launch out, set sail, put to sea (so ἀναγωγή in Justin Martyr, dialog contra Trypho,

c. 142 (and in the classics)): Luke 8:22; Acts 13:13; Acts 16:11; Acts 18:21; Acts 20:3, 13; 21:(), ; . (Polybius 1, 21, 4; 23, 3, etc.) (Compare: ἐπανάγω.)

The takeaway here is that the original Greek ascribes no sense of urgency to the definition of ἀπήγαγον.  It does not speak to an immediate driving into the wilderness, nor a delayed journey.  In the original Greek, “was led up” does not speak to timing – only to what is happening.  In this case, it simply tells us that after Jesus was baptized He knew that he had to go to the wilderness.

Let’s examine “wilderness”:

Englishman’s Concordance

ἔρημον (erēmon) — 13 Occurrences

Matthew 4:1 Adj-AFS
GRK: εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ
NAS: up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted
KJV: into the wilderness to be tempted
INT: into the wilderness by the

** I will not post all 13 occurrences

Strong’s Concordance
erémos: solitary, desolate

Original Word: ἔρημος, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: erémos
Phonetic Spelling: (er’-ay-mos)
Short Definition: deserted, desolate, a desert
Definition: as an adj: deserted, desolate, waste; hence: the desert, to the east and south of Palestine; of a person: deserted, abandoned, desolate.

2048 érēmos – properly, an uncultivated, unpopulated place; a desolate (deserted) area; (figuratively) a barren, solitary place that also provides needed quiet (freedom from disturbance).

In Scripture, a “desert” (2048 /érēmos) is ironically also where God richly grants His presence and provision for those seeking Him. The limitless Lord shows Himself strong in the “limiting” (difficult) scenes of life.

[2048 (érēmos) in the strict sense expresses a lack of population (not merely “sparse vegetation”). This root (erēmo-) does “not suggest absolute barrenness but unappropriated territory affording free range for shepherds and their flocks. Hepworth Dixon (The Holy Land) says, ‘Even in the wilderness nature is not so stern as man. Here and there, in clefts and basins, and on the hillsides, grade on grade, you observe a patch of corn, a clump of olives, a single palm’ ” (WS, 22).]

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
a prim. word
Definition
solitary, desolate
NASB Translation
desert (2), deserts (1), desolate (6), open pasture (1), secluded (5), unpopulated (1), wilderness (32).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 2048: ἔρημος

ἔρημος, ἔρημον (in classic Greek also ἔρημος, ἐρήμη, ἔρημον, cf. Winers Grammar, § 11, 1; (Buttmann, 25 (23); on its accent cf. Chandler §§ 393, 394; Winer‘s Grammar, 52 (51)));

1. adjective solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited: of places, Matthew 14:13, 15; Mark 1:35; Mark 6:32; Luke 4:42; Luke 9:10 (R GL), ; Acts 1:20, etc.; ὁδός, leading through a desert, Acts 8:26 (2 Samuel 2:24 the Sept.), see Γάζα, under the end of persons: “deserted by others; deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred; bereft”; (so often by Greek writers of every age, as Aeschylus Ag. 862; Pers. 734; Aristophanes pax 112; ἔρημος τέ καί ὑπό πάντωνκαταλειφθείς, Herodian, 2, 12, 12 (7 edition, Bekker); of a flock deserted by the shepherd, Homer, Iliad 5, 140): γυνή, a woman neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself, Galatians 4:27, from Isaiah 54:1; of Jerusalem, bereft of Christ’s presence, instruction and aid, Matthew 23:38 (L and WH texts omit); Luke 13:35 Rec.; cf. Bleek, Erklär. d. drei ersten Evv. ii., p. 206 (cf. Baruch 4:19; Additions to (6:13); 2 Macc. 8:35).

2. a substantive, ἔρημος, namely, χώρα; the Sept. often for מִדְבַּר; a desert, wilderness (Herodotus 3, 102): Matthew 24:26; Revelation 12:6, 14; Revelation 17:3; αἱ ἔρημοι, desert places, lonely regions: Luke 1:80; Luke 5:16; Luke 8:29. an uncultivated region fit for pasturage, Luke 15:4. used of the desert of Judaea (cf. Winer‘s Grammar, § 18, 1), Matthew 3:1; Mark 1:3; Luke 1:80; Luke 3:2, 4; John 1:23; of the desert of Arabia, Acts 7:30, 36, 38, 42, 44; 1 Corinthians 10:5; Hebrews 3:8, 17. Cf. Winers RWB under the word Wüste; Furrer in Sehenkel see 680ff; (B. D., see under the words, <reference_work:smith’s bible=”” dictionary=””>and<reference_work:smith’s bible=”” dictionary=””> (American edition)).

This is another case where there are far too many variations for every scripture to be listed.  As we have covered before, in those cases you will have to do a detailed comparison manually.  Fortunately in this case, the meanings for wilderness are fairly straightforward, and few.  A comparison reveals what is readily obvious.  “Wilderness” in these scriptures is not a figure of speech.  It speaks to a real place.  That is where the information above helps.  There is one part I want to point out:

“used of the desert of Judaea”

In Israel during the times of Jesus, there was only one region that was geographically classified as the wilderness – it was the desert regions of Judea, on the western shores of the Dead Sea.  While there was terrain throughout Israel that you and I might consider “wilderness” due to it’s condition, the actual wilderness was a rather daunting expanse of “nothingness”.  This is a well known and understood historical fact, and one that holds today as well.  What was the Judean wilderness 2,000 years ago is still the wilderness today.  The only difference is that in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, modern technology and outright miracles are turning this same region into a lush paradise, complete with actual farming!

Now, let’s examine “immediately” and “drove”:

Englishman’s Concordance
εὐθὺς (euthys) — 51 Occurrences

Mark 1:12 Adv
GRK: Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα
INT: And immediately the Spirit

Strong’s Concordance
eutheós: at once, directly
Original Word: εὐθέως
Part of Speech: Adverb
Transliteration: eutheós
Phonetic Spelling: (yoo-theh’-oce)
Short Definition: immediately, soon
Definition: immediately, soon, at once.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 2112: εὐθέως

εὐθέως, adverb (from εὐθύς), straightway, immediately, forthwith: Matthew 4:20, 22; Matthew 8:3, and often in the historical books, especially Mark’s Gospel (where, however, T Tr WH have substituted εὐθύς in some 35 out of 41 cases); elsewhere only in Galatians 1:16; James 1:24; Revelation 4:2, (for פִּתְאֹם, Job 5:3). shortly, soon: 3 John 1:14. (From Sophocles down.)

Strong’s Concordance
ekballo: I throw, cast, put out, banish, bring forth, produce
Original Word: ἐκβάλλω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: ekballo
Phonetic Spelling: (ek-bal’-lo)
Short Definition: I throw, cast, put out, banish, bring forth, produce
Definition: I throw (cast, put) out; I banish; I bring forth, produce.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 1544: ἐκβάλλω

ἐκβάλλω; imperfect 3 person plural ἐξέβαλλον (Mark 6:13 (Tr marginal reading aorist)); future ἐκβάλω; pluperfect ἐκβεβλήκειν (without augment, Mark 16:9; cf. Winers Grammar, § 12, 9; Buttmann, 33 (29)); 2 aorist ἐξέβαλον; (passive and middle present ἐκβάλλομαι); 1 aorist passive ἐξεβλήθην; future passive ἐκβληθήσομαι; (from Homer down); the Sept. generally for גָּרַשׁ, occasionally for הוצִיא, הורִישׁ, הִשְׁלִיך; to cast out; to drive out; to send out;

2. without the notion of violence;

d. followed by εἰς with the accusative of place, to lead one forth or away somewhere with a force which he cannot resist: Mark 1:12. (On the pleonastic phrase ἐκβάλλειν ἔξω (or ἔξωθεν) cf. Winers Grammar, § 65, 2.)

I combined the evidence for “immediately” and “drive” together, as they reveal something interesting.  We find that the actual meaning in the scriptures is not that Jesus was forced immediately into the wilderness.  Rather, “immediate” describes the speed and urgency with which the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and revealed what He was to do next.  It is more accurate to say that Jesus “was baptized, and immediately knew what was to come”.

We see this confirmed in the meaning of “drove” that author used in the text.  “To lead one forth or away somewhere with a force which he cannot resist” speaks specifically to the weight of the matter at hand, and not the speed with which it was completed.  Remember, Jesus “returned” to Nazareth before being led into the wilderness.

We see this demonstrated further in the different definitions for “drove” that were specifically NOT used in Mark 1:12, yet are used elsewhere.

“to drive out, to cast out, to expel, to compel one to depart, to command or cause one to depart in haste, to draw out with force, tear out, to draw out, extract”

There are several more definitions that can be included in this list.  However, you get the point.  Any one of the above, or combination thereof could have been used if the intent was to describe an urgent driving into the wilderness, immediately and at once.  However, they were not used.  There is, however, one particular definition that could have been used of its own accord, and the matter would have been settled.

τήν κρίσιν εἰς νῖκος – “to cause a thing to move straight on to its intended goal”.

Matthew 12:20 V-ASA-3S
GRK: ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος
NAS: OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE
KJV: till he send forth judgment
INT: until anyhow he bring forth unto victory

I included Matthew 12:20 as it shows the context for our modern translation and understanding.  In 12:20, we can see “send forth” and “bring forth” as the primary transliterations.  Both variations fit with the text of Mark 1:12, and would have communicated the current common understanding.  Yet, these are not the words that were chosen for a reason.  The Bible never intended to convey the understanding that Jesus went at once from the Jordan directly to the wilderness.  Rather, it was written to convey that Jesus was irresistibly moved to His next assignment – the wilderness temptation.

With everything we have covered so far, we can now list the stops on the journey of Jesus during these days:

Jesus at home;

From Nazareth to Bethany Across the Jordan;

Baptized in the Jordan River;

From Bethany Across the Jordan to Nazareth;

Jesus back home;

From Nazareth to the Judean Wilderness;

40 days of fasting;

The temptation;

From the Judean Wilderness to Galilee;

Once in Galilee, to Nazareth.

It should be noted that though there are numerous locations and events in the series listed above, they constitute a collective singular “event” – the commissioning of Christ into His earthly ministry.  The baptism was required to wash and anoint Christ to His purpose.  The 40 days in the wilderness and temptation are required to strengthen Him to the task.  It is only after these events that Jesus can return to the place where His ministry is to take place.  It is only after these events that Jesus can call His disciples, read the Torah portion, perform the miracles, and teach the Word and Will of God to men.

Now that we have the locations and events, we can bring in the next piece of the puzzle – timing.  The first thing that needs addressed is the distance between each location.  Bear in mind that while we have the approximate distances today, there will be some variation.  Here is why – roads.  Specifically, the roads in ancient Israel do not perfectly match the roads today.  A modern route between two points could be 20 miles, while the ancient route 30 miles from the difference in road locations.  The reverse holds true as well.

What we will do is list the rough distances based on the logical routes of travel.  Even if the route we use is not the exact route, it will be close.  Also, geography was the single most important factor in determining ancient routes of travel.  Every nation had roads.  However, Rome alone practiced genuine proficiency in road building.  Even where Rome built roads in conquered territories, the vast majority of the roads in that territory already existed.  Likewise, most of these pre-existing roads for fit only for foot and minor beast travel.

With that, let’s bring our list back in, and add the approximate distances.  Each of these distances can be verified through readily available resources.

Jesus at home;

From Nazareth to Bethany Across the Jordan – 60 miles

Baptized in the Jordan River;

From Bethany Across the Jordan to Nazareth – 60 miles

Jesus back home;

From Nazareth to the Judean Wilderness – 85 miles

40 days of fasting;

The temptation;

From the Judean Wilderness to Galilee – 70 miles

Once in Galilee, to Nazareth – 15 miles

The route of travel was a corridor that ran due northeast from Nazareth, to just south of the Sea of Galilee, turning south and running parallel to the Jordan River.  Once the region just north of the Dead Sea was reached (the area just south of Bethany Across the Jordan), the route turned to the southwest travelling to the west of the Dead Sea until the heart of the Judean Wilderness was reached.  The return trip traveled the same route in reverse.

Here is what all of this tells us.  The average distance of travel in the days of Jesus was 20 to 25 miles a day.  Obviously this could vary.  There are days where travel proceeded slower, and days where it proceeded faster.  However, 20 to 25 is the recognized average distance.  So, when we take the average and combine it with the legs of the journey found in the scriptures, something interesting emerges.

Round trip, Jesus traveled right around 215 miles!  The travel alone (round trip) required right around 8.5 days!

However, the total above does not count the additional 15 miles from the Galilee in general, to Nazareth specifically that was also indicated in the scriptures.  With the additional 15 or so miles figured in, this brings us to 9.6 days!  What does this tell us?

This tells us that the “40 days” in the wilderness and the temptation was actually 50 days!  Remember, Jesus was not tempted until the full 40 days were complete.  There is no reason or evidence to support anything longer than a few hours for the total time of the actual temptation.  Likewise, our own personal experiences bear this out.  Satan comes to us in our moments of greatest weakness.  He works on us.  Either we give in, or we resist and he looks to a new temptation.  Either way, it does not take long.

For the purposes of our discussion, it is a fair assessment to state that the eight to eight and a half day range is what we are meant to see.  While it was 9.6 days when Jesus arrived in Nazareth, it was Galilee as a whole where Jesus was to minister.  So, the arrival back in Galilee alone is what sets the starting point for what Jesus would do over the next three years.  Generally speaking, this puts us right around the 48 day mark.

Let’s bring this back to the discussion at hand.  You will recall that we spoke earlier of the parallels between the 40 days in the wilderness and the temptation to the 40 days Jesus spent with the disciples and the ascension.  These events are compared for good reason.  They are parallel events sharing a common purpose.  We detailed some of those comparisons already.

Still, even the parallel comparison of the 40 days in the wilderness leaves us several days short.  We can stretch the time to nine and a half days by including the additional travel to Nazareth.  However, the ambiguity of the scriptures in this regard, when combined with a few additional scriptures from John (detailing how Jesus picked up His first two disciples enroute to Galilee), makes the 9.6 day range a bit hazy to say the least.  At best, the eight day range is where we need to stop and look.  So, the question is this – what about the two “missing” days?  To be fair, these are not missing days.  However, “missing” helps to highlight and emphasize that these days are there, and do merit examination.

Remember, this discussion is about the 40 days with the disciples and the ascension.  The 40 days in the wilderness and temptation is the forerunner, the type and shadow if you will.  From one we can see the other.  Both events have their origins in the Old Testament, and both are fulfillments of a specific purpose covered in the Old Testament.  The 40 days in the wilderness is both a fulfillment, and a type and shadow.  It served it’s own purpose under the Law of Moses, and it served it’s own purpose as the example of something Christ would do just three and a half years later – the 40 days with the disciples and the ascension.  So, what about these two days?  Are they happenstance, or do they reveal something?

Let’s consider the 40 days in the wilderness and the temptation first.  You will recall that Jesus was in the wilderness a full 40 days before He was tempted.  There is nothing in the scriptures that indicates more than a few hours to half a day was needed for these events.  So, even at the first time frame we discussed – 8.5 days – we would still have roughly a day to go.  Remember, this is about the 50 days, and whether or not we are missing something.  The question becomes this – is there any reason why there would still be at least one unaccounted day?

Let’s bring back three of the scriptures we covered earlier:

Luke 4:1 – And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Matthew 4:1 –  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Mark 1:12 –  And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

I listed Luke 4:1 first to call attention to it.  You will recall from earlier that Luke 4:1 is the scripture that reveals Jesus returned home before He went to the wilderness.  In Matthew and Mark it appears as though Jesus goes from the Jordan into the wilderness.  While the original word choice in the Greek shows that our modern understanding does not match the intent of the authors, and Jesus was not forced into the wilderness directly from the Jordan – we cannot, however, dismiss the fact that these three scriptures show something interesting.

The Holy Spirit dealt with Jesus on TWO occasions when it came to the leading into the wilderness!

The next piece of the puzzle is this – Jesus was called by the Holy Spirit to go to the wilderness after He was baptized.  He was also called after He returned home. Here is something that we must understand.  Jesus was not called twice because He did not listen the first time.  Being called after He returned to Galilee was not a “second warning” to do what He had failed to do at the Jordan.

Remember, there are no accidents in the Bible.  Every word, every phrase, every sentence has a purpose and reveals something.  In this case, we are meant to see something.  We are meant to see a call, followed by an action.  Jesus was first called to this course of events when He was at the Jordan.  He was then called in Galilee.  Actually, it is more accurate to say this – He was told what He would do at the Jordan, and then He was told it was time to do it when He was in Galilee!

When Jesus was at the Jordan, the Holy Spirit informed Jesus of what He was going to do, what it would take, how long He would be gone, etc.  In Galilee, Jesus was told “it’s time to leave”.  Here is the question.  Why?  Why not have Jesus simply leave from the Jordan and head to the wilderness?  Why send Him home before sending Him to the wilderness?  Yes, I said “send”.  This stands to reason.  After all, for the perfect Son of God to be called to the wilderness, yet head for Galilee – this reveals something.  He was perfect when He was crucified, having committed not a single sin.  So, that leaves only one possible conclusion.  He was called first to home, then to the wilderness.  There are reasons for this.  The first is practical.  The second is prophetic.

From a practical standpoint, here is what we need to understand.  After Jesus was baptized, He learned what was coming next for Him.  He did not know this prior to departing for the Jordan.  Here is why this is important.  He, nor His family, knew He would be leaving home for anything more than a few days.  Remember, Jesus was a perfect Jew.  As such He did the things you would expect of a perfect Jew.

We have spoken of this in prior projects here on Trib Rising.  The missing years of Jesus were not “missing”.  They simply are not recorded because they did not need to be.  Jesus was a carpenter because Joseph was a carpenter.  During the years from His early childhood to the start of His ministry, Jesus did what was expected of all Jewish males.  He studied the Law and the Prophets.  He learned the trade of His father (Joseph).  From age 12 forward, He would have been considered a man, and made a living.  He was not married, and as such, would still have lived at home with Mary and Joseph.  What’s more, the lack of any mention of Joseph after Jesus reaches 30 years of age suggests that he may have already passed away.  In this case, there was even stronger emphasis on Jesus remaining in the home of His mother.  After all, Jesus was the oldest Son.  To care for His mother after the death of His father would fall to His responsibility.  This is strengthened even further given that we don’t know how much younger His brothers were.

During His professional life before His ministry, Jesus would have left home for business.  It is not unreasonable that He could be gone for a few days, maybe even a few weeks.  However, He would know about this prior to going.  He could make arrangements for things that would need addressed while He was gone.  Perhaps a customer would be picking up a finished project while Jesus was in the next town working on the next project.  Maybe Jesus would gather groceries and supplies for the family prior to leaving on a short trip to acquire choice woods for upcoming projects.  Perhaps, it is as simple as being able to say goodbye to His mother, and letting her know not to worry.  The point is this.  Jesus did not, nor would not, just up and vanish.  He would have taken care of business, or at least said goodbye.  Likewise, given that the brothers of Jesus were both younger, yet now old enough to be adults, it is likely that there would not be a great deal in the way of business that could not now fall to them.

I submit that there was a specific purpose for His return, prior to leaving for the wilderness.  After Jesus was baptized, He was to be commissioned and set to His new task, His new “profession”.  While there is no reason to think that He dropped carpentry forever at this point, it is likewise clear that He was moving to a new full time occupation.  The time that Jesus spent between arriving back home after the baptism, and leaving for the wilderness, was the time required to hand off the baton to the brothers, and inform them of what was to come.  Not only would Jesus be tied up for the next 50 days, but He would spend the rest of His natural life on the road.  While He would be back home numerous times during His ministry, it was never to stay.

He was sent back home to inform Mary, His mother, that the time had come.

Doubtless, the one day is starting to make more sense.  Being perfect and remaining perfect required that Jesus maintain a perfect responsibility for those around Him, and the things entrusted to His care.  Any current customers had to be taken care of.  Any unfinished projects had to be looked after.  If Jesus knew that He would not be finishing them, He had to see that they were successfully turned over to the rest of the family.  Carpentry was the family business, and the family could handle the business.  They simply needed to know that this would now be the case before Jesus up and disappeared for the next 50 days.  Securing the business, declaring the ministry, and saying goodbye would not have required more than a day.  However, this was a day that was required lest He become imperfect.

As we said a moment ago, the first reason was practical, and the second reason was prophetic.  Though the examples above seem minor, they hold major implications on what happened during the 40 days and Ascension.  They reveal a critical fact:

The reason Jesus was called first to Galilee, then to the wilderness, is that this is a picture of something crucial in the 40 days with the Disciples and the Ascension.

So, the question is this.  What exactly does this small, one day window reveal about the 40 days and Ascension?  What can we learn from the overall two days that are unaccounted for in the scriptures?  To find this answer, we must go to the book of Acts, to the events surrounding the Ascension and Pentecost.  What you are about to see is going to blow your mind!  With that, let’s bring in the scripture in question:

Acts 1:4, 11-15 KJV – And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. 15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

Let’s bring in these scriptures as well:

1 Corinthians 15:4-8 KJV – And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

There is one minor point that needs to be made here, before we get into the meat of the topic.  Jesus did not appear to 500 at one time.  He appeared to MORE than 500 at one time.  I bring this up as there are more debates than I can count on the meaning of the 500.  All of them center on a singular, incorrect premise – that there were 500 who saw Jesus alive at one time.

Englishman’s Concordance
ἐπάνω (epanō) — 19 Occurrences

1 Corinthians 15:6 Adv
GRK: ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς
NAS: that He appeared to more than five hundred
KJV: he was seen of above five hundred
INT: Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers

Strong’s Concordance
epanó: above, more than
Original Word: ἐπάνω
Part of Speech: Adverb
Transliteration: epanó
Phonetic Spelling: (ep-an’-o)
Short Definition: on the top, above, superior to
Definition: (a) adv: on the top, above, (b) prep: on the top of, above, over, on, above, more than, superior to.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 1883: ἐπάνω

ἐπάνω, adverb (ἐπί and ἄνω (cf. Winers Grammar, 102 (97); Buttmann, 319 (273))), Herodotus and following; often in the Sept.; above;
1. adverbially,

a. of place: Luke 11:44;

b. of number; beyond, more than: πραθῆναι ἐπάνω τριακοσίων δηναρίων, sold for more than three hundred denaries, Mark 14:5; ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς, by more than five hundred brethren, 1 Corinthians 15:6; cf. Winers Grammar, § 37, 5; (Buttmann, 168 (146)).

2. as a preposition it is joined with the genitive (Winer’s Grammar, § 54, 6), a. of place: Matthew 2:9; Matthew 5:14; Matthew 21:7 R G; ,(); ; Luke 4:39; (Luke 10:19); Revelation 6:8 (WH brackets the genitive); ( Tr text).

b. of dignity and power: ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν ἐπάνω τίνος, Luke 19:17 (); ἐπάνω πάντων ἐστι, John 3:31a (31b (but here G T WH marginal reading omit the clause)).

STRONGS NT 1883a: ἐπάρατοςἐπάρατος, ἐπαρατον (ἐπαράομαι (to call down curses upon)), accursed: John 7:49 L T Tr WH. (Thucydides, Plato, Aeschin, Dio Cass., others.)

I point this out for two reasons.  First, it will save you a great deal of time knowing which commentaries you can avoid.  If you find a commentary or discussion that focuses on “500”, you know immediately that it is flawed.  The second reason brings us into our current discussion.

Being a number “above 500” tells us three things.  It tells us that it was more than 500.  It tells us that though there are more than 500, there is some natural reference point which shows 500 to be the primary accounting.  Here is what I mean.  If you have a room with 500 chairs on a normal day, yet you have space for 50 more, add the 50 – yet not all of the 50 additional chairs are filled in an otherwise capacity crowd. . .

You have more than 500!

You would use the known 500 as a reference point to judge the success of the event in question.  “We had more than 500 people here today!”

The third item is that “above 500” is meant to reveal a simple observation – 500 is not the number we are meant to see.  Otherwise, the Lord would have held the number at 500.  The fact that it was “above 500” tells us that this is not the point.  Rather, we are not to focus on 500 as the lesson itself, but rather, as the evidence for another number found in the subject  scriptures.

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

It is interesting to note how many debates spring up on “why were there only 120 in the upper room, when 500 saw Jesus ascend?”  That brings up another point.  The “above 500” did not see Jesus ascend.  The Bible tells us that Jesus appeared to “above 500” at one point, then to others.  It was sometime after the additional appearances that Jesus ascended.  The key takeaway is this – there were not 500 on the mount of Olives when Jesus ascended.  There may have been more than the 11, but not many.  There are reasons why, which we will uncover in the course of this next section.

Our answers lie in another question.  Why was there 120 in the upper room?  No, it’s not because the other 380 had better things to do, weren’t serious about the Lord, got lost, ran late, etc., or any of the litany of reasons that folks like to toss out there.  There are many commentaries on the 120 in the upper room.  Very few of them are worth any real value.  Where exactly did the 120 come from, who were they, and why did there need to be exactly 120 present in the upper room on Pentecost?  To understand why there was 120 in the upper room, we must examine something that remains a mystery to most Christians – the Great Assembly.

We have discussed the Great Assembly in various aspects and details in numerous projects on Trib Rising.  The Great Assembly is the picture of the rapture, and the earthly Great Assembly is the copy of the real assembly that will be convened in Heaven, just after the sounding of the last trump.

Here is an excerpt on the Great Assembly from Aish.com:

The Men of the Great Assembly — in Hebrew, Anshei Knesset HaGedolah — was an unusual group of Jewish personalities who assumed the reigns of Jewish leadership between 410 BCE and 310 BCE. This time period follows the destruction of the First Temple, and includes the early decades of the Second Temple, up until the invasion of the Greeks, led by Alexander the Great.

Realizing that the Jewish people were growing weaker spiritually, a group of wise leaders came together — expanding the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court, from 70 to 120 members — with a special aim of strengthening Judaism. Initially gathered together by Ezra, they defined Judaism in this tumultuous time when prophecy and kingship were all but gone from the Jewish people.

(Today’s Israeli Parliament, which is called “the Knesset,” also has 120 members in imitation of the Great Assembly although the Knesset of today serves an entirely different function of the Great Assembly of 2,500 years ago.)

Among them we count the last of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, as well as the sages Mordechai, (of the Purim story), Yehoshua, (the High Priest), Nechemia (the chief architect of rebuilding of Jerusalem), Shimon HaTzaddik (also a High Priest). Keep in mind that at this time the Talmud has not yet been compiled. Knowing how to live a Jewish life depends on knowing the commandments of the Torah and their interpretations and applications which have been passed down orally — in short, knowing what is known as the Written Torah and the Oral Torah, both of which date back to Moses’ teachings at Sinai.

It is impossible to understand the Written Torah without its Oral complement. For example, when the Written Torah states: “And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart … and you shall write them upon the door-posts of your house and upon your gateways,” it is the Oral Torah that explains which “words” the Written Torah is referring to, and that these words should be penned on a small scroll and affixed to the door frame. Without the Oral Torah we wouldn’t know about the mezuzah and countless other ways of day-to-day Judaism.

ACCURATE TRANSMISSION

The destruction of the first Temple and ensuing exile were incredibly traumatic experiences for the Jewish people: The Temple and its daily service were gone as was the monarchy. The Jews found themselves in an alien land with none of the normative institutions fundamental to Judaism. (Ironically, the Jewish world is still in the same situation. The difference is that after 2,500 years the exile is so comfortable that what is really an abnormal situation is now accepted as totally normal.) As the Jewish people struggle with the aftermath of exile, accurate transmission of this oral tradition becomes essential. And here is where the Men of the Great Assembly make the greatest contribution.(1)

As we see in history, to the extent that the Jews stop living according to Jewish law and tradition (i.e. that which makes them Jewish), to that extent they assimilate and disappear. Therefore, the contributions of these men can be said to account to a large measure for Jewish survival.

The Mishna pays them great homage:

Moses received the Torah from Sinai and conveyed to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly … Shimon HaTzaddik was one of the remnants of the Great Assembly. He used to say, “The world stands on three things: on the Torah; on the service of God, and upon acts of loving-kindness…” (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:1)

THE CONTENTS OF THE BIBLE

In addition to insuring the accurate transmission of the Oral Torah, the Men of the Great Assembly decide which of the multitude of Jewish holy writings should be in the Bible. The Jewish people have produced hundreds of thousands of prophets (both men and women). Which of their writings should be preserved for future generations and which had limited applicability?

The Men of the Great Assembly make this decision and give us what is known as the Hebrew Bible today — or the Tanach. (Tanach is a Hebrew acronym which stands for Torah, Prophets, Writings.)

This is what the Christians call the “Old Testament” but traditionally Jews never call it that. “Testament” is derived from the Latin word testari meaning “to be a witness.” The Hebrew Bible was named the Old Testament by the Christians because of their belief that God cancelled the covenant he made with the Jews and made a new covenant, “New Testament,” with the followers of Jesus. As Jews deny that God would ever “change His mind” after promising the Jews they would be His “eternal nation”, they find that term insulting.

The Hebrew Bible consists of the five books of the Torah, eight books of the prophets (the last of which consists of twelve short books) and 11 books of various writings, which include the Psalms (largely attributed to King David), the writings of King Solomon (Song of Songs, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes), the books of Job, Ruth, Esther and Daniel etc.

PRAYER

The last thing that the Men of the Great Assembly do is formalize prayer. They actually begin a process which is not finished until the 2nd century CE, after the destruction of the Second Temple, but they lay down the key principles and basic structure of formalized prayer.(2)

During the First Temple period, there was no need for formalized Jewish prayer liturgy, because God’s presence was more manifest. It was much easier for the individual to have a close, intense, personal relationship with God. Additionally, a great deal of what is now the object of prayer was formally accomplished through the offering of sacrifices and the Temple service. Of course, when the Second Temple was rebuilt, sacrifices resumed, but most of the Jews had not returned to the land of Israel and therefore had no access to this medium of connecting to God via the Temple. In addition, as mentioned previously, even with the Temple rebuilt, the connection during the Second temple period was much weaker.

Therefore, the times of the formalized prayer are designed to correspond to times when things were done in the Temple: the morning prayer is designed to correspond to the Shacharit Service in the Temple; the afternoon prayer corresponds to the Mincha Service; at the evening prayer, Ma’ariv, corresponds to the nightly duties (as there were no sacrifices as night).

The centerpiece of each selection of prayers (repeated three times a day) is the Shmonei Esrai, “The Eighteen Blessings.” Each “blessing” is stated in the plural, to underscore the interdependency of the Jewish people, and each blessing is rooted in Torah and Kabbalah.

The mystical depth of this prayer — a masterpiece of writing by the Great Assembly — is astounding. For example, the blessing for healing is composed of 27 words, corresponding to the 27 words in the verse in the Torah (Exodus 15:26) where God promises to be the Healer of the Jewish people. It is said (Nefesh HaChaim 2:13) that the text of the Shmonei Esrai is so spiritually powerful that even when recited without intention, feeling or understanding, its words have a great impact on the world. Through Divine inspiration and sheer genius the Men of the Great Assembly were able to create out of the ashes of a physically destroyed nation, a spiritually thriving people. Their work defined and anchored Jewish religious and national identity and created focus, unity and uniformity for the Jewish people, no matter where in the world they might be scattered.

The last surviving member of the Great Assembly was Shimon HaTzaddik. Under him, according to the ancient historian Josephus (Contra Apion 1:197), the Jews of Israel prospered and Jewish population in the land reached 350,000.

It helped the Jews physically (if not spiritually) that the Persians were such benevolent dictators. But the picture was about the change with the growing power of the Greek Empire looming on the horizon.

Here is the link to the excerpt above:

http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48939022.html

With that, the first thing we need to cover is where the number 70 came into effect.  We find the origins of the original Great Assembly all the way back at Mt. Sinai and Moses:

Exodus 24:9-11 ESV – Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

The first thing that we need to notice is that the 70 elders were separate and distinct from Moses and Aaron.  Yet, the group in total included Moses and Aaron.  This is meant to show us something.  While Moses and Aaron were separate from the 70, they were still part of the ruling council.  There are reasons why they were separate.  Yet, in the future the priests and prophets would be a part of this council.

It is key that we understand something that we have covered in detail in the prior two projects in this series, and elsewhere on Trib Rising.  Everything we see in the New Testament is found in the Old Testament.  We have laid out the scriptural basis for this.  What this tells us is that there is a New Testament equivalent for what we see in the scriptures above.  In fact, there is both a parallel in the completed New Testament scriptures, and in prophecy yet to unfold.

Luke 10:1 KJV – After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

There is something we need to address before moving forward.  There are two translations for the scripture above.  One translation renders the above as 70, and the other renders it as 72.  So which is it?  70 or 72?

Understand that the vast majority of lessons that draw on this scripture are not changed based on the number of 70 or 72.  Those lessons rely on the fact that this number is in addition to the known disciples of Christ, and that they are sent out.  However, in the few advanced lessons that require this scripture, the exact number becomes critical.  The counting of the Omer is one such advanced lesson.

The correct number is 70.  It is the number contained in the received text, which is the text utilized by the Lord to give us most of the English Translations of the Bible – including the KJV.  Of course, there are multiple English translations that rely on the Majority Text.  However, it was the Textus Receptus which gave us the translations that fueled the reformation, and everything that has come to pass since the early 1500’s.

Certainly, there will be those that are critical of this position.  However, when the Lord speaks to preserving His word unto all generations, it speaks to more than simply hiding away a particular manuscript of the Bible for revealing at a later date.  It speaks to providing His word for the practical use and application for His purposes by the Body of Christ.  In other words, the proof is in the pudding.  We know the Textus Receptus is right in the most important context of them all.

It was the text that was actually used to carry the body through the last 600 years – the most critical of all to the church.  They are the most critical as they are the years that will see the conclusion of all things, and the return of the Lord.

Still, there are those that will not hear this.  So, to them I offer another evidence.  The number 72 is not found in the Old Testament in the context required for the study on the Omer.  In fact, it is not found in any usable context with regards to the Great Assembly.  In other words, if 72 were the number, then Exodus 24:9 would have read 72, and not 70.  Likewise, the number 70 itself holds a great deal of significance as a number of beginnings, and well as judgment.  The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not arbitrarily chose 70.  There were very specific and precise reasons, of which this project is covering.

In other words, it is 70 for a reason.  With that, let’s bring back the scripture in question:

Luke 10:1 KJV – After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

There are no accidents in the Bible.  That means the timing of this scripture is no accident.  What do I mean by that?  Let me ask a question – why did Jesus chose this particular time to send the 70?  The answer resides in the events that had transpired prior to that moment.

Jesus had been sent to the wilderness.  He had overcome temptation.  He had returned.  He had performed miracles.  He had many disciples.  From them, He had called 12.  He had driven out many devils.  He had calmed the sea when the disciples thought they were soon to perish.  He had sent the 12 out to preach and teach.  He had fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.

The process of TDBU is beneficial in analyzing the events above, and their relationship to the events in leading up to Exodus 24.  The top down portion provides the context to show that these two blocks of scripture are related.  Indeed, when you take the events in Luke, prior to chapter 10, you can find correlations to the accounts in Exodus.  We won’t spend any time delving into this, as it is easy enough to do.  The real gold resides in bottom up, where you compare the copy events to the real events.

For this, we can keep the process simple, and list out five of the core events that occurred in Exodus.  If we are correct in our assertions – that Exodus is the copy, or type and shadow of the life of Christ, and that the 70 elders in Exodus are the copy of Great Assembly – then the order of events in exodus will match the order of events in the life of Jesus.  Stated differently, the “70” in each will correspond through the order of events prior to each being mentioned.

Here are a few of the events that occurred in the life of Moses and Israel prior to the 70 elders:

Moses sent into the wilderness, remains there for 40 years, and learns to be a shepherd.

The miracles of the ten plagues.

Israel at the Red Sea, facing certain death, and faith in God saves them.

The entire congregation is fed through a miracle, where there was nothing for them to eat.

Moses chooses the elders of Israel.

These five choices span the duration of time from the expulsion of Moses to the first listing of the 70 elders.  This is a type and shadow of the life and ministry of Christ during the exact period in His life.  Here are the scriptures from Luke which correspond to the events listed above:

Moses sent into the wilderness, remains there for 40 years, and learns to be a shepherd, and returned to where he came – found in Luke 4:1-14.

The miracles of the ten plagues – found in the various miracles from Luke 4:31 through 10:1.

Israel at the Red Sea, facing certain death, and faith in God saves them – found in Luke 8:22-25.

The entire congregation is fed through a miracle, where there was nothing for them to eat – found in Luke 9:10-17.

Moses chooses the elders of Israel – found in Luke 10:1.

There are other examples we could have used as well.  For instance, when Moses returned to Egypt he went before Pharaoh in his palace, and was rejected.  When Jesus returned from to Galilee, he was rejected in the Synagogue before the local leaders.

These are just a few examples that could have been used.  When you open up the entire listed history on Moses and the exodus up the first mention of the 70, and bring in the chronologies of the other three Gospels the connections becomes considerably “clearer”.  For now, we have enough to establish that Moses, the exodus, and the 70 elders are a type and shadow to the 70 that Jesus called and sent out.

We asked the question earlier as to why the 70 were chosen by Jesus at that particular time.  The answer resides in the account of Moses.  The appointing of the 12 twelve disciples by Jesus, and the sending of the 70, correspond with the choosing of the elders by Moses, and the sending of the 70 elders up the mountain.  In other words, Jesus chose the 12 and 70 precisely because the story of the elders and Moses reveal that this is when Jesus would do the same.  It should be noted that there are additional reasons that are beyond the scope of this study.

One final note that we mentioned earlier.  In the original account of the 70 in Exodus, we see the mention of Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu before we see the 70 mentioned.  Also, we see that it was just 70 of the elders, as there were more.  Both of these things reveal critical truths.  First off, being that there were more than 70 elders in Israel, yet the Lord specifically sets the number at 70 is meant to direct our attention to additional truth and understanding.  We are discussing all of that now.  The specific mention of the 70 is confirmation that this was for a reason.

Second, the separation of Moses and Aaron was the type and shadow of Christ as the King and High Priest.  Likewise, Nadab and Abihu offer a warning unique to the topic of the Great Assembly.  Recall that Nadab and Abihu were the two eldest sons of Aaron. According to Leviticus 10, they offered a sacrifice with ‘strange fire’ before the Lord, disobeying his instructions, and were immediately consumed by God’s fire.  They are the warning that even those set apart by the Lord can fail, and fall.  They are the statement of those so close to overcoming, that they are permitted to approach the mountain and God.  Yet, though they are in the inner circle, they could still fall.  And fall they did.  They attempted to replace that which belonged to the High Priest alone with their own understanding.  In doing so they paid the price.

The separation of these four is also a type and shadow of the representation we see in the times of Christ.  The 70 that Christ called were separate from the twelve disciples.  The twelve disciples are likewise seen in Nadab and Abihu, in that they were the spiritual sons of our High Priest (one for the Jew, and one for the Gentile – just in case you are wondering why there were two sons).  The 12 were with Jesus first, as Nadab and Abihu were with Moses and Aaron first.  We can even see hints of Judas in the process as well.

Moving forward, we see that the numbers of 70 and 120 are the backdrop for understanding what the Great Assembly was, what it was to do, how it was the picture for what Christ did, and ultimately why all of this foreshadows the rapture.

In the number 70 we have the beginning.  It is the start of things.  We see this throughout the history of the Jews in the Bible.  Seventy was the number of elders that first brought the Great Assembly.  It was the number that brought the start of the Jewish faith.  It was the number which saw the first vestiges of the governance of God over Israel.

It was the number which started the second phase of Israel’s existence, after the Babylonians marched on Jerusalem.  It was the number that started the countdown clock to Israel’s destruction in 70 AD.  It is the number which starts the countdown clock for the return of Messiah, beginning in 1948.  70 is the number that the Lord has chosen as a number for beginnings.  Sometimes it is the beginning of blessings.  Sometimes it is the beginning of sorrows.

Before Mt. Sinai, it was the beginning of blessings and the Hebrew nation.  The 70 elders were the first called to the Great Assembly.  This represented the first time that Israel’s best and brightest were called to God’s purpose.  Called upon the mountain, these 70 selected from among all Israel’s elders and leaders represented the start of God’s direct rule over men, and the first giving of the Law, grace and revelation.  It represented the beginning of things, and the beginning of the work of men, for God, towards redemption.  However, the work started with the 70 was not complete until the 120 were called.

After the calling of the original 70, there came a period of roughly 1,500 years of prophets, kings, revelations, warnings, judgments and exile that would form the basis of the final written word of God.  The Torah, prophets, oral traditions and prayers had been given, yet the Word of God was not yet ready or complete.  While the full Word of God would not be complete until after the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the church, through John, the initial assembly of the Bible was yet to be completed.  This is the backdrop of the 120 men of the Great Assembly.

From the original 70 the Word of God springs forth and goes forward.  With the 120, the revelation is complete and the canon sealed up.  The Lord chose 70 to bring forth and spread the word to the people.  He chose 120 to complete and seal the word.  When the work of the 120 was done there existed the full written word of God (up to that time, that is).  That is the backdrop of what we see in the Gospel today.

The timing in the calling of the 70 by Christ is both intentional and specific, just as it was with Moses and Israel.  The 70 could not be called until there was a viable frame of reference.  There had to be something on which the 70 could build.  By the time the 70 were called by Moses, they had miracles and teaching.  There had been the initial giving of the Law.  There had been an assembling of the people.  In other words, there had been proof presented of God, His power, and His purpose for Israel.  This is what happened with Jesus and the 70.  It was only after there was a viable frame of reference that they were called.  Like the Israelite’s in Sinai, the 70 were not called until there was something that they could point to.  The 70 were not called until the set apart leadership had been called and commissioned.  In the times of Moses it was Moses himself, followed by Aaron and his sons.  In the times of Jesus, it was the 12 disciples.

This is the backstory behind what we see in Jerusalem after the ascension of Christ.  We spoke of the remaining two days.  We can get the unaccounted for time down to about a day.  Yet, either way, there is unaccounted time.  As we said earlier, the roughly two day window is the most likely scenario.  So now, the question is why?  Why is there still up to a two day window in the time period between the ascension and the upper room?

Answer:  The Great Assembly must be called and assembled before it can be convened!

The space between the ascension and the upper room is the time required for the calling of the Great Assembly.  In the days of the Assembly in Israel, the day or so prior the members would be called to the Temple.  They would convene in an upper room.  The day or so required allowed travel and assembly prior to the commencement of the activities of the council.  The activities centered on reading the Torah, declaring edicts, and commissioning the people of God to their respective tasks.  That is exactly what happened with the 120 in the upper room.

The accounts in the Gospels and Acts already tell us that there were more than 120 disciples, followers and believers in Jesus.  Yet, 120 is the number required for the completion of all things.  So, from among these first elders in the Body of Christ were called the 120 senior, or most elder of the body.  These 120 elders came from all facets and eventual offices of the Body of Christ.  This is also found in the Great Assembly.  It was not just priests and prophets that made up the ruling council.  It was men of prominence from all Israel.  The Great Assembly represented the best of all aspects of Jewish life.  In this same mold, the 120 also represented the best of all aspects of human life.  Even as two of the 12 tribes of Israel sprang from Gentile origins (the sons of Joseph), so too did members of the 120 in the upper room represent the soon grafting in of the Gentiles.

Here is what must be remembered – there were only the 11 that witnessed the ascension, at least among those that walked with Jesus.  There may have been a few additional people there by coincidence.  Yet, prior studies on Trib Rising (and a tremendous study forthcoming, part four in this series) reveal that only the disciples could witness this event.  Likewise, we see this further evidenced in this scripture:

Acts 1:10-11 ESV – And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The key piece here is this – “Men of Galilee”.  This leaves but one possibility.  It was the 11 alone that watched the ascension that afternoon.  Remember, throughout the Gospel we see evidence of men and women following Jesus everywhere He went.  While the majority of His ministry was in Galilee, Jesus did in fact travel all of Israel.  Until His death, Jesus made no less than three journeys each year to Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

The short space between the ascension and the upper room was the time required for the 120 to be called and assembled.  You will recall some of the distances discussed earlier in this presentation.  Most of Israel was within a few days walking distance.  However, we need to remember that the death and resurrection of Christ occurred within three days of Passover, a pilgrimage feast.  Likewise, Pentecost was also a pilgrimage feast.  This means that the majority of the 120 were either on their way to Jerusalem at the time of the ascension, or already in the surrounding area.  There was simply a day or so needed for the word to spread among the believers to assemble, and for the Holy Spirit to “call” the right 120 to the upper room.

At Sinai, the Lord called 70 elders to the mountain to begin the work of Israel.  After the return from Babylon He called 120 to complete the work and commission His word.  In Galilee, Jesus called 70 to go forth and begin the work of the church.  After the ascension, He called 120 with the Holy Spirit, and commissioned them with fire to the completing of His word.  This is the legacy of the 10 not-so-missing days from the ascension to the upper room.

Now you know the rest of the story!

What is the Omer?

We have covered a great deal of territory so far.  In detailing the events of the 50 chronological days of the Omer, we serve a necessary purpose.  Doing so highlights that there is more to the Omer than the 50 chronological days.  We have seen this premise already in part one, where we detail the Shemitah.  To understand the prophetic message of the Omer, we must prove that it is not just the 50 chronological days that are critical to what the Omer is.

Now that we have shown the 50 chronological days to be complete, we can now reveal what else the Omer has written into its definitions and existence.  To do so, we need to define the various pieces of the Omer, and what each means and offers.  In doing so, we will reveal two tremendous prophetic revelations found in the Omer.

To start, let’s detail the scripture revealing the counting of the Omer:

The Feast of Firstfruits

9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah[b] of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin.[c] 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 

15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”

Is there anything that jumps out at you in these scriptures, concerning the counting?  Certainly there are many things we can point to.  However, what I am talking about is something unique to the counting, that is not found elsewhere in the feast days.

The counting of the Omer is the only instance where we are required to complete a set of tasks during the appointed days.  Here is what I mean.

The appointed days are the days between the seven feast days ( and the feast days also).  Typically, we think of the feast days as the days of action.  Indeed they are that.  However, the counting of the Omer is unique in that they are the only appointed days with a specific fulfillment for each and every day of the count.  The question is “why”?

The closest we get to this are the seven days of Unleavened Bread and the seven days of Tabernacles.  In Unleavened Bread you eat unleavened bread for seven days, and present the food offering for seven days.  In Tabernacles, you offer the food offering for seven days.  In both of these feasts, the first and seventh days are likewise holy convocations.  Here is the trick, however.  All seven days of each feast are declared as the actual feast.  They are not appointed days, but the actual feast days – a feast that lasts seven days.

One thing that needs addressed is this.  The Feast of Pentecost is called the Feast of Weeks, due to the counting of seven full weeks.  It is important to note that the full seven weeks are not declared as  part of the feast.  The feast day itself is Pentecost (or Weeks), and that day alone is the feast day.

So, what exactly happened during these days?

The nickel tour is as follows.  Starting on the Feast of Firstfruits (FF), the firstfruits of the barley harvest were brought to the Temple.  They occurred in this order.  The High Priest offered the first fruits for himself, the priests, and the congregation.  Following these offerings, the firstfruits of the people would begin.  For the next 48 days, the people of Israel could bring their personal firstfruits offering to the Lord.  They would bring the barley offering to the Temple.  There, the barely would be prepared much the same way the FF of the barley was prepared for the High Priest.  Once the barley was prepared, an Omer would be waved before the Lord.  From that moment forward, the rest of your barley harvest was sanctified and ready to eat, sell, etc.  It should be noted that there was more to this process that we will discuss a bit later in the process.  Also, there are differences in how the first fruits were viewed and thought to be celebrated.  These will be covered as well.

On the 50th day of the Omer would come the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost.  On this day the FF of wheat would be offered.  Unlike the barley, the wheat offering was prepared before it was brought to the Temple.  The FF of the wheat harvest were prepared and baked into two loaves of bread.  Once you arrived at the Temple, you would have your two loaves waved before the Lord.  After this, as it was with the barley, your wheat harvest was now sanctified before the Lord.  It was free to eat, sell, etc.  From the perspective of the priest and the Temple, the FF of the wheat harvest offered for the priesthood and the congregation was prepared on the Temple grounds.  This stands to reason as it was the priests that cut down the wheat for this purpose, and did so in a fashion similar to the FF of the barely.  For everybody else, the wheat was prepared at home, where the wheat fell in the fields.  This will be critical to what we cover a bit later in this presentation.

The key takeaway from all of this is as follows:

This was a single series of events that played out twice – once for the barley, and once for the wheat.  The first official grains would be cut down.  They would be prepared and waved before God at the Temple.  This presentation would be for the priests and the congregation.  After this, the individual firstfruits offerings would be presented for the people.

Here is the order:

1. Firstfruits of the Priesthood.

2. Firstfruits of the Congregation.

3. Firstfruits from  among the people.

We have covered how the 50 chronological days of the Omer were fulfilled during the 50 days between the resurrection and the ascension of Christ.  However, there is something else that we need to take note of.  We have established how all aspects of the feast days and appointed days must be fulfilled.  Likewise, we have detailed tirelessly how the things on earth are copies of the heavenly things.  This leaves us in a unique situation.  The events we see in the counting of the 50 days have no apparent fulfillment during those 50 days recorded in the Gospels or Acts.  Indeed, the closest we get is the resurrection of Christ, and the dead seen walking the streets of Jerusalem.  However, this accounts for just one day.  That leaves 48 additional days unaccounted, as far as the Omer goes.

To understand what all of this means, we need to take a closer look at what actually happened during the 50 days in question, and to make several key observations.

The key to understanding what the counting reveals, is to understand what the two feast days on each end reveal.  To do so, we need to understand what each feast day calls for.  With that, let’s cover a few basics and details on the two feast days, and on the offering of the first fruits – in no particular order, aside from the order written in my own notebook.   Let’s start with the actual process of the first fruits offering at the Temple, for both the barley and wheat.

First fruits of the barley harvest, offered on the Feast of Firstfruits:

1. The marked (set aside) sheaves of barley are cut down.

2. The sheaves are brought to the Temple.

3. The sheaves are threshed with canes, stalks, or mostly soft reeds.  Barley has a softer outer skin that does not require the more violent threshing process of wheat.

4. The barley is winnowed, or separated from the chaff.  This is done by tossing it in the air to allow the wind to blow away the lighter weight husks.

5. The barley grains are parched in a pan with holes.

6. The grain is exposed to the wind as it is parched.

7. The corn is ground on a barley mill.  (It should be noted that “corn” is a term that predates what we know as corn in the United States.  It has a much broader meaning than we are used to.)

8. The ground flour is passed through 13 sieves.

9. The flour is mixed with oil and a handful of frankincense.

10. The mixed flour is waved before the Lord.

11. A handful of the mixed flour is taken and burned on the altar.

12. The remaining flour is now consecrated, and belongs to the priests for their use and consumption.  The rest of the barley harvest can now be utilized by the people.

First fruits of the wheat harvest, offered on the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost:

1. The marked (set aside) sheaves of wheat are cut down.

2. The sheaves are brought to the Temple.

3. The sheaves are threshed with canes, stalks, or mostly soft reeds.  The tough outer skin requires a bit more effort than the barley required.

4. The wheat is winnowed, or separated from the chaff.  This is done by tossing it in the air to allow the wind to blow away the lighter weight husks.

5. The wheat is ground on with a mill stone.

6. The ground flour is passed through 12 sieves (as opposed to 13 for the barley).

7. The flour is kneaded with warm water into dough.

8. The dough is molded into the proper shape and dimensions, and two loaves are formed and baked.

9. The two loaves are waved before the Lord.

10. The remaining flour is now consecrated, and belongs to the priests for their use and consumption.  The rest of the wheat harvest can now be utilized by the people.

The first fruits of the barley and wheat are two of the meat offerings given in the Law of Moses.  Yes, I said meat.  Even though they are grain offerings, they are called meat offerings in the Bible (KJV, and several other translations.  They are also translated as “food” offerings).

There were both public and private meat offerings.  Here are the three public meat offerings:

1. First fruits of the barley harvest – Feast of Firstfruits.

2. First fruits of the wheat harvest – Pentecost.

3. The 12 loaves of the shewbread – consumed by the on-duty priests in the Temple.

Here are the four private meat offerings, offered by individuals:

1. Substitution for the sin offering for those in poverty.

2. Jealousy.

3. The daily meat offering of the High Priest.  This was a baked offering, with the grain baked into 12 small “cakes”.

4. The consecration of a new priest.  Similar to the baked offering of the High Priest, there were 10 small “cakes” instead of twelve.

It should be interesting to note the difference between the number of cakes offered between the High priest and the newly consecrated priest.  The 10 cakes of the regular priest represent the 10 tribes of Israel which descended directly from Abraham.  Does it surprise you that I said 10, and not 12?  Yet, we have 12 tribes?

Here is a question for you – ever wonder why there was no tribe of Joseph?

Two of the 12 tribes were Gentile tribes.  They were the two sons of Joseph, who had Gentile mothers.  This represents the Gentiles who would be grafted into the covenant with God.  In the 10 cakes we have the admonition that only Levites, of the sons of Abraham, could become priests of the Most High God.  However, the High Priest is more than the High Priest of the Jews.  He is the High Priest of Jew and Gentile alike.  So, the High Priest must offer the full 12 cakes, depicting the role of the true High Priest as the High Priest of all men, and all men in service to the Most High God.

These two meat offerings also offer a glimpse into what the Omer represents, and what we will discuss shortly.  It is the grain offerings that that require the barley and the wheat.  This is a prophetic picture of the things soon to come.  There is a reason why it is the barley and wheat which is offered by those in the priesthood.

The first fruits of the barley harvest set forth the requirements for the counting of the Omer, and the first fruits of the wheat set forth the requirements for the days following the counting of the Omer.  The FF of barley require 49 days of barley – or 48 days of FF offerings to proceed after the Feast of Firstfruits.  The FF of the wheat harvest require just one day of recognized national FF of wheat offerings, followed by “unlimited” days of the various first fruits and harvests until the fall feasts begin.

All of this presents an interesting question, of which we have already begun to address in the first section of this project.  Are the first fruits of the barley and wheat harvests fulfilled?  Stated differently, are the official Temple public offerings fulfilled?  This question gets into the “picture” premise that we have discussed extensively in this project, and the three projects to date in this series.  It is the same premise that gave us the Shemitah, and will give us revelations on the Day of Atonement and Feast of Trumpets in the next two projects.  In the case of the Omer, it presents two pictures.

In the first picture, the two feast days are the primary piece, with the counting as the secondary piece.  In the second picture, the counting is the primary piece, and the feast days are the secondary piece.  More on this in a moment.

Deuteronomy chapter 26 lays out the requirements of the first fruits offering.

Deuteronomy 26 King James Version (KJV) 26 And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein; 2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name there. 3 And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us. 4 And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord thy God. 5 And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: 6 And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: 7 And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression: 8 And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: 9 And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. 10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God: 11 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.

Though Pentecost is called the first fruits festival, it marked a time period where all the first fruits were brought to the Temple.  This time period lasted until Tabernacles.  Among those first fruits offered were the seven official fruits that required a first fruits offering.

Barley

Wheat

Grapes

Figs

Pomegranates

Olive oil

Dates

The historian Philo records several interesting tidbits with regards to the first fruits offerings.  With regard to Pentecost, he records that the offering of the first fruits are extended over “a great space”.  This touches on something that is evident in the Law of Moses, and is part of the greater prophetic picture that we will discuss in just a moment.

Philo also records that the first fruits of the barley harvest were not just for the nation of Israel, but for all humanity.  This likewise touches on something we discussed a moment ago, and that was evident in the scriptures.  It will be a critical part of something we will likewise cover in just a moment.

The third thing Philo touched on also bears weight for the greater world.  He tells us that a priest has the same relationship to a city, as Israel has to the world.  This is true.  However, the more amazing thing is that he spoke this in relationship to first fruits.  Little did he know, or much have we forgotten.  Either way, it is amazing nonetheless.

Moving forward with our fun facts, did you know that barley was the lesser, cheaper grain?  It was second in prominence behind wheat.  Barley was the poor man’s grain.  It was eaten when wheat was unaffordable.  It’s was also the primary grain for feeding the lowly livestock.  There were any number of ways to eat barley, including whole and as bread.  That said. . .

This raises an interesting question.  Why is barley the first among the first fruits offerings?

It is the first chronological first fruits offering.  It is the first grain to ripen.  The Lord could have made the wheat to ripen first.  He could have switched Firstfruits and Pentecost.  The barley could have waited until after Pentecost even if it did ripen first.  Barley and wheat could be stored for months, even years.  Harvested and set aside, the barley could have been offered as two loaves of bread by the priests, in the Temple.  Yet is was offered as flour on Firstfruits.

Of course, there were practical implications to requiring the barley first.  The Feast of Firstfruits came just a few short weeks after the start of the new year.  As such, it prevented a delay in utilizing the new grains.  This is not an issue if you had a good harvest the year before, as you were likely to still have stores left from that harvest.  However, if you were running low on food, the quickness of the Feast of Firstfruits was greatly appreciated.

There is another piece of the scripture which is interesting to point out.  We have mentioned briefly already.

Leviticus 23:14 KJV – And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

The bread is self-explanatory.  The green ears are likewise self-explanatory.  However, how many know what parched corn is?

Parched corn, or more specifically, parched grain, is grain that is cooked whole, off the sheaf.  It is prepared by roasting (dry roasting) the grains in a pan over an open flame.  You do not cook them for hours on end, but just long enough to get each of the heads of grain heated, and perhaps a little “burnt”.

The scripture does not specify the particular grain that is parched in Leviticus 23.  However, we know through additional scriptures, the calendar of the harvest cycle, and through history that it is speaking first of barley.  However, this does not preclude wheat, as the scripture also speaks to the broader context of not eating any grain until after first fruits.

Today, it is wheat that is usually parched.  It is still prepared and eaten in this manner in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin.  The grains of wheat are parched while they are still un-ripened.  They are parched on an iron pan or plate.  In this, we have another interesting observation that will come into play later.  Note that the grains of wheat are not yet ripe when they are plucked up, cast into the flame, and roasted.  Why is this important?  That answer is touched on in another observation regarding the first fruits offerings.

Here are several key points and distinctions between the first fruits of the barley and wheat:

Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

The FF of barley are prepared at the Temple.  The FF of wheat are prepared at home.

The FF of barley are waved as flour.  The FF of wheat are waved as bread.

The FF of barley becomes bread at the Temple.  The FF of wheat become bread before arriving at the Temple.

The key difference is each first fruit is where it is prepared, and how it is presented.  The barley is presented at the Temple as flour.  Only then does it become bread after it is presented before God.  The wheat must complete its journey as bread.  It goes through its entire process at home, where it first falls.  Of course, in the days of the Temple, the national Temple offering for Israel ended up being prepared at the Temple itself, since that was actually home.  However, the Biblical prescription held for all wheat offerings.  What did we say earlier?

The grains of wheat are parched while they are still unripened.  They are parched on an iron pan or plate.

The place of preparation and presentation of both the barley and the wheat is a prophetic picture of the things to come.  Keep this in mind as we move forward.  Also, keep this in mind as well.  Grain can neither be parched nor made into bread until after it is cut down, threshed and winnowed – or until after it is presented as first fruits on either Firstfruits or Pentecost.

In the scriptures, the first fruits of barley and wheat in Leviticus 23 is the picture and model for both the public and private offerings of the first fruits.  The timing is meant to reveal the process involved, and prophetic pictures of the things to come.  The admonition against eating parched bread is given with the barley.  Yet, it also applies to the wheat.  It reveals tremendous insights for both.  You may already being seeing some of the connections, especially if you have spent time studying the feast days.

Let’s take a minute and cover a few of the beliefs, pictures and understanding of the first fruits and harvest cycles found in the Jewish faith.

The various aspects of the harvests correspond with certain events in the Bible.  They are pictures of the coming of Messiah and the plan of redemption.  In this vein we have these points emerge:

1. The planting season correlates with Passover.

2. The grain harvest correlates with Pentecost.

3. The fruit harvest correlates with Tabernacles.

You will notice that we left Firstfruits off of the list.  That is for good reason.  It gets left out of the picture above by the Jewish faith.

4. The first ripe grains correlates to Firstfruits.

We have added it, as it is essential to our understanding.  However, one cannot help but wonder why it would be left out of the common discussion by many in the Jewish faith.  Even when it is included, it is done so absent a real understanding of what we will say next.  The reason it is absent from many Jewish sources is that Firstfruits is one of the most prolific and undeniable proofs that Jesus Christ is who He said He is.  Firstfruits is proof that Jesus Christ is the Messiah!  That should be evident from part two in this series.

We have already discussed aspects of this in great detail.  This is why the Pharisees were moved to place Firstfruits on the second day of Unleavened Bread.  If they admit that Firstfruits does in fact follow the weekly Sabbath, then they have no choice to acknowledge the day that Jesus rose from the grave.

That said, when you plant your crops in the spring, you do not yet rejoice.  You are still uncertain of how your harvest will turn out.  You would harvest your crops in the summer.  At this point you might rejoice over the summer harvest, but you remained uncertain of the success of your remaining crops – including the fruit harvest.  Total joy would not come until you harvested the rest of your crops in the fall, thereby receiving subsistence and provision from God for the following year.

It needs to be stated that this reasoning presents a flaw that is rarely mentioned as a flaw.  In fact, it is not mentioned even in terms of being an issue.  The barley and wheat harvest, which were the basis for the first fruits offering, were not planted in the spring.  They were planted in the fall, after Tabernacles!

Here is a graphic showing how the correlations play out:

16

There are several points worth noting in relation to the three feasts mentioned above (the three that the Jewish understanding readily correlates to the harvest seasons).  First, Tabernacles – or Ingathering – is a seven day festival.  There is one day for each of the days of creation.  However, there is also an eighth day of Tabernacles.  We have discussed this before.  It is the heart of the eighth day principle.

The eighth day principle tells us that after the seventh day, there must be an eighth.  The eighth day is the first day of the new cycle.  We discussed this at length in part one of this project dealing with the Shemitah.  It is the eighth day that proves the cycle of the prior seven.  It is the eighth day that brings the first day of the fully created world.  It is the eighth day which brings eternity.

It is the eighth day of Tabernacles – Shmini Atzeret – that ends the yearly Torah reading cycle.  It is the day that the Torah is complete!

Moses ascended Mt. Sinai the second time on the first day of Elul.  This began the season of repentance (the Jews had worshiped the golden calf prior).  Moses then descended on Tishri 10 (Day of Atonement) with plans for the Tabernacle.  It was Sukkot when Solomon dedicated the Temple.

As we stated earlier, Passover correlates with the planting season.  However, this brings up an interesting question.  Why does Passover come just three days before Firstfruits?  Remember, this dovetails into something that the Jews stay away from.  Passover is the planting season.  Firstfruits is the barley harvest.  More on this in a moment.

There is another interesting question that comes into play.  We covered that Pentecost was the grain harvest.  However, something that gets left out of the discussion is that Pentecost, while a firstfruits celebration, is not the only firstfruits celebration.  It is the second such celebration after Firstfruits.  Here is the question.

Why would Jewish understanding bypass Firstfruits as the grain harvest?  After all, grain is mentioned in the Torah in connection to Firstfruits?

The answer one would expect is that Pentecost falls in line with the summer harvest.  This harvest is for the crops planted in the spring.  However, this fails to account for the fact that Firstfruits itself is dependent not on the spring planting, but the fall planting from the prior year!  It even misses the understanding that the eighth day of Tabernacles encodes the beginning of all things, even completing the Torah itself!  Yet, Pentecost is the correlation to the grain harvest.

There is one more point that needs to be mentioned.  Though there are seven harvests that require a first fruits offering in the Bible, it is curious that only three of them are written into the feast days.  These would be the barley, wheat and grape harvests.  By now, you are probably beginning to get the picture.

One of the interesting things in all of this is revealed in the scriptures on the counting of the Omer:

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord. 13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Here is a question.  Does any of the wording in the scriptures above reveal a prophetic picture?

When we read these scriptures, we get a distinct impression that a sheaf of grain is waved.  Yet, when you study the first fruits, wave and grain offerings, you find that the sheaf is taken to the Temple, prepared, and waved as flour.  Why?  More on this in a moment.  Right now, we need to detail the grain and wave offering scriptures.

First, Leviticus chapter two detailing the grain offering itself, and as a first fruits offering:

And when any will offer a meat offering unto the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: 2 And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord: 3 And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire. 4 And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.  5 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.  6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering.  7 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the fryingpan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.  8 And thou shalt bring the meat offering that is made of these things unto the Lord: and when it is presented unto the priest, he shall bring it unto the altar.  9 And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.  10 And that which is left of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire.  11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire.  12 As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the Lord: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.  13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.  14 And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the Lord, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.  15 And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering.  16 And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the beaten corn thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

Now, Leviticus 6:14-23. The Law of the grain offering:

And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar.  15 And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.  16 And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.  17 It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.  18 All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the Lord made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.  19 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,   20 This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the Lord in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.   21 In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the Lord.  22 And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the Lord; it shall be wholly burnt.  23 For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.

Finally, the various scriptures on the wave offering:

Exodus 29:24-27 KJV – 24 And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. 25 And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the Lord: it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 26 And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the Lord: and it shall be thy part. 27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:

Leviticus 7:30, 34, 8:27, 29; 9:21; 10:14-15; 14:12, 24;23:11-12, 15, 20:

His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the Lord.

For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.

And he put all upon Aaron’s hands, and upon his sons’ hands, and waved them for a wave offering before the Lord.

And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before the Lord: for of the ram of consecration it was Moses’ part; as the Lord commanded Moses.

And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the Lord:

And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord:

And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord.

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:

And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest.

Finally, Numbers 5:25; 6:20; 18:11,18:

Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar:

And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.

And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.

And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine.

There are quite a few scriptures here.  When you read through them, you will notice that many of them repeat the same information.  However, if you read carefully you will notice subtle details that reveal additional pieces of information.

With these three blocks of scripture (detailing first fruits, the grain offering, and the wave offering) we have the sum total of everything presented in Leviticus 23.  The question is not in the content, but the picture built by the content.

As we stated a moment ago, it looks as though the sheaf itself is waved.  However, the scriptures above seem to present another picture – a picture reinforced by what the Jews actually did during Firstfruits and Pentecost.  So, is this a wrong picture?  Or, is the appearance of the waved sheaf wrong?  The answer is no, neither picture is wrong.  What we have here is a prophetic revelation in stages.  The waving of the sheaf seen in Leviticus 23 reveals a picture – a picture seen in the presentation of the barley and wheat, and the differences between the two.  We need to examine the individual elements of the picture to find what is ultimately revealed.

Let’s bring back several scriptures and start our work there.  First, the first fruits of the barley harvest:

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

Now, the first fruits of the wheat harvest:

15 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: 16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. 17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.

We have already detailed how the priests presented these two offerings.  One of the things that we are commanded to do in the Bible is to study scripture line on line, precept on precept.  Doctrine is not built upon any single scripture.  Rather, it is built on the whole of all the scriptures pertaining to a subject.

Ever wonder exactly how the Bible can have the answer to every question in life, yet there are so many things not directly covered in the Bible?  How many of us work in professions that did not exist during the times of the  Bible?  Yet, the Bible has the answer to any situation we can encounter at work?  Yes – it does.  It holds the answers through line on line, precept on precept.

Our lives are complex pictures built on individual pieces.  It is those pieces where the Bible reveals our answers.  We have all heard the phrase “the heart of the matter”.  This phrase reveals the profound truth of the Bible.  No matter what your situation is, it can ultimately be broken down into its component parts.  Once dissected, every last situation in life can be found in the Bible.

The issue that people run into is that they cannot see the individual pieces.  They cannot break a situation down to the nuts and bolts.  They also fail to listen to the Lord when He steps in to show them how to do so.

This is what we have with the Feast of Firstfruits and Pentecost.  By the time the Lord lays out the official declaration of the feast days, He had already given the component pieces for the feast days.  FF and Pentecost were no exception.  You start with the first scriptures on the subject, and then add the content of the next set of scriptures.  This continues until you have all of the scriptures added into the mix.  You are left with the total picture.

However, there is one small wrinkle that needs mentioned, and will be addressed in greater detail shortly.  Every scripture must also be 100 percent accurate upon face value.  More specifically, it must be 100 percent accurate as a stand alone scripture!

then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

“Sheaf” is piece of the picture that we have not seen as of yet.  Here is the thing.  When we read “sheaf” today, we get a picture that does not match with the practice of waving the flour before the Lord.  Yet, we can see that waving flour is what the scriptures called for on the grain offering (where waving the bread or cakes was not specified).  So, is the sheaf in Leviticus 23 what we know as a sheaf today?  Did it have a different meaning during the times of the Bible?

Englishman’s Concordance

‘ō·mer — 5 Occurrences
Exodus 16:16
HEB: לְפִ֣י אָכְל֑וֹ עֹ֣מֶר לַגֻּלְגֹּ֗לֶת מִסְפַּר֙
NAS: you shall take an omer apiece
KJV: to his eating, an omer for every man,
INT: much to his eating an omer apiece to the number

Leviticus 23:10
HEB: וַהֲבֵאתֶ֥ם אֶת־ עֹ֛מֶר רֵאשִׁ֥ית קְצִירְכֶ֖ם
NAS: then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits
KJV: thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits
INT: harvest shall bring the sheaf of the first of your harvest

Leviticus 23:15
HEB: הֲבִ֣יאֲכֶ֔ם אֶת־ עֹ֖מֶר הַתְּנוּפָ֑ה שֶׁ֥בַע
NAS: when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering;
KJV: that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering;
INT: the day brought the sheaf of the wave shall be seven

Deuteronomy 24:19
HEB: בְשָׂדֶ֜ךָ וְשָֽׁכַחְתָּ֧ עֹ֣מֶר בַּשָּׂדֶ֗ה לֹ֤א
NAS: and have forgotten a sheaf in the field,
KJV: and hast forgot a sheaf in the field,
INT: your field forgotten A sheaf the field shall not

Job 24:10
HEB: וּ֝רְעֵבִ֗ים נָ֣שְׂאוּ עֹֽמֶר׃
NAS: And they take away the sheaves from the hungry.
KJV: and they take away the sheaf [from] the hungry;
INT: famish take the sheaves

We have an interesting development here.  It appears that “sheaf” and “Omer” are the exact same Hebrew word.  Let’s look a bit further.

Strong’s Concordance
omer: omer
Original Word: עֹ֫מֶר
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: omer
Phonetic Spelling: (o’-mer)
Short Definition: omer

Brown-Driver-Briggs
I. עֹ֫מֶר noun masculine Leviticus 23:11 sheaf (swath, row of fallen grain, WetzstZ. f. Ethnol. 1873, 273 (Syriac Dreschtafel), against him VogelstLandwirthschaft in Pal, 61 who translates heap of sheaves); — ׳ע absolute Deuteronomy 24:19; Leviticus 23:11,12,15, construct Leviticus 23:10; figurative of food (absolute) Job 24:10; plural עֳמָרִים literal Ruth 2:7,15.

  1. עֹ֫מֶר noun masculine Exodus 16:22 omer (compare Arabic  small drinking cup or bowl; relation to I. ׳ע obscure); — a measure, only Exodus 16; — the measure itself Exodus 16:18; Exodus 16:32; Exodus 16:33; amount measured Exodus 16:16; Exodus 16:22; = 1/10 ephah Exodus 16:36; ᵐ5 γόμορ.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
omer, sheaf
From amar; properly, a heap, i.e. A sheaf; also an omer, as a dry measure — omer, sheaf.

see HEBREW amar

It turns out that sheaf and Omer are the exact same word in Hebrew!  This alone opens up many lessons and gems that can be applied to many aspects of our lives.  However, they can have two very different, yet related, meanings.  Of the uses of “Omer” in the Bible (of which there are not many), it is Leviticus 23 alone that translates “Omer” as “sheaf”, and not as “Omer” (in connection with first fruits and the grain offerings, that is).  In doing so, we see that the use of “Omer” in Leviticus 23 is not a unit of measure, but the actual sheaf of grain – as in the “just plucked from the field” sheaf of grain.  This is the state of the grain BEFORE it is threshed, winnowed, and ground into flour.

All of this starts to raise some interesting questions.  Let’s bring in several more scriptures:

Romans 11:16 – If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Romans 16:5 – Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 – But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Revelation 14:4 – These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Let’s examine the meaning of firstfruits in these scriptures:

Strong’s Concordance
aparché: the beginning of a sacrifice, i.e. the first fruit
Original Word: ἀπαρχή, ῆς, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: aparché
Phonetic Spelling: (ap-ar-khay’)
Short Definition: the first-fruits
Definition: the first-fruits, the earliest crop of the year, hence also met., for example, of the earliest converts in a district; there is evidence in favor of rendering in some passages merely by: sacrifice, gift.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance
Word Origin
from apo and arché
Definition
the beginning of a sacrifice, i.e. the first fruit
NASB Translation
first convert (1), first fruits (6), first piece (1).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 536: ἀπαρχή

ἀπαρχή, ἀπαρχῆς, ἡ (from ἀπάρχομαι:
a. to offer firstlings or first-fruits;

b. to take away the first-fruits; cf. ἀπό in ἀποδεκατόω), in the Sept. generally equivalent to רֵאשִׁית; the first-fruits of the productions of the earth (both those in a natural state and those prepared for use by hand), which were offered to God; cf. Winers RWB under the word Erstlinge (BB. DD. under the word First-fruits): ἡ ἀπαρχή namely, τοῦ φυράματος, the first portion of the dough, from which sacred loaves were to be prepared (Numbers 15:19-21), Romans 11:16. Hence, in a transferred use, employed a. of persons consecrated to God, leading the rest in time: ἀπαρχή τῆς Ἀχαΐας the first person in Achaia to enroll himself as a Christian, 1 Corinthians 16:15; with εἰς Χριστόν added, Romans 16:5; with a reference to the moral creation effected by Christianity all the Christians of that age are called ἀπαρχή τίς (a kind of first-fruits) τῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ κτισμάτων, James 1:18 (see Huther at the passage) (noteworthy is εἵλατο ὑμᾶς ὁ Θεός ἀπαρχήν etc. as first-fruits] 2 Thessalonians 2:13 L Tr marginal reading WH marginal reading; Christ is called ἀπαρχή τῶν κεκοιμημένων as the first one recalled to life of them that have fallen asleep, 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 (here the phrase seems also to signify that by his case the future resurrection of Christians is guaranteed; because the first-fruits forerun and are, as it were, a pledge and promise of the rest of the harvest).

b. of persons superior in excellence to others of the same class: so in Revelation 14:4 of a certain class of Christians sacred and dear to God and Christ beyond all others (Schol. ad Euripides, Or. 96 ἀπαρχή ἐλέγετο οὐ μόνον πρῶτον τῇ τάξει, ἀλλά καί τό πρῶτον τῇ τιμή).

c. οἱ ἔχοντες τήν ἀπαρχήν τοῦ πνεύματος who have the first-fruits (of future blessings) in the Spirit (τοῦ πνεύματος is genitive of apposition), Romans 8:23; cf. what Winer § 50, 8 a. says in opposition to those (e. g. Meyer, but see Weiss in edition 6) who take τοῦ πνεύματος as a partitive genitive, so that οἱ ἔχοντες τήν ἀπαρχήν τοῦ πνεύματος are distinguished from the great multitude who will receive the Spirit subsequently. (In Greek writings from (Sophocles) Herodotus down.)

The first point that needs to be made is this.  When the Bible uses the term first fruits, it is talking about the first from the greater collection of the same thing.  Here is what I mean.  The first fruits are the same “thing” as the rest of the harvest.  If your first fruit is barley, then the rest of the harvest is barley.  If your first fruit is wheat, then the rest of the harvest is wheat.  If your first fruit is grapes, then the rest of your harvest is grapes.

It should also be noted that the first fruits require that the greater harvest of the same crop must also come.  First fruits is not the only harvest of a particular crop – it is the first and smallest of the actual intended harvest.  If there is a first fruits offering, that means the greater harvest is inevitable, and must come shortly.  Bear this in mind as you read further.

Back to the point – you do not offer a first fruit for an unrelated crop.  Wheat is not offered as a first fruit for figs, or grapes for barley – or any other combination.  The only exception to this is the very first offering of the first fruits on the Feast of Firstfruits.  This is the one time that a specific first fruits offering is offered on behalf of all the various harvests.  It is the one first fruit offering that is made for the harvest as a whole.  It is made for the barley harvest specifically.  However, it is also the first fruits which sanctify the entire coming harvest.  It is the first fruits offering that sanctifies the entire harvest season.  It is the barley harvest which comes right at the start of the new year.  It is the barley which can yield its first fruits at the top of the year, clearing the way for all other harvest activities.  This will be critical to understand later as well.

Each crop must still have its own first fruit offering, as each crop is separate and distinct, fulfilling its own purpose.  However, none of those purposes can come to pass without the entire harvest season being sanctified in the first place.  Here is where this gets really interesting.  We see this play out with Christ.  Here is the thing, not all harvests in the Bible are for good.

Revelation 14:14-20 – 14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Each of the harvests have a purpose and a picture.  There were seven crops that required a first fruits offering.  However, there are only three that are written into the seven feasts of Israel – barley, wheat and grapes.  Each of these three harvests also have a beginning and an ending.  Barley ends with Pentecost, wheat ends with Trumpets, and grapes end with Tabernacles (speaking in terms of their scriptural placement in the feast days and appointed days).  This will become a critical piece of the prophetic picture.  More on this in a moment.

In these three harvest and feast days we have the pictures of both life and death.  In death, we have the picture of judgment.  We see this even more clearly when we remember that the fall feast days are the picture of the rapture, tribulation, and second coming.  The three harvests in question also encode these three time periods.  The barley harvest encodes the rapture.  The wheat harvest encodes the tribulation.  The grape harvest encodes the second coming (Day of Atonement specifically).

Remember, each first fruit offering signifies both a beginning AND an ending.  The Feast of Firstfruits – barley – corresponds with the end of the old season of harvest time.  You planted the barely after Tabernacles the previous year.  What did we say earlier about Tabernacles?  The eighth day represents the first day of the new cycle.  It is also the end of the Torah reading cycle.  In one day, you get the start of the new cycle, and the completion of the Torah.  That is when the barley is planted!

Some of you are starting to get the picture.

Pentecost represents the wheat harvest, and the summer harvest.  It represents the harvest that is planted during the days of the barley harvest.  As the 49 days of the barley first fruits progress the wheat harvest is being planted.  The wheat is planted, cultivated, watered, and cared for.  It begins to slowly sprout during the days of the Omer, of the barley harvest.  As the first grains begin to ripen, they are set aside until Pentecost, when they will be turned into bread and then taken to the Temple.  With Pentecost, the first fruits and harvest of barley end, and the first fruits and harvest of the wheat begins.  This continues until the fall feast days commence.

With Trumpets, the official end of the wheat harvest comes.  The official beginning of the grape harvest commences.  The interesting thing here is that this makes the grape harvest a prophetic picture of the entire time of the tribulation.  It begins with the Feast of Trumpets, and ends with Tabernacles.  Stated differently, it starts with the rapture, and ends with the start of the millennial reign of Christ!

So much for the argument that the entire time of the tribulation is not a time of God’s judgment – which brings us to the point.

In the three first fruits offerings written into the feast days, the first fruits of the barley harvest is the picture of the sanctification of the entire resurrection and judgment process, for both righteous and evil.  What did we say a moment ago?

You do not offer a first fruit for an unrelated crop.  Wheat is not offered as a first fruit for figs, or grapes for barley – or any other combination.  The only exception to this is the very first offering of the first fruits on the Feast of Firstfruits.  This is the one time that a specific first fruits offering is offered on behalf of all the various harvests.  It is the one first fruit offering that is made for the harvest as a whole.  It is made for the barley harvest specifically.  However, it is also the first fruits which sanctify the entire coming harvest.  It is the first fruits offering that sanctifies the entire harvest season.  Each crop must still have its own first fruit offering, as each crop is separate and distinct, fulfilling its own purpose.  However, none of those purposes can come to pass without the entire harvest season being sanctified in the first place.  Here is where this gets really interesting.  We see this play out with Christ.  Here is the thing, not all harvests in the Bible are for good.

This is a critical point to what the counting of the Omer represents.

The first fruits offerings are a picture of the first of the resurrections and judgments, and the Feast of Firstfruits was the sanctification of the entire resurrection and judgement process.  It was the prophetic start of ALL first fruits and harvest seasons, and as such, is the start of all resurrections and judgments yet to come.

That is, of the first and second resurrections.

See the two graphs that follow.

Revelation 20:4-15 – 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,  8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.  11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

In case you doubt my words, I would offer these scriptures as well:

John 5:25-30 -Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.   26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

We can draw an interesting conclusion given what we have covered so far.  The use of the Hebrew word for both sheath and Omer, combined with the scripture defining what the first fruits truly represent – the counting of the Omer, as a side note, literally translates into the counting of the “measured men”.  The counting itself is the measure of a man, or the measure of men.  This will come into play later in the study, and do so in a big way.

17

Several points made earlier bear repeating at this time.  The Jewish Encyclopedia points out that the barley first fruits offered before the Temple was not beaten with hard sticks.  Rather, it was threshed with soft reeds so as to not damage the individual grains.  Also, the barley was not threshed with the tribulum.  That was a fate reserved for the wheat – a grain with a much harder shell.  When our outer shell is too hard to penetrate and crack, only the terrible treatment of the tribulum can break us.

18

Don’t miss this – that does not mean that there are not hard days in our lives.  Indeed, the Gospel records that there will be trials and tribulations before us.  Even the barley still had to be cracked and opened.  Yet, it took only the strike of the softer reeds to open the barley grains.  This is a distinction that will come into play later.

As we move forward, there is something I will confess.  The next issue we are going to address is one that really eluded me for the longest time.  I mean REALLY eluded me.  I would read, study and consider the various sources.  Yet, there was something I was missing – that is, until the Lord turned on the light bulb.

There is something that gets lost when studying and researching the first fruits of the barley and wheat.  It is present in every facet of the first fruits offerings, yet is never mentioned, covered or spoken about.  It is a critical part of the first fruits offerings that must be understood at all costs, and without which the first fruits cannot be understood.  When dealing with the first fruits, the emphasis is not on harvesting.

It is on consuming!

I was absolutely floored when the Lord hit me with this.  Suddenly, so many things finally made sense.  Here is the thing that was never evident when I (or anybody, for that matter) studied the first fruits harvest.  Grain, once harvested, can be stored, eaten, and used days, weeks, months and years later.  This seems obvious given that the harvest for the year is eaten during the course of the next year.  Even an in depth study of the Shemitah bears this out (talk about a “duh” moment).  However, the one thing that I did not encounter was that one tidbit that said “oh yeah, you can actually completely harvest your fields before offering the first fruits.  You just can’t do anything with it until after the first fruits offering”.

You can harvest prior to your first fruits offering – especially the wheat.  You simply cannot consume until after your first fruits offering.

The wheat begins to ripen during the barley harvest.  So, it can be harvested and stored.  However, this gets into something we covered just a few moments ago.  This is the picture of something we see in the tribulation.  It is the imagery of the Jews hearing the Gospel and coming to the Lord during the first half of the tribulation.

We detailed the numerous scriptures that speak to what first fruits is, and what it represents.  If you have not caught on so far, nor seen some of the other studies in Trib Rising, the first fruits of the barley and wheat harvests are the picture of the death and resurrection of the saints of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The barley harvest represents the Gentile, and wheat represents the Jew.  The two crops are pictures of the historic acceptance of the Gospel of each group.  The softer, more easily winnowed hull of the barley represents the first acceptance of the Gospel by the Gentiles.  The harder hull of the wheat is much more stubborn and difficult to crack.  It takes a great deal more force to break the hardened shell of the wheat.

We have discussed this on Trib Rising more times than I can count, so we will not spend a great deal of time rehashing old territory.  We have broken down the commentary and case for the earthly copies of the heavenly things in multiple projects.  However, I will bring back in the scriptural links between the first fruits, and what they represent.

First, a few scriptures which confirm that the things that God gave us here on earth are the copies of the things in heaven, or the heavenly things:

Hebrews 8:3-5, 9:23-24 ESV – For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

We detailed extensively in part one of this project that the heavenly things are likewise the future prophetic fulfillments that we see in Revelation.  In fact, much of what we see in the Law of Moses points specifically to the tribulation and 1,000 year reign of Christ.  We already know that the feast days are prophetic, and that the fall feast days are the picture, type and shadow of the time of the tribulation.

Now, the setting of the first fruits to the things we see coming in the future, and the marker of what we might expect to find in our study of the counting of the Omer:

Romans 11:16 – If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Romans 16:5 – Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 – But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Revelation 14:4 – These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

We covered these scriptures a few moments ago.  These are the setting and defining of what the first fruits offerings actually are.  They are the picture of those that die in Christ, and are raised in Christ.  Christ was the first to rise.  He was followed by the Old Testament saints seen walking the streets of Jerusalem after He rose from the grave.  With these scriptures, the first fruits offerings are set to the death and resurrection of those who have salvation in Christ.

Now, for the final scriptural block:

Leviticus 23:9-17 ESV – And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah[b] of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin.[c] 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 

The Feast of Weeks

15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord.

With these scriptures, we now have two very specific first fruits offerings set into the feast days.  This elevates the first fruits from a personal picture of our own elevation through resurrection in Christ, to a prophetic picture of the things soon to come.

These scriptures take the first fruits of barley and wheat, and set them as an end times prophetic picture.  They tell us that the feasts of Firstfruits and Pentecost reveal something that is soon to come.  We have already covered that the feast days portion of these appointed days have seen their primary fulfillment.  However, that leaves these scriptures yet to see their primary fulfillment:

 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 

As we said earlier, these are the only appointed days within the feast days that require a specific action.  We have also laid out that these days (the actual counting) have not been fulfilled.  They were incidental to the two days of Firstfruits and Pentecost which were fulfilled.  However, every last aspect of the feast days must be fulfilled.  Therefore, the counting must be fulfilled.

Where does all of this leave us?

We know that first fruits are a picture of death and resurrection in Christ, specifically that the first death and resurrection makes the rest Holy and sanctified.  Without the first death and resurrection, there can be no future deaths and resurrections.

We know that the things given in the Law of Moses are but copies of the real things, the actual things – the heavenly things.  They are pictures of the actual events that must come and be fulfilled.

We know that the first fruits of both the barley harvest and the wheat harvest have been elevated to the feast days, and therefore elevated to prophetic status for the end times and tribulation.  

We know that the counting of the Omer is defined by the first fruits of the barley harvest, and that the first fruits of the wheat harvest comes after the counting.

Let’s add one more wrinkle.  We know that first fruits apply not just to Christ, but to many.  Not only that, but we know it is a term that is applied to saints in the times of the tribulation.  How many caught this tidbit?

Revelation 14:4 – These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

All of this tells us that the counting of the Omer is a picture of those that die in Christ, and are raised in Christ.  It can be seen as a picture of salvation to be sure.  However, it is the future premise found in the scriptures which raises an eyebrow.  Here is why.  The scriptures lay out a very clear foundation and understanding for what death and resurrection in Christ looks like, starting with the rapture, and ending in eternity.

Revelation 6:9-11 ESV – When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers[c] should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

Revelation 7:13-14 ESV – 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 12:11 ESV – And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Revelation 13:15 ESV – And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

Revelation 14:1-5 ESV – Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Revelation 20:4-6 ESV – Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

There are additional scriptures found in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21 that we have left out.  You get the point, nonetheless.

That leaves us at one undeniable point.

The counting of the Omer, along with Firstfruits and Pentecost, are the pictures of the soon coming martyrdoms in the tribulation!

What’s more is that the two different harvests – barley and wheat – reveal two different harvests in Christ.  They reveal a barley harvest, and a wheat harvest.  The details of each harvest define who each harvested group actually is.  We spoke on this a few moments ago.  The imagery of the barley and wheat speak to the groups they cover.

Go back through the details we covered on the barley harvest.  Contrast those with the details of the wheat harvest.  We can see the contrast of the acceptance of the Gospel by the Gentile and Jew.  One accepted willingly, while the other resisted.  One required no harsh judgment to break their outer shell.  The other must yet be cracked and broken before they will accept.

However, there is something more that needs addressed.  The timing of the first fruits of the barley and wheat also present another fascinating picture – one that many folks do not pick up on.  The first fruits of barley are presented before God, followed by the full barley harvest.  This continues for a set number of days.  While this set time of the barley harvest continues, the wheat harvest starts to come in slowly.  Some of the wheat is harvested during this time.  Yet, the first fruits of the wheat harvest are set aside until a specific day.

When that day comes the first fruits of the wheat harvest are presented.  From this day forward the wheat is harvested in full.  However, the rest of the harvests are brought in as well.  This includes the grape harvest.

This is the very picture of the seven year tribulation!

We will go into greater detail on this shortly.  For now, the critical piece to understand is that the counting of the Omer is a prophetic picture of the soon coming martyrdoms for Christ.  Returning back to the points we were making, we can now offer the next statement on what the first fruits of the barley and wheat tell us:

Everything we have studied so far reveals that the days of the barley and wheat harvests, and their associated first fruits offerings on Firstfruits and Pentecost, show that they are the picture of the Jews starting to come to Christ in the tribulation while the Gentiles are being martyred across the globe.

While the “barley” is being harvested, the “wheat” is ripening in Israel!

The following scriptures are doubtless beginning to make a bit more sense:

Revelation 14 English Standard Version (ESV)The Lamb and the 144,000 

14 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Let’s bring back something we covered a moment ago, that opened this section of the discussion:

As we move forward, there is something I will confess.  The next issue we are going to address is one that really eluded me for the longest time.  I mean REALLY eluded me.  I would read, study and consider the various sources.  Yet, there was something I was missing – that is, until the Lord turned on the light bulb.

There is something that gets lost when studying and researching the first fruits of the barley and wheat.  It is present in every facet of the first fruits offerings, yet is never mentioned, covered or spoken about.  It is a critical part of the first fruits offerings that must be understood at all costs, and without which the first fruits cannot be understood.  When dealing with the first fruits, the emphasis is not on harvesting.

It is on consuming!

I was absolutely floored when the Lord hit me with this.  Suddenly, so many things finally made sense.  Here is the thing that was never evident when I (or anybody, for that matter) studied the first fruits harvest.  Grain, once harvested, can be stored, eaten, and used days, weeks, months and years later.  This seems obvious given that the harvest for the year is eaten during the course of the next year.  Even an in depth study of the Shemitah bears this out (talk about a “duh” moment).  However, the one thing that I did not encounter was that one tidbit that said “oh yeah, you can actually completely harvest your fields before offering the first fruits.  You just can’t do anything with it until after the first fruits offering”.

You can harvest prior to your first fruits offering – especially the wheat.  You simply cannot consume until after your first fruits offering.

When you undertake a study of the harvests seasons in Israel, and specifically the first fruits offerings, you will find more resources than you can shake a stick at.  They will cover every possible aspect under the sun.  However, you will encounter the problem we touched on earlier.  You will not find those resources that connect the obvious dots, and make the obvious statements.

Some of this is due to the great complexity built into the Jewish faith.  It is absolutely astounding just how complicated and convoluted some of the positions in Judaism have become.  Truly, it has become the lawyer’s approach to God.  Don’t misunderstand my words.  I am not diminishing the Jewish faith, or our connections to Israel and the Jews.  Nor am I dismissing the Jews as our brothers in faith.  Indeed they are.  However, I am speaking to what Paul revealed concerning the state of the Jews.  This is further evidenced by something else we have covered, and did so extensively in part two.  Much of the confusion stems from the embrace of the Pharisaical interpretation of Judaism.  It does not help matters that both Josephus and Philo were born of this understanding.

This brings us back to something we also covered in part two, and in this project as well.  Much of this confusion stems from the efforts to downplay the aspects of the feast days which prove the divinity of Christ.  Some of this is accidental, while much of it is intentional.  After the destruction of the Temple and 70 AD, decisions were made to both preserve the Jewish faith and deny the heresies of the rising sect of those following the teaching of a “dead heretic”.  Much of the motivation rising from this period of time was buried.  That is to be expected.  As the doctrines of the Pharisees took hold, they became less apt to be questioned.  As more time progressed, these doctrinal proclivities became the defacto Jewish faith delivered in the Torah.  It did not matter that a great deal of mental gymnastics to support what clear differences between the scripture, and what the scripture actually “meant”.

All of this manifests today when you embark on any detailed studies of the Bible from the Jewish perspective.  The more immediate issue here is that it can become very easy to get lost in everything that you read and study.  The steady return of the Jewish origins of our faith have also served to re-introduce many of the doctrinal dangers that are recorded in the New Testament.  We have went so long without the Jewish backdrop of the Bible, that Satan now has an entirely new body of deceptions ready to go – all stemming from the very first years of the church!

When you parse the many resources on the subject, you will encounter many ideas and understanding.  Yet, you will also encounter an inordinate number of disconnected notions – all seemingly devoid of the connecting pieces and keys to other disconnected notions.  You will find studies that seem to touch on other studies.  Yet, the authors will fail to make the critical causal link.  Ultimately you come away with more questions than answers.  It becomes a frustrating exercise in “what about this?”.

This is what I encountered through most of my own research and work.  As I said earlier, it took the Lord to hit me with the one piece I was missing (see the commentary on consuming the harvest).  I would read through the various commentaries on the harvests and first fruits offerings.  I would see the accepted understanding that the Jews would not bring their private first fruits offerings until after Pentecost.  I would see the commentary declaring that all of their first fruits would be offered as baked offerings, as the cakes and wafers typically reserved for the wheat harvest.

Another puzzling premise that I kept stumbling on was to prospect that much of the wheat harvest was already complete BEFORE Pentecost.  This continued to eat at me.  I had seen what the wheat harvest was supposed to mean to the Jews.  It was the summer harvest, the grains planted after the Feast of Firstfruits.  Pentecost was supposed to represent everything that was harvested in the late fall and summer.  It represented the full harvest season.  Yet, most resources spoke of the wheat harvest being completed before Pentecost.

This was made more difficult by the fact that there were resources that would minimize this understanding by declaring only some of the wheat harvest would come in before Pentecost.  In their positions, the majority of the wheat harvest came after Pentecost.

So, which is it?

Does the wheat harvest come primarily before Pentecost, or after?  Not only that, but how many of these more modern scholars were parsing ancient Jewish history with modern Israeli agricultural practice?  Bear in mind, that modern agriculture in Israel is NOT the same as it was in the days of the Bible.  The main reason is this – end times Israel is prophesied to be a land of great harvest and plenty.  Even the dessert is prophesied to bloom.  This is a reality that exists today!

As I would read through the various resources, there was a nagging question that stayed with me.  It was the question that was the catalyst for the consumption revelation, and the basis for the things that we will detail shortly.

How can first fruits come at the end of the harvest?

Bear in mind that this question does not stand as a declaration of wrongdoing by the Jews.  It simply marks a nagging question that must be asked.  It is a critical observation that is either missed, or intentionally discarded for the reasons we have already discussed.

Understand that I am not talking about simply setting aside the wheat harvest until after the offering of the first fruits.  That premise alone would not be troubling.  Indeed, this is what happened with the other five crops that required a first fruits offering.  What I am talking about is the wholesale acceptance of the premise that a firstfruits celebration should be the LAST act of the harvest – especially since the scriptures seem so clearly to indicate otherwise.

This reveals an underlying truth to everything we have discussed so far.  The reason that so many Jewish scholars – and Christian scholars for that matter – fail to directly address or deal with this apparent discrepancy is that they flat do not understand what they are dealing with.  Also, the few that do consider this to be an insignificant issue.

Imagine that – a first fruits offering at the end of the harvest is considered inconsequential!

Yet, the Lord can still use such mysteries to His purposes.  The first grains can be “set apart” once harvested, and held aside until the time of the first fruits offering since it is offered as bread.  It seems that even in confusion there are real prophetic gems.

It turns out that this is exactly what will happen to the Jews in the Tribulation!

There are no accidents in the Bible, with God, nor with Israel.  There is a reason why there are so many differing positions and views on the harvests of Israel, the harvest aspects of the Omer, and specifically the first fruits of the wheat harvest.  As we stated earlier, some of the websites and resources on the subject speak to the wheat harvest after Pentecost.  Some speak to the wheat harvest during Pentecost.  Still, others speak of the wheat harvest being complete before Pentecost.

There are even commentaries that speak of the nature of the first fruits of the wheat harvest, declaring that even though it is a first fruits offering, it comes after the harvest nonetheless.  As we stated a moment ago – they are either blind to what they are saying, or intentionally dismissive of what they are promoting.

The amazing thing is that it never seems to occur to anybody that regardless of whatever practice has been endorsed on this, the Lord still called it “Firstfruits” for a reason!  This, despite what men have decided for themselves on the matter.  As we have already seen, “first fruits” has a very specific meaning, and no single scripture can be proven a lie to support a position offered by the whole.  In the Word of God, the doctrine revealed by the body of scriptures NEVER contradict the truth of any single scripture.  If you hold a position that does this, then you hold a position that is false.

Truth must be found in every individual scripture, as well as all of the scriptures together.

The reason for so many positions is that is that these scholars see something there that they cannot yet quantify.  They do not understand what it is that they do see.  They know only that they see it.  So, they do what man always does.  They attempt to build doctrines of known scripture accounting for that which they do not understand.  You have doubtless seen this time and time again.  These are the doctrines that leave the obvious unanswered questions.  They leave the loose ends to assumption, usually avoiding any real effort to deal with those assumptions.

One of the best examples of this is the premise that the church must go through the tribulation since saints are martyred in the tribulation.  How many of us want to beat our heads against the wall every time we see somebody step up and literally move heaven and earth to avoid the obvious point.

Just because there are saints dying in the tribulation does not mean it is the church that was here before the tribulation.  It simply means that there are those who are saved DURING the tribulation!

Literally, anytime this same discussion arise, there will be NO mention of this possibility by those that argue against the pre-trib rapture.  It is as though they are forbidden to even utter the words under pain of death.  I am not exaggerating on this.  I literally have NEVER seen ANY serious pre-trib critic EVER acknowledge that this premise even exists – as a standalone premise (meaning that if they address those saved in the tribulation, it is ONLY because the church is still here).  They simply will not even speak the words, let alone admit that it might be possible.  It does not mean that it has not happened.  It simply means that you stand a better chance of finding a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow than finding a pre-trib critic addressing this possibility.

The missing piece on the first fruits and harvest is this – the first fruits of the wheat harvest – Pentecost – is a prophetic double reference!

Here is what they don’t understand.  The first fruits of the wheat harvest is both an ending and a beginning.  With the first fruits of wheat, one harvest ends and another harvest begins.  It is why there are so many interpretations that embrace one while denying or dismissing the other.  Pentecost is literally a perfect prophetic picture in a imperfect world.

As we were saying a moment ago, the disconnect in the feast days and first fruits stems from the fact that nearly all modern records and understanding are based off the Pharisee interpretation of Judaism that has been in place since the destruction of the Temple in 70AD.  All of our current information comes from Philo, Josephus, the Mishnah and sources subject to Paul’s admonition of spiritual blindness.  It is the core reason why practice does not always match what scripture declares.

Bear in mind that this does not negate the scriptural requirement of line on line, precept on precept – or that there is some truth in what we see today.  Where the disconnect comes in is understanding exactly HOW all these disparate pieces are supposed to fit together.  Where the Pharisaical interpretation truly failed is in declaring the Sadducean understanding as the enemy.  As we discussed in part two, it was the Sadducees which held the much more Biblical understanding.  They were not perfect by any stretch.  However, on balance they were much closer to the mark than their far more liberal contemporaries.  Especially in doctrines which were direct proofs of the divinity of Christ.

I had been searching for an answer to the question of how the private first fruits of barley were handled by the people.  I kept running into the understanding that the people did not start their first fruits until Pentecost, including their barley first fruits.  Also, that both the barley and wheat were offered as loaves of bread.  Here is the thing.  I can see how this could be promoted.  After all, the grain and wave offerings seem to require this very thing.  When coupled with line on line, precept on precept, it almost makes sense.  This stayed with me until the Lord hit me with something.  The Jews had become the very prophetic picture of the wheat.

Israel was never supposed to change or alter the first fruits requirements for any reason!  I began to ponder what that might mean.  It did not take me long to formulate an understanding of exactly what had happened.

If you raised a barley crop, you were supposed to bring the actual sheaves themselves to the Temple, after they had ripened, between the Feast of Firstfruits and Pentecost.  It was the sheaves themselves that were supposed to be waived.  Not the flour, but the sheaves.

The particular day would vary based on when you had your first grains to ripen.  However, it would be during the 49 days.  Only in the rare and unusual case of a late harvest would a later date be acceptable.

You would then return with your first fruit offering for your wheat harvest (if you raised wheat).  You would harvest your first fruits of wheat when ready, thresh and prepare the flour, and bake the two loaves just before departing for Jerusalem.  In the event your wheat ripened before Pentecost – much of which did – you would take the first fruits of your wheat harvest and set it aside.  Any additional wheat harvested would likewise be set aside, until after the first fruits.  Only then would it be ready to consume.  The wheat was more likely to ripen after Pentecost.  This was certainly OK.  When it was finally ready and ripe, you would simply harvest and present the first fruit then.

After the barley and wheat, the other five first fruits crops had no specific requirements as to timing.  They could be offered together or separate.  You could set them aside and offer them altogether, or each as it was ready.  The only exception to this was the grape harvest.  Tabernacles was the celebration of the completion of all the harvests, and the 10 Days of Awe are the picture of the grape harvest.  On a side note, the first fruits offering of the fruit was not offered until the fourth year of the planting.  This is also a prophetic picture of the tribulation, as it is the fourth year when the great grape harvest occurs on earth.

While there was no counting of the days after Pentecost, it likewise held that the days after were harvest and first fruits days – just as the 49 days of the Omer.  It’s just that the 49 days are a specific prophetic picture.  The days after Pentecost likewise reveal a picture.  The Omer is the count down to the great harvest, where the wheat, grapes, and all other fruits are harvested.  By the time this occurs the barley is done.

That was the answer as far as I was concerned.  I now understood the problem and it was cased closed.  Funny thing about that – there were a few things that would continue to stick with me.  As I moved forward with the various aspects of my study, there were recurring questions that would not leave me.  The Lord had given me an understanding, and I had learned not to dismiss such things.  Still, I had also learned that when those nagging questions remained, there was a reason for that as well.

I understood that the Jews were never supposed to modify the first fruits requirements.

Check.

I understood that barley was supposed to be offered from Firstfruits to Pentecost.

Check.

I understood that the wheat was supposed to be offered on or after Pentecost.

Check.

Here is the thing.  After the Lord gave me the understanding that first fruits were never supposed to be modified, I had formulated much of the understanding we detailed in the prior few paragraphs.  Here is the hitch – when the dust settled and I began to go back through the material, I was reminded that Leviticus chapters two and six actually contradicted some of what I had surmised as I reflected on the revelation I had been given.

The key here was “some”.

There were questions and discrepancies that existed between what I was starting to comprehend and what the scriptures offered.  Fortunately, I had also learned years ago that this is not a cause for panic or concern.  Rather, it was an indication that there was yet more to come.  I had learned to see this for what it was – an indication that there were more revelations coming.  As I said, there were several issues that I was seeing between the public and private first fruits offerings, found in Leviticus chapters 2, 6, and 23.  Here are some of the issues, in no particular order:

There is no wave requirement (offering or otherwise) for any first fruits offering in Leviticus 2 and 6.

The private barley offering was supposed to come during the 49 days.  It was to offered as flour.

The two loaves at Pentecost were to contain leaven, whereas leaven was not permitted in the grain offerings or the first fruits offerings in chapters 2 and 6.

The private first fruits of barley contained frankincense.  The public offering in chapter 23 did not.

There was to be no memorial portion during Firstfruits or Pentecost.  The grain offerings in chapters 2 and 6 all required the burning of the memorial portion on the altar.

There is something else that we need to understand.  I have stated multiple times across multiple projects on Trib Rising that there are no accidents in the Bible.  Every word and statement uttered is done so with a specific purpose.  There is nothing in the Bible “just because”.  There are no assumptions.  There is nothing left to chance.  If you see something written, then you must ask “why?”  We see the same thing with numbers, dates and patterns.

This is critical for this reason.  In Leviticus 23, the Lord does something that most gloss over, and replace with assumption.  In 23, the Lord specifically spells out that there is to be a waving of the sheaf, and a grain offering.  The Jews simply assume that these are two indications of the same thing.  They utilize scripture from Leviticus chapters 2 and 6 to justify this.  It is not unreasonable to do so, given the text of chapter 23 and the Biblical admonition for line on line, precept of precept.

Here is the thing, however.  The wave offering in 23 requires something not seen in chapters 2 or 6.  Actually, it requires two things – a wave and a sheaf.  We have already covered that sheaf in 23 means the actual freshly cut sheaf, and not the measure of flour.  This is followed by a description of the grain offering to be given – which is ALSO different than the grain offerings found in chapters 2 and 6.  Certainly, we could say that the Lord simply chose not to utter the complete requirements for the grain offering.  Likewise, we could say that the Lord simply added a “wave” to the grain offering as well.

There is just one tiny problem.  The language used by the Lord is very specific.  Remember, there are no accidents in the Bible – especially when talking about the seven feasts of Israel, the prophetic picture of the things to come.  That would include the coming of the Messiah!  Likewise, the language is very specific in that it does not actually link the waving of the sheaf and the grain offering.  It speaks of one, then the other.  It has been pure assumption that has combined the two events into one.  To be clear – the language used actually supports a grain offering AFTER the wave offering of the sheaves!

If the waving of the sheaf in 23 was to be nothing more than the standard grain offering found in 2 and 6, then there would be no need to elaborate.  The instructions for this offering had already been given.  Likewise, there would be no need to leave out one of the three core requirements in the grain offering on Firstfruits, if you contend that the Lord simply decided to restate the grain offering requirements.  You may recall that the frankincense requirement of the grain offering is left out of the chapter 23 grain offering.

Simply stated, the pattern of the Lord is to either leave the meaning and description of a thing or event completely to the scriptures He has already given, or He restates it fully and in its entirety in the scriptures at hand.  He does not go halfway in anything!

The premise applies to the two loaves offered on Pentecost.  Leaven was specifically forbidden for the grain offerings in chapters 2 and 6.  It is even representative of sin on Passover.  Yet, on Pentecost, we are suddenly told that the two loaves are to be leavened?  That is no simple oversight or omission.  This represents a substantial doctrinal shift.  Why?

Did you know that leaven also has another, lesser known, application in scripture – specifically with bread?  Leaven represents the spreading of the Gospel.  Think of it like this.  It is leaven which allows the bread to rise and expand.  With a little leaven, a small lump of dough, when exposed to heat and fire, bursts forth changing and growing.  The yeast undergoes a biological process which causes the bread to rapidly and exponentially explode.

This is what happened with the Gospel.  A small amount of leaven, applied to the unfinished dough of the Bread of Life, caused it to rise and expand.  It exploded when it was exposed to heat and fire.  It burst forth, expanding rapidly in every direction across the earth.  It could not be contained.  It could not be stopped until it reached its full potential.  This will have a direct application to the prophetic pictures represented by the counting of the Omer as well.  We will touch on this shortly.

What I had come to understand is more of a two part revelation.  The first fruits schedule was never supposed to be altered for convenience, or to combine first fruits trips to Jerusalem when it came to the barley offering.  Likewise, the barley was never meant to be offered as loaves of bread.

Even if it meant that you made additional trips to Jerusalem – which you were already supposed to do!  Even if it meant three or four trips (the two pilgrimage trips on Passover and Pentecost, and two separate first fruits trips to offer the barley and wheat).

Remember, barley was a poor man’s crop.  It made poor man’s bread, and was used for feeding livestock.  Wheat was more expensive, and considered the staple for “regular bread”.  The poor were more likely to raise barley only.  The more well-to-do and larger business farmers were more likely to barley and wheat, or wheat and other crops.

This helps to explain why the re-interpretation of the first fruits laws were accepted and embraced.  These changes favored the needs, whims, and will of men – likely under the guise of “look what a loving God is willing to do for us”.  It is the same thing we see today in the modern world, and in the church.  This is how a stubborn people became the literal prophetic picture of the wheat harvest – a hardened grain that absolutely required a tribulum to break it.

In offering the barley as flour, and then finally as bread, the tribulum was likewise used in many cases for the barley.  As flour first, then as bread, it did not matter that the grains were damaged.  They would be ground into flour soon enough.  However, a tribulum was NEVER used at the Temple for the first fruits of the barley offered on the Feast of Firstfruits, even though the Jews would ultimately offer the flour instead of the sheaves.

However, the wheat was already supposed to be in the form of two loaves when it arrived at the Temple – for both the public and private offerings.  That means the complete process was supposed to be complete before the wheat “left home”.  Even in the public offering that was prepared in Temple complex, the preparation of the bread did not occur in front of the altar where it would be offered.  This gets into a study of the Temple and the complex, and the spiritual meaning behind each of the sections.  You could prepare the bread in the complex, yet not be before God in His holy Temple.

The first fruits laws in the seven feasts were supposed to show a natural separation between the things of God and men, while yet showing how such things were forever linked and joined.  There were differences introduced into the public offerings made on the feast days which were meant to reveal a prophetic picture.  The differences between the private and public offerings were slight, but meant to be observed nonetheless.  The private offerings were the picture of God in the lives of the Jews.  The public offerings were meant to reinforce those pictures, and add the prophetic pictures as well.

The private offerings remained intact.  The public offerings, however, were corrupted.  This makes sense when you think about it.  The private offerings speak to the private relationship between God and a man.  This is also a battle that rages in the heart and mind of the individual man.  It is not subject to group scrutiny.  A man can get the private sacrifices right.  Yet, Satan can still speak to him, sway him, move him, and ultimately corrupt him.  A man can develop any idea or premise he wants in his own heart and mind.  This premise is his alone, and the public perception can have little or no effect on it.

The public offering is a far different matter.  This is the offering that shows all the world “what comes next” on the prophetic landscape.  It is the public offering that the world can look to and know the greater answers and truth from the scriptures.  It is the living practice of the Law of Moses.  As such, it is a visual representation that helps men to understand and know what the Torah offers.  This is where Satan must do his work.

If this picture can be changed, then the wholesale re-interpretation of scripture is possible.

It was the public offerings that were corrupted by the private offerings.  In effect, what we had was public policy being replaced by private passions.  As we know all too well, this never works out.

What the Omer Reveals

We have covered a great deal of territory up to this point.  Between part one and part two, we have laid out more detail about the counting of the Omer than most people knew existed.  It is now, finally, that we have reached the heart of the matter – what the Omer reveals prophetically.

The counting of the Omer is about the pictures that are presented prophetically in the Sabbath cycle and feast days.  The tribulation will see seven complete years of martyrdoms.  They will be divided into two periods of 42 months, just as the tribulation is divided into two periods.  We see this throughout Revelation.  Given just how prominent these martyrdoms are during the end times, they must be encoded into the Law of Moses and the feast days – just as every other feature of the end times is found in the Law of Moses.  You will notice that I did not say “feast days”.  Here is why.  Every aspect of the end times must be found in the Law of Moses.  Likewise, we can also declare that every aspect is found in the Old Testament, as there is an Old Testament picture for everything that happens in the tribulation.  Remember, the things that will be are the things which are, or were.

However, only select items are found in the feast days.  Here is why – it is the feast days that lay out the specific plan of redemption, resurrection, judgment and eternity.  They are the official record of Jesus Christ, and how He redeemed humanity and all of creation back to God.  Not everything in the Bible belongs in the feast days.  Rather, it is the images presented in the feast days that make the rest of the Bible possible.  Think of the feast days as the baseline for everything else you read in the Bible.

So, the question is this – how exactly do you encode the end times martyrdoms in the feast days?  This question is especially important given that there cannot be actual human sacrifices in the Law of Moses, nor can there be any yearly feast that runs a full 42 months (per half of the tribulation).

Enter the counting of the Omer!

At this point, there are several questions we can ask which will help to highlight critical observations about the Omer.  These observations will ultimately reveal what the Omer tells us.

1. Why does the Omer begin with Firstfruits, and end on Pentecost?

2. Is the “Festival of Weeks” a title that reveals something important?

3. Does the word “weeks” mean a literal week in the Feast of Weeks?

4. Does “weeks” allude to something else in prophecy, such as Daniel’s 70 weeks – since both mention “weeks”?

5. Does the timing of the Omer, and the fact that it always begins on the first day of the week reveal anything?

Here are several tidbits from the questions above that will start us on our way.  We will expand on each of these in a few moments.  By the time our study is finished, each of these questions will be answered, and provide the foundation for additional answers.  For now, file what I am about to say in the back of your mind.

The fact the Omer begins on the Feast of Firstfruits tells us when the martyrdoms begin.  It tells us who is martyred.  It tells us why they are martyred.  It tells us where they are martyred.  The fact that the Omer ends on Pentecost tells us what happens after the martyrdoms are encoded in the counting.  It also tells us that the martyrdoms do not stop with the end of the counting on Pentecost.  It tells us that the nature and scope of the martyrdoms change.

Here is another critical “file it away” piece of the puzzle.  The start of the count on Firstfruits reveals that the martyrdoms start with the rapture!  We asked the question about the use of the word “weeks” in the feast, or Festival of Weeks.  The short answer to our question is “yes”.  The use of the word “weeks” is a prophetic reference designed to point us back to Daniel’s 70 weeks.  More on that in a bit.  With all of this said, let’s jump head first into the meat of the study.

Here is the next question that we need to address.  If you have been following along, several issues or questions should be occurring to you.  These questions reveal the blueprint for studying the Omer.  Here is one such question.  How can the 50 days of the Omer equate to an actual 50 days of martyrdoms, if the Omer is not a picture of the heavenly fulfillment?

Recall from part one of this series, and from other projects on Trib Rising that the prophetic fulfillments in the Law of Moses stay with those that fulfill.  During the time of the tribulation, those on the earth will experience a full seven years of tribulation.  However, for those that go in the rapture, it will be simply seven days.  It will be the seven days of the Temple service, seven days of the initiation of the new priests, seven days of the wedding, etc.  The fulfillment of the different “seven day” prophetic pictures must be fulfilled in seven actual days.  They are fulfilled with those that are the subject of the fulfillments, in the actual setting of the prophetic pictures.  In the case of the rapture, everything the Bible offers on the rapture show it to be an event fulfilled in heaven.

Remember, the rapture is not just the actual catching away.  That is the start.  The rapture – the catching away – is followed by the completion of the first resurrection of the saints, and the first presentation before God.  The rapture may start on earth, however; 85 percent of what the rapture is occurs after the initial catching away.  It is not complete until we are all in place in the throne room of God. 

It is an event that happens quickly, and all phases of the Great Assembly (which is what the rapture actually is) are completed very quickly.  It is simply that most of it happens in heaven, and that the entire process is revealed in the Bible to be a heavenly event – not an earthly one.  This is covered in greater detail in “John, Angels and Martyrs – Final Proof of the Pre-trib Rapture”.

The 50 days were fulfilled by the “heavenly things” during the time from the resurrection of Christ to His ascension.  While these 50 days passed on earth, they were the heavenly events nonetheless.  It more accurate to say that the heavenly fulfillments occur where Christ is.  The period of the 50 days started when God went up the first time (on Firstfruits, in secret), and concluded when God went up the second time (on Pentecost, in public).  The key here is to remember that the difference between a heavenly fulfillment and an earthly fulfillment is not always where something is fulfilled.  Rather, these are terms that best describe the subject and content of the fulfillment.  Christ came to earth, yet He’s still God.  NOTHING about Christ is an earthly fulfillment.  Christ was a heavenly fulfillment that occurred on the earth.

Another example of this is actually an example in reverse.  The judgments that are poured out on the earth are earthly fulfillments, though they are actually poured out in heaven.  Humanity and sin are the subjects of the judgments.  Yet, everything we see of the judgments are from the heavenly perspective – so much so that even the pouring out of the judgments are written into the Law of Moses and even the feast days.  Yet, they are earthly fulfillments nonetheless.  Despite all the pomp and pageantry surrounding the pouring out of the judgments, mankind and sin are their sole purpose and reason.

Just as the Shemitah was the picture of the earthly fulfillment of the tribulation timing picture, so too is the counting of the Omer.  Earlier, we laid out the scriptural foundation declaring the nature of the first fruits offerings, and what they actually represent and reveal.  It is an earthly prophetic picture of the earthly fulfillment of the first fruits.  In other words, it is the earthly picture of the martyrdoms during the tribulation.

There is something we need to notice right off the bat.  While the entire process is 50 days long, and it is common to lump all 50 days into general discussions about the Omer, we must remember that it is actually 49 days long, with the 50th day being Pentecost.  In other words, day 50 is not just the count, but it is everything written into Pentecost.  Just as day one is not just the count, but everything written into the Feast of Firstfruits.  Also, notice that Firstfruits and the first day of the Omer occur simultaneously, while Pentecost and the last day occur simultaneously.  More on this in a moment.

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.

As we have said already, the counting of the Omer is a prophetic picture of the earthly fulfillment of the first fruits of barley and wheat.  As such, it is a prophetic picture of the martyrdoms during the tribulation. Keeping that in mind, think of it like this.  The counting of the Omer is a prophetic picture, yet it is a complete chronological process.  The first day is day one of the Omer.  This tells us that the first day is the same as the last day, a total of 50 days of the same thing – in this case, the counting.  Yet, the set apart nature of Firstfruits requires that the first day of the Omer have some special significance.  Firstfruits becomes an “introduction” to the counting of the Omer, if you will.  It sets the terms and conditions of what the first day of the 50 days actually is.  Firstfruits tells us that the first day of the Omer, while part of the overall count, is something special.  However, it is also a companion day to Pentecost, showing that the last day is likewise special and set apart.  More on this in a moment.

The set apart nature of Firstfruits reveals that the first day of the Omer must be a continuation of what began the day that Jesus arose from the grave.  We shared the scriptural basis for this earlier, when we established that the Omer was linked to the first fruits offerings, and that this entire process started with Christ on the day He arose.

Leviticus 23 sets them as companion pieces to the same overall process.  So, First Fruits cannot be removed from the counting of the Omer, nor can it be separated from what happens on the first day of the Omer.  However, the set apart nature requires that the uniqueness of the first day of the count be maintained and honored.  You cannot lose either Firstfruits or the first day of the count.  They are, by scriptural definition, the same prophetic picture.  Though set apart, Firstfruits is the prophetic picture of what happens on the first day of the Omer when it comes to pass in the future.  Firstfruits and the first day of the count cannot be separated from each other.  However, as we just mentioned, the first day of the count is still the first of a total of 50 days.

This reveals that Firstfruits actually defines the entire 50 days, as well as set apart the first day as something “special”!

That is how a set apart day can be both separate and together with the first day of the count.  First fruits is meant to tell us what the first day of the Omer will be when it comes to pass prophetically.  That is another reason for the separation in Leviticus 23.

Otherwise, what we end up with is a 51 day process.  As you will see in just a moment, this is not possible.  It must be a 50 day process, and it must also have the uniqueness of Firstfruits written into the first day of this 50 day process.  The set apart day reveals a simple premise – separate, yet together.  Set apart, yet part of the whole!  This is a premise that we see throughout the Bible, both with Israel and the church.  We will also discuss another aspect of this shortly – the presentation of the first fruit of barley before the throne of God in His Holy Temple.

We said all of that to say this.  The counting of the Omer is bookended by two feast days.  We just discussed Firstfruits.  The second feast day is Pentecost.  Here is where this comes into play.  Declaring the first and last day of this 50 day process as feast days reveal that they are special.   Remember Firstfruits, though set apart, is actually the definition of what happens on the first day of the count.  It BECOMES the first day of the process!  That has the effect of preventing the 50 day process from becoming a 51 day process.  Here is why this matters.

When taken with Pentecost, the two feast days serve to set apart the first and last days of the Omer process.  The “set apart” premise of Firstfruits also applies to Pentecost as well.  Remember, as it was with Firstfruits, so it is with Pentecost.  It defines the days that follow.  Yet it is still a defined part of the 49 days that precede it.  Pentecost cannot be removed from the prior 49 days, yet it is still a first fruits celebration as well.  What did we say earlier in the project?  Pentecost is both an ending, and a beginning!  That said, given that the other 48 days of the count are a part of Leviticus 23 and the ordinance of the feast days, they are likewise special in their own right.  Here are several things that we need to point out at this time:

We know that there are martyrs during the entire tribulation.

We know that there are differences between the first and second halves of the tribulation.

We know that there is still salvation through grace in the first half of the tribulation, as well as the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

By default, there are several observations we can make about the timing of the “48” that we see in the counting of the Omer:

The “48 days” of the Omer cannot be a literal, chronological 48 days of martyrs in the tribulation, as 48 literal days are far short of the full seven years that Revelation and Daniel reveal for the times of martyrs.

Likewise, since it is not 48 days, yet is a timing marker, then it must be 48 “something”.

By default, it cannot be a period of 48 weeks.  As it was with 48 days, a period of 48 weeks is well short of the seven years required for the tribulation.

By default, it cannot be 48 years of martyrs.  This follows the same premise as 48 days and weeks.  It does not follow the time frames established for tribulation.

We have covered in depth on Trib Rising where equivalents are written into the definition of the time periods given for the calendar of God, and for the end times.  For further study on this subject, read “Time, Times, and a Dividing of Time”, “Biblical Proof of a Seven Year Tribulation”, and “John, Angels and Martyrs”.

We are left with one possibility alone.  The 48 units written into the counting of the Omer are in months.  The set apart nature of day one and day 50 show them to be special days.  The fact that it is actual feast days that set the first and last days apart reveal that they must remain an actual day in their own right.  This requires that only the remaining 48 “days” can have a chronological equivalent.  In this case it is 48 months.

Here is the thing.  Unless you have read the other projects on Trib Rising, you will likely scratch your head at this statement.  After all, there is no mention of “48” in connection to the timing of the tribulation.  Even the two halves of the tribulation fall short, clocking in at 42 months each.  So what gives?

We have spoken briefly about the count being the prophetic picture of the martyrdoms in the two halves of the tribulation.  However, those are 42 months in duration.  Yet, the Omer gives a picture of 48 months.  What we have is this.  If we apply the premise of the two halves to the 48 month picture in the Omer, we get a total of 98 months.  However, when we break this down into the 12 month increments of a year, we get a total of eight years.  Let me ask you a question that will help to sort all of this out.

Does the rapture and the covenant with Israel happen on the exact same day?

Right now the light bulbs are starting to go off – at least for those that have not read the other projects on Trib Rising that deal with this.  Let’s add another piece.  The Bible breaks the tribulation into two halves.  Yet, it also lays out a series of events that occur between those two halves.  Here is the next question that arises.  Will the invasion of Israel in Daniel chapters 9 and 11 take just one day to complete?

Now you are getting the picture!  Unless the rapture and covenant with Israel occur on the exact same day, by definition we have an end times period that lasts longer than seven years.  Even one day longer than the seven years of 360 days each requires that the times of the end must last longer than seven years.

Remember, we think of the tribulation and rapture as occurring in the same block of time we call the “end times”.  We do this because it is clear that the Bible does this.  However, we forget that the end times actually run until the start of the millennial reign of Christ.  Actually, the end times include the millennial reign.  How many are not aware of this?  Remember, the millennial reign is the last of the “seven days” of creation.  That gives us 1,000 years for each day, with the millennial reign being the last 1,000 years – or the last day.

Why call it the “end times”?

Stated simply, after the millennial reign time stops.  It is then that the New Heavens and New Earth come down, and eternity begins.  We think of the end times as solely the period from the rapture to the second coming.  Certainly it is right to do so, and this does mark a dramatic ending.  It is the end of man’s rule upon the earth.  It mark the end of our “times”.  So, I don’t want to rewrite something that is not wrong.  Rather, the point is this.  The end times actually extend beyond the two periods of 42 months.  These 42 months periods are declared for a specific purpose.  However, those are not the only purposes at work in the end times.  Think of all the different series of events that are written to occur during the end times and tribulation.

The two 42 month periods are simply blocks of time that come after their preparations are complete.  The invasion of Israel at mid-trib is a good example.  Both Revelation and Daniel list an entire series of events that take place between the end of the first 42 months, and the start of the second 42 months, or between the resurrection and rapture of the two witnesses, and the start of the great grape harvest in chapter 14.  We can even say it like this – between the seventh trumpet and the first vial judgment.  In the first block of 42 months the world and Israel are prepared for what comes in the second 42 months.  The second 42 months are the kingdom months.

All said, the period between the rapture and the covenant combined with the mid-trib events to mark an additional period of well beyond a day or two.  Here is the thing, however.  To be correct, there must be a picture of this somewhere in the Old Testament.  Not only must there be a picture in the Old Testament, it must actually be in the Law of Moses itself.  We can take it a step further.  It must be defined in the feast days.  After all, the rapture is encoded in the feast days.  The second coming is encoded in the feast days.  The tribulation is encoded in the feast days.  The counting of the Omer is encoded in the feast days.  The 48 months are encoded in the feast days.

By default, the eight years that makes all of this possible MUST be encoded in the feast days as well!

Leviticus 23:24-28 KJV – Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. 25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

In the scriptures above, we have the Feast of Trumpets, followed by eight days, then the Day of Atonement.  These are the Ten Days of Awe.  These are the days which present the picture of the rapture, tribulation, and the second coming.  We will cover the fall feasts in more detail in the next two projects.  For now, what we need to see is this – the eight days that are sandwiched in between two feast days.  If this seems familiar it’s for good reason.

We have another “set apart” first and last day!

In this series of days we have the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.  As we discovered earlier, these days must remain as days.  Yet, they define what happens after them as well.  This gives us 10 days, in which day one and 10 are special and set apart.  This leaves us with eight days.  Just as it was with the counting of the Omer, these are days that must have a prophetic fulfillment.

Here is the thing.  Unlike the Omer, or any of the spring feast days, the fall feast days have not yet had their fulfillment.  Clearly they have not had their prophetic fulfillment, but neither have they had a chronological fulfillment.  Now, this does not mean that there have not been aspects of the fall feast days fulfilled.  In the next part in this series we will detail the Day of Atonement, and what it means to fulfill the DOA.  So, we will leave some of the explanations for that project.

However, unlike the counting of the Omer, the eight days between Trumpets and Atonement have no specific acts or requirements.  This tells us that they do not require the same chronological fulfillment that was required for the 50 days of the Omer.  Think about what the Omer does.  It spells out that all 50 of its days must be accounted for.  Of course, all of the appointed days must be accounted for.  However, the counting of the Omer requires that every last day from Firstfruits to Pentecost be chronologically set apart – and done so absent any other act or event.  As we said earlier in the project, that is what makes the Omer unique among all of the appointed days.  Keep this in mind – the Omer alone has written into its requirements the need to be chronologically fulfilled.  The Omer alone has all of its days defined as special and unique in their own right – absent even the feast days!

No other appointed day can say this.  Aside from the Omer, it is the feast days alone that require special definitions and circumstances.  It is the feast days alone that are special and unique in their own right.

The days between Passover and Firstfruits were set apart by virtue of being between the feast days, the days that were fulfilled by the events of the death, burial and resurrection.  However, think back to part two of this project, where we discussed the sign of Jonah and the three days.  Those three days were unremarkable, other than the fact that they were the three chronological days required by the sign of Jonah.  Other than being the series of the next three 24 hour periods, there was nothing remarkable about them, nor anything written into scripture.

The three days between the sealing of the tomb and the resurrection had only the scriptural requirement of being the sign of Jonah.  After that, there was nothing to mark them, or account for them.  They were not even three civil days, as they did not start and end with the civil clock of Israel.  However, the counting of the Omer holds that all 50 civil days be honored, set apart and fulfilled.

Click on image for enlarged view.

Click on image for enlarged view.

Think of it like this.  The days between Passover and Firstfruits were fulfilled by Christ specific events and acts.  It will be the same with Trumpets and Atonement.  Just as the days between Passover and Firstfruits were incidental to what Christ did, so will the days between Trumpets and Atonement.  As we said in an part one, Christ did not die on Passover and rise on Firstfruits because they were feast days.  They were feast days because those were always going to be the days that Christ did those things – whether they were feast days or not.  Trumpets and Atonement were set as feast days because these were always going to be the days that the rapture and second coming occurred.  There is something that the Day of Atonement sets into the definition of the eight days that will be discussed in the next project.  This, however, does not affect what we are saying here.

Also, the vast amount of time from Firstfruits to Pentecost requires a specific definition if these days are also to be kept chronologically.  The few short days from Passover to Firstfruits simply do not require such definition because of their proximity to each other.

Remember also that we are talking about yearly feasts.  This gets back to something we hinted at earlier which will be covered in great detail in the final project in this series – the Feast of Trumpets.  The yearly feasts are meant to memorialize events that take place over 7,000 years.  Obviously you cannot have a 7,000 year feast schedule, and it serve as a continuous reminder of the things to come.  The yearly feast schedule therefore presents an interesting question:

“How do you fit event ‘XYZ’ into a yearly feast schedule, when it. . .”

Suffice it to say that what we have is a yearly feast cycle that memorializes 7,000 years worth of events, as opposed to a single 7,000 year feast cycle.  I don’t want to go any further on this now, as it gets into the most remarkable of all the revelations presented in these five projects.  To do so would require going into the last project now, and that’s simply not feasible.  For now, file this away in the back of your mind.  We will be spending a great deal of time on this in the next two projects (this gets into aspects of the Day of Atonement as well).

Absent a direct scriptural requirement, the days between Trumpets and Atonement do not require the same chronological fulfillment that is required by the Omer.  In fact, it is the Omer that actually runs counter to the usual Biblical requirement.  The counting of the Omer is actually the exception to the rule on this.  That is why each of its 50 days had to be spelled out as literal, chronological days.  We speak of the many chronological equivalents in the Bible.  Everything from “a thousand years is as a day” to the Shemitah cycle, most time frames in the Bible actually speak to a fulfillment greater than the chronological reference point given.  Another tremendous example of this would be the 70 weeks of Daniel.  Clearly, we have long since passed 70 chronological weeks since the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.  Yet, the 70 weeks will be fulfilled exactly as written.  Ain’t it funny how all of this works, and how it all comes together where we least expect it?

That said, the set apart nature of the two feast days tell us that these are single days, as they have been with every other feast.  They are meant to reveal that there is something special and unique about these two days.  However, it also tells us that the remaining eight days must likewise be accounted for.  Since they are not required to have a straight eight day chronological fulfillment, then by default they must have a prophetic fulfillment.  That is certainly no stretch to say, as we all understand that the fall feasts days are primarily a future prophetic events regardless.

“How do you fit event ‘XYZ’ into a yearly feast schedule, when it. . .”

We asked that question a moment ago.  It gets to the heart of what we see with 48 days of the Omer.  Understand, you cannot have a 48 month feast, or a feast that lasts for 48 months.  So, in order to encode this time frame into the yearly feast cycle, it has to be in a chronological equivalent.  We need a different unit of measurement, if you will.  We have to be able to encode something into a yearly feast cycle that does not actually fit.  It is the same with the tribulation and the 10 Days of Awe.  The remaining eight days reveal the tribulation.  A seven year tribulation does not fit into a yearly feast cycle.  Yet, the tribulation is written into the feast cycle nonetheless.  Likewise, they reveal the “48” in the Omer.

While the two primary periods in the tribulation are indeed 42 months in duration, there must also be the times of preparations for those two periods.  Yet, the total time can not exceed the requirements in the 10 Days of Awe.  Day one and day 10 are “out” since they are feast days.  So, the remaining period must be eight perfect prophetic years of 360 days each.  The eight “days” cannot exceed the eight years by even a single day.  This gives us the two halves of 1,440 days each, or 48 perfect prophetic months.

This dovetails with the question we asked about Pentecost, and whether or not its title of “Feast of Weeks” was prophetic.   Though the counting of the Omer is given only in days in Leviticus 23, the fact that the Bible calls Pentecost the Feast of Weeks elsewhere also reveals a prophetic key.  It is another critical prophetic picture.

“Festival of Weeks” reveals the prophetic tie.  Even though the counting of the Omer is given in days in Leviticus 23, the “weeks” designation elsewhere tells us that the 50 days are more than just 50 days.  Likewise, the fact that it is Pentecost and not Firstfruits that is the feast of Weeks tells us that the “weeks” designation is a defining application for the days that had just passed.  You can see this in the scriptures denoting the Feast of Weeks as a celebration of the days which have just passed, and not the days that are now to pass.

Understand, the Lord can call any festival by any name He chooses.  It could have been called the Festival of the 50 Days.  It could have been called the Festival of the Omer.  There are numerous titles it could have been given.  Yet, it was called “weeks” for a reason.

Exodus 34:22 KJV – And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.

Deuteronomy 16:10 KJV –  And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:

2 Chronicles 8:13 KJV – Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.

Numbers 28:26 KJV – Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:

It should be noted that this time is also called the Feast of Harvest as well.  This also reveals the prophetic nature of what the Omer is.  That said, here is the prophetic tie.  What we have so far is Firstfruits, followed by 48 days of the Omer, followed by Pentecost.  Likewise, the two feast days are also Omer counting days.  When the Bible takes the extra step of calling Pentecost both the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Harvest, it completes the prophetic tie between the three elements of Firstfruits, the Omer, and Pentecost.

Each are separate, yet all three are one!

The Feast of Harvest seals what Pentecost actually is, and the Feast of Weeks ties it prophetically to “weeks” elsewhere in the Bible.

Englishman’s Concordance
šā·ḇu·‘ōṯ — 4 Occurrences
Exodus 34:22
HEB: וְחַ֤ג שָׁבֻעֹת֙ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה לְךָ֔
NAS: the Feast of Weeks, [that is], the first fruits
KJV: the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits
INT: the Feast of Weeks shall celebrate the first

Deuteronomy 16:10
HEB: וְעָשִׂ֜יתָ חַ֤ג שָׁבֻעוֹת֙ לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ
NAS: the Feast of Weeks to the LORD
KJV: the feast of weeks unto the LORD
INT: shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God

Strong’s Concordance
shabua: a period of seven (days, years), heptad, week
Original Word: שְׁבֻעַ
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: shabua
Phonetic Spelling: (shaw-boo’-ah)
Short Definition: weeks

Brown-Driver-Briggs
שָׁבוּעַ noun masculine Daniel 9:27 period of seven (days, years), heptad, week (on formation see Lag BN 67); — absolute׳שׁ Daniel 9:27 (twice in verse); constructשְׁבֻעַ Genesis 29:27,28; dual שְׁבֻעַיִם Leviticus 12:5; plural שָֽׁבֻע(וֺ)ת Exodus 34:22 4t. Deuteronomy + (in technical term) 2 Chronicles 8:13; late שָֽׁבֻעִים Daniel 9:24 4t. Daniel; constructשְׁבֻעֹת Jeremiah 5:24 (Ezekiel 45:21 read שִׁבְעַת with Vrss and all modern, see שֶׁבַע); suffix שָׁבֻעֹתֵיבֶם Numbers 28:26; —
1 period of seven days (from a given time), week: Deuteronomy 16:9 (twice in verse); Leviticus 12:5 (P); of marriage feast Genesis 29:27,28 (E; compare Judges 14:12; Tob 11:19); שָׁבֻעִים יָמִים Daniel 10:2,3three weeks, days (three weeks long); חֻקּוֺת קָצִיר ׳שׁ Jeremiah 5:24 weeks of statutes (i.e. weeks appointed by ׳י) for harvest; technical term חַגּ שָֽׁבֻעֹת Exodus 34:22 (J) feast of weeks (ending seven weeks of harvest), Deuteronomy 16:10,16; 2 Chronicles 8:13 so ׳שׁ alone Numbers 28:26 (P).

2 heptad or seven of years, late, Daniel 9:24,25,26,27 (twice in verse). — שֻׁבֻעוֺת Ezekiel 21:28 see שָׁבַע].

I am going to add in two additional scriptural references to drive home the point:

Genesis 29:27
HEB: מַלֵּ֖א שְׁבֻ֣עַ זֹ֑את וְנִתְּנָ֨ה
NAS: Complete the week of this one,
KJV: her week, and we will give
INT: Complete the week her will give

Genesis 29:28
HEB: כֵּ֔ן וַיְמַלֵּ֖א שְׁבֻ֣עַ זֹ֑את וַיִּתֶּן־
NAS: and completed her week, and he gave
KJV: so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave
INT: so and completed her week and he gave

These two references point back to the project on the coming Third Temple and the horrors of the desolation.  They show another prophetic reference to the use of weeks in end times prophecy – the time of Jacob’s Trouble.  That project is well worth reading, and it will change your life.  It shakes the romantic notions of what some hold the tribulation period to be.

The additional sourcing cited above serves to show the connection between the scriptures that use “weeks” as a reference point.  There are uses of “weeks” where an actual week is intended.  Indeed, this is the case with Pentecost.  It does in fact refer to the preceding seven weeks of the Omer.  Yet, that is also the point.  It does not need to if it is simply a feast day of it’s own accord, and given solely to honor the harvest time.  Yet, of the 20 uses of “weeks” in the Old Testament, only one use of the word is not directly tied to the harvests, Pentecost, or end times prophecy found in Daniel.  Long story short, there is simply no way around it – “weeks” has prophetic implications, in addition to the literal meaning.  This should be no surprise at this point, especially if you have spent any time in any other Trib Rising project.  The use of “weeks” is something we have seen before.

“Weeks” is a prophetic double reference!

What we have with Pentecost is a 50 day festival, that encompasses the counting of the Omer, points to the harvest, called “weeks”, bookended by two feast days – requiring some action not just on the feast days, but on the 48 days in between.  This gives weight and significance to the 48 days, and not just the two feast days.

This brings us back to something we mentioned earlier in the project.  The designation of “weeks” confirms the two pictures that are presented with the Omer and the two feast days:

The two feast days are the primary picture, and the 48 days are the secondary picture;

The 48 days are the primary picture, and the two feast days are the secondary picture.

One of these pictures are already fulfilled.  That means the remaining picture is the prophetic picture.

There is something else that needs said.  We spoke of the fact that the Lord could have called Pentecost anything He chose.  There is something else.  The Omer did not have to be given in days.  Pentecost had already been called the Festival of Weeks by the time we get to Leviticus 23.  The counting of the Omer could have been given in weeks.  We could have been told to count each day for a total of seven weeks.  There was no need to mention the 49 days (depending on the translation), or 50 days.  The use of “day” could have been limited to declaring the need to count each “day”, and to the “day” after the seventh complete week, or seventh complete Sabbath.

Yet, here we are.  Leviticus 23 is given in days.  It would have come to 50 days regardless of how it was written.  There was no need to spell it out if it was simply a matter of tracking the time from Firstfruits to Pentecost.  It was given in days for a reason.  There are no accidents in the Bible.  There are no “just because” scriptures.  Everything has a specific reason.

As we have said already, the spring feast days require a chronological and a prophetic fulfillment.  The appointed days require a fulfillment as well.  They can require a direct chronological fulfillment, or an indirect chronological fulfillment.  The appointed days from Passover to Firstfruits are an indirect chronological fulfillment.  The days of the Omer require a direct chronological fulfillment.  Both of these chronological fulfillments are complete for the spring feast days.  We have already seen and discussed the chronological fulfillments of the appointed days during the life of Jesus.  Soon, the prophetic fulfillment will come.

In the first fulfillment of the 50 days of the Omer (the chronological), the days of the Omer were secondary to the feast days.  They were the appointed days between the resurrection, ascension, and pouring out of the Holy Spirit.  They started and ended on feast days.  The feast days were the emphasis, and what each revealed.  The days in between were the secondary purpose, where the preparation for the birth of the church occurred.  Soon, however, this picture will reverse.

Every aspect of the Law of Moses must be fulfilled.  If the Omer did not exist as the Omer – if the Omer was not written in the feast days as separate and distinct days – there would be no additional fulfillments to come.  The Omer would remain a secondary picture as appointed days alone.  This is not the case, and the Omer will be fulfilled in its own right.  This brings us to the second picture.

In this picture, the two feast days – Firstfruits and Pentecost – have already been chronologically fulfilled.  Yet, they are still a part of the counting of the Omer.  That requires that they remain a part of the count.  However, if they have already had their days as the primary piece, and the Omer had its day as the secondary piece, then the feast days must now have their days as the secondary piece.  The Omer must now become the primary piece.

This brings us to the first of two bombshell prophetic revelations!

In part one of this series, we detailed how the Shemitah gave use the picture of a day, followed by seven years, with the last day of the seven years likewise being set apart.  Here is an excerpt from part one:

In the given context, there is only one period of seven years.  This leaves us with the right pattern, as opposed to the left.  Let’s clean up the right pattern, and see what we have:     Day of Destruction ——–> 7 Year Period ——–>  Day of Destruction  ( D.o.D. )   ( 7 year period   —   D.o.D. ) What we are left with is an absolute bombshell, and the truth of the timing of the tribulation.  We should also note that the left pattern is also prophetic, as it reveals the greater pattern of the time of Jacob’s Trouble.  We detail this extensively in “Horrors Beyond Reckoning – The Coming Desolation of the Temple”.  It is beyond the scope of this project, but the left pattern reveals the two times of Jacob’s Trouble, or the two periods of seven years.

http://tribulationrisingcom.fatcow.com/horrors-beyond-reckoning-the-coming-desolation-of-the-temple/

Returning to the pattern at hand, what is revealed in the Shemitah is the timing of the tribulation.  Here is what the Shemitah reveals: A day of destruction; A full seven year period; A day of destruction on the last day of the seven year period.This pattern leaves only one possibility, and the reason why the seven year Sabbath cycle was given.  ( Rapture )   ( Full 7 year period   —   Second Coming on Final Day )There is no other position on the rapture which fits the pattern revealed by the Shemitah.  Likewise, there is no other position on the rapture which fits the mandatory timing requirements of the Ten Days of Awe.  The Shemitah, for everything it was and was not, reveals the truth in an undeniable picture of the end times.  It sets the framework and context for understanding why the Ten Days of Awe are the actual timing picture for the end times.

The counting of the Omer likewise presents a picture in a pattern:

( Day – 48 Days – Day )

When we introduce the scriptures on the counting, it further refines the pattern above.  What we have is the first and last day as a part of the overall pattern, yet separate from the main body of the 48 days:

( Day ) – ( 48 Days ) – ( Day )

What this reveals is that there will be a day unto itself, followed by 48 days, and then another day unto itself.  Just as TDBU revealed the Shemitah pattern, it also reveals the Omer pattern.  We have already spoken on how the feast days define the days that follow.  We have also spoken on how they bookend the 48 days.  Likewise, we have spoken on the requirements for the two feast days in the Law of Moses.  Now we are ready to pull all of this together, and reveal what they show us about the days to come.

For now, keep this in mind.

By default, there must be two additional fulfillments of these feast days.  So, the prophetic picture reveals that the second fulfillment of each must be prophetic as well.  It must be something in the future.  It also reveals something we have discussed elsewhere in Trib Rising, this project, and in the coming two projects.

Pentecost is actually two different feasts!

Technically, so is Firstfruits.  The difference is that the second fulfillment is a continuation of its first fulfillment.  It’s first fulfillment was the first fruits of the dead, the actual resurrection of Christ.  It is the first fulfillment that makes the second fulfillment possible.  Pentecost, however, does not find its prophetic fulfillment until the second half of the tribulation.

With that, let’s bring back the subject we started when we asked the five questions earlier, and ask a question.  Why put the counting of the Omer at Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits?  The counting is a part of the first fruits celebration in Leviticus 23.  It starts with the first fruits of the barley harvest, which is the picture of Christ, the first fruits of many.  We have spoken on this already.  Here is what we see in these three feast days with regards to the counting of the Omer:

Passover – death;

Unleavened Bread – Burial;

Firstfruits of Barley – Resurrection of the dead in Christ.

Stated differently, the counting of the Omer actually starts with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  As such, it is the picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of all of us through Christ!  Talk about a picture contained in the most understudied days in the Bible!

TDBU reveals something else.  The first fruits of both the barley and the wheat are pictures of the heavenly things, in their primary fulfillment.  We know this from what we have covered so far, and from the fact that Paul spells this out.  All of the feast days are pictures of the heavenly things – at least in their primary fulfillment.  As Paul says it, these are copies of the real things.

The presentation of the first fruits on earth is a copy of the actual first fruits in heaven.  The first fruits of the barley and wheat are the first presentations before each harvest can begin.  Both first fruits celebrations are the presentation of the first fruits before the Throne of God.  Remember, Firstfruits and Pentecost have already had their primary (chronological) fulfillments during the days of Jesus.  This leaves only the prophetic fulfillment for the times of the tribulation.  Keep in mind what we just said as you go forward:

The first fruits of the barley and wheat are the first presentations before each harvest can begin.

Though there is confusion about the actual earthly barley and wheat harvests, the counting is a prophetic picture pointing to a future event.   Each of these two feasts reveal what will happen in the tribulations, as each defines the days that follow.

FFB —–>>  42 Months  —–>>  FFW  —–>>  42 Months  —–>> 

The First Fruits of the Barley and the Wheat

There are 42 months is each half of the tribulation.  However, you will remember what we discovered with the 10 Days of Awe, and the 48 “days” of the Omer, here is what we actually get when both sets of requirements are combined line on line, precept on precept:

FFB —–>>  48 Months  —–>>  FFW  —–>>  48 Months  —–>> 

Here is the timing key:

The counting gives the specific timing for the first half of the total period.  However, we have already established that the wheat harvest continues with the harvest of the remaining first fruits required harvests.  Among those remaining five harvests is the grape harvest, the third of the three prophetic harvests in Revelation.  These five harvests continue until the culmination of the fall feasts, specifically Tabernacles, where the completion of all the harvest seasons are celebrated.

Revelation 14:14-20 KJV – And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

In case you have not made the connection with the scriptures above, and the grape harvest, here is what you may be missing:

There is only one fruit in all of the Bible in which wine is made.  Also, the juice of the grape is called the “blood” of the grape.  It is not until grapes are cut down where they stand and are crushed that the blood is produced.  That blood flows into and pools in the winepress.  It is only after enough grapes are crushed and the blood reaches a certain height and depth that new wine is possible.

Furthermore, the reference to Pentecost as the Feast of Weeks is a direct prophetic tie back to Daniel’s 70 weeks specifically, and to the prophetic meaning of “week” in general.

What the counting of the Omer gives us is the prophetic picture of the martyrdoms in the tribulation period.  It reveals something critical about the timing of the end.  It confirms that what we typically ascribe to the seven year tribulation period is more correctly ascribed to the eight days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Firstfruits both set at the head of the end times period containing the tribulation.  Both confirms the revelation of the other that the rapture comes first, before the start of the tribulation.

The Feast of Trumpets is the picture most are familiar with.  However, this picture is now confirmed by the counting of the Omer.  It confirms that the martyrdoms of the tribulation start in the aftermath of the rapture, even before the official start of the tribulation.  This is also confirmed by the extensive study of martyrs in Revelation.  See “John, Angels, and Martyrs – Final Proof of a Pre-trib Rapture” for this evidence.

It confirms that the total eight “days” of the end times will be divided into two periods of 48 months, for a total of 96 months.

It confirms that the first 48 months will see the harvest of the barley, or those Gentiles who accept Jesus Christ and are saved through grace.

It confirms that the second 48 months will see the harvest of the wheat, or those Jews who confess Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and must have their hard outer shells crushed to find salvation.  This crushing occurs at the end of their lives.

It confirms that while the wheat is being harvested, so too are the grapes.  This tells us that while the Jews are being slaughtered in Hitler’s Final Solution 2.0 (see “Coming Desolation”), the Lord himself is pouring out His time of wrath.  More people die during this period than perished in the first 48 months.

Here is the final piece that we need for this revelation – the first fruits of the wheat harvest:

Revelation 14:1-5 KJV –  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Several things need pointed out.  First, you will notice that both the 144,000 witnesses and the grape harvest are both in chapter 14, and occur at about the same time.  We see that first comes the 144,000 witnesses, followed by the grape harvest.  Second, you will notice that these 144,000 were sealed all the way back in chapter seven.  This confirms what the harvest picture reveals – the wheat grows and ripens while the barley is harvested.

Third, there is something you will not notice.  From the time of the sealing until their appearance in chapter 14, there is no mention of exactly how the 144,000 went from the earth to heaven.  However, what we do have are the two witnesses being raptured at about the same time the witnesses show up in heaven.  We lay out the evidence for the connection between the two witnesses in both “John, Angels and Martyrs”, and “Desolation”.

It’s as if they are secretly caught up to heaven, unexpectedly, leaving the rest of the world to live through the aftermath of their disappearance.  There is a reason for this, and why there are no direct explanations at this point in Revelation:

Those left behind at the rapture of the 144,000 witnesses already know what a rapture looks like, how it works, and why it comes.  After all, it has happened once before.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11, King James Version (KJV)

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Here is the final picture of what the Omer has revealed so far:

Rapture – 48 Months Barley – Rapture 144,000 – 48 Months Wheat/Grape Harvest

This is a bombshell to say the least!  It reveals when the rapture comes, and just how long the end times period will actually last.  How many people truly had no idea just what the counting of the Omer truly is.  Yet, it has been there the entire time, nestled in with its bigger cousins – the feast days!

This revelation alone makes our study of the Omer a success.  However, there is yet one more revelation we need to share when it comes to the counting of the Omer.  This is going to be a tremendous example of how simple, yet critical, observations can make all the difference.

John 20:26 KJV – And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

This is one of the scriptures I studied when I was working on section one.  You will recall that the first part of this project deals with the 40 days and ascension of Christ.  As such, this scripture is a part of the accounting of what happened after the resurrection.  So, what exactly jumps out as a critical observation?

And after eight days again

The million dollar question is why the Bible specifically mentions the eight days.  What purpose does it serve to include the number of days?  Why not simply indicate multiple days, and leave the exact number out?  Better yet – why have any specific number in the first place?  There are no accidents in the Bible.  Nothing is there “just because”.  This scripture is the key to unlocking everything we have studied in both part two and three on the Omer.

This stuck out to me like a sore thumb.  It’s not just that it was a specific number of days.  It’s that the number was specifically eight.  Not only that, but I soon began to notice other unique and interesting facets of this particular block of scripture.  The more I studied, the more I was blown away by what I found.  Finally, when I stepped back and saw the total block of scripture, and the actual first verse that goes with them, I could finally see the big picture.  With that, the first thing we need to do is lay out the full block of scripture where our revelation resides:

John 20:17-31 KJV – Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Next, we need to lay out the exact timeline revealed in these scriptures.

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

These two scriptures reveal the length of time in question.  We have what appears to be an eight day timeline.  However, verse 26 does leave open the possibility of a one day variance.  We need to ascertain exactly how many days are given in these two scriptures.  Let’s look closer at the variance, and see if it is an actual variance:

after eight days again

Other versions have this written as “eight days later”.  When I looked through the different translations I could see both eight and nine days.  The question comes in as to whether the first day of the week (verse 19) is a part of the eight days (verse 26), or if the first day is separate from the eight days.  Depending on which version of the Bible you have, you could entertain the wrong time frame, and do so very casually.  Most lessons utilizing these scriptures are not dependent on the exact number of days.  However, the counting of the Omer does require exact numbers.

Here is the issue.  If you read “after eight days again” in your Bible, this would include the current day.  However, “eight days later” can only mean eight days after the current day.  One instance includes the current day.  The other instance starts after the current day.  After thinking on this for a bit, I was led to draw out the timeline for each, and compare how the days fell.

After I drew this out it clicked.  Both actually say the same thing!  The issue is not that one version gives you eight days, and the other version gives you nine.  It’s that the eight or nine days actually speak to when the individual timelines start.

“After eight days” includes the current day (the first day of the week, or the resurrection day), for a total of eight days.  However, it puts the starting point at day nine for the subject matter that follows.

“Eight days later” does not include the current, and starts the day following the current day.  Yet, it allots for only eight days total.

That leaves us at the same place.  The subject matter in question actually starts on day nine, or the eighth day after the first day of the week.  Both put the disciples back into the locked room on the Monday after the resurrection week.  I know that this seems a bit trivial to cover.  However, it is critical that you have the exact timeline.  I am not the only one that will see and question the apparent distinction.  As such, it is best to cover it now.

Here is our base timeline for the events in question:

19

We can take the different elements of this block of scriptures and make observations that, when taken together, reveal the prophetic information.  Here is what we can ascertain from the scriptures above.

1. From the Monday after the resurrection until the following Monday, there was no appearance of Jesus.  It should be noted that additional study will likewise confirm this.  We will go into greater detail in part four of this series – the Day of Atonement.  For now, we can simply assert that Jesus would not have appeared to anybody else during this time.

2. During this time of absence, something interesting emerges.  The subject of this piece of the study is the eighth day.  As it turns out, we find another “eighth day” present in this series of events.

On the fourth day of this absence, it has been exactly eight days since the crucifixion and burial of Christ.  In other words, it has been eight days since all of this began.  Given that the eighth day principle is encoded into the feast days, that tells us that there is something to notice and note about this particular eighth day.  Of course, not every eighth day is prophetic.  However, any “eighth day” that occurs during such a prophetic run of events is, by definition, prophetic itself.

Given that this particular eighth day occurs exactly eight days from the first day of Unleavened Bread, then we look to the signature events on that day.  This is when the High Priest went to Pilate and had the tomb sealed.  That puts the starting point for our particular eighth day at about the middle of the day, or 12 hours after Unleavened Bread began.

This literally cuts our day in half, and likewise cuts the eight day period in half.

We take that half period further, and bring in the observation that the appearance happened on the eighth day.  That tells us that the period of absence was actually seven full days, with Jesus appearing again on the eighth.  This gives us two timeline observations.

A pattern of 7+1 emerges.  This is the same Biblically mandated 7+1 period we have seen tied to the end times, and to so many things in the Bible.

The midpoint premise of our particular eighth day combines with the 7+1 pattern to reveal two periods of absence running 3.5 days each.  The lightbulb is starting to come on for some of you.

Our first “eighth day” denotes both an ending and a beginning.  We have seen this with every “eighth day” we have studied so far.  It tells us that on this “eight day” that something has ended.  In the place of that which has ended comes something that will now begin.

Prior to the first day of the primary eight day period, all of the disciples except Thomas are present.  On the final day of the series, Thomas is now present.

The key feature of the disciples who are present on the resurrection day is faith.**

The key feature of the absent disciple is lack of faith.**

** More on these two observations in just a moment.

With these observations in mind, here is the timeline that emerges:

20

As we look at the total time from the crucifixion to the eighth day, we find a total of 12 days that elapse.  That is a number that should strike each of us as curious, as it seems that we have one day for each of the 12 tribes, one day for each of the 12 disciples, and finally, one day for each of the 12 elders.  This is a study in its own right, and one we will leave for another time.  For now, it is enough to notice the 12 days, and their correlations.

In those 12 days, we have another numerical sequence that emerges:

3 days – one day – seven days – one day

In this sequence, there is a piece that we need to notice:

one day – seven days – one day

We have seen this several times during this study.  It is the pattern of both the Shemitah and the original picture in the counting of the Omer.  Now, lets bring in the piece found in the observations above – the half day piece.  This introduced the half day, and divided the single period into two.  Here is the timeline that emerges:

( DAY ) >> ( 3.5 DAYS ) >> ( 3.5 DAYS ) >> ( DAY )

What we have in the eighth day pattern is the third confirmation of the pre-trib rapture, followed by the first three and a half year period.  After that period, another three and a half year period follows.  When that period concludes, we get the next single day event in the sequence.

There is one last piece to cover as we close out this study of the counting of the Omer and Firstfruits.  It is perhaps the most amazing of all the revelations so far, and stands as a terrible warning for the Body of Christ in these last days.

What I am sharing now is something the Lord showed me while I was preparing this project.  I was working on the first section dealing with the 40 days and ascension.  The Lord gave me the initial revelations, and then expanded on them.  It fits with the message of the Omer in ways that I did not fully appreciate at the time.

With that, let’s bring in the relevant scriptures.  This is the block I was studying when the Lord opened up the last section of this project:

John 20:17-31 KJV – Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

There is another timeline that emerges in the scriptures above.  However, this particular timeline is concealed in basic observations.  What we need to do is notice the core message of each individual scripture.  Once we do this the timeline emerges.  Here is the verse number and critical message contained in each:

Verse 17 – The secret ascension of Jesus.

Verse 18 – The message of the Gospel and salvation through Christ.

Verse 19 – Disciples of Jesus locked away in secret, in a room, removed from persecution.  The Savior is with them.

Verse 20 – The price paid by Christ shown, the disciples believed, received and rejoiced.

Verse 21-23 – The disciples are sent, they receive the Holy Spirit, and they are to forgive.

Verse 24 – Thomas was not among them in the chamber.

Verse 25 – Thomas rejects the message, and has not faith.  He does not believe.

Verse 26 – Eight days, the disciples are in the locked chamber.  Now, Thomas is with them.  The Savior is with them.

Verse 27 – Thomas is not only shown the price paid, but he is given that which he wanted –  to experience the wounds for himself.  He could not believe without seeing and experiencing for himself.

Verse 28 – It is only after experiencing the wounding himself does Thomas finally see and understand.  Finally, he declares “my Lord and my God!”

Verse 29 – Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Chances are that you see something here, yet are not quite sure what it is.  Take a few minutes and read these observations again.  Review them with each scripture.  With that, let’s run the same list again.  This time, however, let’s highlight several scriptures and see if something jumps out at you:

Verse 17 – The secret ascension of Jesus.

Verse 18 – The message of the Gospel and salvation through Christ.

Verse 19 – Disciples of Jesus locked away in secret, in a room, removed from persecution.  The Savior is with them.

Verse 20 – The price paid by Christ shown, the disciples believed, received and rejoiced.

Verse 21-23 – The disciples are sent, they receive the Holy Spirit, and they are to forgive.

Verse 24 – Thomas was not among them in the chamber.

Verse 25 – Thomas rejects the message, and has not faith.  He does not believe.

Verse 26 – Eight days, the disciples are in the locked chamber.  Now, Thomas is with them.  The Savior is with them.

Verse 27 – Thomas is not only shown the price paid, but he is given that which he wanted –  to experience the wounds for himself.  He could not believe without seeing and experiencing for himself.

Verse 28 – It is only after experiencing the wounding himself does Thomas finally see and understand.  Finally, he declares “my Lord and my God!”

Verse 29 – Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Is it becoming clear yet?  Do you see it?  Chances are you do, but need just a bit more help with this.  Let’s run the list again, with a few more enhancements to bring the final picture out:

The secret ascension of Jesus.

Requires The message of the Gospel and salvation through Christ to receive.

Disciples of Jesus locked away in secret, in a room, removed from persecution.  The Savior is with them.

These are they that:

The price paid by Christ shown, the disciples believed, received and rejoiced.  The disciples are sent, they receive the Holy Spirit, and they are to forgive.

Verse 24 – Thomas was not among them in the chamber.

How will a disciple of Christ miss the gathering together, and the secret ascension of Christ?  They are like Thomas – they are disciples hidden in plain sight.  Everything about them looks the same.  Yet, there is something missing in their hearts.

Thomas rejects the message, and has not faith.  He does not believe.

Verse 26 – Eight days, the disciples are in the locked chamber.  Now, Thomas is with them.  The Savior is with them.

Only now, do we see Thomas with the others.  He was not there at first, but he did finally arrive.  What has changed?

Thomas is not only shown the price paid, but he is given that which he wanted –  to experience the wounds for himself.  He could not believe without seeing and experiencing for himself.

It is only after experiencing the wounding himself does Thomas finally see and understand.  Finally, he declares “my Lord and my God!”

Thomas did not believe nor have faith.  It is only after the secret ascension, the gathering together, the locking away of the faithful in the secret chamber, that Thomas believed.  Now, however, Thomas had to see and experiencing the wounding for himself.  Only then could Thomas be gathered unto the Savior with those that would believe first, without experiencing the wounding themselves.

Verse 29 – Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

You will never look at this block of scripture the same way again!

The key here is that Thomas would not believe until he experienced the wounds for himself.  Why do we say “experience?”  It is for this reason.  Thomas wants to feel the wounds for himself.  He could never truly experience the wounds, as Jesus alone was worthy to suffer.  Yet, he could not accept them sight unseen.  They were not real to him.  So, all he could do is touch what Jesus Himself had done.  Yet, in the mind of Thomas, this alone is what could make the truth “real”.

That is what we have today, and what this block of scripture warns us about.

It is a final warning for those that would reject the soon return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is a warning to those that have been given salvation, yet reject the wounding that Christ alone could receive.  It is a warning to those that have the cross, yet feel that they must somehow experience the wounding themselves, lest it not be real.

It is a warning that if this is what you must have, then this is what you will get.  You will get to experience the wounding – an experience that is unnecessary.  It has already been received by Christ.  You need not experience it for yourself.  If you would but simply hear and believe, then you too will be locked away in secret, away from the persecution and wounding.

Otherwise, you will be required to experience the wounding for yourself.  It can never be what Christ faced.  It will be real, nonetheless.

Don’t be like Thomas.

Verse 29 – Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

As we come to the end of project part three, we need to bring in all three of the timeline revelations we have seen so far in these three projects, and the warning in John chapter 20.  These will be the three core revelations, and the finalized timelines.  It will leave out several of the “minor” timelines we have observed as well.

Here was the final Shemitah timeline:

( Rapture )   ( Full 7 year period   —   Second Coming on Final Day )

Here was the first Omer timeline:

Rapture – 48 Months Barley – Rapture 144,000 – 48 Months Wheat/Grape Harvest

48 Months Barley = Gentile Martyrs

48 Months Wheat = Jewish Martyrs

Here is the second Omer timeline:

Rapture > First 3.5 Years Tribulation > Second 3.5 Years Tribulation > Second Coming

Finally, we add the warning from Jesus to the church, that even those among us that seem to be the most faithful are at risk of missing the gathering together.

What a picture that emerges!

At the completion of the final project in this series, we will combine all of the timelines into one complete telling of the events soon to come.  This included several timelines that will be laid out in the next two projects on the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpets.

In part four we will detail the Day of Atonement, and how this feast day is the combining picture of everything we have studied so far.  It is the chronological blueprint for the events to come.  However, it serves two other purposes.  It is the divine “schedule of events”.  It is also the judicial record of everything that will have transpired from the Garden of Eden, through to the final fulfillment of the Day of Atonement at the Second Coming and Judgment of Nations.  This is where things get exciting!

See you in part four!

In the name of our most blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


  • A confirmation site for those in the tribulation.