Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36
 
Home > Articles > The Rapture and the Feast of First Fruits

The Rapture and the Feast of First Fruits

Introduction goto top

In this document we will investigate prophetic Feast relating to the Rapture of the Bride of Yahushua (Jesus).

We are aware of scriptures,

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

and we are not in the business of date setting, but is merely highlighting and investigating certain prophetic relevancies in scripture, relating to the Rapture of the Bride.

In the Scriptures we see a repetition of events happening on certain Hebrew dates, especially the dates of the Feasts of the Lord named in Leviticus 23. From biblical studies it has also become evident that these Hebrew Feast dates are prophetic in nature, which reflects on events that already happened and of events which will still come to pass.

It is strongly advised to study the following two articles: "The True Feast of the Messiah" and "Biblical Anniversaries" on www.ltradio.org. These articles will cover the background and some of the advanced topics covered in this document.

From the above articles it is made very clear that the Feast of Trumpets relates directly to the Rapture of the Bride. For the context of this document we will not focus on the Feast of Trumpets but rather look at the prophetic significance of the Feast of First Fruit on the Rapture of the Bride.

We will firstly briefly look at some of the symbolisms and customs of the Seven Feasts of the Lord and events that occurred on these Feast dates. Secondly we look at prophetic layers of the Feasts and how different layers are fulfilled at different time. We will then investigate the prophetic layer within the Feast of First Fruits and relate it to the Rapture of the Bride.

Brief overview of the Feasts goto top

Spring Feasts goto top

Feast

Pesach

Unleavened Bread

First Fruits

Pentecost/Shavuot

Symbol

Salvation/Deliverance.
Emphasis on the blood.

Purging of Sin/Leaven

Reaping (raising) of the Elect

Reveling of YHWH's (God's) will.

Custom

Lamb is slain - salvation from Egypt (sinful world)

For seven days (completeness) no leaven (a symbol of sin) is consumed

A sheaf of the first ripe barley is taken to the Temple. The High Priest then waves the offer before YHWH(God). The sheaf represents the first fruits.

On this day Moses received the 10 Commandments.

Events

Yahushua (Jesus) our Lamb was slain for our sins and to free us from the sinful world.

Yahushua completely atoned for the sin of the world.

Manna stopped and Israel ate of the First Fruits of the Promised Land. (Jos 5:11)

Yahushua was resurrected on this day. (Luk 24:6)

Yahushua went to The Father to present His offering. The Old Testamanent Saint rose with Yahushua on this day. (Mat 27:52-53)

Outpouring of the Ruach Haqodesh

(Holy Spirit) by which we are now led.



Fall Feasts goto top

Feast

Feast of Trumpets

Yom Kippur

Feast of Tabernacles

Symbol

End of Reaping.
The coming of the King.

Day of Atonement

God with Us

Custom

This day is the civil new year and shofar is blown throughout the day

A bull and goat is offered to atone for the Sins of Israel. The High Priest enters into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat.

Israel was to remember the time God led and protected them in the wilderness.
Israel spend as much time in their sukkah (temporary dwelling).

Events

The First offering was made on the newly built altar (Ezr 3:1)

Lev 16:1-28

Solomon dedicated the Temple on this day.
Yahushua was born on this day (Joh 1:14)

 

Prophetic Layers in the Feasts goto top

The Feast of the YHWH consists of multiple prophetic layers. These layers are placeholders which will be prophetically fulfilled on a certain time and in a specific scenario. These layers give us hints to what YHWH will do in the future and what we are to expect. Although a lot of the prophetic layers in the Feasts are fulfilled on the day of the Feast, we will see that some of the prophetic layers are cross-fulfilled and are not necessarily fulfilled on the day of the Feast.

Examples goto top

To understand the concept of prophetic layers let us look at some examples:

Prophetic layers in the Feast of Tabernacles:

During the Feast of Tabernacle Israel was to remember the time the YHWH dwelled and tabernacled with them in the wilderness. During the Feast they must stay in a temporary dwelling called a sukkah which provides very little covering and protection. This reminds Israel how YHWH was their protection and covering during their time in the wilderness.

The next prophetic layer or fulfillment to the Feast is after Israel came into Promised Land, YHWH once again dwelled with Israel. Solomon built the Temple, a permanent dwelling place for YHWH. The final dedication of the Temple, during which YHWH's glory moved into the Temple, was on the Feast of Tabernacles (1 King 8).

The Feast gets yet another prophetic layer when Yahushua (Jesus) was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. If one takes the time of Zechariah's temple service (based on Obadiah) and Miriam (Mary) falling pregnant 6 months later, we get to the time of Yahushua's birth on the Feast of Tabernacles. The Time of the Feast would be a good time to do a census, as all men had to travel to Jerusalem for the Feast. Bethlehem would also be full because it was less that a day's travel from Jerusalem and many travelers will be resting there on their journey from the South.

Yahushua tabernacled amongst His own, in the flesh. He fulfilled yet another layer of the Feast of Tabernacles, but He only dwelled with man for a brief time.

Ultimately we look forward for the complete fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, when Yahushua will dwell (tabernacle) with man permanently as King during the Millennial Reign. It is also then appropriate that the Feast of Tabernacles will play an important role in this period.

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

As can be seen from the above example, the Feast consist of multiple layer which is fulfilled at particular times and revealing more and more of YHWH purpose for the Feast. But also revealing more of His own purpose and will, in this case, that He wants us to be dependant on Him for our protection and provision and if we walk in His statutes, that we can look forward to dwell with Him forever.


Prophetic Layers in the Day of Atonement

On the Day of Atonement the High Priest had to make a sin offering as atonement for the sins of Israel. The High Priest had to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The High Priest was considered unclean until this ceremony was complete. This ceremony was required to make intercession for the sins of the whole of Israel. When the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, he did not wear his normal priestly garments, but only wore white linen clothes and his priestly turban.

The next prophetic layer: Yahushua as High Priest made atonement for our Sins fulfilling a deeper layer of the Day of Atonement.

Yahushua made the perfect sin offering, by being both the High Priest and the Lamb (Hebrew 5:10; 7:1-3; Psalms 110:4; John 1:29). The cruxfiction took place on the Feast of Pesach (John 13:1, 19:31). Three day later, on the Feast of First Fruits, Yahushua rose from the grave (John 20:1).

When Miriam (Mary) came to the empty grave she saw a man whom she thought was the gardener. It was Yahushua dressed in the dirty clothes of the High Priest which appeared like a gardener with dirty clothes. Yahushua's words to Miriam was: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father". Yahushua still had to perform the ceremony where the offer had to be presented before YHWH and he was still ceremonially unclean. He therefore instructed her not to touch Him (John 20:13-19). Later when Yahushua appeared to Miriam and the disciples they were free to touch Him.

To get the full picture of what happen in heaven we read Zechariah 3:

Zechariah 3:1-10 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. 6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.

Here we get the picture of the High Priest Yahushua (also pronounced Joshua) standing before the angel of the Lord with filthy clothes and a filthy mitre (turban) which was plucked from the fire (Ephesians 4:8-9). He is given clean clothes and a clean turban and it is proclaimed that the sins of the land are removed in one day.

Here we see that Yahushua had fulfilled another layer of the Day of Atonement, but not on the Day of Atonement but rather on the Feast of First Fruits.

On a further layer Yahushua the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, are now our eternal High Priest. Having paid the atoning price Himself and now being our mediator before YHWH fulfilling the Day of Atonement daily, as he is interceding for us before the throne daily (Heb 3:1; 7:10, 25-28; 9:10-16, 24; 10:10; Rom 8:34; Mat 10:33).

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

We then prophetically also look forward to the revealing again of our High Priest Yahushua and for the final and permanent removal of sin from this world.

Conclusion of Prophetic Layer

From the few examples given it becomes evident that the prophetic nature of the Feast works in layer or repetitions and that each layer is fulfilled at a specific time and in a specific scenario. Each layer fulfilled reveals more of YHWH plan and will to us. Although the day of the Feast is the most likely date for the fulfillment of the imagery or prophecy of the Feast, it also becomes evident that the fulfillment is not necessarily on the day of the Feast itself. The layers work as placeholders and reveal mayor themes that will be address and fulfilled by YHWH.

 

The Feast of First Fruits and the Rapture goto top

Brief History of the Feast of First Fruits goto top

When Israel comes into the Promised Land they were to observe the following Feast: When the standing barley harvest was ready to be reaped, the owner of the field would take a sheaf of barley to the priest. This sheaf was called "the sheaf of first fruits". The priest will then take the sheaf and wave it before YHWH in the House of YHWH. Other offerings was prescribed with the sheaf offering (Lev 23:13-22).

The timing of this offering was very particular. The sheaf was to be waved the day after the Sabbath (Lev 23:11). This Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath and not the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is commonly referred to as a Shabbathon and not a Sabbath. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a celebration for seven days. Thus there was always a weekly Sabbath (Saturday) that fell within these seven feast days. The Sheaf offering and Feast of First Fruits was held on the day after this weekly Sabbath, namely the first day or Sunday.

Messianic Fulfillment of the Feast of First Fruits by Yahushua (Jesus) goto top

Yahushua was physically resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits, as a the First Fruit of the resurrected (John 12:24; 20:1,5,14,18 ; 1 Cor 15:16-20; Mat 27:52-53)

As already stated above that the first born is a major theme in the scriptures and that they were holy and separated to YHWH (Exo 23:16,19; 34:26 Lev 2:12,14;

23:20; Num 18:12-15,26; Deu 18:1-5; 26:2-4,10; 2 Chr 31:5; Neh 10:35-39; Pro 3:9;

Jer 2:3; Eze 44:40; 48:14; Mal 3:8-14; Heb 6:20; 7:1-8).

Yahushua was the firstborn in many respects:

  • Firstborn of Mary (Mat 1:23-25)
  • First-begotten of YHWH (Heb 1:6)
  • First-begotten of all creatures (Col 1:15)
  • First-begotten of the dead (Rev 1:5)
  • Firstborn of many brethren (Rom 8:29)
  • First fruits of the resurrected (1 Cor 15:20,23)
  • Begin of the creation of YHWH (Rev 3:14)
  • The preeminent One (Col 1:18)

 

Prophetic layer in the Feast of First Fruits goto top

The Harvest

The Feast of First Fruits specifically relates to the first harvest of Israel namely the barley harvest. The sheaf that was taken to the Temple to be waved before YHWH is a barley sheaf. Only the first piece of barley that has ripened first was used for the sheaf, from there the name First Fruits.

The sheaf or seed typifies a person or persons in the scriptures (Gen 37:5-11). We His follower are the fruits that were produced from the seed He had sown, His own death and resurrection (Psa 126;Jer 31:9-14; Joe 3:11-13; Zec 14:3-5; Mat 13:37-39; Mar 4:26-29; Jude 14; Rev 1:7).

As mentioned the barley is the first harvest of Israel. The barley is sifted and sorted in the air. The barley is thrown in the air and the wind blows the chaff away. Likewise the elect is removed from the world in the air during the rapture.

The other two harvests are grain and grapes. The grain represents the harvest of believers during the Tribulation which will be sifted on the thrashing floor. Lastly the grapes are linked to Israel and their oppressors in the Tribulation period which is associated with grapes in a wine press (Isa 63:3; Rev 14:19-20)

 

The First Fruits are the Elect

The first ripe barley typifies the elect of the harvest. In Mathew 24 and Romans 8 we see that only YHWH's elect will be gathered with the rapture.

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

It is therefore also quite fitting that the elect of the Old Testament was also harvested or raised on this day:

Matthew 27:52-53 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

From the fact that the saints appeared unto many, we conclude that they also had glorified bodies like Yahushua, which at times appeared to His disciples and followers. But when was these saints taken to heaven?

On the day of ascension we see that Yahushua was taken in the cloud

Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

When further read that the two angels that stood by the disciples said to them:

Act 1:11 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.

So He will return in the same manner as He ascended. So how will he return then?

Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Deu 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

From the above verses we see that Yahushua will return with ten thousands of His saints dressed in white. If he then ascended similarly to His return, then He had to ascend with a multitude of saints dressed in white. This multitude of saint would have appeared as a cloud.

The saint of old then had to ascend with Him on the day of ascension, all dressed in white appearing as a white cloud.

The Sheaf taken to the Temple

The sheaf of barley was taken to the Temple. The priest took the sheaf and waved the First Fruits before YHWH.

In a similar way Yahushua which is now in Heaven (a type of the Temple - inaccessible to the public) will be released for a short while to collect His First Fruits namely His Bride. The Ruach Haqodesh (Holy Spirit) will carry the sheaf of ripe believers (transformed) to the High Priest. Yahushua will now take the sheaf and present it before His Father (Rev 5, Dan 7).

Philippians 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Dan 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

We have addressed the concept that the multitude of saints dressed in white linen as likened unto clouds. In the above verse we see the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, before appearing before the Ancient of Days, His Father. Once again this cloud is the multitude of saints, which has been raptured or gathered in the air.

As the sheaf is now in the Temple with the Priest and hidden from the public, it is also fitting that the Bride which was raptured is now hidden from the world.

The Feast of First Fruits a day of Salvation

Events that occurred on the Feast of First Fruits:

  • Noah's ark rested on Mount Ararat. (Genesis 8:4)
  • Israel crossed the Red Sea. (Exodus 14)
  • Israel eats of the First Fruits of the Promised Land. (Joshua 5:10-12)
  • Haman is defeated and hanged. (Esther 3:1-6)
  • Yahushua was resurrected. (John 12:24)

From the above event we see that the Feast of First Fruit is linked to salvation and redemption.

We know that the rapture occurs before the Tribulation period which is a time of great suffering. In the words of Yahushua the rapture is positioned as an escape of these things, to those that are found worthy:

Luk 21:34-36 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

Conclusions goto top

A major prophetic layer of the Feast of First Fruits have been fulfilled with the resurrection of Yahushua. Further we see that there still exists numerous prophetic imagery in the Feast of First Fruits, which points to the rapture of the Saints/Bride. This imagery will be fulfilled in the near future, as we are now the First Fruits of the Spirit of the seeds that Yahushua has sown.

May our High Priest be revealed soon!


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