A Whole New World
Opening Night of the Feast 2021
(Sermon Notes) By Warren Zehrung 9/20/2021
Welcome and greetings! The Feast of Tabernacles has arrived! The Harvest Moon of 2021 rose tonight at 6:55 Central time, with sunset at 7:00 PM! Be sure and take a look for yourselves after services – it is beautiful.
The world is in turmoil – and sinking fast, but we are here this evening to Joy in the Lord. Let’s look at all the world’s destruction as a sure sign that the Kingdom of God is near. The Kingdom of God will turn around all the ruinous trends we see all about us. Let me pose a question: Just how great will the Kingdom of God be?
Brethren, we are gathered together on the Opening Night of the Feast to picture the Feast of Tabernacles, and all that that means.
The Kingdom of God is going to be a time when everything that we see and know of today, is going to be so entirely different that we would hardly believe it if it were shown to us.
God reveals Himself to us through His Word, through the scriptures and through the Bible. He also reveals His Plan for mankind through the Bible. I was a grown man before I found out that God indeed, does have a Plan—a Plan for mankind! The world does not know the Plan of God, but we are privileged to know it. God’s Plan is extraordinarily great. It is huge, and it is beyond our human comprehension.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of His realm, government, empire and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever.
(Continuing): The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
I want you to key in on the word “increase,” because that word does not do justice to the meaning of this verse. Of the increase of God’s Plan and work, there shall be no end. It is too magnificent to stop! It must go on forever and ever.
Maybe if you put “great” in front of increase, then you would get a better understanding of what Isaiah is being inspired to write about.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the great increase of His Realm, government, empire and peace – – there shall be no end.
For those of you who know what a geometric or exponential growth progression is, that would be what this word means.
The word ‘government’ is not a very good translation either. It can mean empire, the realm of God, administration of God, the domain of jurisdiction, or I think it would work if we would just say, “of the tremendous increase of the Plan of God.”
Can you imagine something increasing and increasing and ever increasing, and not ceasing to increase? You go off the charts. We do not find justice and judgment in the world today. Can you picture the Plan of God, with Jesus Christ ruling in justice and judgment for ever and ever? How can it be?
Isaiah answered that, “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Remember how Jesus had Godly zeal when He cleansed the Temple?
John 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
John 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
God is going to do this, not through physical means, not with bulldozers, but He will do it through His Spirit, just like the first couple of verses in the Bible when His Spirit moved upon the face of the deep (Genesis 1:2).
Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
God’s Plan, pictured by this Feast is something miraculous, and phenomenal – – this is something that only God can do.
I want to expand on this word “increase” that we are talking about. When I think about “ increasing government,” I think about ever increasing taxes, restrictions, and prohibitive ordinances …
God’s Kingdom is exactly the opposite. I would like to have us to have a correct grasp of what Isaiah is saying here when he says increase – – even on physical terms.
Let me use a story, and analogy – almost a fairy tale. But, I want you to key in on the word increase. Think of things growing with geometric and exponential growth progression; growing at an ever-increasing and unstoppable rate.
Once upon a time there was a very wealthy king who had a very beautiful daughter.
He was a good king, and his daughter was young – about 14 or 15 years old.
She was fair, and beautiful, and she obtained favor in the sight of all those who looked upon her. (Esther 2:7,15)
It was widely expected as she came to the age of getting married, that her dowry would be something fantastic, and something magnificent. A dowry is property or money brought by a bride to her husband on the occasion of their marriage.
So, naturally, all of the young men of the realm — and all of the princes, noblemen, and all of knights in armor, desired this lovely and attractive princess to be their bride.
They also would not mind having that impressive dowry that was building up year by year.
They realized that some suitor would gain not only a stunning princess for his wife, but a lot of wealth, and a lot of property, and everything that goes with becoming the son-in-law of the king, and the husband of this beautiful princess.
Many princes, nobles and knights sought her hand in marriage, but because of the king’s great wealth, each suitor demanded a king’s ransom as a dowry.
Those men courting the king’s daughter came from far and wide, each seeking the hand of the princess.
So a bidding war of sorts ensued that staggered the king’s endurance, because they sought so much.
It seemed, that each suitor in turn, expected a vast amount of gold, or half the kingdom.
But, one wise young nobleman made the king a proposition that the king could not believe it.
The young nobleman said, “I will settle for a handful of corn, and the land upon which it is grown.
“Yes, that will be a suitable dowry for me – the land upon which it is planted and its increase – – for five years.”
The king gladly accepted, and he called for a servant to come to him.
There, on a table next to him, the king had some apples in a basket of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)
The king asked the servant to take away the apples and fill the basket with kernels of golden corn.
Then, a young little girl was selected to reach into the basket of corn and come up with a handful.
“Grab as big a handful as you can,” said the king to the little girl.
The little child reached down and got as big a handful of corn as she could possibly get.
She then put the corn on a silk handkerchief on the table, and they counted every kernel of it, and there were 77 kernels of corn.
The king gave his princess/daughter a little cucumber garden near a cottage in a vineyard in which to plant her corn. (Isaiah 1:8)
When she had finished planting, it only took a little garden area – about 12 feet by 12 feet to plant the corn.
The young nobleman and the princess watered and tended the sweet corn every day.
That is the way a young couple should be courting one another – seeking the affections of each other.
Then in the evening, she could put on her blue velvet dress and they could go to a dance.
The next day, – they were back to tending the corn, and their love grew.
The others never knew what they missed out on.
At the end of the first growing season, each of the 77 kernels had grown into a stalk, and each stalk of corn had grown three or four ears, and each ear of corn had about 400 kernels on each cob.
We can each do the math.
That came to an increase of 1,400 kernels on each stalk – and there were 77 stalks. That is the way that things grow. (Luke 8:8)
That meant that the second year their little garden had to be expanded to 50 feet by 50 feet to accommodate the once handful of corn.
The third year’s produce took 95 acres to plant the produce.
The fourth year it took 214 square miles of land for the corn.
Their farm was beginning to look like the cornfields in Iowa.
The land and corn, at the end of five years, amounted to over 300,000 square miles of land—more than the King’s entire kingdom.
The young nobleman and the 20-year-old princess were married with the king’s blessing.
After all, the young nobleman possessed a business shrewdness and agricultural acumen like Joseph did in the days of Egypt’s Pharaoh when he saved the nation in a time of great famine. END
Remember brethren, we are looking at what Isaiah meant when he spoke of the increase of God’s Plan and work.
Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Inherit the kingdom—that is God’s Plan for us. We are not speaking of a kingdom of corn or land – but of the knowledge of God and His peace, love, family, belonging, respect, security,
Brethren, make your own list of what constitutes the good things of God’s Kingdom. That is what this word increase means. Could you use more happiness; could you use more love? Could you use more camaraderie; could you use more understanding? Everything that has to do with God’s Kingdom will be getting better and better forever!
Not only increases in numbers, but in quality, expectations, and excellence as well. It is hard for us to describe God’s Kingdom – it is too wonderful to imagine. Too wonderful for words. Paul said it.
1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
Brethren, that is increase! Let’s go back to corn and grass in trying to put God’s Kingdom’s increase into words. What about when you talk about the increase of God’s Kingdom?
Psalms 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
Psalms 72:16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains [that proliferates into abundance]; the fruit thereof shall shake [rustle in the wind] like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
When we think of the numbers of blades of grass on the earth, we think about ever increasing numbers, by the millions and billions and trillions – to no end. An innumerable number of blades of grass is what is being spoken about here. But please understand, when we are reading something like Psalm 72, we are not looking at corn or grass—we are speaking of God’s Kingdom!
God is not talking about grass, but He is talking about His future children, and He is talking about the increase of His Kingdom. Jesus says of His Bride,
Isaiah 62:3 “You are a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”
A royal diadem is an ornamental jeweled headdress signifying sovereignty. We will be kings and priests in His Kingdom. Those are the words of Jesus speaking to His Bride—courting us even now—seeking our affection, love and obedience to God’s way of life.
Isaiah 62:5 “As the Bridegroom rejoices over the Bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5
God rejoices over us! The fulfillment of God’s Feast of Tabernacles will bring Glory to God.
The abundant grass and the corn pertains to those who are led by His Spirit, converted, and have come out of the world – headed toward God’s Kingdom. That is just an analogy, but we are speaking about the Children of God—who shall be like the uncountable sand of the sea. Not only being fruitful, but possessing the Spirit of God, and the fruits of God’s Spirit. Our challenge is to begin to grasp the spiritual concepts of God’s words. We are speaking of Spiritual Increase—both Children of God, and the spiritual things of God.
Mark 4:20 “These are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”
The seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest—a spiritual harvest beyond their wildest dreams. That spiritual growth is a geometric or exponential growth progression, and it grows greater and greater.
Picture a Giant Sequoia tree – once a little sprout – that has become the most massive individual tree in the world. They grow to an average height of nearly 300 feet, with trunk diameters ranging to 30 feet and more. Record trees have been measured at 311 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 56 feet.
God’s increase is like this – but it never stops. Do we see this kind of growth in God’s Church?
Tomorrow, on the First High Day, still the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles pictures God’s coming Kingdom on earth.
Each year, brethren, we are not repeating the same lessons, but we are growing and learning new concepts. The things that we have learned, and the experiences that we have had in our lives, help us to grow in grace and knowledge. We understand things that we did not understand when we first came into God’s Church. We are busy instructing and correcting our consciousness, and correcting our knowledge base. We are expanding our knowledge of what it says in the Scriptures, and putting on God.
Let me flash back for a moment – a bit of nostalgia for some:
Some of you might remember when the Church was growing at thirty percent a year, tremendous increase, and it maintained that growth for quite a few years. God was doing that – not man. It was a glimpse of the world tomorrow – and how God will be working then.
Thirty percent is the low end of the scale, like Mark said, thirty, sixty, and more — one hundred percent. We had some tremendous growth in the Church of God, but what have these last three decades been about?
So many of our friends have been hurt, and so many have been scattered.
People in God’s church have been bewildered, and they have gone from organization to organization – corporation to corporation. Why is that happening in the Church of God?
Why have so many of the brethren in God’s Church been misused, abused, hurt, confused, baffled and perplexed? I imagine every one of us, from the days of Worldwide, have been looking for a home, and looking for the truth.
Many of us have been seeking something and we have desired to take hold of something. We want something permanent, and we are looking for that city that Abraham looked for (Hebrews 11:10). We desire the Kingdom of God.
Every one of us felt sure that if we found it, we would know it and recognize it. We thought we had a hold of it when God first called us, and we began to come out of the world, and we wanted more truth. We had to rid our minds of false doctrine—Christmas, Easter, Immortal soul, Halloween, Sunday for worship, heaven and hell as the reward of this life, etc. We knew that what we had been taught in the world was wrong and that the new truth was centered on God’s Sabbath and the Ten Commandments.
That which we were seeking had a great part of its understanding based on the Holy Days, which we had never heard of before God called us.
The Holy Days continue to unlock the mysteries of God’s Plan to us. Each and every Holy Day is based on the Plan of God.
When first called, I did not know that God had a Plan. I thought, like most people do, that when you die you go to heaven. We were called out of the world, and we did our best to repent, forgive and believe.
We were told by the ministry that one of the requirements to be baptized was to believe in Jesus Christ. We thought that we believed in Jesus Christ when we were in the world.
At first, we were just learning, and we made every effort to come out of the world. We wanted to be right with God. And, for a little while, we felt that it was all coming together. We were able to find like-minded people. We felt like we were one body.
We found people that thought like we did, ate the things that we ate, and went to church the day that we did, and worshipped as we did. We had been called into the Truth, and it was good! We were preaching the Gospel to nearly every nation under the sun. It meant a lot to us that we were useful. It seemed like the Gospel was going to the entire world in great power.
Sharon and I had the opportunity to travel widely when I was younger in God’s Church, not yet in the Ministry of Jesus Christ. We traveled and visited brethren in England, Jordan, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Alaska, Switzerland, Bahamas, Canada, Scotland, Austria, East and West Germany, both islands of New Zealand, Mexico, Hawaii, Israel—we walked where Jesus walked, we went to the creek where David found the stones used to kill Goliath, we traveled in Australia and selected a cave for ourselves in Petra 😊.
Title: We found “A Whole New World,” back then. We found brothers and sisters in Christ in every nation. Brethren, that was only a miniscule, modicum, example of the INCRESE God’s Kingdom will present to us.
No matter where I went, and if I was traveling at Feast time, I would walk into a group of like-minded people. That was a picture of the Kingdom of God. God gave us that for a while – a great blessing.
They believed the same kind of things, read the same Scriptures, and they meant the same things. I thought, even then, that the Kingdom was very near.
I really thought that just as I had been called and believed, pretty soon everybody I knew would see how clear it was, and they would come in, and they too, would believe.
To me, in those days, it seemed as though the Church of God was moving mightily! I honestly believed and expected that the people of the United States would become converted, and then, other nations would convert when seeing how spiritually rich and morally powerful we were. Boy was I wrong!
The USA was about to head south – right down the sewer. When I was called, it was as though the Church of God was a mighty relentless glacier, of dense glacial ice, moving and cutting its way through the mountains of the earth. Glaciers grind everything in their way, and they cut out new valleys. Anything in their way was going to be mowed down, and I kind-of pictured the Church of God being like that.
God was working, and we gave God the credit, and I just thought the Church was going to grow and grow. Looking back, we can now see that all God had to do was to “snap His fingers,” and give us unimaginable increase.
We were not yet worthy of that increase – it was only a picture of what is possible – but, it will come at a future Feast of Tabernacles – that increase is what this day depicts – The Millennial Kingdom of God and a “Whole New World.”
Some of you have seen a massive glacier – they have them in Alaska. Some glaciers are miles wide and they measure their rate of travel in feet per year. They are just barely going along, but their progression is sure and it is positive and they are headed for the sea. And to me that is the way that it seemed to be for the Church of God.
We were the people of God, and we were headed for the Kingdom of God. It is powerful and unstoppable. And for some of us, there was a cohesion and unity that lasted for some many years.
I still have some friends that extend back into the days of the Worldwide Church of God. But what happened to us? We were this giant, powerful relentless glacier, but all of a sudden the ice began to melt under our feet. The Church was cracking up. Heresy entered the Church, at the very top. The whole head was sick.
Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Isaiah 1:5 Why should ye be stricken anymore? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Isaiah 1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
Isaiah 1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
The heresy was catching people unawares, and it was destroying the Church. Wherever the pressure of heresy was applied, the glacier began to crumble. It was prophesied to happen, brethren.
1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
And, like a glacier that shears off into ice-flows and icebergs that scatter on the tides and currents of a stormy sea, the Church of God shattered, and God’s people were scattered.
We lost contact with a lot of people. We were tossed and turned by every wind of doctrine, and some perished in the sea when they wavered and were scattered like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
James 1:6 Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
Brethren, The coming Kingdom that tonight pictures is an anchor for our faith. Do you believe with all your being that the Kingdom of God is coming to this earth? It is coming – in spite of the Beast and dishonest men.
Some of us diligently did our utmost to hold the dissipating flows together, but we were weak in the face of this doctrinal diversity that hit and scattered God’s people. There was something missing, and the cohesiveness that we thought was there was not there for everyone. There was something wrong.
Some ministers sought followings after themselves, and came up with strange doctrines. A few, it seemed, held the pure doctrine of Christ to be most sacred—and did not depart the Truth.
At that time, it was a terrible time of hurt, and people were being disfellowshipped, and being put out of the Church for holding on to the truth of God. Different men put up banners of disunity. They asked people to join their corporate organizations and follow them. It seemed that everyone lacked the internal compass that pointed “true”.
We felt abandoned by those we trusted, and we made false starts. We wanted something that pointed to the Kingdom of God. There was a blur of doctrinal diversity out there as many turned from God. And, we were going in opposite directions, and crashing into their heresy. Who among us had a bearing on the Kingdom at that point? Paul said that the heresy was to be expected:
1Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
And Brethren, the trials and testings are not over with yet – there will yet be opportunity to stand true. Peter tells us that we had better be anchored to God’s truth.
2Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
We were bought and paid for—redeemed by Jesus Christ. Damnable heresies—that is what happened to the Church of God, because of the lack of holding on to the doctrines of Jesus Christ. We can look back and see the prophesied kingdoms that began with Nebuchadnezzar – and how everyone came to pass as God foretold it. But do we believe that Jesus will return as a stone cut without hands and replace the kingdoms of this earth.
Daniel 2:34 You saw until that a stone was cut out without hands [Jesus Christ], which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Brethren, we are observing the Feast of Tabernacles this week looking forward to the Kingdom of God on earth. That is what the Feast of Tabernacles is really about. God is totally serious – He is not playing games.
What we want to do is enhance that understanding of the increase that will come in the Kingdom of God – and it is so great that we can only take God’s word for it.
The Bride of Christ is not yet prepared for the wedding. The weeping and gnashing of teeth of which Jesus speaks is a very unimaginable pain and the inexpressible agony as a result of their violent despair of having seen a glimpse of God’s Kingdom and themselves thrust out. They will finally realize the glory they have missed out on too late! Jesus said:
Luke 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
We are the Children of God – the Children of the Kingdom. Pray for one another. What have these last thirty-five years been about? What are we supposed to be doing? What are we supposed to be learning? “All I know is that some people grasp the incredible increase of God’s glory of the Kingdom while others do not.”
Do you grasp that there will be a Kingdom of God? Do you have in your mind’s eye a picture of what the Kingdom of God is? Brethren, do you live according to the rules of the Kingdom of God in your own life—even now?
We are here, this week, looking forward to the Kingdom of God on earth, and that is what the Feast of Tabernacles is about.
God is calling many sons and daughters to glory, and every last person is special and unique, totally different from everybody else (Hebrews 2:10). None of us have the same background, none of us have been wired the same, and none of us have had the same experiences. There are no two of us that are alike.
God is eventually going to have billions of people. This Feast of Tabernacles is given to us by God, and it is very important for the express purpose that we might be able to begin to see the coming Kingdom of God on earth.
I think for so many years we would go to the Feast, and think about what it was like in the Garden of Eden. But, it is not about when all of the beautiful birds come back, and when all of the animals are tame, that too is part of the physical that points to the spiritual.
The love, unity, cohesiveness and the togetherness, and the oneness with Jesus Christ is going to be magnificent. I do not think that we hardly grasp that yet. Let us begin to comprehend the inestimable, divine spiritual gifts that God is going to bestow on all those people in the world tomorrow.
Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
We talked about increase of the Plan of God and of His Kingdom, and His government, and of His realm, there will be no end. Can we begin to grasp that view of the Kingdom? That is what we are here for this week.
I am going to close with this one point, because I have heard this from so many people, and I have been guilty of it myself. “Can I make it into God’s Kingdom?” We can and we will when we grasp how magnificent God’s Plan and increase is for us. So brethren, that is what I wanted to touch on tonight. I wanted to talk about the increase of the Plan of God forever more.
Brethren, can you grasp the vision of the Kingdom?
Solo by Sharon Zehrung accompanied by Miriam Overton on the piano
Lyrics: The Holy City
Last night I lay a sleeping
There came a dream so fair
I stood in old Jerusalem
Beside the temple there
I heard the children singing
And ever as they sang
Me thought the voice of Angels
From Heaven in answer rang
Lift up you gates and sing
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna to your King!”
And then me thought my dream was chang’d
The streets no longer rang
Hush’d were the glad Hosannas
The little children sang
The sun grew dark with mystery
The morn was cold and chill
As the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill
Hark! How the Angels sing
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna to your King!”
And once again the scene was chang’d
New earth there seem’d to be
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea
The light of God was on its streets
The gates were open wide
And all who would might enter
And no one was denied
No need of moon or stars by night
Or sun to shine by day
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away
Sing for the night is o’er
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna for evermore
End: A Whole New World
Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the [reconciling] atonement.
The Temple veil was rent in two, showing that wenow have direct access to the Father (Matthew27:51, Hebrews 9:3, Hebrews 10:19).
Jesus atoning sacrifice has been applied to the converted, called out ones – but not yet to this world. We in God’s Church have been atoned for – and have direct access to God the Father. The world, living in sin, has not yet been atoned for.
Spiritual cleansing leading to salvation must be made available to the men and women of all the world, beginning with those surviving the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord, the remnant of Israel. (Revelation 7, 12,000 from each tribe.)
God will grant repentance to the remnantIsraelites returning to Jerusalem just as He granted us repentance when we were called. There will be the Highway of Holiness bringing all men unto Him (Isaiah 11:6). Those returning from captivity will be young people – child bearing age. They will probably use Personnel Carriers – the troop transports will be left behind by a defeated enemy.
Joel 2:9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in [”thru the windows leap”] like a thief.
There will be drones and equipment by the multiple millions left over from the 200,000,000 man army.
Last week we were all reminded of 9/11/2001 and of people wandering – dazed in the streets – covered with thick ash to where they were having the life chocked out of them. It will be just like that on a worldwide scale.
A spectacular day (not just hunger pangs like from today’s fasting) – they will be familiar with hunger and cold like in the Nazi Germany’s extermination camps / death camps in WWII in the Holocaust.
Those young Israelites will resemble the victims of—Auschwitz–Birkenau (the camp of annihilation, where over a million Jews were brutally killed), Treblinka, Bełżec, Chełmno, Mauthausen, Dachau, and Buchenwald and others…
There can be no reconciliation unless there is repentance, and there can be no repentance without belief in God—first of all that God exists and secondly that His word is true. Certainly, the remnant survivors are going to have to go through the same processes of repenting and growing in Godly character, just as we do.
The repentance, followed by God’s forgiveness, and reconciliation we Christians received at our calling is typical of what the remnant will be going through at the fulfillment of Atonementand during the Millennium and what people are going to be going through when they come up in that second resurrection at the Great White Throne Judgment.
These remnant survivors will be the most excellent and unique group of physical individuals God has ever called, selected, and assembled at one time. The elect remnant will be the survivors of the Tribulation and the first people who walked in darkness to see the great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined.
Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Those of the remnant Israelites returning to the Promised Land will have come to see the light, and begun to choose God’s way of excellence. It will have become abundantly clear to them that this world’s society has brought nothing but chaos and misery. For the first time, they will begin to believe that Jesus Christ will usher in an entirely new set of moral standards in His coming Kingdom:
The Feast of Trumpets was fulfilled on the first day of the seventh month. Ten days later – (perhaps 10 years – but I don’t think so) only God knows. The fulfillment of Atonement will be a most glorious reunification – effecting all humanity left alive after the Tribulation.
2Corinthians 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious.
Atonement will take place in the time setting between Christ’s return on the Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Tabernaclesdepicts the establishment of God’s Kingdom beginning with the Millennial Kingdom of God.
Jeremiah 33:7 And I will cause [those of] the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
Title from here:
Jeremiah 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
Jeremiah 33:9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
How will Christ’s cleansing of the nations take place? Jesus applies His sacrifice to all men. In the same way that Jesus cloaked the meaning of parables from the public, significant happenings on the Day of Atonement are not readily available to the world (Matthew 13:13-15). God deliberately follows His Plan to a ‘T’ on His Holy Days – or better yet, down to very last jot and tittle (Matthew 5:18).
Fasting on the Day of Atonement is not an exercise of physical hunger, but a spiritual reminder of Christian humility. Atonement is a spiritual Feast Day – without physical food or drink. The Lord says:
Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Show my people their transgression – that is a part of the Gospel message. God says, here is what the people think:
Isaiah 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
Brethren, understand that the religions of this world only “play church” in approaching God. Rhetorically, the people wonder why their prayers are not answered by God:
Isaiah 58:3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?
God answers them that they only want to have fun on His Holy Days
Isaiah 58:3 cont. Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. [Work as usual]
God answers them that they when they fast – they do so self-righteously to get the best of others.
Isaiah 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: [Then God says that is not the correct approach] Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
God says you are fasting only to get your own way.
Isaiah 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? [exercise in hunger pains?] is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
God says to the people, “You miss the whole point of fasting.” God says this is the way to fast. Be a peacemaker.
Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
What does Jesus mean, “Loose the bands of wickedness?”
Brethren, there are many who warm a seat at services every Sabbath who will not be at the fulfillment of Atonement because they will not be qualified. They will not be in the first resurrection, and they will not be in the Millennium. They attend in God’s churches around the world today!
They hold grudges, they refuse to reconcile, they take every opportunity to exercise their one-upmanship, they engage in verbal putdowns of humble brethren who only wish to fellowship with other Godly brethren. They have their exclusive bunch – their clique that does not welcome others – their small group of people who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.
3John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, received us not.
3John 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbids them that would receive the brethren, and casts them out of the church.
Brethren, it is happening this day!
3John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil, hath not seen God.
God says this is the way to fast. Be generous and giving to the needy.
Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou see the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Isaiah 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy guardian.
God says, “Don’t be accusatory” – blaming others for your problems:
Isaiah 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, and stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!, and speaking vanity;
Isaiah 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
We see world conditions at the great Day ofAtonement and going into the Millennium:
Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Isaiah 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Christ’s sacrifice late on Passover day both sealed the Covenant and fulfilled the meaning of the Day of Atonement—cleansing from sin. The Feasts of Passover and Atonement are distinguished by when the blood of Christ is applied to the Church of the first resurrection, and when the blood of Christ will be applied to the balance of mankindthat will live in the Millennium and in the second resurrection at the Last Great Day.
1John 2:2 Jesus is the propitiation [atonement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
The Day of Atonement pictures the cleansing from sin and the reconciliation of all mankind – the entire world – to God.
2Corinthians 5:19 God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.
The Day of Atonement is to the entire world what Passover is to the called, chosen and faithful Christians. As a reminder, let me issue a caveat here:
To make Satan’s being bound and carrying our sins[which he does not] the focus of Atonement wouldremove our personal responsibility for sin, and the absolute need for what only God can provide—the resurrection to life.
Only Jesus Christ can expunge our sins. Yes, Satan will be bound for a thousand years on the Day of Atonement just prior to the start of the Millennium. Once Satan is bound, God’s Kingdom of peace may be formally established on earth. That is why Satan hates Atonement and tries to deceive people by interjecting himself into the meaning of the Holy Day.
That binding of Satan on the Day of Atonement fulfilled will be the second time that Jesus overcomes over him (Luke 4:12, Revelation 20:2). Then, the final time that Jesus will overcome Satan is when Satan is dispatched forever! (Revelation 20:10). All three of Satan’s defeats occur on the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement pictures two things Jesus does for us: He paid the price of sin for us; andHe removes the guilt of sin from us.
God the Father declares us innocent of all charges. In God’s eyes, we are completely innocent and exonerated before the High Court of heaven. That is how clean Passover leaves a Christian, and, that is how clean the Day of Atonement will render mankind. It is Jesus who shows up in the highcourt of heaven as our Advocate, and not Satan, our Adversary.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered [in sacrifice] to bear the sins of many. [Jesus Christ was raised from death for our salvation.]
The Day of Atonement will see all mankind cleansed of iniquity, and their ultimate reconciliation to God the Father.
End: Cleansed from Iniquity