Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Numbers in Scripture and the Feasts of the LORD

Numbers in scripture have meaning. God, as the great creator, is also of course the great mathematician. E. W. Bullinger, a noted theologian of the 19th century, wrote about the significance of various numbers in his book Numbers in Scripture. For instance, everyone knows that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day, God rested. This is the origin of our seven day week. In Leviticus God instituted seven feasts, His divinely appointed days to meet with His people. Because of these and other appearances of the number seven in scripture, seven is the number of spiritual completion. We find that the spiritual meanings of the first seven numbers correspond to the fulfillment of the seven feasts of the LORD.

The number one represents God. We read in Deuteronomy 6:4 that the “LORD our God is one.” He is unity, uniquely Him. There is no other God before Him and He is to be first in our lives. The first feast of the LORD is Passover. On Passover, God sent His one and only son Yeshua to die as the Passover Lamb, the sacrifice for our sins. In Exodus, God says that because He spared the firstborn of the Israelites, they are now set aside for Him. And so on the first feast, we learn that Yeshua as God incarnate died for the sins of mankind. Paul tells us that Yeshua as the final Adam is uniquely qualified to do so.

The number two represents differentiation. On the second day of creation, God separated or differentiated between the heavens and the earth. The second feast is the feast of Unleavened Bread. On the Biblical day, the day begins and ends at sunset. The feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the evening of Passover. On this feast, God’s people are to remove all the leaven from their homes and cities. Paul tells us that leaven represents sin so, on this feast, God separates sin from righteousness. Yeshua died on Passover and was put into the grave just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread began. As He goes into the grave, we see the separation between mortality and immortality. Psalm 16:10 says that God would not allow His Holy One to see decay.

The number three is the number of divine completion. The blessing that God wants to place on His people in Numbers 6 has three parts. The seraphim when they bless God in Isaiah 6:3 cry, “Holy, holy, holy” a repetition of three. The triune God is made of the Father, Son, and the Spirit. The third feast is the Feast of Firstfruits contained within the feast of Unleavened Bread. Yeshua rose from the grave on the third day on the feast of Firstfruits. Paul calls Yeshua the firstfruits of the resurrection. When He rose from the grave, Yeshua once again put on the fullness of the His divinity.

The number four is the number of the creation or the whole world. The directions of the world are fourfold, north, south, east and west. There are four rivers flowing out of the Garden of Eden. The fourth feast is the Feast of Weeks. On the first feast of weeks, God made the covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai. Exodus 19:6 says that Israel was to be a kingdom of priests. All nations would see that God is the only true God and glorify Him. After Yeshua’s death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples on the feast of Weeks ten days after His ascension. In Acts 2:17-21 Peter tells us that the Holy Spirit was poured out on all people and as many as call on His name will be saved.

The number five is the number of grace. The Torah contains the five books of Moses. The fifth book in particular, Deuteronomy, is all about God’s love and grace to His people. When Satan tempted Yeshua in the wilderness, Yeshua quoted from Deuteronomy to stop the mouth of Satan. The fifth feast is the feast of Trumpets. On this day, the shofar is blown to remind God to have mercy on His people. This will be the day that the final trumpet, the shofar of God, is blown signaling the resurrection of the dead. It is only by the grace of God that we have eternal life. Paul tells us in Ephesians that it is by grace we have been saved through faith, not by our works.

The number six is the number of man. God created Adam on the sixth day in the image of God to have fellowship with God. But Adam sinned and was separated from God. On Yom Kippur, the sixth feast, the high priest enters the holy of holies, coming into the very presence of God, to make atonement or covering for the sins of the nation of Israel. On that fateful Yom Kippur when Yeshua comes again, He will take away the sins of His people forever. Mankind will be restored and once again bear the image of God ready to fellowship with Him.

The number seven is the number of spiritual completion. On the seventh day, God rested. Hebrews 4:9 tells us there is a Sabbath rest waiting for His people. The seventh feast of the LORD is the feast of Tabernacles. This feast commemorates the time when God dwelt with His people in the wilderness. During this forty year period, the people did not have to work for their food or water; God provided manna from heaven and water from the rock. God tells us in Deuteronomy 29:5 that their clothing and their shoes did not decay! The Feast of Tabernacles looks forward to that day when Yeshua reigns as the King of Israel from Jerusalem. God will dwell with man in the form of Yeshua His son. Revelation 22 tells us that after the millennial reign, The New Jerusalem will descend from heaven. The tree of life will be in the midst of Jerusalem on either side of the river that flows from the throne of God. The throne of God and the Lamb will be forever with man.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart