What a joy it has been for many of us to fellowship together at the time of the feast of unleavened bread. For many there is a growing conviction that the gift of the Spirit contained in the Sabbath expands into all of the feasts of the Lord. In Chapters 28 and 29 of the book of Numbers the Scripture lays out for us a series of measures of flour and oil attending each day, each Sabbath, each New Moon and each of the feasts during the year. For more details on this see the book Living Bread from Heaven.
The confirmation of the gift of the Holy Spirit during the Sabbath came to me through the preaching of Elder A.T. Jones from his 1893 sermon 20 when he stated:
Well, then, when that blessed man came to that blessed day, did he receive additional blessing in the day beyond what he had, before he came to the day? [Congregation: "Yes."]
Then the Sabbath was intended to bring to the man, who was already blessed of God with spiritual blessings--the Sabbath was to bring to man additional spiritual blessings? Well, is that so still? [Congregation: "Yes."] "The word of God liveth and abideth forever." It is so now. A.T. Jones The Third Angel’s Message, Sermon 20, 1893
A little later on he states
Now another thing: Who was the real present agent in creating? [Congregation: "Christ."] Who was it that rested? [Congregation: "Christ."] Who was refreshed? [Congregation: "Christ."] Who blessed? [Congregation: "Christ."] Whose presence made it holy? [Congregation: "Christ's"] Whose presence is in the day? [Congregation: "Christ's."] Then the man whom the presence of Jesus Christ does not sanctify, and does not make holy and does not bless and to whom it does not bring rest, why, he can't keep the Sabbath. Don't you see, it is only with Christ in the man that the Sabbath can be kept; because the Sabbath brings and has in it the presence of Christ. ibid
How much additional spiritual blessing is in the Sabbath than in the daily provision?
Num 28:9-10 And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: (10) This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.
The daily provision was one lamb in the morning and one lamb in the evening with one tenth deal of flour in the morning (1.2kgs) and one tenth deal of flour in the evening making a total of a two tenth deal (2.4kgs) for the whole day. We see on the Sabbath that the sacrifice and the flour and oil is double the daily amount because an extra two lambs and a 2 tenth deal of flour was offered besides the daily amount. This means there is twice the amount of bread coming on the Sabbath as there is on every other day. For those who have felt the joy and blessing of the Sabbath, this comes because of the double blessing that comes on this day.
Our Lord Jesus was seeking to teach this truth to the people of his day. As the Passover was drawing near he performed the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 to demonstrate what the symbol of the bread meant.
John 6:4-5 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. (5) When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
Jesus asked Philip about where to get the bread knowing that He would supply the bread. The 5000 people were fed from Christ. The bread was coming directly from Him. This provided an example for Jesus to tell them clearly:
John 6:32-35 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
The amount of bread available during the time of the feast of unleavened bread was approximately 142 kgs which is about 60 times the amount of the daily provision of 2.4 kgs and 30 times the amount of what comes on the Sabbath. Those 7 days provide a 30 fold magnification of the Sabbath. So during this time we receive 30 fold magnification of the personal presence of Jesus that comes to us in the Sabbath. When we add together the bread that is offered during the feasts of the seventh month which include trumpets, the Day of Atonement and Tabernacles it comes to almost 480 kgs of bread which is 100 fold the magnification of the blessing in the Sabbath. Is there a deeper truth in the words of Jesus?
Mark 4:8,9 And other [seed] fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The question that many ask is this: “Is this really possible? Is it really that simple?” There is plenty of evidence upon which to base this faith. Here are a few points to consider. My brother Craig Jones shared this thought with me this morning connecting Acts 3:19 with Lev 23:4:
Act 3:19-20 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times [G2540] of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (20) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
The word for times in the Greek is Kairos. What is interesting about this word is that it is the same word used for season in Lev 23:4 in the LXX.
Jesus is the living bread from heaven and as the meat offerings listed in Numbers 28 and 29 indicate, the seasons of the gift of Christ come during the Sabbath, New Moon and the Feasts listed in Leviticus 23. We notice with joy that Acts 3:20 tells us that it is Jesus that is sent to us at these seasons of refreshing. The source of this refreshing is found in the Sabbath
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
This refreshing Spirit is magnified through the seasons of refreshing with 30,60 and 100 fold in the feasts. As Jesus is the brightness of the Father’s glory, the New Moons and Feasts are the brightness of the Sabbath glory. As each Sabbath comes to us we are invited to believe that Jesus comes closer to us and lifts us up by a greater gift of His Spirit. It is only available to those who believe this by faith. Should we be surprised that the Spirit of Jesus was poured out in magnified measure on the feast of Pentecost? Should we be surprised by the power of the Spirit manifested on the feast of First Fruits during the feast of unleavened bread. The greatest demonstration of the love of God took place on the feast of the Passover and the greatest demonstration of the gift of the Spirit took place on the feast of Pentecost. Should this surprise us?
For those of us who gathered together at Passover in the knowledge of these things, truly our fellowship was magnified 30 fold. Any Sabbath keeping or feast keeping that is not focused on the gift of the Holy Spirit can only lead to dry formalism. There is no merit at all in keeping any day as a religious exercise to please God. Without Faith it is impossible to please Him. When we come to the Father’s appointments with faith in His Word that Jesus the living bread will be sent to us to lift us up then we may receive His righteousness through faith. Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink or the portion of a feast, new moon or Sabbath which are a shadow of the good things to come even the full manifestation of the body of Christ. Let no man beguile you in saying touch not and taste not the feasts of the Lord that are seasons of refreshing bringing Jesus to us in greater measure.
Now we are counting down to Pentecost for the next major outpouring. And yet we can worship from one Sabbath to another and one new moon to another. How gracious is our Father to send us all these precious blessings.