God clearly states in Deut 16:13 that wheat was being harvested in July-August,: “…‘You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.’…” [NKJV]. The early harvesting of wheat was done in May and shortly thereafter the festival of firstfruits was celebrated (Pentecost), but the major part of the harvest (the latter wheat harvest) was not completed until after Pentecost, thus extending to the harvest season of grapes and other fruits – this is known by God's reference to both the "threshingfloor" and "winepress" in Deut 16:13. Also, in Lev 26:3-5 it is stated, “…'If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.’…” [NIV].
Israel was to be an example, to all other nations, of blessings due to right living and in so doing was to typify Millennial conditions – such conditions being a restoration of certain ideal conditions which had previously existed. This amazing growing season was one such ideal condition which will be restored during the Millennium –
Acts 3:20-21 (Speaking of Christ and what will happen at his return)
"...For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his prophets..." [NLT].
Amos 9:13 (Speaking of perfect seasons being restored during the Millennium)
"...The time is surely coming, says the LORD, when the one who plows shall
overtake the one who reaps,..."
Originally the Israelites were obedient to God, therefore we can know with certainty that after initial entry into the land of Canaan the wheat harvest continued until well after Pentecost and from Scripture it appears to have extended past Pentecost for about three (3) months, or about mid-late August. The importance of these Scriptures cannot be emphasized enough, because they show the seasons as they should be, as intended by God, not as they appear now or even 2,000-3,000 years ago. The period of obedience relating to Lev 26:5 and mentioned more specifically in Judges 2:7 continued for about fifty (50) years according to Barnes' commentary on verse 7. Because of Israel's disobedience after that time God lifted His protection of the nation and from this it is reasonable to conclude that the seasons also changed, the rains did not fall in due season and the land did not yield its abundance. As a result, a large body of commentary relating to the Biblical harvest seasons is at best misleading. Only God's Word can be relied upon to give an accurate account of the seasons, as God intended them to be understood and relate correctly to His annual Holy Days.
An important point to bear in mind is that the wheat harvest is actually a single harvest depicting the harvesting or ascension of humanity into the family of God. With the ideal conditions under the Old Covenant (which Millennial-like conditions only lasted for about 50 years) it appears the wheat harvest season actually spanned a period of four (4) months. Pentecost is the festival to celebrate the first part, or beginning, of the harvest and the Last Great Day is the festival to celebrate the completion of the remaining part of the harvest. As the remainder, or "second" harvest, it is always going to be much larger than the "first" harvest, which only comprises the beginning part of the overall harvest.
The grain harvests were comprised of three major elements, being reaping, threshing and winnowing, all of which were done in quick succession in the grain field itself. Accordingly, where one of these three elements is mentioned we can know that the reference is to harvesting as a whole. There are many studies on the matter that support this position, but to name just a couple for quick reference purposes there is An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Prehistoric Agriculture in the Ethiopian Highlands and a succinct paper on Canaan and Ancient Israel.
The plan of creation is God’s plan to create spirit beings in His image (Gen 1:26 and 1John 3:2) – beings with holy righteous character – and this plan has no end (Isa 9:7). The beings can be created, but the character cannot and therefore must be developed, by God, in each individual being.
The plan of salvation is necessary, because during the development of holy righteous character sin often occurs. Since the penalty of sin is death (Rom 6:23) redemption from that penalty is necessary. Redemption from the penalty of sin is possible only through the death of an innocent Jesus paying that penalty instead of the actual sinners (1Peter 3:18).
The plan of salvation also includes spirit beings – the fallen angels (Col 1:20). However, while spirit beings are included in this plan, their involvement is seen only in the second of what is a two-stage plan.
This plan of salvation is shown by God’s annual Holy Days and His commanded assemblies (see Holy Day Chart). The first stage of the plan (shown by Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost) involves the saints of God, who will be resurrected and ascended into the family of God as spirit beings at the return of Jesus to Earth. The first-stage equivalent of the Day of Acclamation was God the Father teaching His way to the Word () and the Word having adopted that way became the chief corner stone of the foundation of the Kingdom of God (). However, that took place separately from either of the plans of creation or salvation and is therefore not included in either plan. The second stage of the plan (shown by the Day of Acclamation [Trumpets], the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day) involves the fallen angels and the remainder of humanity, most of whom will be resurrected to physical life in the second resurrection after the thousand years is completed following the return of Christ ().
While mankind will occupy an age in time of 7,000 years, the plan of salvation for mankind commences upon individual acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ paying the penalty for our individual sins and is completed upon ascension into the family of God as spirit beings. Although the fallen angels will have occupied a much longer age in time, the plan of salvation for them will be almost exactly the same as for the humans in the second stage of the plan. That is to say, it commences upon individual acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ paying the penalty for their individual sins and is completed upon being accepted, by God, back among the ranks of the Holy angels.
The opportunity for the fallen angels to prove they really want to live God’s way of life, not Satan’s way, will be available to them during the Great White Throne judgement period after the second resurrection (a physical resurrection for human beings) ( and ). They will be given a period of assessment of 100 years, the same as humans at that time, after which they will be either accepted back into the ranks of the Holy Angels or will be destroyed () in the third resurrection of mankind at the end of the 100 years (see the section entitled "Hope for the Fallen Angels" for further details).
In Matt 10:28 the Greek word translated "hell" is Gehenna, which was actually a rubbish dump in the Valley of Hinnom where all the refuse was burned up. In this rubbish dump we only have ordinary fire that consumes anything of a combustible nature. Since ordinary flames cannot consume spirit, it follows that in this verse "Gehenna" is merely symbolic – what is really being spoken of here is the ultimate fire at the end of the Great White Throne Judgement (2Pet 3:7). At that time God will treat the entire Earth as a rubbish dump in which everything corruptible, both physical and spiritual, will be burned up allowing for the creation of a new heaven and a new Earth (2Pet 3:10-13).
References to the more common versions of hell are clarified in the article entitled There is a Real Hell.
Covenant (Barnes' Notes)
The word "covenant" denotes properly "a compact or agreement between two or more persons," usually attended with seals, pledges, or sanctions. In Gen 17:7, and elsewhere, it is said that God would establish his "covenant" with Abraham; that is, he made him certain definite promises, attended with pledges and seals, etc. The idea of a strict "compact" or "agreement" between God and man, as between "equal parties"; is not found in the Bible. The word is commonly used, as here, to denote "a promise on the part of God," attended with pledges, and demanding, on the part of man, in order to avail himself of its benefits, a specified course of conduct. The "covenant" is therefore another name for denoting two things on the part of God:
(1) A "command," which man is not at liberty to reject, as he would be if it were a literal covenant; and,
(2) A "promise," which is to be fulfilled only on the condition of obedience. The covenant with Abraham was simply a "promise" to give him the land, and to make him a great nation, etc. It was NEVER proposed to Abraham with the supposition that he was at liberty to REJECT it, or to REFUSE to comply with its conditions. Circumcision was appointed as the MARK or INDICATION that Abraham and those thus designated were the persons included in the gracious purpose and promise. It served to SEPARATE them as a special people; a people whose unique characteristic it was that they obeyed and served the God who had made the promise to Abraham. The phrase "covenant of circumcision" means, therefore, the covenant or promise which God made to Abraham, of which circumcision was the distinguishing "mark" or "sign."
The agreement, marriage covenant (Jer 3:14), God made with ancient Israel at Sinai. The people of Israel agreed to obey God and all His commands in return for God's protection and physical blessings (Exodus chapters 23 & 24).
Although made shortly after leaving Egypt, the covenant did not see full effect until 40 years later when Israel entered the promised land. However, Israel broke the covenant after they entered the promised land The period of obedience relating to Lev 26:5 and mentioned more specifically in Judges 2:7 continued for about fifty (50) years according to Barnes' commentary on verse 7. Because of Israel's disobedience after that time God lifted His protection of the nation and from this it is reasonable to conclude that the seasons also changed, the rains did not fall in due season and the land did not yield its abundance. As a result, a large body of commentary relating to the Biblical harvest seasons is at best misleading. Only God's Word can be relied upon to give an accurate account of the seasons, as God intended them to be understood and relate correctly to His annual Holy Days.
The agreement (marriage covenant – 2Cor 11:2 & Rev 19:7) God makes with each individual spiritual Israelite (Christian) upon baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is an agreement that the resurrected spiritual church will marry Christ at his return to Earth. Prior to that marriage taking place, all those baptized with the Holy Spirit must show by faith and works at this time (while alive as human beings) that they accept Christ as their personal saviour, having sacrificed his life as payment for the penalty of our sins and that they are suitable to be the collective wife of the Christ, Word of God. The bride/wife is now known as the church – the body of Christ, which is likened to a woman in the marriage relationship between a man and his wife.
The new Covenant is illustrated very simply by our well-known contract law:–
Ethnoarchaeological Approaches to the Study of Prehistoric Agriculture in the Ethiopian Highlands by: A.C. D'Andrea D.E. Lyons Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Mitiku Haile Mekelle University College, Mekelle, Ethiopia. E.A. Butler Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, UK. This paper can be found in The Exploitation of Plant Resources in Ancient Africa, edited by Van der Veen. Kluwer Academic: Plenum Publishers, N ...
one month of barley harvesting. one month of harvesting and measuring (wheat) two months of cutting ... on threshing ... ANCIENT AND MODERN
List of Scriptures:
1John 3:2 “…Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is..”. [NKJV].
1Peter 3:18 “…For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,…” [NRSV].
John 8:28 “…‘So’ Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.’…” [NIV].
Isa 28:16 “…So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;’…” [NIV].
Rev 20:5 “…But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished…” [NKJV].
2Pet 2:4 “…For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;…” [NKJV].
Jude 1:6 “…And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;…” [NKJV].
rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul
– life force]
2Pet 3:7 "...By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men..." [NIV].
2Pet 3:10-13 "...The heavens will disappear with a
roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it
will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind
of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look
forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the
destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new
earth, the home of righteousness..."
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you
in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your
descendants after you..."
"...'Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for
I am married to you.'..."
2Cor 11:2 “…For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ…” [NKJV]
Rev 19:7 “…Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready…” [KJV]
But still, you see, the law itself was wholly right and good.
When I want to do good, I don't; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.
20 Now if I am doing what I don't want to, it is plain where the trouble is: sin
still has me in its evil grasp.
but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war
with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still
within me. In my mind I want to be God's willing servant, but instead I find
myself still enslaved to sin.