The Feasts

Leviticus 23.

I apprehend that these feasts must be taken to apply entirely to that which is earthly. Other knowledge may enable us to carry our eyes onward to the results of what is here taught, which have their place in the heavenlies; but as addressed to the Jews, they cannot historically, I conceive, be taken beyond that which took place on earth. But this is of infinite value and importance to us, because (whatever the results may be, the heavenly and glorious results) still many of the most important subjects and resting-places of faith were accomplished on the earth historically. The Lord was offered up a sacrifice on earth. The Holy Ghost descended on the disciples on earth. The church, though its glory may not be on earth, has been formed in suffering on earth. And the church itself looks for the deliverance of the creature from the bondage of corruption. And the value and character of what has been done on earth, of which the church is partaker, is here delineated in detail.

There are seven feasts:—the Sabbath; the Passover; that of Unleavened Bread; the Feast of Weeks, or of first-fruits; of Trumpets; of Atonement; and of Tabernacles.

But the first was distinct in character. Before all the history of the transactions which brought in the rest, or preceded it, the great truth, that there was a rest that remained, was made prominent and conspicuous. It was the primary and characterizing truth. Between the three former and the three latter of the six remaining feasts, there is a large gap, a characteristic gap, so that the full course of the year to the seventh month goes on, before the trumpet is blown for the first of the latter three. This interval had no feast; and one only remark is made as to it, which may be noticed by-and-by.

A similar arrangement we find in the seven parables, in Matthew 13, the prophetic history of the kingdom of heaven, as this is of the earthly dealings in grace with Israel (in many things, we know, by adopting grace with us also): this, the history of what prepared the rest, preceded by the statement of the rest, God’s rest, in type; that, of the effects and character of the work, preceded by the generic statement of the workman, and the manner of the reception and result of his labours in principle.

The rest of God is that which distinguishes man from the brute, and from being as a brute with hopes and labour ending only here in that which perishes, to say even the best of it. The promise is left us, says the apostle to the Hebrews, of entering into God’s rest. This is the portion of blessing and communion in which God, in the delight of His works of creation or redemption, refreshed Himself; and into which He introduces us in the riches of His grace, and by His work, into fellowship of delight and joy with Him, whether of heavenly communion or of earthly blessing. The rest of God is the great end and beginning of thought and desire into which the renewed creature is brought in fellowship now of hope. Here God and the creature are brought into unity or community of happiness, the creature (even we, by the Spirit) being capacitated for this communion. The creation also has blessing and rest. Faith, and patience, and conflict, are now involved in it, and hence the complex character of the believer’s mind;. for one is sure, is certain, and is his; the other present, and he toiling in it.

The Sabbath then, even the seventh day, was the first great characteristic and repeated feast: the seventh day, because the rest was at the close of labour, and rest not known in the flesh, and under the law, until the end of labour; and the rest of the world and of the earth, creation-rest, was after all the toil and labour that sin had introduced into it had ended and was passed away. This seventh day was God’s creation-rest, and it remained when labour and toil came in to man, the pledge and type (as in the flesh, and having earthly things) of the rest that remained to the world and him.

But the saints have nothing in the world; they are crucified to it. To them resurrection is the beginning, and, withal, the substance and end of their hope and life. The first day of the week, in which Jesus rose from the dead, is the living witness to them in joyful service (and remembrance of that through which it was purchased) of the rest that remained to them, which they have now in spirit, and go forth from that to toil yet awhile in the world in which they are conversant. It is not to them creation and earthly rest, but redemption, resurrection, and the hope of heavenly rest, and therefore enjoyed, not on the day of God’s rest in creation, but of Jesus (beginning of blessing and glory as head of the church, “the firstborn from the dead”) in resurrection, in which He rested, as to work to be done in redemption—rested save as to everlasting blessing and service to His saints, in which they have joy and communion with Him as their Priest—the leader of their praises, in which, as in living strength now in spirit, then in body also, they rest not. Thus in this double type the whole millennial rest is taken in, heavenly or resurrection, and earthly or rest for the’ flesh; of this, however (save in the great general principle), the earthly rest, creation-rest, is only told of here. Of this the law maintained the type, though it proved that man could not attain the rest under it; and therefore when the Lord was accused of breaking the sabbath, He replied,” My Father worketh hitherto, and I work,” shewing the divine intervention (of the Father and the Son) in grace accomplishing that comfort which the law could not do; in which man, in a word, impotently failed; and therefore God, in sovereignty and in redemption-glory, as Father and Son, had now manifested Himself as having set Himself to work— to do—nor rested; for He was in grace where wretched man found no rest. Hitherto (for yet man was not delivered) they worked.

But to turn to the other feasts. The first three (the feast of weeks has its own distinct character) are leading feasts, in which all the males were to gather at the place where Jehovah set His name. But we must take their order from the text. They are divided into ordinances by the expression, “And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying.” The first paragraph, or ordinance, closes at the 8th verse, connecting in one continuous train the Sabbath and the Passover, and feast of Unleavened Bread, though distinguished by the 4th verse as beginning the six yearly feasts historically, yet morally in constitution the rest connected and identified with it. For it is by the Passover, and simply so, that the rest is obtained: there may be other conducive workings, but by this the rest is obtained. And this is true also of the church in principle, as well as of the earthly rest; “the Father … has made us fit” for the inheritance with the saints in light, says the scripture (Col. 1:12). And this is a very important principle.

The Passover of God is the simple single ground of rest and security; upon the blessed value of this the children of God can feed within, the security of the blood being upon their door-posts. That meets the destroying angel, and he goes, and can go, no farther. Within all is peace. Judgment may be around, and conflict and trial before, but the church rests in the security which faith has afforded or enjoys in the Paschal Lamb, eaten within the blood-stricken doors. This is not the work of the Spirit of God, save as revealing it in and to us; the work of the Spirit detects sin, leads into conflict, animates into those exercises which ever bring to light the evil, short-comings, and failure of our own hearts, but is never the ground and warrant of peace. It may be the means, on being charged by the enemy, of proving that the peace we have is not a false one, but is never the proper ground and warrant of peace; for it is ever connected with imperfection; and perfectness somewhere must be the ground of a perfect peace with God. “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” “He has made peace by the blood of his cross.” Nothing can be mixed with this, nothing in us comes up to the measure and expression of holiness which that blood affords, or therefore can make peace as it does. It is the very vindication of perfect holiness against all sin, and therefore the perfect peace of the believer against all sin; for the thing which alone adequately measures it puts it away, cleanses from all sin those that are walking in the light. “But Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” And we have thus definitely the antitype of the Lamb that was slain. It is, moreover, in this character that Christ at present holds the throne, as regards His work and its worthiness, as it is written (Heb. 1:3; Phil. 2:9, 10; Rev. 5:9.)

The secondary feast connected with this was the Unleavened Bread. This was consequent upon the other. As received by the blood, we feed on and apprehend the unleavened perfectness of Christ. It is His intrinsic character as known by faith. There was no “leaven of malice and wickedness” in Him, and in the spirit of His holiness in our new nature we hold communion with, delight in, and feast upon, Him. The spotless sacrifice and unleavened perfectness of Christ, with which we have communion, are the things then presented by this feast—the sure ground of rest, the rest which remaineth to the people of God: this of Christ as in the world; we know Him such here.

At verse 9 a new ordinance begins, which continues to verse 23—the connection of Christ as risen and presented before Jehovah in resurrection, and the church (that is, properly, the Jewish remnant) connected with Him (the Gentile adoption being another thing, though abundantly shewn in scripture, there being neither Jew nor Gentile in the full result), but here confined to resurrection.

On the morrow after the sabbath the unbroken sheaf of first-fruits was waved before Jehovah. On the first day of the week the Lord Jesus, not having seen corruption, rose from the dead, became the first-fruits of them that slept. Thus, as well as of the passover, we have in this case the literal and authenticated fulfilment of the type given. On the same day a lamb for a burnt-offering and a meat-offering was offered to Jehovah. I must shortly digress here with regard to the offering, the use of which will appear also in the subsequent part of the ordinance we are now treating of. It will be seen (v. 19) that with the first-fruits of the feast of weeks, a sin-offering also was offered, and a peace-offering, but not with the sheaf of first-fruits, typical of Christ’s resurrection, on which the church and Jews rest for acceptance, as it is written (v. 11), “to be accepted for you.”

The offerings recorded in the book of Leviticus (into the details of which, with the Lord’s permission, we may enter on some other opportunity), were these:—The burnt-offering, the meat-offering, the peace-offering, the sin-offering, and the trespass-offering, and in this order. The first two present Christ offering Himself spotless and perfect to God; the next, the communion of the worshipper in it, and with God by it; the two latter the necessity of the worshipper, as a sinner before God, borne for him by the victim vicariously substituted for him, and treated consequently as himself under and responsible for the sin thus taken upon it. These are very distinct things in their character, and all true of the death and offering of Jesus.

The burnt-offering was the complete surrender of life, on which all hung, and this not by virtue of imputed transgression, but His own offering of Himself; not an imposed necessity but of His own voluntary will, as in John 10: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Now the whole life of Jesus was on this principle; His death was the full accomplishment and exhibition of it—proved all the rest, “He gave himself for us.” Of this, that is, His giving Himself, describing Him especially as the Son of God, the Gospel of John is the especial witness; I speak merely as refers to this subject. There is, besides the quoted passages, no garden of Gethsemane, but, “Arise, let us go hence.” “I am he,” and “they went backward, and fell to the ground.” “If ye seek me, let these go their way; that the saying might be fulfilled which He spake, Of them which thou hast given me I have lost none;” even of them who all forsook Him and fled. There was no “My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?” not merely as in Luke 23:46, “he expired,” having said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”; but having said, “It is finished,” He bowed His head and “delivered up his spirit.”

Here then we have the burnt sacrifice offered to the very utmost of His own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. It was always true in principle, His meat was “to do the will of him that sent him”; but it was wrought to the full effort when the blessed Master and Lord, the free Lord of all, gave up His spirit to the Father. This sacrifice was an offering made by fire, a sweet savour to Jehovah. This was not said of the sin-offering, as such. The fat of the sin-offering, to connect it with the burnt-offering in principle, for both were one in Christ, was burnt on12 the altar, and this was of a sweet savour; but the offering in its differential character was not an offering made by fire, nor of a sweet savour to Jehovah. This the meat-offering was, however, as well as the burnt-offering—one being, it appears to me, the complete offering of the life, the other of all the natural faculties of the Lord as man, which, being perfect as His will, He was in them all an offering made by fire, a sweet savour to Jehovah. The peace-offering was, as far as the fat burnt upon the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet savour to Jehovah; then the offerers feasted on the flesh, and being the communion of the worshippers, evil was mixed in them, and they were to offer leavened bread therewith. On the sin-offering, sins were confessed; it was burnt without the camp as a vile thing, not an offering made by fire—no sweet savour. It was the vicarious substitute for offences, bearing them on its head and in its body, made sin for the sinner, vile, and treated as such.

With the offering, therefore, of the sheaf of first-fruits there was no sin-offering, no peace-offering, but only accompanying this presenting of Christ to God, waved before Him as risen uncorrupted, the witness of the perfectness of that self-sacrifice in which Jesus had offered Himself living and dying to God— His own perfect offering of Himself. As to leaven, there could be no question of it; the seed sown, and the first risen sheaf, were alike by their nature free from any portion or partaking in it. With this the church is connected, on this it is built; indeed, all hope, I say, upon the resurrection. Sin and death have entered; resurrection is the only way out of it. One alone could provide a spotless sacrifice which should bring others out of it. Resurrection was the witness, the power of the church’s acceptance; for its sins, which Jesus, as representing it, had borne in His own body on the tree, were gone, discharged. He rose free from them all in every sense. “He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification”: therefore we have peace. Resurrection was also the spring and source and character of its life, as well as the power in which Jesus exercised all the functions in which He secured “the sure mercies of David” to the Jew, and glory, by a continuous priesthood, for the church—the sinner called by grace. The church is quickened together with Him, being forgiven all trespasses.

But connected with this, in the communicating energy by which it and all resulting13 from it is enjoyed, is the gift of the Holy Ghost, answering to the gift of the law after the redemption from Egypt. Accordingly, on the morrow after the seventh sabbath, after the former offering of first-fruits (called hence the day of Pentecost), the associate feast was introduced, a new meat-offering was to be offered, the feast of first-fruits. “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals, they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baken with leaven, they are the first-fruits unto Jehovah.” These, it is to be remarked, were to be baken with leaven. The force of this in such case may be seen (1 Cor. 5:8). The leaven mixed with the cakes of first-fruits is spoken of also in the direction as to the meat-offering (Lev. 2). “No meat-offering which ye shall bring unto Jehovah shall be made with leaven, for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of Jehovah made by fire.” As for the oblation of the first-fruits, “Ye shall offer them unto Jehovah, but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.”

Now, of this feast subsidiary to the resurrection-sheaf we have also the fulfilment historically afforded in scripture: the history of “the day of Pentecost fully come” is too well known to need the proof of its application. By this the church was first formally gathered; and though the operations of the Spirit were continued in gathering even till now, still they partook of the same character. “Of his own will begat he them with the word of truth, that they might be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.”

As then we had Christ sacrificed as the passover, and raised and waved as the sheaf of first-fruits uncorrupted to God, and the burnt sacrifice and meat-offering in which was no leaven offered therewith, so we have here, consequent thereon and connected therewith, the quickening gathering pperation of the Holy Ghost, but the cake which it made, the first-fruits of the creature, mixed with leaven. There was still in the work which it produced other besides itself: leaven was there; consequently, though offered to Jehovah, it could not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour. Here, then, we have the essential difference between the church and Christ: the one in all its parts perfect, and in His offering a sweet savour made by fire, unleavened beauty and perfectness, and fit and able to be presented to God in the holiness of His judgment; the other, under the operation of the Spirit, offered indeed to Jehovah, but let it be ever so blessed, leaven, the leaven of malice and wickedness still there, and incapable of being presented as a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto Jehovah.

Such, then, is the character of the church still, as presented in itself to God. The fruits of the Spirit in it may be most pleasant to the Lord, and are so, and of a sweet savour; the flesh may be subdued and kept down, and these blessed fruits, against which there is no law, most pleasant to God as the offspring in us of the seed of His grace, glorifying Him the rather as produced in such a soil, but as presented in itself to God still such. But for this there was also characteristic provision: in verses 19, 20, we find a sin-offering offered, waved with the leavened cakes; and as the offering of Christ was in its own purity, and could be a sweet savour, so this was accepted through that which accompanied it—the sin-offering, which met, as it were, and supplied the defect of them, was waved. There was also a peace-offering, because there the joy and communion into which the church was brought by the Spirit.

The whole of this dispensation rests under the character of this feast; the sheaf of first-fruit, with its suited offerings of perfectness, and the leavened cake consequent upon it, with its called-for offering of sin-bearing, and resulting offering of communion, still characterized by accompanying leaven (Lev. 7:13). The work of Christ for rest, and the gathering and state of the church met by the sin-offering, are brought into clear and distinct light; nor does this dispensation pass beyond these things.

Next we find allusion to the harvest, but it is not actually treated of. It embraced heavenly things; the wheat, in that Christ was rejected, risen, and glorified, was to be gathered into His barn. It passed beyond earthly things, for He had. The whole condition and circumstances of the church, though under the energy of God’s Spirit brought out on earth, did not belong to them; it was a leavened cake still. The harvest was properly associated with the waved sheaf—with resurrection; it is passed by, because the risen church would be associated with Christ in heavenly glory. But there is allusion to it; no feast nor part of a feast, but a fact connected with it. The harvest did not, and in God’s purpose was not meant to, clear the field. The corners were unreaped, the gleanings ungathered. There was left in the field by the harvest still that which, though not gathered into the barn, was wheat; and of this only is such a thing spoken. We have nothing to do with tares here.

Hereupon we return to the course of earthly things. Long months had passed since the purpose of God had begun to work; and long months ere the full time came round, after the unnoticed period of heavenly things, for returning to purposes properly earthly,14 the first-fruits characterizing the whole period, and only noticing as to the harvest that it did not clear the field.

Verse 23 of the chapter introduces, as accompanying the ushering in of the seventh month, a holy convocation, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a day of joy and holiday. Jehovah was called to mind in it. Such is the character of this feast—it was a memorial. When the moon began afresh to receive its new light from the sun, yet feeble and heretofore waxed dim; when the other thought has passed away, Jehovah memorial takes effect. The trumpets were blown at other times, for a memorial to be remembered before Jehovah. Now it was the feast of remembrance—the trumpets characterized the very object of the feast; only it was upon the reappearance of the moon, not the Sun of righteousness. It had hitherto eclipsed the moon, yet now from it this, renewed, should receive its light; gradually had it waned to be hidden in his splendour, now emerging from it, risen in his light reflected—forgotten in it, to man’s judgment, at least. The trumpet is blown in the new moon, on the solemn feast-day (Ps. 81:3; Isa. 51). For if a woman should forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the fruit of her womb, yet if to man forgotten, “she was graven on the palms of his hands, who fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding.” “If he had spoken against them, he earnestly remembered them still.” “His servants “were now to “think upon her stones.” But the summons was public and loud, though in the new moon; it demanded the attention of the isles—yea, all the inhabitants of the world, and dwellers upon earth, when he blew a trumpet. The circumstances and interpretation of that chapter, Isaiah 18, I do not enter into; but it marks the connection of the period.

The great public summons being now given brings on the day of atonement for Israel (that is, their coming in personal humiliation under it), and this was separative in its character. It was a day for them to afflict their souls, ceasing irrespectively from all worldly employment— “Ye shall do no work.” Whatever soul was not afflicted was to be cut off, and so it will be: we find it in Joel 2; we find their character in Zephaniah 3:12; we find the affliction itself in Zechariah 12. Their acknowledgment in terms of the value of that which made peace for the mourners is in Isaiah 53.15

These two are yet to come—ordinances for Israel, whose antitypical accomplishment is yet to be looked for, after the lapse of the period allotted in specific character to the church, gathered by the Spirit as a waved cake of first-fruits with leaven. The day of blowing of trumpets, and the day of atonement, of humbling and afflicting their souls to Israel, was followed in the perfected time of twice seven days, by the great solemn assembly of the feast of Tabernacles, at which all the children of Israel were to appear, “the great congregation.” As to this, there are some remarkable circumstances. This alone (save the feast of Passover once in Deuteronomy 16:8, with, I believe, a similar purpose) is called a solemn assembly, as far as I am aware, or day of restraint. It was the great final feast of the year. It was at this feast that Solomon’s temple was dedicated, when “the king turned his face and blessed the whole congregation of Israel”; when the blessed Jehovah God of Israel had with his hands fulfilled that which He had spoken with His mouth to his father David, and the glory of Jehovah had filled the house of God. It was at this feast that the children of Israel found themselves assembled under Nehemiah, on their restoration from Babylon to their own land, after the captivity. It was at this feast that the brethren of Jesus proposed that He should shew Himself to the world; but His time was not yet come, though their time was always ready; and He went not up (then) unto the feast. It was the final assembly of the whole congregation of Israel.

There was, however, another remarkable circumstance in the feast of Tabernacles—there was an eighth day, or, as we should say, a first day of the week, which was not the case with the other feasts. This is noticed, after the regular history of the feasts which we have been tracing, in verse 39; again, and in connection with another feature, that it was after the gathering in the fruit of the land. All born Israelites, moreover, we are told in this second notice of it, were to dwell in booths, in witness that they had been made to dwell as pilgrims in booths under Jehovah shadow, as it were in a houseless, homeless wilderness. It was the feast of ingathering.

Now, this eighth day, as we observed, is the first day of the week—the resurrection day; the whole seven days they were to rejoice before Jehovah: such was their portion in their rest, but the eighth day was the solemn assembly, “the great day of the feast.” This surely marks the connection and introduction, the extraordinary connection of the resurrection church, with the rest that remained to the people of God. Our Lord’s reference to this “great day of the feast” marks and confirms—indeed, establishes this. Upon the last day, that great day of the feast, at which, though typically present, He declared He would not shew Himself then to the world, He cried and said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, and out of his belly shall flow, as the scripture hath said, rivers of living water. This spake he of the Spirit which they that believed on him should receive.”

In the first place there is the admission of the Gentiles here. “If any man thirst”; and there is the gift of the Holy Ghost, the witness of heavenly things, whence flowed the refreshing streams of divine knowledge and grace, concerning that which was verified in the ascension where Jesus was glorified, of which it was the witness as coming from it. This is doubtless in allusion to the rock in the wilderness, on their coming out of which into the land they were to keep the feast of the Tabernacles. Jesus was not yet manifest to the world, nor would He be till He came in glory. In the meanwhile His thirsting saints would be in the wilderness, “in a barren and dry land, where no water was,” waiting to see the glory which would give them rest—that first day of the new and everlasting week, when Jesus should appear.

But then as to each, out of his belly would be rivers of living water; his own soul, through the Holy Ghost dwelling in him, would be the channel of boundless refreshment; each one that once thirsted would be the source of refreshment to others. It was not merely he was born of the Spirit; it was not merely that it dwelt in him, as a well springing up in him unto everlasting life; but it should be from his soul as rivers flowing forth of spiritual heavenly things, all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. “Out of his belly,” because it was not merely as to the’ believer a conferred gift, the lowest way in which it would be present—for Jesus might still say, “I never knew you,”—but from the planting and reforming the affections of his soul, capacitating them, through the energy of the Spirit, for the communicative possession and enjoyment, as well as statement, of all these heavenly joys, which should be accomplished when, in the great eighth day of the feast, Jesus, long hidden and doing things secretly, should shew Himself to the world.

This then embraces what we are accustomed to call the Gentile church—the glorified church; of which the indwelling Spirit, in its blessing of all power in the individual soul, had been marked by the Lord as the sign in the wilderness; not merely a rock out of which for all, but out of his belly who believed, should flow rivers of living water. Thus the force of the eighth day is made very distinctly apparent.

The feast of the ingathering properly embraced Israel—the people of God, restored out of the wilderness to the place of God’s rest, to rejoice there, gathered back out of all lands. But it involves with it another scene, dimly marked and given room for, in which indeed Israel and the world too had resulting blessing, but which flowed (as the eye of the believer filled with the Spirit is opened to see) from higher sources, though it might refresh the gladdened plains below—exhaustless boundless sources of heaven-caught supplies. When to the desires, thus quickened and thus exalted, Jehovah should pour forth His fulness; and Jehovah should “hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.” God would sow her unto Him in the earth, and have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy, and say to them on whom Lo-ammi had been written, “Thou art my people”; and they shall say, “Thou art my God”; a time when the mountains, catching the full rain of blessings from above, shall but distribute them by the valleys which Jehovah has formed; and the wide scene beneath shall be refreshed by goodness and blessing, which its own far distant lowness would have never reached or drawn.

Blessed shall be that day, a full unhindered united time of joy, when all long severed, never properly one in glory (knit only in the misery which he, who had defiled the heavens, and deceived and ruined man upon the earth, had brought in), brought into one fulness in order, and united and suited blessing, in connection with a far higher, even the highest infinite fulness through Him who, being Lord from heaven, descended into the lower parts of the earth, that He might fill all things (gathered together in one, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, in Him; in whom we have received an inheritance), shall be in Him to the praise of His glory, shall minister in perfect unison of various reflective glory to the perfectness of His love whose all the glory is! And the blood of the Lamb, through which it has been accomplished, shall be seen in all its glory, in all its value. They shall declare its excellency in marvelling thankfulness for ever. It has cleansed and redeemed us for communion with the Highest, and purged the defiled inheritance—the now accomplished rest of God in love and peace.

12 Except in the case of the red heifer, which was altogether characteristically a sin-offering.

13 I say all resulting from it, because, though not brought out in the type as not entering into the heavenlies, in fact (and we know it) the ascension of Christ was necessary to the conference of the gift to the church, letting in the Gentiles, constituting the ground of its knowledge of righteousness (John 16:10), the character of its life (Col. 1:27; Phil. 3:20), and the place of its fellowship (Eph. 2:6, and indeed the whole of the epistle). And I say “necessary,” both from its revelation of the mystery, as stated in the passages, and from the Lord’s word in John 20:17, rejecting the acknowledgment of Him in worship by the Jew, as seen in resurrection, until the accomplishment of His glory in ascension—the heavens receiving Him till the times of the restitution of all things; and therefore Peter, in preaching upon the gift of the Holy Ghost here typified, says, “He being by the right hand of God exalted, has shed forth this which ye see and hear.” But these feasts, being in themselves expressions of what took effect upon earth as being to the Jews, though Gentiles might be brought in, do not enter thus within the veil, though the waving before Jehovah expresses the presenting to Him in a general sense. This was necessary for all.

14 I apprehend therefore, that strictly speaking it is simply Jewish, though other scriptures shew us the introduction of the Gentiles into the blessing and circumstances connected therewith.

15 Applicable, I need not say, in its value to the church, but spoken in terms by the remnant of the Jews in the latter day.