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07/01/2000 - Authority in God's Vineyard - Part 2 Ministry of the Priesthood



Authority in God's Vineyard

Part 2

Ministry of the Priesthood

Date: 07/01/2000

Issue No. 138

The actual 120th Jubilee from Adam occurred in October 1986. This was when the Church was supposed to declare the Jubilee--but did not do so. If the Church had taken heed to the call to prayer issued by the Net of Prayer (and others) from 1981-1986, I believe God would have given to someone the revelation of timing during that time, and the Church would then have understood what it ought to do. However, they showed a strange and unexplainable lack of interest in seeking the heart of God.

We now understand that we were dealing with the Church under Pentecost, which is leavened and cannot possibly bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom under its limited anointing. It was the same in Jesus' day, as He dealt with the Passover Church of the Old Testament, "the church in the wilderness" mentioned in Acts 7:38.

On April 9, 1985 we were given the revelation that God was about to separate His people--the overcomers--from the Pentecost Church. God said that He would establish His Kingdom through these overcomers, rather than through the entire body of believers. The reason was because relatively few Christians really had a heart to know God. Most had an attitude of lawlessness, or they were in submission to those who did have such an attitude and hence were prisoners to men and denominations.

In the Bible, the Church under Pentecost is symbolized by wheat, while the overcomers are barley. (See our books on those subjects.) In effect, in these past 40 Jubilees of Church history, God's "field" was mixed with barley and wheat in the same field. The prophetic Law says, however, that "you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed" (Lev. 19:19), so at some point God would have to separate the barley from the wheat in His field. This was done at the 120th Jubilee from Adam in 1986.

Looking back on the events of 1985-1986, we now see that when God separated the overcomers from the Church, it was also like a birthing of the overcomers who were to come into the fullness of the stature of Christ and reign with Him in the Age of Tabernacles. In fact, it was the birthing of the Melchizedek priest, because Rev. 20:6 says that those who rule and reign with Christ will do so as PRIESTS.

Under Moses, the age that the priests had to be in order to minister in the temple as full priests was set at 30 years of age (Num. 4:3). For this reason, both John the Baptist and Jesus were 30 years of age when they began to minister fully in their callings. They followed the pattern of the Kingdom under Moses.

Under David, however, the age was lowered to 20 years of age. So we read in 1 Chronicles 23:24-28,

24 These were the sons of Levi according to their fathers' households, even the heads of the fathers' households of those of them who were counted, in the number of names by their census, doing the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from twenty years old and upward25 For David said, "The LORD God of Israel has given rest to His people, and He dwells in Jerusalem forever. 26 "And also, the Levites will no longer need to carry the tabernacle and all its utensils for its service." 27 For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered, from twenty years old and upward. 28 For their office is to assist the sons of Aaron with the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts and in the chambers and in the purifying of all holy things, even the work of the service of the house of God.

In other words, David lowered the age of the priests to 20 years of age. On what grounds? God had revealed to him that when the ark was at rest, and when God had given rest to His people, then the age should be lowered to 20. Since these were "the last words of David," they were spoken at the end of his life, just as Solomon was about to ascend to the throne. Solomon was the builder of the temple, where the ark of God actually came to a position of rest in a permanent type of structure.

All of this foreshadowed the Jubilee, which is the real REST that God intended for His people. There is a personal level of fulfillment, of course, in which many people throughout past history and the present have been called to that priesthood. However, we are dealing with the historic fulfillment in terms of the Tabernacles Age.

In the declaration of the Jubilee in 1996, we actually became eligible to fulfill the last words of David on a historic level. For this reason, the Melchizedek priesthood, born in 1986, will be eligible to minister in the true temple in the year 2006. This corporate overcomer company will then be 20 years old.

Yet in order to minister, this priesthood needs a temple other than their personal temple, which is their body. Because this is a corporate body, they need a corporate temple as well. This is something that God has been building on the earth for a long time. The only question has been: How long before it is completed?

The True Temple

Men have long founded their own religions, temples, and denominational organizations, calling them "the true church." The fact is, the true church is not an organization on earth, but a spiritual body whose members are written in the Lamb's Book of Life in heaven. These come from all walks of life and from many denominational backgrounds. They are people who believe on Jesus Christ--not in their organization or in any man.

To believe in a denomination or a church organization will make you a church member. To believe on Jesus Christ will make you a Christian.

The members of the true Church are being built upon the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ, and the foundations of the Apostles and Prophets (Eph. 2:20). They have not placed their faith in the old covenant of Mount Sinai, nor in the old Jerusalem, which is Hagar (Gal. 4:25). They have instead come to a new Mount Sion (Zion) "unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb. 13:22).

There are earthly Zionists, whose trust is placed in the ancient hill called Zion. Then there are the heavenly Zionists, who have come to a new Zion that is not earthly, but is associated with the heavenly Jerusalem.

When the prophets speak of the future Jerusalem, Zion, and the Mount of Olives in connection with the Kingdom of God in the latter days, they are not speaking of the old locations in Palestine. It is speaking of better things that are not carnal, but spiritual "places."

The same is true with the prophecies of the temple. Whether or not the Zionists today succeed in building a physical temple on the ancient temple site is irrelevant from a prophetic standpoint. That is the home of the abomination of desolation, the man of sin, the antichrist, as we showed in our last series in the FFI.

Haggai's Temple Prophecy

Haggai is the prophet of the feast of Tabernacles. His name means "feast day, festival." His most striking prophecy was given to him on the 7th day of Tabernacles, as we read in Haggai 2:1,

1 On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet saying . . . .

Haggai began prophesying in the second year of Darius the Great, King of Persia (Haggai 1:1). This was the year 520 B.C. The years of his reign are dated by two lunar eclipses mentioned by the ancient astronomer, Ptolemy of Egypt. He said there was a lunar eclipse in the 20th and in the 31st year of Darius. Astronomers and historians tell us that these occurred on Nov. 19, 502 B.C. and on April 25, 491 B.C.

If the 20th year of Darius was the year 502 B.C., as the astronomers tell us, then 18 years earlier (520 B.C.) would be the second year of Darius. In that year Haggai began to prophesy and urge the people to complete the work of building the second temple. Ezra 6:14 and 15 says,

14 And the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. 15 And this temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

The Persian calendars began in the spring (April). The temple was completed in the month of Adar, which was the 12th lunar month of the calendar year, corresponding to March 15, 515 B.C. It was the end of the sixth year of Darius' reign.

Haggai's temple prophecy was not fulfilled in his day. Haggai 2:2 said that God would fill that house with His glory, but we know that God's glory never filled that temple. Haggai 2:9 also said,

9 The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts, and in this place I shall give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.

And yet the glory of the second temple was nothing in comparison to the glory of Solomon's temple. It is apparent, then, that the Word given to Haggai was not really speaking of that physical temple that they were building, but to a spiritual temple that was yet incomplete. This is a temple made of living stones, as we are told in 1 Peter 2:5,

5 You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The rebuilt temple in Haggai's day was only a shadow that prophesied of the REAL temple that God would inhabit, made of living stones.

Now, as for the timing of its completion, it appears that we ought to draw our focus to the year 2006 A.D. Why? First of all, this is 20 years after 1986, and the priesthood of Melchizedek would appear to be fully mature and eligible to minister in a temple in 2006. They need a temple in which to minister.

Secondly, the year 2006 is precisely 2,520 years after the completion of the second temple. It is 2,520 years from 515 B.C. to 2006 A.D., taking into consideration the fact that there is no year zero.

So, what is so special about the number 2,520?

Revelation 12:6 and 14 speak of "a time, times, and a half a time" as being synonymous with 1,260 "days." A prophetic "time" is 360 days or 360 years. If you compare Daniel 7:21-25 with Rev. 13:2-7, you will see that three and one-half "times" is also a period of 42 months (12 x 3 = 36, plus 6 = 42).

A period of time that covers a full 7 "times" is twice this much. In other words, 1,260 x 2 = 2,520 days or years. If you want to study Bible prophecy, this is one of the most basic time cycles that you must learn.

When the House of Israel was taken into captivity beginning in 745 B.C., they were under the judgment of the law for 7 "times" (Lev. 26:24). This ended 2,520 years later in the year 1776 A.D. when America became a nation, composed primarily of the descendants of the lost House of Israel.

Babylon became an empire when it conquered Nineveh in 607 B.C. just three years before it conquered the city of Jerusalem. And so we find that 2,520 years later, in 1914 A.D. the bankers created a secret type of Babylon that brought America and the world into financial bondage with the Federal Reserve Act. It was signed into law by President Wilson in February 1914.

In 604 B.C. the House of Judah and the city of Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians. Precisely 2,520 years later, British General Allenby freed Jerusalem from Turkish rule in 1917 A.D.

At the same time, the Bolshevik revolution put an iron curtain over Russia for 70 years from 1917-1987. It ended with Soviet President Gorbachev's 70th anniversary speech to the Supreme Soviet in 1987, announcing his new policy of glasnost and perestroika. Few people would have guessed that this marked the end of Soviet communism, and that the entire empire would crumble and disintegrate, splitting into many republics within a few years.

The entire 70-year Russian captivity took place exactly 2,520 years after Jerusalem's 70-year captivity from 604-534 B.C. No, history did not repeat itself. God repeated Himself.

The Fall of Babylon

Daniel 5 records the fall of Babylon. During a drinking festival, a hand appeared out of nowhere and began to write some words on the wall. The king's loins were loosed (verse 6), which is a nice way of saying that he messed his trousers. The Aramaic words written on the wall were: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. (See Dan. 5:25.)

The words are bankruptcy proceedings:

MENE: "numbered," or audited.

TEKEL: "weighed," or balancing the books.

UPHARSIN (pl. of PERES): "divided," or dividing up Babylon's estate at the auction to sell it to Media-Persia.

If we translate these words from Aramaic into Hebrew, we find that they are monetary terms. The lowest common denominator is the gerah--sort of like our penny.

MINA = 1,000 gerahs

MINA = 1,000 gerahs

SHEKEL = 20 gerahs

PERES = 500 gerahs

The total number of gerahs in the handwriting on the wall is 2,520. It is a hidden prophecy of the real downfall of Babylon in 2,520 years--that is, in 1987, the Jubilee year and the year that the Soviet Union began to collapse. It was the year that God began to set people free from the communist ideology. That process is ongoing.

Much more could be written about this, of course, but our point is that the time cycle of 2,520 years is extremely important in prophetic history. With these examples in mind, we come now to the 2,520-year cycle of the second temple.

The second temple was completed during the prophecy of Haggai from 520-515 B.C. This five-year period, I believe, will have its modern counterpart 2,520 years later from 2001-2006 A.D. In some way not fully understood yet, there must be a counterpart to Haggai's ministry that will complete the work on this prophetic temple, in order that the priesthood might minister therein.

I do not believe that this will be fulfilled in a physical temple. This is a spiritual work. Even so, it will take place here on earth, for that is where the "living stones" are located.

Daniel's 70 Weeks

Daniel's 70 "weeks" (70 x 7 = 490 years) were fulfilled primarily from 458 B.C. to 33 A.D, a period of 490 years. It began with the edict of Artaxerxes of Persia and ended with Jesus' crucifixion. Because we already discussed this fully in Secrets of Time, we will not attempt to repeat that information in this short bulletin. We will just say that the "midst of the week" mentioned in Daniel 9:26, 27 was not meant to date Jesus' crucifixion, but rather His baptism. That is, it did not date His death, but His dedication to the ministry, wherein He would soon die. As soon as He presented Himself as the Lamb of God to the priest, John the Baptist, the "sacrifice and oblation" ceased from God's perspective. Sacrifices, of course, did not actually end until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

In connection with the 70 weeks, Daniel 9:25 mentions "the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" as the beginning of the countdown toward the work of the Messiah. Artaxerxes gave that command in 458 B.C. in the 7th year of his reign (Ezra 7:7). However, a city is not complete until its wall is built. I believe that is why Daniel 9:25 also mentions the wall being built.

Another 70-Week Period

There is a secondary 490-year period dating from the completion of the wall around Jerusalem in 445 B.C. In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem to build that wall (Neh. 2:1). It was completed in the month we call August of that year (Neh. 6:15).

If we use this secondary date as the beginning of a 490-year period, we come to 46 A.D. This was the year the Apostle Paul was commissioned and sent out on his first missionary journey with Barnabas in Acts 13:2.

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Paul was converted in late 33 A.D. some months after Pentecost was fulfilled. He tells us in Galatians 2:1 that it was "after 14 years" (i.e., the 14th year in Hebrewspeak) that he and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem with the contributions from Antioch. The NT prophet Agabus had prophesied a soon-coming drought, so contributions were sent to the church in Jerusalem, anticipating that drought.

Acts 11:28 says that this drought took place in the days of Claudius Caesar. Historians tell us that the drought took place in 47 A.D. during the 4th Consulship of Claudius. (See Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XX, ii., 5.) So the prophecy of Agabus was given prior to that time. When Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, God told the people to lay hands on them and send them forth on their first missionary journey.

This date is important, because it completed the second cycle of 490 years, dating from Nehemiah's wall.

As we have said many times, 33 A.D. began a 40-Jubilee cycle of the Pentecost Church, which ended in 1993 A.D.

There is another 40-Jubilee cycle that began with Paul's commissioning in 46 A.D. This cycle ends in late 2006.

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The Apostle Paul's conversion was a pattern of moving from Pentecost to Tabernacles. He was probably a direct descendant of King Saul (probably through Jonathan). While named Saul, he persecuted the Church, even as King Saul had persecuted David. But this NT Saul was converted to become a type of overcomer who goes beyond Pentecost into the feast of Tabernacles.

As such, his commissioning into all the world to preach the gospel has great significance to all aspiring overcomers today. In 1993 the Pentecost Church Age ended, but when are the overcomers sent out under the new anointing with the message of Tabernacles? Could it be after Tabernacles of the year 2006? If so, it would correlate perfectly with the maturity of the Melchizedek priesthood and the completion of the True Temple prophesied by Haggai.

The year 2006 is 40 Jubilees from Paul's commission; it is also 50 Jubilees from Nehemiah's wall. Nehemiah's name (Nahum-Yah) means "comforter of Yahweh," or Yahweh comforts. This is the prime title of the Holy Spirit. Does this hint at the outpouring of the Spirit in 2006 that will send out the overcomers on the great mission of the second work of Christ? Be watchful of these things.