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Studies in Revelation
Part 9 - The Last Days - Part 3

Here we have our illustration once more which clarifies the “last days” which Peter spoke of in Acts 2:17, not an indefinite number of days, but instead consisting of the “feast” day of “Pentecost” along with the three segments or “days” of the Feast of Tabernacles; the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Day or Feast of Tabernacles proper.


On the left side of our illustration, I have listed the “months” and “days” which incorporate all three of the Feasts of Israel, and when we add all of them together, we arrive at the number 28. Consider the following portion from Stephen Jones’ book, The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from One to Forty, regarding the spiritual meaning of this number.


To write twenty-eight in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-chet. These signify the open palm covering the inner chamber of the heart.


Twenty-eight is the number of the leading of the Spirit…


… In the first chapter of Matthew, the genealogy of Christ is divided into three sections of 14 each. Matt. 1:17 says,


Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportations to Babylon to the time of Christ fourteen generations.


The number 28, then, should be viewed as having a connection with the number 14, which is the number of release, as well as the number 42. These three numbers, in a sense, represent Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Israel was released from Egypt at Passover because of events occurring on the night of Abib 14/15. The number 28 indicates the leading of the Holy Spirit, which points to Pentecost. And finally, the number 42 has to do with the full anointing of Christ, which points to Tabernacles.


The number 28 is the climax of the second period of 14 generations. After 28 generations from Abraham, the people of Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon. Because of a general lack of understanding of the nature of Pentecost, most people find this to be puzzling, because one would think that Pentecost would be a time of freedom, rather than bondage. However, when we understand that Pentecost is a leavened feast and that King Saul was a Pentecostal type, the connection becomes clearer.

Israel left Egypt at Passover and spent its Pentecostal days in the wilderness under Moses. They were supposed to enter the Promised Land at the time of the feast of Tabernacles. And so we find that after 28 generations, Judah was led into another “wilderness” type experience outside of the land, where they had to rely upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.


I find it interesting that Jones refers to Matthew 1:17, the same passages we are considering in this series. Note where he states that “28 is the climax of the second period of 14 generations. After 28 generations from Abraham, the people of Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon.” With the idea of “captivity in Babylon” in mind, allow me to address the gap between the Day of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. When we add the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth months of the Day of Pentecost which incorporates the gap or “night” which follows this “day,” we have 18 (3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 18). Here’s Stephen Jones explanation of its spiritual meaning.


To write eighteen in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: yod-chet. These signify the hand (outworking) of a fence (prison), which brings men into bondage or oppression.


Eighteen is the number of oppression or bondage. The 18th time Abram is mentioned is in Gen. 12:18, where his wife was in the house of Pharaoh (bondage). After Abraham is mentioned for the 18th time in Gen. 18:19, the Lord speaks of Sodom and Gomorrah who were in bondage to sin.


The 18th time Israel is mentioned is found in Gen. 46:8, at the beginning of their Egyptian bondage:


Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt…


The 18th time Jesus is mentioned in the gospel of Luke is in Luke 5:19, where a man oppressed by paralysis was trying to come to Jesus for healing. Luke 13:16 also says,


And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?


Beloved, when we consider Jones’ explanation of “Pentecost” in our first quote, along with our number 18, we gain insight and clarify why we see 18 typifying the “day” and “night” of Pentecost. We also see in our illustration that these “months” or “days” and “nights” if you will, are an essential part of the “last days.” In confirmation of “captivity in Babylon,” consider what the apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Timothy, Chapter Three, and note where I have inserted the numbers.


2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves (1), lovers of money (2), boasters (3), proud (4), blasphemers (5), disobedient to parents (6), unthankful (7), unholy (8), 3 unloving (9), unforgiving (10), slanderers (11), without self-control (12), brutal (13), despisers of good (14), 4 traitors (15), headstrong (16), haughty (17), lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (18), 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!


As we see, when Paul wrote to Timothy, he listed 18 things, agreeing with our number of “bondage” and “oppression” and our “captivity in Babylon.” What does Paul go on to say? “Having a form of godliness but denying its power.” And what does ‘denying its power’ mean? Allow me to show you.


1 Corinthians 1:17-18 (NKJV)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


Here we are, folks! As Paul shows us, the preaching of the gospel is “the message of the cross,” and it is clearly “the message of the cross” which is “the power of God.” What is the message of the cross? The Lord describes it for us in the following passages.


Matthew 16:24-27 (NKJV)
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life (soul) will lose it, but whoever loses his life (soul) for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.


Here we have it, brothers and sisters, the message of the cross as Jesus told His disciples. Is this not a clear message of self-denial? Do we not see that for us as believers that salvation is not merely accepting the Lord as Savior, but incorporates losing our souls for His sake?


Beloved, this is the difference between a “form of godliness” and true godliness. A “form of godliness” may very well embrace the message of Christ but it will not embrace the “message” of His “cross.” A “form of godliness” may very well be religious, just as it was with the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees of Jesus’ day, yet be filled with hypocrisy and rebellion. Understand, dear friends, that hypocrisy and rebellion are the antithesis of self-denial.


When Paul described the “perilous times” of the “last days,” he was quite specific, leaving nothing to chance when describing the “night” that followed the “Day of Pentecost.”


“Captivity in Babylon”? Yes! As in captive to the 18 things which Paul described, all of which have to do with a religious pride which I believe is quite evident in our time! And how is it that we are taken captive by these things? Not so much by an obvious outward manifestation (although in some cases, this too is true), but by an inward religious manipulation which leads to embracing teachings which are in gross error! How and why does this work? It’s simple, for what we choose to embrace and believe determines our actions. Why is this? Because we are creatures of faith, so everything we do is an act of faith. I believe the coffee maker will make coffee when I turn it on. I believe my car will start when I turn the key. I believe I will reach my destination when I follow a map. So it is in everything we do, and this is especially true concerning our religious beliefs.


Now, in keeping with “captivity in Babylon,” consider what Paul said to the Corinthian believers in his day.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV)
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.


Beloved, we have been conditioned to think that “church,” as we see it today, is the building we attend which includes the corresponding formalities we have devised. We have also been conditioned to accept the religious hierarchy that is prominent in just about every denomination and religious organization. Is it not true that most never question this? Isn’t it also true that most everyone who attends “church” believes that the denomination which they have chosen is right as opposed to the other denominations around them? So, as I close this study today, let me share the following passages to provoke your mind and heart.


1 Corinthians 1:10-13 (ESV)
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?


1 Corinthians 3:1-7 (ESV)
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

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