Cycles of Feasts & Harvest
By Apostle Aje Pelser for the Harvester International Ministries group.
Exo 23:14 "Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year:
Exo 23:15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty);
Exo 23:16 and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labours which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labours from the field.
In the New Covenant Jesus has become our Passover Feast, in fact He is our Feast!
1Co 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
What the Lord showed me from the Exodus and the judgments passed onto Moses on the mountain, is that there are cycles of harvest.
The 3 Feasts that God required Israel to keep every year reveal some interesting cycles of our journey as harvesters.
The feast of unleavened bread
The feast of unleavened bread is the removal of pride and the pharisaic spirit of religion from our practises, a process of being drawn out of the Egyptian way of doing things in Church. Reformation changes – uproots and pulls down so that the true foundations of faith can be established for future building of living stones, based on the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ the Chief cornerstone. Jesus ate his Passover with His disciples before his death and instituted the communion for believers to do in remembrance of Him. Regular remembrance of what the Lord has delivered us from will help us stay the course and focus on Christ the Passover Lamb, and remove the traditions of men and religion that make void the power of God.
Through Christ Jesus we can see the positive side of leaven too:
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus speaks the parable of the leaven that was hid in three measures of meal until it was all leavened. When we receive the Kingdom of God we need to hide it in every aspect of our lives, namely spirit, soul and body. Allow Christ time to work in you until His Kingdom is growing and prevailing in your life, changing every aspect and fibre of your being and He has perfected all that concerns you.
MBC Kingdom of God Memorandum.
When I explain how we bring reform through the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, contained in the Word and in our Bible College material I am reminded of this parable.
Funny that the kingdom of God is compared to leaven when Jesus also compares the pride of the Pharisees to leaven.
The point is that is left to do its work leaven permeates and infiltrates the entire lump of dough.
In the positive sense we can leave a teaching, or CD or book or a preached sermon in the air above a church or region and then it starts to permeate. The values of the Kingdom of God that we fight for is so powerful that it starts to allow Christ in people to rise up.
The dough of bread first goes through a kneading process. Then it is leavened and left in the dark place.
Jesus was beaten for us and then placed in a dark place.
Spent 3 days in the dark place for us the tomb.
Then the bread dough goes through the fire in the oven to bake.
Jesus went down to hell to save the captives and conquer death and hell. The bread is baked and ready to eat and share with those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
The Feast of Harvest
The Feast of Harvest is the first fruits of our labours. This is the initial evidence of a greater harvest to come. It builds faith and gives momentum to the final feast of ingathering at the end of the year. We have just had a Great Harvest Conference. This was wonderful indeed but there was a sense that it was the first round of the tremendous harvest that also awaits. We had people from all the continents of the world represented, but there were visions of ground that is ploughed and ready for another sowing, the harvest has been brought in and the seedlings are ready to be sown for the next round. We have sown in the filled.
Pro 24:27 Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.
There is a sense that we have laboured in the field of God for others and now God is allowing us to build a house. House has several dimensions of meanings so let’s meditate on that for a time. We like to build people into God’s house based on Jesus and the apostles and prophets. There is also the dimension of Apostolic Networking that creates a household of faith globally.
Feast of Ingathering
The third feast is the Feast of Ingathering – which sounds a bit like the end times. Jesus is gathering in the wheat and the tares and His winnowing fan is in his hand – He will thoroughly cleanse out His threshing floor and separate between the wheat and the weeds. This happens at the end. It is as if God allows some things to go unchecked, but pulling out weeds while the wheat is growing could injure the roots of the wheat, so separation comes. In the combine harvest machines, once the cutters have cut the heads of grain it goes through various stages of sifting. There is a stage when wind is blown over the wheat to remove the “predikantslys” a “preacher’s” weed that resembles the religious spirit! The Holy Spirit is that wind that removes the subtle weeds from our doctrines.
Mat 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
Mat 13:25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
Mat 13:26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'
Mat 13:28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?'
Mat 13:29 But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "
So Jesus actually said: “Let it Grow!” Sometimes we want to micromanage our growth and that of others. We tend to knit pick at each other’s minor flaws while ignoring our own major ones! The splinter and log in the eye scenario! Jesus shows us how the mercy space works. Wheat are allowed to grow through the weeds!
The Cycle of Ingathering comes with its own set of problems so don’t stress about a few weeds that will be used as fuel for fire anyway! Look at the ingathering of harvest on different levels.
The first fruits Feast showed you a glimpse of the Ingathering Cycle – it is a wonderful process if you see your harvest. God uses little clues, signs that make you wonder!
For instance I love God’s timing. A student had been missing from class last week for various reasons and I was teaching drums. As I left my class – I mean I took my time repacking the drums because my student is a left hander! I drove past this student that had been on my mind all week! God’s timing is perfect. He said that a friend had passed away I could pick him up and take him to his destination. But God used the situation to help the student refocus and come back to MBC the next day. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. That is part of the ingathering process.
Write down a few things in your life that has been lost and see how God can seek it out and save it today! Let’s pray about each thing and allow God to lift your vision higher to see the cycles of your life.
Allow GOd's Spirit to renew your mind by His Word and call those old things and ways obsolete. Get out of the Egypt of man's ways and enter the promised land of God for you where you are led by the SPirit and focus on your Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Seeing the first fuits in your life in a new light will give you substance for your faith to receive the greater Ingathering