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FIRST CORINTHIANS: THE HIDDEN WISDOM OF GOD


If the princes of this world had understood what Jesus would accomplish, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Cor. 2:7, 8)

What hidden “wisdom of God” is Paul talking about?

What did God ordain “before the world unto our glory”?

How does this revealed “mystery” directly impact us now—and in the future?

What exactly did God reveal in this letter to the church?

What is the hidden wisdom (revealed in Corinthians) that Satan and his princes failed to grasp?

By revelation, Christ gave this understanding to Paul. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul spoke of five holy days which apply directly to us, the church: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks (Pentecost), and Trumpets.

What is the significance of this?

Unknown to Satan, these holy days spoke of prophecy about our current and future salvation. Unknown to the princes of this world, Jesus would become our complete salvation—which would reflect the holy days: Christ is our Passover Lamb (that cleanses sin); Christ is our Bread of Life (divine revelation to transform the mind); Christ is our firstfruits from the dead (rescuing us from the power of death); Christ is our baptizer (baptizing us with the Holy Spirit—reflecting what occurred with the apostles on Pentecost), and Christ is our future salvation (by the eternal spiritual seed (within) that will ultimately give birth to an eternal body at the sound of the last trumpet).

Additionally, these holy days unite God’s testimony from the Torah to Revelation. As God’s family, we have the freedom to see this and believe this, and when believed, the holy days have the power to unite all of those gathered in the name of Christ in one vision: what is and what shall be. The central theme of this vision is Christ setting us free, empowering us, and transforming us (now and in the future) by the personal fulfillment of prophecy.

How did God set this in motion?

These holy days are feasts (Hebrew: moeds) of the Lord (Lev. 23:2). Moed means, a festival which has an appointed time. It also means a festival that is a signal for what is appointed beforehand (by God). In other words, these holy days were not only physical celebrations, they foreshadowed (signaled) what God had in mind regarding what the Messiah would accomplish for us. In addition, they form the chronological standard by which prophecies about the first and second coming of Christ are measured. Thus, the holy days were set forth by God to be prophetic in nature. This is what Paul declared in his letter to the Colossians:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come. (Col. 2:16, 17)

The Messiah was in this “shadow” of the holy days. Hundreds of years prior to the first coming of Christ, God marked the timing and significance of the following dramatic events: Christ’s Crucifixion, burial, Resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Christ fulfilled the first four holy days. He was crucified on Passover; he was in the burial tomb on the Feast of Unleavened Bread; he was resurrected from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits and, finally, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)—which was fifty days after the Resurrection. These events occurred as appointed by God, prophesied in the Old Testament Law. In the future, the church shall be transformed according to the same divine timetable, on the holy day of Trumpets, which precedes the wrath (judgment).

It all began with Jesus as the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29)—who was sacrificed on the holy day of Passover.

Satan failed to grasp that the holy days celebrated by the Israelites were in actuality “rehearsals,” that foreshadowed what the Lamb of God would achieve with his personal presence. Ironically, Satan deceived himself. The fallen angel believed that he would blot out the light sent by Heaven by killing Jesus. In reality, the fallen angel participated in giving mankind the ultimate sacrifice for sin—the children of darkness (princes of this world) slew God’s Lamb. By revelation, Christ revealed this to Paul—and Paul revealed it to us.

1 CORINTHIANS: GOD’S HIDDEN WISDOM REVEALED TO THE CHURCH: FIVE HOLYS DAYS

PASSOVER

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. (1 Cor. 5:7)

THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (1 Cor. 11:26)

THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Cor. 15:20-23)

THE FEAST OF WEEKS (PENTECOST)

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:13) I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. (1 Cor. 14:5) In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people. (1 Cor. 14:21)

THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:51-53)

The five holy days revealed by Paul speak of our rescue from Satan: they speak of an internal transformation and an external transformation in this life, and a complete transformation in the next life. If the princes of this world had known all of this, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

This knowledge of the prophetic holy days was hidden from the power of darkness in Old Testament times, but fully revealed by our God in New Testament times.

What does this mean to you and me today?

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST: PETER’S STORY: OUR STORY: THE POWER DELIVERED ON THE FEAST OF WEEKS

With the Crucifixion, burial, and Resurrection, Christ fulfilled the first three holy days. Now, having ascended to the right hand of God, Christ would fulfill the fourth holy day.

And when the day of Pentecost [the Feast of Weeks] was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

On the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), Christ poured out the Spirit and Peter became a living example of what it means to cross the divine threshold. In a moment of time, Christ became Peter’s Passover Lamb, Bread of Life, and firstfruits from the dead. Christ also became Peter’s baptizer—baptizing Peter with the Holy Spirit, empowering him to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing” (Isa. 28:11, 12).

What did Peter do after he was baptized with the Holy Spirit?

He spoke with “stammering lips and another tongue.” He fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy—just as Paul declared: “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people” (1 Cor. 14:21).

In essence, Christ filled Peter with the Holy Spirit, and empowered him to fulfill the prophecy spoken by Isaiah. Herein, Peter knew the “rest” and “refreshing” promised by God’s Word.

“Rest” means “ease, quiet, [and] still.” This rest is a divine “quiet” within. Those who are “weary” mean those who are “faint [and] thirsty.” To bring them “to rest” means bringing them to a place to “settle down [and] comfort.” Thus, Isaiah prophesied the following: Speaking in divine languages would yield divine quiet within, wherewith those thirsty (for the truth) would be comforted and refreshed. Divine “rest” and divine “refreshing” are ours— when we choose to fulfill prophecy.

Peter became a living example of what it means to witness prophecy personally fulfilled. This power, this deliverance, is just as living and real today as it was 2000 years ago. Peter is our example of what deliverance means and can mean to each one of us. Paul expounded upon it to help us understand it.

If Christ is our Lord, then God is speaking to us. This is how Paul introduced his first letter to the Corinthians:

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. (1 Cor. 1:1, 2)

The prophetic holy days apply to the church and so does the transforming power of Holy Spirit.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

How many of us know “the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]”?

How many of us know the “power, ... love, and... sound mind” promised by God?

Peter knew it.

Yet, consider this: Where was Peter (mentally) prior to the day of Pentecost?

Didn’t Peter walk in the Holy Land with the Messiah?

Didn’t Peter see the transformation of the Christ?

Wasn’t that enough for Peter?

What happened after the Crucifixion?

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (John 20:19)

Peter was filled with fear.

What was the first thing the risen Christ said to his disciples?

“Peace be unto you.”

Later, Christ promised power.

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:4, 5)

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

With the fulfillment of this prophecy on the Feast of Weeks, Peter spoke in tongues.

What did Peter do after he spoke in divine languages? He explained to those in the crowd what they had just witnessed. Peter boldly quoted Joel (Acts 2:14-21).

Where’s the fear Peter had after the Crucifixion?

What changed Peter? Power. It’s what separates Christianity from every other religion on the planet: power from the Holy Spirit. Peter was no longer filled with fear but was filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

The results speak for themselves. Peter crossed an unmistakable divine threshold, witnessing an internal and external transformation. Peter knew the fulfillment of these prophecies:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28). For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).

And he knew the fulfillment of this prophecy:

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing. (Isa. 28:11, 12)

The Feast of Weeks witnessed not only the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, but the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy as well. God’s promises are about the personal fulfillment of prophecy.

Passover is an ongoing fulfillment. Every time someone believes, Christ our Passover becomes a personal reality, and sins are cleansed.

Unleavened Bread is an ongoing fulfillment. Every time someone decides to feed upon the “Bread of Life” separation from worldly gods follows.

Firstfruits is an ongoing fulfillment. Every time someone believes, Christ our firstfruits from the dead becomes a personal reality and the power of death is overcome, setting the stage for immortal existence.

The Feast of Weeks is an ongoing fulfillment. Our great high priest, Christ, continues to baptize with the Holy Spirit and deliver into his kingdom whenever someone confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior—believing in the Resurrection. With the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, the believer is empowered to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy.

Is it any wonder that our Lord and Savior declared the prophetic holy days in the very letter that declares Satan was outwitted and defeated?

This knowledge of the prophetic holy days has been sitting here for 2000 years—hidden, in plain sight. When Paul speaks of the Crucifixion, he speaks of Passover, not Good Friday. When Paul speaks of the Resurrection, he speaks of Firstfruits, not Easter. Hidden behind our traditional man-made terminology is the glory of God’s holy days.

Why can’t we as Christ’s church use the same terms as spoken by Moses, Christ, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul?

By focusing on traditional terms and not God’s terms, the hidden wisdom of God remains hidden, and God’s people are left without a very real and dramatic reality: The biblical significance of the Passover lamb began with Moses—and provides the foundation to understand the significance of the Messiah—who was the Lamb of God. The personal presence of the Messiah marks the fulfillment of all that God set in motion through Moses—and this becomes a personal reality when we make Jesus our Lord and believe in the Resurrection, recognizing that Christ is the firstfruits from the dead. The New Covenant is about the fulfillment of prophecy declared by Christ and the apostles. Fulfillment of prophecy is about Christ empowering us—which includes speaking forth divine languages.

Peter is our example.

What did Peter do after he spoke in divine tongues?

Peter boldly quoted Joel. Why? Why did he quote the following section of Joel? How does this quote relate to the holy days and our current and future salvation?

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:14-21)

On the first day of the church, Peter spoke of that section of Joel’s prophecy that applied to the entire time of the church: The signs that marked the beginning of the church (“I will pour out my Spirit on all people”); the signs that mark the presence of the church on Earth (“prophesy,” “visions,” etc.) and, in addition, Peter marked the signs that would mark the gathering of the church into Heaven on the “day of the Lord” (when “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord [Jesus Christ]”).

Peter ended his quote with the following:

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:20, 21)

When will this come to pass?

THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS

Christ expounded upon Peter’s declaration via his revelation to Paul:

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Cor. 15:51-53)

This is what it means to be “saved” in the future: “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Christ shall descend for us some year when “the last trumpet” sounds on the Feast of Trumpets (the next holy day). This is our hope of glory. Paul also prophesied of the same subject in Thessalonians:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God [the last trumpet]: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:16, 17)

The church began with dramatic signs on the Feast of Weeks and will be transformed with dramatic signs on the Feast of Trumpets. The Law can only be fulfilled, never contradicted. That’s the beauty and glory of the Law. Its God’s unmovable standard. How can anything that God placed in the holy days be removed or altered?

Finally, Christ marked the Feast of Trumpets in his chronological presentation in The Book of Revelation. Christ expounded upon the revelation given to Peter (the celestial signs) and Paul (the transformation)—revealing the order of events to John.

And I [John] beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. (Rev. 6:12)

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Rev. 7:9-17)

John gave us this vision of the church transformed in Heaven. With the fulfillment of this prophecy (as well as those spoken by Peter and Paul), Christ will become our future salvation.

The entire Bible is an unfolding revelation, revealing the Christ, and what he would accomplish for us. Time marked in Old Testament times foreshadowed time marked in New Testament times. The first coming of Christ witnessed the fulfillment of numerous prophecies—all of which came to pass on time, exactly as God foretold in the Old Testament. Likewise, so shall numerous prophecies be fulfilled in accordance with the holy days at the second coming of Christ.

God ordained all of this “before the world unto our glory.” God kept this a “mystery” until it was fully revealed by Christ to Paul. This mystery is ours to embrace. The significance cannot be underestimated: This revealed wisdom in Corinthians forms the lens by which to view prophecy about the church throughout the New Testament.

Shouldn’t we declare the hidden wisdom of God to the flock of Christ?

Shouldn’t we allow the apostles’ Peter and Paul to be our example?

Shouldn’t we declare Isaiah’s prophecy just as Paul did?

Shouldn’t we allow the revealed wisdom in First Corinthians to guide us in how we view our current and future salvation?

With a clear conscience before Heaven, let us unite the Torah to Revelation and unite the Body of Christ in one vision: what is and what shall be.

God bless.

Dr. William Ayles
williamayles@thetimeline.org



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