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Introduction

Humanity has been deprived of the keys that unlock a comprehensive understanding of God's plan and purpose for humankind. God reveals His splendid plan in the prophecies and teachings of the Scriptures. In this lesson you will see how God has provided us with the keys to unlock His plan through His sacred festivals.

"The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." — The apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:9)

The Holy Scriptures reveal that God has a comprehensive plan to save mankind. The plan revolves around the prophetic mission and work of Jesus Christ. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17, emphasis added throughout).

Therefore, God has "made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ , to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment— to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ " (Ephesians 1:9-10, New International Version).

Throughout this Bible Study Course we emphasize God's intention to save —through Jesus Christ—the vast majority of mankind from the penalty of eternal destruction we all have earned by sinning. When God completes His majestic plan, He will have given all of mankind the opportunity to come to repentance.

But bringing all people to repentance, by persuading them to turn from their sinful ways so that they can receive eternal life, is an awesome task. Today—with most of humanity still under the sway of the great deceiver, Satan the devil—relatively few are even called to repentance. Still fewer are actually repenting.

Nevertheless, when Jesus returns, all then alive—and all their descendants afterwards—will be taught how to obey their Creator. Finally God will resurrect from their graves those untold millions who have died without ever receiving a clear understanding of His ways. He will teach them to turn to the truth and to Him.

God reveals His splendid plan in the prophecies and teachings of the Scriptures. God has provided us with the keys to unlock His plan through His sacred festivals.

Most people probably understand that Jesus was crucified on the biblical Passover—the first of these marvelous festivals. Some have heard that the biblical festivals point to Christ and His role. Yet few grasp their deeper significance and value. The majority of churchgoers view them as irrelevant to their relationship with God. The Scriptures, however, tell us otherwise! The festivals are keys to a correct understanding of God's master plan and to Christ's central role in that plan.

God instituted and commanded the observance of these sacred festivals to make known to His people the correct sequence of events in His blueprint for humanity's salvation. They reveal the framework that organizes the major events of God's plan in a logical order. They also reveal the structure on which biblical prophecy is based. They disclose God's grand design for man's awesome future.

 

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