What Saith the Scripture?
The Appointed Times
Or, How the Seven Feasts of Israel Represent God's
Timeline for the Ages
"Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?"
by Tom Stewart
What do Jewish feast days have to do with Bible prophecy? Only a short time ago,
I ran across Eddie Chumney's excellent book online, The Seven Festivals of the
Messiah, where I was enlightened as to the wonderful foundation New Testament
Christians have in the Old Testament. Though the article that follows is long, it
is not as exhaustive as Eddie Chumney's more worthy offering. Nor, is it an attempt
to only recount his research. I have attempted to bring in other resources and to
make my own analysis. However, "there is no new thing under the sun" (Ecclesiastes
1:9). Can events like the Rapture of the Church or even the Second Coming of the
LORD Jesus Christ be timed to future Jewish feasts? I now say, "Yes!" If
you invest the time reading this article, you may also agree.
Table of Contents
The Foundational Importance of the Sabbath
How the LORD Jesus Christ Is the Fulfillment of the Seven Feasts of Israel
1- Passover: The Death of Our LORD Jesus Christ
2- Feast of Unleavened Bread: The Burial of Our LORD Jesus Christ
3- Feast of Firstfruits: The Resurrection of Our LORD Jesus Christ
4- Pentecost: The Giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church and the First "Come
5- Feast of Trumpets: Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church
6- Day of Atonement: The Second Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ
7- Feast of Tabernacles: Inauguration of the Millennial Reign of the LORD
Jesus Christ on Earth
Summary of the Seven Feasts of Israel
The Seven Feasts of Israel are found in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus. Ordained by
God for Israel to celebrate, they were intended as a teaching tool to ready Israel
for a coming Messiah and Israel's salvation. "Speak unto the children of Israel,
and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to
be holy convocations, even these are My feasts" (Leviticus 23:2).
"Convocation" (Leviticus 23:2) means an assembly of people; also, an assembly
for the purpose of rehearsing for something. The Hebrew word for "feasts"
(Leviticus 23:2) is "moed" (Strong's #4150), which means an appointment,
a fixed time or season, a cycle or year, an assembly, an appointed time, a set time
or exact time. Literally, the Feasts of Israel are the rehearsals or patterns of
future events that will occur at the fixed appointments.
Shadow versus substance. Our LORD Jesus, the Messiah, is the substance. The feasts
are the foreshadowing-- of events that were yet to come. The Seven Feasts of Israel
prophetically forecast and outline the main events of Israel's relation to Jehovah.
"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;
but the body is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17).
The Foundational Importance of the Sabbath
God gave Israel the Sabbath as a sign of a perpetual covenant-- pointing to the future
Millennial rest. "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to
observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant"
(Exodus 31:16). The LORD refers to the Sabbath as a sign that He created the heaven
and earth in six days. "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying,
Verily My sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout
your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye
shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth
it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul
shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh
is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath
day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep
the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual
covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six
days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed"
The Sabbath reminds both Israel and the Church that God is the Creator. It also teaches
us that He is our Sanctifier. "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD
blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:11). "Moreover also
I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that
I am the LORD that sanctify them" (Ezekiel 20:12).
Before the Seven Feasts of Israel are discussed in Leviticus 23, the foundation is
laid for understanding those feasts by attaching those feasts to the Sabbath. "Six
days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation;
ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings"
(Leviticus 23:3). Not only was the Sabbath to look back in commemoration of God's
act of creation in the past, but it was to be a sign of that which God would accomplish
in the future. Notice how we find in the New Testament that the LORD Jesus Christ
is our 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" (1Corinthians
The Sabbath as a divinely appointed day of rest has been a refreshment to both Israel
and the Church; however, it still points us to a future Millennial rest. It has been
the historical understanding of the ancient patriarchs, as well as the early Church,
that man's time was 6,000 years followed by a Sabbath-Millennium. The Book of Enoch
and the Epistle of Barnabas, both non-canonical writings, set forth this understanding.
In creation, God worked six days and rested the seventh day. Likewise, man's time
is to work 6,000 years and to rest on the seventh 1,000 year day, the Sabbath-Millennium.
Usher's Chronology places the Genesis 1 creation at 4004 BC. As we approach the year
2000 AD, we come to the conclusion of man's appointed time to work. "But, beloved,
be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day" (2Peter 3:8). In support of the "one day
is with the LORD as a thousand years" Sabbath-Millennium, Hosea 6:1-2 prophesies
of Israel's rejection of the Messiah (Christ) and a future reconciliation. "Come,
and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten,
and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will
raise us up, and we shall live in His sight" (Hosea 6:1-2). The rejection of
Jesus as the Messiah by Israel is followed by 2,000 years ("two days")
of Israel's declension-- and the Church's rise-- after which Israel is saved and
restored ("He will heal us"). A 1,000 year day (the Millennium) will follow
that healing ("in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His
We should now take a moment to consider the significance of our LORD Jesus to His
Word, in order to better understand how Jesus has and will fulfill each of the Seven
Feasts of Israel. First, the LORD Jesus Christ is the incarnate Word of God. "In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"
(John 1:1). Second, whatever spiritual truth we think that we can find in the Word,
Jesus is the theme of all Scripture. "Search the scriptures; for in them ye
think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).
Third, we only demonstrate slowness of heart or foolishness, when we search God's
Word without expecting to find Jesus. "Then He said unto them, O fools, and
slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have
suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all
the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning
Himself" (Luke 24:25-27). Finally, we need to be aware of how the LORD Jesus
is the fulfillment of Scripture. It should not be thought excessive for the LORD
Jesus Christ to be the fulfillment of His Own Word. "And He said unto them,
These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things
must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and
in the psalms, concerning Me" (Luke 24:44).
How the LORD Jesus Christ Is the Fulfillment of the Seven Feasts of Israel
- 1- Passover: The Death of Our LORD Jesus Christ
Passover is the first feast commanded by the LORD for Israel to observe. In Old Testament
Israel, it commemorated Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. "It is the
sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel
in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses" (Exodus 12:27).
Passover, which is called Pesach by modern Jews, was to be celebrated in the evening
of the 14th day of the first month, then called Abib, now called Nisan. "In
the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover" (Leviticus
Blood from a sacrificed lamb was placed on the doorposts and lintel (top of the doorway)
as a sign that the death angel would pass over that night without the believing inhabitants
suffering the judgment of God. "Take... every man a lamb... until the fourteenth
day of the same month... kill it in the evening... And they shall take of the blood,
and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein
they shall eat it... For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will
smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all
the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be
to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will
pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite
the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:3-13).
The days preceding the crucifixion of the LORD Jesus match the pattern of the feast
of the Passover. A lamb was selected on the 10th of Abib for the Passover sacrifice.
"In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb"
(Exodus 12:3). Jesus presented Himself as the Passover lamb on the very day that
the Jews were picking out lambs for their Passover. That day was the 10th of Nisan
(Abib), which we now call the Triumphal Entry of Christ. "Rejoice greatly, O
daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee:
He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt
the foal of an ass" (Zechariah 9:9).
Sir Robert Anderson's book, The
Coming Prince -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Voice/The.Coming.Prince.html -- , points to this 10th day of Nisan as the Triumphal Entry
of the LORD Jesus Christ... "In accordance with the Jewish custom, the LORD
went up to Jerusalem upon the 8th Nisan, 'six days before the Passover' [John 12:1].
But as the 14th, on which the Paschal supper was eaten, fell that year upon a Thursday,
the 8th was the preceding Friday. He must have spent the Sabbath, therefore, at Bethany;
and on the evening of the 9th, after the Sabbath had ended, the Supper took place
in Martha's house. Upon the following day, the 10th Nisan, He entered Jerusalem as
recorded in the Gospels. The Julian date of that 10th of Nisan was Sunday the 6th
April, A.D. 32" (p.127). On that very day, Jesus wept and said, "If thou
hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy
peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes" (Luke 19:42).
Our LORD Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples on Wednesday, the 14th
of Nisan, after sundown according to the pattern in Genesis, as observed by the conservative
Pharisees of Jesus' day. That night after the Passover meal (now remembered by Christians
as the Last Supper), Jesus was taken and interrogated. On Thursday morning-- still
the 14th of Nisan-- Jesus was crucified at 9AM ("the third hour", Mark
15:25). He died at 3PM ("the ninth hour", Matthew 27:46, 50)-- still the
14th of Nisan. Remember, the Pharisees' day began in the evening at sundown (6PM)
and continued 24 hours until it ended the next evening (6PM), according to the Genesis
pattern, i.e. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1:5).
Because the Sanhedrin was controlled by the Sadducees, i.e. Caiaphas was the high
priest (Matthew 26:57), the Passover was celebrated by the Sadducees in accord to
the Greek reckoning of time. This was that a day began and ended at midnight-- like
our present day-- instead of at sundown. This enabled Jesus to eat the Passover like
the Pharisees on Wednesday evening and still die at the exact time the Sadducees
were to kill their Passover lamb on Thursday at 3PM-- Exodus 12:6, literally, "between
the evening". The Sadducees would eat their Passover meal on Thursday evening
of the day Jesus was crucified. They considered that evening as part of the Passover,
since their day did not end until midnight.
The New Testament fulfillment of Passover is the death of the LORD Jesus Christ on
the cross of Calvary. He provided Himself as the sacrificial Passover lamb on the
14th day of the first month (Nisan). "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto
him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"
(John 1:29). Also, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1Corinthians
2- Feast of Unleavened Bread: The Burial of Our
LORD Jesus Christ
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzah to the modern Jew) is the second of the
seven feasts that the LORD commanded Israel to celebrate. "And on the fifteenth
day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days
ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation:
ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire
unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do
no servile work therein" (Leviticus 23:6-8). It was to be celebrated for seven
days, beginning on the evening of the 15th of Nisan through the 21st of Nisan.
In the time of the earthly ministry of the LORD Jesus, the celebration of both the
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was identified collectively as "the
Passover"-- "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called
the Passover" (Luke 22:1). Modern Judaism still observes these eight days collectively
as Passover (Pesach)-- Nisan 14 through 21.
Seven high days are designated in Leviticus 23 (verses 7, 8, 21, 25, 28, 30-32, 35-36).
These high days are Sabbaths. They were to be treated like the seventh day Sabbath,
even though they could occur on a day other than the seventh day (Saturday) of the
week-- which was the normal Jewish Sabbath. The first day of the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, Nisan 15, was the first of the seven high days. The seventh day of the Feast
of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 21, was the second of the seven high days of Leviticus
23. This could cause confusion in understanding the events of the week of the LORD
Jesus' crucifixion, since both the day before the weekly Sabbath as well as the day
before the Feast of Unleavened Bread were designated as Preparation days.
Tradition holds that the LORD Jesus was crucified on Friday (instead of Thursday)
because of a reference to "the preparation" and "the sabbath day"
in the same verse. "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that
the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath
day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they
might be taken away" (John 19:31). In this instance, "the preparation"
was for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which was an "high day"
and consequently a "sabbath day".
Unleavened bread was historically the symbol of Israel's flight from Egyptian bondage
in the time of Moses-- they were in too much of a hurry to allow the dough to be
leavened. "And the people took their dough before it was leavened... And they
baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it
was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither
had they prepared for themselves any victual" (Exodus 12:34,39).
Leaven (yeast), in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was something Israel was enjoined
to put away on the penalty of being cut off from the nation of Israel. "Whosoever
eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be
cut off from Israel" (Exodus 12:15). This was very strong language for a ceremony--
unless the LORD God was trying to teach Israel the significance of something future,
that would be put away to make them clean. Of course, that something is the LORD
Jesus. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might
be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2Corinthians 5:21). Sin is typified
by the leaven. "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither
with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity
and truth" (1Corinthians 5:8).
The New Testament fulfillment of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the burial of the
LORD Jesus Christ, when He was placed in the tomb shortly before the first moments
of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus was the unleavened bread. "I am the
Living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall
live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for
the life of the world" (John 6:51). As leaven is a type for sin, the LORD Jesus
became "sin for us... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him"
3- Feast of Firstfruits: The Resurrection of Our LORD Jesus Christ
The Feast of Firstfruits (called Bikkurim by modern Judaism) is the third of the
Seven Feasts of Israel commanded by the LORD to be celebrated by Israel. "And
the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto
them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest
thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the
priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the
morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when
ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering
unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour
mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and
the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall
eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that
ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout
your generations in all your dwellings" (Leviticus 23:9-14).
The Feast of Firstfruits was a designated time when Israel was to bring a sheaf (Hebrew,
omer) of the firstfruits of the harvest to be waved by the priests before the LORD.
Along with the sheaf of firstfruits, a lamb was sacrificed as well as unleavened
bread and wine (Leviticus 23:12-13). The feast occurred during the Feast of Unleavened
Bread. Unlike Passover, the Feast of Firstfruits did not randomly occur on different
days of the week. It always was to occur on Sunday-- "on the morrow after the
Sabbath" (Leviticus 23:11), which would occur after the Nisan 14 Passover. This
differs with current Jewish practice of designating Nisan 16 with the Feast of Firstfruits
(Bikkurim). If the Feast of Firstfruits is calculated as Nisan 16, then Pentecost
would fall on Sivan 6 each year. However, this is mistaken, since both the Feast
of Firstfruits and Pentecost were mandated-- by Biblical calculation-- to be on Sunday
Dr. Thomas S. McCall, writing for the Zola Levitt Ministries July 1995 Newsletter,
in an article entitled "The Mystery of the Date of Pentecost", describes
why Judaism changed from the original, Biblically mandated Sunday celebration of
the Feast of Firstfruits and Pentecost, to the present day celebration of Nisan 16
(Feast of Firstfruits) and Sivan 6 (Pentecost). He says: "We have no proof,
but suggest that the change came some time after the resurrection of Christ and before
the destruction of the Temple. Think of the impact Jewish believers must have had
as they described the LORD's resurrection on the Sunday of Passover week at First
Fruits and the coming of the Spirit seven Sundays later on Pentecost. The leaders
[of the impenitent Jews] must have been hard pressed to explain away the relevance
of the feasts and their fulfillment in the Messiah. The solution they came up with
was to obfuscate [to confuse] the calendar in such a way as to make the connection
less clear between the feasts and their fulfillment in Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The strategy apparently worked because most Jewish people today see no connection
whatever between the feasts and the Messiah. By the time Josephus wrote his history
about the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jewish authorities had established the
concept that First Fruits was always on Nisan 16, and Pentecost on Sivan 6."
Though the mandated Seven Feasts of Israel were prescribed by Jehovah as law for
the nation of Israel, only a heart of love to God would keep the commandment. The
LORD Jesus said, "If ye love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). "He
that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that
loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself
to him" (John 14:21).
Israel's males were commanded to appear before the LORD three times a year to celebrate
the appointed feasts. All three feasts were agricultural in nature. Passover was
the time of the barley harvest. Pentecost was the wheat harvest. Tabernacles was
the final harvest. The first appointed time for Israel to celebrate (occurring in
the month of Nisan-- March/ April) was Passover. Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits
were collectively called Passover (Pesach). The second appointed time (occurring
usually in the month of Sivan-- May/ June) was Pentecost (Shavuot). The third appointed
time (occurring in the month of Tishri-- September/ October) was the Feast of Trumpets
(Rosh HaShanah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).
"Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year. Thou shalt keep the
feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded
thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt:
and none shall appear before Me empty:) And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits
of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering,
which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the
field. Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the LORD GOD"
"The feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours" (Exodus 23:16) is
Pentecost-- celebrated in late Spring, and it is sometimes mistaken for the Feast
of Firstfruits. The other two feasts would be the "feast of unleavened bread"--
collectively called Passover, celebrated in the Spring-- (Exodus 23:15), and the
"feast of ingathering" (or, Feast of Tabernacles)-- celebrated in the Fall--
The resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ is the New Testament fulfillment of 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" (1Corinthians 15:20-23).
4- Pentecost: The Giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church and the First "Come
The fourth of the Seven Feasts of Israel is Pentecost. It is also known as the Feast
of Weeks-- "And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with
a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD
thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee" (Deuteronomy 16:10).
Modern Israel identifies Pentecost as Shavuot. It was the third (v. 21) of the seven
high days designated in Leviticus 23.
Pentecost, which means 'fiftieth' in the Greek, is described in Leviticus 23. "And
ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought
the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow
after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat
offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of
two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they
are the firstfruits unto the LORD. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs
without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall
be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink
offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD. Then ye
shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first
year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. And the priest shall wave them with the
bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs:
they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame
day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein:
it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations"
The "morrow after the sabbath" (v. 15) will always be a Sunday. Here, the
"sabbath" is the seventh day of the week (Saturday). It is understood that
Nisan 15 and 21, the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, are
high days, which are treated as Sabbaths (vs. 7-8)-- even though they may not occur
on the seventh day of the week (Saturday). This High Day Sabbath is not the "sabbath"
referred to here as the "morrow after the sabbath" (v. 15). Due to this
misunderstanding, some Christian commentators, as well as modern Jews, incorrectly
compute Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) from Nisan 16 to Sivan 6, which
may or may not end on a Sunday. Correctly understood, the LORD is instructing Israel
to begin the counting for Pentecost with the first day after the Sabbath-- the "morrow
after the sabbath" (v. 15). Which Sabbath? The seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath
that would follow the Nisan 14 Passover. Pentecost will always fall on a Sunday.
If you have trouble conceptualizing the "seven sabbaths" calculation (v.
15), take a calendar and write numbers on the days-- beginning with a Sunday randomly
chosen-- from 1 through 50. You will begin and end on a Sunday. This is exactly how
the LORD intended for Israel to determine the appointed time of the Feast of Weeks
In the New Testament, Pentecost is significant as the time that the Holy Spirit was
given to the Church. "And when the day of Pentecost 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).
The LORD God promised to make a New Covenant in the Old Testament. This promise laid
the foundation for the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2.
First, something more than the demand of the law was to secure God's people in His
fear. "And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for
ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an
everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good;
but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me"
Second, obedience to God requires a cleansed heart, which would necessitate the possession
of "a new spirit". "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and
ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse
you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and
I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart
of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
Third, the prophet Joel predicted the Acts 2 outpouring of the Holy Spirit. "And
it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your
young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in
those days will I pour out My Spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and
in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into
darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD
come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD
shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the
LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call" (Joel 2:28-32).
Finally, beginning at the Pentecost of Acts 2, Joel's prophecy began its partial
fulfillment as the Apostle Peter correctly noted. "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).
The LORD Jesus Christ affirmed the significance of this fourth feast of Israel--
Pentecost-- as the giving of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father. "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... 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 1:4-5,
The Apostle Paul confirmed that the promise of the Pentecostal gift of the Spirit
extended as far back as Abraham and continued on through Israel until the Gentiles
were added-- and all through faith! If we walk in faith, we experience "the
blessing of Abraham... the promise of the Spirit". "That the blessing of
Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the
promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:14).
The LORD Jesus is the fulfillment of Pentecost through His Holy Spirit's outpouring
in Acts 2. The Father, through His Son, sent the Holy Spirit. "And, behold,
I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). This empowering Spirit
would work in the believer "both to will and to do of His good pleasure"
(Philippians 2:13). Ability to learn God's truth would come by the outpoured Spirit.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My
name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever
I have said unto you" (John 14:26). Giving understanding of the prophecies would
fall under the jurisdiction of the Spirit's ministry to the saints. "Howbeit
when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall
not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will
shew you things to come" (John 16:13).
Concerning the future prophetic fulfillment of Pentecost, this author believes that
what many call the Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church will occur on a future
Pentecost date in the near, if not immediate future (May 31, 1998). I prefer to call
the Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church the First "Come Up Hither"
(Revelation 4:1), because I believe that a second event will occur toward the end
of Daniel's Seventieth Week-- a Pre-Wrath Rapture-- which I call the Second "Come
Up Hither" (Revelation 11:12).
Why would Pentecost have more fulfillment than the giving of the Spirit in Acts 2?
The Spirit given in Acts 2 was the seed. The Church is the wheat (Matthew 13:30).
Since Pentecost is the second of Israel's three harvest festivals, harvest must be
key to its future fulfillment. Christ was the firstfruits harvest (1Corinthians 15:20)
by His resurrection at the time of Israel's barley harvest (Feast of Firstfruits).
The wise virgins of Matthew 25 are the firstfruits harvest at the First "Come
Up Hither" (Revelation 4:1) at the wheat harvest (Pentecost). The final gathering
of the Church at the 7th and Last Trumpet Judgment is at the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh
HaShanah), and it occurs approximately two weeks before the final harvest (Feast
of Trumpets:Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church
The fifth of the Seven Feasts of Israel is the Feast of Trumpets (or, Rosh HaShanah
to the modern Jew). "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh
month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing
of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall
offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD" (Leviticus 23:24-25). It was the
fourth of the seven high days in Leviticus 23.
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) is the beginning of the Jewish year because
it is, by Jewish tradition, supposed to represent the birthday of the world. It is
the seventh month, Tishri, of the Jewish year. In the Book of Genesis, the Hebrew
words for "in the beginning" mean "on the first of Tishri", when
Rosh HaShanah means "head of the year" in Hebrew. Tishri is the beginning
of the civil year-- for dating the beginning of a king's reign, while Nisan (Abib)
is the first month of the religious calendar for Israel (in commemoration of the
Exodus from Egypt). It was originally specified as a one day feast in Leviticus 23;
however, it was changed by tradition to a two day observance because of the difficulty
of determining a new moon. The first of a Jewish month was to be a new moon. An extra
day was added by tradition to ensure that the correct day was observed.
Three trumpets (Hebrew, shofarim) are associated with the Seven Feasts of Israel.
The first trumpet is blown at Pentecost (Shavuot). "And when the voice of the
trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered
him by a voice" (Exodus 19:19). The last trumpet is blown at the Feast of Trumpets
(Rosh HaShanah). "With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before
the LORD, the King" (Psalms 98:6). The great trump is blown on the Day of Atonement
(Yom Kippur). "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet
shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria,
and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount
at Jerusalem" (Isaiah 27:13).
The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church and the Resurrection are linked. Where you find
one, you will find the other. "For the LORD Himself shall descend from Heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: 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" (1Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Why a Second "Come Up Hither" (Revelation 11:12)? Because God needs to
remove the final portion of His Church with the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Tribulation
Saints, before pouring out the Vial Judgments. The First "Come Up Hither"
(Revelation 4:1) is a Pre-Tribulational event that removes the expectantly, waiting
Church before the opening of the Tribulation Week by as much as 5 1/2 months, i.e.
Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 1998. The Second "Come Up Hither" (Revelation
11:12) more precisely describes the conclusion of the Church-- including the Tribulation
Saints-- with the Rapture and Resurrection of the Two Witnesses (probably Moses and
Elijah). "And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy
a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth... And when they
shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless
pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their
dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called
Sodom and Egypt, where also our LORD was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds
and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall
not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth
shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because
these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and
an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their
feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a Great Voice
from Heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to Heaven in a
cloud; and their enemies beheld them... And the seventh angel sounded; and there
were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms
of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation
The Last Trump and the 7th Trumpet Judgment are the same. "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" (1Corinthians 15:51-52).
This trumpet blast takes place 8 days prior to the last day of the Tribulation Week.
How so? Since: (1) the Last Trump is sounded on Rosh HaShanah on Tishri 1, (2) the
Second Coming of Jesus Christ takes place on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which
is Tishri 10, and (3) the last day of the Tribulation Week is Tishri 9-- because
Jesus will return "immediately after the tribulation of those days [Tishri 10]"
(Matthew 24:29), then the Last Trump must sound 8 days prior to the end of the Tribulation
Although the concept of a Pre-Wrath Rapture (or, Second "Come Up Hither"),
occurring only 9 nine days before the end of the Tribulation Week, may sound more
dismal than a hope, you must remember that the LORD has exercised the greatest care
and love to preserve His people from ever entering this Seventieth Week of Daniel.
The First "Come Up Hither" Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church of Revelation
4:1 is proof that God has done all that can be done to keep His people from entering
the Tribulation Week. The evidence of the LORD's love for His people can also be
seen in the promises that He has provided to enable His people to escape the events
of this apocalyptic week. What else can we make of the promises of God than that
they are intended to aid us in our escape from this world? "According as His
divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and Godliness,
through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are
given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers
of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through
lust" (2Peter 1:3-4).
The LORD remembered Noah, so why would a loving God forget any child who implicitly
confides under the shadow of His wings? "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou
and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this
generation" (Genesis 7:1). King David was not abashed about his desire to find
a hiding place in his Rock. "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in
His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up
upon a Rock" (Psalm 27:5). Isaiah, a prophet of royal blood (by rabbinic tradition),
foretold of Jehovah's protection of His people at the time of the end when He would
punish the inhabitants of the earth. "Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers,
and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until
the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of His place to punish
the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her
blood, and shall no more cover her slain" (Isaiah 26:20-21).
Even the first great king of a world empire, Nebuchadnezzar, before he was converted
to Jehovah, said about the LORD's ability to deliver the people of God, "Therefore
I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss
against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their
houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after
this sort" (Daniel 3:29). The voice of the prophets pleaded for God's people
to seek the LORD, who may hide us in the day of His anger. "Seek ye the LORD,
all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek
meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger" (Zephaniah
Is it misdirected to obey the injunction of the LORD Jesus Christ to watch and pray
always that we would escape ALL these things that shall come to pass? "Watch
ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these
things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
We remember Elijah's rapture in the Old Testament, but remember that as early in
human history as Enoch, our God has been showing us His willingness to translate
His saints without dying-- if we would only believe. "By faith Enoch was translated
that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:
for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews
11:5). A First "Come Up Hither" Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church
should not be thought ridiculous when we consider that our God is the One Who Knows
How to Deliver the Godly. "The LORD knoweth how to deliver the godly out of
temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished"
Should we think that an entirely sanctified walk is too much to ask of even us, who
desire to keep from falling into sin-- especially doubting that He will deliver us
from all the events of the Tribulation Week-- remember that our God is the One That
is Able to Keep Us From Falling... away from Himself and His promises! "Now
unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before
the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24). Another faithful friend
is the promise that Jesus gave to John to give to the Philadelphians so that we could
read it over their shoulders for our benefit as well. "Because thou hast kept
The Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which
shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation
3:10). Escaping the events of the Seventieth Week of Daniel is a certainty for those
who look for Him to "appear the second time without sin unto salvation"
(Hebrews 9:28). The only way we will not escape is if we neglect Him, Who is Our
Salvation. "How shall we escape, if we neglect so Great Salvation; which at
the first began to be spoken by the LORD, and was confirmed unto us by them that
heard Him" (Hebrews 2:3).
The LORD Jesus fulfills the Feast of Trumpets by the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church.
Jesus is the resurrection. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and
the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John
11:25). He has promised the "resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:14). He
also promises to deliver His people from the wrath to come, specifically the final
Seven Vial Judgments of the Wrath of God. These vials will be poured out during the
last 8 days of the Tribulation Week. "And to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom
He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come"
of Atonement: The Second
Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ
The sixth of the Seven Feasts of Israel is the Day of Atonement (known also as Yom
Kippur). The day is designated as the 10th of Tishri. It is the fifth of the seven
high days of Leviticus 23. It is designated as a fast-- no feasting as in the other
six feasts. It is found in Leviticus 23: "Also on the tenth day of this seventh
month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you;
and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an
atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall
not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And
whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I
destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute
for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you
a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month
at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath" (Leviticus 23:27-32).
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is considered the most holy of all of Israel's
feast days. It signified the LORD's acceptance of His people by virtue of His cleansing
of them from their sin. "For on that day shall the priest make an atonement
for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute
for ever" (Leviticus 16:30-31). As the high priest, Aaron was instructed by
God to enter into the Holy of Holies once each year. "And Aaron shall make an
atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering
of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations:
it is most holy unto the LORD" (Exodus 30:10). The high priest entered into
the second and innermost sanctum once each year to make atonement for himself and
for the people of Israel. "But into the second went the high priest alone once
every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of
the people" (Hebrews 9:7).
The great trump was blown on this feast day. By tradition, the two horns of the ram
caught in the thicket by its horns (when Abraham was tested by the LORD on Mount
Moriah-- present day Temple Mount in Jerusalem) represent the first trump of Pentecost
(the ram's left horn) and the last trump of Rosh HaShanah (the ram's right horn).
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught
in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up
for a burnt offering in the stead of his son" (Genesis 22:13). Jesus foretold
the blowing of the great trump at His Second Coming. "And then shall appear
the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth
mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power
and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and
they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven
to the other" (Matthew 24:30-31).
Scripture teaches us of a nation born in a day. "And so all Israel shall be
saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn
away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26). This refers specifically to Israel,
but will also include the Gentiles as well. "Who hath heard such a thing? who
hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall
a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children...
For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the
glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne
upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees" (Isaiah 66:8,12). This will occur
at the Second Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ. "And I will pour upon the house
of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications:
and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him,
as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that
is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zechariah 12:10). 1/3 of all the Jews will
come through "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7). These will
all be reconciled to God, as prophesied by Zechariah. "And it shall come to
pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and
die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through
the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is
tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people:
and they shall say, The LORD is my God" (Zechariah 13:8-9).
The "hour of temptation" (Revelation 3:10) is equivalent to 15 days, if
Daniel's Seventieth Week (1 week) equals 2,520 days. One hour would be 1/168 of a
week or .0059523 of a week, which is 15 days. This would be the time equivalent to
Tishri 1 to Tishri 15. If the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church occurs at perhaps the
midnight hour on Tishri 1, then approximately 8 to 9 days (depending on how you count
it) would be left in the Tribulation Week, which would then extend through Tishri
9. This would allow for the pouring out of about one vial a day during the Seven
Vial Judgments. Armageddon lasts 5 days from Tishri 10 (the Second Coming of the
LORD Jesus Christ) to Tishri 14-- the day before Tishri 15 (the Inauguration of the
Millennial Reign of the LORD Jesus Christ on Earth). 9 days (for the Vial Judgments)
plus 5 days (for Armageddon) equals 14 days, which lacks only one day to complete
the "hour of temptation" (Revelation 3:10). That one day lacking is Tishri
The first day of the Millennial Reign of the LORD Jesus Christ on Earth begins on
Tishri 15 (the Feast of Tabernacles-- or, Sukkot). The first act of the KING of Kings
would be to judge the nations of the world-- the ones who are still alive. This is
what many have called separating the sheep from the goats-- a trial, which would
be the theme for this last moment of the "hour of temptation, which shall come
upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation 3:10).
This judgment is described by the LORD Jesus: "When the Son of man shall come
in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne
of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate
them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall
set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say
unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared
for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat:
I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked,
and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto
Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, LORD, when saw we Thee an hungred,
and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took
Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and
came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done
it unto Me. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an
hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a
stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison,
and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, LORD, when saw we
Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and
did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto
you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life
eternal" (Matthew 25:31-46).
The LORD Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, in that He, as
High Priest, makes application of the "once for all" (Hebrews 10:10) sacrifice
of Himself to His wayward people, Israel-- as well as to the Gentiles-- to whom He
gives great and glorious "repentance to the acknowledging of the truth"
(2Timothy 2:25) at His Second Coming. "But Christ being come an high priest
of good things to come..." (Hebrews 9:11).
of Tabernacles: Inauguration of the Millennial Reign of the LORD Jesus Christ on
The Feast of Tabernacles is the seventh of the Seven Feasts of Israel. This feast
(also known as Sukkot to modern Jews) is observed from Tishri 15 to 21, with the
first of the Feast as a high day. "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying,
The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven
days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no
servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the
LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer
an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do
no servile work therein" (Leviticus 23:34-36).
The seventh and last of the high days of Leviticus 23 occurs on Tishri 22-- "on
the eighth day shall be an holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:36). This is technically
the day after the Feast of Tabernacles. It may be understood as the conclusion of
Tabernacles; however, it can be thought of as a separate feast by itself. Judaism
has developed this understanding into the observance of Shemini Atzeret (the eighth
day of assembly). The final significance of this eighth day will not be known until
Tabernacles was intended to remind Israel of how the LORD brought them through their
wilderness wanderings. "That your generations may know that I made the children
of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am
the LORD your God" (Leviticus 23:43). These feast days were also a time of thanksgiving
after the final ingathering. "And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy
labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is
in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field"
When Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of the city of Jerusalem, he reinstituted the Feast
of Tabernacles. The joy of the LORD is key to the celebration of this Feast. "Then
he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions
unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither
be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). The
joy of this feast teaches us what we may expect in the Millennium.
The spiritual significance of this building of tabernacles or booths (Hebrew, Sukkot),
is that Jehovah God desires to dwell with man. Booths are for dwelling; however,
the point is not so much that man dwells in booths, but that God dwells with man.
"And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will
sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to Me in the priest's office.
And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall
know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt,
that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God" (Exodus 29:44-46).
This concept of God dwelling with man is carried to a conclusion in the Book of Revelation.
"And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God
is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself
shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:3). It may be difficult
for us to conceive that God would desire to tabernacle with man. If the difficulty
does not impress us, then we are not sufficiently impressed with the greatness of
God or the baseness of man.
The Millennium will again see the implementation of the Feast of Tabernacles. "And
it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came
against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD
of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will
not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King,
the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain" (Zechariah 14:16-17). Sacrifice
during the Millennium will no longer be in anticipation of the sacrifice of the LORD
Jesus Christ, but in commemoration of His sacrifice.
Again, the LORD Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. When
He returns as "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16), His
physical presence on "the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32)-- during
which we "shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6)-- will
fulfill Zechariah 14:9: "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that
day shall there be one LORD, and His name one."
How will the Holy Spirit show us "things to come" (John 16:13)? Have we
not already been given "a more sure Word of prophecy" (2Peter 1:19)? Did
not Daniel receive instructions that the prophecy would be unsealed in the end time?
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time
of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel
If we have been given the privilege of asking "The High and Lofty One That Inhabiteth
Eternity" (Isaiah 57:15) the time of what will happen in the future, why should
we be surprised if His answer is that the pattern for the future has already been
laid in the past? "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker,
Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands
command ye Me" (Isaiah 45:11).
My prayer is that you, who read this, will be fully persuaded that the Appointed
Times to come have been presented by our God, through the Seven Feasts of Israel,
in such a way that you will know what you ought to do. "And of the children
of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel
ought to do" (1Chronicles 12:32).
Summary of the Seven Feasts of Israel
||1- Passover (Pesach)
||2- Feast of Unleavened Bread
|3- Feast of Firstfruits
|5- Feast of Trumpets
|6- Day of Atonement
|7- Feast of Tabernacles
||Death angel passed over Israelites (Ex. 12:27).
Nisan 14 (Spring)
|Israel's flight from Egypt (Ex. 12:34,39).
Nisan 15-21 (Spring)
|Israel crosses Red Sea (Ex. 14).
1st Sunday after Passover (Spring).
|Giving of the Law (Ex. 19:10-17).
50 days (inclusive) from Firstfruits (Spring).
|LORD Most High is King (Psa. 47:2,5).
Tishri 1 (Fall)
|Face to face requires personal cleansing (Lev. 16:33).
Tishri 10 (Fall)
|Israel remembers its wilderness wanderings (Lev. 23:43).
Tishri 15-21 (Fall)
||1st special Sabbath- Nisan 15 (Lev. 23:7).
2nd special Sabbath-
Nisan 21 (Lev. 23:8).
||3rd special Sabbath (Lev. 23:21).
||4th special Sabbath (Lev. 23:25).
||5th special Sabbath (Lev. 23:28, 30-32).
||6th special Sabbath- Tishri 15 (Lev. 23:35).
7th special Sabbath- Tishri 22 (Lev. 23:36).
||Historic: Death of Christ (Jo. 15:13).
||Historic: Burial of Christ (Jo. 12:24).
||Historic: Resurrection of Christ (Jo. 11:25).
||Historic: Birth of the Church (Acts 2).
Future: Pre-Trib. Rapture (Lk. 21:36).
|Future: Pre-Wrath Rapture (Rev. 11:12,15).
||Future: Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 19:11,16).
||Future: Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth (Zec. 14:9).
|How Christ is the Fulfillment
||Jesus offered Himself as the Passover Lamb (Jo. 1:29).
||Jesus offered Himself as the Bread of Life (Jo. 6:51).
||Jesus arose from the dead-- being the original Firstfruits (1 Co.
||Jesus poured out His Spirit (Acts 2). Jesus will harvest the firstfruits
of the Church (Rev. 4:1).
||Jesus will resurrect the saints and complete the Church (1 Th. 4:16-17).
||Jesus will redeem Israel (Romans 11:26) and judge the Nations (Mt.
||Jesus will set up His Millennial Kingdom on Earth (Lk. 1:32; Rev.
||Time of the barley harvest (Ex. 9:31).
||Time of the wheat harvest (Ex. 23:16).
1st Trump blown (Ex. 19:19).
|Jewish new year's day begins the civil year. Last Trump blown (1 Co.
||Great Trump blown (Is. 27:13).
||Time of the final harvest points to a Millennial season of joy (Zec.