Soooooooo, what to do with all this info…..Read More
I am so glad you are hanging in there - this is a ton of information! But isn’t it also a ton of excitement!! Digging into the Old Testament and finding the treasure of Christ all through it is incredible. It is just absolutely fantastic. It’s great to have you along with me!!
This post on the Fall feasts is not as easy or straightforward as the earlier ones. It’s fairly simple to present the historical facts on the feasts and it’s not too complicated to delve into the prophetic fulfillment of the Spring feasts. Because it’s already happened! The Spring feasts were fulfilled when Jesus came the first time, with His death, burial, resurrection, and gift of the Holy Spirit. So that material is historical, with lots of glorious layers of truth to dig through.
The Fall feasts…not so easy. Notice the title of the post - “prophetic suggestions”. I can only present ideas about what these HOLY days may be pointing to - I cannot emphatically declare. So bear with me. Ask the Lord to show you truth and to reveal to you what He wants to show you through the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths. Most of all, just know that they are all about Jesus!
A bit of foundation -
The ideas I submit here are not obscure, off the wall opinions. They are widely held by scholars that I greatly respect. There is not complete agreement, though, and so I do not want to propose these ideas as concrete fact. The suggested fulfillment of these Fall feasts flows out of a pretribulation viewpoint of the final days on earth as we know it. And there are plenty of people way smarter than I am that hold a different view.
Just a little background on what pretribulation even means before we jump into how this belief affects the fulfillment of prophecy….
In eschatology (the study of the end times), there are differences of opinions but most Christians agree on these three things: 1) there is coming a time of great suffering (tribulation) such as the world has never seen, 2) Christ will return to establish His kingdom on earth, and, 3) believers will be “raptured” - caught up and made immortal. The debate is about the timing of this Rapture, relative to the Tribulation and the coming of Christ to establish His Kingdom.
Three main theories exist concerning the timing of the Rapture: pretribulationism (the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation begins), midtribulationism (the Rapture will occur at the midpoint of the Tribulation), and posttribulationism (the Rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation) . There is much debate over these and scholars who hold the differing views can all do a credible job of presenting their belief as the correct one. You will just have to study them all and see which one you believe is what Scripture teachers. I think the main point is to agree that God has the timing in His plan and we just all need to be ready. Amen.
Here is my stab at the possible prophetic fulfillment of these feasts:
Feast of Trumpets
Remember the long gap between the spring and fall feasts, following Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit was given)? Possibly this could represent the Church Age, the time we are living in right now. The Church began on the day of Pentecost and continues to grow until we are caught up to be with Christ.
Since this holiday most likely commemorates the second giving of the Law and the establishment of the covenant with the people, the fulfillment of it prophetically could be the establishment of the NEW covenant, and the drinking of the 4th cup of wine.
Because Scripture declares that Christ will return with the sound of a trumpet( I Thessalonians 4:16,17 - For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. ) perhaps the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets will be the Rapture of believers.
This feast is followed by “ten days of awe”, where people are given the chance to repent and “change God’s mind” about their eternal fate. Could it be that these represent the Great Tribulation, where unbelievers have one final opportunity to acknowledge the One True God?
Day of Atonement
As the holiest day of the year for Jews, this day reminds believers that Christ has obtained for us eternal atonement, permanent redemption through His blood. What the perpetual annual sacrifices could not do, Jesus has done. Hebrews 9:12-14- He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Remember the two goats required for this Old Testament ritual? One was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled on the altar; the other had the sins of the people laid on it and was sent out into the wilderness….Jesus is both the propitiation(the debt for our sin is paid) and the expiation(our sin is removed) for us.
The events recorded for us in Revelation (golden censor, incense, robe dipped in blood, white linen garments) closely mirror the acts of the High Priest during the Day of Atonement, suggesting that Christ is the High Priest, performing these duties with finality in Heaven, while the Great Tribulation occurs on earth.
In the Old Testament, this day marks the end of the harvest. The crops are gathered in, harvest is complete. The suggested prophetic fulfillment is that, when the Tribulation is over, there is no longer any opportunity for anyone to turn to Christ. The harvest of souls is over. The Day of Judgment is here. And it is final.
Feast of Booths
The week was to be a time of joy as a final celebration and thanksgiving for the harvest . Living in the temporary booths was a reminder of God’s provision and His gifts. At the end of this week, the people returned to their homes, hopefully changed and made new by the experience of His goodness.
The prophetic implications of this feast are many. Perhaps it points to the setting up of the earthly millennial Kingdom of Christ, a time of much joy and celebration, a time to enjoy the goodness of God. And, at the end, God’s people will then be in their eternal homes where we will worship Him forever! (Revelation 21) The New Testament also reflects the theology and symbolism of the Feast of Booths in its use of the term "tent" as a metaphor for the mortal body awaiting the glory and immortality of the resurrection . 2 Corinthians 4:1-4 -For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Even though much of this feast looks to future fulfillment, there is great richness to discover in seeing how much of it is already realized in the person of Christ. For instance, Bible scholars pretty much universally agree that Jesus was not born on December 25. (Don’t fret - you can still celebrate His birthday then! Just know that it’s likely not the date of His birth!) And based on much Scriptural investigation and extrapolation, it is widely accepted that He came to earth the first time in the fall…during the Feast of Booths. How fitting that the Gospel of John declares And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14. And that word we translate as “dwelt”….in the Greek, it is the word “tabernacled”! WOW!!!!!!! This is telling us that Christ came to live temporarily - to tabernacle - here on earth. During the time when God’s people were remembering their temporary living conditions in the wilderness. WOW!
This feast is mentioned several times in the Gospels. Jesus drew upon the celebrations of this time to reveal divine truth. Remember we learned earlier that this particular feast employed elaborate water and light displays? John 7 describes a visit of Jesus to Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths (vv. 2-10). On the last day of the feast Jesus promised that any who came to him would experience streams of living water flowing from within (i.e., the Holy Spirit; vv. 37-39). And it was during this feast that Jesus proclaims Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
He is clearly pointing to Himself as the fulfillment of these pictures from the Old Testament. And most likely, He is saying even more, as the Fall feasts indicate future events on God’s timeline.
Wow. We’ve learned a lot. Next week we will look at how some ways we can apply what we have learned in the celebration of our current holidays. For now, I am going to take a break, have a cold TAB and ponder the glories of our great God!
We have covered a LOT of ground, haven’t we? Timeline of the feasts. Jewish calendar. Sacred seasons. Commemorative reasons for the spring feasts. Prophetic significance.
If you haven’t read the prior posts, please scroll down to the beginning one - October 22. It’ll make the rest of this make a lot more sense!
The feasts. Appointed times. The LORD’S appointed times. Celebrations with a purpose. Weekly Sabbath. Jesus is our rest. Passover. Jesus is our Passover Lamb. Unleavened Bread. Jesus takes our sin away and He had to die so that we could live….He is the First Fruit….we are the fruit that follows. Pentecost - giving of the Law brought death but the giving of the Spirit birthed the church.
Spring feasts. Remember what God has done…reflect on the prophecy fulfilled.
On the calendar, three months follow the Spring feasts. Then comes Tishri (lines up with September/October on our Gregorian calendar). And the fall feasts commence!
Let’s look at how they are explained in Leviticus 23:23-44…
The Feast of Trumpets
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”
The Day of Atonement
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves[a] and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lordyour God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted[b] on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”
The Feast of Booths
33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths[c] to the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.
37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord's Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.
39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lordseven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord.
So there we have it. In the 7th month (Tishri), the Jews were commanded to celebrate three times - Tishri 1 - Feast of Trumpets; Tishri 10 - Day of Atonement; Tishri 15 - Feast of Booths (Tabernacles). Explaining what the holidays are based on is the simple part. Grasping what they may mean prophetically, uh, not so much. SO let’s begin with what the feasts commemorate…..
Feast of Trumpets
On the first day of the 7th month, God commanded His people to gather for a sacred assembly. This day was observed to point to an ingathering of the nation of Israel. A sacred assembly and a day of rest commemorated with trumpet blasts and sacrifices, this holiday also pointed to when God provided the ram as a substitute for Issac and was seen as the announcement of impending judgment. This specific trumpet used was a ram’s horn (“shofar”) and was blown throughout the day in a series of four different sets of blasts. Even the order of the trumpet blasts was significant - the blasts were calling for the people to listen to the voice of God and sounded the theme of suffering, repentance, triumph, and joy.
So all through the day, at regular intervals, these trumpets were sounded, proclaiming God’s presence among His people, calling for them to harken to His voice, and anticipating the upcoming feast - the Day of Atonement.
This HOLY day is currently referred to as Rosh Hashana and is seen as the beginning of the New Year for the Jewish people. (Remember what we learned about civil vs. religious calendar). The term “Rosh Hashana” literally means “head of new year”.
This day was seen as a new beginning, a time to prepare for what lies ahead and especially to get oneself ready to be made right before God. In fact, the days between the two feasts of Rosh Hashana and The Day of Atonement are referred to even now as “The Days of Awe”. It is during this time that people are to reflect on their lives and standing before The Great Jehovah. For nine days, people are given the opportunity to repent and become acceptable to God, hoping to have their names written in the Book of Life.
Then Tishri 10.
The Day of Atonement
Often referred to as Yom KIppur, this is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. After the ten days of awe, when God’s people were to examine themselves and repent of their sin, this was the one day each year that the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the entire nation. The Holy of Holies was the inner sanctuary of the Temple, inaccessible to mankind except for this one day per year for the High Priest, because it was here that the Holy Spirit of God dwelt.
The high priest would first bathe and then put on white undergarments and a white tunic. Then he prepared the sacrifices. He offered a bull for the sin of himself and his house, and then took a censer with burning coals and incense into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled some blood from the bull on the ark of the covenant. We will see the significance of these things in the next post but pay close attention to this next action - two goats were chosen for the Day of Atonement. The High Priest sacrificed one and sprinkled some of its blood on the ark of the covenant; the other became the "scapegoat" . He then came out of the tent, put his hands on the head of the scapegoat and confessed the sins of the people over it. The goat was then taken out into the wilderness and released. The high priest would leave his white clothing in the tent of meeting, bathe again, and then put on his regular priestly apparel.
The need for two goats illustrates the need for propitiation (the slaughter of the one as a sin offering to appease the wrath of God) and the need for expiation (the removal of sin so that it was forgotten and no longer clung to the people, carried out by the scapegoat). The two goats symbolized both propitiation and expiation and together illustrate what atonement means.
This day, which also marked the end of the annual harvest, was viewed by God’s people as the day their fates were sealed….the books were closed. Many Jews believe that their Messiah will come on this most holy day of their calendar.
The Feast of Booths (tabernacles)
Celebrated on Tishri 15 and continuing for a week, this feast commemorated the time that the people of God spent in the wilderness, living in temporary dwelling places. Thus, in remembrance, the people were to construct “booths” or “tabernacles” to live in during these seven days. (Although we are accustomed to hearing the word “tabernacle” describe the holy sanctuary, it literally means “movable/temporary dwelling place”). This was a joyful celebration, giving thanks for God’s provision not only in the wilderness during the time of Moses but also for the harvest just gathered in. In fact, many American history scholars believe this was the basis for the celebration of the Pilgrims in 1621, or what we call “The First Thanksgiving”.
The Jews observed this HOLY day with great joy and enthusiasm. At the time of Christ, this feast included elaborate water and light displays to symbolize the presence of God among His people.
Wow. This is a lot of information. And we haven’t even gotten to the ways these feasts may be fulfilled prophetically! We will do that next time.
Thanks for reading.
Now, the Feast of Weeks…Pentecost
If you’re familiar with the New Testament, that word “Pentecost” probably rings a bell. We associate it with a very significant event described in the book of Acts. But the word “pentecost” just means “50” and it originally referred to this Old Testament feast because God commanded that it be observed seven weeks after the feast of first fruits on the 50th day. Therefore the feast is termed The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost and we find it explained in Leviticus 23:15-22
15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings.20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.
22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”
Dedicating the wheat harvest to the Lord. Expressing gratitude for the first sheaves…and trusting Him to bring in the rest.
This feast was commemorating the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, when God established His covenant with His people. They promised to obey Him…and it was also a remembrance of the disobedience of those same people when Moses came down from the mountain to discover them worshiping a golden calf…and 3000 died as a result (Exodus 32:28)
How does Jesus fulfill this feast?
I am so glad you asked!
Matthew 3:11,12 records John as saying that the Spirit is coming and He will gather His wheat into the barn. (The Spirit…the wheat…note that significance)
Acts 1:4-8 - Jesus says POWER is coming…and the very next chapter tells us that indeed it does come! Acts 2:1-4 describes for us how the Holy Spirit was given in a powerful demonstration….and it happened on this very feast day celebration!
And on this very day, commanded as observance of the giving of the Law, when about 3000 men perished because they failed to keep the Law, read what Acts 2:38-41 tells us -
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Did you get all that? WOW! Because we can’t keep the Law, God gives us the Holy Spirit to live like Jesus in us….on the day set aside to observe the giving of The Law.
And on that same day, when about 3000 died because they failed, God through the gift of His Spirit added about 3000 souls…and the Church was birthed.
WOW. Just WOW!
Sisters, there are no coincidences under God’s rule. Every word of Scripture, every move of Jesus, every jot and tittle of the Law are intentional and divine. God set forth the standards of His glory and drew us to Himself. We could not attain to His perfection which was no surprise to Him. He not only knew it all along, He planned it from before time began and provided The Only Way to be in an eternal relationship with Him…through His perfect Son, the spotless Lamb of God. Who loved us and fulfilled every requirement of the Law on our behalf. Who is the scarlet thread that runs throughout the Old Testament and is the glorious focus of all the HOLY days God ordained. These feasts are the picture God gave the Israelites so they would know their Savior would come.
But they were blind and could not recognize Him when He arrived.
We have the spectacular advantage of being on this side of history and being able to look back and see that, indeed, the Savior has come. He lived, in perfect fulfillment of every law God requires. He died, as the glorious provision of the perfect sacrifice. And He lives, even now, preparing the Eternal Home for His Bride, ever interceding for us, making us to be beautiful and without blemish, ready to be presented to our Groom on that glorious Day.
Hallelujah and amen!!!!!!!!!!!
One last thing (I say that alot, don’t I?) That last verse in this portion about the Feast of Pentecost. If you missed the earlier post on that, I think you’d enjoy reading it. It’s called Margin. Posted on August 29. Check it out. And thanks for reading. See ya next time!
Let’s catch ourselves up to speed.
Passover - Nissan 14
Feast of Unleavened Bread - Nissan 15
Feast of First Fruits
Let’s go to Leviticus 23:10-14 and see what Scripture tells us there before we see how Jesus fulfills this feast, too.
“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. “
First, let me say that there is more in here than I can grasp. The exact measurements and instructions are definitely included by divine design but I am focused on the other aspects of this part of the Passover/Unleavened Bread week of celebration. Specifically, the day after the Sabbath following Passover. That would be on our Sunday.
We see that God tells them - when you come into the land…and reap a harvest. That tells us that this feast was not celebrated while God’s people were wandering in the wilderness. This was only after they entered the Promised Land. It was so they could celebrate the first of the barley harvest …and dedicate the rest of it by faith to the Lord.
Interesting to note - barley, the first grain of the season to be harvested, was considered the food of the poor. Remember that. And Jews were not to touch the barley until the first sheaf (representing the whole harvest) had been present to and approved by the priest. Remember that, too.
Are you already thinking about what happened the first day (Sunday) after the Sabbath after Passover?
Jesus rose from the dead! Yes hallelujah and hooray!
Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had already been taken away from the tomb (John 20:1) He is not here for He has risen, just as He said (Matthew 28:6)
The lamb that was slain, the kernel of wheat that died and was buried in the ground…AROSE FROM THE DEAD! He is alive! And He arose on the day that the Feast of the First Fruits was celebrated because But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep I Corinthians 15:20
He is the first fruit of the divine harvest of God, the first to be alive after being dead…and the promise of a greater harvest to come.
Does that not make you want to scream hallelujah? WOW! If that doesn’t light your fire, then, my sweet sister, you got wet wood!
This resurrection took place on the first day of the week - and that is why we as New Testament believers gather to worship on Sunday —to celebrate our risen Savior, the FIRST FRUITS of God’s harvest!
Couple of intriguing things to note….remember what I said about barley being the food for the poor? Check out Matthew 5:3… Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. And the verse from the last post John 6: 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
How about that? Feast of first fruits…barley…the food of the poor…we must be poor spiritually and eat the living bread in order to have the Kingdom of Heaven. WOW!
And that thing about not touching the grain until it had been presented to and approved by the Father….check out John 20:17 - Jesus said to her (Mary) “Stop clinging to Me for I have not yet ascended to the Father but go to My brothers and say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God”
As Mary discovers Jesus outside the empty tomb, she reaches to embrace Him but Jesus stops her. That always struck me as cold or something. I mean, it seemed perfectly normal to me for her to want to hug Him in delight! So why did Jesus say she couldn’t?
Well, now that we know about the Feast of the First Fruits, we understand! The people could not touch the barley until it had been presented to and approved by the priests - since Jesus perfectly fulfills all requirements of the Law, He could not be touched by the people until He had ascended to the Father and received His approval! This happened while Mary ran to tell the disciples what she had seen and a few hours later, the rest of John 20 tells us that Jesus not only appeared to the Father but He invited them to touch Him and see that He was real!
Wow! Just WOW!
OK, last Spring Feast. Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. 50 days after the Feast of First Fruits.
But it’s gonna have to wait til tomorrow. All this writing has worn out my computer and it needs to rest.
See you next time :)