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!