It is remarkable how the seven feasts are laid out according to the annual calendar, and all of them not only follow their place in the seasons of the year, but their spiritual fulfillments follow that pattern over the expanse of centuries. Perhaps that is why so little attention seems to be given to what the feasts are telling us about the future. For instance, those first four feasts have been fulfilled in exact historical reality. Why, then, should we not expect the final three also to be done in the same way?
The ending of Part 1 was about Jesus redirecting the disciples toward that great harvest of the Great Commission. On any calendar the seasons of the year have a growing and harvesting season that is comparable to the “planting, growing and harvesting” season of the Church, the body of Christ—until God has completed the “taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name.”
Peter wrote of God’s plan for that harvest’s continual gathering for so many centuries, and still counting:
“…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:3-4 and 8-9).
The truth presented here is that God’s long-suffering and patience has allowed multitudes to come to His salvation, a continual harvest like He spoke of in John 4:35, earlier in Part 1.
Then we come to the fall harvests, the end of the harvest season, and what feast is the one that is then fulfilled? The next one on the calendar, the Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashana as it is named. This feast depicts the return of Christ for His redeemed ones, the Rapture of the believers. It is obvious that this is the time of that event; there is no other event that this feast could fulfill. The integrity of each of the feasts remains true to its fulfilling purpose. That is, the features of the feast clearly reveal the features of the actual event.
A very interesting and telling factor in this feast is that it has no certain beginning date or hour of its activity. Remember that caution of Jesus, saying, “No one knows the day or hour of His coming” that leaves prophecy teachers concluding that his coming could be any day and hour. That issue is resolved, however, for at the time of Rosh Hashana, the first day of the Jewish civil New year, no one knows if the feast is to start at the usual sundown beginning of their day until two men actually view the new moon on the horizon and report it back to the religious leaders. If it is covered by clouds, the feast is delayed until the next day and a like test. So Jesus will come on the day and the hour, not some day and some hour.
As for the unknown starting hour, there are three trumpet sounds that mark the feast—a long “wakeup” blast, followed by a staccato blast sounding like the running of feet, then sometime later in the feast, a long, wailing blast that seemingly fades into the distance. This is “the last trumpet” mentioned in connection with this event. This is the picture of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, telling of the Rapture event:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Ten days after the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement is on the calendar. It is not clear that its fulfillment will occur that soon after the prior feast, but it will be during the first half of the seven-year “time of Jacob’s trouble,” as named in Jeremiah 30:7. This Feast of Atonement is on the calendar the tenth day after the Feast of Trumpets. In those ten days it will be likely that the Gog-Magog war from the north will occur, and all of those enemies of Israel will be eliminated by the miraculous hand of God; for Israel will be a defenseless entity after the Rapture occurs. Then perhaps Israel will understand that Jesus is their true atonement, all within those ten days. Remember, also, that the calling forth of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will occur early in the seven years; and it is not said, but we must expect their message will be that of Christ’s payment for their sins. More on this in a moment.
Its fulfillment is briefly described in Zechariah 12:10 as, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” It could come, in addition to those possibilities above, when the Antichrist stops their sacrifices and enters the temple to declare himself God and demand their worship, as told in Daniel 9:27.
Some additional considerations come into focus here, as to when Jesus is recognized in connection with this feast’s timing. When the 144,000 Jewish men are ordained to preach to the world, along with the two witnesses mentioned later, it is said they will be active in the first half of the seven years. Their choosing appears in chapter seven of Revelation. Again, will their message be the gospel of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection?
Jesus spoke of a time when the gospel of the kingdom of heaven would be preached during the end-time, in Matthew 24:14:
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
In Matthew’s writing, this verse is followed by the beginning of the tribulation period. Is this the gospel the Jewish evangelists will preach? Of course, Jesus could not have spoken of His death and resurrection, for that had not yet been accomplished. Then, the Jews are set to rebuild the temple, and will do so as soon as possible, no doubt, after the covenant frees them to do it. But it will happen, just as the feast is fulfilled and as Zechariah 12:10 predicts.
Finally, we come to the seventh feast called the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles. This one depicts, particularly by its name, the arrival of Jesus the Christ to dwell among the people as Lord of Lords from the newly established throne of David in Jerusalem. It is that thousand-year reign of Christ known as the millennium and shows the world that a theocracy of righteousness is the only form of government that can work. Man has proven that his governing abilities, with the best that could be devised, was not sufficient for a fallen humanity.
It truly is a marvelous road on which God has traveled in this journey thus far. Two final chapters in the Book of Revelation deal with events in the eternal realm, starting with a new heaven and a new earth. But in this era of creation and redemption, we first are told God is spirit (John 4:24), and in Him we live and have our being (Acts 17:28). Then Jesus comes as a babe and enters the history of mankind: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
As God and man, He died on the cross to carry the sins of mankind to judgment, then rose again making that justice sure for fallen man who would believe Him. In this look ahead, we will “see Him as He is,” for He will be like us and we will be like Him, for all eternity (1 John 3:2-3).
Is this, then, the completion of man’s creation in His image?
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