Feast Days

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” Whosover eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54, KJV).

A couple of months ago, we presented posts that biblically showed that the rapture event was not a resurrection. Scripture shows that those who were alive at the last trump would be changed into glorified bodies. The timing of this glorification was after the current heavens and earth passed away. Revelation 20:11-13 shows us that at the Great White Throne Judgment, those who did not accept Jesus as Savior will be resurrected and judged.

We also learned that believers who are changed in the twinkling of an eye are glorified before death and hades are cast into the Lake of Fire. (Rev. 20:13 and 1Corninthians 15:51-56). One last question remains. When is the timing of the Resurrection of the Righteous? Revelation 20:5 answers that question: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” The next verse tells us that these individuals are blessed and holy, so we know that this is referring to believers who died and are in heaven.

Now that we know this general resurrection is after the Millennium, is there a specific day we can focus in on? Jesus tells us that He will raise those who believe in Him on the Last Day. Martha (Lazarus’ sister) understood this when she said that her brother would rise again in the resurrection at the Last Day. (John 11:24). John the apostle identifies the Last Day, calling it that great day of the feast. (John 7:37). This was at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Last Great Day (8th day.)

This feast is the conclusion of the High Holy Days of Israel and the last of the major Feast Days for Israel. Eight also represents the number of new beginnings. So this resurrection would be the final transition into eternity. This day would be the 22nd day of the month of Tishri (7th month of the Hebrew Religious Calendar.) On the Gregorian Calendar, it occurs at the end of September/beginning of October.

One final clue that helps solve the puzzle is that the 23rd of Tishri is a celebration of the joy of the giving of the Torah. These first five books of the Bible represent the giving of the Law. In eternity, there is no more law. So wouldn’t it make sense that eternity is ushered in right before the customary day that Israel celebrated the giving of the Law? Finally, Moses commanded the children of Israel that at the end of every 7 year cycle (Shemitah), in the solemnity of the year of release, the law would be read each day during the Feast of Tabernacles. (Deuteronomy 31:-13, Nehemiah 8:14-18). So we can conclude this: The Resurrection of the Just will happen on the 22nd of Tishri after the 7 year Shemitah cycle. The Lord has given us these treasures in His Word so that the wise would discover them and share with others. EJ

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.”  And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.” (Genesis 33:17 KJV).

Today is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles and tonight will usher in the final feast of the month of Tishri (7th month of the Hebrew Religious calendar). The Last Great Day (Shemini Atzeret) is essentially an 8th day of celebration. Jesus’ birth on Tabernacles is a bridge connecting Israel’s history to future events.

The first recorded variation of the word Sukkot (tabernacle, tent, shelter) is in the 33rd chapter of Genesis where Jacob (Israel) left his brother Esau and journeyed to a town. There, he built a cottage and shelters for his cattle. The name of this town in Hebrew, Succoth, is translated “booths.” Booths or temporary shelters were built for Jacob’s livestock. It is providential that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger for livestock. It would be like God to have Israel’s and the world’s savior born on the feast day (Sukkot) bearing the same name as the city (Succoth) where Israel (Jacob) settled.

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5 KJV).  

On the 8th day from His birth, our Messiah was circumcised and given the name Jesus (Luke 2:21). Circumcision was the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham (Genesis 17:9-13). The circumstances of Jesus’ birth was in accordance with the Law. Our king was born on the first day of Tabernacles as Emmanuel, God with us. He was circumcised, or set apart for God, on the 8th day (Hebrew Shemini Atzeret, the Last Great Day). Through Moses, the Lord commanded the reading of his Law to the children of Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 31:9-13). Jesus’ birth during this feast further affirmed that it was a time of joy and hope. Jesus or Yeshua (God saves) signified that the newborn Son of God brought glory to the Father’s plan of Salvation.

In our final installment on Sukkot, we will examine the 2nd outpouring of the Holy Spirit and its connection to the Last Great Day. We will also see if this Holy Day is the day of the general resurrection of the saints. As we patiently wait for the Moadim (God’s appointed times), true believers must go into the fields and plant gospel seeds in anticipation of the last great harvest. EJ

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” And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen HIS glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 NRSV).

As we enter into the first full day of the Feast of Tabernacles, it is important for Christians to reflect on what these days of celebration should mean. Sukkot was ordained by God as a remembrance for His people. He did not want them to forget that His presence dwelt with them for 40 years in the wilderness.

God’s presence has never left the true believer since our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19).  The Greek word Naos (Na- hos’) translates “temple or shrine”, “a place for God’s presence to dwell”. So the celebration of Sukkot is a perfect time to make sure that our bodily temples are pure so that we are ONE with the Holy Spirit. The birth of Jesus brought God physically and visibly to earth. Jesus’ coming in human form sets up the next stage in God’s plan of Salvation.

So what does Jesus’ birth have to with Tabernacles? Everything! We have shown on this website a major fundamental TRUTH: GOD uses the Feast Days of Israel to move His plan of salvation forward. Most bible scholars will tell you that Jesus’ birth was either in the spring or fall. So one of the spring or fall feast days would make sense for the birth of the Messiah. We have 2 witnesses from Scripture that reveals another name for Jesus  (Immanuel: Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23) which means: “God is with us.”

When we consider John 1:14 which said” the Word became flesh and lived among us”, the clues start falling into place. Living among us literally means: Pitched his Tent. This is the exact idea Yahweh was revealing when he ordained the Feast of Shelters (Tents) as a continual holy observance. Jesus came to earth in the temporary shelter of human flesh. He was wrapped in bands of cloth and laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 1:7). From Jesus’ name, Emmanuel to the way He was born, to the profession of Jesus’ closest disciple, John, it is clear that out of all the Holy Days of Israel, Tabernacles matches God’s plan to bring His SON to earth to save mankind from sin.

Our bodies are also temporary shelters until we enter into the eternal glory of a Resurrected body. Before that happens, this age has to come to an end and a major clue for that to happen is this: There WILL BE a 2nd outpouring of the HOLY SPIRIT on all nations. In part 3 we will look at the prophecies of Joel and see how part of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled in the book of Acts at Pentecost. We will also see why the 2nd outpouring has to be during the Feast of Tabernacles. EJ

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Sukkot (Part 1)

You shall dwell in booths (Tabernacles) for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths., that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I AM the LORD your GOD.” (Leviticus 23:42-43 NKJV).

This Sunday (September 27th) at sundown, marks the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a 7 day celebration for all of Israel. This festive time is also known as the Feast of Ingathering (Fall Harvest). God ordained this time because it would be an everlasting reminder that God’s presence (in the Ark of the Covenant) dwelt for 40 years in the wilderness with His people. The children of Israel would build temporary shelters made from the branches of palm trees, leafy trees and willows of the brook. (Leviticus 23:40). This was one of the 3 Feast Days (Passover and Pentecost)  that all men of Israel were required to attend in Jerusalem. (Deuteronomy 16:16). The importance of this Holy Day was to remind all generations that God’s presence dwells among His people.

From the time of the Exodus, until the end of the Millennium, we will learn the role that the Feast of Tabernacles has in God’s plan of salvation. King Solomon built the first Temple and during Solomon’s dedication, fire came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The Shekinah Glory filled the Temple. (A near fulfillment to what will happen at the end of the age.) Solomon held a celebration for 7 days and 2nd Chronicles 7:10 tells us that it was on the 23rd day of the 7th month that the children of Israel were sent home. Solomon dedicated the Temple and God graced it with HIS presence during the Feast of Tabernacles. (Days 15-22 of the 7th month of Tishri.)

As long as Israel obeyed the Lord, God’s presence would remain in the temple. Unfortunately, that did not happen and the temple would become desolate in 586 BC as the majority of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) went into exile in Babylon. The Lord would have mercy and sent a remnant back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. (Fulfilling 2nd Chronicles 36:20-21).  Before the foundation of the 2nd temple was built, the exiles celebrated the Fall Holy Days and the Feast of Tabernacles was observed again. (Ezra 3:4). The importance of Sukkot was felt even during the years between the Old and New Testament. In Part 2 we will see how Sukkot influenced a new Holy Day and show why Tabernacles will be forever linked to the birth of our Savior. EJ

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“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…”
The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” (Exodus 19:4-6a, 8a
NIV)

Many possess land handed down through a line of ancestors. Property that has long been in the family is not uncommon. Ownership took place long ago. A deal was struck. A deed or title followed. All parties, descendants included, became bound to an agreement. So it is with God’s people, the Israelites.

With Moses as the go-between, the Lord met his people at Sinai. A conditional agreement was made. If the people obeyed God fully and kept his covenant, they would be favored above all others on the face of the earth. They would be the Lord’s treasured possession. Though everyone belonged to Him, Jacob’s offspring would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. This is the inheritance of Israel.

With the terms of God’s covenant clearly spelled out, the gathered children of Abraham voiced their agreement. The people responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” (Exodus 19:6a) In what language did Moses communicate God’s terms? In what language did the descendants of the Patriarchs promise their faithfulness to the Lord’s covenant? They spoke in an ancient Hebrew tongue we know today as Paleo-Hebrew.

Did the Lord renege on his commitment? “Is God a man that he should lie or a son of man that he should change his mind?” (Numbers 23:19) The question is rhetorical. Of course, he has not–and never will. The Lord will have a people who keep their covenant of obedience. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Pentcost Redux) is all that’s necessary to reveal the chosen or elect of God. This anointing from on high will not fall upon individuals scattered here and there, but, as in Acts 2, on gathered saints (cf. Hebrews 10:25).

In the last days, the people Peter described in 1 Peter 2:9 will gather in fellowship communities by necessity. (Think of the animals that arrived two by two in ordered to be gathered into Noah’s ark.) One tongue, uttered by God’s people, will mark believers and fortify their unity. Because of language difficulties, the wicked from the nations will stumble in confusion, or–and this will be a false sign or wonder–a counterfeit Pentecost from Satan could occur.

Our brother Elijah commented on the “Pentecost Redux, Part 1” post. He pointed out that a major key to understanding tongues in prophecy is Genesis 11:1-9. Realizing that confusing language to scatter people was God’s judgment on covenant-breakers, we can easily see how reuniting the covenant keepers from among the nations will be a common tongue. Revelation 7:9-10 is evidence. Languages may not cease. Nations will be present in the Millennium, but God’s people won’t need translators. In the way Arabic and Mecca unites Muslims around the world, Paleo-Hebrew will be spoken by the saints who look to Zion as God’s Holy Hill.

In conclusion: The Israelites stood at Sinai and made a sacred vow. They spoke as one and promised God their obedience. They failed to keep their word, but their descendants who call on the Lord, will fulfill their covenant. As one people with one tongue, saints will gather around the Temple and our High Priest Jesus. There we will pledge our faithfulness to the God who saves. The difference between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion will be Pentecost Redux.

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Pentecost
“Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil…

“Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other. Never again will my people be ashamed.” (Joel 2:23-24, 27 NIV)

In Part 1, we argued from Scripture that the Pentecost described in Acts 2 I s a preview of a greater Pentecost coming in the last days. During the first Pentecost, Jews spoke in the tongues of all nations. In the time of the end, believers from all nations will speak a single language.

Speaking through the Prophet Joel, God said in the last days he would pour out his Spirit on all people (Joel 2:28). Before this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, He promised to send the autumn rain (see above). Abundant fall showers will produce full threshing floors (Joel 2:22-24). In the context of a great end-time harvest of grain and fruit, God promises an in-gathering of people as the Holy Spirit showers all nations. Do not miss the connection between the Spring Feast of Pentecost in the history of Acts and the Autumn Feast of Pentecost in prophecy.

According to Acts 2:41, three-thousand accepted the Apostle’s message, were baptized and added to the number of Jewish disciples. In Revelation 7:9, John’s eyes were opened to what Joel described and Peter proclaimed. Appearing in robes that gleamed white like ripened heads of wheat is a multitude too numerous to count. The harvest that is here foretold is comprised of sons and daughters, old men and young men, from every nation, tribe, language and people. Joel and Revelation 7 are in perfect harmony.

What is heard in Revelation 7:10? It is the opposite of the every language under heaven in Acts 2 during the Spring Feast of In-Gathering. In Revelation we preview the saved from throughout the earth declaring God’s glories in one language, not all languages! It is not a cacophony of tongues, but a single solitary tongue. The one voice is the evidence of a Pentecost Redux. This time it won’t be Jews filled with God’s Spirit, but all people and nations, which includes Jews. Jews are part of all. This event is set for Israel’s fall feast of In-Gathering.

What language or tongue is spoken around the Lamb’s throne and by all during the Millennium? My belief is that it will be the tongue spoken in Exodus 19, as Jacob’s descendants stood near Mt. Sinai. I am referring to the ancient language of Israel; what scholars call Paleo-Hebrew.

In “Part 3”, we will uncover more of God’s purpose for another, richer and more complete Pentecost.

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Pentecost

“…this is what was spoken of by the Prophet Joel, ‘In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people… I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ ” (Acts 2:16-17a, 19-21 NIV)

On the Feast of Pentecost, as Peter explained to the Jews what they were seeing and hearing, he offered an example of the near/far prophetic. Among the major rules for Bible interpretation is this: “Look for the near/far in prophecy.” (See Book Excerpts menu above, “Rules of Interpretation”).

Applying the rules, the only way the Apostle’s words, in Acts 2:16-21, are accurately understood necessitates viewing the Holy Spirit’s power on Jesus’ disciples as historical (near), yet prophetical as well. I argue the sign of tongues in Acts 2 is a shape, shadow or pattern of a future (far) last-days’ event. What Acts gives, particularly in Chapter 2, is a description of events as they unfolded, but also a preview of signs and wonders to come.

Charismatics and Pentecostals would argue that tongues-speaking reappeared more than a century ago, or since a famous meeting in 1903 on Los Angeles’ Azusa Street. I do not dispute the charismatic experiences of my fellow believers; I do contend, however, that any claim that what we have seen in recent times fulfills Joel’s prophecy lacks Biblical support.

For instance, with the tongues of the past, has there been blood, fire and billows of smoke? Some may say “Yes, they saw all that?” Okay, perhaps, but did witnesses see the sun turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord (Acts 2:20-21, cf. Joel 2:31)? Come let us reason together. The celestial signs associated with Christ’s return and the Day of the Lord have not been seen. We must conclude that the tongues we may have heard was something other than what the prophets, Joel and Peter, described.

The Acts 2 harvest of souls is a type of what we’ll see, but with a phenomenal twist.

Peter alerts God’s people who are living in the last days to prepare for another, greater in-gathering (Pentecost Redux) at the fall harvest. The Acts 2 harvest of souls is a type of what we’ll see, but with a phenomenal twist. In Acts, the Spirit fell like tongues of fire on the assembled Jewish disciples, but it was during the Spring harvest festival. Christ’s followers obediently waited in Jerusalem for the Father’s promise. When they received the Spirit (Acts 1:8), they uttered the languages of all nations (Acts 2:5), for we read every people group on earth was represented. Jewish witnesses to Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension were in that moment empowered and equipped to take the Gospel out from Jerusalem and all Judea to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Witnesses in the last days will be gathered from these nations (Matthew 24:14).

Speaking through the Prophet Joel, God said that in the last days his people will rejoice in the autumn rain. Abundant showers will produce full threshing floors (Joel 2:22-24). If we believe the Word, the next abundant in-gathering will be among all nations, but during the fall festival.

In Revelation 7:9, John’s eyes were opened to the harvest Joel spoke of and is about to happen.

In that one day, according to Acts 2:41, three-thousand Jews were completed. They believed the apostle’s Spirit-filled message about their Messiah, were baptized and, later, added to the number of Jewish disciples. In Revelation 7:9, John’s eyes were opened to the harvest Joel spoke of and is about to happen. Dressed in white and appearing like sun-ripened wheat, is an innumerable multitude. The multitude is made up of sons and daughters, old men and young men. They come from every nation, tribe, language and people, both men and women. What are they doing? It is the opposite of the first Pentecost. The nations (i.e. saved people living throughout the earth) are declaring the glories of God with one voice–and in one language! (Rev. 7:10, cf. Joel 2:25-27). It is evidence of Pentecost Redux.

In Part 2, we will provide a Scriptural-supported theory regarding what language is spoken around the Lamb’s throne. We will examine God’s purpose in a second Pentecost. We will see a bit of what it means to “Completed Christians”. Get ready!

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” And it shall come to pass afterward that I shall pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions and also on My menservants and My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29 NKJV)

Sunday, May 24th marks the Christian celebration of Pentecost. From Saturday, May 23rd (at sunset) until sundown May 24th, the Jewish celebration of Pentecost will be observed. This is a special year, because both observances are very rarely on the same day.

Nearly 2000 years ago, God poured out the Holy Spirit on the multitude who were in Jerusalem to celebrate the spring harvest. The apostle Peter, a Galilean, was speaking, yet everyone from many nations heard the powerful message in his/her native language.(Acts 2:1-47). Peter quoted a prophecy from Joel and the near fulfillment of this prophecy is what we celebrate as Pentecost. Tongues of fire rained down from Heaven filling the apostles and others in the upper room with the Holy Spirit.

Peter proved from the prophesies of Joel that this event would happen. He also showed that the one who was crucified and resurrected was indeed Jesus. (Psalms 16:8-11). The Word of God cut through the multitude and many cried out. Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of the Jesus Christ and 3,000 souls were added to God’s family. (Acts 2:37-40). These new believers followed in the doctrine and fellowship of the apostles. The power of the Lord revealed itself as the apostles performed signs and wonders. The growth of the church occurred on this Holy Day. Will it happen again?

Joel speaks of God providing both the former and latter rains. (Joel 2:23). This refers to the spring and fall rains needed for the seasonal harvests. The fall harvest is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. God works through His Holy Days, so expect a 2nd and even greater outpouring of the Spirit during this great celebration (which also is the fig harvest). In the next post, I will show how prophecy places this event shortly before the Return of our King. EJ

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