Sun, Oct 12, 2008

THE FEASTS OF ISRAEL PT. 3 THE FALL FEASTS LEVITICUS 23:23-44

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
THE FEASTS OF ISRAEL
PART 3
THE FALL FEASTS
LEVITICUS 23:23-44

            Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Leviticus chapter 23, as we will finish up our study on the Feasts of Israel. We have seen so far in our studies the three spring Feasts, which all pointed to the person and work of Jesus Christ in His first coming.  The Feast of Passover is a picture of our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, who was crucified for our sins on the cross of Calvary on the Feast of Passover.  Then came the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which pictures the sinless Savior, Jesus Christ who was placed in the tomb on the Feast of Passover.  And then came the Feast of Firstfruits, on the Sunday after Passover, the very day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, giving us the full assurance that one day we too will be raised in glory!

            Then, the only summer Feast was Pentecost or Weeks, also called SHAVOUT in Hebrew. This is the only Feast where leavened bread was used and not just one loaf, but two! Why is that? Because it is a picture of the Church, sinners, made up of both Jews and Gentiles, the two loaves of bread waved before the Lord, coming together into one body, the body of Christ! Not only that but we see the Church empowered to bring the Gospel message to a lost world!

            In this study we will be looking at the three fall Feasts: The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles or Booths.  Just as the first three Feasts pointed to the first coming of Jesus Christ, I believe these last three feasts point to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Just as the first three Feasts focused upon the nation of Israel, I believe these last three feasts will also focus upon the nation of Israel!

            Before we get to our text this morning and look at these three Feasts, let me share with you these words from Oswald Chambers. He wrote:

We trample the blood of the Son of God if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation for the forgiveness of God and for the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the atonement which He has worked out for us. It does not matter who or what we are; there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted. All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Cross is of no avail; it is battering at a door other than the one that Jesus has opened. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement is a propitiation whereby God, through the death of Jesus, makes an unholy man holy.

- Oswald Chambers

            With that said, let’s being reading in Leviticus chapter 23, starting in verse 23 and see what the Lord has for us as we study the Fall Feasts of Israel.

LEVITICUS 23:23-25

            The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah took place on the first day of the month of Tishri on the Jewish ceremonial or religious calendar and thus, it corresponds to our September/October. As the trumpets were blown it called God’s people together for this celebration. It is also known as the “Day of Judgment” or the “Day of Sounding the Shofar” and the “Day of Remembrance.” As Passover is the start of the religious New Year, Rosh Hashanah is the start of the civil New Year.

            Now, why is there such a long period of time between the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets? I believe this period of time is known as the Church Age where God is gathering together a bride for Jesus out of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul tells us in Romans 11:25, For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  In other words, Israel as a nation is blind to the Messiah until that last Gentile is saved and the Rapture of the Church occurs and then God will deal with the Nation of Israel once again!  Now, because of that and the blowing of the trumpet, many feel that the Feast of Trumpets is a picture of the Rapture of the Church!

            And there are some Scriptures that seem to support that point, that the Feast of Trumpets is a picture of the Rapture of the Church. Paul, in I Corinthians 15:51-52 tells us,Behold, I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  Notice, the last trumpet and the trumpet will sound. And this is speaking of the Rapture of the Church, that we all will be changed!

            Paul, in I Thessalonians 4:13-17 tells us, But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 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.  Notice, the Lord will return with the trumpet of God.  And again, the focus is the Rapture of the Church as we will be “caught up” or “snatched away” suddenly!  Thus, once again this seems to fit the picture of the Feast of Trumpets being the Rapture of the Church.

            Also, in Revelation 4:1-2, as John is a type of the Church and he is caught up to be with the Lord suddenly, we are told, After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” Do you see that?  Once again the voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me. It really does sound like the Feasts of Trumpets is speaking of the Rapture of the Church.

            Now I may be challenging many of you with this, but I do not believe that the Scriptures teach that the Feast of Trumpets is speaking of the Rapture of the Church and I will show you why.  I do realize that I am going against what a majority of teachers are teaching, but again, I don’t think the Scriptures support the Feast of Trumpets being the Rapture of the Church. First of all, and this is a big one for me, in Matthew 24:36 Jesus tells us, But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  What day is He speaking of?  He has to be speaking of the Rapture of the Church because we know that the day the Lord will return in His second coming will be 3 ½ years after the abomination of desolation or when the Antichrist enters the rebuilt temple and demands to be worshiped as God. We know the exact day that He will return in His second coming! But in regards to the Rapture, Jesus said that no man knows the day and thus, if it were on the Feast of Trumpets, we would know the day.  That just makes sense to me.

            The second point is found in Matthew 24:27-31, where we are told, For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  This is obviously speaking of the second coming of Jesus Christ and did you see what was being blown to gather the elect or the children of Israel together at the end of the Tribulation Period? It is the sound of a trumpet.

            And lastly, the focus of the Tribulation Period, besides God pouring out His wrath upon a Christ rejecting world, is not the Church but it is the nation of Israel and we will see that as we look at the second feast, the Day of Atonement!

            Folks, there are many trumpet blasts that are sounded in the Scriptures and thus, we need to be careful in what they mean. For instance, Marvin Rosenthal came up with his theory that the Rapture of the Church is not before the Tribulation Period, but he calls it the Pre-Wrath Rapture or that it occurs with the seventh trumpet judgment just past the halfway mark of the Tribulation Period. Tragically, many believe this view, which has no Scriptural support. In fact, to make it fit he has to twist the Scriptures but it doesn’t work because the Scriptures tell us that the Church is removed before this period of time even begins!  Again, be careful!

            Thus, I believe the Feast of Trumpets does not give to us a picture of the Rapture of the Church but it does give to us a picture of the second coming of Jesus Christ as He gathers the children of Israel together in Jerusalem and He does this by blowing the trumpet to alert them that the Messiah has come!  And thus, I believe that this will take place on the very day the Feast of Trumpets is celebrated as the New Year begins for Israel, a new beginning you might say for them as they come to Jesus! The Feast of Trumpets is the re-gathering of the nation of Israel together before the Lord!

LEVITICUS 23:26-32

            Here we see the second of these fall Feasts that began on the 10th day of the 7th month or Tishri, the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. And this Feast was more of a day of affliction, affliction over their sin and the need for atonement that could only be made by the shedding of the blood of the sacrifice and the confessing of the sin upon the scapegoat and sending him away into the wilderness, showing that their sins were forgiven.

            The picture of Christ is beautiful for He shed His blood for our sins on the cross of Calvary and in so doing our sins have been cast as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more!  In other words, our sins were paid in full!

            I believe the picture of the Day of Atonement is a picture of Israel’s national repentance. That they receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the atonement that is only found in Him!  And the picture does fit perfectly. In Luke 13:34-35 we are told,

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Jesus is lamenting over Jerusalem for He sees the power of Rome coming down and destroying her and her only hope is Jesus, whom they have rejected. And in less than 40 years from this cry, in 70 AD, Rome did come down and destroy the city of Jerusalem, scattering the Jews all over the place!

And as we move down into verse 35 I believe we see the petition of the nation as they call upon the Lord prior to His return at His second coming at the end of the tribulation period. It is as Paul said in Romans 11:25-27, "For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'" Yes, one day they will receive Jesus as Lord and savior, the nation of Israel will be saved!

A few weeks back, as I was reading through Isaiah, I came to chapter 25 and found this interesting verse that fits what we are talking about this morning. In Isaiah 25:9 we are told, And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.’  Who is their God?  Jesus is their God and as you read on you will see that come shinning through. Who have they been waiting for? They have been waiting for the Messiah to come, Jesus!  They missed Him the first time but they will receive Him when He comes again. What are they rejoicing in? They are rejoicing in the salvation that the Messiah, that Jesus brings them, the freedom from sin! And the focus here in this verse is the Kingdom Age!

Not only that, but in Zechariah 12:8-14 we are told, In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 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. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.  And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

When will the nations come against Jerusalem? At the end of the Tribulation Period is the focus here. We call it the Battle of Armageddon!  Who is God pouring out the Spirit of grace and supplication upon? The inhabitants of Jerusalem – the Jewish people! Who did the Jews pierce?  Jesus of course and they will mourn over what they have done as they see Him for who He is – the Messiah – God incarnate!

Here we see the eyes of the nation opened and they will turn to the Lord. Why won’t they turn today? In II Corinthians 3:13-16 Paul tells us "unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." Yes, on an individual basis some Jews are coming to the Lord Jesus, but the nation as a whole will not turn to the Lord until this veil is lifted, and that won’t happen until the Tribulation Period and culminating at the end of the Tribulation Period when they call upon the Lord!

The Jew’s will recognize that they put their Messiah to death. They will recognize that they pierced Him. It is as Matthew 27:25 says, "And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’" And thus, their mourning will be like the mourning that took place when the godly king, Josiah, was killed by Pharaoh

Necho II at Hadad Rimmon. He was the last hope for the fading Judean nation.

(II Chronicles 35:20-27). And we see mourning and true repentance carried out by individuals, from kings like David, to the prophets like Nathan, to the priests like Levi and his grandson Shimei, besides all the Jewish families. It is as Paul said in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the [free] gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."You see, they are receiving that free gift of life that is found in the Messiah, Jesus Christ!

In Zechariah 13:1-6 we are told, In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. ‘It shall be in that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land. It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.” And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies. And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive. But he will say, “I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.” And one will say to him, “What are these wounds between your arms?” Then he will answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”’

What is the Lord removing?  He is removing their sin!   How is that accomplished? Only by receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior! And He concluded in verse 6 once again by speaking of the wounds of the crucifixion that were placed there by the Jews for their rejection of Him!

And in Daniel 9:24, only one verse but it is packed with things all related to the nation of Israel in the last days, the Jewish people. We are told in this verse, Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.

Daniel is told that the time period of this prophecy is "seventy weeks." The Hebrew word for "weeks" is SHABUA and it speaks of sevens. Thus, seventy, sevens are determined upon the Jews and upon the city of Jerusalem. And the implication from the text, as Daniel was just reading of the 70 years of captivity, is that these are speaking of seventy, seven year periods of time or 490 years which will make up the time frame of this prophecy. And remember, the focus is "Your people," the Jews, and "Your holy city," Jerusalem.

Now what will the end of these 490 years bring to the nation of Israel? We are told of 6 events that will be accomplished which are directly related to Israel and God’s program for them. And keep in mind that these events have not been completely fulfilled as yet, and you will see this as we go through these things.

1. TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION

God will bring to an end Israel’s rebellion against Him, for we read in Ezekiel 39:23-29, "‘The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.’ Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name– after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.  When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their own land, and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD."

That means that Israel will turn back to God and repent of their ways and will recognize Jesus as their Messiah for Jesus told the nation of Israel, "for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’"Matthew 23:29. Yes the Jews will recognize Jesus as their Messiah and weep for what they have done to Him.

Has this taken place? Well, yes for those Jews who have turned to Jesus but for the nation as a whole, I think we can safely say no. But by the end of the Tribulation Period and the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ we will see this come to pass. Remember the 490 years will bring this to a completion.

2. TO MAKE AN END OF SINS

We have said before that the word "sin" comes from a word that means, "to miss the mark." God’s standard is perfection and we fall far short of that mark. For the nation of Israel it too speaks of missing the mark with their immorality and idolatry and yet we are told that God will put an end to their sins or seal them up. We read in Romans 11:26-27, "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’"

Has this happened yet? Well, in a way yes. Jesus’ death on the cross not only paid the penalty for our sins but for the whole world, including the Jews. But, like much of the world, the Jews have rejected their Messiah and are still dead in their trespasses and sins. But for all who repent and come to Christ, including the Jews, their sins are forgiven. When will we see this completed in regards to the nation of Israel? This too will take place at the end of the Tribulation Period and the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ.

3. TO MAKE RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY

This of course was accomplished at the cross of Calvary by Jesus Christ but will not be fully recognized until He returns. We read in II Corinthians 5:18-19, "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."

The nation of Israel will not fully recognize this until they call upon the one they pierced, Jesus Christ, which will be during the Tribulation Period and will reach it’s complete fulfillment during the Millennial Kingdom and the close of the Tribulation Period.

In Hosea 5:15-6:1 we may have the prayer of the nation of Israel as they call upon God once again. We read "‘I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.’ Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; he has stricken, but He will bind us up." This is saying that God at one time left His place. When did He do that? When He became flesh and dwelt among us. And then we see that He will leave this "place," the earth, till Israel acknowledges their sin. What was their sin? And note that "sin" is in the singular and not the plural form. Their sin was the rejection of Jesus Christ as their Messiah. The prerequisite to His return is their repentance and their seeking the one whom they have pierced! Once again this will reach its complete fulfillment at the end of the Tribulation Period.

4. TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS

Every day we can turn on the news, read the newspapers or even witness for ourselves the wickedness of this world. We can clearly say that righteousness is far from the people of this world. In fact Isaiah calls our righteousness "filthy ragswhich has been cleaned up for us a bit, it is even worse than that! You see, our righteousness is in Christ and one day Israel will recognize this and the earth will be filled with the righteousness of Christ as He rules and reigns in the Kingdom Age. Jeremiah 23:5-6 tells us "‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’"

5. TO SEAL UP VISION AND PROPHECY

Some feel this speaks of the fulfillment of all that is written in the Word of God. When the new heavens and the new earth are created we see an end of this world and the beginning of a new one with Christ dwelling amongst us. But again we must relate this to Israel and even though this idea has a lot of merit to it, I don’t believe this is what God is saying to us.

This speaks of bringing to a close all visions and prophecies which will occur when Christ sits on the throne of David to rule as king. God will be with us and thus we will no longer need prophecy or visions. And the reason is simple, as I said, the Lord is with us, He will speak to us directly!

6. TO ANOINT THE MOST HOLY

This will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ comes into the millennial temple as king. In Ezekiel chapter 37 we read "They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. . . . My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." Ezekiel 37:23-25, 27-28.

            And so the Day of Atonement is fulfilled at the end of the Tribulation Period at the second coming of Jesus Christ as He will not only judge the Gentile nations but the nation of Israel as well and all those that receive Him will enter into the Kingdom Age with Him, which is pictured in the last of these Feasts, the Feasts of Tabernacles. Thus, the Day of Atonement is fulfilled as the Jews receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior and their sins are forgiven, cast as far as the east is from the west, to be remembered no more! Thus, I believe this will take place on the very Day of Atonement!

LEVITICUS 23:33-44

            This last Feast is called the Feast of Succoth or Tabernacles, also the Feast of Booths, SUCCOTH in Hebrew. It began on the 15th day of the 7th month or Tishri and it lasted for seven days. During this Feast the Jews would live in temporary booths, as they did in the wilderness, and it reminded them of how God brought them through those times and into the Promise Land.

            I believe the picture here is the future Kingdom Age that God has prepared for Israel and all those who believe. But again, I believe the focus is Israel. Again, instead of dwelling in booths, they will dwell with the Lord and in Isaiah 11:6-9 we see a picture of what that period of time will be like. We are told, The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.

            What a glorious period of time, 1,000 years as righteousness fills this land as our King of kings and Lord of lord’s rules and reigns! It is also worth noting that the Jews added two extra rituals to their celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles to remind them of God’s wilderness blessings. The first was the pouring out of the water from the pool of Siloam, recalling God’s provision of water in the desert; the second was the placing of four large lighted candlesticks to recall the pillar of fire that led the people by night.

            Jesus related both of these traditions to Himself. It was during the Feast of Tabernacles, when the water was being poured out, that He cried out, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37).  He also said to the temple crowd, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.(John 8:12).  What a tragedy that the Jews were so careful to maintain their traditions and yet they completely missed the Messiah who was in their midst! I wonder how many people today miss the Messiah because of the traditions they hold on to!

            What a beautiful picture we have painted for us in these fall Feasts.  We see the scattered Jews that are gathered from all over the world as they come to Jerusalem to meet their Messiah – The Feast of Trumpets! We see that the sinful people, the Jewish people who at one time rejected Jesus, receive Him as their Lord and Savior and they will be cleansed – The Feast of Atonement! And we see the Jews enter into the Kingdom Age and dwell with the Lord – The Feast of Tabernacles!

            Now, as I begin to rap this up this morning, let me ask you this. Why were there seven Feasts and not six or eight or twelve for that matter?  First of all the Hebrew word for “seven” comes from a root word that means, “to be full, to be satisfied.” It is also related to the word meaning “to swear, to make an oath.” Thus, whenever the Lord “seven’s” something, you might say, He is reminding His people that what He says and does is complete, it is dependable, there is nothing you can add to it, absolutely nothing! Thus, within these seven Feasts of Israel is the complete work of Jesus!

            We have seen in the Feast of Passover that Jesus is the Lamb of God who has come to take away the sins of the world as He was crucified on the Feast of Passover for our sins. He is our Unleavened Bread as the sinless One was placed in the tomb on the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  And He is our Firstfruits as He was raised from the dead on that Sunday morning, assuring us that one-day we too will be raised from the dead, the Feast of Firstfruits! These are the spring feasts.

            Then, on the Feast of Pentecost we see the Church burst on the scene in power as Jesus unites both Jew and Gentile into one body, the body of Christ, empowering them for the work of the ministry, to bring the Gospel message to a lost world, The Feast of Pentecost. This is the summer Feast.

            And, as we have seen this morning, in the Feast of Trumpets, Jesus will gather Jews from all over the world at the end of the Tribulation Period, the Feast of Trumpets.

Then, on the Day of Atonement, the Jews as a nation will receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior at the end of the Tribulation Period; they will receive His atonement, the Day of Atonement.  And finally, the Feast of Tabernacles, as the Jews will dwell with the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom, the Kingdom Age for 1,000 years, the Feast of Tabernacles.

            Thus, we have seen the complete work of God bringing both Jews and Gentiles into the Kingdom Age and to be with the Lord Jesus Christ for eternity. What an awesome God we have. You see, these Feasts did not just mean something historically, they were not just a ritual that the Jews observed, but it pointed to the future plan of God, in which three of those Feasts have been fulfilled in Jesus, the fourth or Pentecost is still being played out as we are in the Church Age and there are three more to come!

            As Christians, we look for the Lord to come back for His bride, the Church or as Paul reminds us, For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Titus 2:11-15.

            Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and share the things of God with others, let them know that He is coming back for if they don’t receive Him now as their Lord and Savior, if they miss the Rapture because of unbelief, the next thing they will see is the Tribulation Period!  Let us proclaim the Good News and the pictures that the Holy Spirit has painted for us in these Feasts, share them with others so that they too may see the wonderful work that Jesus has done for us, for them and then walk accordingly!

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