These feasts are the Eternal’s assurance of hope for mankind. We in God’s Church know that these seven biblical festivals are contained within the three major harvest seasons of the Holy Land. We have the “barley harvest,” and the later spring “wheat harvest,” and the great “ingathering” which is the last “fall harvest.” These three festival seasons symbolically portray humanity’s salvation in successive stages. Each stage involves greater numbers than its predecessor.
The first harvest season, is the barley harvest, it is the smallest, yet in a significant sense the greatest. This is generally referred to as the Passover season and it includes the Days of Unleavened Bread. This is the spring harvest and a lighter one, the ripened barley is somewhat lighter weighted grain than wheat. Within the Passover/Unleavened Bread season is the wave-sheaf offering. This is where the lighter harvest comes into play. You see it represents only one man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the fulfilling of the wave-sheaf offering. Jesus Christ had to be accepted by God the Father before the barley harvest could start. (Send for our FREE DVD “The Wave Sheaf”).
The second harvest festival is called the Feast of Pentecost. This feast represents the harvesting of the firstfruits in God’s plan for humanity, including the Old Testament saints and those who throughout history have been part of the New Testament Church that Jesus Christ founded.
The spiritual fulfillment of this feast began when God sent His Spirit to the original members of His Church (Acts 2:1-4). “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come.” Now this harvest of human firstfruits continues until the return of Jesus Christ when they are resurrected to eternal life as immortal spirit beings (I Corth. 15:50-52; I Thess. 4:15-17). This is why members of God’s Church are called firstfruits. Now if we were to stop here we would remain completely ignorant of the significance of God’s final harvest festival.
James 5:7 “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” The fruit that James is talking about is human beings, who will receive God’s wonderful gift of eternal life.
Now this last harvest season actually includes four different festivals, and all of them with distinct meanings -- Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.
Trumpets is the beginning of this world’s transformation. In the Bible trumpets were used to sound an alarm of war, and as the days ahead of us unfold, this world will be gripped by warfare.
Rev. 6:4 talks about a fiery red horse that takes peace from the earth and people would kill one another. If Jesus Christ did not intervene in human affairs at this point, the tyrannical leader under the inspiration of Satan the Devil would destroy the earth and humanity with it.
Jesus Christ is returning back to this earth to save it, not to destroy humanity, this day marks the first step God takes to ensure this great hope for mankind. Daniel 2:44 “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever.” Daniel is telling us that God will not allow human governments to rule indefinitely. Christ will return and set up a world ruling kingdom far greater than any human government.
The memorial of blowing of trumpets is also a shadow of Jesus Christ and His role in things to come on this earth. Often in the New Testament the sound of trumpets is tied to Jesus Christ’s second coming. Matt. 24:30-31 “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 in 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.”
The Bible also reveals that not too far ahead of us all nations will fight what we call World War III, this war will lead to cosmoscide; death is coming to everyone if Jesus Christ does not intervene.
In World War I ten million died, in World War II fifty-five million died, but today there are around 8 to 10 nations that have nuclear weapons and these weapons will be used. A lot of these nations have 30,000 plus nuclear weapons. Matt. 24:21-22 “no flesh will be left alive, but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Jesus Christ is telling us that He will not allow His Creation to be completely destroyed, and this is what the Feast of Trumpets is all about, to put an end to our lawless ways.
Another aspect of Trumpets is found in Joel 2:1-2 “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My Holy mountain, let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord (not Sunday) is coming, for it is at hand, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains, a people come, great and strong the like of whom has never been, nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.” Verses 10-11 : “The earth quakes before them, the heaven tremble, the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness, the Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great: for strong is the One who executes His word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible who can endure it?” Verses 30-31 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
Unless mankind repents from breaking God’s laws we are headed for the greatest time of trouble this world has ever seen.
The trumpets plagues that are mentioned in the Book of Revelation is God intervening in human affairs. Now as for God’s people, they will not go through these plagues. Notice what Isaiah wrote of this time: Isa. 26:20-21 “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were for a little moment until the indignation (God’s wrath) is past; For behold the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood (or bloodshed) and will no more cover her slain.”
The first four trumpets plagues affect our environment Rev. 8:6-12. The 5th and 6th trumpets deal with military action and events that will lead up to the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.
Rev. 19:11 “Now I saw heaven opened, behold a white horse, and He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Yes Jesus Christ is coming back, not as a sweet little baby boy, but as a conquering King to bring peace and happiness to this sick world. Christ is also going to raise the dead saints to eternal life and those who are alive at His 2nd coming and give them eternal life. Christ is also going to bring the Kingdom of God with Him and it will produce beauty and peace and health and productivity that this world has never seen. You can read about this in the 11th chapter of Isaiah and Micah 4:1-2. People will finally learn how to worship the true God. They will learn that God’s laws were not done away with upon Christ’s death. No longer will they be motivated to fight, and quarrel, lie, cheat, and steal, but will learn to love their fellowman, and for the sake of all mankind, the sooner the better.
The 5th step in God’s Master Plan, deals with Satan the Devil, it is called the Day of Atonement. This day pictures Jesus Christ deposing Satan from his present position as world ruler (II Cor. 4:4) and removing him to a place completely away from mankind. He will be bound for a 1000 years no longer able to deceive the nations and influence man to sin.
After Satan’s imprisonment, the rest of humanity will be reconciled – made at one with God. The “bottomless pit” or abyss was pictured by the desert wilderness where the Azazel goat was banished. (Lev. 16). Satan and his demons will be completely restrained by Christ from further leading mankind into sin. No longer will Satan be able to broadcast his evil attitudes.
For the first time, mankind will be able to understand God’s Master Plan of salvation. People will then begin to realize their wrong ways and desire to repent. Man will become at one with Christ and the Father, as pictured by the Day of Atonement!
The Feast of Tabernacles, pictures the 6th step in God’s Master Plan, it is a time of great rejoicing! For ancient Israel, it was a time of rejoicing because the abundant winter’s store was taken in just before the Feast. But in the Millennium, which this feast pictures, the happiness, joy and prosperity portrayed by the Feast of Tabernacles will exist worldwide under the righteous rule of Jesus Christ. Universal adherence to God’s way of life will make the New World to come a literal utopian paradise.
Jesus Christ will reeducate the people of the world through His annual festivals. The world will come to know that God’s Master Plan pictures the way to physical blessings and spiritual salvation.
The final step in God’s plan is called the Last Great Day (White Throne Judgment). God in His loving concern for all mankind has planned for everyone who has ever lived to receive an opportunity for salvation and Sonship in His Family, just as the already spiritual called and begotten children of God have been given their opportunity now. The last annual Sabbath or Holy Day is observed immediately after the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Last Great Day pictures the completion of God’s Master Plan. Rev. 20:5 shows that a second resurrection will occur after the Millennium and verses 11-12 reveal that those in this resurrection to mortal life, who died never having been called to participate in God’s plan of salvation, will then be given their opportunity to become members of God’s divine ruling Family.
These individuals will be given enough time to learn to obey God, just as Spirit-begotten Christians have opportunity today. Those who continue to live God’s way of life, developing the character of God, will be changed from mortality to immortality at the end of this period of judgment, which apparently will last 100 years (Isa. 65:20).
Your Bible shows that the vast majority of those who ever lived will finally be born into God’s Kingdom at the end of this coming period of judgment, pictured by the Last Great Day. God’s Master Plan of salvation for mankind will then be complete. Then the spirit-composed members of God’s great ruling Family can look forward to new heavens and a new earth, and to new and wonderful opportunities in ruling the universe under God our Father and Jesus Christ our elder brother!