How is everyone tonight? We are continuing our series on the Feasts of God. Feasts that God directed the Children of Israel to participate in every year after they had been released from the bondage of Egypt. All these feasts maybe unbeknown to them that pointed to their Messiah.
The past three weeks, we have covered two feast periods during major harvest times for Israel..
Bikkurim, First Fruits, a seven-day feast that includes Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits which is held over the Barley Harvest in our March and April months.
Shavuot, Feast of Weeks as commonly known by the Jews or Pentecost for the Christian, held in May, 50 days after First Fruits, Pentecost in the Greek meaning 50th, and it’s held at the end of the Wheat harvest.
And tonight I would like to continue with the last feast period:
Sukkot, The Feast of Booths or as we say in English, Tabernacles. This feast was held at the end of the harvest season, and there are three parts this feast. The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths.
This feast period was held in the Jewish month of Tishri, in our months of September and October.
As I have said the past three weeks, these feasts created by God, was a picture of a future event that pointed to Jesus, to His future life, and future events because of that life. The feasts were all about Jesus and the love of God for His people, all creation.
Passover and Unleavened Bread was a picture of Jesus as the unblemished Lamb of God who would die to take awaythe sins of the world. First Fruits was about the resurrection. All to show the people the peace of God.
Pentecost was about the power of God, fulfilling what Jesus promised, that the Helper would come in the form of the Holy Spirit to empower people to operate in the power of God, to profess Christ with power to set the captive free.
And now looking at the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, God is showing His people, rest.
All the feasts were about encountering God through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, but the feasts were leading up to an end point for God’s creation. And end point for our current situation our current life as we live it in this world. The end point is the end of this age, moving into the total restoration of creation into the next. The next age is God’s people having eternal rest with Him. So the feast of booths is the culmination of all the other feasts, beginning to end.
And when we read about the feasts in the Word of God, rest is forefront concerning God. He established the Sabbath, and it was very important to Him. We find it first in Genesis,
Genesis2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work which God created to make.”
In the Feasts in Leviticus, where God says to Moses before He speaks of the Feasts:
Leviticus23:3, “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day isthe Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work. It isa Sabbath to Jehovah in all your dwellings.”
After God speaks to Moses about Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He speaks again:
Leviticus23:7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no work of labor, 8 but you shall offer a fire offering to Jehovah seven days. In the seventh day isa holy convocation. You shall do no work of labor.”
And during the last feast period for the end of the harvest season, God says:
Leviticus23:23,” And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 24 Speak to the sons of Israel saying: In the seventh month, in the first dayof the month, you shall have a Sabbath, a memorial summons, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no work of labor but you shall offer a fire offering to Jehovah.
Then during the last feast period that we will talk about tonight:
Leviticus23:26, “And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 27 Also, on the tenth of this seventh month, this is a day of atonement. It shall bea holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls and offer a fire offering to Jehovah. 28 And you shall do no work in that same day, for it isa day of atonement, in order to make an atonement for you before Jehovah your God.”
Leviticus23:33,“And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying, 34 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall betheFeast of Tabernacles for seven days to Jehovah. 35 On the first day shall bea holy convocation. You shall do no work of labor.”
So all of the Feasts had a Sabbath within them. The Sabbath was important to God. It is number 4 on the Ten Commandment List. God told Moses in Exodus:
Exodus 31:12-15,” And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying, 13 Speak also to the sons of Israel, saying, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths. For it isa sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I amJehovah who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it isholy to you. Everyone that defiles it shall surely be put to death. For whoever does anywork in it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days may work be done, but on the seventh isthe Sabbath of rest, holy to Jehovah.
God is telling us to remember during this time, that He is the God who set us apart.
He is the God who sanctifies us, who frees us from the sin nature and makes us acceptable to Him.
In addition to God’s rest, another thing stood out to me.
Looking at all of the feast periods, or harvest times, we see the feasts split between two periods, spring and fall. Why is that?
Yes, the feasts coincided with the harvest. And yes, “the feasts were religious seasons or holy convocations as God said in Leviticus where he dealt with the children of Israel as a Nation.
But between the seasons, there is nothing. There is nothing because just as the feasts were and are a prophetic event. The times between the seasons were to.
It is was a time where God would be dealing and is currently dealing with the Children of Israel on a National and historical basis.
To look at the broad picture of the feasts, we see that the first group of feasts was a representation of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who would was slain.
Jesus shed His blood to take away the sins for all of mankind who believed, and was resurrected by God as the first fruits of the dead, then Jesus after His resurrection, sending the Holy Spirit.
And as we know, Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feast Period. After that fulfillment, after His resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Church age began.
A church that was sanctified by the Blood, and operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, we are still in that age.
For the Children of Israel, upon their denial of Jesus as their Messiah, they would eventually see their lives crumble before them, with the loss of their land by the Romans who destroyed the Temple, and dispersed the people. And for ~ 1900 or more years, they would not possess their land that God had promised them until May 14, 1948. They have the land, prophecy fulfilled, but still have not accepted their Messiah.
This is the prophetic Summer between the Feasts. The Jews still waiting for their Messiah, and their rest. When Jesus fulfills the feast of the last harvest, the Jews will see the culmination of their feasts, and their summer will end.
That will also be the end of the Church age. “The prophetic significance of The Feast of Tabernacles is that it represents the end of the age, and the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, in God’s final encounter with His chosen people, the Children of Israel.”
But let’s get into the last Feast season to see what God is saying.
The first feast in the fall begins in the seventh month and the first day.
Numbers29:1, “And in the seventh month, on the first of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no laboring work. It is a day of blowing the trumpets to you.29:2 And you shall prepare a burnt offering for a sweet savor to Jehovah:
God is saying as in all of His gatherings of His people, they were being set apart, for a gathering with a holy special purpose that is sacred to Him, to rehearse. I’ve spoke about that before with the feasts. It is a rehearsal for the people. The people are to re hear what they have been taught. That’s why they were to annually participate in the feasts.
They will do no work so they could focus themselves on God and him alone. And one thing that is important, was that the people would consecrate themselves before participating in the gatherings.
The Fall Feasts known by today’s Jews know it as the beginning of their Civil New Year, (remember they have two calendars). They call it Rosh Hashanah. It’s literal meaning is the "beginning” or the “head of the year”.
On the religious calendar, it is the 7thmonth established by God as we read in the Book of Numbers.
The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (Yom Terr ah) literally meaning "day of shouting or blasting. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, Yamim Nora'im. "Days [of] Awe") or as we know as The Feast of Trumpets.
According to Judaism, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the year because it is held on the traditional anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.
The Feast of Trumpets begins with Rosh Hashanah, because Rosh Hashanah also announces the arrival of the religious seventh month so the people can prepare for ten days of celebration of repentance, culminating on Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement.
For ten days the Children of Israel will reflect on their lives and turn away from their sin. For them these practices are meant to give them a more favorable chance of having their names sealed in the Book of Life for another year.
The horn blown during this Feast of Trumpets is the shofar, a ram’s horn, and it signifies the horn that was blown when God met the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai. The shofar was also blown to remember the ram that was sacrificed in place of Isaac, the son of Abraham in Genesis 22:13. And it also represents the Trump of God that will sound at the coming of the Messiah.
1Thessalonians4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive andremain shall be caught up together with them in theclouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.”
Remember Jericho. It was with a horn and with a shout that the walls fell. So the nation of Israel knows the horn well.
Those Horns blast during the Feast of Trumpets to awaken the people to get ready, and prepare themselves.
Speaking of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it is the Holiest Day in Judaism.
Leviticus23:26, “And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, 27 Also, on the tenth of this seventh month, this is a day of atonement. It shall bea holy convocation to you. And you shall afflict your souls and offer a fire offering to Jehovah. 28 And you shall do no work in that same day, for it isa day of atonement, in order to make an atonement for you before Jehovah your God. 29 For any soul who is not humbled in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And any soul who does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no kind of work. It shall bea statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall beto you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall humble your souls. In the ninth of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall keep your Sabbath.”
Two main points here, you shall afflict your soul, and you will keep the Sabbath.
As the Jews would say, “It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered into the Book of Life is sealed. This day is, essentially, your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your repentance and make amends.”
“Jewish tradition holds that God opens the Book of Life and studies the words, actions, and thoughts of every person whose name He has written there. If a person's good deeds outweigh or outnumber their sinful acts, his or her name will remain inscribed in the book for another year.”
Yom Kippur is held on a complete Sabbath, and for 25 hours you do not eat or drink. A complete fast to the Lord. It is the only required fast in the Bible. It is customary to wear white on the holiday, which symbolizes purity and calls to mind to the Jew the promise that their sins shall be made as white as snow from (Is. 1:18).
Isaiah1:18,“Come now, and let us reason together, says Jehovah; though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.”
So this holy day, was the day that God would judge the sins of an entire nation. So this day would be called the Day of Judgement.
We read in Leviticus 16, about the Day of Atonement.
Aaron the brother of Moses after his son’s Nadab and Abihuoffered strange fire to the Lord that He did not command them to do in Leviticus 10, and God killed them, told Moses to have Aaron sanctify himself by cleansing himself physically, then cleansing himself spiritually by the offering of a blood sacrifice for himself, then offering a blood sacrifice for the people to atone for their sins.
Leviticus 16:29-31,“And it shall be a statute forever to you: in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all, the native and the alien who is staying among you. 30 For on that day an atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you, so that you may be clean from all your sins before Jehovah. 31 It shall bea Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever.”
So this was a great day for repentance, and national cleansing because it was the day that God would judge their sins. It was the day that the High Priest would make the blood sacrifice covering the sins of the people.
During the ten days before the Day of Atonement, the Jewish people would perform many good deeds, and say profound prayers seeking forgiveness and mercy. Those ten days are referred to as the Awesome days, and the Ten Days of Repentance. The Jews would greet each other during that time by saying “May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life.”
Jesus fulfilled aspects of this feast by going into the Heavenly Holy of Holies with His own blood that He shed for s. We have been forgiven and made clean once and for all by the Blood of our Messiah Jesus. Our sins are not just covered; they have been removed. Our names are written in the Book of Life, sealed by the Holy Spirit.
When we do sin, we can immediately go to the Throne of Grace and ask for forgiveness. When we do as the Word says, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
This Day of Atonement will also point to the day when Jesus will return as Judge. But not only as Judge, but as the Redeemer.
In Leviticus 27 God speaks of the Year of Jubilee. Every 50thyear was to be a year of Jubilee that begins on the Day of Atonement. This special year would find that the prisoners were to be set free. Property was returned to its original owners, and it was a time of rest for the land. It was a time to proclaim liberty throughout the land. It was a time of rejoicing for the people.
This Year of Jubilee points to the time when Jesus returns and God’s people will be set free once and for all at it will be a time of eternal joy. Amen!
The Feast of Tabernacles – Sukkot
I’ll end with the last Feast. The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot to the Jew.
“Sukkot has a dual significance: historical and agricultural. Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred as the Festival of Ingathering.”
The word "Sukkot" means "booths," and refers to those temporary dwellings that the Jews are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering.
The Jews do not like their holiday called the Feast of Tabernacles because of the translation of tabernacle. To them the tabernacle meant a portable sanctuary, like the sanctuary carried in the desert that housed the Ark of the Covenant.
Sukkot lasts for seven days and was instituted in Leviticus 23:33.
Sukkot represents the last of the 7 Feasts of God. During this feast there is a Sabbath, a Holy day of rest. But being that it is the seventh feast, it represents completion. It is finished.
This feast begins on the Jewish calendar on the 15thof Tishri, and lasts to the 21st. On the 22nd, the eighth day, there is a special Sabbath. A special day of rest, but with rejoicing.
In Deuteronomy16:15God speaking of this last feast says, “Seven days you shall keep a solemn feast to Jehovah your God in the place which Jehovah shall choose. Because Jehovah your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice.”
We rejoice today, because Jesus is the ultimate dwelling place of God in human form.
John1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of theFather, full of grace and of truth.”
I love God’s Word!
Now God dwells in us because of Jesus, through His Holy Spirit.
Jesus will fulfill the Sukkot, or Feast of Booths upon His Second Coming. There will be a literal rest for the earth and its inhabitants.
Just as Jesus is our rest. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
He will give eternal rest to us, and He will also reconcile God’s chosen people back to the Father and all that they have rehearsed for thousands of years will now be seen by them in the person of Jesus Christ their Messiah.
God’s rest isn’t just dying and going to heaven as people think. It is living in the fullness of God here on this earth. We can now walk in peace, and power, and His rest now. The feasts were a representation of the now as well as the future.
Just as Egypt represented the world system, we as a representation of the Children of Israel can escape that system. Through Jesus Christ, we can be set free from the power of the sinful nature of this world into a nature that comes from heaven. Jesus through His death and resurrection bought that for us.
Some of us have been on a summer’s journey, but now have come to the fall harvest, and our journey in the desert has ended, praise be to God. All because of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
So as we view these feasts of God, we can see that Jesus is all over them, and we pray that even today the hope that God’s chosen people will see Jesus too.
God had a plan from the beginning that His creation would be one with Him again. And to be one with Him in body, mind, and Spirit, we need Jesus. And not only have Him in our hearts, but as God displayed Him throughout His Word, that we will display Him through our lives for others to see.
Jesus said he was the light of the world, and we as His people, His followers were not to hide that light.
We are to shine that light and shine it brightly for all to see so people will not come under the judgement of God after the last feast is completed in the last days, but that all as will come will believe and saved. Amen!