Christ in the Biblical Festivals

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Christ in the Biblical Festivals

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Every year of His life Jesus observed seven festivals. Are they valid today? If so, shouldn’t we observe them?

Transcript

 

[Darris] Every year of His life, Jesus observed seven festivals, and so did His Church that followed.

Have you ever heard of the Feast of Tabernacles? How about the Days of Unleavened Bread? Ever hear of the Day of Atonement?

Perhaps you can’t name these biblical festivals, and maybe you have never heard of them.

But that’s all right.

Because I am going to tell you about each of them in this program. And I will show you how Jesus Christ, your Savior, not only observed these festivals - He is at the center of each of them. By observing these festivals, you are celebrating the very life and work of Jesus Christ. They are a key to developing a closer relationship with Him. You also can learn how God will bring salvation to the entire world.

Join us on Beyond Today as we reveal Christ in the biblical festivals.

[Announcer] Join our host, Darris McNeely and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !

[Darris] Jesus Christ is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented figures in all history. He is certainly the most well known, but there is a lot to learn about His life, His teaching and His example.

One truth is essential. It’s that Christ kept the biblical festivals as part of His worship and teaching about the Father. And these festivals show Christ’s central role in the process of salvation. It’s important that we see these biblical Holy Days in their proper New Testament perspective. That perspective points to Jesus Christ. Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father, is the main agent of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.

Right at this point now, some of you may be thinking, “but those are Jewish feasts. They have nothing to do with the New Testament or Christianity today.” Unfortunately, that’s a widely held belief - but it’s wrong. These festivals do not belong to the Jews alone. They belong first to God and Jesus Christ. These are God’s festivals. They also belong to Christians who desire to follow Jesus’ example, and they have everything to do with Christ and His Church today.

Let’s step through the biblical festivals and let’s learn how Jesus Christ is represented in each one. These New Testament festivals, they are grouped into three periods of the year, all connected by one feature - Jesus Christ. And they show us how to worship God as our Father, in the same manner that Jesus did.

Passover

The first of the festivals is Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. The Passover began at the story of the Exodus from Egypt but it is more than an Old Testament observance. We see that it is mentioned 28 times in the New Testament.

Now what is the New Testament Passover all about? It is all about the One who is so profound, so holy, so important, that without Him, there is no hope for mankind - Jesus Christ. From the beginning, the Passover pointed directly to Jesus Christ. He is our true Passover Lamb. And as we observe the New Testament Passover in the spring - in the northern hemisphere - we understand that the central role Jesus has is in the removal of our sins. The Scripture says in 1 John: “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5 1 John 3:5And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
American King James Version×
).

Multiple Old Testament scriptures predicted the life and death of a Messiah. Christ’s death by crucifixion fulfilled many of these scriptures in incredible detail. It is one of the great proofs of the validity of the Bible and of who Jesus was. Just before Jesus’ last Passover, the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas predicted that Jesus would “die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (John 11:50 John 11:50Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
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).

Christ’s death fulfilled the ritual of the slaughtered lamb, and it opened a new dimension of understanding to the festivals. Notice how the apostle Paul understood and how he taught this New Testament application to a group of Gentile Christians in the city of Corinth. He wrote: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×
).

In this passage that describes the first of the biblical festivals we see the essential role Christ has in properly understanding and observing these days.

Now let’s look at the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Days of Unleavened Bread

The Days of Unleavened Bread is a seven-day festival which begins right after Passover. Just like Passover, Jesus Christ is the central focus of the Days of Unleavened Bread. Christians observe this festival knowing that it’s a time to focus on putting sin out of their lives and overcoming sin. Leavening, for the purpose of the spring festival season, represents sin. Again the apostle Paul refers to it as “the leaven of malice and wickedness” (1 Corinthians 5:8 1 Corinthians 5:8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×
). There are other scriptures that refer to leaven as hypocrisy (Luke 12:1 Luke 12:1In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, so that they stepped one on another, he began to say to his disciples first of all, Beware you of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
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) and false teaching. During this New Testament festival, leavening is portrayed as a type of wickedness that Christians strive in their lives to overcome.

God’s instruction in keeping this festival is to eat unleavened bread for seven days. This is a piece of unleavened bread. It’s typically called a matzo. It’s very flat. It hasn’t risen. There’s nothing to it other than just flour, water and a little salt. The Days of Unleavened Bread and this piece of bread ties deeply into something very significant out of this festival. You see, these days picture the promise of the risen Christ. Jesus promised that He and the Father would make Their home in our hearts (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
American King James Version×
). In fact, it is Christ in us who is the hope of our glory (Colossians 1:27 Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
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).

And as we eat unleavened bread during this festival, we are reminded that Christ is the ultimate example of sincerity and truth. And a Christian, desires with all their being to have that Holy One living in them. Observing the Days of Unleavened Bread also reminds us that it is not our righteousness that causes us to overcome sins. Rather, it is the righteousness that comes as a result of Jesus living His righteous life in the hearts of His people, empowering us to conquer sin. Again Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
American King James Version×
).

The New Testament observance of the Days of Unleavened Bread teaches us about the resurrected Christ who died for our sins that we may have the hope of eternal life. It explains that by letting Christ live in us, we can be transformed. Only by taking on Jesus’ character can we truly overcome sin.

Now this is a fascinating subject and we’re just getting into it. Do you want to know more about the biblical Holy Days? I can’t tell you everything in this short program. But I can offer you a free study aid that we’ve created called, God’s Holy Day Plan - The Promise of Hope for All Mankind .

This free offer can be yours. With it you can study deeper into what the Bible reveals about the festivals God gave to mankind. These festivals describe in step-by-step detail God’s plan for all mankind.

You can learn much more about these festivals in our Bible study aid: God’s Holy Day Plan - The Promise of Hope for All Mankind. To request your personal copy, please call us at toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Again, that’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, go online to BeyondToday.tv to read or download this study aid.

Pentecost: Christ empowers His Church

Now let’s look at the next festival, the Feast of Pentecost . Pentecost was eagerly celebrated in Israel because it signified the completion of the early harvest, the very first harvest from the fields. It was a time of an early harvest of the first grains of the new season - a lot like what I am holding in my hand. A priest would take a sheaf of grain - like this - and in a special ceremony, he would wave it before God as an offering. And Israelites could be assured of food for their families when God’s blessing was on them. Pentecost signaled a good year ahead for an Israelite. It was a great festival of both hope and joy.

In the New Testament, we see a deeper and a more profound parallel to this. When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven following His resurrection, the apostles were perplexed because their risen Lord was being taken from them. But Jesus had already promised them that He would not leave them as orphans (John 14:18 John 14:18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
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). He promised that both He and the Father would come to the disciples by and through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-23 John 14:16-23 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. 20 At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas said to him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
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).

Jesus repeated this promise in Luke, where He said: “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but [wait] in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49 Luke 24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.
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).

That power is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on Pentecost as we read in the second chapter of Acts. And suddenly with that event, the disciples became the Church of God.

No longer were they a dazed and bewildered group of men and women - they were now the firstfruits of the people of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they would now be able to truly overcome sin. And through that same power, God’s Church would take the gospel to the entire world. This all became possible because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled His promise by empowering the Church with the Holy Spirit. As Christians today celebrate this festival, we are reminded of the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit. By this power, the life of the risen Christ in us, we have hope and joy to carry out the same work Christ did while on this earth - the work of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

We have covered two of the annual biblical festivals: the Days of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Pentecost. We will now briefly cover each of the next four Holy Days, which come in the fall of the year. As we examine them, we will again notice the pivotal role Jesus Christ has in fulfilling each of these days.

Trumpets: Announcing Christ’s return

The next biblical festival uses an interesting symbol - a trumpet, or called as well, a shofar.

Trumpets and the blast of a horn such as this were used in the Bible for several purposes. They were used to call the people of God to assembly (Numbers 10:1-10 Numbers 10:1-10 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Make you two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shall you make them: that you may use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. 3 And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to you at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. 5 When you blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. 6 When you blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. 9 And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version×
). They were also used - the blast of a horn - to announce the beginning of this first Fall Holy Day (Leviticus 23:24 Leviticus 23:24Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
American King James Version×
). Trumpets were also used to announce the coronation of a king (1 Kings 1:39-40 1 Kings 1:39-40 39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. 40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
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). All of these purposes find their ultimate fulfillment in the New Testament teaching that Jesus Christ will return to the earth as King and assemble His people together at the sounding of a great trumpet blast.

Furthermore, the New Testament clearly shows that at what is called the first resurrection, with the blowing of a great trumpet, “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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16 1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
American King James Version×
). There’s another passage in the book of 1 Corinthians. It says this: “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” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
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).

Perhaps a key scripture is found in the book of Revelation, where it says that: “…the seventh angel sounded.” Again, sounding a trumpet: “And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
).

The Feast of Trumpets pictures the moment when Jesus Christ steps into our world and imposes His Kingdom in place of every human government. It also pictures the resurrection of what is called in the Bible the “dead in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:16 1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
American King James Version×
) and the change to a glorified spirit life - becoming a spirit being in the family of God. It is pivotal point in God’s purpose for human life on this place called Earth.

The Bible shows us Christ’s return will not be welcomed by the armies and the leaders of this world. In fact, the coming of Christ is accompanied unfortunately, by a time of war. The “kingdoms of this world” will not willingly yield nor submit to Jesus Christ. There is a reason the Lamb of God with a robe dipped in blood and wielding a sword will “strike the nations.” The kingdoms of this world are currently controlled by a powerful spirit being called in the Bible, Satan the Devil. This evil being is the real power behind the scenes of all human folly. Before the righteous reign of Jesus Christ can begin on this earth, Satan - himself must be decisively dealt with. This next step in God’s plan is told through the next festival, the Day of Atonement.

Atonement: Christ sends Satan away

The Day of Atonement is the most unusual of the Holy Days. It is a day on which God’s people do not eat food or drink any liquids. It’s called a “fast” (Leviticus 23:26-32 Leviticus 23:26-32 26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. 28 And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you celebrate your sabbath.
American King James Version×
; Acts 27:9 Acts 27:9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
American King James Version×
). In ancient Israel, on this festival, once a year a ceremony took place and an offering with a High Priest and two specially chosen goats.

One goat was killed and its blood was offered within the Holy of Holies - that sacred room within the Temple where only the High Priest could go once a year on this special once-a-year festival.

The second goat was not killed but it was led out into the wilderness and it was released. This goat represents Satan, the one who departed from God and who is responsible for all evil in this world. Satan is the one Jesus called a “liar” and a “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44 John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
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). His evil presence and influence must be removed from the human family before the peace of God’s Kingdom can begin.

The modern observance of this Day of Atonement - the way that we keep it today, without the goats - today’s observance pictures the time when Christ returns to the earth. He will commission an angel to banish Satan into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
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). Satan will not be allowed to deceive the nations for a thousand years. This world will not know true peace until Satan, the ultimate deceiver, is put away. With this done, the eyes of mankind will be opened. The light of God’s truth will spread over humanity and a spiritual healing will come upon all peoples from all walks of life.

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the One who has crushed the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15 Genesis 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
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, NIRV) is central to the ultimate fulfillment of this day. Now the real work of God’s Kingdom can begin.

Tabernacles: Christ’s millennial rule

After Jesus returns, there will be a 1,000-year period of peace and prosperity (Revelation 20:1-6 Revelation 20:1-6 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
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). The earth will be changed, not through the achievement of mankind, but through the power of God. The biblical festival called “Tabernacles” pictures this time - which many call “The Millennium.”

Jesus is key to understanding the Feast of Tabernacles . He observed this Feast while He was on the earth, and He told His disciples to observe the Feast as well (John 7:2-14 John 7:2-14 2 Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that your disciples also may see the works that you do. 4 For there is no man that does any thing in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world. 5 For neither did his brothers believe in him. 6 Then Jesus said to them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. 8 Go you up to this feast: I go not up yet to this feast: for my time is not yet full come. 9 When he had said these words to them, he stayed still in Galilee. 10 But when his brothers were gone up, then went he also up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, No; but he deceives the people. 13 However, no man spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. 14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
American King James Version×
). In Old Testament times, the Israelites would gather in Jerusalem and dwell in small huts or booths made from leafy branches of trees, and they would rejoice in the worship of God (Leviticus 23:40 Leviticus 23:40And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
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). The Old Testament links the reign of Christ on the earth with the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-21 Zechariah 14:16-21 16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoever will not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even on them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, with which the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 20 In that day shall there be on the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
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).

In the book of Revelation, it tells us that Christ will reign on the earth for 1,000 years. Christ’s reign will create what human government has not been able to accomplish for thousands of years - which is a lasting peace, true justice and a chance for godly knowledge to flourish within the human family.

Isaiah the prophet explains this period in many of his exciting prophecies. The period is often called the Millennium. Let’s note two of them.

In Isaiah 2, it says, “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation” ( Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
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)

In Isaiah 35, we read: “The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isaiah 35:5-7 Isaiah 35:5-7 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
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).

These scriptures will be literally fulfilled when the One who sits at the right hand of the Father, Jesus Christ, returns to the earth.

These three festivals, they all occur within a three-week period during the months of September to October every year: the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. But there is one more, and its meaning is the greatest of all hope for mankind.

Have you ever wondered about those who died never having accepted Jesus Christ as Savior? What about them? Is there hope? What does the Bible say about this group of people? The final biblical festival of the year explains.

But before we go there, let me once again offer you our free Bible study aid, God’s Holy Day Plan - The Promise of Hope for All Mankind . This guide, along with our bi-monthly magazine, The Good News , will help you study deeper into this subject. We would be happy to sign you up for a free Good News subscription. You will receive helpful articles on prophecy, Christian living, and other material to help you in your biblical studies.

You can request both by calling: 1-888-886-8632. Again, that’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can go online and read our literature at BeyondToday.tv . It’s also available for download to your iPad, your Kindle or your Nook.

The Eighth Day: Jesus offers salvation to all

Following the Feast of Tabernacles is a final feast day (Leviticus 23:36 Leviticus 23:36Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and you shall do no servile work therein.
American King James Version×
). It is designated as an Eighth Day , distinct from the Feast of Tabernacles. Now this festival has a profound meaning in the plan of God. Many today worry about loved ones who died without receiving salvation through Jesus Christ. They worry about loved ones who died before they repented and were baptized in faith. Their concern is that after, their loved ones are lost, doomed forever in an ever-burning hell fire.

But God is a God of love. He will never allow any human being to be lost without first being given a fair opportunity to hear the gospel. He will even save those who have gone to their graves without the knowledge of God.

In the prophecy of Ezekiel 37, we read of a great resurrection of people who died without having understood God’s great plan. In that prophecy it says: “I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army…” And they say… “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off” (Ezekiel 37:10-11 Ezekiel 37:10-11 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up on their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
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). The prophet is seeing in vision, a resurrection.

But God’s comforting words to them follow on. God says: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves…then you shall know that I am the LORD… I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it” (Ezekiel 37:12-14 Ezekiel 37:12-14 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, said the LORD.
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).

These verses, along with other biblical passages, tell us that there is a time coming when those who died without the full knowledge of God will be given their opportunity for salvation. They will finally recognize Christ for who He really is, our Lord and our Savior. Non-Christians who have lived their entire lives without ever hearing His name, they will be given the opportunity to both accept His sacrifice as payment for their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The book of Revelation tells us of a resurrection at the conclusion of the 1,000-year reign of Christ. These are called “the dead, small and great” (Revelation 20:12 Revelation 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
American King James Version×
). They will stand before God and have the books of the Bible opened to their understanding. They will have the opportunity to confess belief in God and Christ and enter eternal life.

The meaning of this final festival is that there is a time yet coming in God’s timetable in which those who have never had the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be raised from their graves and given an opportunity to hear the truth.

Those who have never known the truth will someday come to know God and understand His great plan. The great meaning of this Eighth Day festival is this: Every human who has lived will have a chance to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 1 Timothy 2:4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
American King James Version×
).

The Holy Days of God give us an overview of God’s great plan of salvation. The fulfillment of these days is dependent upon the One who became a man, who died for our sins and who now sits at the right hand of the Father. His name is Jesus Christ.

Let me remind you about ordering your free copy of: God’s Holy Day Plan - The Promise of Hope for All Mankind and your free subscription to The Good News magazin e. Please call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Once again, that’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can go online at BeyondToday.tv and read both. We look forward to hearing from you!

Also, while visiting our BeyondToday.tv website we invite you to watch BT Daily . These are short daily videos on important Bible topics and breaking news items. Join us throughout the week, on the Web, for BT Daily and get additional analysis on prophecy, the Bible and God’s plan for humanity. And, you can watch Beyond Today and BT Daily anytime on YouTube , or on our Roku Channel .

And, the United Church of God has hundreds of Sabbath-keeping congregations meeting on Saturday across the United States and around the world. Go to BeyondToday.tv - click on the “Contact” tab to find a congregation near you . Call one of our pastors and share your story with them.

We have an extra minute to discuss this topic today. I have an important question to ask fellow presenter, Steve Myers.

Steve, what is it that people can learn by keeping these biblical festivals?

[Steve] They can learn a tremendous amount. Hard to explain in just a minute, but, just imagine the word, holy. Holy Days - they are God’s Holy Days. We forget sometimes what that word really means. It’s something unique. It is something special. These are days that are unique for us as men, as women. It’s unique to God. It’s special to God.

It’s something special to God because it reveals what God’s plan is all about for mankind. And so He maps it out for us to make it very clear that it all starts with Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us. That we need God’s Holy Spirit - Pentecost reminds us of that. And as we move through the Holy Days, the unleavened bread, from Passover to Unleavened Bread–putting sin out of our lives, needing God’s spirit to do that at Pentecost, moving to Trumpets and Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles–they map out the steps that God has in mind for us.

And then, most importantly I think at the end, we have the Eighth Day that makes it very clear that God isn’t prejudice against people. Everyone will have an opportunity, all of mankind, who ever lived will have an opportunity to have the Bible opened to them. God’s Word will come to life and they will have an opportunity to choose life.

And so what an amazing blessing it is when you see how Christ fits into all of the Holy Days. Something that I think everyone needs to check into and find out what the Bible is really teaching us about God’s special plan.

[Darris] And I think it’s that Eighth Day, that meaning that all will have an opportunity to know Jesus Christ and to have an opportunity for salvation that is the greatest hope that can be made possible.

This program has laid out for you a lot of information. What is it that you need to do?

Well first, write for our free offer of the study aid, God’s Holy Day Plan - The Promise For All Mankind . This booklet will take you deeper into the Bible and it will show you how Jesus Christ is central to the biblical festivals.

Next, you really need to examine your beliefs. You may keep Christmas, Easter and other religious holidays but you are finding them lacking. You know something is missing. It’s time that you ask some hard questions about what you have accepted and what you have been doing all your life in a religious sense.

And finally, call us to find a church near you that keeps these biblical festivals . Find out why many people are turning to the Bible to understand how to truly worship God. Isn’t it time to do something with what you are learning here on Beyond Today ? We do look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for watching, for Beyond Today , I’m Darris McNeely.

[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today’s program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please join us again next week on Beyond Today !

Comments

  • Marija Cowan
    Ezekiel 37:12-14 "Behold, o My people," -- this does not sound like God was talking to the people that did not know God. This sounds like God was talking about His people - the Israelites. This seems to be a misinterpretation and misapplication of the verses. Actually, verses 11 and 12 explain that the bones are the "whole house of Israel.: "11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel." We should not ignore the true meaning of these verses and stop misusing them to justify a Worldwide Church of God doctrine that needs to be re-studied and proven against God's word - not repeating and teaching a man's interpretation as if it came from God.
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