Four of the seven annual Holy Days that God calls “My feasts” (Leviticus 23:2) fall closely together in the seventh month in God’s calendar. It is during the month of Tishri that the first of the 4 Holy Days falls on the first day of that month. That Holy Day is called the Feast of Trumpets and Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar. It is followed by the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) 10 days later on Tishri 10. On the 15th day of Tishri, the Feast of Tabernacles begins. This feast period lasts for 7 days and starts with a Holy Day on Tishri 15. This feast is followed by the last of the annual seven Holy Days known as the Eighth Day Feast, on Tishri 22. Since this day is right after the Feast of Tabernacles, it is celebrated immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles. All of these four Holy Days and the symbolism they reflect look forward to a most blessed time for all of mankind- the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth and return of Christ as King of Kings.
One amazing fact the Bible teaches us is that the Word which “was with God and was God” (John 1:1) became flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:14). John tells us the world was made by Him and through Him, but the world did not know Him. Paul tells us all things on earth and heaven were created through Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:16-17) When we correctly understand those words, we can see what we have noted as feast days, which God calls “My feasts,” are also the feasts of Jesus Christ. We are also informed that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:8). This knowledge should make us pay a whole lot more attention to the Holy Days today. Jesus Christ, before coming in the flesh gave those Feast days to Israel – with the thought that Israel would teach the whole world as the “law” was intended to be taught by God’s holy nation Israel – and as we know, Israel failed totally.
Trumpets were often used to herald the approach of the Lord and some other great events or when rejoicing. Jesus referred to the sound of a trumpet when He returns with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30-31). This day also signifies the direct intervention of God in the affairs of this world. It is shown to be a day of great terror and darkness as the return of Jesus Christ will not be quiet and peaceful. Satan will make war and humans will be infected with Satan’s hateful attitude. God will act swiftly and decisively to end the influence of Satan. There will be great turmoil (Revelation 19:19-21).
The Holy Day called Atonement is a physically solemn Holy Day of the year. It is a day of fasting and of rejoicing. God pointed out the great meaning of this day as a day of renewal. Anciently, it was the day on which the responsibility for the sins of Israel (Leviticus 16:21) were laid upon Satan (the Azazel goat) and the blood of the Sacrificial goat (symbolizing Christ) was taken and offered for the cleansing of the people. This day was symbolic of a new beginning for mankind in their relationship with God. We rejoice knowing that the blood of Christ has now atoned for our sin and we stand before God cleansed through Him (Romans 5:11). The King James Bible uses the word “atonement” in this verse and the New King James uses “reconciliation”. As a further joyful event, every 50 years, the Jubilee year was celebrated on the Day of Atonement. This was the year where people could start over again by freeing them of all debt and returning their possessions. It was a year in which God provided food and crops were not to be seeded. No wonder it was greatly anticipated and joyful – though it was also solemn and a day of fasting. This day symbolizes the reconciliation and unity of man with His Creator and it pictures the removal of the primary cause of sin - Satan and his demons. (see "Atonement: Removal of Sin’s Cause and Reconciliation to God" in the Bible study aid, God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind). It symbolizes starting over with a clean slate with God.
The Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes God “tabernacling” or dwelling with man. God did appear in the tabernacle of old with Israel, though their sin cancelled the relationship. The meaning is still great for Christians today, as the Father and Son now dwell within the converted person and within the church (I Corinthians 6:19). In the future, God will make His abode with all His children. God’s people today are likened to Israel – but we are to come out of this world and all of its ungodly ways. God is leading His people as pilgrims to the “Promised Land” where His laws will go forth to the world. The seven day Feast of Tabernacles also pictures the 1,000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ over the whole earth after His second coming
The seventh annual Holy Day is attached to the end of the Feast of Tabernacles since it is the day after that Feast is over. It too is a solemn day of rest (Leviticus 23:39). The Old Testament contains no specific explanation of a purpose for this last Holy Day, but there are scriptures which allude to it. Ezekiel 37 describes a time when all those in the grave will be resurrected and taught the truth. This will be the first chance for these people to repent and obey God and receive forgiveness. This will be offered to the whole house of Israel and to the rest of mankind. We find more information in Revelation 20:11-15. The dead stand before God and books (of the Bible) are opened to their understanding and their judgment begins. It will be a time of peace without the evil of Satan lurking nearby - similar to the 1000 years of Christ’s rule. At the end, all humans will have been judged after a fair opportunity and those who succeed go on to eternal life, those who fail go to the second death. The Bible mentions the second death in Revelation 20:14, and Revelation 2:11.
Revelation 21:4 speaks of a time where there will be no more death. This can only happen when there are no human beings alive. It is fitting that this is the conclusion of the Holy Days of God, as they outline His plan.
As we conclude the entire view of the 7 Holy Day Feasts, there is a long pause on our calendar from the seventh month back to the first month of the next year when the cycle begins once again. This pause is not addressed in our bibles, but might simply be the as yet undefined future plans God has in place. All of eternity stretches before us and little is said about it, except that we will be like Him (Psalm 17:15, 1 John 3:2).
Whatever the answers, God is always merciful, just and fair. Keeping the Holy Days, which Jesus declared were His, greatly increases our understanding of the Father and Son – and gives us the training we need to be part of their future. This is why the days are joyous and happy days – celebrating the most awesome future that can be imagined.
For more information about the wonderful events symbolized by God’s Fall Holy Days, read the Bible study aid God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for all Mankind.