How God’s Fall Festivals Reveal His Love for Humanity
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God’s four fall* festivals teach us about His plan of salvation for you and all of humanity. They express God’s love for you. God greatly desires for you to be a spiritual child in His family. They also teach us the fate of Satan the devil and how God will work with each person so they, too, can be in His Kingdom.
Did you know there is an order in which humanity’s eyes are opened to truly understand Jesus’ message and our incredible purpose? God’s festivals show this plan. Please read Leviticus 23:23-44, where the festival commandments are found.
The Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24-25)
First, the Feast of Trumpets depicts nothing less than the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God!
Through this festival we learn how those whose eyes are opened now have an opportunity to be in the first resurrection, to eternal life. This will begin a 1,000-year period symbolized in the Feast of Tabernacles. These firstborn members of God’s family will be given a vital part to play in God’s great work.
Raised to glorified eternal spirit life at Christ’s return, they will reign with Him as kings and priests on the earth, assisting in the teaching of God’s truth to all humanity (Revelation 5:10; 20:6; Isaiah 30:20-21). God intends this life we live now to be a training ground so that we will have the good character needed to teach and guide others.
The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32)
The Day of Atonement involves not only the forgiveness of sin due to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice but also the removal of the primary cause of sin, Satan.
It pictures an essential step that must take place before humanity can experience true peace on earth. After the first two chapters in Genesis, we are introduced to a serpent whose real identity is identified in Revelation as that of a fallen angel (Revelation 12:9). Satan tried to destroy God’s relationship with the first human beings and ultimately with you.
Satan doesn’t care whether people believe in no God at all, worship a false god or are deceived into a false view of the true God and His plan for us; he still has them where he wants them—“alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).
Paul explains that “the god of this age” has blinded those “who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
But God is committed to the success of His plan and His creation! Through the prophetic fulfillment of what the Day of Atonement pictures, He will lay a hold of that old serpent and bind him for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:2).
The Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-35, Leviticus 23:37-44)
The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the 1,000-year rule of Jesus Christ on this earth, known as the Millennium (Revelation 20:4-6).
Many human beings will live through the Great Tribulation into the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ. This period is pictured in the Bible as a time of peace, plenty and joy. All nations will follow God in His wonderful way of life.
An incredible spiritual change will take place among people. “The eyes of the blind shall be opened . . . ” (Isaiah 35:5), and the Spirit of God will influence people to willingly and enthusiastically obey God from their hearts. People will begin to place the interests of others before their own. They will begin to think of others as “better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3, King James Version).
With the coming of world peace, countries will “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3).
The Eighth Day (also known as the Last Great Day) (Leviticus 23:34-36, 39; Revelation 20:11-13)
This festival points to an incredibly important phase of God’s plan, which is the resurrection and judgment of the vast majority of all the human beings who have ever lived.
What about those who are not raised first? Who are they? And what will happen to them? Are those billions of lives lost forever?
Revelation 20:4-5, answers those questions: “And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.”
The “rest of the dead” are those to whom it was not given to understand in their lifetime. This group represents the majority of all people who have ever lived. Many of the people standing before God in this second resurrection will have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ, much less believed in Him. Others will be surprised to learn that they had been misled by a counterfeit Christianity.
The “rest of the dead” points to the conclusion of God’s master plan, the great harvest illustrated by the Holy Day referred to as the Eighth Day or, traditionally, the Last Great Day. A merciful God, not willing that any should perish, will reach out to everyone to whom the “books” of the Bible had never been opened in terms of understanding (Revelation 20:12). He will bring them back to life, offering an intimate relationship with Him by pouring out His Spirit on them—a powerful demonstration of God’s love for all of mankind.
He who has ears, let him hear!
God is calling you now to be part of the firstfruits and to be resurrected in the first resurrection. Don’t let your opportunity to rise first be taken away from you.
“Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:3-9).
Will you prepare yourself as good ground in which the seed of understanding may grow now? We all have a part in determining the destiny of the seed of understanding we’ve been given. And so we are faced with a weighty question: What will you and I do with God’s generous offer to be part of His first resurrection?
As you come to worship God at His appointed festivals, remember: Blessed are your eyes, for it has been given to you to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Live a life of purpose—to rise first at Jesus Christ’s return!
* in the northern hemisphere