The Biblical Festivals That Show How God Will Bring World Peace

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The Biblical Festivals That Show How God Will Bring World Peace

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History shows that the greatest barrier to world peace is our human nature. No segment of society escapes the cruelties it causes. Self-serving ambition, lust for power, prejudice and greed are only a few of humanity’s dark traits that regularly defeat the best of good intentions.

Conflicts arising from our selfish attitudes and choices victimize families and communities just as relentlessly as they do entire nations. We long for a solution, but can’t seem to find one that will endure.

Yet there is an answer, and the God who created us has revealed His intent to miraculously transform our nature so that peace will become possible!

In the Holy Scriptures He is described as “the God of peace” (Hebrews 13:20 Hebrews 13:20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
American King James Version×
). The Scriptures also refer to His Son Jesus Christ as the “Prince of Peace” and promise, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end …” (Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
American King James Version×
).

They foretell a time when “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (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.
American King James Version×
, New International Version).

But for now peace continues to be an elusive dream because, as those same Scriptures say of us, “the way of peace they have not known” (Romans 3:17 Romans 3:17And the way of peace have they not known:
American King James Version×
).

Landmarks in God’s road map to peace

Mankind simply doesn’t know the way to peace! The only sure way to lasting peace is through changing what is inside us. It’s futile to hope that merely placing restraints on man’s outward behavior will produce a permanent state of tranquility!

God’s plan for changing human nature is the most ancient of all road maps to world peace. It embodies seven successive steps, each vital to solving our human nature problem. Its focus is on transforming humanity from the inside out. And God assures us that it will eventually bring lasting peace!

We often celebrate special events. Many celebrations are memorials of landmark events that have shaped our family, community, nation or society.

God has ordained seven unique celebrations that highlight the key landmark events in His plan to create and sustain world peace. Jesus Christ personally observed all seven of these celebrations (in fact, He was crucified on one of them, the first one). These religious festivals celebrate the immense contributions that He has made or will make toward transforming humankind into the righteous and peaceful children of God.

These celebrations are holy festivals that God instituted when He was transforming the descendants of Jacob (grandson of Abraham) from a slave people into an independent nation under His rule. Several great themes are depicted.

One theme is that of a people who are freed from slavery so they can serve God. When the nation of Israel was freed from Egyptian bondage, they knew they were being rescued from physical slavery.

What they didn’t understand at that time was that their newly acquired freedom from physical slavery was symbolic of God’s plan to liberate, in the future, all peoples and nations from their slavery to sin (Romans 6:3-6 Romans 6:3-6 3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
American King James Version×
). The New Testament Scriptures explain that man’s enslavement to sin is caused by his fleshly desires that incite the evil tendencies of his human nature (Romans 7:22-23 Romans 7:22-23 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
American King James Version×
; James 4:1 James 4:1From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
American King James Version×
).

Another theme in God’s seven annual festivals is that of a harvest. This is the grand theme that pervades all of these feasts. Their dates are set according to the agricultural harvest seasons of the Holy Land. For this reason, they sometimes are called the harvest festivals.

But the implications of these festivals go far beyond the realm of agriculture. They lay before us the seven crucial steps in God’s plan to harvest—to gather—human beings into His everlasting family.

Jesus Christ explained this so clearly! “Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.

“For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:35-38 John 4:35-38 35 Say not you, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One sows, and another reaps. 38 I sent you to reap that where on you bestowed no labor: other men labored, and you are entered into their labors.
American King James Version×
, New Revised Standard Version, emphasis added throughout).

The first three festivals

The first step in God’s plan is symbolized through the divinely ordained festival called the Passover (Exodus 12:21 Exodus 12:21Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
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; Deuteronomy 16:1-2 Deuteronomy 16:1-2 1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover to the LORD your God: for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night. 2 You shall therefore sacrifice the passover to the LORD your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.
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). It reminds us annually that Jesus Christ was put to death so that we can receive forgiveness of sin. By recognizing and repenting of our sinful behaviors and attitudes that flow from our selfish nature, we all may receive this forgiveness.

Anciently, the Passover was observed by slaughtering a lamb—which represented the future sacrifice of Christ. At the beginning of Christ’s ministry, John the Baptist “saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
American King James Version×
).

The Passover commemorates what Jesus Christ has done in offering His own life to pay for the guilt of all who will repent.

Jesus and His disciples kept this festival (Mark 14:12-14 Mark 14:12-14 12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said to him, Where will you that we go and prepare that you may eat the passover? 13 And he sends forth two of his disciples, and said to them, Go you into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14 And wherever he shall go in, say you to the manager of the house, The Master said, Where is the guest room, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
American King James Version×
; Luke 22:13-15 Luke 22:13-15 13 And they went, and found as he had said to them: and they made ready the passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
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), setting the example we should follow (1 John 2:6 1 John 2:6He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
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). And the apostle Paul explicitly stated that Christians should continue following that example (1 Corinthians 11:23-28 1 Corinthians 11:23-28 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
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).

The second step in God’s plan is celebrated as the Days of Unleavened Bread. Paul explains the spiritual significance of this seven-day period alongside that of the Passover: “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 [of Unleavened Bread], 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×
).

God delivered the ancient Israelites, following their celebration of the Passover, from Egyptian slavery during the days of this festival. That national deliverance figuratively represented God’s commitment to deliver in the future all peoples, once they accept Christ’s sacrifice, from the negative pulls of their human nature.

As Paul explains to those who have already repented, accepted Christ’s sacrifice and begun striving to overcome sin and put it out of their lives: “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin … But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:6 Romans 6:6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
American King James Version×
, 17-18, NRSV).

The third step in this divine plan is celebrated as the Day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16 Acts 20:16For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hurried, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.
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). It also is referred to as “the Feast of Weeks” and “the day of the firstfruits” (Numbers 28:26 Numbers 28:26Also in the day of the first fruits, when you bring a new meat offering to the LORD, after your weeks be out, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work:
American King James Version×
). James 1:18 James 1:18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
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tells us that “of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

It was on the Day of Pentecost that the New Testament Church was first established. What made this event so special was the miraculous change, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, that God made in the minds and hearts of those who were converted on that day (Acts 2:1-4 Acts 2:1-4 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
American King James Version×
).

The time had finally come for God to begin changing a selected body of people from within. Jesus calls those who receive this marvelous transformation of their innermost nature in this present age His “little flock” (Luke 12:32 Luke 12:32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
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).

Though few in number in proportion to the masses of humanity, their vital mission is to be “the light of the world” until He returns (Matthew 5:14 Matthew 5:14You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
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). Not everyone who now claims to follow Jesus Christ has truly repented and received the Spirit of God (Matthew 7:20-21 Matthew 7:20-21 20 Why by their fruits you shall know them. 21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
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). Therefore, the time of removing completely the spiritual blindness that plagues humanity is yet in the future.

The global implications of the great autumn celebrations

The first three festivals of the spring harvest season represent those initial steps that are essential for preparing the way for the massive global renewal that will occur in the future. This global revitalization is pictured by the last four festivals. All are observed in the autumn (in the northern hemisphere), as the autumn harvest in the Holy Land is being gathered and stored.

God intentionally set them at this time to represent the key aspects of His great spiritual harvest of all nations and peoples. They point to the time when Jesus Christ will assume control over the affairs of the whole world. Ushering in a new age, He will at last rid the world of armed conflicts, deception and spiritual blindness.

The Kingdom of God was the main theme of the gospel message Christ preached at His first coming. “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’ ” (Mark 1:14-15 Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
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).

The word “gospel” means good news. Jesus’ gospel was the good news that the Kingdom of God, which Jesus will establish over all nations at His second coming, will address and solve all of humanity’s problems! Global peace will rank high among His most urgent priorities.

Let’s now see what these sacred festivals reveal about that coming time of global reform.

Jesus Christ takes command

The fourth step in God’s master plan is celebrated by the Feast of Trumpets. It represents the return of Jesus Christ as the King of Kings to establish the Kingdom of God over all the earth at the sound of a great trumpet blast.

Notice descriptions of this crucial event in the Scriptures: “The seventh angel sounded his  trumpet , and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever 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×
, NIV).

“For 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×
).

Not only will Jesus Christ assume command over all the earth, but also all those who have served Him faithfully will be resurrected from the dead to become His executive staff: “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” (Matthew 24:31 Matthew 24:31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
American King James Version×
).

“Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:27 Daniel 7:27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
American King James Version×
).

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over 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” (Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed 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.
American King James Version×
).

The great deceiver is removed

The fifth step in God’s master plan is foreshadowed by the Day of Atonement. In ancient Israel it was on the Day of Atonement that the entire nation was ceremonially cleansed of sins committed in ignorance (Leviticus 16:29-34 Leviticus 16:29-34 29 And this shall be a statute for ever to you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojournes among you: 30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31 It shall be a sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments: 33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute to you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
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; Hebrews 9:7 Hebrews 9:7But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
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). Figuratively, this cleansing ceremony looked forward to the real cleansing of the entire world of its spiritual ignorance and blindness.

The Scriptures reveal that the one being most responsible for humanity’s spiritual ignorance and deception is Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×
). Therefore, one of the first events to occur after Christ returns is the binding and banishment of this great deceiver.

“And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer …” (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.
American King James Version×
, New American Standard Bible).

In ancient Israel this deceiving spirit being was represented symbolically by a goat that, on the Day of Atonement, was banished into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:21 Leviticus 16:21And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
American King James Version×
). With the influence of the devil then removed, all people of the world can become reconciled to God, through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. How different from today!

A millennium of global restoration

The sixth step in this sacred plan is celebrated by the Feast of Tabernacles or the Festival of Ingathering . This seven-day period represents the first 1,000 years of the restorative rule of Jesus Christ on earth. During the first part of His rule He will use several techniques to convince a deceived world that He really is the divine Son of God with the power to give or refuse blessings.

First He will establish Jerusalem as the capital of His kingdom (Zechariah 14:1-9 Zechariah 14:1-9 1 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, and your spoil shall be divided in the middle of you. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
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). After that, “Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

“He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Micah 4:2-3 Micah 4:2-3 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

But not every nation will cooperate immediately. Many will have to learn the hard way just how fully Christ can control every aspect of the entire earth. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

“And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain …” (Zechariah 14:16-19 Zechariah 14:16-19 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.
American King James Version×
)

Christ’s righteous rule will soon secure a peace the world has never before known. “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7 Isaiah 9:7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
American King James Version×
).

Hope for the unsaved dead

At Christ’s return only those who have faithfully served and obeyed God over the centuries are resurrected. Yet Paul explained that “God our Savior … desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4 1 Timothy 2:3-4 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
American King James Version×
). And Peter said: “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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).

What, then, happens to the rest of the dead who have never repented or really understood about God and His way of life? Is there any hope for them? Indeed there is! God has also taken them into account.

The seventh step in God’s master plan celebrates their hope in the Holy Day that immediately follows the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Since the last event in God’s plan of salvation mentioned in the Bible is the Great White Throne Judgment that immediately follows the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:11-15 Revelation 20:11-15 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And 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. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
), this Holy Day represents the conclusion of God’s final judgment concerning the destiny of human beings.

Concerning those who died without repenting, the Scriptures explain, “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5 Revelation 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
American King James Version×
).

After the 1,000 years expire, the apostle John explains what happens next: “… I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:7 Revelation 20:7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
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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×
).

Jesus clearly included both Israelites and gentiles in that resurrection (Matthew 11:21-24 Matthew 11:21-24 21 Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.
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; Matthew 12:41-42 Matthew 12:41-42 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
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). Those who at that time accept God’s teaching and repent will be given His Spirit through which they also may receive eternal life (Ezekiel 37:1-14 Ezekiel 37:1-14 1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the middle of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, see, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, you know. 4 Again he said to me, Prophesy on these bones, and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus said the Lord GOD to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, see, the sinews and the flesh came up on them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus said the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. 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. 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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; Romans 8:11 Romans 8:11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
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).

A plan that guarantees peace

On its own, mankind has never discovered a lasting way to peace. Yet, through these biblical festivals, God has revealed how He plans to bring peace to the entire world. We can never achieve it on our own, which is why Jesus Christ must return.

If you’d like to experience a foretaste of the coming time when Jesus Christ will reeducate the entire world in God’s way of life, visit one of the Feast sites located around the world . Following God’s command and Christ’s example, thousands of Good News readers gather each year to keep the festivals that celebrate these great events in God’s plan. You’re welcome to join us!