SEASONAL HOLY DAYS
REVEAL GOD'S PLAN
WHY does your Bible say Christ's FIRST GREAT EDICT after He sets up His world-ruling kingdom will be His command to all nations to come to His new world headquarters in Jerusalem to KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES? Why would Christ issue such a command if all the annual holy days of God are merely "Jewish," and are "done away"?
Did God command His people to keep His feasts, only to later decide to "do away" with them? Did Christ's atoning death "do away" with the annual Sabbaths? Did Christ come to ABOLISH these so-called "Jewish" Feasts?
If so, then WHY will He FORCE all nations to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in the millennium? You will be astonished at the TRUTH about God's seasonal holy days, and the marvelous HUMAN POTENTIAL revealed in their rich spiritual meaning!
by Garner Ted Armstrong [printer-friendly] [pdf format]
Why have you never heard the Sunday-observing preachers explain the beautiful Christ-centered pictures, types and shadows contained in God's seven annual holy days? WHY does your Bible say Christ will command even present-day ISLAMIC nations, such as Egypt, to begin to keep the Feast of Tabernacles during His millennial reign?
WHY will Jesus Christ ENFORCE His weekly Sabbath days and His annual Sabbaths upon ALL NATIONS during His one thousand-year reign on this earth? Since Christ will FORCE all nations to keep His feast during the millennium, WHY do people assume all of God's annual holy days are "done away" today? If they are "done away" why will Christ force you, and every other human being to KEEP them when He rules this earth?
Your Bible says, "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh" (Isaiah 66:22-24).
This is describing the horrible punishment for rebellious, unrepentant sinners. Sin is the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4), and the wages of sin is death in Gehenna fire (Romans 6:23). Survivors of the Tribulation and Day of the Lord will see the decaying bodies and ashes that were once living human beings as a witness and warning to those who would rebel against God's laws. Describing this same period the final chapter of the Old Testament says, "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
"And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts" (Malachi 4:1-3).
The "worm doth not die" because the larval stage of the fly does not die, but turns into another fly! This is describing rotting human flesh, fly-blown and teeming with maggots, being burned.
And the time setting? It is inescapable! This is another description of the horrendous events to occur just before and at the time of the second coming of Christ; the "Day of the Lord," and the beginning of Christ's RULE over this earth!
Notice the proof: "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked" (Isaiah 11:4).
HOW will He do this? What will be the method He will use to "slay the wicked"? Notice, "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20).
Jesus Christ of Nazareth is coming again. He is coming to RULE this rotten, God-defying, sin-sick, decadent world with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27). One of the first laws Christ will enforce upon all nations is His command that they must OBSERVE HIS FEAST OF TABERNACLES!
For the simple reason that God's seven annual feasts, or holy days, picture the entire PURPOSE for human life! They picture, in moving, beautiful, rich types and shadows, the plan of salvation; the progressive fulfillment of all prophecy; how the saints of this time are but the "first fruits" of the great latter-day time of judgment; the second coming of Christ; the banishment of Satan; the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, and the great general resurrection of the "rest of the dead" (Revelation 20:5) to take place AFTER the millennium.
By understanding the types and shadows implicit in each of the annual Sabbaths, or holy days, one comes to understand the very PURPOSE OF ONE'S OWN LIFE! It is awesome! It is mind-boggling! It is GLORIOUS beyond your wildest imagination! Your fantastic human potential is so breathtaking you will not want to believe it at first. Yet, it is TRUE, as you will see amply proved in these pages!
At creation, the Divine Member of Elohim who brought the entire universe, the solar system, this earth and all life upon it into existence, gave command after command. He compacted pure ENERGY into MATTER. Matter is but energy, arranged in almost limitless law-abiding forms.
After the first six days of the REcreation of this earth (from an earlier creation, perhaps billions of years in the past, which had been destroyed by Satan), the one who had caused the dry land to appear; who had said "Let there be light," and who had said "Let US make man in OUR image," continued His creation process by RESTING! He had finished the WORK of creation, but He had not finished creating!
As the sixth day waned, and the earth turned on its axis, bringing sunset once more to the Mideast, Elohim RESTED from all His works! Your Bible says, "And God [Elohim. A plural word, meaning more than one] saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
"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.
"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 1:31; 2:1-3).
Jesus Christ proclaimed, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
"Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath" (Mark 2:27, 28). The Sabbath was something which was MADE. It was made when MAN was made. It was made for MAN, and not "for the Jews"! There was no person called a "Jew" (from "Judah," who was one of the sons of Jacob, or Israel) on the earth until thousands of years later!
The Sabbath was made when MAN was made, and it was made by its MAKER, who is, believe it or not, the same personage of the Godhead who "emptied Himself" and "became of no repute," and was born of the virgin Mary!
Notice that Jesus Christ said He is LORD of the SABBATH day, and not Lord of "Sunday"! The true "Lord's Day" is THE SABBATH; the day of which Jesus is LORD!
In His pre-human state, as a member of the divine family we call "God," the one who became Christ wrote with His own finger on two tables of stone the Ten Commandments. He wrote, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
"But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
"For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
He commanded Israel to REMEMBER the Sabbath because it was created at creation! Christ of the New Testament is the CREATOR of the Old Testament! Your Bible plainly says so! Notice it, "John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning "Spokesman"], and the Word was with God [Greek: Theos a plural, synonymous with Elohim in the Hebrew], and the Word was God.
"The same was in the beginning with God.
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
"He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
"Which were born [Greek: gennao, meaning "begotten"], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [Greek: "tabernacled"] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-14).
Can anything be plainer? The one who said "Let there be light;" who said, "Let the dry land appear;" the one who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush and said "I AM"; The one who parted the Red Sea; the one who wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger in stone IS THE SAME PERSON WHO WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY!
Do you doubt this? No sane person can! Unless we are to rip John 1 out of our Bibles, the plain truth is that Jesus Christ, in His pre-human state, was the divine SPOKESMAN of the God family called Elohim. Elohim is a PLURAL word! This is why God (Elohim) said, "Let US make man in OUR image" (Genesis 1:26).
Do you require further proof? Then notice what Jesus said to the doubting Pharisees who challenged Him! "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
"Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:56-58). The false prophets of this world WILL NOT accept these divinely inspired words! They WILL NOT admit that Jesus Christ is the GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT!
Because if they admit that the one who wrote the Ten Commandments is the SAME personage of the Godhead who came in the flesh as Jesus Christ, they condemn themselves for refusing to observe God's wonderful, righteous laws! They know that if they admitted the truth about John 1 they would be condemned of God for refusing to keep the holy Sabbath days and God's annual Sabbaths!
Yet, the first great edict which the conquering, returning Christ will issue to the nations is to command them to come up to Jerusalem to KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES!
Read it in your own Bible: "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.
"And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
"And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
"This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16-19). No matter who you are; no matter your racial, political or religious background, you WILL be keeping God's Sabbath days, and you WILL be keeping His annual Sabbaths when God sets up His kingdom on this earth!
In that day, there will be no Muslims, Shintoists, Animists, Buddhists, Confucianists, Hindus, Catholics, Protestants, or Satanists! Instead, there will be ONE GREAT WORLD RELIGION; the TRUE religion of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! All nations will be required to keep the LAWS OF GOD!
IF they are still alive then (which is very much in doubt), such dictators as Maomar Kadaffi, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro and Slobodan Milosevich WILL BE KEEPING THE SABBATH AND THE HOLY DAYS!
You Live In A World Steeped
This world is fascinated with paganism. If it is "pagan splendor," people want to know about it. When one visits ancient sites, such as the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon at "San Juan de Teotihuacan" near Mexico City, for example, it is to be told about the human sacrifices of the Aztecs; about their calendar and their way of life. But especially about their religious superstitions. Man's fascination with spiritual ritual is endless. Isn't it strange that man's fascination with the mythological seemingly deliberately overlooks the rich typology seen in God's annual Sabbaths given to ancient Israel?
Historians know much about ancient, bygone civilizations from religious artifacts. As God charged, these nations, who worshipped false, nonexistent "gods" NEVER CHANGED those gods down through centuries and centuries of mythological, superstitious religious practice. Countless tens of thousands of helpless human beings have been slain as a sacrifice to a completely fictitious "god" who "demanded" such of his or her worshipers. Pagans have clung tenaciously to utterly false gods for thousands of years. Has China departed from Buddhism? India from Hinduism? Loyalty seems common among pagan religions.
Yet, God's own people have turned away from the one true God, away from the beautiful, detailed, seasonally-revealed picture of His plan for the human family, embracing purely pagan myths, instead! Do you doubt this? What are some of the pagan myths gleefully accepted by modern, space-age "Christian" societies?
Annual "Holidays" of
this "Christian" Civilization:
What Do They Picture?
Which is the chief "Christian" holiday? Why, "Christmas," of course. Christmas means, simply, the "Mass of Christ." The Catholic Encyclopedia admits, "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church" (Vol. III, p. 724), and explains, "The well-known solar feast, however, of natalis invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date" (ibid., p. 727, emphasis mine).
History documents that the Roman Catholic Church did not settle upon the final date for the "Mass of Christ" as Christ's birthday until perhaps five centuries after Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
Christmas is connected with purely pagan ceremonies: sun worship, ancient Roman festivals, and even more ancient Babylonian mysteries. You will find that holly wreaths, mistletoe, bulbs and orbs, trees, "Old St. Nick," and many other trappings of Christmas are utterly pagan in origin!
Yet, for all its paganism, Christmas is eagerly embraced by countless millions in the professing Christian world as the birthday of Christ; a time to exchange gifts, have family reunions, enjoy roast turkey or goose; a time replete with its own nostalgic music, feelings of good will, and hospitality. For an in-depth study about the purely PAGAN origin of "Christmas" be sure to call (903) 561-7070 immediately, or write to the address listed in this booklet for your free copy of "Facts You Should Know About CHRISTMAS!"
Pagan feasts revolved around the seasons because Satan the devil has counterfeits he has foisted on the world to deceive. They were based upon celestial observations, the summer and winter solstices, the vernal equinox. Most pagan holidays were essentially harvest festivals. Pagans prayed to their "invincible sun" (invictus solis) in the depths of winter to begin "his" journey further north once again, putting an end to winter, and bringing the springtime, and new growth.
The springtime festival of Ishtar, the pagan goddess of sex and fecundity of the ancient Babylonians (pronounced "Easter," with a long "ee" sound on the "I" and a silent "h") was in thanksgiving for the advent of the spring, the end of winter, and new life. It was celebrated with a plethora of mythological ritual: rabbits, for their rapid procreation; eggs, as the source of life and the pagan concept of the beginning of creation; the bous, or symbol of Tammuz (Nimrod), represented by the Ox, and cakes to Semiramis, Nimrod's mother-wife, and high priestess of the Babylonian mystery religion, as the "queen of heaven." Such cakes, called boun, or bous, featured a cross, as a solar symbol, and were baked in honor of Ishtar, or Ashtoreth, and are seen today at "Easter" (Ishtar) time as "hot cross buns."
What did you learn, as a child, about your purpose for being here, the plan of salvation, from "Easter"?
Your parents probably told you it was about the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps you went to a sunrise service, faced the rising sun as a minister chanted or prayed. Then there was the excitement of wonderful new clothes—yellows, greens, and whites, the colors of springtime—white patent-leather shoes for little girls; "Easter" (Ishtar) bonnets, parades, and, of special excitement to little children, "Easter egg" hunts! Cuddly little bunnies and eggs. How cute. How wondrous. How nostalgic. But what do the children who gleefully engage in the annual White House "Easter egg hunt" learn about the PURPOSE OF HUMAN LIFE?
But not one child in a million was taught that the rabbits and eggs were sex symbols; that sunrise services were conducted in sun worship; that "Easter" means Ishtar, or Ashtoreth, the pagan goddess of sex and fertility.
Consider next the frivolous, capricious, demoniacal trappings of "Halloween." What is Halloween? Even the spelling has been altered, as the passing years and obfuscating tradition contrive to obscure the true, pagan symbolism of this most transparent of all the pagan harvest festivals.
Originally, the phrase "All Saint's Day" became called the "Evening of All Hallows" or "Hallowed Evening." Eventually it was shortened to "Hallowe'en." Were you taught this as a child? Catholics often celebrate the day of their favorite saint, perhaps the "saint" after which they were named. When the calendar was filled with 365 names, a convenient date was chosen, our November 1st, as a day for "All Saints." Many Central and South American countries feature towns and villages named Todos los Santos, meaning, "All Saints."
However, Halloween is not an invention of the Catholic Church, but an adaptation of an ancient, pagan festival. "Though now known as little else but the eve of the Christian festival, Hallowe'en and its formerly attendant ceremonies long antedate Christianity" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Vol. XII, p. 857). History proves most of the superstitions connected with Halloween, including "apple dunking," and the like, are purely Druidic, from the pagan priests of pre-Christian Ireland.
The pagan Greeks and Romans celebrated a fall harvest festival in honor of their goddess "Pomona," which featured apples and nuts. Since the Druids believed "Saman," or Samhain, or Shaman, the "lord of the dead" (Satan), consigned the departed souls of people to the bodies of animals as punishment for wickedness, it was natural for them, in their darkened, pagan superstitions, to imagine it necessary to attempt to placate Saman with offerings, and to attempt to frighten away wicked spirits with "Jack o' lanterns."
Halloween features symbols of witchcraft, demonism, and death. What does it teach little children? The common practice of "trick or treating" is nothing more than children playing the part of Saman and his demons, approaching homes, demanding an "offering" of candies and the like in return for refraining from vandalizing the house!
Today, people festoon their houses and yards with "ghost decoys," in blissful ignorance. Are they attempting to attract "ghosts," or demons? Naturally, were you to make such a suggestion, a neighbor who has festooned his yard with jack o' lanterns, witches, black cats and plastic ghosts would look at you in utter amazement, and wonder if you had gone crazy.
It would not seem "crazy" to the neighbor to decorate his home and yard with symbols of Satan, demons, and death.
Do modern space-age Americans, Canadians, Britons and many other nations actually "believe" they are frightening away evil spirits by pieces of white plastic hung in trees, or orange leaf bags with hideous faces, "jack o' lanterns," placed on their lawns? Of course not. They are "innocently" mimicking pagans, entering into the "spirit of Halloween," perhaps vying with the neighbors for decorations about the house.
Perhaps you have not realized Halloween is the most important annual festival to Satanists. You will be astounded at the rank paganism associated with this fall harvest festival!
These three—Christmas, Easter, and Halloween—are probably the most important among "Christian" holidays. Then there is "Valentine's Day," also rooted in paganism, with connections to Nimrod; and other days, like "New Year's" day, in the middle of a dead winter; "Groundhog Day," and many, many more. Among them all, "Thanksgiving" and the 4th of July stand out as celebrations one may safely assume God endorses.
For Americans to gather around a bounteous table, giving thanks to God in commemoration of the early Pilgrim's practice of doing so is surely a wonderful thing to do, and has no pagan connotations, and "Independence Day," or the 4th of July is certainly not condemned of God.
But why, in all your church-going and religious experience, have you never been told about the rich, CHRIST-centered, NEW Testament meanings of God's annual Sabbaths given to Israel and Judah? Look at the emphasis on Christ in the Passover.
The Passover and the Exodus—
Pictures of Christ
When God called His nation out of slavery under Moses, it was for the express purpose of "sacrificing the `Passover'" (Exodus 3:18; 5:1-3; Exodus 12).
Egypt is a type of sin. As ancient Israel was living as captive slaves in Egypt, so each one of us has lived as a slave to our appetites; to this world, with its false, vanity-ridden, materialistic values; held captive by the sway of Satan, who is the present world ruler (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9).
Pharaoh is a type of Satan. Moses appears in two distinct shadowy roles: (1) as a type of God the Father, calling His people out of sin, breaking the grip of Satan, and granting repentance. Also, Moses typified the Father in giving the law of God from Mount Sinai. (2) As a type of Jesus Christ: as the shepherd of God's people, leading them from Egypt; as the advocate for the people before Pharaoh (Satan); and as a "redeemer," conveying them out of slavery, toward freedom.
Moses and Aaron are also seen as shadowy types of the future "two witnesses" of Revelation 11. Continually, Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh (type of Satan), performing miracles (see Revelation 11:4-6). Pharaoh's two magicians, Jannes and Jambres (types of the "beast and the false prophet" of prophecy [Revelation 19:19-20]), empowered by Satan and his demons, counterfeited the miracles until the plague of the lice, when they were forced to admit, "This is the finger of God."
The perfect, helpless little sacrificial lamb is a type of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:7). The shed blood of the lamb on the lintels and door posts of the Israelites' houses is a symbol of Christ's shed blood atoning for our sins, causing the penalty of death (Romans 6:23) to pass over those who call upon Christ for forgiveness.
The death angel symbolizes God's judgments against unrepentant sinners who will not obey God (Ezekiel 9:2-11; Revelation 14:17-20). The "firstborn" are to be sanctified to God. Instead, the Egyptian firstborn, and everyone else, was lost in the most repugnant idolatrous paganism. God reaped a bitter harvest of the firstborn of Egypt as a terrible penalty for sin, but spared Israel as the "firstfruits" unto God from the earth, His own chosen people, protected under the symbol of the blood of Christ.
Once God had broken the hold of Pharaoh over the Israelites, they were hastily thrust out of Goshen. In like fashion, when one repents, receives baptism and God's Holy Spirit, former friends—sometimes even beloved family members—have no further use for a person whose new understanding makes them uncomfortable. Instead, they attempt to dissuade such a repentant sinner from accepting God's truth, talk them out of it, make them feel "out of step" with the rest of society.
When Israel was hemmed in by the wilderness, facing the Red Sea on one hand, Pharaoh's army pursuing to the rear, and steep mountains on both sides, it typifies the newly-repentant sinner contemplating baptism, as a symbol of the burial of the old man; the washing away of sin in the waters; the resurrection of the "new man," or the "new creature in Christ," to live a new and different life, free from sin.
Satan and his minions do not give up easily. As Pharaoh's armies pursued Israel, so do former friends, habits, appetites, moods and attitudes attempt to overtake the repenting sinner.
Moses had to say, "Stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Eternal!" at the Red Sea.
By a stupendous miracle, Israel walked through the Red Sea bed dry shod! When Pharaoh and his army assayed to follow, they were drowned. Paul wrote, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers passed through the sea; and were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat [manna]; and did all drink the same spiritual drink [water, brought forth from the rock miraculously. Christ is the rock; the water is a symbol of God's Holy Spirit]: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).
When Israel passed through the Red Sea, a Christ-centered, New Testament type, or picture, of God's plan of redemption and salvation took place. Notice how Paul mentioned their miraculous sustenance on manna, which God sent down from heaven.
The Israelites were commanded to eat the Passover with "unleavened bread," called the "bread of haste," bread which was flat, plain—not light and fluffy, puffed up. Immediately following the Passover were the Days of Unleavened Bread.
God commanded them, "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's Passover.
"And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Eternal: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread" (Leviticus 23:5, 6).
Leaven, as an agent which spreads throughout moist dough, and which causes bread or cakes to rise when baked, lending a light, airy texture, was pointed out as a type of sin. Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees" (Matthew 16:5-12).
Unleavened bread, on the other hand, pictured sinlessness; humility, an absence of vanity, pride, and sin. Christ said, "I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
"This [pointing to Himself] is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:48-51).
Do not all Christian-professing churches believe in Christ as Savior? Then why do they never teach the rich meaning of God's annual holy days—the plan of redemption and salvation centering around Christ and His sacrifice as pictured in each of God's annual Sabbaths?
Can anything be more New Testament oriented than the meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread?
There is an incontrovertible anti-Judeo BIAS among professing Christianity! From the earliest moments in the first century, when many Gentiles—Greeks, Romans, and others—were being converted, when the church wrestled with the problem of circumcision (Acts 15), a gradually increasing anti-Jewish bias began to emerge.
This rejection of all things Jewish took quantum leaps over the passing centuries. Though Christ Himself was Jewish, and though the apostles and the vast majority of the early church were Jewish, the Gentile leaders of the apostate church of the second and third centuries threw out the baby with the bath water: rejected God's Sabbath day; rejected God's annual Sabbaths; changed the date for the observance of the Passover, and called it Ishtar (Easter), instead; embraced the purely pagan festivals of Roman idolatry, such as Christmas, and effectively stamped out all knowledge of God's holy days.
Finally, during the days of Constantine, who had "converted" from sun worship to apostate "Christianity," the then visible church (God's true church had been forced "underground" by horrible persecutions) issued a decree that Christians were not to be found "Judaizing" by observing the Passover on the 14th of Abib, but were ordered to observe Easter, instead!
Is there anything "Jewish" about the CHRIST-centered meaning of the Days of Unleavened Bread? No, nothing. Yet, you have not heard sermons preached in the Sunday-observing churches explaining the rich types and shadows of God's holy days as they pertain to repentance, baptism, the receiving of God's Spirit, the second coming of Christ to set up His Kingdom, the binding of Satan, and the final great resurrection.
Today, the Christian-professing world is lost in a sea of ignorance about God's plan! Embracing the pagan doctrines of the "immortality of the soul," and "going to heaven when you die," they fail to understand the plan of God as revealed in the progression of the seasons—fail to understand the truth about God's mercy upon the darkened races of Gentile nations who have never heard the Gospel.
More Bible Types Revealed
The next holy day following the Days of Unleavened Bread is the "Feast of Sabbaths," or the "Feast of Firstfruits," which became named "Pentecost," meaning "fiftieth," by the Greek speaking world.
Because the high priest was to cut the very first sheaf of grain on the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. This meaningful ceremony pictured the first of the firstfruits; the very first sheaf of the springtime barley harvest.
It pictures the RISEN CHRIST, now "cut off" from the world, ascending to the Father in heaven. The ceremony became known as the "wave sheaf" offering, since the priest would select a sheaf of the grain, harvest it, and then wave it toward heaven in thanksgiving to God.
God said, "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven sabbaths shall be complete:
"Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days..." (Leviticus 23:15, 16).
Christ ascended to His Father on a Sunday, after being resurrected late Sabbath afternoon. The wave sheaf pictures CHRIST, as the FIRST of the "firstfruits" of God's righteous harvest of the earth.
The number seven pictures perfection. Seven times seven symbolizes complete perfection. Built around the land sabbaths and the year of release was the Jubilee. This shadowy type of the Kingdom of God is found in the seven sabbaths (49 days) which were to be reckoned until the fiftieth day (Jubilee), which was the Feast of "Sabbaths," or "Firstfruits."
The firstfruits pictures God's righteous harvest from among mankind from the time of Christ until the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:1-5; 11-15).
Is anything more richly rewarding to a farmer than seeing the fruits of his labor coming from his land, the early grain harvest of abundant food—giving thanks to God for rain in due season, for the new wealth coming forth from the soil?
God's springtime holy days picture repentance, acceptance of Christ's shed blood, allowing Christ to dwell within us through His Spirit (by eating unleavened bread for seven days), and shows us that we are part of an early harvest, a "firstfruits" unto God (James 1:18). It also shows us that God is not trying to save the whole world now, that there is to come a later, fall harvest unto God.
This is a vitally important point, for the vast majority of professing Christians simply do not understand the schedule of events in God's plan. If they knew the beauty of His plan as revealed seasonally through His annual Sabbaths, they would never suppose most of the world is lost forever, never believe that God could be so cruel as to punish, in a blazing hell fire, little oriental infants who have never so much as heard the name of Christ.
Ample biblical proof exists to demonstrate that Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, not only kept God's annual Sabbaths, but taught Gentile converts to do so.
He wrote to the Corinthians, "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened [a clear contradiction of terms, unless he plainly means they were observing the Days of Unleavened Bread, for he had just told them they were "leavened," meaning they were guilty of sins which needed to be purged, or expunged. When he said "as ye are unleavened," it can only mean that they received this missive during the Festival of Unleavened Bread, that they were keeping it!]. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
"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" (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Can anything be plainer?
Paul instructed these Gentile Christians in the large Gentile city of Corinth to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
Not only did the Feast of Sabbaths picture the risen Christ, and the firstfruits unto God, it also foreshadowed the momentous events on the Day of Pentecost, explained in Acts, the second chapter.
How appropriate that the Feast of "Firstfruits" unto God should fall on the very day God sent His Holy Spirit to this earth, as Christ promised! (John 16:7).
Though many Protestants celebrate "Whitsunday," they do so 50 days after Easter (Ishtar), not 50 days from the weekly Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Many myths and traditions sprang up surrounding "Whitsunday." The Church of England formerly celebrated three days surrounding it, and in May, 1871, the British government declared "Whitmonday" a legal bank holiday.
Those who keep God's annual holy days know that Pentecost is the birthday of the church, the Christian festival in commemoration of the great events on that original Pentecost when the Holy Spirit, with a loud, roaring sound like a rushing wind, filled all the room where the apostles and others were assembled, when the apostles appeared to have flaming crowns of fire atop their heads.
Nearly 30 years following Christ's resurrection, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, wrote to the Gentile church in Corinth, "But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost" (1 Corinthians 16:8).
Trumpets and Atonement
When was the last time you heard a sermon expounding all these rich, detailed types and shadows of Christ, of salvation, as revealed through God's annual holy days? If you are among the majority, you will probably answer, "Never!"
Yet, all the annual Sabbaths given to Israel convey to our minds part of the detailed tapestry that is God's great plan of redemption and salvation.
Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost all come in the springtime. Just before the fall comes the Feast of Trumpets. God said, "In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:24).
The trumpet was Israel's means of communication. Study Numbers 10:1-10 for further details. To assemble the people, trumpets were blown. They were blown as "officers' call," just as in the military, to cause this or that tribe to march, or to herald the arrival of special occasions. They were blown as an announcement—to say, in effect, "ATTENTION, everyone!" They were blown as an alarm if an enemy was approaching, and blown on solemn holy days.
In a sense, the trumpet was ancient Israel's "radio and television," for it was a means of instant, mass communication.
God's prophetic messages clearly show that God announces each great intervention of God by the sound of a trumpet (Revelation 8:6). Christ said, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
"And 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 another" (Matthew 24:30, 31).
Though this final trumpet blast occurs suddenly, God shows that the process of calling out God's elect from this earth over many decades is also typified by the blowing of a trumpet!
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sin," wrote Isaiah (Isaiah 58:1). Christ said, "And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14), and told His disciples, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops" (Matthew 10:27).
The primary focus of the Feast of Trumpets is the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. God says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep [die the first death], but we shall all be changed,
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [the last of all the trumpets listed in Revelation, the same trumpet call to which Christ referred]: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:50-52).
Today, God sends out His announcement of Christ's coming Kingdom through His church, through the preaching of the Gospel, through proclaiming the sins of our peoples, through witnessing, warning, forth-telling, inviting people to repent!
But the time is coming when God will no longer speak through human voices, but will cause mighty angels to blow on ear-splitting trumpets! Then, the whole world will hear! The final trumpet blast heralds Christ's second coming as KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS to rule this earth with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26; 3:21; 19:11-16).
The emphasis on the Feast of Trumpets is mostly prophetic! It focuses mainly on Christ's coming and the resurrection, but also foreshadows the announcement God is sending to mankind through His church, through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ as a witness and a warning!
Then comes the only commanded fast day of the year, the solemn Day of Atonement.
God said, "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation [a commanded assembly] unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls [lives]..." (Leviticus 23:27).
In a solemn ceremony on this day of fasting, when God commanded Israel not to eat or drink from sundown of the previous day until sundown on Atonement, the high priest enacts a fascinating, meaning-laden ritual. Study Leviticus the 16th chapter to understand all the types.
Two goats were to be presented. One was "for the Eternal," and the other an Azazel, erroneously called a "scapegoat." The Azazel goat was to have all the sins of Israel symbolically placed upon its head, and then was to be led in the hands of a "fit man" who would not allow the goat to turn back into the distant wilderness, where it would be released.
One goat was sacrificed, symbolizing an atonement for sin, a shadow of Christ's impending sacrifice. The other was to be allowed to wander in the wilderness, bearing, figuratively, the sins of Israel upon it (Leviticus 16:21).
Only once in the year was Aaron, or the high priests to follow through the centuries, to enter into the "Holy of Holies" in the tabernacle (later, the temple). The ninth chapter of Hebrews explains the deep meaning of this ritual. Paul wrote, in part, "But into the second [the Holy of Holies] went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
"The Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest [type of heaven, and God's presence] of all was not yet made manifest, while as yet the first tabernacle was yet standing...But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us..." (Hebrews 9:7-12).
The sacrifice on the Day of Atonement was extremely elaborate. The priest had to carefully wash and dress, had to sacrifice an animal for his own sins, had to sprinkle blood upon the book and the people (Hebrews 9:19).
In this elaborate ritual, accomplished on a day of fasting, one sees the terrible consequences of sin. God has decreed that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Yet, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as the "Lamb of God" to die for the sins of you and me, for all mankind—to atone for sin so that those who call upon Christ are symbolically covered by His shed blood, their sins forgiven.
To be sure, the ancient ceremony of Atonement was a bloody one. Now, see the whole picture: The high priest was a type of Christ, entering "through the veil" that separated the outer holy place from the "Holy of Holies," a type of heaven itself. The veil in the temple split when the miraculous earthquake struck at the moment of Christ's death, signifying that Christ's death had made it possible for mankind to have direct access to God the Father through Christ!
The Azazel goat is not a type of Christ, but a type of Satan! Notice: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [the abyss: see Jude 13] and a great chain in his hand.
"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:1, 2). This angel was pictured by the "fit man" selected to take the goat over whose head the sins of Israel were confessed into a trackless wilderness, and there release it, alive.
Thus, God shows we have all had a partner in sin! This goat is not a "scapegoat," for God places guilt where guilt squarely belongs! The Hebrew word Azazel comes from a word meaning "fierce, mighty, rough, or strong," such as "rough goat." It means, literally, "the rough goat that is sent out."
Thus, the detailed ceremony of the Day of Atonement shows the necessity for Christ's sacrifice to atone for sins; shows how His death opened the way into God's presence in heaven itself; shows how Satan will finally be bound, unable to deceive the nations any more.
Paul wrote, "Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
"For Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures [types, pictures] of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
"Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year [on the Day of Atonement!] with blood of others...but now once in the end of the world [age] hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:21-28).
Do you see how these rich New Testament truths were pictured so ceremoniously, so richly, and in such detail, by the accompanying rituals of the annual holy days?
WHY, then, do the churches utterly ignore these annual Sabbaths? Why have you not heard the Christ-centered, New Testament meaning of God's annual holy days?
Now for one of the richest of all—the fabulous fall harvest festival, the Feast of Tabernacles, followed by the "Last Great Day."
The Feast of Ingathering
At the time of the great fall harvest season, God set His "Feast of Tabernacles." The word "tabernacle" merely means "booth," or "kiosk," a temporary domicile. God said, "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.
"On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein...Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
"And ye 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 ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.
"And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
"Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
"That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
"And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord" (Leviticus 23:33-35, 39-44).
Notice that the Feast of Tabernacles, or little "booths," was coincident with the time of the gathering in of the fruit of the land—a festival which emphasized the harvest.
Notice also that God said the purpose for their dwelling in these little tabernacles or temporary domiciles for seven days was so that they would remember that God "made the children of Israel to dwell in booths...."
All you really learn from this scripture, standing by itself, is that God said they were to "dwell in booths" so they would remember that God made them to "dwell in booths."
It is only when one looks at all other relevant scriptures concerning the meaning of dwelling in temporary domiciles; only when one considers the Feast of Tabernacles in light of its logical seasonal progression, viewing it from the perspective of all the other annual Sabbaths, that the rich, detailed, inspiring picture of the meaning of the festival of temporary booths, or tabernacles, becomes clear.
God reveals that He has placed within each human being the "spirit in man," or the human spirit, which, while it has no separate consciousness or intelligence apart from the brain, it is nevertheless spiritual.
Paul wrote, "The spirit itself [God's Holy Spirit] beareth witness with OUR SPIRIT that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). All of us are endowed with the human spirit. This entire eighth chapter of the book of Romans says a great deal about how God's Holy Spirit is to dwell inside our mortal bodies.
Jesus said we are not to fear man, who after he has destroyed the body, cannot destroy the "soul."
The traditional concept of the "immortality of the soul" misses the mark by a wide margin. There is no separate, intelligent, feeling, living "soul" which departs the body at death.
That there is something which is spiritual in connection with the human brain which man cannot destroy is obvious from Christ's words. Christ said, "...fear not them which kill the body [Greek: soma] but are not able to kill the soul [Greek: psuche]: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna" (Matthew 10:28). Notwithstanding the fact that the traditional concept of the "immortal soul" is erroneous, it is clear from Jesus' words that there IS something spiritual in connection with the human mind which man simply cannot destroy.
That is why the Bible speaks of a complete conversion by the receiving of God's Holy Spirit.
Paul put it this way, "...put off concerning the former conversation [conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Few have understood that God is begetting children, that a new spiritual life is engendered within each human being who repents and receives God's Spirit. Plainly, it is "created." Conversion—receiving the begettal of the Holy Spirit—is not merely a change in attitude or outlook; not merely "turning over a new leaf," or making minor adjustments in life style. It is the creation of a new creature in Christ!
He wrote to the Colossians, "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him..." (Colossians 3:9, 10).
Paul also wrote, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). The word for "creature" is used for "creation" in many instances.
To be sure, there IS something "spiritual" about each human mind.
Almighty God is reproducing after His own kind. Creation was not completed in the Garden of Eden—only begun, in physical prototype.
God is the author of all life, Creator, and Life Giver. God has created the process of reproduction in all species of life, and is the Inventor and Designer of human procreation.
You will come to understand the beautiful analogy of human reproduction; where you came from; the miracle of human birth as it portrays the spiritual begettal, and ultimate spiritual rebirth into the very family of God.
What has this to do with the Feast of Tabernacles? Everything!
As Christ showed, though man can destroy this mortal, temporary body, he cannot destroy the real you!
Notice how the apostle Paul expounded this beautiful concept: "...we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
"But we have this treasure [and it is real treasure, the priceless truth of eternal life and the Holy Spirit of God now creating in us a NEW SPIRIT BEING; a "New Creature in Christ"] in earthen vessels [our physical bodies], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:6, 7).
Paul went on to explain, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish [the aging process, and the ultimate fate awaiting every human being, death] yet the inward man [the new "creature in Christ"] is renewed day by day.
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
"While we look not of the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; [like a temporary domicile, or "booth" made of branches, leaves and other materials, which will soon perish] but the things which are not seen are eternal.
"For we know that if our earthly house of this TABERNACLE were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
"For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
"If so be that being found clothed we shall not be found naked.
"For we that are in this tabernacle [the new creature in Christ, dwelling temporarily in these physical bodies] do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality [this human body, this temporary existence] might be swallowed up of life" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:1-4).
What a beautiful analogy. Notice how many times our physical bodies are likened to a "tabernacle," or a little booth, a temporary dwelling place. Study the entire 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, and see how Paul showed we are to be CHANGED; to become GLORIFIED; to become a SPIRIT BEING; a member of God's own great, expanding family, of which Jesus Christ is the Elder Brother; the first-born among many brethren.
The apostle Peter put it this way: "Yea, I think it meet [fitting], as long as I am in this tabernacle [Peter, the "new man in Christ" living in his human, physical body], to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
"knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, [knowing his death was approaching!] even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me" (2 Peter 1:13, 14).
Can anything be plainer?
The apostle Paul plainly wrote, "There are also celestial [heavenly] bodies, and bodies terrestrial [earthly, of the flesh]: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another...so also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body...as is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Corinthians 15:40-49).
This human, physical body in which we dwell is only a temporary "tabernacle."
While it is a little bizarre to contemplate, what of someone who has lost a limb? That individual, with all his or her character traits, personality, knowledge and intelligence is still there! As horrifying as it is to contemplate, there are those who have lost all four limbs. Yet, they are still there; the person is still alive, though missing limbs.
You see, your personality, your innermost being, where your decision making powers reside, where your deepest and innermost thoughts dwell, where your moral character lies, is in your mind!
God's Holy Spirit does not come into our elbow, or our big toe, or our femur or clavicle. God's Holy Spirit comes into, and unites with the human spirit that dwells in our minds!
It took living cells to beget you, cause you to be born as a unique, once only, individual human being.
By the uniting of your father's life with your mother's life, YOU became to be.
In the same fashion, by Almighty God placing His life-giving Spirit within a human mind, uniting it with the "human spirit" to become a "new creature in Christ," He reproduces His "children" after HIS, God's, kind!
Look how plainly Paul puts this beautiful truth: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption [sonship!], whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ..." (Romans 8:14-16).
You were the child of your parents. You are like them in many ways, for you came from them. What was, or is, your relationship with them? Why, you are LIKE them; you are members of their family! My elder brother, Richard David, was an Armstrong. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1958. He was my brother. We both had the same father. I can never BECOME my father, for he was unique, and was the one who brought me into being by imparting his life to my mother; the two of them producing me. What was (am) I? Why, an Armstrong, of course. A member of their family! God's FAMILY names, revealed to us through the Hebrew and Greek, are Elohim and Theos, respectively. Both are plural names, meaning more than one. However, we shall eventually be given a NEW name, and the secret name of divine Elohim will be revealed (Revelation 2:17; 19:12)
It is no mere accident that the analogy of family relationships occurs in the Word of God. It is not some theologians' ideas, but God's own revelation to us that He is our "Father," while Christ is the firstborn Son, and we can become the "children of God." In shadowy type, the invisible church, which is called a spiritual organism, is seen as "Jerusalem above, the mother of us all." We are referred to in the Word of God as "brothers and sisters in Christ."
When you were born of your parents, what did you become? Why, you became you, with your parents last name, and many of their own likenesses and characteristics.
And when you are finally born of God, when this temporary domicile that is your human body is of no further use, and has been completely changed by the resurrection from the dead or instantaneous change at Christ's return (1 Corinthians 15:50-52), what will you become?
You already read it: "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly!" (1 Corinthians 15:49).
The word "image" in the Greek is rendered substance in the Ivan Panin Greek Numerics Text, and can be so rendered. As you and I presently consist of physical flesh—our substance is earthly, from the ground—so God's Word says the spiritual creature, called the "new creature in Christ," is to become spirit. John wrote, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).
More Beautiful Types and Shadows
Remember the many shadowy types and analogies we learned concerning the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread? With the Passover, Almighty God brought His people, Israel, out of the slavery of pagan Egypt, and into a wilderness, where that older generation wandered for 40 years (a number which connotes trial, or testing).
But did you know that that entire older generation, save the family of Caleb, died in the wilderness, including Moses?
Look at the obvious analogy: Forming in the bodies of this older generation during the time of their trial and testing in the wilderness were new human beings who had never known Egypt! During those 40 years, a whole new generation of Israelites was born.
It was this new generation which crossed the River Jordan, which is a shadowy type of the transition from physical to spiritual, into the promised land.
Their leader? It was Joshua, which is the Hebrew form of the Greek word for Jesus!
Just as Joshua (Hebrew word for "Jesus") led the NEW generation of Israelites into the promised land (a type of the Kingdom of God), so Jesus Christ will lead NEW spiritual generation of NEW "creatures in Christ" into His kingdom!
Even as God is begetting His own children within the human physical bodies (temporary tabernacles) of a present-day generation, so those "new creatures in Christ" will emerge as a completely new, never-before, unique spirit being in the Kingdom of God!
These human, temporal, physical bodies, with all their diseases, debilities, deformities, aches and pains—these fleshly bodies, which are growing older every day and will only ultimately return to the soil of this earth from which they came, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God!
Paul said, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
"Behold I shew 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 trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
Now consider another beautiful type: When the member of the Godhead who became Jesus Christ "emptied Himself" of His divine, powerful, spiritual form and "...took on Him the seed of Abraham," (Hebrews 2:16) He was God, temporarily "tabernacling" in the human flesh! Thus, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the first begotten of Almighty God among all humankind lived a life of 33 1/2 years as "God in the flesh," tabernacling in a human, physical body which was later on changed to spirit!
After Christ's resurrection, He was able to appear and disappear at will. He would appear in a room where His frightened disciples were gathered, literally materializing through a stone wall! Yet, this resurrected, spiritual body still bore the wounds and scars inflicted by His torture and crucifixion, for He forced doubting Thomas to actually put his hand into the spear wound, and his finger into the wounds in His wrists.
Christ had the power to materialize in His previous human form, yet was once again very God, and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, to await His return to this earth as the conquering King of kings and Lord of lords.
When was the last time you went to a church service where the minister expounded and explained all of these many wondrous Christ centered New Testament truths concerning God's plan of redemption, and salvation?
The Last Great Day
Immediately following the Feast of Tabernacles comes the "Last Great Day" (Leviticus 23:36). This is the seventh annual holy day in God's seasonal plan, and falls on the 22nd day of the seventh month.
It is followed by late autumn, and the winter, when all deciduous trees; the grasses, shrubs, flowers and grasses become dormant, and there are no annual holy days or festivals of any kind in God's beautiful plan of salvation until the early spring, and the Passover.
Now, review what we have learned. The Passover primarily focuses on Christ and His sacrifice for sin. The Days of Unleavened Bread focus on Christ coming to live within each newly repentant Christian, thus driving sin out. The Feast of the Firstfruits, or Pentecost shows us that God is calling only a comparative few at this time, that God has never attempted to "save the world" in the past; that He did not attempt to "save the world" during the time of Christ, that He is not attempting to save the world now! Rather, it emphasizes that God is calling only a "kind of firstfruits of His creatures" in this dispensation, and shows that the great latter, fall harvest of human lives is to come during the millennium, and even afterward.
The New Testament observance of Pentecost portrays Christ sending the "other Comforter" to be available to human beings for the first time.
The Feast of Trumpets pictures not only the announcements of Almighty God from the time of Christ until the time of the end by the preaching of the Gospel, but God's own righteous angels, sounding the alarming trumpets leading up to the last plagues and the final great trump, announcing the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The Day of Atonement, the only FAST day (Acts 27:9; Lev. 23:32) among the seven holy days, depicts the whole world finally AT ONE with God through the atoning work of Christ; Satan banished, unable to deceive the nations any further.
The Feast of Tabernacles not only portrays all the beautiful types of our temporary dwelling places in these human physical bodies, but presages the Kingdom of God, and the millennial reign of Jesus Christ over all this earth.
The Feast of Tabernacles acknowledges that we are living, as human beings, in but a temporary dwelling place, but it looks ahead to the PERMANENT dwelling place in God's Kingdom! Jesus Christ said, "In my Father's house are many mansions," which can also be rendered "positions of responsibility," or "offices."
So, in addition to acknowledging our temporality, the Feast of Tabernacles also is a foretaste of the very Kingdom of God, the millennial reign of Christ.
Remember, the first resurrection of all of the "dead in Christ" occurs at the last trump, at the exact moment of Christ's second coming (1 Corinthians 15:50-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Matthew 24:31).
Now, notice: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls [Greek psuche, meaning spirits, or lives] 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 upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4).
Christ promised, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations ... To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne" (Revelation 2:26; 3:21).
Therefore, the "firstfruits unto the Lamb" as pictured by the Feast of Firstfruits or Pentecost, will "live and rule over the nations with Christ" for one thousand years, which is foreshadowed, in part, by the Feast of Tabernacles!
Now, what remains to be done to accomplish God's great plan for the redemption and salvation of the vast majority of the human race?
God's Word answers: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished!" (Revelation 20:5).
Jesus plainly said there is a resurrection unto life and a resurrection unto "judgment."
But judgment is not sentencing! The "rest of the dead" includes the entirety of the human race who are not among the "dead in Christ."
And who does this include? It includes the vast majority of all human beings who have ever lived and died from Adam until the present! It includes the hundreds of millions of China, India, many other Asian nations such as Japan, Bangladesh, Korea, Taiwan, etc. It includes the vast multitudes of the world where paganism, animism, heathenism and idolatry—yes, and "professing" Christianity has been living in deception! (Revelation 12:9).
This last, great resurrection brings perhaps more than six billion people out of their graves!
It is a staggering, stupendous event!
All of these virtually countless human beings of so many races and nations will be resurrected at the end of the millennial reign of Christ, and will be given a glorious opportunity for salvation, at last!
This is what is pictured by the "Last Great Day." It logically follows immediately after the Feast of Tabernacles, which foreshadows, in many ways, the Kingdom of God.
And what comes immediately after Christ's millennial reign?
Read it, in the 20th chapter of Revelation: "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.
"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.
"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.
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15).
These "books" which are opened mean nothing more than biblos, the Greek word for "book," or "books." It is only when the word "holy" is placed with the word "book" that it connotes the Bible. These "books" which are open, out of which these billions of human beings are to be judged are nothing more than the books of the Bible, the same books which are judging the Church of God today. God's Word plainly states that the church is being judged now. Since God is consistent, and says He "changes not," and the Bible says Jesus Christ is "the same, yesterday, today and forever," we know that God's master plan for salvation will not change.
This vast multitude from all of the human family will receive a one hundred year lifespan (Isaiah 65:20-25), during which they will experience the incredible blessings and benefits of living on an earth which has been under God's own divine rulership for one thousand years!
It is then, in that climate and at that time, that these countless millions of Asians, Africans, and so many more will finally be given a thorough education in God's marvelous truth, and will be required to choose whether to obey God, repent of their sins and receive God's Holy Spirit, or to rebel and force Almighty God to destroy them.
Jesus Christ gave us a shadowy type of the meaning of this Last Great Day from His inspiring invitation to repentance made on that very day during His earthly ministry.
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37, 38).
Notice how Jesus made it clear that "any man" was being invited to come to Christ! Surely, this open invitation to all, including Gentiles presaged the meaning of this Last Great Day.
The Last Great Day typifies the "Great White Throne Judgment" of the 20th chapter of Revelation.
This final annual holy day signifies the completion of God's plan, the last great general resurrection and the final destruction of the incorrigibly wicked, and leads directly from the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20 to the "new heavens and new earth" of the last two chapters of your Bible.
Thus, when one comes to understand the beautiful types and pictures portrayed by the seasonal holy days of God, one comes to understand the WHOLE PLAN OF GOD!
There is NO ROOM in this beautiful plan for the pagan holidays of this world, nor for the pagan doctrines of the "immortality of the soul" or an "ever-burning hell."
Once again I must ask, WHY have you not heard? Why have not the Sunday-observing churches preached the beautiful truths about God's plan of redemption and salvation by informing and educating their congregations of these rich shadows and types revealed through God's annual Sabbaths?
Why on the one hand should there be such a fascination with rank paganism, as seen in Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, and an anti-Hebrew prejudice against the beautiful and merciful truths revealed in God's seasonal plan?
The plain truth is, Almighty God commanded His annual Sabbaths to be observed down through all living generations of His people. Jesus Christ and the apostles kept these days. The apostle Paul—an apostle to the Gentiles—urged Gentile churches throughout the Greek and Roman world to observe these annual holy days! It took the large, visible apostate church many centuries to stamp out the observance of God's Passover on the 14th of Abib, to eradicate any remaining knowledge concerning the rich meanings conveyed to the human mind through all seven of God's annual Sabbaths.
Today, professing Christendom is locked into an annual ritual of pagan mythology, all the while thinking it is celebrating Christ's birthday or His resurrection, or "All Saints Day," yet doing so amid the symbols and accouterments of rank heathenism, Satanism, Babylonian mysteries, and caricatures of death.
One final question: Will you be keeping God's Feast of Tabernacles after the second coming of Christ? For your answer, turn to and read Zechariah 14:16-19: "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.
"And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
"And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
"This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
There can be no mistake as to the time setting of this beautiful chapter. It is when the returning, conquering Christ fights against the nations resisting Him, and when His feet shall stand "...in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east..." and when "...living waters shall go out from Jerusalem ... and the Eternal shall be King over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name One" (Zechariah 14:3-9).
One thing is sure. Every living human being of whatever religion, nationality, race or creed will be absolutely forced to observe God's annual Feast of Tabernacles shortly after the arrival of Jesus Christ on this earth!
Those who are rebellious against God, those who adamantly refuse to obey Almighty God now, will no doubt be absent at this time, for they will very likely be among the stiff-necked, antagonistic, rebellious human beings who will resist God's truth and will suffer the terrible consequences of the tribulation and the Day of the Lord.
When Jesus Christ is King over all this earth, the time of gentle, merciful invitation is past! Then, He will command and all will obey! May God grant you the spirit of repentance, the spirit of surrender to God, and lead you into His truth and an humble acceptance of His will in your life.
Now, you KNOW. Now, you should make plans immediately to attend with the nearest group to your home on God's annual holy days, to hear these, and other inspiring, encouraging truths expounded! You should begin planning NOW to set aside so you can COME TO THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES this year! Write or call to obtain information on where the Feast site nearest your home is located, and determine to BE there! After all, since Christ will ENFORCE Feast attendance in His kingdom, why not get in the habit NOW?
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