In my previous overview of the Feasts of God – His Appointed Times – I noted that while the 3 Spring Feasts have clearly been fulfilled by Jesus Christ at His first coming, Pentecost is a little less clear, and the Fall Feasts have certainly not yet been fulfilled.
What everyone wants to know, I’m sure, is how are these remaining feasts going to be fulfilled? Because, according to the Generation Sign, it appears that they will be fulfilled in OUR TIME.
So let’s examine the remaining feasts.
Pentecost – A Third Fulfillment?
The Late-Spring (sometimes called Summer) Feast – Pentecost – establishes the body of Christ on the earth. Note how this feast seems to introduce new dispensations – first, the Dispensation of Law (Mosaic covenant), then the Dispensation of Grace (Spirit of the Law). Will it also introduce the interim dispensation of wrath (the Day of the Lord, commonly called the “Tribulation”, which seems to involve both Law and Grace)? The summer feast stands alone, in between the 3 spring feasts and the 3 fall feasts.
Has this feast been completely fulfilled? We noted that the shadow always points to the substance – who is Jesus Christ. Jesus sent His Spirit to the church for this age, and that has been looked at as the definitive fulfillment. Recently, however, Greg at A Little Strength has noted that the Holy Spirit isn’t actually Christ Himself. Could it be that Jesus snatching his church on the day of Pentecost will be the ultimate fulfillment of this feast? I cannot say I have a prophetic answer for this, but this interpretation is worth considering.
While the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the weekly Sabbath are tied to dates on a calendar, Firstfruits and Pentecost float. These floating feasts are intricately connected – Pentecost is fully tied to Firstfruits. Greg noted that just as our resurrection is intricately intertwined with Christ’s resurrection, it would make sense that Pentecost is intricately intertwined with Firstfruits.
What Greg also noticed was the pattern of resurrections given in scripture and wondered if they had connection to the pilgrimages Israeli men were required to make. The specific pilgrimages were: Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. I believe that the Millennial Kingdom pilgrimages would support Greg’s hypothesis. We read in Ezekiel 45 (v21-25) that the Feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated, along with every Sabbath and New Moon. Notably missing is Shauvot/Pentecost.
The problem with the pilgrimages/resurrections hypothesis is that Christ’s resurrection was on Firstfruits, which isn’t a listed pilgrimage (but falls within it). However, he may be onto something with the connection between HARVESTS and RESURRECTIONS. This is not a new connection, but it may need to be dusted off.
When Are Those Harvests, Anyways?
At Firstfruits, “many saints” were resurrected with Jesus as part of the firstfruits offering. The spring harvest in Israel was typically barley (along with peas, lentils and vetch). It would seem that the Summer Feast should maybe have a resurrection tied to it as well, that of the main harvest – the dead and alive in Christ. The late spring/early summer harvest in Israel was wheat (along with barley, chickpeas, grapes, vetch, fruits). Pentecost is called the “Feast of Harvest” in Exodus 23:16. In the Fall Feasts, we know that the tribulation saints will be resurrected at the start of the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20), as the “gleanings”. The fall harvest in Israel includes grapes, figs, olives (along with pomegranates and millet). It is something to consider for sure. (Source: Harvest Seasons of Ancient Israel).
The “many saints” of Firstfruits (Matt 27:52) are a type of first harvest sample. The 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev 14:4) for God and the Lamb, another type of first harvest sample. The “many saints” are likely the first sample of the main harvest (rapture/resurrection event – 1 Thess 4:16-18). The 144,000 seem to be the first sample of the remnant harvest (gathering of elect – Matt 24:31, and tribulation martyrs – Rev 20:4). Are these harvests all on feast days? I would say it seems highly likely they are. As to summer versus fall feasts – I don’t personally know with certainty.
The Beginning and End of the Church Age
On Pentecost, Peter stands up and preaches. In his sermon, he quotes a passage in Joel 2, which effectively teaches the beginning and ending of the church age:
(Pentecost, start of church age)
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
(Church Age Gap)
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:17-21)
We know the church age began at Pentecost. The mystery is, on what day will it conclude? Peter gives us the sign of the end to look for (Seal 6). But what day will this occur? Pentecost? One of the Fall Feasts? An unknown day?
The Fall Feasts – The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
The Fall Feasts – Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles – point to the future completion of God’s redemptive program in His second coming. These feasts point to God’s rest when the process of redemption is completed.
What we don’t know is if there will be a Shadow fulfillment of these feasts, or not. The substance, ultimate fulfillment, will clearly be found in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
If there is a shadow, or type, fulfillment of the Fall Feasts, it will certainly involve the rapture of the Church.
Speculation – Fall Feast Fulfillment
What this chart fails to indicate is that Shadow fulfillment should occur in the same year, and Substance fulfillment must occur in the same year, if God follows the pattern He set with the first 4 Feasts. While there is obviously a gap between the Shadow and Substance, there is no precedence for a gap between Substance fulfillment of Feast Groupings. Thus, if there is a shadow fulfillment of the fall feasts, it will involve at least 2 of the feasts, but possibly all 3. The true fulfillment of the fall feasts will be at the time and in the year of the Second Coming.
Yom Teru’ah (Feast of Trumpets) – Tishrei 1
Shadow Fulfillment – awaiting – The shadow fulfillment of Feast of Trumpets has popularly been associated with the rapture of the church. This is due to the association between the “blast of trumpets” (or shouting, whichever translation you prefer) and the “last trump” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 which announces the rapture of the church. In Jewish tradition, the feast of Trumpets was a “day of blowing”, of 100 (or more) trumpet blasts. The last blast was a specific note called the Tekiah Gedolah. The Feast of Trumpets is also connected with sounding an alarm and calling for repentance during the days between this feast and Yom Kippur.
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3
True Fulfillment – awaiting fulfillment at the Second Coming – perhaps the Mount of Olives splitting (Zech 14); perhaps the Second Coming itself (Rev 19).
Links to Teachings on the Fall Feasts and their Possible Fulfillment (mainly Feast of Trumpet Possible Rapture Connection). Note, I don’t agree that this is a sure connection, but it is interesting to study:
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) – Tishrei 10
Shadow Fulfillment – awaiting – it appears that the shadow fulfillment of Yom Kippur will be the initiation of the wrath of God in the Day of the Lord. This could also be a possible rapture date, as the church is snatched out of the way with great urgency as the wrath unleashes. This is based on a study of Seal 7 and the heavenly Yom Kippur ceremony.
True Fulfillment – awaiting fulfillment at the Second Coming – perhaps the Second Coming (Rev 19); perhaps Bowl 7 Judgement (perhaps these both occur on the same day).
Links to Teachings on Yom Kippur and the Rapture/Judgement:
Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) – Tishrei 15-22
Shadow Fulfillment – awaiting – there may not have to be a shadow fulfillment of this feast, just as there was no shadow fulfillment for the spring feast of Firstfruits. If there is a shadow fulfillment, it may represent the period of time the church spends sheltered in heaven during the time of tribulation on earth.
True Fulfillment – awaiting fulfillment – most definitely the Millennial Kingdom rule of Jesus Christ is in view here.
When is the Rapture of the Church?
I find Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, and Yom Kippur feasts all compelling possibilities for the possible rapture of the church. However, taking into account my other studies of how the end times will unfold, I believe the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur feasts to hold the highest possibility. This is due to the interconnectedness of the opening of the Seals and the removal of Restraint, the connection of Seal 6 to the rapture of the church, and the connection of Seal 7 to the Yom Kippur ceremony.
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
Hebrew4Christians – The Jewish Holidays
Messiah in the Feasts of Israel – Sam Nadler
Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts – Dr. Richard Booker
The Bible is infallible. I am not. Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!