Long regarded by the church as ‘archaic’ and ‘unnecessary’, the seven annual Holydays of the Bible have been relegated to disuse, leaving the modern world willfully ignorant of their value in picturing the Overall Plan of God for all of humanity.
The Apostle Paul presented Holydays (as well as Sabbaths) as an indicator of future events. He specifically referred to them as “a shadow of things to come.”
Modern students of the Bible, when they come to understand Prophecy correctly, will see immediately the strong correlation between the outline contained within the Holyday series and impending world events as they will play out in the near future!
God’s seven Annual Holydays deal with two important aspects of Salvation:
Personal Salvation and World Salvation
The first three relate to personal salvation, the last four to world salvation.
The seven Days of Unleavened Bread (1 & 2)
The Wave Sheaf Offering
Pentecost (the Feast of Firstfruits) (3)
The Feast of Trumpets (4)
The Day of Atonement (5)
The seven day Feast of Tabernacles (6)
The Last Great Day (7)
Passover: The 14th day of the first lunar month commemorates the sacrifice of the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. Without this once-for-all event, salvation would not be possible. (This evening is not a Holyday per se, but is the most essential benchmark event in the personal salvation process.) Christ purposefully died for our sins on this calendar date. Its respectful and profound commemoration is commanded in the New Testament. (1st Cor. 11:17-34 & 5:8)
The seven Days of Unleavened Bread: A full week of self-examination and focused ‘putting away of sin’ (represented by leavenedness), is the appropriate response to having come under the blood of Christ’s Paschal Sacrifice. These seven days immediately follow Passover and are bracketed by annual Holydays, the first and last days. Within these 7 days is a weekly Sabbath which is important in determining a future Holyday, one tacitly recognized by the Christian world, but little understood.
The Wave Sheaf Offering: An important ceremonial event within the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, the first of the firstfruits was offered to God on the ‘morrow after the (weekly) Sabbath’. This represents Christ’s sacrifice and perfection being accepted for us, He being the firstfruits of humanity. (This isn’t listed as a Holyday, but is an essential part of the personal salvation process.) Christ was accepted before the Father on the morrow after the Sabbath (Sunday morning after His resurrection), the scene we read of in Daniel 7:13-14. This occasion opened the present day of salvation and is essential to identifying the final Holyday of the personal salvation series: Pentecost.
Pentecost (the Feast of Firstfruits aka the Feast of Weeks): Counting past seven full weeks from the Wave Sheaf Offering brings us to another ‘morrow after the Sabbath’, the Feast of Pentecost. In history, this is regarded as the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai and in modern times, the anniversary of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon men, and the founding of the New Testament Church. This event is regarded as representing the first harvest of Saints, the firstfruits unto God, from the Church era. That equating with the first resurrection at the ‘Last Trump”.
The Feast of Trumpets: As the fall harvest season approaches, this ‘new moon’ of the seventh month, begins another series of interrelated Holydays. These days present a different focus and are considerably more prophetically oriented than the spring series. This Trumpet blast (the seventh / the ‘last’) announces the first and the beginning of the second (greater) harvest of humanity. This observance is strongly associated with the return of Christ to assume full power over the nations (Rev. 11:15-19) and the start of the process of world salvation. (Rev. 11:19 & 15:5)
The Day of Atonement: A FAST day (no food or water) at present, commemorating the desire of the people of God for the appearance of their ‘bridegroom’. (Luke 5:34) As to its ultimate meaning, it remains to be seen, but many see in it the day commemorating the full unity (oneness) of Christ and His Bride, the firstfruits of them that slept. After Satan is ‘driven’ from society, dealing with that source of sin, Christ and His Bride will invite ‘whosoever wills’ to come to salvation, that process made possible by the entering-into the Holy of Holies by our High Priest with His own blood, atoning for the other source of sin, our own natures. ( Lev. 16:1-34, Heb. 9:11-15 & Rev. 22:17).
The seven day Feast of Tabernacles (Ingathering): Widely recognized as representing the seventh millennium of the ages of man: the one-thousand year reign of Christ and His Saints on the earth. An age during which Satan will remain imprisoned, and restrained from any influence upon humanity (until after the 1000 years are finished (Rev. 20:3)). The first day only of this week is an annual Holy Day, suggesting an open end, culminating in another subsequent and related event.
The Last Great Day: Largely absent from the awareness of traditional Christianity, and strangely also from Judaic religions, this final Holyday is understood to represent the ‘last day of salvation’ in which ‘the rest of the dead’ will be raised, after the millennium, (Rev. 20:5) and provided with their opportunity for salvation, which their original lifetimes didn’t offer them. Those vast millions (billions?) who lived and died throughout history who had no opportunity to know the truth or become acquainted with God’s Plan of Salvation are not ‘lost forever’! This generation’s timeframe is often identified as being ‘the Great White Throne Judgment’ period. (Rev. 20:11-12) To fully and correctly understand the meaning of this day, it is necessary to understand the doctrine of the resurrections of the dead and eternal judgment, as listed in Hebrews chapter 6. Being persuaded of the teachings of Heaven and Hell, as commonly taught, with all being destined to their final reward immediately at death, a believer is thrown off course with regard to the fulfillment of this important Holyday.
Final Judgment (Sentencing): Not included as a Holyday, the very end of the “Last Great Day” will bring upon humanity the final sentencing (judgment) referred to in places such as Hebrews 9:27. We can read of this ultimate outcome in chapter 14 of Revelation, where we see the early harvest (firstfruits) in verses 1-5 and the ‘sheep-from-the-goats’ sheep harvest in the ‘white cloud’ reaping to Life in verses 14 -16, followed by the goat harvest (the winepress of God’s wrath) in verses 17-20. With these last-reaped consigned to the Lake of Fire (the Second Death), humans living on earth will have attained ‘victory over death’, and the very institution of Death will be eliminated. (Rev. 20:14)
For further information on these Fundamental Biblical Subjects
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