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God's Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days

 - Conclusion: the End from the Beginning --- for us, for Eternity
by Bill Wong



As believers who worship God in spirit and truth, all are to observe these holy days for everything that they represent which have already occurred, and all that is yet to come as we wait and endure with hope for the time we will be as one with our God and His son forever.  In this world there will be tribulation, but we will overcome by Messiah Yahusha‘/Yahushua (Yeshua or Jesus), John 16:33; 1 John 5:3-5.  In the annual holy days we see the salvation plan of God for His entire creation.  It is not just for all mankind, but everything He has created which is now in a fallen state will be redeemed and the promise for our great hope will be realized in due time (Romans 8:18-25). 

All of God's holy days were given to both Jews and Gentiles to observe and celebrate with Him.  All believers in the Son of God are told He is our Passover and to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  As the firstborn from the dead He is the firstfruit barley wavesheaf offering presented before His father on our behalf.  The disciples were gathered obediently on Pentecost and received God's holy spirit. The Feast of Trumpets is a call to prepare and announces the return of the Lord Jesus as our groom who is our great hope.  On the Day of Atonement, all of His people are gathered as one and all Israel is saved and reconciled as Messiah sits upon His throne and rules and judges.  We are told all must observe the Feast of Tabernacles when the Lord Jesus returns. 

 

The Scriptures are abundantly clear that all believers in the Messiah, whether they are Jews or Gentiles, should be observing these holy days – if we say God's salvation plan applies to us, than God's holy festival days apply to us.  There is no Biblical reason to not observe the holy days of God.  Instead, God makes it clear that the Bible states we should observe them – they are God’s feast days for all those who love Him.

 

 

Indeed, what we see is that at the crux of all the feasts, from the first to the last, is the Son of God, the Messiah.  Even more, we find that the first and last feasts mirror one another, displaying beautiful symmetry.  The Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles/8th Day are mirror images of one another. 

 

We can see by how the Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day of Assembly are intertwined in their descriptions in Leviticus 23:33-39 and by what they symbolize, that these two feasts are virtually regarded as one.  They are the culmination of God’s salvation plan in two phases.

 

Those in the 1st resurrection reign with Christ as He tabernacles with man in Jerusalem in the 1,000 year Kingdom of God that He will return to establish; then there is the final harvest of the 2nd resurrection which leads into eternity with a new heavens, new earth and the New Jerusalem from heaven.  The 8th Day that follows the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles stretches out forever into the future of eternity.

 

 

Is there another feast that has two observances that are in two phases, but are really like one? 

 

Yes; this is the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

 

 

Where the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles leads into one more day – an 8th day, the 8th Day that follows it, and ends the salvation plan of God outlined in His Biblical feast days; the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the salvation plan of God, and it begins with one day, the Passover – followed by the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.  

 

Just like how the final harvest of the 2nd resurrection must come first before the heavens and earth are made new, and our eternal home New Jerusalem comes down for all of God’s people to spend eternity – the Passover Lamb must be slain first so we can be released from bondage to sin and death, and have the free gift of eternal life to begin with. 

 

The Passover leads directly into the Feast of Unleavened Bread as the Passover Lamb that is slain on the 14th of the first month about 3 hours before sunset is partaken of after sunset on the meal of the night of the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so the Passover and Feast of Unleavened are truly as one. 

 

They are also both pilgrimage feasts: one at the beginning of the year and one at the end.  The feast at the end of the year is the completion of all the harvests, while the feast at the beginning of the year has the one grain that must be sown and die to bring forth abundant life to ensure any harvest at all is even possible:

 

John 12:

20   Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;

21   these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

22   Philip *came and *told Andrew; Andrew and Philip *came and *told Jesus.

23   And Jesus *answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24    "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.    (NASB)

 

 

We can see how the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles/8th Day are mirror images of one another when we see it graphically:

 

                                                         1   +   7    =    7   +   1

                                                                         ||

                                                                         v

     Passover (1)   +   Unleavened Bread (7)    =    Tabernacles (7)   +   8th Day (1)

 

 

What makes this mirror image much more pronounced (indeed, magnified to the infinite degree) and therefore enables us to see the majesty, beauty and wonder of God, is when we realize that as end-points to God’s salvation plan in the Biblical feast days, they both extend eternally. One extends from eternity, and one extends to eternity.  The first, which is Passover, extends from eternity past; and the last, which is the 8th Day of Assembly, extends into eternity future. 

 

We know that the new heavens, new earth and New Jerusalem goes forth into eternity future as we are given eternal life, but where do we see Passover as coming forth from eternity past?

 

The Bible reveals this to us when it tells us that the Lamb of God has been foreknown since before the foundation of the world:

 

1 Peter 1:

14    As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

15    but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

16    because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

17    If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

18    knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

19    but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

20    For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

21    who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.    (NASB)

 

Revelation 13:

8   All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.    (NKJV)

 

 

So the graph becomes like the following below where the Messiah is the slain Lamb of God since before the foundation of the world, but yet He lives and will rule for all eternity:

 

from      ===>   Passover/Unleavened (1  +  7)    =    Tabernacles/the 8th Day (7  +  1) ===>       to

eternity                                                                                                                                            eternity

past                                                                                                                                                 future



It reveals the truth that truly, from everlasting to everlasting, our heavenly father is the awesome God who is our dwelling place:

 

Psalm 90:

1    Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

2    Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,

        Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.    (NKJV)

 

 

It shows us that He is God, and God is love:

 

1 John 4:

7    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

8    He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9    In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world,

        that we might live through Him.

10   In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11   Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12   No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

13   By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

14   And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

15   Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

16   And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.

         God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

17   Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment;

         because as He is, so are we in this world.

18   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.

         But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

19   We love Him because He first loved us.     (NKJV)

 

 

It shows us that God loves us with an eternal love, and therefore from the very “beginning” loved us and provided for us, so that we may be together with Him forever.  He has given us even His son for our atonement, so that we may dwell forever in the presence of God and His son who are righteousness.  By the precious blood of the Lamb of God, His righteousness has become our righteousness:

 

2 Corinthians 5:

21   He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.    (NASB)

 

 

By His blood, now we may be able to spend eternity in the new heavens and earth, and New Jerusalem, where righteousness dwells. 

 

The Bible reveals that the starting point of Passover/Unleavened Bread mirrors the end point of Tabernacles/8th Day of Assembly and it stretches into eternity in both directions.  We are shown the magnitude of God’s love, perfection and power, and the extent to which He acts on the behalf of the ones He loves (us); all this is reflected in the sweeping grandeur of His salvation plan – and it is all outlined in His Biblical feast days, and He did it all for us.

 

It might help to summarize in a brief outline so we can see one more time how God’s plan to redeem His fallen creation so that sin and death are defeated, and we can live together forever with Him, is done within the framework of the harvests (and the ancient wedding customs of Israel; see the article ‘The Bride of Christ’):


1)   a.  Passover / Pesach – The only-begotten Son of God is the Word and Lamb of God who became flesh to suffer and lay down His life for ours.  He atones for our sins so that we can be freed from sin and its wages which is death and have the free gift of eternal life.  The bride price the groom pays is His own life.  He initiates the new covenant of marriage with His disciples with His flesh and blood, as represented also by the bread and wine.  We reflect on all that our Passover, the Messiah has done for us, suffering and sacrificing Himself so that we may live.

       b.  Feast of Unleavened Bread / Chag HaMatzot – This is an extension of the Passover as we partake of the Passover for all 7 days of this feast (the first and last days are annual Sabbaths #s 1 & 2 of 7 in God’s sacred calendar).  We are reminded that we abide in Him and He in us and that we are free from bondage to sin, death and the evil one – and we ought to be unleavened just like He is.  We continue to reflect on the price Messiah has paid for us and look inwardly to follow His example of being unleavened, without sin.


2)   Beginning of the Harvest (or Day of Firstfruits) / Reishit Katzir (or Yom HaBikkurim) – The Lord Jesus ascends to heaven and presents Himself as the re-glorified Son of God, the risen Messiah and heavenly High Priest that is given all authority in heaven and earth.  He is the first of all firstfruits harvested (the firstborn from the dead to eternal life who has conquered sin, death and the enemy for everyone else to also have eternal life) and His first act as our heavenly High Priest is to offer Himself as the wavesheaf offering to God of the early barley harvest.  He also raises up some firstfruit barley saints after His ascension.  This is day #1 to the count to 50 to arrive at Pentecost.


3)   Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks) / Shavuot – The harvesting of saints (as wheat) occurs in two Pentecost sealings of saints with the holy spirit of God which bridges the Spring and Fall feast days.  This Biblical feast day is annual Sabbath #3 of 7.

  The first sealing of saints with God’s holy spirit occurs on the Acts 2 Pentecost.  The holy spirit of God is a departing gift the groom gives to His bride (like an engagement ring) to bring remembrance of the groom to His bride while He departs to build a home for them in His father’s house. These saints are harvested as the firstfruit of a larger wheat harvest.  They are the child taken up and the 144,000 firstfruit bride of Revelation 12 and 14.  Their gathering/harvesting (being resurrected and offered to God) to satisfy the Pentecost offering of Leviticus 23 occurs on a future Pentecost before the Great Tribulation (they are not “the Church” of a pre-tribulation rapture doctrine, but the literal Jewish 144,000 apostles and other early believers). 

 

  The second sealing of saints occurs on a future Pentecost (Revelation 7:1-8) after the Great Tribulation but before the Day of the LORD, which is Gods’ wrath upon the earth and sea. 


With Messiah’s example as the first in the spiritual Promised Land as represented by Him being the firstfruit Wavesheaf Offering, the theme of occupying the time here on earth and being a spotless bride until He returns continues in the count to Pentecost.


4)   Feast of Trumpets / Yom Teruah –  The day of redemption for the second sealing of saints by God’s holy spirit occurs on this day when the Lord Jesus returns to gather the remaining wheat harvest.  The earlier firstfruit wheat and this later remaining wheat are both part of the same one harvest – and both together comprise the body and bride of Christ.   As the groom, He comes like a thief in the night to gather His bride (the remaining wheat who are not the firstfruits and completes the wheat harvest) for the wedding.  This Biblical feast day is annual Sabbath #4 of 7.


5)   Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur –  As both King and High Priest, the Lord Jesus presides and officiates over all His people.  His people consists of all those raised and also all those remaining in the world, such as the nation of Israel who finally know, accept and are reconciled to their King, High Priest and Messiah.  The groom and His bride descend for the wedding supper and to reign from Jerusalem.  All the enemies of Israel are brought low and judged.  This Biblical feast day is annual Sabbath #5 of 7.  Deep introspection with fasting accompanies this holy day as, like Passover, we reflect on Messiah’s atonement for us, and additionally His priesthood and power to judge.



6)   Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Booths/Ingathering) / Sukkot –  The Lord Jesus tabernacles in Jerusalem during the 1,000-year Kingdom of God.  At the end of the 1,000 years, the final harvests are reaped (fruits and vegetables such as grapes, figs, olives, etc.) as the enemy’s rebellion is disposed of forever and the Great White Throne Judgment takes place, and all who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are raised to eternal life.  This feast also symbolizes a wedding supper where all the guests are gathered to celebrate.  The first day of this 7-day Biblical feast is annual Sabbath #6 of 7.


7)   8th Day of Assembly / Shemini Atzaret –   This feast day follows immediately after the events of the Feast of Tabernacles. The dwelling of God is among men forever as God creates a new heavens and a new earth, and the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven like a bride adorned for her husband.  This is where the people of God will dwell with Him and His son forever.  There are no more tears, pain and suffering; there is no more sin or death.  The precious gift of eternal life which the blood of the Lamb/Son/Word of God has purchased for us is redeemed as all creation, which was once fallen in sin, is now reconciled with God for all eternity.  The groom and bride will live together forever in the house of the groom’s father.  All the people of God are called Israel just as the land of God is called Israel as reflected in New Jerusalem being described as a bride.  This Biblical feast day is annual Sabbath #7 of 7.

 

So we see the salvation plan of God unfolds in His Biblical feast days.

 

From the Spring Biblical feast days starting with the Passover and the covering blood of the Lamb which saves us and overcomes sin and death (a promise since the beginning in Genesis 3:15); to the Feast of Unleavened Bread which reminds us to be without sin/be unleavened as a holy people purchased by the blood of the Lamb; then the sacrifice Lamb who is also High Priest presenting  Himself as the firstfruit of the harvest of the glorious Promised Land God has promised us all on the day of the Beginning of the Harvest/Day of Firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 45-49); to the start of the greater body/bride of Christ on Pentecost when God pours forth His spirit with its dual New Testament fulfillment and firstfruit bride serving as a bridge to the Fall feast days.

 

And then to the Fall Biblical feast days with the heralding of the Lord Jesus’ return as the groom for all His people and His activity as High Priest and King to make all things right again on the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement; to the wedding supper of the Feast of Tabernacles where He will dwell with us for the millennia and we will rule with Him in the changed tabernacles of our bodies as the final harvest is reaped; and finally to the 8th Day: all judgment has ended, the heavens and earth remade, and His father Himself – the Almighty, will come down with the heavenly New Jerusalem as a bride and both God and the Lamb will live among us forever (Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-5).

 

 

We see that God is love, and from everlasting God has planned the end from the beginning – He did it for us so that we may spend eternity with Him.  God is indeed from everlasting to everlasting; not just He Himself, but also His awesome plans and His steadfast love.

 

 

Then we will at long last again be able to walk with God as we were always intended to do (Genesis 3:8). 

 

 

 

HalleluYAH and Amen!  




  

Link to God’s Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days articles outline