Any attempt to understand the timing and sequence of the Lord’s Second Advent would be incomplete without a basic knowledge of the seven feasts of Israel. As we shall see, the seven feasts are predictive and prophetic in nature.
We shall divide the feasts into two segments, the spring feasts and the fall feasts. Today we shall focus primarily on the former…
Our Jewish friends still observe these feasts. They are Passover, Unleavened Bread, First fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles.
We all know the story of Passover and how the first Passover was the day the Lord delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. By putting the blood of a lamb on their door frames, the first born of the Israelites were spared while the first born of the Egyptians died. The symbolism of the “blood of the lamb” and the “first born” pointed to a future date (roughly 1500 years into the future) when Christ would offer himself as the ultimate sacrifice. Thus the predictive nature of the feasts become apparent even at this point!
Was it just coincidence that at 9:00 in the morning the Jews were binding their Passover lamb to the alter as Christ was being nailed to the cross? Was it just some quirk of fate that at 3:00 in the afternoon they sacrificed there lambs just as Christ died on the cross?
It was no quirk, no coincidence, no strange twist of fate, for the children of Israel had followed these same procedures for nearly one and a half millennia! Had the disciples made the connection between the first three feasts and the Lord’s crucifixion, placement in the tomb and subsequent resurrection they may have viewed what were evidently stressful events with greater understanding. Let us not make the same mistake where the fall feasts are concerned, more about that in a minute…
Let us view these events from the perspective of the Hebrew calendar. On the 14th day of the month of Nisan we have Passover, the day that the Lamb of God is sacrificed. On the very next day, the 15th day of Nisan we have the feast of Unleavened Bread. On this day Christ laid in the tomb, a sinless (unleavened) sacrifice for mankind and then on the 17th day of Nisan or Firstfruits, he was resurrected? In 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 we read:
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
The next feast following Firstfruits occurs 50 day later, it is that of Weeks or the day of Pentecost. It was fulfilled on seventh day of the month of Sivan. It’s easy to see that these first four feasts were fulfilled in association with the Lords coming in the meridian of time and that for hundreds of years before they had served as dress rehearsals for what was to come. The following chart gives us a visual reference that is helpful in understanding the seven feasts. Special thanks to Gavin Finley for allowing us to use it here:
Understanding that the first four feasts precisely foreshadowed the Lord’s ministry among the Jews, in the meridian of time, would it be a stretch to suppose that the last three feasts might be fulfilled at his Second Coming? I think not!
If this be the case, it would follow that the Lord will make his first appearance in the fall of the year. However, before the Lord makes his appearance as the Bridegroom, the saints will need to “be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm” according to D&C 103. The Lord says:
15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;…
17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.
18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.
19 Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence.
20 But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.
We are also “of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham” and as the Lord says above, “as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be”. So we shouldn’t too surprised if the Lord delivers us on Passover, should we?
The deliverance foreshadowed in the above passage apparently culminates in the Lord leading modern day Israel to “possess the goodly land”. If the saints were to be delivered in the spring of the year, they would have the summer months in order to make the trek back to “the goodly land” in time for their rendezvous with the Bridegroom in the fall.
In the next blog we shall follow up with a discussion of the fall feasts. That should prove to be most interesting, so please stay posted!
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