Are You Ready? Feast of Tabernacles (Sunday)

Seventh Feasts, Tabernacles.
Nehemiah 8:13-14, “On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law. They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month.”
When we read God’s Word it reminds us of things that maybe we’ve forgotten or overlooked.
We get busy with life. Others things crowd in. The urgent consumes the truly important and before long we’ve drifted from the foundational, fundamental importance of our relationship with Jesus. He becomes “one of the things” in our life instead of “our life”.
God’s Word helps us to recalibrate back to His standard.
That’s what happened here.
For over 1000 years this sacred “festival of the seventh month” had been overlooked, ignored, and deemed irrelevant.
Other things had taken priority, and the celebration that had reminded the people of God’s faithfulness and goodness had been thrown in the scrap heap as out of fashion and outdated.
This was to be a yearly celebration, a time of joy, a week long festival of banquets and laughter and honoring God for His bringing of the people out of the bondage of slavery, keeping them in the wilderness, and bringing them into the Promised Land.
This was the last of the seven yearly sacred celebrations, to be held at the final harvest of their growing season.
Of the seven festivals, three were considered high festivals, to be held in higher esteem and importance. They were the sacred celebrations of Passover, Pentecost & Tabernacles.
Passover. Historically for the people of Israel the Passover was a solemn celebration of God’s provision of a Lamb’s blood to rescue the people of Israel from the death angel on that terrible night in Egypt during their captivity. It occurs back to back with the Feast of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits in the spring time and can be found in Lev. 23. It’s the first three of the seven feasts appointed by God.
Prophetically for the Church it signifies the first coming of Christ, the Lamb of God, who gave His life on the exact day of Passover and made provision for our sins by His shed blood, and our freedom from the captivity of sin and our privilege to follow Him as He leads us through our lives until we reach our Promised Land of Heaven.
Pentecost. Historically for the people of Israel Pentecost was a joyous celebration of the first harvest in the spring mentioned in 2 Chron. 8. It’s also known as the festival of the first fruits, the festival of reaping, or the festival of weeks. It’s also traditionally (but not scripturally) a celebration of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which tradition says were given 50 days after their Exodus from Egypt, on Mt. Sanai, which in many ways was the “birth” of the Jewish nation. In Greek “Penta” means 5, “Pentaconta” means 50 , thus the modern term “Pentecost”.
Prophetically for the Church Pentecost is the birthdate of the Church, the gift of the empowering Holy Spirit, and signifying the ongoing harvest of souls until Christ’s return. The Holy Spirit fell in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost (50 days after the Passover) and filled each Believer with the power of God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness.
The thousands that were added to the Church that day were the first fruits of many souls, the ongoing harvest in the Church Age which has been occurring throughout the centuries, including you and I today.
We are known as Pentecostal Believers, because we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly work through us as He did through those in the N.T. to proclaim the Gospel, with signs and wonders following those who believe.
This powerful relationship we have with the Holy Spirit is for the harvest of souls and is ongoing until Christ returns.
The Feast of Tabernacles for the people of Israel was in celebration of the final harvest of the season, and a recognition of God’s faithfulness and goodness during that growing and harvest season.
It is a seven day celebration where the people were instructed to live in temporary shelters, or booths, in remembrance of the children of Israel and their residing in temporary shelters during their 40 years in the wilderness.
It was designed to be time of great joy and celebration as God’s Word was read aloud each day.
Prophetically for the Church it has become symbolic of the second coming of Christ where He sets up His earthly reign in the Millennium and for all of eternity.
These temporary shelters were to be constructed with branches from the trees of Olive, Pine, Myrtle, and Palm, which represent for us God’s abundance and blessing as we walk in obedience to His Word, the sweet aroma of our witness of Christ to others, His ability to keep us all of our days through His sheltering Holy Spirit, and our long term commitment and fruitfulness until He returns or chooses to take us Home.
These temporary shelters are representative of our human bodies, and we would be wise to construct them with these materials.
But one day these bodies in which we reside will no longer be needed. Because one day the trumpet of God is going to sound and we will be caught up in the air to be with Christ. We will be instantly transformed into new a perfect beings, and mortality will be swallowed up in immortality. Our human bodies will be transformed into eternal vessels which will never die, never again experience pain, where there’ll be no more sorrow, no more tears, no more death. Nothing but joy and peace and perfection for all of eternity in our glorified bodies as God will eternally tabernacle (dwell) with us.
This is the promise we have in God’s Word that we can look forward to!
I believe this is going to happen very, very soon. The Rapture is eminent. Jesus is coming back! What we’ve read about and heard about all of our lives and others have longed to see from centuries past is about to take place!!
In meteorology there are such things as tornado warnings and tornado watches. A warning means it’s here so take cover, a watch means conditions are favorable, so stay alert.
I believe we are in a season of watching. The conditions are favorable. We need to go about our business but be keenly aware that at any moment this could happen, so make your plans accordingly.
Recalibrate your lives to be ready at a moment’s notice, because we won’t have time to respond when the Rapture takes place, for the Bible says it will happen “in the twinkling of an eye” and like a “thief in the night”.
Jesus instructed us to stay alert. Luke 21:34-36 says, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
I’m hearing from many, many, many people, and it’s getting louder and more urgent, Bible scholars, pastors, laymen and lay women, more than ever before say, “Jesus is coming soon. Get ready!!!”
These are watchmen.
Isaiah 62:6 says, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest.”
Today I’m being a watchman on the wall. And if I don’t give warning that conditions are favorable I’ll be held accountable by God.
Listen to how God puts it in Ezekiel 33:2-6, “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’”
Today I plead with you to heed this warning. Jesus is coming back. The Rapture could be at any moment. It’s soon. He’s at the door. The trumpet is about to sound. Things are about to get real!!!
The Holy Spirit has quickened my spirit to inform the Church, “Get Ready!”
The sword of God’s righteous judgment is getting ready to strike against sinful mankind. God’s wrath is getting ready to be poured out because of man’s rebellion and rejection of God and their choice to live apart from Him and His commands.
It’s no different than in every other time before documented in God’s Word, but this upcoming judgement will be the last time. Jesus is coming to take his Bride away and the Great Tribulation as described in Revelation will begin. Those who are left behind will experience catastrophe and heartache and agony unlike the world has ever experienced before.
And we’re not ready church. The world isn’t ready and the Church isn’t ready!
Let’s get ready!!
Let’s get our bags packed! Let’s get our houses in order! Let’s not be caught by surprise!
Fortunately God hasn’t left us in the dark about this. He’s made it clear that there are signs to look for, clues to decipher, and conditions to be aware of that will help us to know what season we are approaching. I believe we are approaching very quickly into the season of the return of our Lord!
We can look to prophecy for strong signs and clues, and there is none more relevant than when Israel became a nation again back in 1948. This started the clock ticking to the return of Christ, because in prophecy all eyes must always be on Israel and Jerusalem.
Matthew 24:32-34 says, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”
The fig tree is symbolic of Israel in God’s Word. It’s leaves came out in 1948. After not being a nation for about 2500 it was re-birthed supernaturally by God in May, 1948.
Jesus said, “This generation will certainly not pass until all these things have happened.” So how long is a generation? 40 years? 50?
Psalm 90:10 I believe says it most clearly, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”
So a generation is a lifespan, 70-80 years. So if we take 70-80 years and add it to 1948 that brings us to a window of 2018-2028.
If this holds true, then we could be right at the time just before the return of Christ. But then if we take the 7 year Tribulation and factor that in, deducting that number from 2018-2028 makes it 2011-2021, which actually places us right in the middle of that range where Jesus could return.
Are we living on borrowed time? Is God holding back just a bit longer so that one more soul can be saved? Only He knows the day and the hour, but I’m sure keenly aware and believe that we are in the season and the conditions are favorable for Christ’s return!
And what about “all these things” Jesus mentioned must happen as a sign just the trumpet sounds?
Listen to the conditions just before He returns – Matthew 24:6-7, 9-12, 14, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and pestilence and earthquakes in various places. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Wars and rumors of wars? Check
Nations rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms? Check
Famines & pestilence? Check
Earthquakes in all kinds of places? Check
Persecutions and killings of the Saints of God? Check
Hated by everyone because of our Faith? Check
Many turning from the Faith? Check
Betrayals and hatred of families and friends? Check
False prophets deceiving many? Check
The love of most growing cold? Sadly, Check
The Gospel being preached in the whole world? Check!
Luke 21:25-26, adds to this list the following signs, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”
Many of us may know that we are nearing the end of what is being called the 4 consecutive blood moons, also known as a tetrad.
A blood moon is a lunar eclipse, where the moon gets between the sun and earth. This phenomena makes the moon look red, like blood.
There have been many, many blood moons over the natural course of history, but this tetrad is significant in that they land on the high festival days of Passover and Tabernacles.
First blood moon was April,15, 2014, Passover.
Second blood moon was October 8, Feast of Tabernacles
Third blood moon was April 4, 2015, Passover.
Fourth blood moon will take place in just two more weeks, September 28, Feast of Tabernacles.
This has only occurred where 4 consecutive blood moons have fallen on high festival days since Jesus crucifixion 7 other times. This is the eighth. All other times it has happened have been significant in the history of the nation of Israel and the Church.
The first tetrad was in 162-63 A.D., the second in 795-96 A.D., the third in 842-43 A.D., the fourth in 860-61 A.D., fifth in 1493-94 A.D., the sixth in 1949-50 A.D., and the seventh in 1967-68.
It’s interesting to note that the sixth occurred the year Israel was officially recognized by the UN as a nation, the seventh occurred during the Six Day War, which saw Israel take back Jerusalem as their capital for the first time in 2500 years.
We are in the midst of the eighth tetrad since the Crucifixion of Christ.
Now the number eight in the Bible signifies regeneration, resurrection, and new beginnings.
Could it be that this eighth tetrad since the Crucifixion could mean a new beginning?
Could it be that we are coming up on a very interesting time in world history as it relates to prophecy?
This is not a warning, per se, but a watch.
And one more significant aspect of this year is that it’s an upcoming Jubilee year. It begins tomorrow. What is a Jubilee year?
Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. Every seventh year is a sabbath or a sabbatical year, where the land is to lie fallow. Every seventh seven (49 years) is a year of sabbath, called a year of Jubilee, where they sound off a trumpet blast and announce throughout the land that slaves are to be freed and debts cancelled. You can read about in Lev. 25.
Did you catch that? I’ll say it again. Tomorrow begins the Jubilee year. It’s a year where slaves are to be freed and debts cancelled! This is the year of God’s universal pardon!
And one more thing, it’s the 70th Jubilee year since the first one was celebrated by God’s people when they entered into Canaan, the Promised Land.
And remember 70 is the low range of a generation based on Ps. 90. Wouldn’t it be just like God to bookend the Promised Land entry of God’s people with the entry of His Bride into our Promised Land of Heaven, completing the generation cycle of a life?
Just a thought.
That’s why we sing, “Behold He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call. So lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee, and out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!”
This upcoming Jubilee, which always follows the Shemitah (every seven years, canceling of debt) begins today at 6pm our time. But think about this, it has already begun if we count Jerusalem time. We are 7 hours begin them, so it began actually at 11am OUR time. We are officially in the New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Jubilee, and Shemitah is over.
What happened the last two Shemitahs? It’s the lunar seven year anniversary of the global financial meltdown of 2008 which was also the seven year lunar anniversary of the stock market reopening on 9/17 after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Could these last two be warnings for America? Could this next one on this Jubilee year be more significant? Who knows? God is not obligated to do anything. He’s God and He’s in control. I guess we’ll find out in the next little bit.
By the way, another tetrad coinciding with Jewish festivals won’t take place for another 500 years or so.
The climate is juicy, the atmosphere is ripe, the conditions are favorable, the signs are all around us. And whether these thing takes place today, next week, next year, or down the road a piece, we are warned to be wise in staying prepared, keeping watch, and not being at all caught by surprise.
I’m not saying these things WILL happen this year, I’m saying the signs point to a heightened possibility.
What I AM saying is that this time we’re in may prove to be, if we don’t recalibrate, if we don’t get our houses in order, if we don’t realize that it’s not business as usual anymore and wake up, we might be reeling because of our being ill prepared.
Let’s get ready! Let’s recalibrate back to God’s Word! Let’s repent, turn from our wicked ways, humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face, cry out to Him and place our whole beings in His care! Seek Him first and only! Prioritize Jesus as number One again in your life!!
No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return for His Bride, but we can know the seasons and the signs.
The men of Issachar in 1 Chron. 12:32 knew the seasons and the signs of the times and knew how to respond and live their lives accordingly.
This festival of the seventh month, the Feast of Tabernacles that celebrated God’s faithfulness of the harvest is coming up again in two weeks, September 28. We will celebrate it tonight. The first day of it will coincide with the final of the four blood moons.
Right now we’re still in the Church Age between Pentecost and Trumpets, signifying the ongoing harvest of souls in the power of the Holy Spirit until Christ’s return.
4 feasts have been fulfilled in Christ, the last three remain to be fulfilled, but may soon occur.
There’s coming a time very very soon that we are going to see our King.
So let’s get ready. Let’s not be caught unaware.
Jesus told this parable immediately after He spoke of the signs of the end times. Listen.
Matthew 25:1-13, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Feast of Tabernacles (Saturday)

Next I want to look at the 7 God appointed feasts in the Bible found in Leviticus 23, and what they mean historically to the people of Israel as well as prophetically to the Church of Jesus Christ and God’s ultimate plan of salvation for mankind.
God is precise. He’s economical. He wastes nothing. He always seems to have multiple meanings and fulfillments in His ways of saying and doing and being.
It’s never more apparent than in the feasts. It will blow you mind!
The 7 Feasts
God’s plan of salvation is summed up in the 7 feasts found in Leviticus 23. These are God appointed feasts for His people to meet with Him.
As they point back historically to events to be remembered in the Jewish people’s history, they also point forward prophetically to “shadows of things to come” as stated in Colossians 2:16-17. “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come, the reality however is found in Christ.”
All 7 feasts were and are previews of coming attractions. 4 have been fulfilled in Christ, with three remaining to be fulfilled.
At the same time they lay out God’s plan of salvation and rescue for mankind, all through Christ.
The word “feast” literally means, “to keep an appointment.” God intends for us to keep our appointments with Him. He made them. We shouldn’t break them.
With that said, let’s look at the 7 appointments God has made for His people.
First Feast – Passover. Exodus 12:1-11 describes the first Passover. “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.”
It was the moment God finally freed the Israelites from Egyptian captivity. The feast was established by God to be remembered every year of God’s redemption. It was prophetically fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah as our Passover Lamb whose blood would be shed for our sins.
Jesus, the Passover Lamb for all of mankind, rode into Jerusalem 4 days before Passover, on the 10th day of the month, on the very day the people were selecting their lambs to be slaughtered as commanded in Exodus 12.
Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, at the same time that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening. John 19:4 says, “Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, Look I am bringing Him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against Him.” Unbeknownst to the people, they were being presented with their final sacrificial Lamb, which they blindly and hatefully rejected, but God, on our behalf, accepted, as the first step in His plan of redemption for mankind.
Jesus, the perfect, spotless, first born, male, sinless Lamb of God was slain on Passover, fulfilling this feast as God’s first step in our salvation.
Second Feast – Unleavened Bread. This feast is celebrated the day after Passover. Historically the people of Israel didn’t have time to make bread with yeast. They were commanded to make in haste unleavened bread (bread without yeast) for their exodus out of Egypt the day after the Passover. This bread is known as Matzo bread. It has 3 pieces (representing in the Church the Trinity). In the feast the middle piece of matzo is taken, broken, and hidden inside a clothe napkin until the end of the meal. At the end of the meal its revealed. This feast was commanded by God to be remembered for the haste of their exodus and God’s faithfulness in releasing them from their bondage of slavery.
Jesus fulfilled this on the very day of the feast when He was broken (crucified), hidden (buried) and then revealed (resurrected). Our communion is a close practice of this. 1 Cor. 11:24, “This is My body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of Me.”
Yeast, by the way, always represents in God’s Word sin. Yeast when introduced to dough quickly changes the very chemistry of dough, just like sin permeates quickly into our hearts and changes us for the worse if we allow it.
This day after Passover, this Unleavened Bread, pointed prophetically to the Messiah’s yeast-free, sinless life, making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body was covered and hidden in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.
This is the second feast fulfilled in Christ moving forward God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Unless a seed of kernel falls to the ground, it cannot produce fruit.
Third Feast – First Fruits. Israel, much like most cultures up until the last hundred years or so, was more agricultural than industrial. Many were farmers of food and animals. This appointed feast historically was celebrated on the first day of the week, on a Sunday. It was to celebrate the first fruits of the newly planted harvest. One barley branch, representing the entire harvest, was waived before God in thanks for His faithfulness and in faithful acknowledgment of His continued provision through the rest of the year.
To that end, this feast pointed to Jesus as the first fruits of the harvest of souls at His resurrection. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, on the first day of the week, Sunday, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”
Jesus became the guarantee and the beginning of the final harvest (resurrection) of mankind. This was the third feast that points to God’s salvation for mankind directly fulfilled through and in Christ Jesus.
So we have Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, all fulfilled on the precise day of each festival (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits) and all pointing to God’s redemptive plan of salvation for mankind.
Which bring us to our Fourth Feast – Pentecost. God appointed His people to count out 49 days from First Fruits to gather together to celebrate with thanksgiving the “season of the giving of the Law”. This was a high holy day, one of three super feasts (Passover being the first, then Pentecost, and finally Tabernacles). On these 3 major feast days God commanded all males to gather in Jerusalem to give thanks.
Traditionally, Pentecost was first celebrated 50 days after the Exodus when God gave His people the Torah, or the Law. It is considered to be the birth of the nation of Israel, since the law brought all 12 tribes under one corporate umbrella of people.
When the Law was given, fire and noise came from Mt. Sinai. We also see prophetically and similarly that, on the Day to Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell, there were cloves of fire upon each head and a sound of a rushing wind came through the place, and the Church was birthed.
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to those who believed and would wait. This event, this day of Pentecost when the Church was birthed, prophetically points to the great harvest of souls, both Jew and Gentile, that would come into the kingdom of God during the Church Age. We are in the age of working in the fields, of reaching and reaping.
The Church was established on this day of Pentecost when Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 souls responded to Peter’s first proclamation of the Gospel.
These first four feast were all fulfilled in Christ on the very days of the feasts, completing the first part of God’s redemptive plan for mankind, all through and in Christ.
So now we have three feasts left to look at, the “fall” feasts”, and three feasts which have yet to be fulfilled in Christ. There’s the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
The long interval of three months between Pentecost and Trumpets points to the current Church Age we are in, a period of time that was kept as a mystery to the Hebrew prophets in Old Testament times.
Because Jesus literally fulfilled the first four feasts and did so on the actual feast days, do you think it is safe to assume that the last three will also be fulfilled and that their fulfillment will occur on the actual feast days? None of us can be certain how they will be fulfilled, but it makes sense that they most likely have the following prophetic implications.
Fifth Feast – Rosh HaShanah / Trumpets. This feast was to make an announcement for an assembly, for war, for worship, or for the entrance of the King. It was also a way of proclaiming the New Year, much like the fireworks we launch on our New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In this celebration of the new year before the trumpets could be blown, first the new moon needed to be spotted in the night sky. If it wasn’t seen, then they’d wait until the next night. Once spotted they would run back to the High Priest to announce its sighting, and the High Priest would give the authority to blow the trumpet announcing the new year. That’s why this celebration could last a total of two days or up to 48 hours.
No man knew the day or the hour of the trumpet blast.
Prophetically this points to the Rapture when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a Bridegroom coming for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, ““Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
1 Corinthians 15:52, ““in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
This event could happen at any moment. Which means we must be ready. It doesn’t have to happen on the actual days of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah, but it could. Not sure why Jesus would break His perfect string here. It may be tomorrow, may be the next day, it may be next year, maybe be several years, but I do know it’s soon!
This begins the culmination of God’s redemption plan for mankind as Jesus calls His Bride away, creating the catalyst for the period of time known as Jacob’s trouble, the great Tribulation.
Sixth Feast – Yom Kippur / Atonement. Between Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement are called the “Days of Awe”, ten days of introspection and repentance. It is a time of soul searching and making things right with God and one’s neighbor. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. It’s a day to be restored to God as a holy people in service to the Lord.
The high priest would prepare all year long for this day. On this day they would enter into the holy of holies representing the nation to make atonement for their sins before God. They would tie a rope around their ankle, just in case things didn’t go well. That way the people could pull his dead body out of the holy of holies without getting killed themselves.
This process included confession (recognition of our sins), contrition (remorse for our sins), conversion (repentance of our sins), compensation (repayment of our sins), and consecration (dedication beyond our sins).
The Day of Atonement points prophetically to the day of the Second Coming of Messiah when He will return to earth after the Tribulation, judge the nations, and set up His earthly throne and reign. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah.
Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”
Romans 11:1-6; 25-32, ““I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”
This is the second to the last festival appointed by God that speaks to God’s salvation plan for mankind. Trumpets and Atonement are yet to be fulfilled in Christ, but prophetically will occur I believe very very soon, which bring us to our final feast, Tabernacles.
So as a review, there’s Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits – Salvation (gaining His people)
Pentecost – Sanctification (grounding His people), along with reaching and reaping
Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles – Glorification (gathering His people)

Feast of Tabernacles (Friday)

The Sabbath (Hebrew Shabbat, meaning “to cease”) was (and is) observed every week from sundown on Friday (6pm) to sundown on Saturday (6pm) and had a two-fold significance. It was both a remembrance of creation and a remembrance of the nation’s deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. The Israelites were to imitate God’s example and rest on the seventh day, as the Lord rested on the seventh day of creation. Also, remembering that they were once slaves in Egypt, they were to rest themselves and allow their bond-servants to rest (a day of rest was a radical concept in ancient times).
Shevet, related to Shabbat, means to “dwell, abide”. This speaks of God desired to dwell and abide with us as He did with Adam & Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:8-9).
In this sense we find the deeper meaning of the Sabbath, that of God’s desire to relate to us.
There are 5 ways this happens-
First, as His creation we are to relate to Him. Genesis 1:26-28 said God created only us, mankind, in His image. He did this so we could relate to Him and authentically represent Him in the world. So many try to dress like someone, act like someone, or be like someone famous. Like the lady who’s had multiple surgeries to look like a human Barbie doll.
God breathed His breath of life into us and created only us in His image. He wants us to find rest in that unique and special place in all of creation. When we are at peace with this, we can be an authentic representation to others of His accepting, favored love He has for all of mankind.
Second, as His redemption. We are redeemed for God. Deuteronomy 5:15 God said, “remember you were slaves in Egypt. The Lord brought you out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God demands you to observe the Sabbath.”
As Believers we’ve been redeemed from the slavery and curse of sin unto God through Christ Jesus. This is not just to escape punishment, but to have reestablished relationship with God. Our ultimate rest is found in our relationship in Christ which allows us to enjoy peace and harmony with God and others. Shabbat Shalom – “peaceful rest”.
Third, we are to find our rest in Him. Apart from Him we create our own gods and strive for things and positions and relationships for our security. But there’s no lasting rest in these things. They just can’t measure up to the complete and perfect rest we find in Christ. We won’t find rest in our finished works. Only in Christ and His finished work can we truly find rest.
Cease your striving and labor for things and positions and other pursuits that will not satisfy. Find your Sabbath in Christ.
Fourth, we are sanctified in Him (set apart). Sabbath reorients our lives back to God, reprioritizing our relationship with Him. Exodus 31:13 says, “You shall surely observe My Sabbaths for this is a sign between you and Me throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you (sets you apart)”.
Think of a wedding ring. It reminds you that you are set apart for your spouse. Sabbath is a reminder of that sanctifying relationship we have with God, one that is holy and set apart for His purposes and glory.
We are sometimes called saints of God. Saints means “set apart ones”. To the degree we as saints of God set our lives apart to God, to that degree we are demonstrating how much we value our relationship with the Lord.
Sabbath is a constant reminder to that end.
Fifth, our eternity is in a Him. Exodus 31:17 says, “Sabbath is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel eternally…”
To this end, Sabbath is an eternal sign pointing us to our eventual rest for all of eternity in His new Creation, where is says in Micah 4:4, “Every man will sit under his vine and beneath his fig tree, and none will ale them afraid.”
Sabbath is realized in Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Romans 5:1 says, “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So Sabbath exists for us to relate to God as His beloved Creation, as a reminder of our redemption to Him through Christ, of our rest and satisfaction in Him instead of worldly pursuits, of our sanctification, and being set apart in relationship for Him alone, and for eternity, where we will experience our ultimate forever rest in Him in His new, perfect creation.
Sabbath reminds us of not only what we are living for NOW, but Who we are to be living with FOREVER. It’s a relationship of rest IN and WITH Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath.
Let me encourage you to take a restful approach to the next 24 hours and find times of rest In and WITH Jesus.

Sanctified Soil

Nehemiah 10:31b, “Every seventh (Sabbath) year we will forego working the land…”
This hails back to God’s original command to have the land lie fallow for a year. Why?
Why did the land need a Sabbath?
Any farmer will tell you that if you don’t rest the land and allow it to replenish its nutrients it will be less productive, less fruitful, and the quality of what it DOES produce will be diminished. Allowing it to rest keeps the soil sustainable for the long term.
I hope you’ve thought through last week’s message and asked God to help you create margins in your life so that you can be the most effective for Him long term.
But as I was praying this week about this portion of scripture and asking the Lord what this means to us today He reminded me that we were created from the soil of the earth. Soil and all of us have much of the same ingredients.
In my research this week I discovered that our bodies contain detectable traces of 60 chemical elements, most of which can be found on the earth’s crust.
It’s like we’ve just been scooped out of the top layer of the earth and formed with the same ingredients. But there’s one element we have that soil doesn’t have.
Which brings me to what I’d like for us to look at today.
Our bodies are sanctified soil. The difference between us and a handful of dirt is the breathe of God.
We are set apart. We are unique to all the rest of God’s creation.
Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”
He made us in His image. There’s nothing else in all of creation that even comes close to the magnificence of mankind because we alone were created in His image. Then we read in the following chapter something unique to our creation apart from any other things He created.
Genesis 2:7, “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Everything else God created… HE MERELY SPOKE and they appeared. BUT when God created man He climbed down into the mud and got His hands dirty.
Nothing else in all of creation called for that degree of attention or that depth of involvement by God.
And the reason was simple: Man was the only created being on earth that was formed by God and in the image of God.
Evolutionists believe there is no divine in man, just soil. They tell us that man gradually evolved from lower life forms. They tell us that life was just an accident and man is nothing more than a higher order of animal. To evolutionists you and I are animals borne of chaos and lacking any real reason to exist. We have no higher purpose. We have no real value beyond being a scientific curiosity.
But the Bible tells us that’s not true. You’re not just soil.
Evolution may see us as one step above apes.
But Scripture tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully hand-crafted by God Himself.
You and I are NOT like the other creations of God. We’re not like Apes, the Chimps, the Orangutans. We are a special creation MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD!
Now, why is that important? It’s important for a couple of reasons.
Because you are made in the image of God, you have intrinsic value. If for that reason alone, you are WORTH something.
What you THINK you are shapes WHO you are. If you think you were born to lose and have no purpose or value, that’s how you’ll live. But if you realize you have intrinsic value, you will tend to live up to that image.
You have been made in the image of God.
He has the authority to say you have value and worth.
No matter what’s happened to you,
No matter what you’ve done with your life,
No matter how many bad decisions you’ve made,
You are STILL created in the image of God and you are worth something.
You are valuable to God.
But… how do you know you have that value?
Because something is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it.
So, how much are you worth?
Well, God says you’re worth so much that He gave His only begotten Son for you.
Not only have you been created in God’s image, you’ve been bought with a price… with the precious blood of Jesus.
So, first because you’ve been created, you have worth & value, and you are valued so much that God put the price of your worth at His only begotten Son.
Because you have been created in His image you have been valued by God to the highest level, therefore you and I have a responsibility to live up to.
In evolution there is no image of God in which to live up to. You’re just an accidental collection of matter. You are who you are and you can’t help being who you are. Without the DIVINE all you have left is SOIL. As soil, all you’re left with is animal instincts and emotions that are base and uncontrollable.
Because, if that’s all you are, that’s all you’re going to be.
And many people think just like that. They will say, “That’s just how I am”, or “I was born this”, or “I can’t help myself.”
What they’re really saying is they’re just soil… not divine or sanctified or set apart or unique.
They’re declaring, “I wasn’t formed by God, wasn’t breathed into by the breath of God, but I was formed by accident or a Big Bang or by the random evolutionary luck of nature.”
And that’s what society continues to try to push on us. They tell us, “You can’t help yourself, that’s just the way you ARE, you were born to live a life controlled by your emotions and your appetites and there’s not a thing you can do to change it. And when things get too far out of whack because you’ve lived like that, just take this pill or this drug and it will all go away.”
But the Bible says that’s not true. You were created IN THE IMAGE of God. You were created to live a responsible life that reflects your Creator. God believes you can change who you are and how you live.
That’s why the Bible says in Leviticus 19:2, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
Jesus said in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
And again He said in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Now just an explanation about that last verse and the word “perfect”.
Many people read that word “Perfect” and think it means to be without sin. But the Greek word used for perfection actually means something else. It means “to be complete” or “to be mature”, as in Hebrews 5:14 where the word is translated that way, “But solid food is for the MATURE, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
So Jesus is telling us, “Grow up!” Grow up to be like your daddy. Grow up to reflect the image of your Father that’s within you. That’s our responsibility.
The Bible teaches us that we can’t be saved by our good works. We can’t earn our way into heaven by accumulating enough brownie points. We don’t get past the pearly gates because we’ve been merciful. We don’t earn a place in Paradise by how nice we’ve been. We don’t even get into heaven because we’ve been holy.
But if holiness doesn’t get me into heaven, why SHOULD I be holy? Why should I do good things?
Why? To reflect Jesus to others and bring glory to Him.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, SO THAT they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Everything Jesus said and did brought glory to His Father.
Everything we do and say should reflect our Creator and bring glory to Him because you and I are created in HIS image.
This is our privileged and joyful responsibility as Believers and followers of Christ.
You can tell who employees of businesses belong to by the garments they wear. They’ve been entrusted with the IMAGE of that businessl. They are stewards of the reputation of the organization to which they belong. And we tend to judge their place of employment by how they conduct themselves.
in the same way, as stewards of the image of God, we’ve got to realize what we do and don’t do reflects back on our God. When we treat someone rough, or lose our tempers, or say things we shouldn’t say, or do something we shouldn’t do, that reflects back on our Creator.
But by contrast, if we live a life dedicating ourselves to being God’s image to the world we can change the lives of those around us. This is our responsibility as representatives of Him.
I’m not sure what someone told you years ago or what you believe about yourself today, but you have intrinsic value. You are worth more than anything else to God.
You are sanctified soil, breathed into with the very breathe of God, made in His image. Bought back from the curse of sin with the price of His only Son.
You have the privileged responsibility to display this example to others as His representative. You are a son and daughter of God!
As we give proper rest to the soil which is our bodies, we will be sustainable long term. But we can’t be fruitful in quantity and quality if we don’t come to the realization that we have intrinsic value as uniquely formed and fashioned by God’s hands, in His image, breathed in by His breath of life, and bought with the price of His only Son, which places on us the responsibility to be the image of Him to those who have intrinsic value, are uniquely formed and fashioned by His hands, in His image, breathed in by His breath of life, and have been bought with the price of His only Son, but have not as of yet accepted the free gift of salvation.
Maybe that’s you today. Maybe that’s someone you know.
God, change our perspective of who we are. Help us to embrace the fact that, regardless of what we’ve been taught or told, we are unique and valuable and worthwhile in YOUR eyes, so much so that You gave us Your only Son. Sanctify this soil today. Set us apart. Then out of that help us to embrace our responsibility to live it out as Your children to others as a reflection of You and for your glory.