And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
This week God’s people all over the world have been celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles — or Sukkot.
This amazing divine appointment shows us so much about God’s desire to dwell with His people.
Tabernacles reveals to us significant patterns of the past, reminds us of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and points us to the prophetic promises of the coming Kingdom of God.
To discover more about his appointed feast of the LORD, feel free to access my previous posts and watch my latest teaching on the Regeneration Radio You Tube page below.
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
This is the Day …
The Day of Atonement.
The holiest of God’s divine appointments.
Today is a day for the covenant people of God to humble themselves, examine their hearts, confess their sins, and boldly approach God’s throne to find mercy and grace in time of need.
May this be the posture of God’s people until the setting of the sun today … and beyond.
May God reveal Himself to you in a personal and powerful way, as you seek His face on Yom Kippur.
May the Lord Jesus be worshipped and glorified for His finished work as our Great High Priest and as our atoning sacrifice for sin, once and for all!
For more information of this sacred appointed day, feel free to access my previous teachings on Yom Kippur by clicking the links below.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’
At sundown on Tuesday October 4 through sundown October 5, God’s people all over the world will be observing the Day of Atonement — the most holy of God’s divine appointments.
The Lord Jesus is our Great High Priest who was raised from the dead and entered the heavenly temple to offer His own blood once and for all, partially fulfilling the Day of Atonement.
However, Jesus will finally fulfill this divine appointment when He returns as King of heaven and Judge of all the earth.
Even today, we as God’s people have a unique opportunity once a year to deny ourselves, examine our hearts, confess sin, and ask God for forgiveness and mercy, as we prepare to stand before the Judge of all the earth.
To discover more about the most holy day on God’s calendar, check out my latest video teaching on the Day of Atonement, posted through Regeneration Radio. As always, if you find this study helpful, be sure to like and subscribe for my most recent content, and help me spread the good news by sharing this in your own personal network!
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other … But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.“
[The Lord Jesus — Matthew 24:31, 36]
We are fast approaching the fall Feasts of the LORD and the high holy days, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets at sundown on September 25.
Just as the Lord Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts in astonishing detail during His first coming, I am convinced that Jesus also will fulfill the fall feasts at His second coming to the very day.
God’s covenant people were commanded to keep and celebrate these divine appointments each and every year as dress rehearsals in preparation for the prophetic fulfillments through Messiah. Furthermore, we get to continue to celebrate these amazing holy days in perpetuity as we gather together to worship King Jesus!
The Feast of Trumpets is unique in comparison to all the other appointed times because it is the only feast that does not have a predetermined date on the calendar. On the contrary, the Feast of Trumpets can only be announced upon the official sighting of the new moon in the evening sky, which designates the beginning of the seventh month. Because the observation of the new moon is required before Trumpets can begin, this appointed feast arrives “on a day and at an hour that no one knows.”
Does that sound familiar?
It should because those are the exact words that the Lord Jesus uses in His most popular teaching about His second coming.
Contrary to popular belief, when Jesus says that no one knows the day or the hour when He will return, He is not referring to some secret rapture event in which He could return at any moment to whisk away the church without a trace, leaving the rest of the world behind in bewilderment.
Many in the church have grossly misinterpreted this passage to say something that it does not, primarily because we have forgotten the Feasts of the LORD, and without a Biblical context, we cannot understand Jesus’ teaching.
Jesus was making a direct reference to the Feast of Trumpets in the Olivet Discourse, as the day and an hour that no one knows. Jesus tells His disciples to know the signs and the general season of His second coming, so that we should be aware when His return is very near — even at the door!
Jesus knew better than anyone that as the beginning of the seventh month drew near, there would be at least a two-day window of waiting and watching before the new moon would appear. So in regard to the Feast of Trumpets only, Jesus is saying that we may not know which day or the precise hour of His return, but on the other hand He commands us to know when His coming is near.
To learn more about this amazing Feast, Be sure to watch my latest video on Regeneration Radio by Clicking the link below!
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For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them. 25But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Today at sundown marks the beginning of the Biblical Feast of Purim.
To discover more about this amazing holy day and appointed time of the LORD, be sure to check out the video teaching on the Regeneration Radio YouTube page.
Before there comes upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.
Today at twilight, the 14th of Nissan, Passover begins. Passover arguably is the most sacred of holy convocations among the people of Israel. The feast was established between the God and people of Israel to be observed throughout all generations and forevermore. It is the climatic moment of redemptive history when the Creator and King of the universe supernaturally broke out on the earth and entered the natural realm with awesome displays of power and supreme sovereignty.
The essence of Passover, however, is found not only in the power of God but also in His provision and grace. The heart of Passover is found in the blood of the lamb. Israel was covered (atonement) and redeemed by the blood of the spotless male Lamb — saved from the angel of death who would passover those who trusted God and obeyed His word.
Passover is that moment when the children of Israel were saved by God’s grace, through faith. By believing God’s Message and Messenger, Israel was delivered from the bondage of Pharaoh and from the power of the gods of Egypt. Having been baptized through the Red Sea, Israel emerged as a chosen race, a holy nation, and a people of God’s own possession.
The prophetic typology and spiritual realties of the Passover are immense and I have written a few posts on the subject here if you would like to dig deeper.
Today I would like to focus on the future fulfillment of Passover through the lenses of the end of the age and the age to come. The prophetic patterns of God are unmistakable. What’s been done will be done again. Every type and shadow of redemptive history will recapitulate and culminate in the last days. I do believe the Scriptures portray the glorious return of Christ and the final redemption of the righteous as a greater Second Exodus.
For example, the Scriptures portray a believing remnant God’s people who experience a greater Exodus in the last days, when the greater Moses — Jesus — will return to destroy the greater Pharaoh — Antichrist — and supernaturally deliver His people from the bondage of the Beast and from the angel of death — Abaddon?
Is it possible that the LORD will part the sea again or supernaturally provide for His people in the wilderness with manna from heaven and water from a rock? Is it possible that the LORD will supernaturally protect many of His people through the great tribulation — covering and sheltering them from the judgements that are coming upon the earth — just as Israel was sheltered and protected in the midst of Egypt while the LORD poured out the plagues?
Is it possible that King Jesus will lead His innumerable host from heaven and earth on a triumphant procession from Sinai to Zion?
Not only is it possible, it is Biblical. The Passover provides a prophetic glimpse into the supernatural events that will occur on a global scale at the end of the age before the Great Day of the LORD.
WE ARE SEALED BY THE BLOOD AND SAVED FROM THE DESTROYER
Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads … They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon —the Destroyer.
[Revelation 9:3-4, 11]
God’s judgments during the great tribulation will parallel the plagues of Egypt, only on a global scale. While many faithful witnesses are destined to suffer persecution, captivity, and even death at the hands of the Beast, there will be a considerable remnant who is supernaturally protected from the Beast and preserved through the plagues of death coming upon the earth.
In the 4th Seal of Revelation, we are told that the angel of Death rides across a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth” [Revelation 6:8]. This is otherwise known as the Destroying Angel — or the Destroyer — the evil entity that leaves a wake of destruction and desolation when unleashed upon mankind.
The Destroyer is the same angel unleashed upon Egypt on the night of the first Passover, and he soon will be unleashed again upon the whole earth. Only those covered by the blood of the Lamb will be spared.
For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
The Destroyer will come up out of the Abyss — or Hades — during the trumpet judgments and lead a supernatural demonic horde to plague the earth and eventually kill 1/3 of mankind [Rev. 9:13-19]. Notice in Revelation 9, however, at the blowing of the 5th & 6th Trumpets, only those who do not have the “seal of God on their foreheads” suffer torment and death from the Destroyer.
Those who are covered by the blood of the Lamb and sealed with the Holy Spirit will be supernaturally protected once again from the plagues and the Destroyer. [see also Ezekiel 9]
A REMNANT WILL BE PROTECTED IN THE WILDERNESS FOR 1260 DAYS
The woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
After the LORD delivered Israel from Egypt through the Passover, He then led her on a wilderness journey in the desert and supernaturally nourished and protected her. Scripture tells us that this epic drama will unfold one again during the great tribulation, and I believe it will be witnessed on a global scale. As the devil launches an all-out assault against God’s people — Jew and Gentile alike — the LORD will intervene in a supernatural way to preserve a faithful remnant.
It is during this final wilderness journey that we can expect to see God reproduce many of the same miracles He worked during the Exodus. Manna from heaven. Water from the rock. Opening the earth. Even parting the sea.
But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The prophet Ezekiel tells us that there is yet another future wilderness journey that will eclipse even the Exodus from Egypt.
As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD.
WE ARE SAVED FROM THE COMING WRATH OF GOD
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
20Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. 21For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.
The death of every firstborn in Egypt at the hand of the Destroyer was severe enough, but God’s decisive display of wrath against Pharaoh ultimately would drown the evil king and his army in the depths of the sea. When Israel emerged on the other side, her deliverance was complete, and the entire assembly shouted in victory and sang songs of deliverance to the LORD!
While God has used water in the past to carry out His judgments, His final return to earth will be in the form of an all-consuming fire. [see 2 Peter 3]
Just as Israel was saved and protected from God’s wrath against Egypt during Passover, so it will be on the Day of the LORD. Not only will believers receive their resurrected, immortal bodies at the end of the age when Christ returns to earth, but also God will direct His wrath exclusively on the ungodly and the wicked inhabitants of the earth.
Even the Bowl judgments in Revelation 16 — which culminate with the return of Jesus to earth — are reserved exclusively for the Beast, his kingdom, and those who have taken the mark of the Beast. The point is that God is quite capable of preserving His people through judgment and protecting us from His wrath while on the earth, just as He did through Passover and the Exodus.
The prophet Zephaniah says that the humble and righteous will be “hidden” from the wrath of the LORD on that great Day [Zephaniah 2:3], and Isaiah uses Passover language about God’s people entering their “chambers” and shutting their doors behind them until His fury has passed by.
But now thus says the LORD,he who created you, O Jacob,he who formed you, O Israel:“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine.2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you.3For I am the LORD your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.I give Egypt as your ransom,Cush and Seba in exchange for you.4Because you are precious in my eyes,and honored, and I love you.
WE WILL OBSERVE PASSOVER IN THE AGE TO COME
The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
Every Gentile believer who places faith in the Messiah of Israel — Jesus Christ — immediately is grafted in to Israel and receives a new national identity. We are adopted into the family of the God of Israel, granted citizenship in the Kingdom of Israel, incorporated into of the commonwealth of Israel, and commissioned as servants of the King of Israel.
Israel always has represented the unified people in covenant with the One True God from all nations throughout all time. When a stranger and sojourner came in faith and joined himself to the God and people of Israel, he was recognized and treated as a native born. Many Egyptians joined the company of Israel during the Exodus, and many more Gentiles became participants in the kingdom by faith — Rahab, Ruth etc… — and submitted to the laws and customs of Israel.
All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
Since the Day of Pentecost, untold millions of Gentiles from the “nations” now believe in the God of Israel and His Messiah Jesus, which means that the church did not replace Israel but rather has been grafted into the true Israel of God. Unfortunately, the church has mostly abandoned her religious heritage and forgotten her Hebrew roots.
Furthermore, when Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of Israel on earth, we will most definitely follow the laws of Israel and celebrate the feasts of the LORD that He gave to Israel. We will observe Passover in the Millennial Kingdom of Israel [see Ezekiel 45:21], as the people of Israel, giving glory to the God of Israel, and praising the Lamb who was slain from the Lion of the Tribe of Judah — Israel’s King.
Each of us will belong to one of the 12 tribes of Israel and inherit the land allotted to our tribe. Every year we will called up to Jerusalem to worship during the appointed Feasts of the LORD. We will forever commemorate the Passover in the Kingdom in the same way we observe the Lord’s Supper — in remembrance of the Great God and Redeemer of Israel who is mighty to save to the uttermost.
As the sons and daughters of Israel, we will forever rejoice in the Lamb and observe Passover for all generations.
My question is then, why don’t we faithfully keep it now?
I would strongly encourage every believer in Jesus Christ to discover new ways to keep Passover in this age, especially considering we will be keeping it in the age to come!
And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
At sundown tonight, Jews all around the world will begin celebrating the Feast of Purim — also known as the Festival of Lots. Purim is a joyous two-day feast dedicated to remember God’s great deliverance of the Jewish people under the courageous leadership of Queen Esther and Mordecai.
The Biblical story of Esther is one of the most beautiful and dramatic narratives in all of Scripture. I strongly encourage believers to take the time to gather with friends and family and read the book of Esther out loud in commemoration of this appointed feast.
I have written extensively about the appointed feasts of the LORD, especially in regard to their prophetic fulfillment in the two advents of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you would like to learn more about the significance of these feasts and their prophetic implications, I encourage to read the following post — Feasts of the LORD .
As I recall the book of Esther, I am reminded of the many profound nuances and prophetic foreshadowings contained in the story and certainly won’t attempt to write exhaustively about them, yet I do believe there is an element of the story of Esther and the Feast of Purim that is worth our time and consideration.
I am speaking about the thin line that often exists between despair and deliverance. I am speaking about hope, and I believe the story of Esther serves as a powerful example of a greater reality for all of God’s people.
There are Dark Days Ahead
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.
The Jewish people are all too familiar with suffering at the hands of their enemies. Haman’s evil plot to annihilate the Jews was not the first nor would it be the last. Haman, of course, was one of the many historical prefigurements of antichrist — Haman — Profile of Antichrist — who hated God’s offspring.
From Pharaoh to Jezebel to Nebuchadnezzar to Antiochus Epiphanes and Caesar, many antichrists have attempted to utterly destroy God’s people. Hitler and Stalin almost succeeded, while today the biggest threat comes from the terroristic, Islamic regimes in the Middle East.
After all the suffering and persecution both Jews and Christians have endured historically, it is almost impossible to imagine that the worst is yet to come. The Bible speaks of a coming time of great tribulation that has never been before nor will ever be equalled again. This is the final time of Jacob’s trouble and yet it will be universal in scope. [reference Jeremiah 30, Daniel 12, Matthew 24]
You mean worse than the Holocaust … Yes.
You mean worse than the slaughter of tens of millions under communism … Yes.
Just as Haman was bloodthirsty for the Jews and hellbent on destroying them all, the coming man of lawlessness — the Antichrist — soon will be revealed and will come with the most diabolical plan to systematically annihilate all of God’s people.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation …
When There is No Other Way
Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.
This verse may be the most profound in all of Esther. We are reminded just how close the Jews were from being destroyed by Haman. They had known their fate for a year. They had been praying and preparing for this day. It seemed like all hope was lost. There was no one to save them from the hand of their enemies. Certain death was inevitable.
And yet on the very day that the Jews were supposed to be annihilated, the reverse occurred. God stepped in and delivered His people from destruction. This isn’t the first time we have seen this pattern of God’s deliverance at the last minute.
When the children of Israel were fleeing from Pharaoh and his army, they were trapped at the Red Sea. As the wicked king was barreling down on them for the slaughter, God parted the sea at the last moment and made a way where there was no way. Turning the tides, God drowned Pharaoh and delivered Israel [Exodus 14].
As Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, they were thrown into the midst of the fiery furnace [Daniel 3], and yet the LORD walked with them through the fire and delivered them against all odds.
So will it be during the great tribulation at the end of the age. When the devil seems to have prevailed and the Beast has conquered the world, it is precisely at that moment that God will deliver His people once and for all!
Our Blessed Hope
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.25And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Just as God delivered His people and destroyed His enemies at the very last minute in Esther’s day, so Jesus will return in power and glory at a time when all other hope is lost. That is why only Jesus is our Blessed Hope and that is why we are waiting for His appearing at the end of this age to wage war against the wicked and deliver us from evil.
The Day of the LORD is the unique Day when Christ comes down from heaven to save us once and for all. It is day all of God’s people will finally find relief, just as the Jews found relief in the days of Ester. The Apostle Paul certainly had the story of Esther in mind when he wrote to the church in Thessalonica.
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,10when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
[2 Thessalonians 1:5-10]
Sorrow to Joy
The Feast of Purim is a dedicated time of rejoicing to remember “the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladnessdays for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” [Esther 9:22].
In the same way, all of God’s people who overcome in Christ will enjoy that great banquet feast and wedding supper of the Lamb in the Kingdom of God when Jesus returns to take His rightful place on the throne as King of kings! It is the Day when the poor in spirit receive the Kingdom of heaven and will rejoice in the presence of God forevermore!
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3]
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
Today at sundown [September 18, 2020] designates the new year on the Jewish civic calendar. This day is called Rosh Hashanah and initiates the two-day Feast of Trumpets.
The Feast of Trumpets is one of the seven appointed Feasts of the LORD, given to the people of Israel to observe faithfully each year as holy convocations [see Leviticus 23]. The Feast of Trumpets is called Yom Teruah — the Day of Shouting — and traditionally is known as the hidden day because it is the only feast day that must be determined by the observation of the new moon.
The Lord Jesus makes a direct reference to this “hidden” day by using a common idiom, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows” [Mark 13:32]. As witnesses were told to observe the night sky for the first sighting of the new moon, it was difficult to know the precise day or the hour the moon would appear, and yet they still knew when the day was near. The whole nation would be waiting and watching in quiet expectation of this “sign” in heaven, but once the moon was sighted, the people were to make a collective shout of celebration and begin the trumpet blasts to announce the new year!
The Feast of Trumpets is the first of three fall feasts that constitute the most solemn time of year for the Jewish people. The high holy day of Israel — Yom Kippur — follows 10 days after the Feast of Trumpets. For a more detailed account about the Feast of Trumpets, feel free to read the following posts — PART 1 & PART 2.
The Theophany at Sinai
When the LORD instituted His appointed feasts and commanded Israel to observe them each year, He had a two-fold purpose. First, the LORD wanted His people to always remember and never forget how He redeemed Israel from Egypt with mighty signs and wonders and entered into covenant with them on the holy mountain — Sinai.
Second, the LORD also designed the appointed feasts to be prophetic “dress rehearsals” by establishing patterns and symbolic pictures that provide detailed depictions of the coming Messiah. Once you understand the prophetic significance of these appointed feasts, you will be astonished to discover how intentional and precise God’s word truly is.
When the LORD initiated the Feast of Trumpets with Israel in Leviticus 23, He commanded them to sound the trumpet blast on the first day of the month. The significance of the trumpet blast would have been quite fresh for this original audience because of what Moses and the Israelites had just witnessed at Mount Sinai.
This amazing encounter is worth another look.
On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
The Feast of Trumpets is a dedicated day to remember the greatest manifestation of God ever witnessed on this earth. The trumpet blast was so intense that the people trembled and feared for their very lives in the presence of the God’s power and glory.
This was the day that the LORD God of Israel “came down” and showed Himself to His people. A day never to forget.
On the other hand, the theophany at Sinai serves as perhaps the most obvious allusion to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Just as the LORD gathered his people and came down on Mount Sinai in a cloud and with fire and lightening and trumpet blasts, so Jesus will return in like manner.
The language of the New Testament draws directly from this event to describe the return of Jesus from heaven to earth.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
The Battle of Jericho
Although there are so many types and shadows I could draw from, I want to close with another fascinating episode involving the trumpet blast — Jericho.
Many of us grew up singing the old Sunday school song, “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho … and the walls came a tumbling down.” But the truth is that it was the LORD Himself who gave Israel the victory at the stronghold of Jericho, and He did so in a most unconventional way. Once again, what may have seemed like a bizarre command from God at the time was actually another prophetic picture God was painting in real time to point us to the final Day of the LORD!
Let’s take a closer look.
First we can’t overlook the encounter that Joshua has with the LORD just prior to the battle at Jericho. I am persuaded that this was an encounter with God the Son — the Lord Jesus — in a pre-incarnate manifestation [see Colossians 1:15-17].
When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The commander of the LORD’s army is standing with His sword drawn and is clearly God in human form because of Joshua’s response in fear and worship. Now listen to what the LORD told Joshua to do.
And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
Once again, the theatrics are intentional for prophetic purposes. The LORD was taking Israel through a dress rehearsal that in many ways will mirror the Day of the LORD. The fighting men were commanded to march around the city for 7 days with seven priests leading the way before the ark of the covenant, blowing 7 trumpets. Then they were to march around the city 7 times on the 7th day.
And then upon God’s command the priests were to make a long blast with their shofars and all the people were to give a great shout! Then earth would quake and the walls would crumble and their enemies would be given into their hands for total destruction.
The imagery is astoundingly prophetic. First of all, Joshua is one of the most obvious types of Christ in the Old Testament — even sharing the very same Hebrew name with Yeshua. The symbolism beyond that is simply amazing. Consider …
The repeated use of patterns with the number 7
The role of the ark of the covenant
The sounding of the last trumpet
The shouting of the people
The walls of the city falling down
The wrath of God poured out on His enemies
Israel conquering and inheriting the Promise Land
Both the 7th Trumpet and 7th Bowl from the book of Revelation draws directly from this event.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,17saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
19Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
Finally, we know that the Apostle Paul also makes a direct reference to the last trumpet on the last day when Jesus returns.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53
So as we recognize and celebrate the Feast of Trumpets this weekend, may we first remember the mighty acts of God on behalf of His people, and may we also wait in hopeful expectation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when the final trumpet blast is sounded!
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
It all started in the Garden. God creating man in His own image. Man dwelling with God in perfect harmony. God made His home with man. Man in right relationship with his Maker. It was paradise.
Then paradise was lost.
Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden — separated from God. The entire creation was cursed. The consequences of sin and death ensued, and the earth — man’s home — became the devil’s playground.
Ever since man was expelled from the Garden, he has been trying to do one thing — find a way back to God.
That is the essence of the gospel. Man could never make his way back into right relationship with God on his own. Man could never merit the privilege of being allowed back into the presence of a Holy God. That is why God had to initiate the plan of restoration and provide the only way of salvation by coming to us.
When it comes to the final fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, we must be reminded that God’s people are awaiting the Day when the dwelling place [tabernacle] of God will forever be with man!
The Word Become Flesh
The entire gospel story of God’s redemption hinges upon the restoration of God and man through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. As Peter says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” [1 Peter 3:18].
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator — God the Son — the Word become flesh. The good news is that God, in His love for humanity, chose to leave His position in heaven, temporarily laying aside His divine glory, and came to earth to “tabernacle” among us in human form [see John 1:1-14]. That is why He is Immanuel — God with us — and He came to provide mankind the only way back to God the Father.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
After accomplishing the work of redemption through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus spent valuable time teaching His disciples about the kingdom of God. Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised to tabernacle with His people in a new and living way — through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
[1 Corinthians 3:16]
In one very real sense God’s kingdom already has come in the Person and work of Christ, and God’s Spirit dwells within every believer. But in another sense God’s kingdom is not yet because evil remains at work in this world and the restoration of all things is yet future.
So how and when will the Feast of Tabernacles be ultimately fulfilled?
The Second Coming of Christ
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
If we are following the prophetic timeline that God has established through His appointed Feasts, then we should remember that the first two fall feasts will be fulfilled at second coming of Christ. The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled when the last trumpet is sounded and Jesus returns from heaven to earth on the clouds in power and great glory [see Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18].
The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled, as all Israel will be saved when Christ returns to punish the enemies of God and trample the Antichrist and his hostile armies surrounding Jerusalem.
Immediately after the Lord Yeshua defeats His enemies and liberates Jerusalem, He will be exalted as King of kings and take His place on David’s throne in Zion to reestablish His Kingdom Israel on earth.
Zechariah provides a glimpse into this awesome Day.
“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him … And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.”
[Zechariah 14:1-6, 9]
Once King Jesus takes His place on the throne, God’s people will be invited to take part in the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be the great victory banquet on earth celebrating the triumph of the King.
Jesus said … “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The Millennial Kingdom and the Feast of Tabernacles
Once Jesus returns to the earth as King, He will rule and reign His Kingdom from Jerusalem, and the saints will rule with Him. Many have called this the Messianic Age, or the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The Kingdom will be God’s way of bringing paradise back to the earth. God will live in physical, bodily form in the midst of the earth, and we will dwell in the presence of Almighty God.
The Millennium will be a literal 1,000 year period for Christ to reign as King and for God to dwell with man. It will give mankind the privilege to enjoy an age of unprecedented peace, prosperity, knowledge, restoration, longevity, blessing, and beauty.
Interestingly enough, the Feast of Tabernacles will play a prominent role during this unique Messianic Age, as the survivors of the nations will be required to present themselves before the LORD each year to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.
The saints of the Most High will rule and reign with King Jesus and the nations will be subject to Him. There are a variety of passages that portray this unique Millennial Kingdom, but for sake of time I will only share one more from the prophet Isaiah.
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” [Isaiah 2:2-4]
The New Heaven, Earth and Jerusalem
After the earth is allowed to experience this 1,000 year Sabbath rest of peace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Bible then describes a New Heaven and New Earth, where God makes everything new and dwells with His people forevermore. Everything that was lost in the Garden will be restored and recreated, and there will be no more evil, no more sin, no more death, and no more suffering.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”
The Apostle John provides even more detail about the eternal state of man and God’s promise to tabernacle with mankind forevermore.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son’ … And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.”
[Revelation 21:1-7, 22-26]
As you can see, the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the ongoing, perpetual state of Holy God dwelling with man. Just as God commanded Israel to set aside the 8th Day of rest following the Feast of Booths, He has set aside an eternal 8th Day — the Day of New Beginnings of Recreation — which will be the everlasting life we will experience through and with Christ in the New Heaven and New Earth!
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) to the LORD … You shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
[Leviticus 23:33-34, 41-43]
The third and final fall feast is the Feast of Tabernacles — or Sukkot in Hebrew. Sukkot is the Hebrew word for booth or temporary shelter, which is why this appointed feast is also called Booths. The Feast of Tabernacles always falls on the 15th day of the seventh month of Tishrei, which is 5 days after the Day of Atonement.
In contrast to the Day of Atonement, which is commemorated with fasting, repentance, and solemn self-examination, Tabernacles is a joyous occasion with feasting, dancing, singing and worshiping the LORD. Tabernacles is to be celebrated for an entire week, followed by a special 8th day solemn day of rest called ‘Shemini Atzeret‘ (the eighth day of assembly). I will discuss the significance of this 8th day in my next post.
Like every other appointed Feast of the LORD, Tabernacles was designed by God to be an annual memorial of the past and a dress rehearsal for the future. It is no surprise that Tabernacles is directly connected to the most important event in Israel’s history — the Exodus.
After Yahweh redeemed the children of Israel from bondage and demonstrated His supreme power over Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt, He led Israel through the Red Sea on their way to the Promised Land. That journey lasted much longer, however, because of the people’s stubborn unbelief, which derailed them into a 40-year wandering in the wilderness.
During this wandering, the Israelites were forced to dwell in temporary shelters, or booths. The LORD also instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle for Him — the Tent of Meeting — which always was located in the center of the camp. All 12 tribes of Israel were to remain encamped around the Tabernacle of the LORD.
To remember the Exodus story, the LORD instructed the Israelites to build their own temporary shelters — or booths — and dwell in them for an entire week each year. As you might imagine, this appointed feast also points to a time when the LORD will once again dwell in the midst of His people.
The Tabernacle and the Temple
Once the Israelites settled in the Promised Land and the 12 tribes received their allotted inheritance, the Tabernacle lost some significance in the Biblical narrative. Although the Tabernacle was moved around some, it eventually landed in Shiloh, where a community of priests took care of it’s contents, especially the Ark of the Covenant.
Years later King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and resolved to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Zion. The Bible says that David erected a replica of the Tabernacle to house the Ark, which the Prophet Amos called the “tent of David” [Amos 9:11].
Although the LORD would not allow David to build Him a permanent dwelling place, David’s son, King Solomon, was chosen by God to build the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon dedicated the Temple on the 15th of Tishrei — the Feast of Tabernacles — and the Shekinah glory of the LORD filled the Temple [2 Chronicles 7:8-10].
“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.”
[2 Chronicles 6:18-20]
Jesus and the Feast of Tabernacles
Although we do not have Biblical clarity on the exact time of the birth of Jesus, I do not believe that December 25 is the best option. If God is true to task with giving prophetic significance to His appointed Feasts, then it would stand to reason that the Lord Jesus likely was born during one of them. The best candidate in my opinion is the Feast of Tabernacles or perhaps Trumpets.
John’s gospel doesn’t begin with the birth of Jesus, yet John does provide the most thorough theological explanation of how God the Son became the Son of Man.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made …
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
[John 1:1-3, 9-14]
Interestingly enough, the Greek word used for “dwelt” here in John 1:14 is skénoó — meaning to dwell as in a tent, encamp, have my tabernacle.
Taking this into consideration, John could be saying that the Son of God literally took on a human tabernacle, or body, on the actual Feast of Tabernacles.
For a more in-depth explanation of this concept, you can read here.
One of the complementary traditions that became associated with this festival was the erection of four massive golden lampstands [50 cubits high] in the Temple Compound to be lit at sundown. The lampstands emitted light all over Jerusalem, which according to the Jewish rabbis, was symbolic of the God’s Shekinah glory that was promised to return to Israel with the coming of the Messiah.
It is interesting that Jesus appeared in Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths and caused great controversy with His teaching [see John 7-8]. With the massive golden lampstands serving as a backdrop, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” [John 8:12].
Tabernacles in the Future
As we will see next time, the Feast of Tabernacles has prophetic significance that will be realized after the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus! Stay tuned.