Patterns in Jewish Celebrations – Part Two

The pattern shown by the traditional Jewish wedding continues. And the Lord added yet another pattern. This time it is His “feasts.” The Lord gave Moses seven “feasts” for the Children of Israel to acknowledge. I put the word “feasts” in quotes because the word in Hebrew is not a feast, but an appointed time (in Hebrew, moed - Strong’s H4150). The Lord gave Moses seven occasions where the Israelites were to meet Him at an appointed time.

Here are the seven appointed times:

  1. The appointed time of Passover
  2. The appointed time of Unleavened Bread
  3. The appointed time Firstfruits
  4. The appointed time Pentecost
  5. The appointed time of Trumpets
  6. The appointed time of Atonement
  7. The appointed time of Tabernacles

Some Bible scholars believe that the “feasts,” or appointed times, are also prophetic, and will be fulfilled in the same sequence as they were prescribed by the Lord. If this is so, we know that Jesus fulfilled three of these moeds at His First Coming as the suffering Messiah. (Isaiah 53:3) Jesus was the Passover Lamb. (John 1:29) Leavening is representative of sin. (First Corinthians 5:6-7) Jesus was without sin and therefore unleavened, represented by Unleavened Bread. Jesus was the Firstfruits of the grave. (First Corinthians 15:20)

The next appointed time in the sequence given by the Lord is Pentecost, known as the Feast of Weeks. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Pentecost is a harvest celebration. The Book of Ruth concludes at the spring harvest and, according to Jewish tradition, occurred at Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost represents the betrothal of the Church to Jesus. The story of Boaz and Ruth culminates with the announcement of their betrothal. This confirms the symbolism of the betrothal of the Church.

I have come to believe that Pentecost, a feast separated from the Spring Feasts and the Fall Feasts, represents the Church Age, or the Age of Grace. There are two brides in the Bible; Israel, the bride of the Lord, and the Church, the bride of Christ. The Church will be dealt with in a separate manner from Israel. When the Lord Jesus comes for his bride, the Church, the Church Age and Pentecost will be completed. This will occur at what we call the "rapture" or the "catching away" of the Church.

The next appointed time is the Feast of Trumpets. In the sequence of events in a traditional Jewish wedding, this is the time when the groom comes to get the bride! I believe this will be when the Lord announces His intent to complete His plan for Israel. The Fall Feasts all appear to pertain to Israel. If the appointed times are to be fulfilled in sequence, this will be the next great event, fulfilling the scenario given by the Lord 3,500 years ago!

If the concept of the appointed times being in a specific sequence is correct, the fall “feasts” will be End Time events, leading to the Second Coming of Jesus (which is separate from His coming for His bride) as the Reigning Messiah! (Zechariah 9:9-10) Following the Feast of Trumpets is the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles.

The appointed time of Atonement appears to be the time when the Lord will forgive Israel (Isaiah 43:25) and will offer final atonement for their rebellion. This apparently will occur during, or at the culmination of, the time we know as the Tribulation. The Lord calls it the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:6-11) The prophet Zechariah tells us that when the Jews finally recognize Jesus as the Messiah, they will mourn as one who mourns for an only child. (Zechariah 12:10)

“Tabernacle” is both a noun and a verb. It means both a dwelling place or to dwell with someone. The appointed time of Tabernacles will be celebrated every year in the Lord’s coming Kingdom. (Zechariah 14:16) This feast indicates the time when the Lord will dwell with us and we will dwell with Him in His Kingdom. Come Lord Jesus! Praise His name!

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